Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

Representing the 18th District of TEXAS

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Statement on Introduction of Equality Act Extending Anti-Discrimination Protections to LGBTQ Americans

Mar 18, 2019
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        Contact: Robin K. Chand

March 14, 2019                                                                                                   202-225-3816

 

Press Statement

 

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Statement on Introduction of Equality Act Extending Anti-Discrimination Protections to LGBTQ Americans

 

Washington, DC - Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Senior Member of the House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement in after the introduction of H.R. 5, the Equality Act, extends anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Americans:

 

“The Equality Act is historic legislation that says, unequivocally, that LGBTQ Americans deserve the full protections guaranteed by the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The Equality Act extends anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Americans with regard to employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing, and public accommodations.

 

"No American should ever be treated as less than equal in the eyes of the law. The Equality Act will guarantee that LGBTQ Americans in Texas and across the country cannot be discriminated against because of who they are or whom they love.  It is long past time for this legislation to become law and that is why I proudly joined my colleagues today to get the job done.

 

“Despite significant legal advances over the past several years – including marriage equality, LGBTQ Americans remain vulnerable to discrimination on a daily basis and too often have little recourse.  Fifty percent of the national LGBTQ community live in states where, though they have the right to marry, they have no explicit non-discrimination protections in other areas of daily life.  In most states, a same-sex couple can get married one day and legally denied service at a restaurant, be fired from their jobs or evicted from their apartment the next.

 

“In some areas, federal law prohibiting sex discrimination has already been properly interpreted by federal courts and administrative agencies to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  The Equality Act affirms these interpretations of existing law and makes the prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity explicit, in order to provide greater clarity to members of the public, employers, schools, businesses and others.  In areas where sex discrimination is not already prohibited, the bill amends existing law to bar discrimination on the basis of sex, as well as sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

“This is why the Equality Act has the bipartisan support of Members of Congress, the strong support of the business community, and the overwhelming support of the American people – with more than 7 in 10 supporting the Equality Act. 

 

“On behalf of LGBTQ Texans and all Americans, I am proud to be one of the original co-sponsors of H.R. 5, the Equality Act and I look forward to voting YES when it comes to the House Floor. With this critical legislation, we will finally, fully end discrimination against LGBTQ Americans, and move our nation closer to fulfilling the promise of equality, opportunity and justice for every American.”

 

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Congresswoman Jackson Lee is a Democrat from Texas’s 18th Congressional District. She is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security.