Democratic presidential candidate Pete
Buttigieg on Wednesday endorsed passage of a federal bill that seeks
to prohibit LGBT discrimination.
Democrats on Wednesday held a news
conference to announce introduction of the Equality Act.
First introduced in 2015, the Equality
Act seeks to prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination in seven key areas,
including credit, education, employment, federal funding, housing,
jury service and public accommodations, by effectively expanding the
Civil Rights Act, originally approved in 1964.
The legislation is sponsored by Rhode
Island Representative David Cicilline in the House and Oregon Senator
Jeff Merkley in the Senate.
“We are reintroducing the Equality
Act in order to fix this,” Cicilline said. “Enacting and
protecting civil rights laws is one of the most important things we
can do in this building.”
The legislation has more than 239
co-sponsors in the House, including two Republicans, and 47
co-sponsors in the Senate, including one Republican, Senator Susan
Collins of Maine.
Buttigieg, the openly gay mayor of
South Bend, Indiana, endorsed the legislation in a statement.
“Fifty years ago, courageous gay and
transgender people stood up at Stonewall for the right to be
recognized as equal Americans. It's time to finally implement a
federal Equality Act that extends civil rights protections to all
Americans, regardless of their gender identity and sexual
orientation. This bill is commonsense, bipartisan, and will ensure
that LGBTQ+ Americans in the thirty states like Indiana where
discrimination is effectively legal will have the same rights and
protections as the rest of America. In this country, you should not
be discriminated against because of who you are or who you love,”