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GLSEN Introduction of The Equality Act
GLSEN commends the introduction of The Equality Act, calls on Congress to pass historic protections for LGBTQ people
The Equality Act would provide explicit protections to millions of Americans who face discrimination, including LGBTQ students and educators
NEW YORK, NY (March 13, 2019) – GLSEN, the leading education organization working to create safe and inclusive schools for LGBTQ students, today lauded the reintroduction of The Equality Act in the House of Representatives. The Equality Act would amend existing civil rights law to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics, and thus provide clear, consistent, and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people in the areas of education, employment, housing, and other vital areas.
“Legal discrimination remains a potent and dangerous force in the lives of far too many people, including the lives of LGBTQ youth who can be discriminated against in schools, and LGBTQ educators who can be fired just for being who they are,” said Eliza Byard, Executive Director of GLSEN. “We call on Congress to pass The Equality Act, and take a historic and vital step forward to ensure that Americans’ rights and livelihood are protected regardless of where they happen to live.”
Right now in 30 states, LGBTQ educators, administrators, and school staff do not have workplace non-discrimination protections that are inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Equality Act would allow them to work in their chosen profession without fear of discrimination, retaliation, or a loss of their livelihood.
The Equality Act would also protect all students from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, which would help assure safer school environments, where LGBTQ youth can thrive, personally and academically. GLSEN’s most recent National School Climate Survey shows that 62 percent of LGBTQ youth experienced discriminatory school policies and practices. LGBTQ students who experienced LGBTQ-related discrimination at school were more likely to miss school, had lower GPAs, were less likely to feel a sense of belonging to their school community, had lower self-esteem, and had higher levels of depression.
GLSEN works to create safe and inclusive schools for all. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools, via action at the national, state, and local level. Over nearly three decades of work, GLSEN has improved conditions for LGBTQ students across the United States and launched an international movement to address LGBTQ issues in education and promote respect for all in schools. Find more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, school-based programs, research, and professional development for educators at www.glsen.org.