Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick took to the airwaves recently to speak about a piece of legislation currently making its way through the House of Representatives. H.R. 5, titled the “Equality Act,” is an anti-discrimination bill that would edit the provisions in the Civil Rights Act to include sex and gender identity.
Fitzpatrick called in spontaneously to Speak Your Piece late last week as host Pat Wandling discussed the legislation. The Congressman is a co-sponsor on the bill along with many other legislators.
“This adds a protection class on orientation and identity that they can’t be discriminated against” Fitzpatrick said. This bill has been lobbied by the Equality Federation which especially lobbies for LGBTQ rights.
Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director of the Equality Federation says that this law is extremely important to the LGBTQ community.
“As Americans, we believe that discrimination is wrong and that all of us deserve to be treated equally under the law,” Isaac said. “There should be a level playing field in every state and for that reason, signing this legislation into law is of critical importance to the LGBTQ community and to our country as a whole.”
Reception is not all positive, as some conservative groups say the bill supersedes free speech. For example, the Liberty Counsel, an evangelical christian organization, made claims to say the bill would infringe on women’s rights and religious freedom.
Fitzpatrick countered these claims, saying the bill would not affect transgender individuals in sports or in choosing bathrooms. The focus of the legislation is to ensure people are not discriminated in the workplace based on gender identity.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which Fitzpatrick called a relatively conservative organization has also endorsed this bill. The Chamber cited its importance to the private sector.
“Equality under the law fosters an environment where America’s diverse workforce can reach its full potential without fear of discrimination. Embracing equality has a profoundly positive impact on business performance”.
According to the Congressman, the bill is in its final stages of being voted for on the House floor.