Target: Representative Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary
Goal: Amend civil rights legislation to ensure that no member of the LGBTQ community is discriminated against in the workplace.
Members of the LGBTQ community are regularly discriminated against by employers due to their sexual orientation and gender identity. They can lose their job due to the opinions or religious views of an employer, and there is no federal Congressional legislation that protects them.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 barred discrimination in the workplace and housing authorities based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” However, there are no protections against discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity. A bill introduced by Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, known as the Equality Act, would amend the Civil Rights Act’s definition of “sex” to include these terms. So far, there are 32 states that do not offer LGBTQ non-discrimination laws. A federal law, however, would ensure that citizens of every state would never have to worry about losing their job or being denied housing due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
However, the bill that would make this possible has been sitting in the House Committee on the Judiciary since September 2015 with no action or vote taken to move it along in the lawmaking process. The chairman of the committee, Representative Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, is known for his anti-LGBTQ stance. Despite a bipartisan letter signed by 116 lawmakers that urged the committee to take further action on the important bill, nothing has been done.
Sign the petition to demand that Representative Goodlatte and the House Committee on the Judiciary take action to bring this bill to a vote so that it has the opportunity to become a law. No one should worry about losing their jobs or home simply due to whom they love or the gender they identify with.
Dear Representative Goodlatte,
In September 2015, a bill known as the Equality Act was moved to the House Committee on the Judiciary. It would protect citizens from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It would ensure that no person would lose their job or face other types of discrimination in public settings based on whom they love or the gender they identify with. However, your committee has yet to take action on the bill that would help move it along to lawmakers.
Over fifty years ago, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made great changes in the landscape of America. It ensured that African Americans, women, and other groups that had been targets of discrimination would no longer face such bias in the workplace. It only makes sense to amend that act to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
Government must change with the times, not cling to the past. Your refusal to take action on this bill is not only putting you on the wrong side of history, but it is holding America back from progress and harming the livelihoods of millions of citizens. I urge you to take action on the Equality Act to ensure that discrimination against citizens based on their sexual orientation and gender identity be put to an end.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ted Eytan