On Monday, the Human Rights Campaign launched a public awareness and advertising campaign featuring a series of celebrities and other prominent figures who have voiced support for the Equality Act, a bill to expand LGBTQ rights.
The campaign, titled “Americans for the Equality Act,” has been filmed by award-winning directors Dustin Lance Black and Paris Barclay.
In the coming weeks, the campaign will roll out additional videos as part of the campaign, featuring spots from Black, Barclay and his husband, Adam Rippon, Blossom Brown, Charlie and Max Carver, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Lynch, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Karamo Brown, Marcia Gay Harden, and Nyle DiMarco, as well as other actors, social media influencers, musicians, and professional athletes.
The kickoff video, featuring actress and LGBTQ advocate Sally Field and her gay son, Sam Greisman, is the first of many that will outline reasons for why it’s important for members of Congress to pass the landmark legislation.
The campaign will continue as the Equality Act moves through the regular committee process in Congress, in the hope that everyday Americans who follow these celebrities will take their own action by calling their members of Congress and expressing their support for the bill.
The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide protections for LGBTQ Americans in employment, housing, education, credit, public accommodations, and access to federal funds. Currently, an estimated 50% of LGBTQ Americans live in the 30 states without statewide LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination protections.
“This is an exceptionally important effort, and I’m so proud to have had the opportunity to both direct this series and participate with my family,” Barclay said in a statement. “So much of the progress of the LGBTQ movement has hinged on our ability to tell our stories and move people — and that’s the same spirit with which we’ve approached this compelling project.”
“Every American deserves a fair shot at a job to support themselves and their family, and the security of a roof over their head,” Black added in a statement. “These are key ingredients in what we’ve long cherished as our ‘American Dream.’ But until the Equality Act is signed into law, this dream may not be a reality for far too many Americans in many areas of our wild and wonderful country. I believe we must all share our personal stories and struggles with our fellow Americans in order to help this great dream become a reality for more of our loved ones, coworkers, and neighbors.”
Currently, recent polling suggests that nearly 7 in 10 Americans theoretically support legislation that would prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people — including majorities of people in every single state and majorities of Republicans, independents, and Democrats.
“The advocates and artists featured in HRC’s ‘Americans for the Equality Act’ video series amplify the chorus of voices urging Congress to pass the Equality Act,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “The harsh reality is that LGBTQ Americans still face real and persistent discrimination in their everyday lives, and Congress must pass the Equality Act to protect them.
“We’re grateful for these incredible champions for using their voices and platforms to help ensure every person is treated equally under the law, no matter who they are or who they love.”
See the “Americans for the Equality Act” launch video below: