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Over Two Thirds of Americans Support Federal Nondiscrimination Protections for LGBTQ People

Over Two Thirds of Americans Support Federal Nondiscrimination Protections for LGBTQ People

Momentum Continues to Grow for Equality and Fairness

 

(July 6th, 2022, Ariz.) - A new poll shows strong support among Americans for federal nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people. In the survey, conducted by the Moore Information Group, 69% of registered voters would support a federal bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in matters of employment, education, housing, and in public places, such as restaurants and other businesses. Sixty-two percent said they believed that passing a federal law which protects LGBTQ people from discrimination should be a priority. The survey was conducted June 15, 2022 using online methodology among a representative sample of N=1,500 registered voters in the United States.  The potential sampling error is plus or minus 3% at the 95% confidence level.

The poll is one of many that indicate growth momentum across party lines for federal nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans. Currently only 21 states and Washington D.C. have non-discrimination laws that includes protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable to harassment and discrimination.

While support for LGBTQ nondiscrimination is growing, the window to pass federal protections is quickly closing, and the urgency to protect rights such as marriage equality have never been higher after last month’s Supreme Court decision. That’s why the Equality and Fairness for all Americans Coalition (EFC), a bipartisan group of LGBTQ organizations, faith organizations, businesses, trade associations, civic leaders, and everyday Americans, continues to work towards a bipartisan framework that can break the partisan gridlock that has stalled the Equality and the Fairness for All Acts. 

The EFC framework will not only make real federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans, but also secure rights that are currently not in the Equality Act including codifying Bostock and Obergefell, along with repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. The coalition also supports certain exemptions for religious institutions to continue to receive federal dollars for social services and education, which is key to gaining bipartisan support. The Moore Information Group Survey found these exemptions were important to 65% of respondents. 

Over the last few months, the coalition has held over 65 meetings with members of Congress and their offices, bringing the perspectives of over 100 constituents from Arizona, North Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia, Florida and Pennsylvania, among other states.

 “We believe there is a path forward for equality and fairness for all Americans through dialogue, collaboration, and compromise. What we are pushing for most especially is movement. Legislators cannot allow another 48 years to pass without progress since the Equality Act was first introduced.  They must pass and send nondiscrimination legislation to the President’s desk before the end of the 117th Congress,” said Angela Hughey, co-founder of EFC and president of ONE Community. 

“Equality and fairness are not red or blue issues – they’re American issues. All hard-working people, including those who are LGBTQ+, want to do their jobs and provide for their families. LGBTQ+ people want the same thing as everyone else -- the freedom to work hard, access basic services, and take care of themselves and their loved ones without fear of discrimination. It’s time to advance federal protections that guarantee these rights,” said Michael Soto, co-founder of the EFC and CEO of Equality Arizona. 

The Equality and Fairness for All Coalition supports:

 

  • Protecting all Americans in employment, education, housing, credit, jury service and public accommodations, including members of the LGBTQ community.
  • Banning conversion therapy, protecting millions of LGBTQ Americans, from harm. This universally damaging practice has been condemned by every major medical association.
  • Reducing the minimum number of employees needed for protections from fifteen (15) to zero (0), which would drastically expand the number of Americans protected against employment discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, color, creed, national origin, and religion.
  • Ensuring religious institutions continue to receive federal dollars for social services and education.

Learn more about the Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition and their bipartisan framework  at: EqualityandFairness.com

 

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For More Information:
Sophie O’Keefe-Zelman
[email protected]
602-380-1809

About Equality and Fairness for All Americans

The Equality and Fairness for all Americans Coalition is made up of LGBTQ organizations, faith organizations, businesses, trade associations, civic leaders and every day Americans who all believe in working collaboratively to gain bipartisan support for non-discrimination legislation that unites both the LGBTQ and faith community around the core American values of freedom, fairness, and opportunity for all.

As members of this coalition, we firmly believe there is a path forward together in an effort to pass landmark legislation within the next year to bring federal non-discrimination protections to millions of Americans in employment, education, housing, credit, jury service, and public accommodations. This will bring immediate relief to millions of Americans who live in fear of discrimination and have no legal recourse.


Equality and Fairness for All Arizonans

Representative Amish Shah, M.D. and Speaker Rusty Bowers file HB2802:
The Equality and Fairness for All Arizonans Act

Legislation will extend Arizona’s non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Arizonans in employment, housing and public accommodations while also protecting religious rights for people and institutions of faith. It will also ban conversion therapy for licensed healthcare professionals in Arizona.


(February 7th, 2022, Phoenix, Ariz.): Today, Representative Amish Shah, M.D. (LD24) and Speaker Rusty Bowers (LD25) filed HB2802, the Equality and Fairness for all Arizonans Act, that will extend Arizona’s current non-discrimination protections to gay and transgender Arizonans in employment, housing and public accommodations while protecting religious rights for people and institutions of faith. This bill also provides workplace protections for religious minorities and includes a ban on conversation therapy for minors through licensing requirements for medical professionals.

This historic measure is the product of years of thoughtful dialogue between leading Arizona LGBTQ organizations, business leaders and communities of faith to support a bill aimed at updating the state’s non-discrimination law while also preserving religious freedom. The introduction of the bill also follows the passage of similar non-discrimination ordinances in Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale and Tolleson in 2021. In total, only 10 Arizona municipalities have LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination laws, leaving many Arizonans vulnerable to discrimination with no legal recourse.

“HB2802 brings the LGBTQ community and communities of faith together in celebration of the great American tenets of religious freedom, equal treatment, and freedom of opportunity. This bill reflects the true spirit of bipartisanship and democracy - Arizonans coming together to create a more just and fair Arizona for all people. We are grateful to Speaker Bowers and Representative Shah, M.D. for their leadership and example,” said Michael Soto, Executive Director of Equality Arizona. 

“HB2802 will ensure that LGBTQ Arizonans have the same opportunity to live, work, and contribute to Arizona that all other Arizonans have, while preserving religious freedoms. The coalition supporting this bill are Arizonans from all walks of life, willing to work together based on our shared values of equality and fairness. Today we are joined by LGBTQ leaders, business leaders, individuals from both parties, and clergy and members from religious communities including members of the Episcopalian, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist, Community Church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Jewish faiths,” said Angela Hughey, president and co-founder of ONE Community at today’s press conference. “If we want to live in a state that grows by attracting the very best talent, has a strong economy, welcoming culture, and is open for business to everyone, then we must pass this bill,” concluded Ms. Hughey. 

Faith leaders are also supporting the measure in recognition of the importance of protecting all Arizonans equally, including LGBTQ Arizonans and Arizonans of faith. “We believe non-discrimination laws should and can protect both religious and LGBTQ rights. Many people of faith are also LGBTQ and many LGBTQ people are people of faith,” said Mr. Soto.

Support for LGBTQ inclusion has continued to grow across Arizona’s faith community, with over 500 religious leaders signing ONE Community’s Open to Worship pledge, and over 100 signing an open letter, noting “LGBTQ rights and religious freedom do not have to be in conflict. Instead, we can come together to protect all people and unify our community on what has for too long been a divisive issue.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement in support of the bill as well, “The Church is pleased to be part of a coalition of faith, business, LGBTQ people and community leaders who have worked together in a spirit of trust and mutual respect to address issues that matter to all members of our community. It is our position that this bipartisan bill preserves the religious rights of individuals and communities of faith while protecting the rights of members of the LGBTQ community, consistent with the principles of fairness for all.”

Support for LGBTQ non-discrimination protections has continued to grow in recent years across religious and political affiliations. Over 94% of Fortune 500 companies have non-discrimination policies that include gender identity and/or sexual orientation. A 2020 poll from the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute found that 76% of Americans favor laws that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations. Further, 90% of Arizona’s top 50 employers include sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination policies and more than 3,400 businesses in Arizona have already voiced their support for LGBTQ inclusive non-discrimination by signing the UNITY Pledge. 

The full livestream of today’s press conference is available at: www.Facebook.com/onecommunityaz 
 

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For more information:
Sophie O’Keefe-Zelman
[email protected]
602-380-1809

About ONE Community
Since its inception in 2008, ONE Community has evolved into the member-based coalition of socially responsible businesses, organizations and individuals moving diversity, inclusion and equality for all Arizonans forward.  We are committed to reshaping Arizona’s image through educating, empowering and connecting our diverse LGBTQ and allied communities on the benefits of inclusion and its direct impact on attracting and retaining top talent and businesses—and thereby, ensuring our state’s economic sustainability.

About Equality Arizona
Equality Arizona is a non-profit organization made up of a 501(c)(3), the Equality Arizona Foundation; a 501(c)(4), Equality Arizona; and the Equality Arizona Political Action Committee. Our mission is to build the political power of the Arizona LGBTQ community for our full inclusion in the social, economic, and civil mechanisms of our society. We envision an Arizona where LGBTQ people are included in and lead the social, economic, and civic systems of our state, counties, cities, and communities.


Equality and Fairness for All Americans Press Call

Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition Press Call

 

(Phoenix, Ariz. January 12th, 2022)Today, the Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition(EQFFAA) launched to advance federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans in employment, housing, credit, education, jury service and public accommodations.  A national media call was held at 10 AM AZ Time/12 PM EST Time with coalition leaders.The media call provided an overview of the coalition, policies it supports, and its strategy for passing comprehensive federal protections for the LGBTQ community into law.  

View the press call with presentation and panel discussion:

View the presentation:


Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition Launches to Advance Federal Protections for LGBTQ Americans

Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition Launches to Advance Federal Protections for LGBTQ Americans

(Phoenix, Ariz. January 12th, 2022) – Today, the Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition (EQFFAA) launched to advance federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans in employment, housing, credit, education, jury service and public accommodations.  A national media call will be held today at 10 AM AZ Time/12 PM EST Time with coalition leaders. The media call will provide an overview of the coalition, policies it supports, and its strategy for passing comprehensive federal protections for the LGBTQ community into law.  Additionally, there will be time for questions from the media and attendees. Register Here

The Coalition, led by ONE Community and Equality Arizona, aims to end the partisan gridlock that has stalled equality efforts in Congress utilizing core tenets and language of the Equality and Fairness for All Acts. The Coalition’s goal is to gain bipartisan support for federal legislation that can unite all Americans around our nation’s core values of freedom, fairness, and opportunity to make lasting and impactful change.  The nationwide coalition is composed of bipartisan and diverse stakeholders from the LGBTQ, faith and business communities including Georgia Equality, Wyoming Equality, Fairness West Virginia, Equality North Carolina, Local First Arizona, Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Coyotes, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Rising, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, Upward Projects, the Bishops of the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church & the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix.

Support for LGBTQ non-discrimination protections has continued to grow in recent years across religious and political affiliations. Over 94% of Fortune 500 companies have non-discrimination policies that include gender identity and/or sexual orientation. Additionally, a 2020 poll from the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute found that seventy-six percent of Americans favor laws that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations.

“We believe there is a path forward for equality and fairness for all Americans. We have a once in a generation opportunity to pass landmark legislation within the next six months to bring federal protections and opportunity to millions of Americans,” said Angela Hughey, President of ONE Community and Coalition co-founder.

Last year’s historic Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County Georgia brought federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ Americans in employment for businesses over fifteen employees. However, LGBTQ Americans do not have federal civil rights protections in housing or public accommodations, meaning it is not illegal to deny someone service or housing based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently fewer than half the states in the country and less than 2% of cities and counties have non-discrimination laws that include civil rights protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable to harassment and discrimination. 

The genesis of the Equality and Fairness for All Coalition comes from the historic efforts in Arizona to successfully pass an LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance in Mesa, Arizona in employment, housing and public accommodations. The Mesa ordinance had broad support from diverse and bipartisan stakeholders such as Republican Mayor John Giles, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the business community, and the faith community, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“With the success of our efforts in Mesa, Arizona we feel we have a template that can be successful on a national level, bringing immediate relief to millions of Americans who live in fear of discrimination and have no legal recourse. We believe non-discrimination laws should and can protect both religious and LGBTQ rights. Many people of faith are also LGBTQ and many LGBTQ people are people of faith,” said Michael Soto, Executive Director of Equality Arizona and Coalition co-founder. 

“We are all God’s children, and we need to treat others, as we want to be treated ourselves. Religion is meant to include not exclude, and we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, without exception. We believe there is a path forward that can provide fair protections for all Americans regardless of who you are, who you love or what you believe,” said Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen, Executive Director of Parity.

“Equality and fairness are not red or blue issues – they are American values. All hard-working people, including those who are LGBTQ, want to do their jobs and provide for their families. LGBTQ people want the same thing as everyone else -- the freedom to work hard, access basic services, and take care of themselves and their loved ones without fear of discrimination. It’s time to advance federal protections that guarantee these rights,” said Tyler Deaton, Senior Advisor of American Unity Fund.

 

The Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition supports:

  • Protecting all Americans in employment, education, housing, credit, jury service and public accommodations, including members of the LGBTQ community.
  • Banning conversion therapy, protecting millions of LGBTQ Americans, from harm. This universally damaging practice has been condemned by every major medical association and many religious leaders.
  • Reducing the minimum number of employees needed for protections from fifteen (15) to zero (0), which would drastically expand the number of Americans protected against employment discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, color, creed, national origin, and religion.
  • Allowing religious institutions to continue to receive federal dollars for social services and education.

 

Learn more about the Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition and join the effort at: EqualityandFairness.com

 

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For Press Inquiries and More Information:

Sophie O’Keefe-Zelman

[email protected]

602-380-1809

 


MEDIA ADVISORY: Equality and Fairness for All Press Call (NATIONAL)

MEDIA ADVISORY

 

WHO: Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition (EQFFAA)

Angela Hughey, ONE Community and EQFAA co-founder

Michael Soto, Equality Arizona and EQFAA co-founder

Kendra R. Johnson, Executive Director, Equality North Carolina

Sara Burlingame, Executive Director, Wyoming Equality

Jeff Graham, Executive Director, Georgia Equality

Andrew Schneider, Executive Director, Fairness West Virginia 

Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen, Executive Director, Parity

WHEN: January 12th, 2022 10AM AZ Time/12:00 PM EST Time

WHERE:        Zoom - Register Here

WHAT:              Media Call to Introduce the Equality and Fairness for All Coalition

 

The Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition (EQFFAA), led nationally by ONE Community and Equality Arizona, will launch on January 12th, 2022. The media call will provide an overview of the coalition, policies it supports, and its strategy for passing comprehensive federal protections for the LGBTQ community into law.  Additionally, there will be time for questions from the media and attendees.

 

The EQFFAA coalition, a bipartisan group of LGBTQ organizations, faith organizations, businesses, trade associations, civic leaders and everyday Americans, aims to pass federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans, ending the partisan gridlock that has stalled the Equality Act and the Fairness for All Act.  Since 1974, civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans have been introduced in Congress nearly every year without success, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable to harm.

 

The EQFFAA coalition believes there a once in a decade opportunity to pass landmark legislation within the next six months, in advance of the midterm elections, to bring federal civil rights non-discrimination protections to millions of Americans in employment, education, housing, credit, jury service, and public accommodations. This will bring immediate relief to millions of Americans who live in fear of discrimination and have no legal recourse.

 

The Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition supports:

  • Providing protections for all Americans in employment, education, housing, credit, jury service and public accommodations, including members of the LGBTQ and faith communities.
  • Banning conversion therapy, protecting millions of LGBTQ Americans, from harm. This universally damaging practice has been condemned by every major medical association and many religious leaders.
  • Reducing the minimum number of employees needed for federal civil rights protections from fifteen (15) to zero (0), which would drastically expand the number of Americans protected against employment discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, color, creed, national origin, and religion.
  • Allowing religious institutions to continue to receive federal dollars for social services and education.

The Equality and Fairness for all Americans Coalition believes in working collaboratively to gain bipartisan support for federal civil rights legislation that unites both the LGBTQ and faith communities around the core American values of freedom, fairness, and opportunity for all.  More information about the coalition including its diverse membership can be found here

 

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For press inquiries and more information contact:

Sophie O’Keefe-Zelman

[email protected]

602-380-1809


A Framework for Federal Legislation


Salt Lake City Meeting Questions

Landscape

  • What assumptions are being made to determine that the time for comprehensive protections is now?

At least 60 Senate votes are needed to pass federal protections for LGBTQ people. As the Democratic party is the only major party platform to have officially endorsed LGBTQ rights, it is essential to take advantage of the opportunity their control of the House, Senate, and White House presents. June 2022 (Pride Month) is the best opportunity to do so with this Congress, before Fall election matters take center stage. Adding to the sense of urgency, many political prognosticators believe the House could flip to a Republican majority this November and not return to Democratic control until 2030 at the earliest. Gay rights were first introduced to Congress in the early 1970s and still have not passed. We cannot wait another year or decade.

  • How does this effort fit into long-term engagement with religious partners?

Religious groups have wide-ranging views on sexuality and marriage. More and more conservative faith organizations are endorsing civil rights protections for gay and transgender people, even if they are not changing their internal theology. Their willingness to advocate for LGBTQ rights in the civil space while still retaining their religious beliefs is essential to gaining Republican support. Additionally, the majority of LGBTQ people are also people of faith.

 

Sign the Equality and Fairness for All Americans Pledge

Framework

  •  How do we prevent unintended consequences?

The best way to prevent unintended consequences is to get a bill passed. Otherwise we leave it all up to the courts, where there will assuredly be unintended consequences resulting from the patchwork of rulings to come, especially given the hundreds of Trump appointed Federal judges and the new conservative Supreme Court.

  • How do we do this work without undermining or devaluing the Bostock decision?

By codifying Bostock as a part of the larger package, we validate the constitutional finding of the Supreme Court with a law that reflects that finding. Additionally, codification helps ensure it cannot be chipped away at by courts like other Supreme Court decisions have been over time.

  • How do we ensure this does not erode reproductive rights?

Abortion neutrality language which mirrors abortion neutrality language used for decades, including in the Affordable Care Act, will erect a statutory firewall and ensure that this bill does not change reproductive rights in any way.

  • Does this affect education and students in schools?

The framework includes the Safe Schools Improvement Act which serves to reduce bullying by requiring schools to teach and act against it. The framework also includes provisions to ensure free speech for students. The framework makes no changes to Title IX. Finally, some religious schools who do not otherwise accept government money do take money for the free and reduced lunch program. For those schools, there is an exception, meaning that accepting that money alone does not subject the school to the non-discrimination and other requirements of Title VI.

  • What happens if this passes and the message of ‘ending conversion therapy’ creates a false victory?

This framework, if legislated, will end the vast majority of conversion therapy, including all conversion therapy that is paid for with federal dollars. By specifically defining what conversion therapy is, we are attempting to avoid false narratives and reduce confusion that might lead to any false or misleading messages.  The framework’s provisions eliminate conversion therapy in the ways allowable by law and the Constitution and also retain the religious freedom protections for pastors and clergy that are constitutionally necessary, even if morally objectionable. 

  • Will this address transgender athletes in school?

This framework will build a bipartisan coalition that will support legislation that addresses fairness and nondiscrimination in the largest sense and will support deferring to expert bodies, like the governing bodies of national and international athletics, on how to create inclusive standards in athletic competition. The broad establishment of inclusive federal protections for LGBTQ people will create a supportive environment for these smaller governing bodies to establish their methods for fairness and inclusion of trans people.

  • Have conversations occurred with other organizations?

The Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition (EFC) believes in building support from the ground up. Our first conversations have been with local and state organizations in red and purple states. We have done this to intentionally build support from those most impacted from a lack of federal legislation. By including multiple provisions in our framework, we believe we are supporting the work done by champions of many issues, while also focusing our efforts to build support for this work in the places most impacted by a lack of federal protections.

  • How are you defining conversion therapy? Will the definition include or exclude life coaching?

As a coalition one of our core organizing principles is ending conversion therapy through federal legislation. We define conversion therapy as any practice or treatment that promotes or profits from the idea that an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity can be changed.

  • How will Indigenous people be impacted?

Non-retaliation provisions apply to indigenous tribes. Additionally, many tribal communities would benefit from religious protections in general and specifically for minority faiths. Lastly, this framework preserves and expands all existing protections for people based on race, color, or national origin. Full stop.

  • What are the implications for eliminating Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)  carve outs?

Legal protections for LGBTQ people and religious freedom are not oppositional ideas or practices. By working to protect the rights of both LGBTQ people and people of faith, we can end the false narratives of the culture wars that pit our communities against one another.

  • Which Republicans will come along with this bill if it includes public accommodations rather than just housing and employment?

Ensuring the full rights and citizenship of LGBTQ and all Americans is an idea that does not belong to any one political party. We believe that this coalition, our core principles, and our bipartisan track record allow Republicans, Democrats, and independents to support this work fully.

  • With reasonable accommodations for privacy, could a trans woman in a space be targeted by others saying “I need more privacy”?

Under this framework specifically, a person can request additional privacy, but not in a way that targets or in any way diminishes the rights of a trans person, or any other person for that matter. In other words, the person requesting privacy could be offered a private room to change in, but not that trans people, or any other person, be required to change elsewhere.

  • Do you expect corporate pressure about lowering the employee number threshold of applicability for Title VII?

No, there are enough states that already codify their protections below the federal standard that this change will not be difficult for corporations.

  • Is this a proposal for standalone legislation or for amendments?

Currently, the Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition believes this framework would best be constructed as substantial amendments to SB 5, The Equality Act. However, none of us are U.S. senators, and at the end of the day it is up to those supporting senators to come together to decide what legislative vehicle is best. This framework, however, is meant to be a well thought out consensus document that they can work from. 

  • Is the framework the beginnings of proposed language or just principles?

It is an outline for legislation that amends the Equality Act based on already proposed or passed legislation at both the state and federal levels.

  • Have conservative religious partners signed off on these amendments?

As it stands, the official partners are the organizations who have agreed to support the framework and principles. We are beginning the invitation process for groups across the political and faith spectrum. Dozens of conservative faith organizations and leaders have publicly endorsed the Fairness for All Act which contains specific legislative language embodying many of the values of the Equality and Fairness for All framework.

  • Regarding educational institutions, would this change the status quo that allows Catholic schools to discriminate in employment against married couples?

No. It is a longstanding legal precedent that religious organizations are allowed to discriminate based on religion in hiring. That includes enforcing specific standards of behavior consistent with their religious beliefs. This protection is especially strong for religious schools. Though this framework preserves the status quo for religious organizations, it grants protections to most other employees. Additionally, for religious organizations other than churches, schools, or religious denominations, this exemption only applies to them if they only hire co-religionists. 

  • What about religious leaders who have supported the Equality Act so far?

We welcome all leaders--faith and LGBTQ--to the table to have these discussions on forging a path forward to ensure protections for all Americans regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. There is room in this coalition for those who have supported both the Equality Act and the Fairness for All Americans Act, as long as they are ready to work together under the principles and framework.

  • Can we be part of the Alliance for Lasting Liberty (ALL) Coalition or the Freedom and Opportunity for All Americans (FOAA) Coalition?

The EFC invites both these tables and their constituent organizations to join our efforts. The EFC is a bipartisan space for LGBTQ, religious, business, and community organizations to unite under the common banner of our principles and framework to win federal protections for LGBTQ people.

  • What do we want religious folks who support this to do? 

We want anyone who supports the principles and framework to join the Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition and work with us to win federal protections for LGBTQ people and all Americans.

Sign the Equality and Fairness for All Americans Pledge

 


How left and right united to protect against discrimination in conservative Mesa

How left and right united to protect against discrimination in conservative Mesa

After seven years of difficult conversations between LGBTQ and religious communities, Mesa passed a fully inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance.

Angela Hughey and Michael Soto opinion contributors

As families come together this holiday season, we want to remind the country of what is possible in America.

We are proud to be part of the Equality & Fairness for All Americans Coalition. Join us in making history together.


Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition Launches

Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition Launches to Advance Federal Protections for LGBTQ Americans

(Phoenix, Ariz. December 1st, 2021) – Today, the Equality and Fairness for All Americans Coalition launched to advance federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans in employment, housing, credit, education, jury service and public accommodations.  

The Coalition, led by ONE Community and Equality Arizona, aims to end the partisan gridlock that has stalled equality efforts in Congress. The Coalition’s goal is to gain bipartisan support for federal legislation that can unite all Americans around our nation’s core values of freedom, fairness, and opportunity to make lasting and impactful change.  The nationwide coalition is composed of bipartisan and diverse stakeholders from the LGBTQ, faith and business communities including Local First Arizona, Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Coyotes, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Rising, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, Upward Projects, the Bishops of the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church & the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix.

Support for LGBTQ non-discrimination protections has continued to grow in recent years across religious and political affiliations. Over 94% of Fortune 500 companies have non-discrimination policies that include gender identity and/or sexual orientation. Additionally, a 2020 poll from the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute found that seventy-six percent of Americans favor laws that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations.

“We believe there is a path forward for equality and fairness for all Americans. We have a once in a generation opportunity to pass landmark legislation within the next year to bring federal protections and opportunity to millions of Americans,” said Angela Hughey, President of ONE Community and Coalition co-founder.

Last year’s historic Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County Georgia brought federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ Americans in employment for businesses over fifteen employees. However, LGBTQ Americans do not have federal civil rights protections in housing or public accommodations, meaning it is not illegal to deny someone service or housing based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently fewer than half the states in the country and less than 2% of cities and counties have non-discrimination laws that include civil rights protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable to harassment and discrimination. 

The genesis of the Equality and Fairness for All Coalition comes from the historic efforts in Arizona to successfully pass an LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance in Mesa, Arizona in employment, housing and public accommodations. The Mesa ordinance had broad support from diverse and bipartisan stakeholders such as Republican Mayor John Giles, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the business community, and the faith community, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“With the success of our efforts in Mesa, Arizona we feel we have a template that can be successful on a national level, bringing immediate relief to millions of Americans who live in fear of discrimination and have no legal recourse. We believe non-discrimination laws should and can protect both religious and LGBTQ rights. Many people of faith are also LGBTQ and many LGBTQ people are people of faith,” said Michael Soto, Executive Director of Equality Arizona and Coalition co-founder. 

“We are all God’s children, and we need to treat others, as we want to be treated ourselves. Religion is meant to include not exclude, and we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, without exception. We believe there is a path forward that can provide fair protections for all Americans regardless of who you are, who you love or what you believe,” said Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen, Executive Director of Parity.

“Equality and fairness are not red or blue issues – they’re American values. All hard-working people, including those who are LGBTQ, want to do their jobs and provide for their families. LGBTQ people want the same thing as everyone else -- the freedom to work hard, access basic services, and take care of themselves and their loved ones without fear of discrimination. It’s time to advance federal protections that guarantee these rights,” said Tyler Deaton, Senior Advisor of American Unity Fund.

The Equality and Fairness for All Coalition supports:

  • Protecting all Americans in employment, education, housing, credit, jury service and public accommodations, including members of the LGBTQ community.
  • Banning conversion therapy, protecting millions of LGBTQ Americans, from harm. This universally damaging practice has been condemned by every major medical association and many religious leaders.
  • Reducing the minimum number of employees needed for protections from fifteen (15) to zero (0), which would drastically expand the number of Americans protected against employment discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, color, creed, national origin, and religion.
  • Allowing religious institutions to continue to receive federal dollars for social services and education.