Democrats pledge Equality Act will be ‘top priority’ after the election
A number of senior Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, have promised to prioritise passing the Equality Act if they do well enough in next week’s election.
Several Democrats promised the LGBT anti-discrimination bill would be a “top priority,” suggesting it could be discussed in the House within the first 100 days of a Clinton presidency.
The Equality Act would ban LGBT discrimination across the U.S. by adding protections to existing civil rights laws for sexual orientation and gender identity.
It’s been a top priority for LGBT activists since it was first introduced in 2015, but Republican leaders have consistently worked to block its passage.
“As president, I’ll make fighting discrimination against the LGBT community a top priority – including by working with Congress to pass the Equality Act,” Clinton told The Washington Blade this week.
“And we won’t stop there. We’ll also take on harassment, bullying, and violence – and youth homelessness, which disproportionately hurts LGBT kids.”
One of the obstacles facing her would be getting the bill through the House, which the Republicans are expected to retain control of even if the Democrats do well next week.
“With a Democratic House and Senate, the bill would absolutely be a top priority in the first 100 days,” a spokesperson for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told BuzzFeed.
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“The votes for House passage are there today, even in the current Congress, if Speaker Ryan would just get out of the way.”
Meanwhile Senator Chuck Schumer, who could become Senate Majority Leader if the Democrats pick up enough seats next week, suggested it could take two years to pass the measure.
“Democrats will fight hard to get it on the President’s desk in the next Congress,” he said.
The bill’s House sponsor, Rep. David Cicilline, agreed that Democrats would act fast to pass the bill after the election.
“If Democrats hold the White House and win back Congress, the Equality Act should be taken up in the first 100 days of President Clinton’s term,” a spokesman for Cicilline said.