On Thursday, February 18, 2021, lawmakers reintroduced the Equality Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. This landmark civil rights bill would create consist nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people in employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, jury service, and federally funded programs. It would also strengthen existing civil rights laws, including prohibitions on religious discrimination, to address contemporary challenges.
A broad coalition of more than 600 organizations, including civil rights, education, health care, and faith-based entities welcomed the bill’s introduction, as well as a group of more than 320 major companies with operations in all 50 states.
Religious freedom and equality are complementary – not contradictory – values.
Every person has inherent dignity and worth, deserving equal treatment under the law. But religious freedom claims have increasingly been used to ostracize LGBTQ+ people and exclude them from public life. The Equality Act would reverse this disturbing trend by prohibiting the misuse of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to justify discrimination. Rabbi Jack Moline, President of Interfaith Alliance, voiced his strong moral and philosophical support for the Equality Act, saying:
“Our country is founded on the idea that all are created equal — a value shared across faith traditions and philosophies. The aspirations of our founders have not always managed to find full expression in society. The Equality Act is a step forward to the full — and overdue — citizenship rights for LGBTQ+ persons.”
Interfaith Alliance is committed to affirming the dignity of all LGBTQ+ Americans, including many beloved members of our faith communities. The Equality Act ensures that LGBTQ+ people – including religious and non-religiously affiliated people – enjoy the same freedoms under the law as their neighbors. Learn more about the Equality Act and Interfaith Alliance’s work around LGBTQ+ rights.