Pass the Equality Act today, protect Iowans and Americans alike.

AL MAIER, Opinion Columnist

The United States House of Representatives has passed the Equality Act to prevent the discrimination of LGBTQ+ people in the work place or any form of public service. With a vote of 224 to 206, now no employers can discriminate against anyone based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. Originally opposed by the Republicans, the Democratic chamber unanimously passed this act last Thursday.

This is wonderful news for everyone in this strong community especially now that far more people are able to express themselves. Just under six percent of Americans openly identify as part of the community and now they are protected from discrimination. Now, as being a member of this community is no longer valid grounds for being fired, there is governmental protection in place. Most of the Republicans viewed this as something that should not pass on religious grounds, that reminds me of the case in which a gay couple commissioned a baker in Colorado to bake them a cake for their wedding and the shop owner refused to bake them a cake on the grounds that it did not conform with his religion. This case ended up going all the way to the Supreme Court and the man who owned the cake shop, unfortunately, won that case against the men. This was quite the outrage back in 2016, but time has passed and now everyone should be able to purchase a cake for their wedding no matter what a shop owner might say or believe in.

Now, there is still the fact that this bill has to go through the Senate and receive a majority vote of sixty or more which may prove difficult. Most of the Republicans will not vote due to the aforementioned point of religion. Also, fifty of the one hundred seats that are currently occupied by Republicans means that there is contention for getting this bill up and running fully. Even Senator Mitt Romney has come forward with a statement explaining how he will also not be voting in favor of the Equality Act, but we need to hold onto hope. Senators Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst have not spoken out on the issue of voting yes or no for this. If we can get this bill passed and through the Senate, it will be a huge win for the LGBTQ+ Community as a whole.