Democratic legislators reintroduced the LGBTQ Equality Act in the U.S. Congress earlier this year. The bill aims to ban discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. Similar bills were introduced by Democrats in 2015 and 2017, but both failed.
National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) senior vice president Jonathan Lovitz believes that the 2019 bill has a good chance in Congress which is controlled by Democrats but is likely to face scrutiny in the Senate which is controlled by Republicans. If passed, the bill would cover public accommodations, housing, jury service, federal funding and employment of LGBT people.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, 161 companies including Facebook, Google and Amazon have joined the organization’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act. These companies have operations in all 50 states and have a combined revenue of more than $3.7 trillion. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty has written a letter to the Equality Act’s chief sponsors Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative David Cicilline to express her support for the bill on behalf of the Business Roundtable, an organization of CEOs from major U.S. corporations. Rommety said that it is time for the federal government to include gender identity and sexual orientation in nondiscrimination policies because most American companies have already done it.