Glendale Chamber joined the Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition (EQFFAA) on Thursday as a member to advance federal protections for LGBTQ Americans in employment, housing, credit, education, jury service, and public accommodations.
The nationwide coalition is composed of bipartisan and diverse stakeholders from the LGBTQ, faith and business communities including Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association, Arizona Technology Council, Local First Arizona, the Arizona Coyotes, and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The EQFFAA aims to end the partisan gridlock that has stalled equality efforts in Congress, using core tenets and language of the Equality and Fairness for All Acts. The Coalition’s goal is to gain bipartisan support for federal legislation that can unite all Americans around the nation’s core values of freedom, fairness, and opportunity to make lasting and impactful change, a Chamber news release states.
Support for LGBTQ non-discrimination protections has continued to grow in recent years across religious and political affiliations. More than 94% of Fortune 500 companies have non-discrimination policies that include gender identity and/or sexual orientation.
Additionally, a 2020 poll from the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute found that 76% of Americans favor laws that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
“We believe there is a path forward for equality and fairness for all Americans through dialogue, collaboration, and compromise, which is why we were proud to join the Coalition,” Glendale Chamber President and CEO, Robert W. Heidt, Jr. shared in a statement. “We have a once in a generation opportunity to pass landmark legislation within the next year to bring federal protections and opportunity to millions of Americans.”
Last year’s historic Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County Georgia brought federal protections to LGBTQ Americans in employment for businesses over 15 employees.
However, LGBTQ Americans do not have federal protections in housing or public accommodations, meaning it is not illegal to deny someone service or housing based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently only 21 states, Washington D.C., and 330 cities and counties have non-discrimination laws that includes protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable to harassment and discrimination.
The Coalition supports legislation modeled after multiple states and municipalities that protects LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and public accommodations, but also allows religious organizations to continue receiving government funds for education and social services.
In addition, the Coalition supports lowering the employment threshold for protections from 15 to 0, which would bring federal protections to millions more Americans. The Coalition is also seeking a ban on the harmful practice of conversion therapy, which would save countless LGBTQ lives.
“The model we’re supporting has been successful across the country - and we believe reflects the only chance before the 2022 election, and perhaps in a generation - to advance protections for LGTBQ people and millions of other Americans in critical aspects of daily life,” Lynda Vescio, 2023 Chair Elect Glendale Chamber, Law Offices of Vescio & Seifert, P.C., stated.
Visit EqualityandFairness.com to learn more about the Equality and Fairness for All Coalition.
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