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senate Bill S. 1006

Adding Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation to the List of Protected Classes

Argument in favor

The law needs to protect those who could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Adding them to the list of protected classes under the Civil Rights Act will give discrimination victims recourse.

Scott's Opinion
···
05/13/2017
A minority group which regularly faces discrimination and abuse should be considered a protected class. That's. The. Whole. Point. Of. A. Protected. Class.
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Leo's Opinion
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05/13/2017
Since bigots target people in these categories, they should be protected.
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Chuck 's Opinion
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05/13/2017
The argument that this bill would harm businesses by not allowing their religious rights not to serve LGBT folks is the same argument used to discriminate against any minority
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Argument opposed

States are already adopting laws to prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The federal government shouldn’t compel business owners to engage in activities that go against their religious beliefs.

Loraki's Opinion
···
05/13/2017
There they go again! The sponsor of this piece of garbage sounds like another Obama or Alinsky acolyte, IOW, a Marxist DemoCommie. Pandering, pigeonholing, and "protecting"'! It's a pathetic attempt to keep dividing Americans into various groups and pitting them against each other. Actually, what it accomplishes is to create resentment among all the people who AREN'T one of the groups lobbying for such demeaning, patronizing treatment. Why would we resent it??? Glad you asked! 😀 First of all, it's UNCONSTITUTIONAL! The Constitution says that "ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL'". Carving out special classes of Americans makes us UNEQUAL! As Countable member MJDalio said, "There should be only one protected class called American!!!! Everything else divides us as a people giving things and taking things away for no reason that is justified by our Constitution." Besides, we already have the Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction "the equal protection of the laws". And there's also the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If the DemoCommies are going to insist on their unAmerican policies, why do we never see them championing the rights of non-minorities?! It's plain to see that they only care about people who might possibly feel that they are being victimized! WELL, GUESS WHAT! I AM A WHITE CHRISTIAN CONSTITUTIONAL CONSERVATIVE WHO FEELS VICTIMIZED 😉 BY THE LEFT'S DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ME AND MY KIND! BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?! I DON'T WANT TO BE PATRONIZED, PIGEONHOLED, OR PROTECTED BY A BUNCH OF PSEUDO-PROGRESSIVE SOCIALISTS! SO YOU CAN TAKE THIS BILL AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR "ANTIFA"! Oh, and good opinion posted by Countable member "JTJ": "Discrimination, intolerance and bullying against anyone is wrong, and we already have laws that cover that. However the choice of bathrooms has nothing to do with identity. Bathrooms are about anatomy. If you have a penis, you use the men's room, if you have a vagina, you use the ladies room. Case closed. For you to force me to think otherwise, or to prosecute me for referring to you by your "birth gender", well that makes you the intolerant bully, not me." And ICYMI, here's another notable opinion from "libertyLOL": "Endless protected classes were first envisioned by Saul Alinsky in his Rules for Radicals. It's the easiest way to keep a population divided. A divided population is easier to rule. http://www.libertylol.com/libertyblog/saul-alinsky-and-his-rules-for-radicals "
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Mart's Opinion
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05/13/2017
There are NO protected classes, there are no classes, there are no races, there are TWO genders.
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Luke's Opinion
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05/13/2017
Has no one had a history class ever? There are already Civil Rights Acts that cover this.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedMay 2nd, 2017

What is Senate Bill S. 1006?

This bill would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, and federal jury service. It would also prohibit discrimination (through changes to existing civil rights laws) in “public accommodations” and federal funding on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

The definition of public accommodations under the Civil Right Act of 1964 would be expanded to cover nearly every entity that offers goods, services, or programs — including retailers, banks, and transportation or healthcare providers, among others. For example, public bathrooms count as a "public accommodation" — so it would be illegal to deny a person access to a public restroom based on their gender identity.

Sexual orientation and gender identity join the list of already protected classes including race, color, religion, sex, disability status and national origin. This applies to public and private sector entities with at least 15 employees, as well as labor organizations.

Existing religious exemption would remain in place, so religious entities could still hire individuals of a particular faith to do work related to religious activities. However, defendants could not use the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as a defense to alleged discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Dept. of Justice (DOJ) and the Attorney General would be authorized to initiate cases against state and local governments for discrimination that occurs in publicly owned facilities other than public schools and public colleges. Given that sexual orientation and gender identity would be added to the list of protected classes, the DOJ could also intervene in equal protection cases.

Impact

Those who could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity; public and private entities; the Dept. of Justice; and the Attorney General.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1006

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthThe lead sponsor of this legislation, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), believes that

“For far too long, the door of discrimination has been slammed shut on LGBTQ Americans. It's been slammed shut on equality, it's been slammed shut on opportunity, and this must end. It's time to have the Equality Act on the floor of the House and the floor of the Senate for a full debate.”

This legislation has the support of 45 cosponsors in the Senate, including 43 Democrats and two Independent senators who caucus with the Democrats.


Of Note: Proponents of this bill cite the 31 states without laws on the books preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. While that doesn’t make it legal to discriminate on those grounds in those states, it does mean that such incidents have to be resolved through the judicial system via other claims — by local governments, or the policies of the company in question.

The enactment of laws in Mississippi and North Carolina preventing trans people from using single-sex restrooms ignited a national debate about discrimination based on a person's gender identity. While similar proposals have been introduced in several other states, they have either stalled, been defeated, or vetoed.

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Ted Eytan)

AKA

Equality Act

Official Title

A bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and for other purposes.

    A minority group which regularly faces discrimination and abuse should be considered a protected class. That's. The. Whole. Point. Of. A. Protected. Class.
    Like (604)
    Follow
    Share
    There they go again! The sponsor of this piece of garbage sounds like another Obama or Alinsky acolyte, IOW, a Marxist DemoCommie. Pandering, pigeonholing, and "protecting"'! It's a pathetic attempt to keep dividing Americans into various groups and pitting them against each other. Actually, what it accomplishes is to create resentment among all the people who AREN'T one of the groups lobbying for such demeaning, patronizing treatment. Why would we resent it??? Glad you asked! 😀 First of all, it's UNCONSTITUTIONAL! The Constitution says that "ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL'". Carving out special classes of Americans makes us UNEQUAL! As Countable member MJDalio said, "There should be only one protected class called American!!!! Everything else divides us as a people giving things and taking things away for no reason that is justified by our Constitution." Besides, we already have the Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction "the equal protection of the laws". And there's also the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If the DemoCommies are going to insist on their unAmerican policies, why do we never see them championing the rights of non-minorities?! It's plain to see that they only care about people who might possibly feel that they are being victimized! WELL, GUESS WHAT! I AM A WHITE CHRISTIAN CONSTITUTIONAL CONSERVATIVE WHO FEELS VICTIMIZED 😉 BY THE LEFT'S DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ME AND MY KIND! BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?! I DON'T WANT TO BE PATRONIZED, PIGEONHOLED, OR PROTECTED BY A BUNCH OF PSEUDO-PROGRESSIVE SOCIALISTS! SO YOU CAN TAKE THIS BILL AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR "ANTIFA"! Oh, and good opinion posted by Countable member "JTJ": "Discrimination, intolerance and bullying against anyone is wrong, and we already have laws that cover that. However the choice of bathrooms has nothing to do with identity. Bathrooms are about anatomy. If you have a penis, you use the men's room, if you have a vagina, you use the ladies room. Case closed. For you to force me to think otherwise, or to prosecute me for referring to you by your "birth gender", well that makes you the intolerant bully, not me." And ICYMI, here's another notable opinion from "libertyLOL": "Endless protected classes were first envisioned by Saul Alinsky in his Rules for Radicals. It's the easiest way to keep a population divided. A divided population is easier to rule. http://www.libertylol.com/libertyblog/saul-alinsky-and-his-rules-for-radicals "
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    Since bigots target people in these categories, they should be protected.
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    Loraki, our resident constitutional scholar attributes the expression that "all men are created equal" to the Constitution rather than the Declaration of Independence. Just another text being misquoted by someone with a serious anger problem. The declaration of protected classes is necessary to support the equal protection clause and to prevent discrimination from angry white "pretending to be Christian" folk that want to use their selective reading of a religious text as a weapon. Interestingly, this is precisely what they accuse Islam of - trying to use a specific reading of a religious text as the one TRUE law. This type of behavior is precisely why some portions of the population feel the need to be protected from this kind of ignorant bigotry. So, yeah, it is a good thing that all human beings are afforded equal protection under the law and I think Wyden is on the right track. Loraki can then go back to contemplating "who would Jesus hate".
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    No brainer
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    The argument that this bill would harm businesses by not allowing their religious rights not to serve LGBT folks is the same argument used to discriminate against any minority
    Like (105)
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    There are NO protected classes, there are no classes, there are no races, there are TWO genders.
    Like (100)
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    Seriously? It's 2017 and people need to be told to be a decent human being to others? This is an absolute yes
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    People who fall into these categories are vulnerable. They need clear, enforceable protections.
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    Someone's gender identity or sexuality should not be a factor for firing or loosing housing. Gender and sexual minorities -and women- should NOT be treated as less than, period!
    Like (89)
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    I'm a queer individual in Kansas, where it's barely even safe to walk down the street holding the hand of my same-sex partner. It's also legal in this state for companies to discriminate/deny service to me just because of my sexual orientation. I did not make a choice to love who I love, but politicians have the choice to protect me from being endangered by people who don't understand that.
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    Has no one had a history class ever? There are already Civil Rights Acts that cover this.
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    As long as people are using these classifications as a reason to deny employment, service, the right to adopt, etc, then yes, these need to be legally protected.
    Like (67)
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    Absolutely provide rights/protections to LGBTQ community. They are citizens too. Because a minority of Christian denominations are against these people is not enough reason to deny them protections. If God doesn't like these people he will eventually deal with them. That is not our job. But discrimination against LGBTQ groups would bring us more in alignment with Russian policy and lack of human rights.
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    Discrimination, intolerance and bullying against anyone is wrong, and we already have laws that cover that. However the choice of bathrooms has nothing to do with identity. Bathrooms are about anatomy. If you have a penis, you use the men's room, if you have a vagina, you use the ladies room. Case closed. For you to force me to think otherwise, or to prosecute me for referring to you by your "birth gender", well that makes you the intolerant bully, not me.
    Like (53)
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    In essence, we are all human beings. Our race, overt gender, eventual gender identity, and sexual orientation are really an accident of birth. We are who we are; and, we are all human.
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    How do you decide this? Is it just going to end up where they will persecute anyone who says they are straight or when a man and woman kiss in public is that going to be considered offensive??? Because some people don't like opposite genders interacting. Is it going to lead to you have to employ everyone and anyone who wants to work for you that isn't straight because otherwise it's considered being discriminating??? They just want to start taking control of what we think and say by force.
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    You can't call for equality under the law AND for protected classes - they're mutually exclusive unless you believe that "all are equal, but some are more equal than others." Stop "protecting" people. It's bad business to discriminate over stupid things, whether race or sex or age or whatever. Just let that be the punishment. You'll find that it is more than adequate. Look at how badly United is getting punished in the market for treating customers poorly. They've lost BILLIONS of dollars in market share, and now not only United but all airlines are reforming their policies. The market punished them for bad business practices more quickly and more meaningfully than government ever could, and business practices in the entire industry are changing because of it. The government is objectively not needed for consumer protection. If a business owner discriminates, don't go there and patronize them. If enough people care about that, they'll get the message quickly. Plus it creates a market opportunity for someone to open up a competing business and serve those customers. Government is operating outside of its jurisdiction when it seeks to mandate how and with whom businesses must transact. Let them make their own PR mistakes and the market will sort it out.
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    It isn't something people choose...
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    This is absolutely necessary. No brainer. Discrimination is unacceptable.
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