Congressman García Votes to Pass the Equality Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) issued the following statement after voting to pass H.R. 5, the Equality Act in the House of Representatives:
“I voted to pass the Equality Act because regardless of who you are or who you love, everyone deserves the freedom to live without fear of discrimination and harassment. It's time we live up to our values and ensure all people have equal rights under the law.
“The Equality Act ensures all Americans are afforded the same rights we all enjoy. It would extend existing non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ people in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, and the jury system.
“Though we’ve made significant progress to provide LGBTQ Americans equal protections and rights, including executive orders by President Joe Biden, federal law does not explicitly provide non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Despite overwhelming public support and the 2015 Supreme Court ruling making marriage equality a reality, Americans can still be fired for being LGBT in at least 17 states. These employees remain vulnerable to anti-gay harassment, retaliation, and other forms of workplace abuse.
“In 1988, my friend and predecessor in Congress, Luis Gutierrez, joined me to provide the necessary votes in the city council to pass Chicago’s Human Rights Ordinance to prevent discrimination against the LGBTQ community. I was inspired by Mayor Harold Washington’s work to establish the City’s first Committee on Gay and Lesbian Issues.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. The Senate must take up this legislation immediately and send the Equality Act to President Biden’s desk. It’s time we ensure equality for all Americans.