Pete Buttigieg has once again called on federal lawmakers to pass the Equality Act.
Speaking at one of the back-to-back town halls CNN organized at the South by Southwest festival in Austin on Sunday, the South Bend, Indiana mayor-turned-Democratic presidential hopeful reaffirmed his support for the Equality Act, which, if passed by Congress and signed into law, would extend existing federal nondiscrimination protections for women and people of color to LGBTQ+ people, as well. He also spoke out against what he calls "the war on trans Americans" that terrorizes trans children, even in their own schools.
"For a transgender teen to get the signal from the White House that the highest officials in the land can't tell the difference between her and a predator and make it harder for her to go to the bathroom shows you just how out of whack the climate is in our country right now," Buttigieg said, per The Hill.
"We've got to end the war on trans Americans and we need a federal Equality Act that would say that you cannot be fired just because of who you are or just because you love," he continued.
The Equality Act, first introduced by Rhode Island congressman David N. Cicilline in 2017, will be reintroduced into both houses of Congress on Wednesday. Advocates are "confident" that it will pass the House of Representatives by end of year, though they believe that it won't become law until we have a Democratic majority in the Senate and a Democratic president in the White House.
In an Out profile earlier this year, Buttigieg said that he would sign the Equality Act if he gets elected in 2020. He also said that he would be "hard pressed" to sign it if it dropped protections for trans people even due to a bipartisan compromise.