The “Equality Act” passes the U.S. House of Representatives

By George Wiebe, Staff Reporter

The United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, also known as the “Equality Act,” Thursday Feb. 25.

The bill, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, narrowly passed 224-206 and almost entirely along party lines, with the entire Democratic party being joined by three Republicans in passing the new legislation.

See more: (Equality Act)

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The Equality Act had previously passed in the House in 2019, but was rejected by the Republican majority senate.

Since then, the Supreme Court had ruled on Bostock v. Clayton County, in which Gerald Bostock, a gay man working for the State of Georgia, had been fired for “conduct unbecoming of its employees.”

The 6-3 decision in favor of Bostock meant that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act could protect employees from being discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation.

See more (BOSTOCK v. CLAYTON COUNTY, GEORGIA)

Several Republican legislatures voiced opposition to the bill due to its perceived infringement on religious freedoms as well as the Supreme Court decision, which they felt had covered what H.R. 5 would cover.

The day before the House vote, Illinois Congresswoman Marie Newman, whose daughter is transgender, put up a transgender flag outside her office.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose office is right across from Newman’s, hung a sign reading “There are TWO genders: MALE AND FEMALE. Trust The Science!” in response.

Greene has faced criticism within the Republican party for this latest action; Representative Adam Kinzinger from Illinois, who today voted against the Equality Act, condemned Greene saying the video of her putting up the sign “represents the hate and fame driven politics of self-promotion at all evil costs.”

Staff reporter George Wiebe can be reached at [email protected]

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