GOP Sen. Collins signs onto law to extend LGBT protections

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — GOP Sen. Susan Collins is signing on as sponsor of a comprehensive nondiscrimination bill, the only Senate Republican to back the LGBT rights movement’s top legislative priority.

Collins said she’s worked throughout her career to end discrimination and that “all Americans deserve a fair opportunity to pursue the American dream.”

The Equality Act of 2019, introduced Wednesday, would extend protections based on sexual orientation to employment, housing, public accommodations and public services. Many states, including Maine, already have adopted such protections.

In the Senate, Collins is the lead GOP sponsor of the bill. The lead Democratic sponsors are Oregon’s Jeff Merkley, Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin and New Jersey’s Cory Booker.

In the House, only one Republican, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, had announced plans to be a sponsor.

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