Kuster Votes in Favor of EQUALITY Act
(Washington, DC) – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) voted in favor of H.R. 5, the Equality Act, which passed the House. The bipartisan legislation, which Kuster is a cosponsor of, will help ensure LGBTQ Americans receive the full protections of federal civil rights laws. The bill extends anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Americans in the areas of employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing and public accommodations.
“No American should be denied housing, a job, education, or the opportunity to apply for federal funding because of who they are or who they love,” said Kuster. “This legislation will help ensure LGBTQ Americans have access to basic human rights regardless of where they live, work or go to school. I’m pleased the House passed this commonsense measure and I will continue fighting for equal rights and justice for all.”
Although substantial legal progress has been made over the past several years for the LGBTQ community, including marriage equality, 50 percent of LGBTQ Americans live in states without protections against discrimination in other areas of daily life. The Equality Act amends existing federal civil rights laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, Federal jury service, public accommodations, and the use of Federal funds. Specifically, H.R. 5 amends:
- Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide basic protections against discrimination in public accommodations by adding sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity;
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide basic protections against discrimination by recipients of federal financial assistance by adding sex, including sexual orientation, and gender identity;
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991, and the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 to make explicit protections against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity;
- The Fair Housing Act to make protections against housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity explicit;
- The Equal Credit Opportunity Act to make protections against credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity explicit; and
- The Jury Selections and Services Act to make protections against discrimination in federal jury service based on sexual orientation or gender identity explicit.
Congresswoman Kuster has long advocated in favor of equal rights for every American. In March, she voted in favor of H. Res 124, a bipartisan resolution she cosponsored that opposes President Trump’s ban on transgender individuals openly serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The bill, which passed the House, urges the Department of Defense to not reinstate the ban and instead maintain an inclusive policy allowing qualified transgender Americans to enlist and serve in the military.