You know times are changing for the better when a bill called the Equality Act now has a shot at becoming law. The Equality Act passed in the House on Thursday, 224-206, with three Republicans joining Democrats on the right side of history. If this bill becomes law, civil rights laws will finally expand to protect people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity in critical areas such as employment and housing.
Until recently, two former guys named Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump made sure good bills died after passing in the House, as they did with the Equality Act in 2019. Later that year, Sen. Elizabeth Warren responded (to great applause) when asked in a CNN Town Hall audience what is needed to pass the Equality Act: “I’m just going to be blunt. We’ve got to have some more Democrats in the Senate.”
The Democrats have since regained control of the Senate, and Joe Biden, who pledged during his campaign that passing the Equality Act would be a top priority for the first 100 days of his presidency, now sits in the Oval Office. Unlike the case in 2019, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will bring this legislation to the Senate floor, as he wasted no time in announcing today after the bill passed.
Although it was expected that the Equality Act would pass again in the House, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene ignored this reality and decided to treat the whole thing as yet another opportunity to humiliate herself. For starters, Greene tried to stop a procedural debate over the bill yesterday. When her motion failed, she then showed her true colors (or lack thereof).
Rep. Marie Newman, who works across the hall from Greene, yesterday displayed a transgender pride flag to show support for both the Equality Act and her transgender daughter. Newman tweeted a video of it while pointing out that Greene called banning transgender discrimination “disgusting, immoral, and evil.”
Greene then tweeted a deranged video of herself posting a sign outside her office that declares, “There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE Trust the Science!” Rep. Adam Kinzinger, her far saner Republican colleague, joined the chorus of people slamming Greene’s behavior, tweeting it is “sad” and “I’m sorry this happened” while insisting that the “garbage must end.” Rep. Ted Lieu attacked Greene for her willful ignorance, tweeting a quote from Scientific American: “The science is clear and conclusive: sex is not binary, transgender people are real.”
Today’s bipartisan House vote for the Equality Act is another important step toward treating everyone in America with the dignity they deserve. It’s now up to the Senate to do its job in getting this landmark bill to President Biden for his signature. As Biden reminded us recently in a statement, “no one should ever face discrimination or live in fear because of who they are or whom they love.” This is Biden’s America now.