House set to approve sweeping bill to expand gay rights

Democrats in the House are poised to approve sweeping anti-discrimination legislation that would extend civil rights protections to LGBT people by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The protections would extend to employment, housing, loan applications, education, public accommodations and other areas.

Dubbed the Equality Act, the bill is a top priority of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said it will bring the nation “closer to equal liberty and justice for all.”

Sexual orientation and gender identity “deserve full civil rights protections - in the workplace and in every place, education, housing, credit, jury service, public accommodations,” Pelosi said.

A vote on the bill is scheduled for Friday.

The legislation’s chief sponsor, Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., said it affirms fairness and equality as core American values “and ensures members of the LGBTQ community can live their lives free from the fear of legal discrimination of any kind.”

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