Those of us who live in Maine may not be aware that other states do not offer Maine’s protection against discrimination in employment, education, credit, jury service, housing and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. That is why it is important for Sens. Collins and King to support the Equality Act now awaiting a vote in the Senate. This comprehensive civil rights legislation would prohibit discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community and fill critical gaps in federal anti-discrimination laws for all Americans.
Imagine having to choose the college to attend, the employment opportunity to accept or the retirement community to join based on whether or not that state provided protection from discrimination. Imagine living somewhere where you could be fired from your job the day after your legal same-sex wedding. Imagine having to go “back into the closet” at the end of life to live in a life-care community that does not allow LGBT residents.
We are fortunate the battles against discrimination have been fought in Maine; now we need to ensure these hard-won rights are available everywhere in the U.S. I hope our senators support the Equality Act for all the nation.