LGBTQ+ Advocates from Across the Country Meet With and Urge Federal Lawmakers to Pass Equality Act

by Henry Berg-Brousseau

Human Rights Campaign-Led Lobby Day Commences as New Survey Released by PRRI Indicates Unprecedented Support Amongst Voters for Federal LGBTQ+ Discrimination Protections

Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, convened LGBTQ+ advocates from across the country for HRC’s annual Fall Lobby Day, meeting with and urging congressional leaders to support the Equality Act — landmark federal legislation that would modernize our nation’s civil rights laws by including explicit protections for LGBTQ+ people, as well as improve protections for women, people of color, and people of all faiths.

The HRC-led effort came as new polling released by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) revealed unprecedented support amongst American voters for federal laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination — including 82% of Americans who support LGBTQ+ protections in jobs, public accommodations, and housing. The survey’s findings indicate that the number of Americans who support nondiscrimination legislation has risen more than 10 percentage points since 2015.

“This is a pivotal moment in our history,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “The Senate has the opportunity to pass the Equality Act, legislation that will finally ensure LGBTQ+ people are treated equally under the law. We are grateful for all those who took the time to meet virtually today, as well as the Senators who are working day and night to get this bill signed into law.”

Approximately 100 advocates from states across the country met with congressional offices today to discuss the critical importance of passing the Equality Act in the Senate — which the House passed earlier this year. Participants also raised other key priorities including voting rights, conversion therapy, and paid family leave.

As advocates made their case for the Equality Act with lawmakers, a recently released PRRI survey reinforced the growing support for LGBTQ+ protections across the country — including strong majorities among Democrats, Republicans, and independents.

The PRRI survey’s findings include:

  • A large majority of Americans (82%) favor laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing.

  • The proportion of Americans who support nondiscrimination legislation has risen more than 10 percentage points since 2015.

  • Notably, support for laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination is two-thirds or greater amongst all partisan groups. Majorities of Republicans (67%), independents (85%), and Democrats (92%) favor nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans.

HRC’s Lobby Day is a critical cornerstone of the organization’s federal advocacy efforts in Washington. HRC staff work throughout the year to win support for pro-LGBTQ+ legislation, at all levels of government. This work is complemented by the HRC members and volunteers who talk to and influence their representatives, both on Lobby Day and throughout the year. This critical constituent feedback can help convince members of Congress to take a powerful stance on LGBTQ+ issues and advocate for their constituents.

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