First introduced in 2015, the Equality Act aims to provide consistent and explicit civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ people across many key areas of life, including the workplace, housing, education, credit, and public spaces and services.
While current civil rights laws protect people on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, disability, and religion, they do not provide non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Key facts about the Equality Act
- The Equality Act would amend federal law, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Fair Housing Act, to explicitly include anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ Americans.
- Though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of employment protections for LGBTQ+ people in June, and President Joe Biden directed federal agencies to use that ruling as a basis to prohibit discrimination in other areas in an executive order—the Human Rights Campaign notes that, without the Equality Act, “a future administration may refuse to interpret the law this way, leaving these protections vulnerable.”
- The legislation would also expand anti-discrimination protections to include all federally funded programs as well as public spaces and services, the HRC notes, which are not covered under the Supreme Court decision.
- Only three Republicans voted in favor of the bill—which is fewer than the eight Republicans who backed the bill when it passed the House in 2019.
Currently, millions of LGBTQ+ Americans are still subject to discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In fact, more than one in three LGBTQ+ Americans faced discrimination of some kind in the past year, including more than three in five transgender Americans, according to the Center for American Progress.
Wpromote strongly supports the Equality Act
At Wpromote, we believe every person has the fundamental right to equality, which is why we stand in strong support of the Equality Act. As members of HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act, we’re proud to advocate for the passage of this legislation in partnership with leading organizations across America.
These efforts build on our track record of fostering an open and inclusive work environment for all our associates. In 2019, Ian Helms launched WproPride, an employee resource group (ERG) open to all employees that promotes LGBTQ+ equality, awareness, inclusiveness, and acceptance through discussions, community events, hiring events, and so much more.
We have also since continued to build our benefits portfolio, which now includes a host of LGBTQ+ inclusive offerings—from health coverage for gender reassignment and hormone therapy to infertility services and domestic partnership benefits.
As a company, we realize that fostering diversity and inclusion only makes us stronger: more resilient, innovative, agile, and adaptable. We’re committed to cultivating a culture of belonging because we believe that we have a role in improving the lives of our people, our partners, and our communities. We’re eager to see Congress put legal protections in place for LGBTQ+ people, and we remain committed to using our voice and our platform to advocate for positive change.
“It’s important to remember that efforts for LGBTQ+ equality in the workplace shouldn’t stop even if Congress passes the Equality Act. Today—even with all of the progress that’s been made—approximately 45% of LGBTQ+ employees still aren’t out at work,” says Ian Helms, Wpromote’s Associate Director of Content Marketing and Chair of WproPride. “That’s because bias and discrimination exist regardless of the law or specific company policy. Until people in the most intersectionally marginalized communities are fully recognized as equal and embraced by everyone, including their coworkers and employers, the struggle to live freely, openly, and comfortably as their most authentic selves will persist.”