155 Democrats, 0 Republicans Join House LGBT Caucus
With The Equality Act set to be re-introduced in Congress on Wednesday, the House LGBT Equality Caucus boasts a record number of members in the 116th Congress.
There are currently 8 openly LGBT Co-Chairs, 18 Vice Chairs and a total of 155 Democratic members in the caucus.
No Republicans chose to be involved in the group.
“Fairness and equality are core American values. Unfortunately, as he has shown again and again, the President does not share these ideals. That’s why it’s more important than ever that Members of Congress stand up for the rights of the LGBT community,” said LGBT Equality Caucus Co-Chair Rep. David Cicilline (RI-01) in a press statement.
“As I prepare to re-introduce the Equality Act, I am delighted that so many of my House colleagues – the largest number on record, in fact – are committed to fighting for full LGBT equality as members of this important caucus,” he added.
The Equality Act would amend existing civil rights laws (which include the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury Selection and Services Act) to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics.
Currently only 20 states and Washington D.C. have specific laws to protect LGBTs from discrimination.
In other words, while same-sex marriage is legal across the nation, it is legal in 30 states to be fired for being gay if your boss doesn't approve.
The Equality Act would provide uniform protects across the entire U.S.
The Hill reports the legislation is expected to have the support of over 230 representatives in the House and 46 members of the Senate when introduced on Wednesday by Rep. Cicilline and Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon in their respective chambers.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has previously announced the Equality Act would be a priority in the House, and with such strong support, passage there looks likely.
But the legislation has been introduced twice before - in 2015 and 2017 - and stalled each time due to the Republican majority in the Senate.
Political pundits believe it will take a Democratic majority in the Senate and a Democrat in the White House for the Equality Act to finally become law.