The Equality Act was passed on mostly partisan lines.
The Equality Act, which aims to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in fields such as housing or employment has passed its vote in the House of Representatives.
The vote passed by 236-173, with most Democrats voting in favour, alongside eight Republicans. Seven Democrats abstained from voting, with the 173 no votes coming from the Republican party.
Jerrold Nadler, the chair of the Judiciary Committee, said: “The question before us is not whether the LGBT community faces outrageous and immoral discrimination, for the record shows that it clearly does.
“The question is whether we, as Congress, are willing to take action to do something about it. The answer goes straight to the heart of who we want to be as a country — and today, that answer must be a resounding ‘yes’.”
David Cicilline, one of the leading sponsors of the bill, said: “LGBT people across the country remain vulnerable to discrimination on a daily basis and too often have little recourse. It is past time for the Equality Act to be written into law.”
However, despite this passing in the House of Representatives, it might fail to pass in the Republican-controlled Senate. Opponents of the bill have used their opposition to trans rights as justification for opposing the bill.
Reports also surfaced that President Donald Tr*mp, who has opposed LGBTQ rights throughout his administration, didn’t personally support the bill.
Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, said: “By opposing this common sense civil rights legislation, Donald Trump is ensuring that LGBTQ people remain at risk of being fired or denied housing in a majority of states.”
And the American Civil Liberties Union wrote: “Thankfully, most Americans disagree with President Trump and believe that our nation’s nondiscrimination laws should explicitly cover LGBTQ people, too.”
Despite opposition coming from some on fears it will curb religious freedoms, most religious groups in the US support the measures that the Equality Act takes.
Evangelical Christians are considered to be the most conservative group in the United States when it comes to supporting LGBTQ rights, and yet figures from the Public Religion Research Institution show that they support the Act by a 16-point margin.
The figures also showed that most major religious groups in the country also support the measures in the Equality Act. 53% of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 70% of Mormons, 68% of non-white Catholics, 65% of African American Protestants, 60% of Muslims and 59% of Orthodox Christians support the bill. But the religious group with the most backing for the bill were the New Age religions, with 81% in favour.