LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Human rights advocates in Palm Beach County remain hopeful that the Equality Act will pass the U.S. Senate in the coming days.
The legislation passed the House of Representatives Thursday by a vote of 224-206.
The Act amends the 1964 Civil Rights Act to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identification as protected characteristics.
The protections would extend to employment, housing, loan applications, education, public accommodations and other areas.
The Compass Community Center in Lake Worth Beach has been closely following the developments in Washington, D.C.
Executive Director Julie Seaver said Friday the law is long overdue and would ensure that every person is treated equally under the law.
"This act, Equality Act, will affect more than just LGBTQ people. It will improve the quality of life for women, for persons of colors and so many areas of 'other.' I think that is really the key," Seaver said.
Republicans broadly opposed the legislation.
Sixty votes are needed in the Senate to pass the act.
Similar legislation passed in 2019 but also failed to pass in the Senate.