WASHINGTON—The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, National Association of Manufacturers and the National Retail Federation have joined a group of 50 associations urging passage of a U.S. House Resolution that aims to outlaw discriminatory practices toward individuals because of their gender or sexual identity.
"Equality of opportunity is a key pillar of our great democracy—one that allows all people to pursue their American Dream—and part of what makes our nation exceptional," the letter asking for the bill's passage reads. "Our industries, representing and employing tens of millions of Americans, understand this basic fact and have been at the forefront of efforts to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace."
In the letter, addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the group of associations urges bipartisan passage of House Bill 5, which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect LGBTQ+ Americans in the workplaces and communities. In 2019, the Equality Act was introduced in both the House and Senate and did have bipartisan support in both the chambers, according to the associations' letter.
"These protections remain vitally important even after the Supreme Court's decision in Bostock v. Clayton County," the associations' letter states. "Only legislative action can forestall endless litigation, alleviate the untenable patchwork of state laws governing this form of discrimination, and make clear that discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity is unwelcome and unlawful in our society."
H.R. 5, introduced Feb. 18 and sponsored by U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-RI) passed the House Feb. 25 with a 224-206 vote, mainly along party lines. It now goes to the Senate for approval, where it is likely to face some opposition.
If passed, the bill would prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in a number of areas including employment, housing, education, credit, federal funding and the use of public facilities and accommodations. The full text of the bill is available at congress.gov.