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House panel approves bill providing LGBTQ employment, housing protections

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The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved legislation that would prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people in employment and housing.

The Equality Act was approved in a 22-10 party-line vote, setting the bill up for a potential floor vote.

{mosads}“The ability to have a job, to receive medical care or to rent a home should not depend on who someone is or where they live. And, it certainly should not depend on who they love,” Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday.

The bill, introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), has more than 230 Democratic co-sponsors, along with GOP Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.) and John Katko (N.Y.).

The measure prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit and the jury system.

It also defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.

The Business Coalition for the Equality Act, which is made up of about 200 companies, has pushed the legislation, alongside the Human Rights Campaign.

Coalition members includes Adobe Systems, Airbnb, Amazon, American Airlines, AT&T, Bank of America, Bayer, Booz Allen, Citigroup, Citrix, Coca-Cola, CVS, Ernst & Young, Facebook, Google, Hilton, JP Morgan Chase, Lyft, Marriott, T-Mobile, Uber, Verizon, Visa, and Zillow.

The Heritage Foundation, however, has argued that the Equality Act would force employers and workers to conform to new sexual norms and force hospitals and insurers to provide and pay for therapy against any moral or medical objections.

They also said it would harm families by normalizing hormonal and surgical interventions for gender dysphoric children, lead to the erasure of women by dismantling sex-specific facilities and sports and affect faith-based charities.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the committee’s ranking member, said the bill “marginalizes almost an endless spectrum of Americans” and is “legislation based in political theory, not scientific reality.”

Tags Brian Fitzpatrick David Cicilline Doug Collins Jerrold Nadler John Katko

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