Earlier this week we posted about Democrats Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Cory Booker of New Jersey who will be introducing legislation in Congress today to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal laws to protect LGBT Americans from discrimination.
The Equality Act would amend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include employment protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. Religious beliefs, race, sex, color, and national origin are already protected classes. The bill would not change existing religious exemptions for religious corporations, schools, and associations to make hiring decisions based on religious beliefs if the employee will be performing work connected with their religious activities.
Today three of America’s largest businesses came out in support for the upcoming legislation:
STATEMENT BY APPLE – “At Apple we believe in equal treatment for everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. We fully support the expansion of legal protections as a matter of basic human dignity.”
STATEMENT BY THE DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY – “Dow applauds the introduction of the Equality Act and continues to support a comprehensive federal framework that ensures fairness and opportunity for everyone. Full inclusion of our LGBT colleagues and citizens is quite simply the right thing to do – for business and for society.”
STATEMENT BY LEVI STRAUSS & CO. – “Levi Strauss & Co. is proud to support the Equality Act. We have a long history of supporting LGBT equality, and the time has come in this country for full, federal equality for the LGBT community. Ensuring fairness in our workplaces and communities is both the right thing to do and simply good business.”
Like ENDA, (The Employment Non-Discrimination Act) the Equality Act will see little traction in either GOP-dominated chamber and is on track for passage in 6 – 10 years.