Minnesota's House delegation split along party lines in a vote last week to extend protections under the 1964 Civil Rights Act to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Democratic Reps. Betty McCollum, Ilhan Omar, Angie Craig and Dean Phillips voted for what House Democrats dubbed the Equality Act.
"As a young lesbian woman growing up in rural America, I never imagined I'd finally see a bill like this reach the House floor," Craig said in a prepared statement. Craig, who noted in a news release that she is "the first openly LGBTQ mom in Congress," was chosen to preside over the House chamber as the bill passed on Thursday.
The House passed the bill by a vote of 224-206, with just three Republicans joining Democrats in favor. Republican Reps. Tom Emmer, Pete Stauber, Jim Hagedorn and Michelle Fischbach all voted against it. In a news release, Fischbach dubbed the measure "the so-called 'Equality Act.' "
"The bill imperils the free exercise of religion, undermines the freedom of conscience and erodes the ability for parents to make decisions in the best interests of their children," Fischbach said.
The measure's fate is uncertain in the U.S. Senate, where Democrats have a one-vote majority. But Democrats would likely lack the votes to move it along if Republicans decide to block it with a filibuster.