More than half of all Americans live in states that don’t have explicit nondiscrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations. In states without a statewide law, hundreds of cities have passed ordinances protecting LGBTQ+ people. But states are increasingly “preempting” the laws of cities and towns that seek to protect low-income workers, immigrants, and LGBTQ+ people. This kind of intrusion means that families from many different walks of life could easily lose the ability to live, work, and raise children free from discrimination in their hometowns. Beyond preemption, states continue to enact religious exemption bills: discriminatory attempts to write into our laws loopholes that would allow people, businesses, schools, and corporations the right to discriminate against LGBTQ people based on their religious beliefs. These bills come in many different forms, but the goal is clear in each case: deny LGBTQ+ dignity.
We monitor and track important federal legislation, court cases, rule changes, and ballot measures when LGBTQ+ lives will be affected. Learn more about the moments we’re monitoring.
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court has made one thing clear: no one should be turned away from a taxpayer-funded program because of who they are,” said Fran Hutchins, Equality Federation Executive Director. “While the Court ruled in favor of Catholic Social Services, they did so on the narrowest possible ground. Governments are still able to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ foster and adoptive parents and must continue to do so for the over 400,000 children currently in foster care.”
The Equality Act would update existing federal civil rights law to include sexual orientation and gender identity as unlawful grounds for discrimination along with race, color, religion, sex and national origin. It would send a powerful message of inclusion that everyone should have the freedom and opportunity to work hard, earn a living, provide for their families and contribute to communities. We must do everything possible to pass these protections as soon as we can. The path is not easy. It will require hard work and engaging in good faith dialogue with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as well as concessions on both sides to reach bipartisan consensus.
With your support, we'll be able to continue our work to build the leaders of today and tomorrow, strengthen state-based LGBTQ+ organizations, and make critical progress on the issues that matter most—like protecting transgender people, ending HIV criminalization and ensuring access to care, and banning conversion therapy across the country.