House Approves Sweeping Bill to Expand Gay Rights - NBC10 Boston

House Approves Sweeping Bill to Expand Gay Rights

Protections in the Equality Act would extend to employment, housing, loan applications, education, public accommodations and other areas

Find NBC Boston in your area

Channel 10 on most providers

Channel 15, 60 and 8 Over the Air

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    House Approves Sweeping Bill to Expand Gay Rights
    J. Scott Applewhite/AP
    In this May 16, 2019, photo, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks at the Capitol in Washington. Democrats in the House are poised to approve sweeping anti-discrimination legislation that would extend civil rights protections to LGBT people by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Dubbed the Equality Act, the bill is a top priority of Pelosi, who said it will bring the nation “closer to equal liberty and justice for all.’’

    Democrats in the House approved sweeping anti-discrimination legislation Friday that would extend civil rights protections to LGBT people by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The protections would extend to employment, housing, loan applications, education, public accommodations and other areas.

    Called the Equality Act, the bill is a top priority of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said it will bring the nation "closer to equal liberty and justice for all."

    Sexual orientation and gender identity "deserve full civil rights protections - in the workplace and in every place, education, housing, credit, jury service, public accommodations," Pelosi said.

    The vote was 236-173.

    Biden Says Trump Must Be Impeached

    [NATL] Biden Says Trump Must Be Impeached
    Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Wednesday said for the first time that President Donald Trump should be impeached.
    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019)

    The legislation's chief sponsor, Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., said it affirms fairness and equality as core American values "and ensures members of the LGBTQ community can live their lives free from the fear of legal discrimination of any kind."

    Cicilline, who is gay, called equal treatment under the law a founding principle of the United States, adding "It's absurd that, in 2019, members of the LGBTQ community can be fired from their jobs, denied service in a restaurant or get thrown out of their apartment because of their sexual orientation or gender identify."

    Most Republicans oppose the bill and call it another example of government overreach. Several GOP lawmakers spoke against it Friday on the House floor. President Donald Trump is widely expected to veto the legislation if it reaches his desk.

    Backlash Against NBA Continues in China

    [NATL] Backlash Against NBA Continues in China

    More NBA events scheduled in China were cancelled Wednesday as backlash from a tweet sent by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey supporting anti-government protests in Hong Kong created tension between the Chinese Government and the NBA.

    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019)

    At a news conference Thursday, the Republicans said the bill would jeopardize religious freedom by requiring acceptance of a particular ideology about sexuality and sexual identity.

    Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., called the legislation "grossly misnamed" and said it is "anything but equalizing."

    The bill "hijacks" the 1964 Civil Rights Act to create "a brave new world of 'discrimination' based on undefined terms of sexual orientation and gender identity," Hartzler said. The legislation threatens women's sports, shelters and schools, and could silence female athletes, domestic abuse survivors and other women, she said.

    House Subpoenas Pentagon, WH Chiefs in Ukraine Probe

    [NATL] House Subpoenas Pentagon and WH Chiefs in Impeachment Inquiry

    House Democrats issued two new subpoenas Monday as part of their growing impeachment inquiry, asking the Secretary of Defense and acting White House Budget Director for documents about the timing and reasons President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine.

    (Published Monday, Oct. 7, 2019)

    A similar bill in the Senate has been co-sponsored by all but one Senate Democrat, but faces long odds in the Republican-controlled chamber.

    A Trump administration official who asked not be identified, because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the president's intentions, said the White House "opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all. However, this bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights."

    Some critics also said the bill could jeopardize Title IX, the law prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded education programs. Former tennis star Martina Navratilova co-wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Post urging lawmakers not to "make the unnecessary and ironic mistake of sacrificing the enormously valuable social good that is female sports in their effort to secure the rights of transgender women and girls."

    WH: American Troops to Pull Out of Syria for Turkey

    [NATL] WH: American Troops to Pull Out of Syria for Turkey

    The White House says Turkey will soon move troops into northern Syria as U.S. troops withdraw. Kurdish fighters who remain in the region to help the U.S. push ISIS out of Syria are calling the move a betrayal. The Turkish government regards the Kurds as terrorists, raising fears about their fate.

    (Published Monday, Oct. 7, 2019)

    Ahead of the vote, Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., called the House bill "horrifying" and said it could cause Catholic schools to lose federal grants for school lunches or require faith-based adoption agencies to place children with same-sex couples.

    Neena Chaudhry, a lawyer for the National Women's Law Center, said the bill does not undermine Title IX, because courts have already found that Title IX protects against gender-identity discrimination.

    "It is way past time to fully open the doors of opportunity for every American," said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., one of the Senate bill's lead sponsors. "Let's pass the Equality Act, and let us rejoice in the bells of freedom ringing for every American."

    2nd Whistleblower Comes Forward on Trump-Ukraine Call

    [NATL] 2nd Whistleblower Comes Forward on Trump-Ukraine Call

    A second whistleblower with "first-hand knowledge" has come forward with information about President Trump's controversial July phone call with the president of Ukraine.  The White House is dismissing the new development, saying "It doesn't matter how many people decide to call themselves whistleblowers...It doesn't change the fact that [President Trump] has done nothing wrong."

    (Published Monday, Oct. 7, 2019)

    In the Senate, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine also supports the bill, while Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is the sole Democrat who is not a co-sponsor.