A landmark win for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States!
It has been reported that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the historic Equality Act, which brings the LGBTQ+ community closer to universal equality.
The Equality Act aims to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in fields such as housing or employment.
It was passed by a 224 to 216 vote and saw three Republicans voting alongside the Democrats to vote in favour of the bill.
Getting through the House of Representatives is the first hurdle for the Equality Act since it now needs to pass in the U.S. Senate.
With the Senate split 50-50 the bill is plagued with an uncertain future. In order for the bill to pass at least 10 Republicans will need to vote for the bill alongside the Democrats.
“The LGBTQ community has waited long enough. The time has come to extend the blessings of liberty and equality to all Americans, regardless of who they are or who they love,” said Rep. David Cicilline.
Many representatives and political figures have shown support for the bill, with President Joe Biden assuring that he would sign the legislation if it beats the Senate threshold.
“Every person should be treated with dignity and respect and this bill represents a critical step toward ensuring that America lives up to our foundational values of equality and freedom for all,” Biden said.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis, opened up about the importance of the bill stating: “It’s time to end this kind of discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.”
Celebrities have also come forward in favour of the bill ranging from Taylor Swift and Demi Lovato to Misha Collins and more.
“YYES!!! Fingers crossed and praying that the Senate will see trans and lgbtq rights as basic human rights,” Swift wrote.
YES!!! Fingers crossed and praying that the Senate will see trans and lgbtq rights as basic human rights. 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈🇺🇸 https://t.co/Nb19UGXgY3
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) February 25, 2021
Demi Lovato showcased the same enthusiasm, stating: ” YES YES YES! This is an incredible step forward but now we need our Senate to follow suit!! Follow @HRC @glaad @ACLU for updates and info on the Equality Act”
— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) February 26, 2021
“I can’t believe that in 2021 this isn’t already the law of the land — but this is a good first step. Senators, please take a stand for civil rights: pass the #EqualityAct so ALL Americans can be equally protected from discrimination,” said Supernatual fan favourite Misha Collins
I can’t believe that in 2021 this isn’t already the law of the land — but this is a good first step. Senators, please take a stand for civil rights: pass the #EqualityAct so ALL Americans can be equally protected from discrimination! https://t.co/6pYFVax8cI
— Misha Collins (@mishacollins) February 26, 2021
This isn’t the first time that the Equality Act has passed in the House of Representatives.
Back in 2019, the bill went through by 236-173 vote, with most Democrats voting in favour, alongside eight Republicans. Seven Democrats abstained from voting, with 173 no votes coming from the Republican party.
However, it did hit a roadblock once it went to the Republican-controlled Senate.
The fight for LGBTQ+ equality and protections still rages on.