ADL Hails Introduction of “Equality Act” and Urges Quick Adoption by Congress

New York, NY, July 23, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today praised the introduction of the Equality Act, comprehensive federal anti-discrimination legislation that explicitly adds sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to federal anti-discrimination laws prohibiting discrimination in the areas of employment, public accommodation, credit, federal funding, education, jury service and housing.

The introduction of the legislation follows the groundbreaking July 15 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) decision finding that the sex discrimination provisions of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protect employees who suffer discrimination because of their sexual orientation.

“We applaud the introduction of comprehensive legislation that will explicitly protect LGBT people from discrimination,” said Christopher Wolf, ADL Civil Rights Chair. “It is long past time for Congress to pass explicit nondiscrimination protections. We hope that Congress will act quickly to pass this bill into law.”

“We believe this is an important next step toward full equality for LGBT people,” added Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL National Director. “We were thrilled with the EEOC’s decision finding that discrimination because of sexual orientation is discrimination ‘based on sex.’ But that decision was limited to employment. And while we hope courts and other administrative agencies charged with interpreting discrimination laws will follow the EEOC’s lead, this comprehensive legislation is essential for securing justice and fair treatment to all LGBT people.”

ADL praised the chief sponsors of the measure for their leadership: Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI) and John Lewis (D-GA).