Eleven former Republican members of Congress are calling on the Senate to approve The Equality Act.

The Equality Act is a federal LGBTQ protections bill that stalled in Senate after clearing the House.

The letter addressed to Congressional leaders was spearheaded by former Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican from Florida. During her time in Congress, Ros-Lehtinen was a vocal supporter of LGBTQ rights.

“The status quo is not working for LGBTQ Americans nor is it emblematic of our country's founding values of freedom, fairness, and equality,” the letter states.

The Equality Act would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations, employment, housing, and education. Despite Democratic control of the Senate, the bill is unlikely to reach President Joe Biden's desk without Republican support.

During a White House Pride Event, President Joe Biden signed an executive order expanding LGBTQ rights and called on the Senate to approve The Equality Act.

Speaking with the Washington Blade, Ros-Lehtinen said that the bill was needed to guarantee such rights in states where lawmakers have failed to protect the LGBTQ community or enacted legislation against the community.

“The sad truth is that in our wonderful nation, it is still permissible to discriminate against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “We need federal protections and not a patchwork of state laws that may or may not grant protection from this unfair discrimination. I urge the U.S. Senate to pass the Equality Act which will grant this protection.”

The letter was signed by former Representatives Ros-Lehtinen, Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.), Claudine Schneider (R-R.I.), Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Jim Greenwood (R-Pa.), Chris Shays (R-Conn.), and Steve Gunderson (R-Wis.).

They argue in their letter that “bipartisan leadership on this issue is possible.”

“Americans from all walks of life – across political party, demographics, and geography – support protections and are ready for Congress to act. The current Congress has momentum and the go-ahead from the public to outlaw LGBTQ discrimination once and for all,” they wrote.

At least 10 Republican senators are needed for the legislation to clear the Senate.