Thursday, May 30, 2019

Organization of equal opportunity and diversity professionals supports legislation that promotes equal opportunity for all regardless of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.  

For Immediate Release: March 8, 2019
Contact: Shirley J. Wilcher
Washington, DC, May 8, 2019 - The American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED), an organization of equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action professionals, has announced that it supports the passage of H.R. 5, the Equality Act.  This legislation prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation and for other purposes.[1]
Founded in 1974 as the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), AAAED is a national not-for-profit association of professionals working in the areas of equal opportunity, compliance and diversity. The longest-serving organization of individuals in the equal opportunity and diversity professions, AAAED has 45 years of leadership providing quality professional training to practitioners and promoting understanding and advocacy of affirmative action and other equal opportunity laws.
The Equality Act protects Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) Americans from discrimination due to their sexual orientation and gender identity by amending current civil rights laws that protect against discrimination based on race, sex, religion, and national origin. Further, it strengthens protections for women, children, and families. The Equality Act would specifically add gender identity and sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
H.R. 5, Section 2 specifically recounts the discrimination that members of the LGBTQ community routinely face that others do not:
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people commonly experience discrimination in securing access to public accommodations—including restaurants, senior centers, stores, places of or establishments that provide entertainment, health care facilities, shelters, government offices, youth service providers including adoption and foster care providers, and transportation. Forms of discrimination include the exclusion and denial of entry, unequal or unfair treatment, harassment, and violence. This discrimination prevents the full participation of LGBT people in society and disrupts the free flow of commerce.
Shirley J. Wilcher, Executive Director of the Association, stated, “No person deserves to be discriminated against due to their sexual orientation or gender identity and AAED fully supports any law to ensure that this does not happen” . This law would protect Americans at work, in housing, education, credit, and in jury service.”  The law would also cover places of public accommodations such as retail stores or taxi services.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and several courts have determined that sexual orientation and gender identity are protected as a form of sex discrimination. The Equality Act would include the LGBTQ community in this protected class. Only 22 states have laws prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ status in employment, making this law critical to providing ample and equal opportunities to members of the LGBTQ community.[2] “Polling shows that an overwhelming amount of the public supports preventing discrimination against LGBTQ people in employment,” said Wilcher. [3]  “Further, over 160 major businesses in America have signed on in support of passing the Equality Act,” she added”.[4]
The House Committee on the Judiciary voted 22-10 in favor of the Equality Act on May 1, 2019.  

[2] “LGBTQ Americans Aren’t Fully Protected From Discrimination in 30 States,” (2018). Freedom For All Americans. Available At:
[3] Greenberg, D., Beyer, E., Najle, M., Bola, O, and Jones, R. (2019). Americans Show Broad Support for the LGBT Nondiscrimination Protections. PRRI. Public Religion Research Institute. Available At:
[4] Peters, S, (2019). The Historic, Bipartisan Equality Act Reintroduced in Congress With Unprecedented Support. Human Rights Campaign. Available At:

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