House Passes the Equality Act that Amends Existing Civil Rights Laws

The $1.9 trillion dollar coronavirus relief package is not the only bill the House has been focused on as just yesterday they also passed the Equality Act. This is a sweeping, Democrat-backed bill that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It was an update to the existing civil rights and labor laws that provide protections for the LGBTQ+ community. The House previously approved this same measure in 2019, but it failed to pass in the GOP-controlled Senate. At the time, Republicans, religious groups, and others in opposition to the bill argued the changes could infringe upon the religious beliefs of some citizens and potentially impact women’s sports. However, the bill was passed again by the House in a 224 to 206 vote. It was almost entirely along party lines, with three Republicans siding with Democrats. It’s a big win for President Biden who has been championing the bill as as one of his top priorities as president. The bill will once again be delivered to the Senate where its future is less certain. At least 60 senators would have to vote in favor of the measure to bypass a legislative filibuster.