The LGBT Equality Act began life in 1974. It’s still waiting to be passed.

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04/12/2019

When the news broke that Rep. Bella Abzug had introduced a bill to protect lesbian and gay people from discrimination to Congress, David Mixner cut out the article and hid it the top drawer of his dresser. The year was 1974. Mixner, later an adviser to then-President Bill Clinton, wasn’t yet out as gay. “Most of us hated ourselves and didn’t think we deserved equality,” the nationally renowned activist and author remembers. “That was a symbol of great hope to have someone in the United States [Congress] say these people deserve equality.” The Equality Act of 1974, which never moved out of committee, changed Mixner’s life. “Two years later, I came out in good part because I thought they were people who believed we will normal and OK and that we deserve protection,” he said. The original bill stated all people should be free from discrimination “regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation or national origin.”

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