Since the inauguration of President Joe Biden, the Democratic congress has been trying to pass multiple bills to end discrimination and sexism in public affairs. Passing the Equality Act in the Senate will be not only a win for the LGBTQ community, but a win for Biden since the act was a priority in his first 100 days.
The United States House of Representatives passed the Equality Act on Feb. 25, which bans the discrimination of Americans based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. The act is an amendment of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which ends discrimination on the basis of race.
The legislature aims to end the stigma that members of the LGBTQ+ face while applying for jobs, renting and buying homes and accommodating public spaces such as gender specific restrooms.
Discrimination against many minorities would still occur without these protections, despite the growing number of progressive voters in the United States.
The Equality Act first passed in the House of Representatives back in 2019, but with the Trump administration in office, the Republican senate shut the bill down. Even today, many Republicans fear what would happen if the bill becomes law, as it could cause concern in religious organizations and the inclusion of the transgender community in athletics, especially those who identify as women.
Evening the playing field has always been up for debate, but the change must happen.
The final vote of the Equality Act was 224-206, as the Democratic representatives and three Republican representatives secured the victory. The act will face the Senate in the coming weeks.
Democratic Senate majority leader Charles Shumer stated during a press conference that he would use his power to ensure the Equality Act made it through the Senate.
“Now, with Democrats in the majority, the Senate will have the opportunity to act on this critical civil rights legislation. I will use my power as Majority Leader to put it on the floor, and let’s see where everybody stands,” Shumer said. “I’m hopeful that, just like in the House, the Equality Act will get Republican votes and pass the Senate with bipartisan support. And of course, we now have an ally in the White House with President Biden, who’s promised to make the Equality Act a priority.”
The Equality Act finally has a chance to become law. Discriminatory laws will soon become a thing of the past, and equal rights will be on the horizon.