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Memphis LGBTQ+ community member to meet with lawmakers on Equality Act

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 6:00 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WMC) - LGBTQ+ community members are in Washington, D.C. for a meeting with a Congressional delegation about the Equality Act.

One of those members is a Memphis resident who says while there’s more attention and support for their community, LGBTQ+ folks are still not awarded the same federal protections as others.

Robert Williams II works here at Playhouse on the Square.

Except they are not at work Thursday as they travel to D.C. to tell their story in front of a Congressional delegation with representatives from all 50 states.

Williams identifies as non-binary and trans using they/them pronouns.

They say they were invited by the group Equality and Fairness for all Americans to be one of four Tennessee residents to join LGBTQ+ community members from all 50 states to meet with the delegation.

The goal of the trip is to share their story with the delegation and how it connects with the need for federal protections for LGBTQ people.

In particular, the Equality Act would prohibit discrimination against a person based on sexual or gender identity in settings such as the workplace, housing, education and many more.

“We’ve existed for a long time we just have a mainstream scope on us now,” said Williams. “We are not a passing trend. We’re not seeking to come out of the woodworks. We want to affirm ourselves in these spaces and want to be granted the same civil rights that everyone deserves and has.”

The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act with bipartisan support twice but the Senate has not.

If passed it would be an extension of the Civil Rights Act.

Freedom and Equality for all believe this is the final stretch to get the law passed by this Congress as summer break starts in July then all attention will be on the Midterm Elections and Congress membership could be shaken up.

Action News 5 reached out to Tennessee Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty on how they would vote on this bill.

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