Press Releases

House Judiciary Committee Holds Historic First Hearing on the Equality Act

Landmark Civil Rights Bill Would Expand Protections to Include the LGBTQ Community

Washington, DC, April 2, 2019

Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) held the first ever hearing on H.R. 5, the Equality Act, historic civil rights legislation that would explicitly prohibit discrimination against the LGBTQ community and strengthen non-discrimination protections for women and others.

Chairman Nadler released the following statement as the hearing was underway:

"I am deeply grateful to our witnesses today for sharing their stories and expertise. The discrimination and hardship faced by the LGBT community are heartbreaking, immoral, and require action. At the heart of the Equality Act are questions much broader than the individual provisions of the bill – who do we want to be as a country, and what is our willingness to take action to ensure that everyone, including the LGBT individuals, are able to fully participate in the American way of life.

"It is time for us to continue our march towards justice and uphold our long-held belief that we cannot be tolerant of intolerance that is designed to demean and to exclude communities. I am proud to co-sponsor the Equality Act and call this hearing today."

 Watch Chairman Nadler's full opening statement in support of H.R. 5, the Equality Act, here

 At the hearing, Chairman Nadler also spoke directly to the LGBT community, saying:

"Before I end, I want to take a moment to directly address many of those watching today’s hearing, who are undoubtedly about to hear their humanity and their right to exist questioned.  To the transgender and gender non-conforming youth, teens, and adults who are about to have their right to participate in sports and be themselves in school, work and in their daily lives challenged; to the same-sex couples who are about to hear suggestions that they just take their business elsewhere, that they adopt children elsewhere, that they exist—elsewhere:

"We see you.  We support you.  And we believe in you.  If you are feeling unsafe, afraid, or at risk, please reach out for help. You are worth fighting for, and we are here to fight alongside you, which is why we will be passing this bill."