March On Orlando. Let's Pass The Equality Act
March On Orlando. Let's Pass The Equality Act
The American College Personnel Association (ACPA) calls upon Congress to march on and pass The Equality Act (H.R.3185) — 114th Congress (2015-2016) Introduced in the House (07/23/2015).
In the aftermath of the Orlando Massacre, many people have asked us "what can we do to help?"
You can ask your elected representatives in DC to march on and pass The Equality Act.
Why is this so important to LGBT citizens in the United States?
The Equality Act, as proposed, amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation.
The Equality Act defines:
- "Sex" to include a sex stereotype, sexual orientation or gender identity, and pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition;
- "Sexual orientation" as homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality; and
- "Gender identity" as gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms, or characteristics, regardless of the individual's designated sex at birth.
It expands the categories of public accommodations
It revises public school desegregation standards to provide for the assignment of students without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.
It prohibits programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance from denying benefits to, or discriminating against, persons based on sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
It prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity, subject to the same exceptions and conditions that currently apply to unlawful employment practices based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
It requires employers to recognize individuals in accordance with their gender identity, if sex is a bona fide occupational qualification that is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise.
It provides government employees with protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
It authorizes DOJ to intervene in equal protection actions in federal court on account of sexual orientation or gender identity.
It requires protections against discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin to include protections against discrimination based on: (1) an association with another person who is a member of such a protected class; or (2) a perception or belief, even if inaccurate, that an individual is a member of such a protected class. Prohibits the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 from providing a claim, defense, or basis for challenging such protections.
It prohibits an individual from being denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual's gender identity.
It amends the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and jury selection standards to add sexual orientation and gender identity as classes protected against discrimination under such laws.
The full text of the Act can be viewed at:
It is time to stop the dehumanization of LGBT people, to assert their human rights and dignity through the same protections that our nation has created for other communities who have historically been marginalized. Without the minimum provisions of The Equality Act and the message it sends to our citizens, LGBT people can find themselves out of work, without health care, without housing and, sadly, sometimes in the sights of an assault rifle held by an assassin.
This week has reminded all of us who are ACPA members of the Code of Ethics to which we adhere. Perhaps our elected officials need to adopt one as well. We would be willing to share ours. Here it is:
Student affairs professionals, both as citizens and practitioners, have a responsibility to contribute to the improvement of the communities in which they live and work and to act as advocates for social justice for members of those communities. They respect individuality and individual differences. They recognize that our communities are enhanced by social and individual diversity manifested by characteristics such as age, culture, class, ethnicity, gender, ability, gender identity, race, religion, and sexual orientation. Student affairs professionals work to protect human rights and promote respect for human diversity in higher education.
Please join us.
Dr. Cindi Love