March 17, 2021

Durbin Delivers Opening Remarks in Historic Judiciary Committee Hearing on the Equality Act

Durbin: we should be working toward a more inclusive society; that’s exactly what the Equality Act would help accomplish

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today delivered an opening statement during a Judiciary Committee hearing on the Equality Act, legislation that codifies federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans.  This is the first time the U.S. Senate has held a hearing on the legislation, which the House of Representatives passed with bipartisan support last month. 

“Since the dawn of our Republic, LBGTQ Americans have made important contributions to America, even while they have been subjected to bigotry, violence, and the threat of criminal prosecution and imprisonment, simply for being who they are,” Durbin said.  “They still face a patchwork of legal protections across America. Some states, like Illinois, comprehensively protect [LGBTQ] individuals from discrimination. Others lag far behind… That’s why it’s critical to fill the gaps in federal civil rights laws and strengthen protections for this class of American citizens.  The Equality Act would ensure that LGBTQ Americans are protected from discrimination in public accommodations, education, federally funded programs, employment, housing, credit, and jury service.”

Durbin concluded, “Instead of discriminating against and marginalizing LGBTQ Americans—and LGBTQ kids—we should be working toward a more inclusive America. That’s exactly what the Equality Act would help accomplish.  Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act on a strong bipartisan vote… Now it’s in our hands.”

Video of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s opening statement is available here for TV Stations. 

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