It may soon be illegal to refuse service to same-sex couples

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By Quentin Fottrell
July 24, 2015

For some lawmakers, it’s the last bastion in protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights. For others, it’s an affront to their religious freedoms.

Democratic lawmakers and civil rights groups introduced the Equality Act on Thursday, which aims to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, and other areas of law where discrimination is already prohibited for others.

In most U.S. states, a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person can be legally fired, refused an apartment or mortgage, or even refused service at a restaurant. (An Oregon bakery that refused to sell wedding cakes to same-sex couples, however, was recently fined $135,000 by the state.)

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