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House Passes Bill To Extend Anti-Discrimination Protections To LGBTQ Americans

The legislation amends the Civil Rights Act to extend protections to Americans based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

On Friday, The House passed a bill amending the historic Civil Rights Act to extend protections to LGBTQ Americans.

The bill would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in education, jury duty, federal financing, housing and employment, the Washington Post notes.

“The ability to have a job, to receive medical care or to rent a home should not depend on who someone is,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said. “We cannot accept the situation where anyone in this country can get married on Sunday and legally fired on Monday because of who they love.”

As the Post notes, despite the evolution of public opinion about gay rights, and the legalization of same-sex marriage nationally, some 30 states still have no laws protecting LGBTQ people from being harassed, fired, or even denied housing.

Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-RI), a chief sponsor of the measure to amend the Civil Rights Act, called the change “a life-saving bill that addresses some of the fundamental inequality.”

The bill was a resounding success in the Democrat-led House, passing with a 236-173 vote. Eight Republicans joined all the Democrats in supporting the measure.

However, it is unlikely that the bill will get a vote in the Senate, which is led by the GOP. The White House has also noted that if the measure were to even reach his desk, President Donald Trump would veto it.

“It is bad for freedom to force small business owners all across this country to provide services or products to the public that may violate their deeply held faith-based convictions,” Rep. Ross Spano (R-Fla) said countering the legislation. “Again, allowing the state to essentially impose from above top down its own moral codes and rules in place of those of the individual.”

Republicans further indulged in a good deal of fearmongering and transphobia, claiming that if the bill were to become law, transgender women would take up spots on women’s sports teams or take scholarships from cis-women.

The law, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) claimed, would “subvert the purpose of gender division by allowing men to compete against girls.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) also chimed in and accused Democrats of making bad laws to protect the feelings of “people who are gender confused or suffering gender dysphoria, the opposite of euphoria.”