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Equality for All Act
04/14/2019 116th Congress Anita W
keywords: HR5 Equality Act Discrimination

The 116th Congress (2019-2020) faces a new agenda with the changing dynamics in the HouseDemocrats lead the charge on a myriad of issues. Representative David N. Cicilline is sponsoring H.R.5, Equality Act, which hit the House floor with an introduction in March 2019. Hearings are now in full swing.

Equality Act’s Aspects

The Equality Act, H.R. 5, is an attempt to end discrimination for various groups. But, the action does not stop there. The expansion includes accommodation recommendations and gives the Department of Justice the right to step in to protect rights for all.

First, addressing discrimination, the Equality Act prohibits prejudice towards the following:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender
  • Gender identity

The next issue is of public places where protections are meant to apply:

  • Credit agencies
  • Justice system
  • Employment possibilities
  • Housing
  • Receiving Federal funds
  • Education facilities

The act then expands the definition of facilities where discrimination is prohibited:

  • Public gatherings
  • Goods — grocery stores, shops, consumer items, etc.
  • Public services and programs
  • Availability of public transportation services
  • Recreational activities — exhibitions, amusement, and exercise

Equality rights also include a prohibition of denial of shared space when considering gender identity or sexual orientation:

  • Sport's locker rooms
  • Restrooms
  • Dressing rooms

Lastly, the Equality Act gives the Department of Justice the right to act if equal protections are not in accordance with the bill.

Breaking Down the Bill

Congress findings back up the basis of the bill.

Discrimination happens towards large groups and even the smallest. For instance, the Equality Act addresses prejudice based on gender even in terms of childbearing. Sex-based stereotypes are not lawful against pregnant women, straight or lesbian, women who breastfeed or has other physical ailments.

The more Congress addresses discrimination, the deeper the revelation of inequality in the United States. Denying anyone from the LGBT community services if found to disrupt the free flow of commerce and contradicts the Constitution by now allowing the community to be full participants in society.

Work culture is an issue the act directly addresses. Everyone has the right to work and support themselves. The Equality Act is to ensure that right to all, regardless of gender, sexual identity, or sexual orientation. It includes pregnant women and new mothers in its language.

Congress also calls out conversion therapy and techniques as unethical and a myth in its usefulness. It will be illegal to attempt the non-science based techniques on anyone for any reason.

The first steps of the Equality Act have room to evolve in the Senate. The language of the bill has the backing of the United States Constitution. Everyone deserves equal rights, whether straight, female, gay, or non-binary in gender.

By Anita W
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