WASHINGTON (WAND) - The White House says it supports the potential passage of the Equality Act, a measure which would grant new non-discrimination protection to LGBTQ+ individuals.
A press release from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget said H.R. 5 would change existing federal civil rights laws to "expressly including non-discrimination protection on the basis of sex." This would include gender identity and sexual orientation.
"Many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals often continue to face discrimination, harassment, and violence at work, at school, and in public accommodations," the statement said. "H.R. 5 would amend existing federal civil rights laws to expressly include non-discrimination protection on the basis of sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), providing security and equality to LGBTQ+ Americans in accessing housing, employment, education, public accommodations, healthcare and other federally funded services, credit, and more."
This measure would follow the Supreme Court's 2020 ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, which said employees are protected from discrimination on the basis of sex - including gender identity and sexual orientation - under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Officials said the Equality Act confirms the Bostock case's implications for other laws regarding discrimination and builds on it.
The Equality Act is also in line with President Joe Biden's Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, which was issued Jan. 20.
Officials said the act would also fill in a gap in law that does not include protection for women against sex discrimination in public accommodations and federally funded programs.
In 2019, the Equality Act passed the U.S. house but was blocked in the Republican-controlled Senate.