Legislation banning LGBTQ discrimination could split the Republican Party

Legislation banning LGBTQ discrimination could split the Republican Party

[Ed. – Only if the two-thirds of the party that see the bill as a potential violation of religious rights cave.]

This week, Democrats will launch a new effort to pass the Equality Act, a sweeping bill that would ban discrimination against the LGTBQ community.

“LGBTQ people in 30 states still do not have clear protections from discrimination in employment, housing and public spaces,” tweeted Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex).

“We want to live in a country that, you know, judges people based on their performance and their character, and so we need to pass the Equality Act at the federal level,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the Senate, told CNBC.

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The measure, which would update the Civil Rights Act, has been introduced before. In 2015, it couldn’t get through the Republican-controlled Congress.

This time, though, there’s a small chance the measure could clear the Democratic-controlled House and the Republican-led Senate. With public opinion on LGBTQ issues changing, conservative lawmakers may have a difficult time presenting a united opposition to the legislation.

For starters, the measure is popular. The majority of Americans — more than 71 percent — support laws like the Equality Act, according to a recent survey by PRRI.

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