Today, HRC announced that more than 200 of the nation’s leading businesses have now joined HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act. With a combined operation in all 50 states, headquarters in 29 states, more than $4.5 trillion in revenue, and more than 10.4 million employees across the United States, these companies know how important it is to have a federal legal standard that guarantees all employees the same rights and protections — no matter where they live. Expected to receive a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives soon, the bipartisan legislation also has unprecedented support from nearly 70% of Americans, hundreds of members of Congress and more than 500 statewide and national organizations, including social justice, religious, medical and child welfare organizations.
“Today, HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act has surpassed more than 200 companies urging Congress to pass comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Every LGBTQ person deserves to earn a living, raise their families and live their lives free from discrimination. And these leading companies know that protecting their employees and customers from discrimination isn’t just the right thing to do -- it’s also good for business.”
The bipartisan Equality Act would finally add clear, comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people to our nation's civil rights laws. Currently, 50 percent of LGBTQ Americans live in the 30 states that still lack statewide legal non-discrimination protections, leaving their residents and visitors at risk of being fired, denied housing, or refused service because of who they are or who they love.
Discrimination is a real and persistent problem for LGBTQ Americans. HRC polling has found that nearly two-thirds of self-identified LGBTQ Americans report experiencing discrimination. The Equality Act would extend existing civil rights protections to LGBTQ people by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally-funded programs and jury service.
Recent polling shows that a growing majority of Americans support federal non-discrimination protections and LGBTQ equality. A recent survey by PRRI found that seven in 10 Americans (71 percent) support laws like the Equality Act. In addition, post-election polling from HRC found that 60 percent of voters in the 2018 midterms opposed the Trump-Pence administration’s reported plans to define gender entirely by sex assigned at birth, thereby potentially excluding transgender people from civil rights protections. Overall, voters also identified protecting the rights of groups targeted by the Trump-Pence administration as their top reason for voting to flip the U.S. House.
In March, HRC launched a public awareness and advertising campaign called “Americans for the Equality Act.” Filmed by award-winning directors Dustin Lance Black and Paris Barclay, the series debut video featured Academy Award-winning actress Sally Field and her son Sam Greisman. The campaign has so far also featured transgender singer and songwriter Shea Diamond, actress Justina Machado, U.S. Olympian Adam Rippon, Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown, and Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his husband Justin Mikita.