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Equality Act: ‘Nobody should face discrimination based on whom they love’

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More than 400 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in state legislatures across America this year. A group of U.S. legislators have moved in the other direction – reintroducing the Equality Act, legislation that would protect LGBTQ+ Americans from discrimination.

Religious, racial and ethnic discrimination are already illegal in the United States.

“It’s disturbing to see more and more states pass regressive laws that encroach on the rights and liberties of LBGTQ+ Americans,” said U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). “I’m proud to introduce this comprehensive legislation to extend anti-discrimination protections to the community because nobody should face discrimination based on who they are or whom they love.”

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said he is proud to join his colleagues in reintroducing this legislation.

“Americans shouldn’t be denied housing, fired from their job, or refused service at a restaurant because of who they are or whom they love,” said Kaine. “I’ll never stop fighting until we reach our North Star of equality.”

The Equality Act would amend federal anti-discrimination laws to explicitly ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in a host of areas, such as employment, housing, public accommodations, jury service, access to credit, federal funding and more.

It would also add protections against sex discrimination in parts of anti-discrimination laws where these protections had not been included previously, such as public accommodations and federal funding.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.