URGENT ACTION ALERT
CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE MARY PELTOLA TODAY.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
WHAT: H.R. 15; S. 5 - The Equality Act aims to offer uniform and clear safeguards against discrimination for LGBTQ+ individuals in critical aspects of life, encompassing employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.
WHO: U.S. House of Representatives - Representative Mary Peltola
What You Can Do.
At A MINIMUM EMAIL (but doing both helps)
Email - Please consider emailing a supportive message ASAP. You can email her at: https://peltola.house.gov/forms/writeyourrep/
IMPORTANT: Please remember to provide your full contact information when emailing.
Call (or visit) Representative Mary Peltola's Office - Leave a quick message of support.
- Let the staffer know why you are supporting this bill and why Representative Mary Peltola should do so as well. If you have been discriminated against for being LGBTQ+, share your story, if you are willing. There are some suggested talking points and background information below.
IMPORTANT: Identify yourself as a constituent and provide your full contact information.
Representative Mary Peltola's Offices and Phone Numbers are below:
Washington DC Office
153 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5765
121 West Fireweed Lane, Suite 260
Anchorage, AK 99503
Front desk phone: (907) 921-6575
Office hours: Open 8am-5pm M-F, except on federal holidays
Possible Talking Points:
- It's about personal liberty, we should all have the right to live freely without fear from discrimination.
- As Americans, we all share the bedrock values that every person deserves to be treated equally.
- Discrimination is wrong. But in 30 states, LGBTQ people are at risk of being fired, refused housing, or denied services simply because of who we are.
- Nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ Americans report having experienced discrimination in their everyday lives.
- This is why we need the Equality Act -- a federal bill that will add LGBTQ people to existing civil rights laws and strengthen protections for all people -- including women, religious minorities, and people of color.
- Approximately half of Alaska's population is currently protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and Representative Mary Peltola can fix that. Note: Anchorage, Juneau, Sitka already have similar protections in place - let's get the remaining state covered by passing the Equality Act.
- There is broad, bipartisan support for the legislation. A growing majority of Americans -- 70 percent -- support passing these protections, including a majority of Republicans. This legislation was introduced with unprecedented support from hundreds of lawmakers, many leading companies, and more than 180 national and statewide organizations.
Questions & Answers
What is the problem?
- Despite significant steps forward, LGBTQ Americans lack basic legal protections in states across the country. The patchwork nature of current laws leaves millions of people subject to uncertainty and potential discrimination that impacts their safety, their families, and their day-to-day lives.
- Around 50 percent of LGBTQ Americans — approximately 8 million people — live in states that still lack statewide legal protections, leaving their residents and visitors at risk of discrimination because of who they are or whom they love.
- Nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ Americans report having experienced discrimination in their everyday lives. While most Americans are welcoming and affirming of LGBTQ people, it only takes one act of discrimination to alter a person’s life, health, and well-being.
- Our nation’s civil rights laws protect people on the basis of race, color, national origin, and in most cases, sex, disability, and religion. But federal law does not provide clear, consistent non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The need for these protections is clear—nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ Americans report having experienced discrimination in their everyday lives.
What does the Equality Act do?
- The Equality Act would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.
- The Equality Act would clarify and add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics to existing civil rights law—including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury Selection and Services Act, and several laws regarding employment with the federal government.
- The Equality Act would add sex non-discrimination protections to public spaces and services, as well as federally funded programs.
- Additionally, the Equality Act would modernize the public spaces and services covered in current law to include retail stores, services such as banks and legal services, and transportation services. These important updates would strengthen existing protections for everyone.
- Almost 20 states and more than 100 cities have adopted these common-sense, inclusive and comprehensive protections for LGBTQ people.
- Decades of civil rights history show that civil rights laws are effective in decreasing discrimination because they provide strong federal remedies targeted to address real discrimination. By explicitly including sexual orientation and gender identity in these fundamental laws, LGBTQ people will finally be afforded the exact same protections as other covered characteristics under federal law.
Who supports the Equality Act?
- The Equality Act has unprecedented support from the far majority of Americans, the business community, and major statewide and national organizations.
- The nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that nationally, support for a bill like the Equality Act topped 70 percent, which includes a majority of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.
- The unprecedented support for the Equality Act also includes strong bipartisan support with reintroduction by Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle — more than ever before — in addition to more than 180 local, statewide and national organizations.
- The time is now to advance this critically important legislation and help ensure LGBTQ people can go to work, raise their families, and live their lives free from discrimination.
Does the Equality Act undermine religious freedom?
- Religious freedom is a fundamental American value, and protecting religious minorities from persecution is entirely compatible with protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination.
- In fact, the Equality Act furthers the principle of religious freedom by expanding and enhancing non-discrimination protections for people of all faiths.
- The current religious exemptions available under federal civil rights law will be unchanged.
- It is also important to note that religious freedom is not a license to deprive others of their civil rights.
The Equality Act was reintroduced in the 118th Congress on June 21, 2023, in the House of Representatives by Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) and in the Senate by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Cory Booker (D-NJ).
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