Post submitted by Lucas Acosta (he/him), former Deputy Director of Communications, Politics
As Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are expected to use today’s hearing on the Equality Act to attack trans people (and to justify their opposition to expanding anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people as a defense of women), a brief audit of their records reveal some of the most radical, extreme opposition to women’s equality. No current Senate Judiciary Committee members voted for Violence Against Women Act reauthorization (2013), not one Republican co-sponsored the Senate Athletics Fair Pay Act (2019), and several committee members voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (2013), and the Paycheck Fairness Act (2014) that would advance equal pay for women.
Below is a brief overview detailing the troubling records Senate Judiciary Republicans have on women’s issues, highlighting the hypocrisy of Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee now using “concern for women” as justification to attack, punish, and dehumanize trans kids.
1. Not a single Republican member of the Senate cosponsored the Senate Athletics Fair Pay Act (2019) despite talking about their support for the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team.
2. Not a single Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee supported the Violence Against Women Act.
3. Republican Senators have instead taken actions to codify discrimination against women and young people.
4. The two anti-equality hearing witnesses — Mary Rice Hasson and Abigail Shrier — have long, radical records of discriminating against young people.
About the Equality Act
The Equality Act, which would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity under federal civil rights law, will – for the first-time – advance in the U.S. Senate. The legislation would also extend protections to millions of women who aren’t covered under some existing federal anti-discrimination laws and expand the public spaces and services that can’t discriminate against people of color, and people of all faiths.
Despite significant steps forward, the patchwork nature of our nation’s civil rights laws means that the majority of states — 29 states in total — do not have laws that explicitly protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. The Equality Act will ensure that LGBTQ people cannot be refused housing or evicted from their homes, kicked out of a business that’s open to the public, denied health care, or denied government services in a majority of states simply because of who they are.
The Equality Act is supported by an overwhelming 70 percent of bipartisan voters; hundreds of members of Congress; and more than 600 organizations, including civil rights, education, health care, and faith-based organizations.
The Equality Act has had unprecedented support among business and corporate leaders, which includes more than 60 business associations — including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers — and has been endorsed by nearly 400 major companies, including dozens of Fortune 500 companies such as The Coca-Cola Co., Dow Chemical Co., Gap Inc., IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg Co., Marriott International Inc., Microsoft Corp., Target Corp., among others. Collectively, these companies employ more than 12.3 million people across the United States and oversee operations in all 50 states, generating a collective revenue of $5.7 trillion.
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