ACTION ALERT: Call Your Senators to Urge Passage of the Equality Act
ACTION ALERT – Before Pride Month is Over – Call Your Senators To Urge Passage of the Equality Act
to Urge Passage of the Equality Act
Calls to both your senators to urge the speedy passage of the landmark Equality Act (H.R. 5) are urgently needed. The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act on February 25th (224-206) in a bipartisan vote. It is now pending in the Senate. There could not be a more appropriate way to celebrate Pride Month than to adopt into law this comprehensive civil rights protection for LGBTQIA+ persons.
The Equality Act would incorporate, in federal statutes, critical civil rights provisions that would prohibit discrimination against LGBTQIA+ persons in employment, housing, credit, education, theaters, restaurants, hotels, libraries, retail stores, federally funded programs, jury service, and other areas of public accommodation.
Recently, Republican members have made outrageous statements about the legislation, such as the absurd claim that the Equality Act would destroy women’s rights by protecting transgender women’s and girls’ equal access to school athletic programs. However, transgender students’ equal education rights are already protected under Title IX Education Amendments of 1972. But the Republicans’ current “soft” hate campaign against transgender women and girls in school is being carried out in various state legislatures to pass laws denying students access to athletic programs and prohibiting gender-affirming medical care. Nine states thus far have adopted such clearly unconstitutional anti-transgender laws.
Even though in July 2020, a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, in Bostock v. Clayton County, ruled that sexual orientation and gender identity are protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII prohibition against sex-based discrimination in employment, we still need to make sure that those protections apply to other important aspects of life.
The Equality Act will do that.
Polls show that 70 percent of Americans support the Equality Act (H.R. 5 – Rep. David Cicilline). The House has passed this legislation twice, first in the 116th and now in the current 117th Congress, but Senate Republicans are blocking progress. If the filibuster was prohibited, the Equality Act would easily pass — and probably with a few Republican senators in support. More details appear in the statement issued by NOW President Christian F. Nunes.
Strong and consistent pressure especially on Republican senators will help. That will improve the chance that this sorely needed civil rights bill for LGBTQIA+ persons can be bipartisan passed and adopted into law. But we need to make our voices heard now. This Pride Month, we need to make an all-out effort to get this done.
WHAT CAN I DO? Ensure this critical bill gets much-needed bi-partisan support by contacting both your senators, voicing your support of the Equality Act, and urging them to ensure its swift passage.
HOW DO I DO IT? Call the Capitol switchboard 202-224-3121 and be connected to your senator’s office. Here is a directory of senators, where you can find phone numbers and be connected to their websites where you can send a message. Additionally, calling senator’s in-state offices is a good way to get your message across; locations and phone numbers are usually listed on their websites’ homepage.
WHAT DO I SAY? “I am calling to urge Senator [NAME] to encourage the Senate to take up the Equality Act for a floor vote. A yes vote for the Equality Act – is just basic fairness. This is a critical step needed to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQIA+ persons.” If you feel comfortable, share any stories or examples of harmful discrimination in your life, your family’s or your friendship circle.
SPREAD THE WORD
Contacting your senators is just a start. Help us keep the conversation going by spreading the word on social media and urging others to take action. You can find their Twitter handles here, and below are some sample social media posts you can use:
- The Equality Act is critical legislation that would prohibit discrimination against #LGBTQIA+ persons. The House passed it and now it’s time for the Senate to do its job! Call your senators and urge speedy passage of the #EqualityAct now!
- Our fight for equality isn’t over! We need the Senate to pass the #EqualityAct NOW!
- Anti-trans bills are getting adopted in many of the states! We need the #EqualityAct NOW, one which will guarantee #LGBTQIA+ persons basic protections under the law.