House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met reality show star Jonathan Van Ness to talk about the Equality Act, which is set to codify civil rights protection for the LGBTQ+ community, The Hill reported.
The Equality Act would be an extention of the Civil Rights Act which was passed in 1964 and the Fair Housing Act, banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identification in employment, housing, jury selection and public accommodations. The House passed the legislation in May, though it has not been brought up for a vote on the Senate floor.
“We have to pass the Equality Act @speakerpelosi said to me. I said, with Mitch McConnell how?? Speaker Pelosi said, (I’m paraphrasing here) the voters in states with Republican Senators MUST put pressure on their Senators to force McConnell to bring the #equalityact up to vote. The Equality Act is exactly the legislation that would protect LGBTQ people from the discrimination we would face if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Trump Administration and Justice Department petition to be able to allow employers to FIRE LGBTQ people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. If you consider yourself an ALLY and live in a state with a Republican Senator I IMPLORE you to call, email, and mail their office and ask them to VOTE on the Equality Act. @humanrightscampaign,” Van Ness said in his Instagram post.
The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court last month not to extend a sex discrimination ban to include sexual orientation. The Justice Department argued in an amicus brief that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not apply to sexual orientation.
“If you consider yourself an ALLY and live in a state with a Republican Senator I IMPLORE you to call, email, and mail their office and ask them to VOTE on the Equality Act,” Van Ness encouraged his followers on Thursday.
Pelosi also tweeted about the meeting, thanking the “Queer Eye” star for his efforts on the issue.
“Such a pleasure to see you again today, @jvn. Your courage & commitment to building a better, more accepting world for all is an inspiration. Thank you for lending your voice to the ongoing fight for the #EqualityAct,” Pelosi said in her tweet.
Van Ness also shared a video of himself strutting in the Capitol, sharing that he met with Pelosi and Rep. Robin Kelly to discuss “living with HIV” and “access to Prep,” a medication that can reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 92 percent in some people, according to the CDC.