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In 2015, HRC endorsed the Equality Act, a groundbreaking, comprehensive federal LGBT non-discrimination bill. HRC joined members of Congress, LGBT people who experienced discrimination and coalition partners to announce the bill’s introduction in July.
The Equality Act establishes explicit, permanent protections against discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity in matters of employment, housing, access to public places, federal funding, credit, education and jury service. In addition, it would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in federal funding and access to public places.
The bill has garnered a record number of cosponsors -- 170 in the House and 39 in the Senate.

Even though the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in June brought marriage equality to all 50 states, a majority of states still lack clear, fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections for LGBT people. That means that in most states in this country, a couple who gets married at 10 a.m. remains at risk of being fired from their jobs by noon and evicted from their home by 2 p.m. simply for posting their wedding photos on Facebook.

Discrimination is a real and persistent problem for too many LGBT Americans. Nearly two-thirds of self-identified LGBT Americans reported experiencing discrimination. In July, HRC featured the story of Carter Brown, a transgender man who lost his job after he was outed as transgender by his colleagues. Currently, 50 percent of LGBT Americans live in states where they risk being fired, denied housing or refused service because of who they are or whom they love.
HRC polling has found strong bipartisan support for the Equality Act. Additionally, leading American corporations such as Amazon, AirBNB, American Airlines, Apple, the Dow Chemical Company, Facebook, General Electric, General Mills, Google, HP, Hyatt, IBM, Intel, Levi Strauss & Co, Microsoft, Nike, Oracle, Orbitz, PayPal, Symantec Corporation and Target in support of federal LGBT non-discrimination protections.
After endorsing this vital bill, HRC will continue to work to ensure all LGBT Americans have the protections from discrimination in federal law they deserve. The reason is simple: Everyone should be able to live free from fear of discrimination and have a fair chance to earn a living and provide for their family, including LGBT people.

"The time has come for full federal equality,” HRC President Chad Griffin said when the bill was introduced. “Nothing more, nothing less.”

To learn more about the Equality Act, click here.

Counting down to 2016, HRC is celebrating our greatest milestones and victories in 2015. It has been another incredible year for LGBT equality and we could not have done it without you -- our members, readers and supporters--and we look forward to continuing our work in 2016. Stay tuned for more highlights from 2015 on HRC's blog.

Filed under: Federal Advocacy, Community

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