Jonathan Van Ness meeting with Nancy Pelosi is, and we cannot stress this enough, gay rights
Jonathan Van Ness and Nancy Pelosi met in Washington DC and now they’re sharing their plan to pass the Equality Act.
The Queer Eye star met with the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, to discuss the landmark piece of legislation, which would provide robust civil right protections for LGBT+ people.
Van Ness, who has emerged as one of the loudest and most important spokespeople for the rights of LGBT+ people, shared a photograph on Instagram which captioned his conversation with Pelosi, starting with: “We have to pass the Equality Act @speakerpelosi said to me.”
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“We have to pass the Equality Act” @speakerpelosi said to me. I said, with Mitch McConnell how?? Speaker Pelosi said, (I’m paraphrasing here) the voters in states with Republican Senators MUST put pressure on their Senators to force McConnell to bring the #equalityact up to vote. The Equality Act is exactly the legislation that would protect LGBTQ people from the discrimination we would face if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Trump Administration and Justice Department petition to be able to allow employers to FIRE LGBTQ people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. If you consider yourself an ALLY and live in a state with a Republican Senator I IMPLORE you to call, email, and mail their office and ask them to VOTE on the Equality Act. @humanrightscampaign
He posted the picture on Thursday evening after meeting with Pelosi and US senator Mitch McConnell.
McConnell and Van Ness replied to Pelosi’s declaration, asking how they could help to pass the equality act.
To which Van Ness paraphrases speaker Pelosi’s answer and writes: “The voters in the states with Republican senators must put pressures on their senators to force McConnell to bring the Equality Act up to vote.”
The post encourages allies to stand up for civil rights by voting through the equality act because work protections for LGBT+ is currently uncertain.
Pelosi told Van Ness that “the Equality Act is exactly the legislation that would protect LGBTQ people from the discrimination we would face if the Supreme Court rules in favour of the Trump administration”.
Pelosi believes that the Equality Act would prevent the Trump justice department from making it legal to fire people for being gay or transgender.
In August, the justice department filed two amicus briefs to the Supreme Court arguing that it is legal for employers to discriminate against LGBT+ people on the grounds of religious freedom.
It is in response to the Supreme Court hearing the cases of Donald Zarda and Gerald Bostock this October. Both were fired from their jobs as a skydiving instructor and a child welfare services coordinator respectively because of their sexuality.
The Equality Act would expand the Fair Housing Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to stop discrimination towards LGBT+ employees from employers.
Van Ness urged his followers to put pressure on their Republican senators and to “call, email and mail their office and ask them to VOTE on the Equality Act”.
Nancy Pelosi thanked Jonathan Van Ness for their efforts on the issue in a tweet.
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Such a pleasure to see you again today, @jvn. Your courage & commitment to building a better, more accepting world for all is an inspiration. Thank you for lending your voice to the ongoing fight for the #EqualityAct. pic.twitter.com/I8oAe1gRnB
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) September 27, 2019
Additionally, Van Ness revealed that his talk with Pelosi and McConnell also touched on “access to PrEP” and “living with HIV” in a video of himself strutting through the Capitol Building.
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I just met with @speakerpelosi & @reprobinkelly to talk about access to Prep, living with HIV, and the EQUALITY ACT with @humanrightscampaign — I learned something VERY important from @speakerpelosi which I will be sharing when I post this photo of us the second I get it. #hrconthehill