Democratic Party will re-introduce The Equality Act, legislation banning LGBT discrimination nationwide that has basically zero chance of passing this Congress but will “illustrate a chasm between the major political parties as they approach the 2018 midterm election”:
A companion bill will be reintroduced in the Senate by Oregon’s Jeff Merkley, a Democrat, who said colleagues opposed to the bill “should have to stand up and explain why.”
Dozens of Democrats sponsored similar legislation in 2015, with a small harmony of support across the aisle, marking the most sweeping effort to date to provide LGBT civil rights. But Republican leaders never gave it a committee hearing. Rep. Cicilline argued that opponents should pay a political price if they continue to blockade the bill, saying, “If Republicans in Washington want to keep standing in the doorway of opportunity, they’ll have to answer to their constituents in just two short years.”
The Equality Act, as it’s known, would amend existing civil rights laws to add protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in workplaces, housing, and public spaces.
It would also clarify that transgender students can use single-sex facilities in schools in accordance with their gender identity, possibly settling a dispute tangled in courts.
The Equality Act could not only put congressional Republicans on the record about LGBT rights going into the next midterms but to also force Donald Trump’s hand, who keeps getting credited by media for a fictitious “softening” on LGBT issues despite his profoundly homophobic administration. Seriously—let’s put this to rest once and for all.