Equality Act wins House vote
by Harvest Prude
Posted 5/17/19, 01:38 pm
The House of Representatives voted Friday to pass the Equality Act, which would overhaul the Civil Rights and the Fair Housing acts to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes. The bill would affect housing, public accommodations, education, credit, and other areas. It also would expand the definition of “public accommodation” to include any group that provides a good, service, or program and make it illegal for anyone who is being charged with discrimination to invoke the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in defense.
The 236-173 vote fell mostly along party lines with unanimous support from Democrats and with eight Republicans voting yes. Most Republicans opposed the legislation, arguing it would compromise constitutional freedoms such as religious liberty and conscience protections. It would also prevent doctors and other medical staff from objecting to performing abortions. The GOP-led Senate likely won’t consider the act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters he has no plans to bring it up for a vote.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.