House Democrats Make History By Passing Sweeping LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Bill

House Democrats passed a historic and sweeping LGBTQ nondiscrimination bill on Friday.

The vote was 236-173 with eight House Republicans joining with Democrats in voting for the bill.

Before the vote, Speaker Pelosi said, “To bring our nation closer to the founding promise of liberty and justice for all, we, today, pass the Equality Act and finally, fully end discrimination against LGBTQ Americans. LGBTQ people deserve full civil rights protections in the workplace, in every place – in education, housing, credit, jury duty, service and public accommodations. No one should be forced to lose his or her job, their home or to live in fear because of who they are and whom they love….This is not just an act of Congress that we are taking for the LGBTQ community, this is progress for America.”

The Equality Act Is An Example Of Why Bills Are Introduced That Aren’t Going To Pass

Without fail, someone will always respond to a bill that passes the House or Senate with a dismissive claim that it doesn’t matter because the legislation won’t become law, but The Human Rights Campaign pointed out that The Equality Act was first introduced in 2015, “The bipartisan Equality Act, first introduced in Congress in July 2015, is sponsored by Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) in the House and Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) in the Senate. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) prioritized passage of the legislation, which now heads to the U.S. Senate.”

It doesn’t matter if The Equality Act passes the Senate, or is signed by Trump this year. Bills are proposed all of the time for the purpose of having them ready to pass when conditions are favorable. If Democrats keep the House and take back the Senate and White House in 2020, The Equality Act will be ready to go, and it will become law.

The House passage was a moment of historic progress that should not be diminished by short-term thinking.

For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.

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