Action #1 – Thank our legislators for supporting HR. 5 – the Equality Act!
We are so lucky! Please take a moment to thank all of our elected officials (Brownly, Carbajal, Feinstein and Harris) for being cosponsors of the Equality Act [H.R. 5/S. 788], a bill that would clarify existing civil rights legislation to specifically ban discrimination against our LGBTQ citizens in employment, housing, public accommodations, jury service, education, federal programs, adoption programs and credit. It would also provide additional protection for women and POC from common forms of discrimination. This measure has unprecedented support from nearly 70 percent of Americans, more than 280 members of Congress, 165 major businesses and 288 statewide and national organizations. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has made passing the Equality Act a top priority for the new Congress, and it’s in the House today.
Action #2 – Petition for all people of faith to endorse equality for all.
We already fought this fight, before we were even America. The earliest settlers who came due to religious persecution immediately used their new freedoms to set up their own church-based governments. Minorities such as Baptists and Methodists, who were taxed to support these governments’ Anglican and Congregational churches, were particularly motivated to press for change.
The Baptists were bad-asses back then: Roger Williams, founder of the First Baptist Church in America and the state of Rhode Island, was the first advocate of what became our most radical and profound gift to the world… the separation of church and state. He believed that mixing church and state corrupted the church into mere politics, and that enforced religion was worse than none at all. In 1644, he wrote: “Enforced uniformity confounds civil and religious liberty and denies the principles of Christianity and civility. No man shall be required to worship or maintain a worship against his will.”
And this guy: John Leland, a Baptist minister and abolitionist, said in “The notion of a Christian commonwealth should be exploded forever…Government should protect every man in thinking and speaking freely, and see that one does not abuse another. The liberty I contend for is more than toleration. The very idea of toleration is despicable; it supposes that some have a pre-eminence above the rest to grant indulgence, whereas all should be equally free, Jews, Turks, Pagans and Christians.”
The tradition continues here: The Faith in Public Life petition states: “Our faith traditions teach us that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, straight, cisgender, and queer people are all created with sacred dignity and worth…As people of faith, we believe it is possible to both protect LGBTQ people from unjust discrimination and uphold the freedom of religion. That freedom is one of our nation’s most fundamental values, which is why it is protected in the Constitution and remains protected under the Equality Act. As people of faith, we rely on this freedom every day to hold the beliefs we choose and to practice our faiths free from discrimination. It does not give us the right to harm or discriminate against others or impose our religious beliefs on others. We value the freedom of religion and the freedom from discrimination, and we urge Congress to protect both by passing the Equality Act.”
Action #3 – Spread your support for the Equality Act on all your social media sites. This is a battle to the top.
Donald Trump, human hard-right weathervane, says he plans to veto this bill.
“By opposing this common-sense civil rights legislation, Donald Trump is ensuring that LGBTQ people remain at risk of being fired or denied housing in a majority of states. The LGBTQ community, and all Americans for that matter, deserve a president with the courage and decency to sign this bill into law, and we will continue the urgent work to pass the Equality Act and replace Donald Trump with a pro-equality president who will sign it into law.”
His administration has alread rolled back protections for trans students, implemented a ban on trans people in the military, and issued an order allowing religiously affiliated health care providers to discriminate against LGBTQ patients, among other discriminatory acts. Trump has also come out about being OK with businesses discriminating against LGBTQ people.
Trump’s Timeline of Hate here.