A win for the equality act

Connor Bernier, Reporter

On Thursday, February 25, The House of Representatives voted to pass the Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This bill has been a focal point for President Joe Biden’s campaign, with promises of passing it within his first 100 days of office. 

President Biden reiterated his support in a statement from National Public Radio, saying, “I urge Congress to swiftly pass this historic legislation.” The Equality Act has large support among Democrats, but many Republicans oppose it, saying it would infringe on religious beliefs. 

The Equality Act has been circulating since the 1970s; the ‘70s bill had different content and a different focus than the bill that had just been passed, but they have some similarities. Many times, it has been brought to the table and failed to be passed because of the idea that it infringes on religion, which is the leading argument of congressional members who have opposed the act. These leaders have vocally opposed the passing of the bill, stating that it infringes on religious freedom and beliefs. Additionally, certain small business owners have spoken out saying that they wish to refuse service to people that do not fit their religious ideals. According to the New York Times, the act will have little chance of gaining enough Republican support in the Senate to pass. 

Although congressional members have expressed their disdain for the Equality Act, celebrities have urged the act to be passed, including singer Taylor Swift. In 2019, Swift released a song called “You Need to Calm Down” to show her support for the LGBTQ+ community. She then launched a petition for her fans to sign to show their support for the Equality Act. According to Time, the White House responded saying the Equality Act would not be supported in its form at the time. 

On the other hand, some congress members still will not support the act because they believe that there have not been enough changes made to the act that was previously requested in 2019. There needs to be a total of 10 Republicans in support of the act for it to be passed, however, this is seeming unlikely to happen as of now. 

Although the Equality Act might fail, most states still have protections against discrimination for LGBTQ+ people. Some Republicans have spoken out saying this should be a state matter, but the people have fought for this act to be passed for over 30 years. 

Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is one example of a representative who does not support the act. She has openly expressed her opinions surrounding the LGBTQ+ community. According to the New York Times, she has referred to Democratic Representative Marie Newman’s transgender daughter as her “biological son.” 

The Equality Act has been a highly fought-over act for years now. With the passing in the House, many believe this is the moment it will finally pass, but the Senate has shown much dislike to the bill and it has low chances of passing.