Maloney Urges Colleagues to Join Her in Voting to Pass the Equality Act
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), member of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, today spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives urging all her colleagues to join her in voting to the pass H.R. 5, the Equality Act, landmark legislation that ensures that LGBTQIA+ Americans are guaranteed the full protections of federal civil rights law. The Equality Act extends anti-discrimination protections on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in all aspects of life – in employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal financial assistance, housing, and public accommodations. The House is expected to pass the bill in a vote later today.
Congresswoman Maloney is a longtime ally and champion of the LGBTQIA+ community. In 1986, while serving on the New York City Council, then-Councilmember Maloney introduced the first bill to legally recognize same-sex partnerships in New York State history.
On the House floor today, the Congresswoman stated:
“I rise today in strong support of the Equality Act, long overdue legislation to continue the progress made under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Fair Housing Act, The Equal [Employment] Opportunity Act, and other vital laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
“These civil rights laws were passed to provide critical protections for people who unnecessarily live in fear and were unfairly persecuted simply because [of] who they were. They were passed because the promise of America - equal treatment under the law – was non-negotiable. It is still non-negotiable.
“And so, with the Equality Act, we must take the next step to guarantee equal protection and rights under the law for all – no matter who you love or your gender identity.
“The Equality Act seeks to stamp out discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community – something that we unfortunately see far too often. No one should face discrimination in employment, housing, education, public space[s], or federally funded programs because of who are they are and who they love.
“I am proud to be an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community and have worked to advance these rights and protections with groups and individuals throughout my career in public service – including hiring an out, HIV-positive, gay man to serve as my first Congressional Chief of Staff.
“In 1986, while serving on the New York City Council, I introduced the first bill to legally recognize same-sex partnerships in New York State history — and I had to threaten the City of New York to even get the bill printed. City officials said the bill was unconstitutional and could not even be printed.
“And while we’ve made great progress – the bill was printed and passed – since then, we still have work to do.
“I’m proud that New York State recently enacted legislation to repeal the Walking While Trans Ban, but we must ensure that the LGBTQIA+ community has these protections and equal rights all throughout the country. Access to equal rights should not depend on your zip code.
“And so, I urge all my colleagues to join me today in voting to pass the Equality Act – so that every American – regardless of who they love – has equal protection under the law.”
You can watch the Congresswoman’s speech below.