Rep. Katie Hill, Democrats announce introduction of the Equality ActBrianna Bricker March 13, 2019 1 COMMENT
Rep. Katie Hill (D-Agua Dulce) joined Democratic legislators Wednesday morning to announce the introduction of the Equality Act of 2019, which would provide federal anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Americans.
Hill, who is openly bisexual, is the first LGBTQ Californian representative and the second bisexual representative in Congress overall. She is also the co-chair of the Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus.
“Throughout this run [for Congress], I got so many questions as to why I chose to be honest about my sexuality,” Hill said on the House floor this morning. “I’m married to a man, I’m from a purple, historically Republican district, and everyone said it would be easier for me to hide who I am — but the reality is that representation matters, especially for the LGBTQ community, when so many of our basic rights are still at risk.”
The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Jury Selection and Services Act to guarantee civil rights protections also apply based on sexual orientation or gender identity across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces, jury service and federally-funded programs.
“Everyone deserves a fair chance to earn a living, to provide a home for their families without fear of harassment or discrimination,” Hill said. “I cannot be prouder to be a part of a new generation of leaders who will finally pass the Equality Act and fight for true freedom and equality for all.”
LGBTQ advocacy groups are applauding the introduction of the new bill, many of which — such as the Human Rights Campaign and Equality California — endorsed Hill during her campaign.
“It is unacceptable that in 2019, our nation’s civil rights laws do not clearly and consistently protect millions of LGBTQ Americans from discrimination,” an Equality California spokesperson said. “You shouldn’t have to live in fear of being fired from your job, denied a home, kicked out of school or turned away by a doctor simply because of who you are or whom you love.”
The original Equality Act was introduced in 1974 but died in the House Judiciary Committee. Although the Equality Act of 2019 will likely pass the House, it still must survive a Republican-controlled Senate and the President’s desk.