Today, we call on the Senate to swiftly pass the Equality Act, a landmark nondiscrimination and civil rights bill that would update existing federal laws to protect people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
70% of Americans support the Equality Act, indicating that it has broad and deep support across political party, demographics, and geography.
We are a national organization representing the voices of South Asian American families - parents, allies and LGBTQIA+ people. We want our children and loved ones to have equal rights so they can live free of discrimination.
These are some of our voices:
Anitha Chennat: As a loving and proud parent of an LGBTQ+ child I urge the Senate to vote YES when the Equality Act comes to the floor. As a South Asian immigrant, I fear for the safety of my child and our chosen family of LGBTQ+ people in the State of Michigan. We ask that you stand with us as we fight against discrimination and fear.
Kalpana and Madhu: We look to our legislative representatives to support the Equality Act. We are the parents of a Transgender Daughter and we need equality for her in all aspects of life. Health, Employment and Safety are important to us. We are counting on you.
Mona Patel: I ask that the Senate pass the Equality Act for my son Joshua, who is a gay man. He has had to advocate for himself and for other LGBTQ+ community members. I support the Equality Act because I love him.
Opponents of LGBTQIA+ equality continue to file discriminatory bills in states across the country in an attempt to undermine existing protections in adoption, marriage and access to basic public services and businesses. The Equality Act would ensure that all LGBTQIA+ Americans can live, learn, work, play, and access public spaces free from discrimination, no matter what state they call home.
Although 21 states and more than 330 cities have passed LGBTQIA+ nondiscrimination protections, half of LGBTQIA+ people live in states that still lack comprehensive statewide laws.
LGBTQIA+ people have won critical victories in the fight against discrimination in this last year, both at the Supreme Court with the decision banning LGBTQIA+ discrimination in employment in Bostock v Clayton County and with President Biden’s recent pro-LGBTQIA+ executive orders. The Equality Act is still needed in spite of these victories in order to achieve full protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
In 2019, the Equality Act was introduced in the House of Representatives. It passed the House on May 17, 2019 with a bipartisan 236-173 vote. It was not heard in the Senate.