Yesterday, on the eve of the introduction of the Equality Act, Ted Olson and David Boies, the bipartisan legal team that represented the plaintiffs in the Hollingsworth v. Perry case that challenged California’s Proposition 8, and was ultimately heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, came out in support of a comprehensive federal LGBT non-discrimination law.
“The introduction of the Equality Act marks a historic moment for our country,” said Ted Olson and David Boies. “The patchwork of protections in this country has provided a crazy quilt of laws, threatening the livelihood of many of the same couples who fought so long and so hard to have their marriages recognized. That’s why we support the idea of a comprehensive approach to non-discrimination protections that would embrace LGBT people as other groups who are protected by our civil rights laws. We urge Republicans and Democrats to once again come together to support this important legislation that provides the same protections to LGBT people as other Americans.”
Olson and Boies faced off against each other in the 2000 Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore. Olson later became solicitor general for President George W. Bush.
In new polling released today, likely voters support protecting LGBT people from workplace discrimination by an overwhelming 78 percent to 16 percent margin. These results are very consistent with past surveys; in 2011, voters supported this proposal by a 79 to 18 percent margin. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of likely Republican voters support protecting LGBT people from workplace discrimination, as do 90 percent of Democrats. Similarly, this legislation draws impressive majorities of support among college (84 percent) and non-college voters (73 percent), younger (85 percent) and older voters (75 percent), as well as observant Christians (70 percent).
In March, polling conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the Human Rights Campaign revealed that nearly two-thirds of LGBT Americans (63 percent) have faced discrimination in their lives, with LGBT people reporting workplace discrimination the most frequently experienced form of discrimination.
“No one in our community should be at risk of being fired, evicted from their home, or denied services because of who they are or whom they love,” said HRC President Chad Griffin on Tuesday, in response to reports that federal LGBT non-discrimination legislation would be introduced later this week. “There is an unacceptable patchwork of state-level protections for LGBT people, and more than half of LGBT Americans live in a state that lacks fully-inclusive non-discrimination laws. The time has come in this country for full, federal equality, and nothing less. A federal non-discrimination bill would create permanent and clear protections to ensure that all employees are hired, fired or promoted based on their performance. All LGBT Americans deserve a fair chance to earn a living and provide for their families.”