March 23, 2023

Rep. Takano to Lead the Equality Act in the 118th Congress

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) released the following statement on his leadership of the Equality Act in the 118th Congress.

“Being the first openly gay person of color elected to Congress gives me a unique point of view on the impact of discrimination in the lives of the American people. As the grandson and son of a family incarcerated during World War II, and as a person who grew up knowing my identity could put my employment at risk and deprive me of the right to marry the person I love, I am acutely aware of the ways lawful discrimination can deform the trajectory of someone’s life. These are challenges that span generations, and I bring this perspective to my advocacy for equality in law for all,” said Rep. Mark Takano, Co-Chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus.

“I thank Representative Cicilline for his leadership on behalf of our community and stewardship of the Equality Act, and I look forward introducing this legislation in the 118th Congress,” said Rep. Mark Takano.

“It is a national embarrassment that the LGBTQI+ community remains the only marginalized group in the United States that can legally be discriminated against, and we are seeing the consequences play out at every level of government,” said Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), author of the Equality Act. “With homophobic and transphobic legislation being proposed in state legislatures across the country and here in Congress, it is far past time we act to finally outlaw discrimination against the LGBTQI+ community by passing the Equality Act. As I near the end of my time in the House, I am proud that my friend Congressman Takano will take over as the lead sponsor of this vital legislation. He has been a steadfast partner and champion in this fight, and I know that we will continue to march towards passage under his leadership.”

"We thank Congressman Cicilline for his leadership in drafting the Equality Act eight years ago and his relentless work to extend comprehensive protections against discrimination to the LGBTQ+ community," said Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson. "Now, as Congressman Cicilline prepares to retire from the House, we are looking forward to working alongside Congressman Mark Takano, an incredible champion for our community. Congressman Takano is the perfect leader for this effort, and we have no doubt that he will build on the work Congressman Cicilline started and get the Equality Act signed into law. There is overwhelming support for this bill among the American people and the business community, and we will continue fighting until this bill is signed into law." 

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.