Historic: House Rules Package Includes Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation Protections

by Charlotte.Clymer@hrc.org

Gender identity and sexual orientation non-discrimination protections will be included in U.S. House rules for first time ever.

HRC responded to the passage of an historic U.S. House rules package that bans discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation for the first time ever. The package also ensures religious headgear can be worn in the House chamber.

“This is an historic moment for our country,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “For the first time ever, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity will be banned in the House of Representatives. This action to protect LGBTQ congressional employees from discrimination is the result of millions of Equality Voters going to the polls in November to ensure their voices were heard and demanding a Congress that looks like America.”

The new rules package was adopted yesterday as a pro-equality majority was sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives. Speaker Pelosi has also announced that the Equality Act -- a bill to provide comprehensive federal protections for LGBTQ people and HRC’s top federal legislative priority -- will be a priority for the incoming Congress. Today, half of LGBTQ Americans live in states without clear, comprehensive protections for LGBTQ people, leaving millions vulnerable to discrimination in housing, employment, and other arenas.

HRC made an historic commitment to elect a pro-equality Congress in the 2018 midterm election.  In November of 2017, HRC launched HRC Rising, the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history. Since then, HRC has endorsed more than 480 pro-equality candidates nationwide and deployed 150 staff to organize and mobilize voters in more than 70 congressional, targeted senate and key statewide races across 23 states. HRC helped register more than and recruited more than 4,200 volunteers, who worked over 8,500 shifts and clocked more than 30,000 volunteer hours. In the critical final four days of the campaign, HRC staff and volunteers in get-out-the-vote efforts alone knocked on more than 80,000 doors and held 36,400 conversations with voters at their doors and by phone on behalf of our endorsed candidates.