NEWS: Murphy Helps Introduce Equality Act of 2017
Bipartisan bill prohibits discrimination against LGBT Americans
U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park, Fla., joined Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Co-Chair David N. Cicilline of Rhode Island today in introducing the Equality Act of 2017 along with more than 190 cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Central Florida is an amazing place to call home for a number of reasons, but especially because of its diversity, compassion, and inclusiveness – values that defined our community’s response to the Pulse tragedy,” said Murphy, who is a member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. “We stand united in the belief that no person should be discriminated against because of who they are or whom they love. I’m proud to help introduce the Equality Act because despite our nation’s progress, too many LGBT Americans still live in fear and face discrimination and bigotry. I will continue working every day to make Central Florida a safer and more prosperous community for every child and every family.”
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. In most states, this means that a same-sex couple could legally marry one day and risk being fired from their jobs, evicted from their apartment, or kicked out of a restaurant the next – simply because of who they are.
The Equality Act ensures the same protections already extended to other protected classes are equally available to LGBT Americans. It amends existing federal civil rights laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, federal jury service, public accommodations, and the use of Federal funds.
In some of these areas, federal law prohibiting sex discrimination has already been properly interpreted by federal courts and administrative agencies to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Equality Act affirms that understanding of existing law and makes the prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity explicit, in order to provide greater clarity to members of the public, employers, schools, businesses and other affected parties. In areas where sex discrimination is not already prohibited, the bill amends existing law to bar discrimination on the basis of sex, as well as sexual orientation, and gender identity.
U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy represents Florida’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she serves on the House Armed Services Committee and Small Business Committee. The district includes all of Seminole County and much of northern Orange County, including downtown Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, and the University of Central Florida. Previously, Murphy was a businesswoman and college instructor who also served as a national security specialist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where she received numerous awards for her distinguished service, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. Murphy lives in Winter Park with her husband and two children.