WASHINGTON - In anticipation of the House Judiciary Committee’s markup of the Equality Act of 2019 (H.R.5) tomorrow, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the wider Reform Movement institutions:
“We welcome the House Judiciary Committee’s historic markup of the Equality Act. This bill is long overdue and builds on decades of civil rights legislation, adding much-needed explicit nondiscrimination protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal civil rights law. During tomorrow’s markup, we urge all committee members to vote to adopt the manager’s amendment and to oppose any amendments that will undermine the critical protections currently included in the Equality Act and the underlying civil rights laws.
The Reform Jewish Movement strongly believes that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, are created b’tzelem Elohim (in the image of God) and deserve equal treatment under the law. For too long, our LGBTQ congregants, neighbors, and community members have lived without these critical protections.
We call on the Judiciary Committee to report out a strong, clean bill and urge the full House to swiftly bring the Equality Act to the floor for a vote. It is past time for Congress to ensure that our laws explicitly afford LGBTQ people the same protections as other marginalized groups.”
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.