June 27, 2023

Rep. Watson Coleman Reintroduces Customer Non-Discrimination Act

Bill Would Add Sexual Orientation, Sex, and Gender Identity to the Prohibitions on Discrimination Covered by the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Washington, DC (June 27, 2023) - Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) reintroduced the Customer Non-Discrimination Act, legislation that ensures fair treatment for LGBTQ+ Americans in public spaces and commercial services open to the public. The bill, also included as a provision of the Equality Act, adds sexual orientation, sex, and gender identity to the prohibitions on discrimination covered by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“Most Americans, be they LGBTQ+ or straight, believe everyone should be treated with dignity and respect and we’ve come a long way in the fight for equality irrespective of what we look like or who we love," said Watson Coleman. "Yet, too many LGBTQ+ Americans still risk being fired, refused housing, or even denied healthcare just because of who they are. We need to stamp out this legalized discrimination. This bill would make it so that spaces like restaurants, banks, retail stores and hotels cannot refuse to serve LGBTQ+ people."

The Customer Non-Discrimination Act, first introduced by Watson Coleman in 2015, amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by adding sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity to shield LGBTQ+ people from discrimination like that experienced by the couple that sought a wedding cake in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The bill would also make updates to the public accommodations covered by the 1964 law to include retail stores, banks, legal services, healthcare providers and transportation services — ensuring that all these public facing entities remain open to everyone.

The Customer Non-Discrimination Act is cosponsored by Reps. Joyce Beatty (OH-03), André Carson (IN-07), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Jill Tokuda (HI-02), Nikema Williams (GA-05), and Troy Carter (LA-02). It is endorsed by the Congressional Equality Caucus.


Text of the Customer Non-Discrimination Act can be found here.