Our Pledge to Anti-Racism
In the Spotlight
Latest Headlines
For Immediate Release: Equality Texas Releases Statement from CEO Ricardo Martinez on the Passage of the Equality Act Through the United States House of Representatives
Posted on February 25, 2021 at 3:39 pm

Angela Hale, Equality Texas, 512.289.2995 angela.hale@equalitytexas.org

 

Equality Texas Releases Statement from CEO Ricardo Martinez on the Passage of the Equality Act Through the United States House of Representatives

Federal Legislation Will Protect all LGBTQ+ Americans

 

Austin, Texas – February 25, 2021- Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans, today released a statement from CEO Ricardo Martinez on the passage of the Equality Act through the United State House of Representatives.

“The Equality Act will provide consistent and explicit anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service. President Joe Biden made a promise to stand with the LGBTQ+ community to ensure America finally lives up to the promise on which it was founded: equality for all. We urge the United States Senate to follow the House and pass the Equality Act and for President Biden to sign it into law to ensure equal rights for all LGBTQ+ people,” said Equality Texas CEO Ricardo Martinez.

Half of LGBTQ+ Americans live in states without adequate civil rights protections including Texas. Texans can get married on Sunday and the very next day get kicked out of a restaurant or evicted from their apartment or turned down for a lease because of who they are or who they love. Federal legislation will guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ+ people under our nation’s existing civil rights laws. Additional state legislation will codify those protections under state law. LGBTQ+ people still face discrimination in nearly every aspect of their lives, including employment, military service, starting a family, and obtaining a driver’s license with their accurate gender marker.

It’s time for our elected officials to listen to their constituents, show leadership and make passage of the Equality Act a priority. All Americans — including LGBTQ+ people — should be able to live, work, and access services like banks and medical care without fear of harassment or discrimination. Inequality perpetuates a culture that does not work for this country.

“That’s why the top national priority for Equality Texas is to pass the Equality Act through the U.S. Congress and have President Biden sign it into law, and our top state priority is to pass Texas Representative Jessica González’s comprehensive non-discrimination bill through the Texas Legislature. The Equality Act and a comprehensive nondiscrimination law passed into Texas Law are the best vehicles for ensuring equal rights under the law for LGBTQ+ Texans and Americans, and will guarantee that LGBTQ+ individuals are protected under the law,” said Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas.

Discrimination is still commonplace for LGBTQ+ Americans. Opponents of LGBTQ+ equality continue to file discriminatory bills in states across the country to undermine existing protections in adoption, marriage, and access to basic public services and businesses. The Equality Act would ensure that all LGBTQ+ Americans can live, work, and access public spaces free from discrimination, no matter what state they call home.

The Equality Act has broad and deep support across lines of political party, demographics, and geography, with 83 percent of Americans saying they favor LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections, including 68 percent of Republicans and a majority in every state in the country.

Although 21 states and more than 330 cities have passed LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections, half of LGBTQ+ people live in the 29 states that still lack comprehensive statewide laws

President Biden has vowed to make enactment of the Equality Act during his first 100 days as President a top legislative priority. Biden will also direct his Cabinet to ensure immediate and full enforcement of the Equality Act across all federal departments and agencies.

###

Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. The Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.