Women’s Rights Organizations Join Forces to Urge Passage of the Equality Act

September 15. 2021

For Immediate Release
Sep 15, 2021

Media Contact
Nazirah Ahmad
[email protected]

Gender Justice is LGBTQ+ Justice

Dispelling myths that women’s groups are divided on Equality Act, 50+ organizations express unequivocal support

A coalition of more than 50 women’s rights and gender justice organizations today announced unequivocal support for the federal Equality Act (H.R. 5) with a statement of solidarity. The new statement demonstrates broad support and momentum for the Equality Act, even as legislative opponents make false claims that women’s rights groups are divided.

Gender justice legal nonprofit Equal Rights Advocates organized the statement to promote a national campaign to pass the Equality Act.

The Equality Act would end legal discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation by: 

  • Making gender discrimination illegal in employment, education, housing, jury service and credit;
  • Declaring that anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination is a form of sex discrimination and therefore illegal under sex discrimination laws;
  • Amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex and LGBTQ+ status in public accommodations and federal programs;
  • Expanding the definition of public accommodations under federal civil rights law to include retail stores, banks, transportation services, and health care services;
  • Establishing that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (a 1994 law aimed at protecting religious liberty) can’t be used to enable gender or anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination.

“Laws that make sure people are treated fairly at work, in school and in public places help ensure every person has opportunities to thrive,” said Noreen Farrell, Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates. “That’s why gender justice organizations nationwide support the comprehensive LGBTQ+ federal protections the Equality Act would provide.”

The Solidarity Statement reads as follows:

As women and girls continue to face discrimination and harassment that interferes with their ability to live safely and securely, and as states mount unprecedented attacks on women’s rights and the rights of transgender students, federal legislation protecting people of all genders could not be more important than it is right now. That is why we, the undersigned, express our unequivocal support for the Equality Act. 

Opponents of gender equality have attempted to distract from the true purpose of the Equality Act, sending up red herrings and perpetuating the false narrative that women’s rights groups are divided on whether we support this important legislation. So let us dispel this notion and be absolutely clear: we unequivocally support the Equality Act and its goals. Gender equality cannot and will not wait. Congress must pass the Equality Act and legally protect all individuals from discrimination based on sex.

Co-signing organizations:
Equal Rights Advocates
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
California Women’s Law Center
Center for American Progress
Center for WorkLife Law
Coalition of Labor Union Women, AFL-CIO
End Rape On Campus
Equality Federation
Equality Maine
Esperanza United (formerly Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network)
Feminist Majority
Gender Equality Law Center
Girls Inc.
Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights (GRR!)
Justice for Migrant Women
Justice in Aging
Know Your IX
KWH Law Center for Social Justice and Change
Legal Aid at Work
Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence
Maine Transgender Network
Maine Women’s Lobby
Methodist Federation for Social Action
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Center For Lesbian Rights
National Council of Jewish Women
National Employment Law Project
National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Women’s Law Center
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Oxfam America
Physicians for Reproductive Health
Public Justice
Stop Sexual Assault in Schools
The Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA)
The Axelrod Firm, PC
Time’s Up Now
United State of Women (USOW)
Women Employed
Women’s Fund of Rhode Island
Women’s Law Project
Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network
YWCA South Florida


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