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H.R. 5 (116th): Equality Act

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About the bill

Should the 1964 law which outlawed race discrimination be updated to include LGBT individuals too?


Great strides have been made this decade for legal equality based on sexual orientation or gender identity, including permitting openly gay troops in the military and the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. However, both those gains came at the federal level.

28 states still allow discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity on the state level, including in such sectors as employment and housing.

States used to similarly allow other forms of discrimination, before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned any discrimination or segregation on the basis of four categories: race, color, religion, or national origin.

What the legislation does

The Equality Act would add sexual orientation and gender identity to …

Sponsor and status

David Cicilline

Sponsor. Representative for Rhode Island's 1st congressional district. Democrat.

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Last Updated: May 20, 2019
Length: 28 pages
Mar 13, 2019
116th Congress (2019–2021)
Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on May 17, 2019 but was never passed by the Senate.

Although this bill was not enacted, its provisions could have become law by being included in another bill. It is common for legislative text to be introduced concurrently in multiple bills (called companion bills), re-introduced in subsequent sessions of Congress in new bills, or added to larger bills (sometimes called omnibus bills).


240 Cosponsors (236 Democrats, 4 Republicans)


Position statements

What legislators are saying

Congressman Al Green Commemorates LGBTQ+ Pride Month
    — Rep. Al Green [D-TX9] (Co-sponsor) on Jun 27, 2020

Bonamici Statement on Supreme Court Ruling on Anti-LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination
    — Rep. Suzanne Bonamici [D-OR1] (Co-sponsor) on Jun 15, 2020

Following SCOTUS ruling on LGBTQ discrimination, Carper, Coons lead push to bring Equality Act to a vote
    — Sen. Christopher Coons [D-DE] on Jun 18, 2020

More statements at ProPublica Represent...

What stakeholders are saying

R Street Institute estimates H.R. 5 will add $57 million in new spending through 2030.


Mar 13, 2019

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

May 1, 2019
Ordered Reported

A committee has voted to issue a report to the full chamber recommending that the bill be considered further. Only about 1 in 4 bills are reported out of committee.

May 10, 2019
Reported by House Committee on the Judiciary

A committee issued a report on the bill, which often provides helpful explanatory background on the issue addressed by the bill and the bill's intentions.

May 17, 2019
Passed House (Senate next)

The bill was passed in a vote in the House. It goes to the Senate next.

H.R. 5 (116th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number H.R. 5. This is the one from the 116th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 116th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2019 to Jan 3, 2021. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“H.R. 5 — 116th Congress: Equality Act.” 2019. February 1, 2023 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.