Democratic-led House passes Equality Act in a 224-206 vote

Three Republicans sided with Democrats and voted in favor of the bill
National Guard and fencing security measures at U.S. Capitol

The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, which provides anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community, in a 224-206 vote on Thursday.

The Republicans who voted with the Democrats were Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, John Katko of New York and Tom Reed of New York, co-chair of the House Problem Solvers Caucus.

The Equality Act would prohibit the use of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which passed in a bipartisan vote at the time and was signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton.

The nearly 30-year-old legislation prohibited "any agency, department, or official of the United States or any State (the government) from substantially burdening a person's exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability."

Leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholics Bishops publicly criticized the bill in a letter to lawmakers ahead of the vote.