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Rep. John Lewis on Equality Act

May 17, 2019
Press Release

Today, the House voted on the Equality Act (H.R.5), a long awaited bill that would prohibit discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity.  The mandating non-discrimination has been a decades long struggle for the LGBTQ community which has finally culminated in this legislative opportunity.   Though the bill is not likely to pass in the Senate, getting a bill to the House floor is a major achievement.  Legislative progress is often made incrementally and not all at once.  The bill passed the House today on party lines. 

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) made this statement during the debate:

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friend from New York for yielding.  [Rep.] David [Cicilline], my friend and my brother, thank you for your leadership.

Today is May 17.  On May 17, 1954, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision.  I remember that decision!  I was 17 years old.  I thought I would be attending desegregated schools.  It never happened for me! 

Today, on this day, we have an opportunity to send a message now to help end discrimination in our country and set all of our people free.

I yield back.