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Congressman Mike Quigley

Representing the 5th District of Illinois

Quigley Introduces Bipartisan Equality Act of 2017

May 2, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), who serves as Vice-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, and is a founding member of the Transgender Equality Task Force, joined House colleagues in a bipartisan reintroduction of the Equality Act.

“President Trump’s first 100 days in office have provided little peace of mind for the LGBTQ community and has only served to illuminate the critical and urgent need to pass the Equality Act,” said Rep. Quigley. “No matter who you are, where you come from, or who you love, all Americans deserve to be protected under the same law. No person deserves to live in fear of harassment or intolerance, and the Equality Act will help ensure LGBTQ individuals are provided with the necessary legal protections that allow them to live, work, and succeed in safe and supportive environments.”

Despite significant advances, LGBT people across the country remain vulnerable to discrimination on a daily basis and too often have little recourse. With the advent of nationwide marriage equality, in many states, same-sex couples have the right to marry but have no explicit non-discrimination protections. The Equality Act was first introduced in the U.S. House and Senate in 2015 to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing discrimination against someone based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It is currently legal in 31 states to discriminate against LGBTQ people.  In these states, LGBTQ persons can be fired, evicted, or denied a loan just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  The legislation would apply to nationwide public accommodations, federal funding, education, employment, housing, credit, and jury service.

As Vice-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, Rep. Quigley has been an outspoken advocate in the fight for equality. Prior to the Supreme Court overturning the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2013, Rep. Quigley was a critical opponent of the law and hosted a DOMA field forum to investigate the negative impacts of the law on individuals and families in Chicago. In Congress, he leads the bipartisan, bicameral fight for a much-needed change to the FDA’s outdated and discriminatory blood donation policy for gay men, as well as efforts to protect the rights of LGBT individuals in immigration detention.  In the fall of 2009, Rep. Quigley was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame for his work as a Cook County Commissioner to extend benefits to LGBT employees.