Members of the LGBTQ community still aren't protected from discrimination under federal law. But in an important move forward, the Equality Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate in March 2019. The bill passed the House in May and awaits approval by the Senate. Now, during Pride month, Tinder's #RightToLove feature encourages people to contact their senators in support of the Equality Act.
In 30 states, members of the LGBTQ community can legally be refused housing, employment, transportation, federal grants, medical treatment, bank loans, marriage licenses, and admission to college. The passage of the Equality Act would prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity under federal law.
"Discrimination in any form violates the fundamental values that drive Tinder. We believe everyone should have equal rights, and by calling on our millions of users to show their support and take action, we hope to make real change for the LGBTQ+ community," Elie Seidman, CEO of Tinder, said in a statement.
Tinder's #RightToLove campaign, which includes a PRIDE Slide in New York City that will donate $10 from every trip down the slide to the Human Rights Campaign in support of the Equality Act, is a call to action to ensure everyone's rights are protected under the law.
"We believe everyone has the right to live how they want to live and love who they want to love. Imagine if holding hands in public, going to your favorite local bar, getting a job, or leasing an apartment was denied to you because of your sexual orientation," Tinder said on its #RightToLove campaign page.
"It’s easy to forget that the things we take for granted as rights are not certainties, nor are they permanent. Until we live in a world where sexual orientation is not a crime, where all relationships are recognized and respected, and where all genders are treated as equal — we must act."
Showing your support for the Equality Act through Tinder is easy. Simply open your app and swipe as you normally would. Every so often, one of your potential matches will be the #RightToLove PSA — and if you swipe right, you'll be taken to the Human Rights Campaign's online toolkit where you can send an email, or a direct message on Facebook, to your senator in less than 30 seconds (I just did it, and it was super fast and easy). Even if the Equality Act doesn't affect you, chances are that it will provide important protection against discrimination for someone you know and love.
The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law noted that 4.1 million U.S. workers live in states that allow employment discrimination, and more than 2 million students live in states that allow discrimination at school, based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Almost 7 million members of the LGBTQ community lives in states that allow discrimination in public accommodations. An estimated 5.6 million LGBTQ adults can be legally denied housing, and 8 million can be denied credit.
"The Equality Act would make crystal clear that discrimination against LGBT people is prohibited under federal law and would help to remedy the widespread harassment and discrimination that LGBT people experience at work, school, and when trying to get basic services and goods," Jocelyn Samuels, executive director of the Williams Institute said in a statement.
Take a minute to show your support for the Equality Act to help provide federal protection for the LGBTQ community, and let your senator know that everyone has the #RightToLove.