Newswise — WASHINGTON -- Following is the statement of Rosie Phillips Davis, PhD, president of the American Psychological Association, on the passage of the Equality Act (H.R. 5) by the U.S. House of Representatives:

“The American Psychological Association commends the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories to federal civil rights laws,” Davis said. “Discrimination against sexual and gender minorities remains a problem across the United States, causing increased levels of stress, which can lead to higher levels of depression, anxiety and poorer health in these populations. Psychological research shows that discrimination is bad for business, health and families. We now urge the Senate to pass this important legislation as well.”

The House passed the Equality Act by a vote of 236-173. If enacted, the legislation would amend federal civil rights law – including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Jury Selection and Services act – to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes nearly 118,400 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve lives.

If you do not want to receive APA news releases, please let us know at [email protected] or 202-336-5700.