(Washington, DC, July 23, 2015)— Today Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wi.), Corey Booker (D-N.J.), and Representative David Cicilline (D-R.I.) introduced in Congress the Equality Act, a comprehensive federal civil rights bill that would protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in seven critical sectors: credit, education, employment, federal funding, housing, jury service, and public accommodations.

Statement from National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Executive Director Kate Kendell:

“The introduction of this critical legislation is a milestone for the LGBTQ community.  As we celebrate the Supreme Court’s recognition of our equal right to marry, many LGBTQ people still face discrimination on the job, in schools, and in other  essential areas of daily life, from housing to the ability to serve openly on juries. The Equality Act will go a long way toward enabling LGBTQ people to participate as equal members of society. But as we pursue expanded protection for LGBTQ civil rights, we are mindful that the civil rights of many – particularly communities of color – remain far from secure even fifty years after passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. We at NCLR remain committed to working arm-in-arm with our allies to work toward a day when no one’s rights and opportunities are denied because of who they are.”

NCLR Policy Director Julie Gonen added:

“We commend the leadership of Senators Merkley, Baldwin, Booker, and Representative Cicilline in introducing this much-needed bill, which marks a significant step forward in our nation’s movement toward full and equal civil rights for all. We stand ready to work with our champions in the House and Senate to ensure that the Equality Act becomes the law of the land.”