Will County members of Congress vote to codify LGBTQ legal protections

Potential landmark bill will need approval from Senate to become law

Democratic members of Congress representing the Will County area backed a bill aiming to provide protections for LGBTQ individuals.

The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, which would explicitly ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, education and other aspects of daily life.

Rep. Marie Newman, D-La Grange, whose daughter is transgender, has spoken out in support of the legislation.

“Americans like my daughter deserve every right to be legally protected from discrimination, and with the passage of this legislation, we are one step closer to that reality,” Newman said in a statement.

Newman got into a back-and-forth with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, after she put up a transgender rights flag in the hall between their offices.

“The Equality Act reaffirms that freedom from discrimination is a fundamental civil right that belongs to every American, and that no American should ever lose their job, their home, or be denied access to essential services simply because of who they are or whom they love,” Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, said in a statement.

Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, argued in a statement that every American “deserves to live free from fear of discrimination.”

“We will not have full equality in this country until every LGBTQ+ person has that freedom,” she said. “That’s why it’s long past time for the Equality Act to become law.”

The Senate will have to pass the legislation for it to become law.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.