With much fanfare, the Equality Act – which would add LGBT protections to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – was reintroduced in Congress this week.
Sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Senate Bill 788 has 43 Democratic sponsors, two Independent sponsors, and one Republican sponsor, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.
Only one Democrat in the Senate did not sign on to the legislation, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Manchin didn’t sponsor the legislation when it was introduced in 2017, either.
And when marriage equality became the law of the land in 2015, his office only issued a tepid one-sentence statement urging people to abide by the law.
Similarly, in the House of Representatives, the Equality Act has 239 cosponsors: 237 Democrats and 2 Republicans – Rep. Brian K. Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Rep. John Katko (R-NY).
Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) is the lone Democrat who did not sign on for the bill.
Lipinski has a squirrel-y history as a Democrat.
He was the only Democrat to sponsor the First Amendment Defense Act, which seeks to legalize anti-LGBT discrimination nationwide. And, he voted FOR the hateful Defense of Marriage Act.
When the Equality Act was last introduced in the House in 2017, he voted against it.
The Equality Act adds LGBT protections to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ended segregation in public places and prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, as well as the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin or sex.
Recent polling shows a supermajority of Americans support the legislation.
Additionally, 165 major American businesses have issued a statement of support for the Equality Act.