The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Equality Act to amend existing civil rights laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service. The Senate will now decide whether to take the bill up.
Federal non-discrimination protections currently cover race, color, national origin, and in most cases, sex, disability, and religion, but no federal protections explicitly include sexual orientation or gender identity. The majority of LGBT+ Americans report some form of discrimination or harassment based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The question of whether the word “sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act includes sexual orientation and/or gender identity has come up repeatedly in lower courts. Executive branch agencies hold different positions on the matter, but the question is being taken up by the Supreme Court this term.
Read more at Forbes.