Interfaith Alliance Celebrates House Passage of Equality Act, Urges Action in the Senate

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February 25, 2021

Manisha Sunil, West End Strategy Team; Phone: 202-417-0171

Interfaith Alliance Celebrates House Passage of Equality Act, Urges Action in the Senate

WASHINGTON — Today the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, a landmark civil rights bill that strengthens existing civil rights laws and creates a national standard of nondiscrminiation against LGBTQ+ people in employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, jury service, and federally funded programs. In response to this historic passage, Katy Joseph, director of policy & advocacy for Interfaith Alliance, said:

Today, members of the House of Representatives affirmed the inherent dignity and worth of all people. Wherever we call home, we share the basic desire to go about our daily lives without fear of harassment or harm. But under our current patchwork of laws, too many still face discrimination simply because of who they are or who they love.

As a national advocacy organization working to advance an inclusive vision of religious freedom, Interfaith Alliance is acutely aware of the impact federal legislation may have on diverse faith communities. The right to believe as we choose is often referred to as our ‘first freedom,’ and the legislative and social framework needed to maintain this careful balance is rooted in the abiding promise of equal treatment under law.

The Equality Act will ensure that people of all identities and beliefs are treated with respect within the public sphere. This landmark bill would extend stronger protections for religious minorities and other historically marginalized groups while preserving existing religious exemptions under federal law. Interfaith Alliance is proud to join over 120 faith-based organizations and community leaders across the country in calling on the Senate to act swiftly because religious freedom and equality are complementary, not contradictory, values.

Interfaith Alliance is committed to affirming the dignity of all LGBTQ+ Americans, including many beloved members of our faith communities, and has been a strong supporter of the Equality Act as part of the Faith for Equality coalition.

Faith leaders from across the country have been outspoken in support of this legislation, countering the narrative that there is an inherent conflict between religious freedom and civil liberties for LGBTQ+ people. Recent nonpartisan polling found that over 70% of people supported a bill like the Equality Act, including a majority of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.

If you are interested in speaking further with Katy Joseph on this issue, please contact Manisha Sunil at or (202) 417-0171.