June 21, 2023

Rep. Takano Reintroduces the Equality Act

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) released the following statement on the reintroduction of the Equality Act. 

“The promise of democracy means a great deal to me personally because I have felt the sting of its denial. As the first openly gay person of color to serve in Congress, I am acutely aware of the impacts lawful discrimination has on our marginalized communities in the United States, and the LGBTQI+ community have been subject to discrimination, violence, and the denial of their full personhood under the law for far too long. I’m proud to reintroduce the Equality Act as a long-overdue guarantee to all members of our community that we, too, benefit from explicit civil rights protections and the full promise of American democracy,” said Rep. Mark Takano, Co-Chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus.

“As extreme MAGA state legislators across the country continue their assault on LGBTQ+ Americans, especially the trans community, the fight against bigotry and discrimination remains urgent as ever,” Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi said.  “The landmark Equality Act – twice passed by the Democratic House – would extend the crucial protections of the Civil Rights Act to all LGBTQ+ Americans, in the workplace and in every place.  Today, Congressional Democrats proudly reintroduce our Equality Act: another strong step in our fight for a future of justice, equality and dignity for all.”

“I am grateful for the leadership of Rep. Takano and Sen. Merkley and proud that the Equality Act is being reintroduced as one of our priority bills in the 118th Congress,” said Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries. “This year, we’ve seen a wave of right-wing, anti-LGBTQ legislation across the nation at every level of government. House Democrats will not allow extreme MAGA Republicans to roll back progress. We are determined to get the Equality Act across the finish line so that we can ensure our nation lives up to its promise of liberty and justice for all.”

“As our community continues to face attacks from all directions, every Democrat in the House came together today to send a clear message: LGBTQI+ people deserve the same protections from discrimination as every other marginalized group,” said Equality Caucus Chair Mark Pocan (WI-02). “In this moment of heightened attacks against the LGBTQI+ community, we are reminded of the importance of enshrining our equality into law. No matter an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex characteristics, they should be able to enjoy life free from discrimination.”

The Equality Act amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to extend non-discrimination protections to the LGBTQ+ community. This landmark legislation would explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation in employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding housing, and public accommodations.

Full text of the Equality Act is available here. Background information can be found here. The Senate companion bill has been reintroduced by Senator Jeff Merkley.