Press Releases

Warner, Kaine Introduce Comprehensive LGBT Nondiscrimination Bill

The Equality Act would outlaw discrimination in the workplace, financial markets, housing, public accommodations & more

Jul 23 2015

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) today joined 38 of their Senate colleagues and 158 House members to introduce historic, comprehensive federal legislation to ban discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans.

“We’ve made tremendous strides in the journey towards equality, but work still remains,” said Sen. Warner, the first Virginia Governor to ban discrimination in state employment based on sexual orientation. “The Equality Act helps move us closer to true equality of all of our LGBT friends and neighbors. Discrimination has no place in our nation’s laws.”

“As we work toward full equality for LGBT Americans, it’s critical that we prohibit discrimination in housing, education, and the workplace,” said Sen. Kaine, a former fair housing attorney. “I’m proud to co-sponsor this commonsense bill to extend the same legal protections for sexual orientation and gender identity that already exist for race, age, religion, gender, and disability, among others.”

Despite major advances in equality for LGBT Americans, including nationwide marriage equality, in the majority of states, an LGBT couple could be married in the morning and risk being fired from their jobs or evicted from their apartment in the afternoon. In Virginia, it is currently legal to fire, not hire, deny service or evict someone on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Equality Act of 2015 would prohibit such discrimination nationwide by adding sex, sexual orientation and gender identity to other protected classes, such as race or religion, in existing federal civil rights laws. The bill would ban discrimination in a host of areas, including employment, housing, public accommodations, jury service, access to credit, and federal funding. The bill would also add protections against sex discrimination in parts of anti-discrimination laws where these protections had not been included previously, including in public accommodations and federal funding.

For further information about the Equality Act:

Read a brief summary of the bill

Read a section-by-section summary of the bill

Read the full text of the bill