The House on Friday for the first time approved legislation banning anti-LGBT discrimination in a 236-173 vote.
Every Democrat voted for the measure, as did eight Republicans.
The Equality Act would expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act to ban discrimination in employment, housing, jury selection and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“This legislation will provide members of LGBTQ Americans protections from being denying medical care or being fired or thrown out of their homes,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerTrump tweets conservative commentator’s criticism of FBI director Actress Marcia Gay Harden records Mother’s Day message in support of LGBTQ rights bill 2020 hopeful Kamala Harris says US faces constitutional crisis MORE (D-N.Y.) said on the floor ahead of the vote.
He said the bill would expand the definition of “who is understood to be included in the Declaration of Independence.”
Rep. John LewisJohn LewisMaxine Waters, Stacey Abrams among political stars in demand for graduation speeches John Lewis getting CNN documentary Rep. John Lewis on MLK birthday: ‘We still have a great distance to go’ to defeat racism MORE (D-Ga,), a civil rights leader, applauded the legislation by for continuing efforts to fight discrimination in the United States.
“Today on this day we have an opportunity to send a message now to help end discrimination in our country and set all of our people free,” Lewis said.
The measure, spearheaded by Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineRhode Island lawmaker makes pitch to firms boycotting Georgia abortion law Co-founder’s call to break up Facebook energizes its critics Democratic rep introduces bill to ban cashless businesses nationwide MORE (D-R.I.), was expected to be approved but faced opposition from conservatives who said it would infringe upon people’s religious liberties.
Opponents argued the bill “is anything but equalizing,” in the words of Rep. Vicky HartzlerVicky Jo HartzlerHouse votes to condemn Trump’s transgender military ban Farm bill presents opportunity to improve SNAP program Record numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress MORE (R-Mo.).
“In fact, this bill legalizes discrimination — government imposed top-down discrimination against those with time-honored views of marriage and gender,” she said in remarks on the floor ahead of the vote.
GOP Reps. Susan BrooksSusan Wiant BrooksHouse Republicans find silver lining in minority The Hill’s 12: 30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race House Dems release 2020 GOP ‘retirements to watch’ for MORE (In.), Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartThirty-four GOP members buck Trump on disaster bill Trump ally in House calls for doubling gas tax to pay for infrastructure Carlson blasts supporters of Venezuela intervention: ‘Has it ever worked?’ MORE (Fla.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickThis week: House to vote on bill to ban LGBTQ discrimination Thirty-four GOP members buck Trump on disaster bill House votes to overturn Trump ObamaCare move MORE (Pa.) Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdIraq War vet Ortiz Jones sets up rematch against Hurd in Texas O’Rourke says he won’t unconditionally back Democrats Thirty-four GOP members buck Trump on disaster bill MORE (Texas), John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoLawmakers renew efforts to put Harriet Tubman on bill This week: House to vote on bill to ban LGBTQ discrimination Warren, Nadler introduce bill to allow student loan borrowers bankruptcy relief MORE (N.Y.), Tom ReedThomas (Tom) W. ReedThirty-four GOP members buck Trump on disaster bill Patricia Arquette to push for ERA at hearing Lawmakers offer bipartisan resolution highlighting sexual assault prevention MORE (D-N.Y.), Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikLawmakers introduce legislation to improve cyber workforce funding Thirty-four GOP members buck Trump on disaster bill Bipartisan group of senators seeks to increase transparency of online political ads MORE (D-N.Y.) and Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenOvernight Health Care — Presented by Campaign for Accountability — House passes drug pricing bills amid ObamaCare row | Senate Republicans running away from Alabama abortion law | Ocasio-Cortez confronts CEO over K drug price tag House passes drug pricing bills amid ObamaCare row The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition – Restrictive state abortion laws ignite fiery 2020 debate MORE (D-Ore.) all opted to vote with Democrats.
More than 200 businesses, including Facebook, Google, Hilton and JP Morgan Chase, backed the measure. Groups opposing it included the Heritage Foundation and the Family Research Council.
The Heritage Foundation alleged the bill would “force employers and workers to conform to new sexual norms,” “force hospitals and insurers to provide and pay for these therapies against any moral or medical objections” and “lead to the erasure of women.”
The bill faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Senate, where it is unlikely Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellReport: House Dems considering bringing part of HR 1 to the floor Overnight Defense: Congressional leaders receive classified briefing on Iran | Trump on war: ‘I hope not’ | Key Republican calls threats credible | Warren plan targets corporate influence at Pentagon Senate confirms Trump judge who faced scrutiny over abortion views MORE (R-Ky.) will bring the measurer up for a vote.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpIreland Prime Minister says protests are ‘allowed’ and ‘welcome’ for Trump’s visit Gabbard: US must not go to war with Iran Bullock opens Iowa bid pitching rural credentials MORE is also unlikely to sign the bill should it make it through both chambers.
“The Trump administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all,” a senior administration official told NBC News. “However, this bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.”