LGBTQ advocates cheer historic victory after US House passes equality act

"This vote is a monumental step forward in the fight for true, lived equality for LGBTQ people."

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Image credit: Susan Melkisethian/flickr/cc

This is a breaking story and may be updated.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the Equality Act—a historic development that drew cheers from LGBTQ advocates.

“This vote is a monumental step forward in the fight for true, lived equality for LGBTQ people,” said Ronald Newman, national political director at the ACLU, in a statement.

Human Rights Campaign celebrated the vote on Twitter:

The landmark measure, HR 5, passed in a 236-173 vote.

As Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.) summed up in a Twitter thread, the bill “amends existing civil rights laws to provide protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in key areas of public life: employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs and jury service.”

It now heads to the Senate. “We have not come this far to only come this far,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and NCTE Action Fund.

“I hope that Senator McConnell will bring this bill to floor as soon as possible,” saidRep. David Cicilline, who introduced the bill in March. “If he chooses not to do so, his constituents will have a chance to hold him accountable in just 18 months.”