Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, issued the following statement in support of the Equality Act (H.R. 5):
“Today, despite our country’s recent strides toward equality, LGBTQ people are still vulnerable to discrimination that affects their safety, families, livelihood and daily experiences. This is true for two main reasons: the patchwork of current laws doesn’t provide adequate protections, and where such protections do exist, opponents of equality have too often succeeded in claiming a right to discriminate in the name of ‘religious freedom.’
“The Equality Act provides critical and comprehensive protections for LGBTQ people, while simultaneously ensuring that religious freedom cannot be misused to create loopholes that would ultimately undermine these protections. In doing so, it sets a strong precedent that would put a stop to the Religious Right’s weaponization of religious freedom to advance their regressive political agenda.
“The Equality Act establishes long overdue equal protection under the law for LGBTQ people. AU is proud to join the broad coalition of national and state organizations, faith leaders, businesses and members of Congress that is pushing this landmark legislation forward in an effort to ensure freedom and equality for all.”
Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.