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A GOP Bill Would Change The Civil Rights Act To Let Small Businesses Discriminate LGBTQ Customers

It’s obvious that there remains strong biases and acts of discrimination against LGBTQ citizens in the United States. Lawmakers in Washington are continuing to try and find ways to address those issues, but it seems a new proposal from Republicans, attempting to find compromises on the issue, might be a non-starter for a number of reasons.

Earlier this year, the Equality Act, a bill designed to address discriminatory practices in housing, employment, customer service, and more, easily passed the Democratic-led House of Representatives.

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There appeared to be overwhelming support for the bill, too, with some polls finding as many as 70 percent of Americans supporting the move to protect this class of people, HRC reported. However, in spite of the mass support the bill has (as well as an endorsement from many big-name celebrities like singer Taylor Swift), the bill has stalled in the Republican-led Senate, where a vote has not been allowed to move forward on the matter.

To address clear discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, but also to back so-called religious rights of those who don’t agree that such protections should exist, a group of Republican lawmakers in the House have introduced a new bill that would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and other individuals…but with some noticeable caveats that will likely be non-starters for Democratic leaders.

“We realize there will be some people who are dissatisfied…at least we put something on the table that we agree on,” Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) said about the proposed bill, per a report from BuzzFeed News.

There would indeed be some positive aspects of the bill for the LGBTQ community, including banning discrimination in public places of accommodation, within housing and for banking, and in many workplaces across America.

However, the bill would allow small businesses with 15 employees or less to continue discriminating based on their religious morals, including refusing service to customers who are LGBTQ. The bill would also allow private adoption agencies the ability to receive federal funds in a roundabout way, through money allocated to parents by the federal government to pay these organizations for their services.

So far, there are zero co-sponsors for the bill from Democrats. The bill will also have difficulties in courting stalwart anti-LGBTQ Republican lawmakers, which means it’s likely not going anywhere in the House, anytime soon.