Business groups voice support for House bill banning LGBTQ discrimination

Business groups voice support for House bill banning LGBTQ discrimination

More than 60 trade associations and business groups, including the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are urging lawmakers to vote in support of legislation aimed at extending federal protections to the LGBTQ community.

The groups, representing a wide range of industries, called on lawmakers to pass the Equality Act, which aims to provide protections against discrimination to people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The House is slated to vote on the measure Friday.

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“Equality of opportunity is a key pillar of our great democracy--one that allows all people to pursue their American Dream--and part of what makes our nation exceptional,” the letter reads. “Our industries and professions, representing tens of millions of Americans, understand this basic fact and have been at the forefront of efforts to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace and in communities across the country.”

The letter, spearheaded by the National Association of Manufacturers, was sent to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden blasts Trump, demands he release transcript of call with foreign leader Pelosi wants to change law to allow a sitting president to be indicted Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes | Senators press FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately | House panel tees up e-cig hearing for next week MORE (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyClarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Zuckerberg to 'cooperate' on antitrust probes | Dems see victory after McConnell backs election security funds | Twitter takes down fake pro-Saudi accounts Lawmakers say Zuckerberg has agreed to 'cooperate' with antitrust probe MORE (R-Calif.) on Thursday. It was signed by groups like the American Petroleum Institute, American Medical Association, National Restaurant Association and National Retail Federation.

Separately, about 200 companies recently formed the Business Coalition for the Equality Act. That group includes Facebook, Google, Hilton and JPMorgan Chase. 

If the bill becomes law, it would be the first national nondiscrimination law for LGBTQ Americans. But the measure faces an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled Senate.

The legislation has also received pushback from conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation and the Family Research Council.