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 PelosiTrump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Sherrod Brown backs new North American trade deal: 'This will be the first trade agreement I've ever voted for' Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Turf war derails push on surprise medical bills | Bill would tax e-cigarettes to pay for anti-vaping campaign | .5M ad blitz backs vulnerable Dems on drug prices MORE (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOn The Money: Trump, China announce 'Phase One' trade deal | Supreme Court takes up fight over Trump financial records | House panel schedules hearing, vote on new NAFTA deal House panel to hold hearing, vote on Trump's new NAFTA proposal House passes sweeping Pelosi bill to lower drug prices 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.