Alabama Introduces Legislation That Would Strengthen the State's Economy

by Ianthe Metzger

HB615 creates new state-level protections for millions of Alabamians

MONTGOMERY—Yesterday, Representative Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa County) introduced, a new piece of legislation that would strengthen the ability of Alabama businesses to compete for talent in a 21st Century economy, improve its chances of attracting new private-sector investment and grow new jobs, and establish new state-level protections for millions of Alabamians.

“While Alabama’s future is bright, passing this historic bill and signing it into law will make that future a whole lot brighter,” said HRC Alabama Director Patricia Todd. “This is our chance to show our nation and the world that discrimination in Alabama is a thing of the past.   All Alabamians believe in the Golden Rule—treating others as you wish to be treated.   We can make history together, and I call on my fellow legislators to reach across the aisle and work in a collaborative, bipartisan way to pass this bill into law.”

If passed, HB615 would explicitly prohibit discrimination in state law for any individual based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or familial status. The bill would establish critical new protections in employment, housing, public accommodations, credit transactions, and accessing the right to vote for each of those categories.

In addition, this legislation would enhance Alabama's ability to attract new private-sector investment.  CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and other prominent corporate leaders have consistently said that ensuring equality in the workplace is an important factor in recruiting, hiring, and retaining top talent.  Barring all types of discrimination against all of Alabama’s workers will improve the chances of Alabama businesses to compete for the best and brightest around the country and the world.

HB615 would make Alabama a more inclusive and accepting state for all, sending a strong message to the country that Alabama is ready to welcome everyone.  No one should be turned down for a job, evicted from their home, or refused service because of who they are. No Alabamian should live in fear of discrimination. All hardworking people should have the opportunity to earn a living and provide for their families.

HRC Alabama is working to advance equality for LGBT Alabamians who have no statewide protections in housing, workplace, or public accommodations; and legal state recognition for their relationships and families. Through HRC Alabama, we are working toward a future of fairness every day—changing hearts, minds and laws toward achieving full equality.


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