As the new year begins, Democrats officially take back the majority in the United States House of Representatives. As part of their ascension, they have introduced a new rule addressing LGBTI employment discrimination in the chamber.
House-controlling Democrats introduced a package when the 116th session of Congress met for the first time on Thursday (3 January).
This package included rules to govern the House for the next two years.
One of the new rules bans LGBTI discrimination against staffers and people seeking jobs within the House.
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), an openly LGBTI member of the House, pushed the package.
‘Government at its best works for the benefit of all Americans, not just the powerful and privileged,’ he said in a statement.
‘Protecting the rights of LGBT employees is just the right thing to do.’
Congress is under the surveillance of federal law, which still does not explicitly protect LGBTI people from discrimination. Numerous judges have interpreted the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity, though it’s still not explicitly federal law.
David Stacy, the government affairs director of the Human Rights Campaign, also praised the new rule.
‘This action to protect LGBTQ congressional employees from discrimination is the result of millions of Equality Voters going to the polls in November to ensure their voices were heard and demanding a Congress that looks like America,’ he said, referring to the midterm elections, which put Democrats back in control of the House.
Other new rules include banning members serving on corporate boards and requiring members to take ethics training every year.