Post submitted by former HRC Communications Campaign Director Brandon Lorenz
HRC hailed Illinois Rep. Bob Dold, who today became the first Republican member of Congress to co-sponsor the Equality Act – landmark federal legislation that would guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBT people from discrimination in many of the most important aspects of their lives.
Today, LGBT Americans are at risk in 31 states of being fired, evicted from their homes, or denied services simply because of who they are or who they love. Nearly two-thirds of LGBT Americans (63 percent) report having faced discrimination in their lives, with workplace discrimination the most frequently reported challenge.
“Bob Dold is showing tremendous leadership today by becoming the first Republican to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Equality Act and we’re thrilled that he’s standing up for our fundamental values of fairness and equality,”said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Far too many LGBT people – nearly two thirds – have faced unfair and unjust discrimination in their lives, much of it in the workplace. In co-sponsoring the Equality Act, Congressman Dold showed how important it is that LGBT people be able to have a fair chance to earn a living, provide for their families, and live free from fear of discrimination.”
Last July, the Equality Act was introduced in both the House and Senate with a record number of original co-sponsors. Since then, several major companies, including Apple, the Dow Chemical Company, Hyatt, Levi Strauss & Co., Orbitz, and Target, have all endorsed the Equality Act. In addition, the bipartisan legal team David Boies and Ted Olson -- who was a Solicitor General of the United States under former President George W. Bush -- also announced their support.
Polling conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner has shown strong support among Republican voters for the Equality Act’s non-discrimination protections. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of all likely Republican voters support protecting LGBT people from discrimination, as do 90 percent of Democrats. Nearly eight out of 10 Americans -- an overwhelming majority -- support non-discrimination protections for LGBT Americans.
Our nation’s civil rights laws currently protect people on the basis of race, color, national origin, and in most cases, sex, disability, and religion -- but leave LGBT Americans at risk. The Equality Act would provide consistent and explicit anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.