Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he is cosponsoring a major LGBT civil rights bill, the Equality Act. The Equality Act expands current civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations, education, federal financial assistance, employment, housing, credit, and federal jury service. The Equality Act accomplishes this by amending current law, primarily the Civil Rights Act (CRA), to expand existing protections.
“As we begin Pride Month, I want to announce that I will be cosponsoring the Equality Act, a civil rights bill that will guarantee basic rights to LGBT Americans,” Senator Casey said. “At its core, this bill will ensure LGBT Americans are treated fairly at work, in housing decisions, and places of public accommodation like restaurants and department stores. Despite the Supreme Court's decision in favor of marriage equality in June of 2015, it’s still legal under federal law and in many states, including Pennsylvania, to fire someone, or deny them access to public accommodations because they’re gay or transgender. Just recently states like North Carolina and Mississippi have enacted laws that are nothing more than state sponsored discrimination. Much of the discussion around these laws has centered on public restrooms. These laws are about much more than that: they are a license to discriminate in all aspects of our society like the workplace and in housing. These laws are contrary the values of our nation and make clear the need for the Equality Act.”