The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) supports the Equality Act, which would amend civil rights statutes to extend non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Americans. Introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and in the Senate by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), the Equality Act would explicitly bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity across key areas of American life, like housing, employment, education, and jury service.
Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel at LDF, issued the following statement:
“We are proud to stand in support of this important piece of legislation. At the heart of our civil rights statutes is the clear principle that every American is entitled to be protected from discrimination based on who they are. This expansion of the protection in our bedrock civil rights statutes to members of the LGBTQ community is long overdue. As Congress prepares to advance the Equality Act, we fully expect that they will guard against any efforts to weaken or diminish existing provisions of our civil rights laws. Our nation is facing relentless assaults on rights that were once thought to be incontrovertible. It is critical that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the fight to ensure that every American enjoys the equal protection of laws guaranteed in the 14th Amendment to our Constitution.”
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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.