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House Republicans blocked a vote on the Equality Act Wednesday. The legislation aimed to protect LGBT from discrimination was brought forward during a meeting of the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee.

Rep Jared Polis (D-CO), the most senior openly gay member of the House of Representatives, proposed the Equality Act as an amendment during a markup of the Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act. The amendment was blocked by a voice vote of the panel upon the objection of Rep David Roe (R-TN) who said the Equality Act is not germane to the main bill. Chairman John Kline (R-MN) agreed and ruled in favor of Roe.

HRC notes that while the Equality Act is unrelated to the bill in mark up, Democrats insisted that the Committee increase focus on non-discrimination, labor rights and paycheck fairness.

"The committee's stated goals in moving the so-called 'Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act' were to grow our economy and create jobs," Polis said in a statement to the Washington Blade. "Unfortunately, that bill wouldn't do either of those things, so my amendment attempted to substitute it for one that would. Discrimination is an economic inefficiency, and it is in our economy's best interest that we work to put a stop to it. And beyond that, the Equality Act addresses several problems that our committee should be concerned with but has sadly neglected, such as the problem that LGBT students are still bullied in schools throughout the country, and the problem that medical professionals can still refuse to treat LGBT families. I take extreme exception to the idea that equality for LGBT Americans is somehow non-germane to the work our committee should be doing."

The Equality Act, which was introduced without the support of a single Republican lawmaker in Congress, aims to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual orientation and gender identity to the existing list of race, color, religion, sex and national origin, protected against discrimination.