The Equality Act


GLAAD has released an ad on broadcast and digital channels to show the personal consequences of the lack of protections for LGBTQ people against discrimination. It features a conversation many of us have had with our own families who love us, but who may not understand how our government has so far failed to protect us, and in some cases, actively tried to hurt us. 

GLAAD’s ongoing research through the Trump Accountability Project tracks the Trump administration’s anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and policy. Since taking office in 2017, the Trump administration has attacked LGBTQ people nearly 170 times, including his opposition to The Equality Act.

The administration has deployed multiple agencies to roll back protections for LGBTQ people, especially transgender people, where we need it most – in health care, housing, education and the military. It has repeatedly argued all the way to the Supreme Court against LGBTQ workers, and LGBTQ families, in a case to be heard this fall.

Despite the landmark Supreme Court decisions for marriage equality and the expansion of non-discrimation employment protections, discrimination against LGBTQ people is still an alarming reality. There are significant gaps in protections for millions of employees of smaller businesses and religious institutions. That’s on top of an ongoing lack of protections for all LGBTQ people in housing, health care, education and public accommodations across the country. 27 states have no nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans.

This means a landlord in Florida can refuse to rent to a same-sex couple. A college student in Tennessee can be kicked out of school for being transgender. A hospital in Maryland can refuse to treat a transgender man.

The Equality Act addresses these issues. It amends the Civil Rights Act to ensure comprehensive protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity nationwide, including in housing, education, public accommodations and access to credit. It is a quilt of coverage, not a small square provided by the Court’s landmark, but limited, decision. It allows a chance “for the full participation of LGBTQ people in society,” as the text of the Act says.

The Equality Act passed the House in May of 2019. It has not moved in the GOP-led Senate, nor even come up for a vote. President Trump has said he opposes it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to take any action on it.

Take action today. Call your Senator to demand a vote on The Equality Act.



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‘The Conversation’ will begin airing during ‘Fox & Friends’ in the New York and Washington, D.C. markets on August 24. The ad will continue to run throughout 2020 via social media ads. Given Fox News’ track record on spreading misinformation or completely rendering LGBTQ issues invisible, it’s critical in this instance that we reach Fox News viewers with what they need to know about what’s at stake for LGBTQ people at this critical moment in our history. GLAAD continues to join other organizations in speaking out against Fox News’ long history of misinformation, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, racism, misogyny, and Islamophobia on the air and behind-the-scenes. 

Just last week, Fox News @ Night hosted gay Trump campaign adviser and former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell who stated, unchecked: “five, six, seven years ago, the Republican Party really came to the point it started to define and even get good on gay and lesbian issues. We are now at the point the President of the United States is totally great.” During the segment, according to Media Matters, “Fox News anchor Shannon Bream did not correct Grenell’s lie, and she also enabled him to ignore a question she asked about the Trump-Pence administration’s anti-LGBTQ policies. Grenell responded, ‘The only way that they get to make progress on these issues is that they try to make all of the equality issues a partisan issue.’”

Because of media outlets like Fox News, many LGBTQ people and allies are not aware that anti-discrimination protections are still unavailable to LGBTQ people and that the Trump Administration is actively fighting against the Equality Act.


GLAAD has documented nearly 170 anti-LGBTQ attacks in policy and rhetoric from the Trump Administration since President Trump took office.

  1. Evicted for being gay: TRUE
    • The Fair Housing Act does not cover claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. (Source
    • Under Trump, the Department of Housing and Urban Development moved to strip the clause within HUD's Equal Access rule protecting gender identity when seeking shelter. (Source
  2. Turned away from the emergency room: TRUE
    • Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized a rule under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to prohibit discrimination in covered health programs or activities based on federal civil rights laws, but it does not include sexual orientation or gender identity. (Source)
    • Despite existing protections, LGBTQ people face disturbing rates of health care discrimination—from harassment and humiliation by providers to being turned away by hospitals, pharmacists, and doctors. (Source)
    • Although recently blocked by a judge from going into effect, the Department of Health & Human Services under Trump announced it was rolling back protections for transgender Americans seeking healthcare. The announcement happened in the middle of Pride Month, and four years to the day of the Pulse massacre that killed 49 people, most of whom were LGBTQ. (Source)
  3. Trump opposes the bill that would change that: TRUE
    • Donald Trump opposes the Equality Act (Source)
  4. He doesn’t want me to adopt: TRUE
    • Donald Trump’s solicitor general files amicus brief to SCOTUS to defend adoption agency that discriminates against LGBTQ parents (Source)       


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