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Equality Act is long overdue

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Discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity should not be a topic of extensive debate within our society in modern day. Everyone has the right to identify and express themselves as they choose and be free from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, which is why the Senate should approve the Equality Act.

The bill would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act and extend those same protections to ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill requires equal treatment not only in the workplace and education, but also in public accommodations, such as restrooms, dressing rooms and locker rooms, and federally funded programs.

The Equality Act passed the U.S House of Representatives for the second time on Feb. 26 with a 224-206 vote, which included all House Democrats, plus three Republicans. It will be up to the Senate once again to determine whether the LGBTQ+ community will have full rights and equal protections under the law – or whether they can continue to be lawfully discriminated against.

Sixty Senate votes are needed to pass the bill, prevent a filibuster, and make equal protection for LGBTQ+ the law of the land.

As of now, 27 states do not have any form of anti-discrimination laws protecting the LGBTQ+ community. The Equality Act would provide a long-overdue permanent solution.

Republicans have stated that this bill would obstruct religious freedoms, forcing religious institutions to act against their traditional belief systems.

But belief systems that call for certain groups to have fewer rights and freedoms than others institutionalize discrimination and do not deserve protection.

About 70% of Americans support the equality act. President Joe Biden supports it.

It’s time for the entire Senate to get in step with the American people and support the Equality Act, so we can begin to address this nation’s shameful history of injustices toward the LGBTQ+ community.

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