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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) joined 40 Senators, led by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) in introducing historic, comprehensive federal legislation to ban discrimination against LGBT Americans and women.


“This year, we’ve seen major victories for the LGBT community, but even as we take strides toward equality, we must remember that there is more work to do,” said Patty Murray. “There is no place for discrimination in our country. Yet, far too many LGBT Americans and women remain vulnerable to discrimination simply because of who they are or who they love. We need the Equality Act to protect Americans from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, sex, or gender identity, regardless of what state they live in. I’m proud to support this legislation, and I look forward to building on the momentum we’ve seen recently and deliver on our nation’s promise of equality for all.”


Despite major advances in equality for LGBT Americans, including nationwide marriage equality, in the majority of states, an LGBT couple could be married in the morning and risk being fired from their jobs or evicted from their apartment in the afternoon. The Equality Act of 2015 would ensure full federal non-discrimination equality by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to other protected classes, such as race or religion, in existing federal laws.


The bill would ban discrimination in a host of areas, including employment, housing, public accommodations, jury service, access to credit, and federal funding. The bill would also add protections against sex discrimination in parts of anti-discrimination laws where these protections had not been included previously, including in public accommodations and federal funding.


The legislation was filed simultaneously in the U.S. House of Representatives by 158 Representatives, led by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI).


In addition to Murray, Merkley, Baldwin, and Booker, the legislation is cosponsored in the Senate by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Harry Reid (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).


For further information about the Equality Act:

Download a brief summary of the bill

Download a section-by-section summary of the bill

Download the full text of the bill