(NBC News) — Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., reintroduced the Equality Act in the House of Representatives on Thursday, with a vote on the sweeping LGBTQ rights bill expected next week.
The move brings the bill one step closer to potentially establishing the first federal discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. Specifically, it would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces, public funding and jury service.
The Equality Act passed the Democrat-controlled House in May 2019, but it stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate. Now that Democrats have taken control of the Senate, advocates are hopeful that the bill will pass.
These moves follow the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 6-3 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which was written by Trump-nominated, conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch. In the Bostock case, the high court ruled that a civil rights law protects both homosexual and “transgender” people from what it considers “job discrimination” in employment. One of the cases involved surrounded a funeral home that fired a man who wanted to wear a skirt uniform at work.
The court decided that a section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, known as Title VII, which bars job discrimination on the basis of sex, among other traits, may be read to include homosexual and “transgender” employees.