Society has largely gained a better understanding of LGBTQ issues — including the fact that membership in that class is not a “lifestyle” or a “choice.” Gender-identity is not purely binary nor fixed by outward sexual characteristics and — just like sexual orientation — is something inborn.
Unfortunately, there’s been a proliferation of anti-gay and anti-transgender legislation in various states that are making life increasingly difficult for LGBTQ people. That may, however, soon change.
What’s the Equality Act?
The Equality Act would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to make LGBTQ people a specifically protected class. That would forbid, on a federal level, discrimination against members of the LGBTQ people when it comes to things like housing, employment, adoption rights and public accommodations.
It would also forbid agencies, hospitals, charities and other groups from using the fall-back of religion as an acceptable reason for LGBTQ discrimination.
The Equality Act first passed the House of Representatives in 2019, but died in the Senate. It was reintroduced this year in the House, and passed on Feb. 25, 2021. The only question that remains is whether there is enough support for the Act in the Senate to pass this time around.
If it does, many LGBTQ advocates expect it to be life-changing. They also expect a landslide of lawsuits in areas where discrimination against LGBTQ people has been long tolerated or accepted as matter-of-course.
You don’t have to fight for your rights alone
Members of the LGBTQ community still face problems in almost every area of the law, including family law, estate planning, criminal defense, discrimination claims and more. When your rights have been violated or ignored or you’ve been victimized because of your LGBTQ status, talk to an attorney today.