House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference before the House votes on the Equality Act.Rod Lamkey/CNP/Zuma

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The US House of Representatives voted 224–206 Thursday afternoon to pass the Equality Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Three Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the bill, which passed the House in 2019 but died in the Republican-controlled Senate. The bill’s Senate passage still is not guaranteed, as it would need 60 votes to break a filibuster.

If passed, the Equality Act will amend civil rights laws to ensure protections for LGBTQ people in areas including housing, employment, and “public accommodations” such as retail stores. Proponents call it a necessary extension of the Civil Rights Act, while opponents have argued that the bill would infringe on religious rights, which were at issue in the case of a Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, and prevailed before the Supreme Court.

The bill’s passage in the House comes hours after Rep. Marie Newman (D-Ill.), who has a transgender child, placed a transgender pride flag outside her office, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) responded by posting a sign outside her own office across the hall, reading: “There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE. Trust The Science!”

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has said he would not support the bill, citing religious liberties, and other moderate Republicans have declined to say how they would vote. If Republicans mount a filibuster, 10 of them would have to break ranks for the bill to pass.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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