House Dems introduce resolution against LGBT discrimination

House Dems introduce resolution against LGBT discrimination
© Greg Nash

House Democrats introduced a resolution Monday urging bolstered discrimination protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people following last month's passage of Indiana's controversial religious freedom law.

“When intolerance occurs anywhere, everyone has an obligation to take a stand, and Congress doesn’t get a waiver on that,” House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said during a press call Monday.

Israel and Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), André Carson (D-Ind.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.), who is introducing ant anti-LBGT discrimination bill later this spring, are behind the resolution.

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The lawmakers said they decided to introduce the resolution first to speak out against LGBT discrimination while the language of Cicilline's more comprehensive civil rights bill is being drafted.

“The bill would cut through a patchwork of 50 state laws to make sure all LGBT Americans can enjoy their basic rights no matter where they live, work or go to school,” Cicilline said.

He's hopeful the bill will gain bipartisan support.

“We’re not in a position yet to say that’s the case, but obviously I’m going to continue to do outreach to make this a bipartisan effort,” he said.

In the meantime, the resolution is a more immediate response to the Indiana’s controversial law that created a national uproar after it was introduced late last month. Critics said the law would have allowed businesses to discriminate against the gay community.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence ultimately signed legislation to fix the law by specifying it was not designed to allow businesses to discriminate. Though the law does not allow a restaurant to refuse gay customers, it does allow a restaurant to refuse to cater a gay wedding.