“It is long past time for Congress to ensure that all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, know that they are valued members of our society,” Congressman Andre Carson stated in his announcement of the new resolution.
Members of the LGBT community “deserve to live their lives like any other American, free from intolerance because of who they are,” Carson noted.
Such individuals, he added, have no federal protection from discrimination in areas of employment, education and housing under present US laws.
Carson, whose home state of Indiana recently passed a controversial religious freedom legislation that allowed businesses to deny service to individuals based on sexual identity, said the law was an attempt “to institutionalize discrimination.”
Congressman David Cicilline explained that the Monday resolution will be followed up in the coming months with federal legislation to protect the civil rights of LGBT individuals in the United States.
Cicilline also stated he is hopeful the resolution and future legislation will receive support from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
According to recent polls, 70 percent of likely US voters support comprehensive civil rights legislation for the LGBT community, Cicilline noted.
Currently numerous states are permitted to discriminate against individuals based on their sexual identity. In 32 states, an individual can be fired from a job or denied the equal ability to rent a home for being LGBT.
Currently, LGBT anti-discrimination laws are handled on a state by state basis, with no overarching federal legislation protecting those individuals civil rights.