October 26, 2021

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

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 in 2020, adds sexual orientation, sex, and gender identity to the prohibitions on discrimination covered by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“We’ve come a long way in the fight for equality irrespective of what we look like or who we love, especially in states like New Jersey. But too many LGBTQ Americans still risk being fired, refused housing, or even denied healthcare just because of who they are,” said Watson Coleman. “This bill would prevent that, making it so that spaces like restaurants, banks, retail stores and hotels cannot refuse to serve LGBTQ people.”

“The Customer Non-Discrimination Act is an important step in providing fair treatment for LGBTQ+ Americans in every public space across the country,” said Maloney. “Too many LGBTQ+ people are at risk of being fired, refused housing, or denied healthcare simply because of who they love or how they express their gender. Restaurants, hotels, stores, and other public spaces and commercial services should NOT be able to refuse service due to a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. I want to thank Congresswoman Watson Coleman for leading the charge on this important issue, so that all LGBTQ+ Americans can be treated fairly in public spaces.”

“I join Rep. Watson Coleman on this important legislation to prevent restaurants, banks, retail stores, and hotels from refusing to serve LGBTQ+ Americans,” McCollum said. “Our LGBTQ+ neighbors continue to face discrimination, and we need to establish protections to ensure fairness and equality for all.”

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. Alma Adams (NC-12), Jake Auchincloss (MA-04), Karen Bass (CA-37), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Julia Brownley, (CA-26), André Carson (IN-07), Mat Cartwright (PA-08), David Cicilline (RI-01), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Steven Cohen (TN-09), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Val Demings (FL-10), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Betty McCollum (MN-04), James McGovern (MA-02), Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Frank Pallone (NJ-06), Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Scott Peters (CA-52), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Janice Schakowsky (IL-09), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Mark Takano (CA-41), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), and Paul Tonko (NY-20).


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