Published on: Thursday, February 25, 2021

The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to pass the Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It would also substantially expand the areas to which those discrimination protections apply (article available here).

The Equality Act would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to explicitly prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Civil Rights Act covered discrimination in certain areas, like employment and housing. The Equality Act would expand that to cover federally funded programs, as well as "public accommodations" — a broad category including retail stores and stadiums, for example.

The House vote was passed with the support of all Democrats and three Republicans. The bill now goes to the Senate, where its fate is unclear.