HRC commits to working toward vital and necessary non-discrimination legislation
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today released a report explaining the need for non-discrimination laws protecting LGBT people at the federal level.
“For over three decades, HRC has championed and fought for equality for all LGBT Americans,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Today, despite the incredible advances we’ve made, LGBT Americans still lack fundamental, enduring and explicit federal legal protections in this country. This report is the blueprint for a federal non-discrimination bill, a major step forward for our community and our nation.”
The report, “Beyond Marriage Equality: A Blueprint for Federal Non-Discrimination Protections,” focuses on needed legislation in seven categories: credit, education, employment, federal funding, housing, jury service and public accommodations.
“In more than a dozen states, same-sex couples can marry but are at risk of being fired because of their sexual orientation,” said Sarah Warbelow, HRC’s Legal Director. “Under federal law, transgender people lack legal recourse if they are turned away from movie theaters or harassed in a restaurant because of who they are. It’s time for federal legislation that recognizes the discrimination LGBT people face in the broad scope of our lives – and it’s time for our elected officials to answer the call and provide redress to millions of Americans in search of justice.”
With the release of this report, HRC is committed to working toward a broad federal non-discrimination bill and will outline its plans to build support for such a bill in the coming weeks.
In many states, the protections available for LGBT Americans are a patchwork at best and nonexistent at worst. Though marriage equality is the law of the land in 35 states and the District of Columbia, there are no explicit federal protections for LGBT Americans with regard to credit, education, employment, federal funding, housing, jury service, and public accommodations.
Historically, expansive legislation to address inequities is not unusual. The report details the history of such legislation, beginning with the Civil Rights Act of 1866 – the first law to define U.S. citizenship – and delves in to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and more recent laws passed to prohibit discrimination. The report also puts forth the history of LGBT-specific civil rights legislation, including the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the federal hate crimes prevention law.
The report can be viewed online at http://www.hrc.org/beyondmarriageequality
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.