ROCHESTER, Minn. -
Alisa Walz-Flannigan is openly bisexual -- happy to be part of the community at First Unitarian Universalist Church -- a church that opens its doors to all people of all gender and sexual orientations. Walz-Flannigan is grateful since she knows acceptance is not always the case.
"There are places that would probably feel less safe for my family," Walz-Flannigan said.
But even she has had struggles with discrimination.
"I struggled to find healthcare that was welcoming and understanding," Walz-Flannigan said.
It is something Dee Sabol -- the Executive Director of the Diversity Council -- says is still too common...she cites one example of an apartment complex turning a man down due to his sexual orientation.
"A couple of days went by and he called them back and they said, did you really think we were going to rent our apartment to a black gay man?" Sabol said.
Jessi Heath is a member of the LGBTQ community and says Washington's latest moves are long overdue.
"This should have happened 20 years ago," Heath said. "I feel like we are still so far behind and we're just playing catch-up."
But heath says legislation is just a step in the right direction.
"Various communities that are gonna support people, when we have various religions that support our LGBTQ people, then we're finally on the right track," Heath said.
Minnesota and Iowa are considered to be already working toward equality according to the Human Rights Campaign. But there are still 28 states that have no explicit laws that shield them from any discrimination.