The nation’s largest LGBT advocacy group on Thursday announced a new push for a federal anti-discrimination law, naming 55 corporate partners that have signed on as allies.
The Human Rights Campaign has been lobbying lawmakers hard on the Equality Act, a bill that would be a de factor Civil Rights Act for LGBT Americans. The group previously had announced a roster of partners such as Facebook and Google, but Thursday’s reveal was a fresh sign that public opinion on LGBT rights has shifted rapidly.
“These business leaders are showing true leadership and fighting to end a shameful status quo that leaves LGBT people at risk in a majority of states for being denied services or fired because of who they are or who they love,” Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “We’re proud of all these corporate leaders stepping forward to say that all Americans, including LGBT people, should be able to live free from fear of discrimination and have a fair chance to earn a living.”
Officially branded as the Business Coalition for the Equality Act, the group was set to include Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott hotels; tech leaders IBM, Intel and Microsoft; and retail companies such as Nike, Apple and Amazon. Combined, the companies have a combined $1.8 trillion in revenue and employ almost 4 million workers.
Representatives from those corporations and activists were set to visit Capitol Hill on Thursday to lobby lawmakers to consider the Equality Act. The Human Rights Campaign said they had scheduled meetings on Thursday with 151 of the 525 members of Congress.
In 32 states, LGBT residents have little or not protections in housing, employments and service. While the Supreme Court last year ruled that gays and lesbians can legally marry, it also left them vulnerable to discrimination as newlyweds.
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