Rep. Kilmer Votes for the Equality Act

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) voted to support H.R. 5, the Equality Act. This bipartisan legislation, which received the support of 236 Members of the House, ensures LGBTQ Americans are guaranteed full protections of federal civil rights laws by extending anti-discrimination protections with regard to employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing and public accommodations.

“Every American deserves to have access to the same basic civil rights, regardless of who they are or whom they love,” said Rep. Kilmer. “I’m proud to represent a state that provides protections to ensure that LGBTQ Washingtonians don’t face discrimination, but it’s important that Congress passed vital legislation today to extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Americans in every corner of the nation. Fairness and equality are core American values, and our LGBTQ friends and neighbors should be guaranteed the same basic civil rights and opportunities as anyone else - whether they’re dealing with employment, education, credit, jury service, federal funding, housing, or starting a family.”

In the United States, only 21 states have explicit laws barring discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and only 20 states have such protections for gender identity. In many states, a same-sex couple can get married one day and legally denied service at a restaurant, be fired from their jobs or evicted from their apartment the next. The existing patchwork of legal protections for LGBTQ people leaves millions of Americans subject to uncertainty and potential discrimination.

The Equality Act amends existing federal civil rights laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury Selection and Services Act, and several laws regarding employment with the federal government, to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, Federal jury service, public accommodations, and the use of Federal funds.

The Equality Act is supported by hundreds of organizations, including: Human Rights Campaign, AFL-CIO, American Bar Association, Americans Federation of Teachers, American Medical Associations, American Psychological Associations, American School Counselor Associations, BSA | The Software Alliance, Business Roundtable, Faith in Public Life, GLSEN, Interfaith Alliance, Lambda Legal, Microsoft Corp., NAACP, National Association of Realtors, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of School Superintendents, National Fair Housing Alliance, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, National Women’s Law Center, PFLAG National, SAGE, Service Employees International Union, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Trevor Project, US Chamber of Commerce.