President Joe Biden's promise for a law that guarantees LGBTQ Americans protection from discrimination has stalled in the Senate.
The Equality Act seeks to amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. The law currently protects against discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin.
The proposal applies to employment, education, housing, credit, jury service and programs that receive federal funding and public accommodations (such as retail stores).
The House passed the proposal in February 2021 with the support of 221 Democrats and three Republicans. In the Senate, the bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee in February 2021 but never got a vote.
The House and Senate passed legislation in the final weeks of 2022 that recognizes same-sex marriage. The Respect for Marriage Act replaces provisions in federal law that define marriage as between a man and a woman and recognizes any marriage between two individuals that is valid under state law.
The marriage bill passed amid fears that the U.S. Supreme Court could seek to nullify same-sex marriage. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his June concurrence in the case overturning Roe v. Wade that future cases should reconsider the court's precedents, including the 2015 case Obergefell v. Hodges that legalized same-sex marriage.
Biden praised the Respect for Marriage Act. But the more expansive Equality Act legislation has languished. Similar versions of the bill also failed to pass previous Congresses.
David Stacy, the government affairs director for the Human Rights Campaign, said public support for LGBTQ rights continues to rise. "The bipartisan support for the Respect for Marriage Act is yet another sign that there's an increasing appetite for enshrining protections for LGBTQ people in the law," he said.
But so far, we find no signs that the Senate will take up the legislation.
We rate this promise Stalled.
RELATED: What the Equality Act debate gets wrong about gender, sex
RELATED: All of our fact-checks related to LGBTQ issues