Today, UNITE HERE hospitality workers’ union leadership praised the introduction of the Equality Act in both the House and Senate, a historic sweeping legislation that would expand June 2020’s Supreme Court ruling that protects LGBTQ workers from job discrimination into other areas where LGBTQ people still face legal discrimination today.
UNITE HERE International Union President D. Taylor:
“The introduction of the Equality Act in the House and Senate this week is an example of the kind of leadership workers and families have been wanting to see from our national lawmakers for a while now. It is one reason why thousands of laid-off UNITE HERE hospitality workers—housekeepers, cooks, dishwashers—fought so hard to win back the White House in November and carried that fight into victory in the Georgia Senate runoff to take back the Senate for Democrats, too. Such sweeping, historic legislation will change the lives of so many LGBTQ people and families and is a real step towards achieving a fair and equal playing field for all working people.”
UNITE HERE Community and Political Coordinator and long-time labor and LGBTQ rights activist, Cleve Jones (Founder of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt):
“While last year’s June 2020 Supreme Court ruling was a critical victory, it only scratched the surface of what was still needed to be won as LGBTQ people continue to face legal discrimination. Now Congress is introducing historic legislation that takes us so much farther. And in this unprecedented moment, the stakes have never been higher. As we start to enter a post-COVID world, we must ensure that the road to recovery includes all—especially our most vulnerable and under attack. That starts with Congress joining us and our siblings across the labor movement in supporting the comprehensive protections for LGBTQ people in the Equality Act.
“For years, UNITE HERE has, through collective bargaining, fought for and won protections for LGBTQ workers on-the-job, including in the deep South in places such as Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, and other conservative jurisdictions where no legal protections had previously existed. Like the protections of a union contract, the historic legislation is thanks to all the workers and activists that have fought hard for years to ensure that their voices be heard.”