Impact and significance of new LGBTQ equality bill

Rep. Chris Pappas (D-New Hampshire), a cosponsor of the Equality Act and an openly gay member of Congress, discusses the passage of the milestone legislation in the House of Representatives.
4:51 | 05/17/19

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Transcript for Impact and significance of new LGBTQ equality bill
Let's start with that major moment for gay and lesbian Americans the House of Representatives today passing in sweeping fashion. A bill that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. And gender it's called the equality act. In what it would do was it would expand the 1964. Civil Rights Act which already protects these categories take a look. Race color religion sex national origin and it would go ahead and add in. Sexual orientation and gender seven Republicans joined all house Democrats today in voting for the bill. Just ahead of the historic vote we caught up with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Madam speaker big day for the equality act. Iraq. It's worked game you've overseen so much of this. Their patents consistently Meehan bill. And her black caucus which thankfully that's what difference it will this make for so many LG BT Americans it's it's instant. Natalie let them. It Wear them. But it often when there isn't that great expansion of freedom that country won't make it. Now the bill faces long odds in the Republican controlled senate where many. Are Republicans their save this would be restriction I'm religious liberty in this country. But one sponsor of the bill tells me that he's confident mines can be changed. And that this thing can pass. It's momentous and are reading. Children's elbows when it bought them. On this vote the a's are 236. The days are 173. It. Think many people turning excellence and quality isn't. On you know we're at the polls and in states where you can hire. And subject to some of the discrimination that we're talking about outlawing today. I don't you grow up to be seen questions. If you like side. Hands I think it's really remarkable. While I have things out. There's been millions of bills to keep American steel and protect my thoughts would add. And two BTQ Americans toward civil rights architecture. On which we. This particular group no differently than any other group unites states and we're asking for nothing more nothing less what every other American excellence. Rasmussen here Republican college hoops that some pretty scary things about legislation that just passed. Scheme one group of people do not their faith while trying to give another a leg up is still wrong if not equal. How do you confront those arguments here in the halls of congress these arguments on. Because they're peddle every time we tried to step forward so whether it's ending Don't Ask Don't Tell fighting for marriage equality. He seems sorts of arguments that looked to stoke fear of the unknown have been pushed forward and I think it's about time we knock them and treat. So it's a little disconcerting to hear some of the arguments for him. I don't think grounded in reality at all acting as we saw the First Amendment that guarantees. On you take it personally and then when you hear these things that are in these conversations in the jam or off the floor to you. Human comfortable do you feel like there's school discriminatory culture here in some pockets of homes I I think there's still some might sentence. He's seen here and countless well I was talking to one Republican supporting equality act. And he told me why don't you just go for something smaller just take employment discrimination for DP. And leave. Transgender people seem like there's a divide. But but the fact is we're talking about quality problem here and in the future individuals or people in all aspects of life how do you act. Advocates outside the congress but also people. Us here. Wage that fight what's the secret. Changing minds well today was a step in this was a bipartisan. At least seven. Republicans don't ask to be equality act sponsorship incentives also bipartisan. We look across the country 70% of Americans support the concept and. Insulting and too few Americans there's majority support equality act and eat sleep so this is about putting public pressure on edge on. I think you can respond columnist that would be huge recent ones on board but we need public pressure. Continues. Stores to gives you were asked. All right now on this fifteen. Your anniversary today that Massachusetts became. The first state in the nation to legalize same sex marriage the House of Representatives making. That mile senator thanks again to Chris Pappas of New Hampshire he is the first openly gay member of congress elected from the state of New Hampshire.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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