With the Equality bill up for vote, Trump plans to block it
With Congress ready to vote on the Equality bill that would protect the LGBTQ community, obstacles are already set up for it– including President Donald Trump intent on blocking it.
The proposed Equality Act is supposed to expand the Civil Rights Act to ban discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender.
However, a senior administration official confirmed that President Donald Trump does not support the legislation that would amend federal law
The Equality bill: The vote comes to Congress
The vote for the Equality Act is set to come this Thursday after the Democrats– including a number of newly-elected LGBTQ legislators— took over Congress.
House Democrats had promised to push for the legislation of the proposed bill once they won the majority, even giving it a low bill nmber, HR 5, to underline its importance.
“LGBT Americans and their families deserve to be protected against all forms of discrimination no matter where they live,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).
“This legislation would ban discrimination against LGBT people in housing, employment, education, jury service, credit and financing, and public accommodations,” Hoyer said.
The bill has 240 co-sponsors– including two Republicans, Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.) and John Katko (N.Y.)– with broad support for the bill from Democrats and centrists.
It also has the support of corporate companies through the Business Coalition for the Equality Act. This group includes 200 companies like Facebook, Google, and JPMorgan.
If approved, it would be the first national nondiscrimation law that would protect LGBTQ Americans.
Opponents ready to block the Equality bill
However, conservatives are also ready to match any move to pass the bill. These include opposition from conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation and the Family Research Council.
The Heritage Foundation said the Equality bill could “force employers and workers to conform to new sexual norms.” They also said it “would “lead to the erasure of women.”
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, declared that the Equality Act is “the most extreme threat to religious freedom, free speech, privacy and to women’s rights that has ever been proposed in Congress.”
Likewise, the Republicans currently control the Senate with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) at the helm of the upper chamber of Congress.
More importantly, a senior official told the Washington Blade in an email that Trump will not support the legislation.
“The Trump administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all,” the official said.
However, the official said the Equality Act “in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.”