During a speech at Harvard University, Nancy Pelosi unveiled a bill that would expand the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which covers race, religion, sex and national origin, to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Thus, if this bill is adopted, it would prohibit any discrimination against LGBT Americans seeking loans, applying for jobs or ordering in a restaurant for example.
This legislation has so far 198 co-authors including two Republican House members, even if the bill still does not have the support of Republicans in the Senate.
“This is a very simple proposition,” Representative David Cicilline, the bill’s lead sponsor, told the Associated Press.
“We have a long history in our country of prohibiting discrimination and promoting equality. It’s the founding principle of our country, and I believe the vast majority of people in our country think discrimination is wrong,” he added.
“In many ways, Congress has to catch up to where the American people are.
“Anywhere you go in the country, you should be able to live your life and travel and have all the protections you would have anywhere else in the country.
“Equality is a founding value of America. When you tell people that in the majority of states in this country you can be fired from your job, be kicked out of your apartment, denied service in a restaurant… [for being] a member of the LGBTQ community and that there’s no protection from that, you know most people are stunned.
“The Equality Act is the opportunity for Congress to catch up to the country and make certain once and for all people from the LGBT community cannot be discriminated against in education, public accommodation, employment, housing, credit or jury service.”
David Cicilline also told NBC News: “If the Equality Act were passed and if it were law today, the president’s regulation, or proposed regulation, would be illegal, because it would be discrimination against the trans community.”
This measure will be possible only if the Democrats take control of the House.
Cicilline said he had tried to work with the current House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis, but he refused to help bring the bill to a vote.
I am focusing on this possible LGBT bill but know Pelosi wants to give priority to a comprehensive gun-control and anti-corruption legislation.
The results come as we go; we’ll see if the Democrats, especially our LGBT candidates, succeed in these mid-term elections.