The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health Applauds Introduction of the Equality Act
Washington, D.C. — Today, the Equality Act, a bill that would ensure federal protections for LGBTQ individuals, was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate with the largest number of supporters yet. More than 280 cosponsors in the House and Senate supported the historic legislation led by Representative David Cicilline and Senator Jeff Merkley.
The Equality Act is the critical legislation needed to ensure federal protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. Currently there are no federal protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in the United States and this lack of explicit federal protections has left LGBTQ individuals vulnerable to discrimination.
Nina Esperanza Serrianne, policy analyst at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), issued the following statement:
“As a reproductive justice organization, we know that people do not lead single issue lives. LGBTQ Latina/x communities often face overlapping forms of discrimination because of the multiple identities they hold. LGBTQ people of color and immigrants face disproportionate barriers when seeking housing, health care, and employment. LGBTQ people of color and transgender people are also significantly more likely to experience homelessness and barriers to housing; 40% of young people experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ or gender nonconforming, and most of those young people are young people of color. The Equality Act responds to these challenges by recognizing the intersections of people’s lives and providing LGBTQ Latina/x communities with the necessary legal protections they need to live their lives with dignity.
For the first time, we are seeing our communities represented in Congress with the most openly lesbian, gay, and bisexual members of any Congressional class. This representation is critical to passing bold legislation that will protect the lives of LGBTQ individuals and fight against the continued attacks against our community. Justice will never be possible without LGBTQ liberation and equality. We look forward to the House voting on the historic Equality Act.”
For more information on NLIRH’s fight for health, dignity and justice, visit us at latinainstitute.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @NLIRH.
The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national reproductive justice organization dedicated to building Latina power to advance health, dignity, and justice for 29 million Latinas, their families, and communities in the United States through leadership development, community mobilization, policy advocacy, and strategic communications.