In a letter to colleagues, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) indicated that the Equality Act will be taken up as soon as next week.
From the Washington Blade:
“Other legislation coming to the floor next week are two bills that passed through the House last Congress: a wilderness package and the Equality Act, which will end legal discrimination against LGBTQ Americans,” Hoyer writes.
In addition to the explicit declaration that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is a form of sex discrimination in employment, education, housing, jury service and credit, the Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex and LGBTQ status in public accommodations and federal programs.
Further, the Equality Act would expand the definition of public accommodations under federal civil rights law to include retail stores, banks, transportation services, and health care services. The legislation would also establish that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act — a 1994 law aimed at protecting religious liberty — can’t be used to enable anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
The House approved the Equality Act in 2019, but then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (D-KY) refused to allow a vote on the legislation in the Senate.