More than 100 state bills so far have aimed to use religious beliefs as an excuse for discrimination. The idea is to allow businesses and public employees to mistreat LGBT people and consider married same-sex couples as unmarried.
Following the introduction of the Equality Act in July, questions have arisen about just how the bill is designed to protect LGBT people and its potential impact on employers, businesses and religious entities.
Today Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley and Rhode Island Representative David Cicilline, together with lead co-sponsors Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), introduced the Equality Act, a bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, credit, education, and jury service.
What Just Happened
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a landmark ruling this week that the sex discrimination provisions of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protect employees who suffer discrimination because of their sexual orientation.
President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing just finalized its report addressing the epidemic of police violence and discriminatory policing across the country. The White House also released recommendations yesterday by the President's Law Enforcement Equipment Working Group, which identified important first steps toward rolling back aspects of the militarization of policing. Lambda Legal was among seven LGBT and HIV advocacy organizations that formed a working group to develop recommendations to the President’s Task Force about how to effectively address the violence and discrimination that our communities face.
Today, the Indiana House Judiciary Committee, with a vote of 9-4, passed a bill designed to allow private businesses, individuals and organizations to discriminate against anyone in Indiana on religious grounds.
In response to the passage of SB 202 by the Arkansas legislature, the American Civil Liberties Union; ACLU of Arkansas; Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders; Lambda Legal; and National Center for Lesbian Rights issued the following statement.