A Republican congressman plans to introduce a bill that would protect LGBTQ citizens from housing discrimination—a move that breaks traditional party lines.
The bill would serve as an amendment to the Fair Housing Act of 1968, making discrimination against LGBTQ renters or buyers illegal across the nation. It would also ban landowners, landlords, or sellers from discriminating based on religious grounds nationally.
“I think it is important for the Republican Party to recognize issues like this,” Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Va.) told BuzzFeed News. “It’s not Republican orthodoxy, but I don’t care. The country is changing.”
Taylor, who was born in 1979, argues that there is a “generational gap” between old guard conservatives and conservatives that grew up in the 1980s, ’90s, and 2000s. He believes that the general public is more accepting of LGBTQ rights today than in the past.
Currently, the National Association of Realtors has pledged its support for Taylor’s Congressional bill, but the Virginia Republican may face pushback from his own party. Taylor also hopes to protect transgender Americans by explicitly banning discrimination based on gender identity, but he worries that trans protections could make the bill more difficult to pass through Congress.
As a state delegate, Taylor previously stood up for LGBTQ rights in Virginia. In 2016, he voted against a House bill preventing punishment for discrimination against gay marriages, trans citizens, and citizens having pre-marital sex, the Washington Post reports. The Post also notes that Taylor sponsored bills that would have protected Virginians from discrimination in housing and the workplace over their sexuality or gender identity.
“There are social conservatives who don’t approve of that lifestyle, and that’s fine, but that shouldn’t stop people from being happy and not being discriminated against,” Rep. Taylor said to BuzzFeed News.
Taylor plans to introduce the bill in the next two weeks. After the bill’s language is finalized, he will begin looking for co-sponsors before bringing it to House floor.