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GENERAL


This new Equality Act was being passed by 117th Congress of The House of Representatives on date of February 18th, 2021 with a final vote of 226 – 173; in light of the historically anchored institutional discriminations and perpetual attacks against gender expression and identity, sexual orientation— the LGBTQI+ community1United States House of Representatives, Committees of Judiciary; Education and Labor; Financial Services; Oversight and Reform; House Administration. The Equality Act, Introduced on March 13th, 2019 by Rep. Cicilline, David N. [D-RI-1] , Passed on February 18th, 2021, Attested by Cheryl l. Johnson, Clerk. https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr5/BILLS-116hr5rfs.pdf.

An informative extract from the legislatively adopted text:
“Both LGBTQ people and women face widespread discrimination in employment and various services, including by entities that receive Federal financial assistance. Such discrimination— is particularly troubling and inappropriate for programs and services funded wholly or in part by the Federal Government; undermines national progress toward equal treatment regardless of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity; and is inconsistent with the constitutional principle of equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States2rrrrrrr. Federal courts have widely recognized that, in enacting the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Congress validly invoked its powers under the Fourteenth; Amendment to provide a full range of remedies in response to persistent, widespread, and pervasive discrimination by both private and government actors. Discrimination by State and local governments on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In many circumstances, such discrimination also violates other constitutional rights such as those of liberty and privacy under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The legislation -which amends the Civil Rights Act of 19643Civil Rights Act of 1964 (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov), who outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex, or national origin, required equal access to public places and employment, and enforced desegregation of schools and the right to vote. It did not end discrimination, but it did open the door to further progress- prohibits discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in both the public and private sectors, offering civil rights protections in businesses, hospitals and welfare services. It explicitly states that individuals cannot be denied access to a locker room or dressing room on the same basis.

Introduced in the House of Representatives as H.R. 5 by David Cicilline (D–RI) on February 18, 2021
Committee consideration by: House Judiciary. It passed the House on February 25, 2021 (224–206).

BACKGROUND AND LEGAL PRECEDENTS


The Supreme Court’s June 2020 ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County4Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia. certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the eleventh circuit. No. 17–1618. Argued October 8, 2019—Decided June 15, 2020, Georgia (a landmark US Supreme Court civil rights case in which the Court held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees against discrimination because they are gay or transgender.) said that the Civil Rights Act protects “gay and transgender” people in matters of employment but left the terms undefined and does not cover other areas of their lives. The ruling has been hailed as one of the most prominent legal decisions concerning LGBTQI+ rights in the United States, along with Lawrence v. Texas (2003)5Urofsky, Melvin I.. “Lawrence v. Texas”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 19 Jun. 2020, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Lawrence-v-Texas. Accessed 26 February 2021. and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)6Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Obergefell v. Hodges”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 19 Jun. 2020, https://www.britannica.com/event/Obergefell-v-Hodges. Accessed 26 February 2021. A small number of legal analysts and intellectuals claimed that the case defined Gorsuch as a textualist in statutory interpretation, while others stated otherwise7‘Justice Gorsuch’s Legal Philosophy Has a Precedent Problem; How should a textualist deal with bad case law?’, The Atlantic, July 24th, 2020, Josh Blackman, Constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law Houston..

There are political nuances in light of this new mechanism. “The question is whether we, as Congress, are willing to take action to do something about it. The answer goes straight to the heart of who we want to be as a country — and today, that answer must be a resounding ‘yes.’” dixit Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

The fact that the effectiveness of the system is being questioned is logically related to a number of recent pertinent cases of illegal discrimination and bias. For example: In 2017, the US Justice Department sided with a cake shop owner who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, filing legal briefs arguing that a landmark 1964 civil rights law did not ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The Department of Justice did take the stance that gay workers are not entitled to job protections under federal anti-discrimination laws. Since 2015, the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission has taken the opposite stance, saying Title VII, the civil-rights statute that covers workers, protects against bias based on sexual orientation8‘In major Supreme Court case, Justice Dept. sides with baker who refused to make wedding cake for gay couple’, The Washington Post, Robert Barnes. In major Supreme Court case, Justice Dept. sides with baker who refused to make wedding cake for gay couple – The Washington Post.

Another example: Jeff Sessions, then the Attorney-General, also rescinded guidance for schools that was intended to protect transgender students in bathrooms and locker rooms. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on July 3rd, 2018 that, consistent with his November 2017 memorandum prohibiting the Department from making rules without following the procedures required by Congress, he is rescinding 24 guidance documents that were unnecessary, outdated, inconsistent with existing law, or otherwise improper.
The list of 24 guidance documents that DOJ has withdrawn in 2018 is as follows:
— March 17, 2011, OJJDP Memorandum re Status Offenders and the JJDPA.
— October 20, 2010 OJJDP Memorandum re Status Offenders and the JDDPA.
— June 17, 2014, Revised Guidance on Jail Removal and Separation Core Requirements.
— Disaggregating MIP Data from DSO and/or Jail Removal Violations: OJJDP Guidance for States, 2011.
— OJJDP Policy Guidance for Nonsecure Custody of Juveniles in Adult Jails and Lockups; Notice of Final Policy.
— OJJDP Guidance Manual: Audit of Compliance Monitoring Systems.
— OJJDP Disproportionate Minority Contact Technical Assistance Manual, Fourth Edition, 2009.
— BJA State Criminal Alien Assistance Program Guidelines, 2016.
— NIJ April 6, 2016, Dear Colleague Letter regarding additional topics and research questions of high priority and particular interest to the NIJ as part of its Comprehensive School Safety Initiative.
— Looking for the Best Mortgage, December 14, 2010.

— FRB: Putting Your Home on the Loan Line is Risky Business, August 6, 2015.
— Federal Protections Against National Origin Discrimination, April 30, 2006.
— Look at the Facts, Not at the Faces: Your Guide to Fair Employment, Approx. July 2009.
— Refugees and Asylees Have the Right to Work, May 2011.
— Language Assistance Self-Assessment and Planning Tool for Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance, on or before February 12, 2003.
— FAQs About the Protection of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Individuals under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title VI Regulations, March 1, 2011.
— Draft Language Access Planning and Technical Assistance Tool for Courts, December 18, 2012.
— December 2, 2011 Dear Colleague Letter Regarding the Use of Race by Educational Institutions.
— 2011 Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity in Postsecondary Education dated December 2, 2011.
— 2011 Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity and Avoid Racial Isolation in Elementary and Secondary Schools dated December 2, 2011.
— September 27, 2013 Dear Colleague Letter on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity in Higher Education After Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin [Fisher I].
— September 27, 2013 Questions and Answers About Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin [Fisher I].
— May 6, 2014 Dear Colleague Letter on the Supreme Court Ruling in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.
— September 30, 2016 Question and Answers About Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin [Fisher II].

Post Author: Kadir Pınar

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