Congresswoman Schakowsky's Statement on the Passage of the Equality Act

May 17, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip, made the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, the Equality Act, by a vote of 236-173:

“I am so proud to have voted for and helped pass the Equality Act, a landmark bill that will protect LGBTQ people from all forms of discrimination. To this day, members of the LGBTQ community confront discrimination on a daily basis, with little recourse. Despite great advances in recent years, they continue to face unfair workplace practices, being treated poorly at schools and in public accommodations, denied public housing and loans, all simply because of their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. This type of discrimination violates our core American values of equality and fairness. It has pushed many LGBTQ people into poverty, negatively impacted their health and well-being, led some into the criminal justice system, and worst of all pushed many to suicide. This cannot stand.

“As the proud grandmother of a young transgender man, I will not stop fighting until he is granted equal recognition and treatment under the law. He, like all people, deserves a fair chance to obtain and education, find housing, and support himself and his loved ones. He, like all people, deserves to live his life free from discrimination and fear. He, like all people, is human and deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.

“The Equality Act is a huge step in the right direction. It will finally provide consistent protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace, housing, schools, banking and credit, federal jury service, and so much more. By protecting LGBTQ employees from discrimination in hiring, pay, and other working conditions, the Equality Act will help reduce joblessness and poverty, and finally help place LGBTQ people on more equal footing. It will help LGBTQ people have equal access to education, housing, and lending, allowing them to more easily support themselves and their families. Most importantly, the Equality Act will help us all live in a more just, equal, and fair society. I call on my colleagues in the Senate to do the right thing and pass the Equality Act and ensure that all people have access to equal justice under law.”