Congresswoman Blasts U.N. Leader for Anti-Gay Comments

September 23, 2009

from FOX News

A Florida congresswoman on Tuesday blasted the new president of the United Nations General Assembly for recent remarks that seemed to favor the criminalization of homosexuality.

“The anti-gay bigotry spewed by this Qaddafi shill demonstrates once again that the UN has been hijacked by advocates of hate and intolerance,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said.

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A Tech-Powered Gay Rights Movement

September 23, 2009

by Pam Spaulding | Huffington Post

The LGBT community has always been an early adopter of Internet and the opportunities it presented for personal and professional activism. In fact, it was a necessity for a slice of the American public faced with few legal rights that faced hostility and violence just for being who they were.

In the 1990s, when AOL ruled the roost of online communication, there were bustling chat rooms. While many were geared to the novelty of hooking up online (as it was for the straight world), for many LGBTs in padlocked closets who lived in remote, extremely anti-gay small towns, it was their first time making any kind of social connection to others who shared their pain and their dreams of equality. These were not connections to LGBT advocacy organizations led by cosmopolitan power gays; this was the germination of grassroots activism online.

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New Anti-Gay Ad in Maine Is Exact Copy of California Prop. 8 Ad

September 23, 2009

by Joe Sudbay | America Blog Gay

Wow. Frank Schubert, the consultant who did the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign, isn’t even trying in Maine. He’s just recycling his Prop. 8 ads for the campaign in Maine. I know high paid consultants often do this, but at least they give the impression of trying something new.

Yes on 1 TV Ad: Everything To Do With Schools

Yes on One TV Ad: Everything To Do With Schools

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Being Pro-Gay Can Pay

September 23, 2009

by Peter Harriman | Argus Leader

A political action group is offering money to Republican candidates who support the idea that people shouldn’t be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.

PAC Equality South Dakota’s goal will be to attract such candidates to traditionally strong Republican legislative districts by offering money, expertise and volunteers as long as they support a nondiscrimination policy for sexual orientation. The campaign began Sunday with a newspaper advertisement, and similar ads will continue running in papers throughout the state.

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Read Testimony from Today’s ENDA Hearing

September 23, 2009

Today U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, is holding the first full committee hearing in the House of Representatives on legislation to prohibit employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Read the testimony from the following witnesses:

Hon. Stuart J. Ishimaru (pdf)
Acting Chairman
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

William Eskridge (pdf)
John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence
Yale Law School

Vandy Beth Glenn (pdf)
fired from her Georgia state legislative job when she told her supervisor she was transitioning from male to female

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Congress Must Hear From You: Pass The Employment Non-Discrimination Act!

September 23, 2009

Today, we came one step closer to passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The House Education and Labor Committee held a full committee hearing on this bill, about the importance of protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees from workplace discrimination. We are grateful to the lawmakers who held this hearing and all who testified. This bill is now squarely before our nation’s lawmakers, and we must pressure them to pass it.

We have been here before. Since 1994, ENDA has been repeatedly introduced in the House and Senate, with each Congress failing to send it to the President. Workplace protections for LGBT people are urgently needed and long overdue. According to numerous surveys, 60 percent of likely voters in the United States support a federal employment non-discrimination law that protects people from discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity. With our visible and vocal support, we have every reason to believe that ENDA is finally within reach.

For the past year, NCLR has been working on building support for this critically important piece of legislation. We play a leadership role in a national coalition of 400 state and local organizations committed to moving an inclusive ENDA—an ENDA to protect the entire LGBT community. NCLR continues to build the momentum through action alerts and coalition conference calls, pushing for grassroots action through in-district and town hall meetings, and many more efforts. With the House Education and Labor Committee hearing, ENDA is in the spotlight—and we must keep it that way.

Right now, Congress must hear from every one of us! Congress must feel the pressure and feel the urgency to act. We must pass ENDA in the House, then in the Senate!

We have public opinion in our favor. Many U.S. corporations already have inclusive workplace non-discrimination policies in place and support ENDA. And, importantly, President Obama has committed to signing this bill as part of his civil rights agenda. We must urge Congress to take speedy action to place ENDA on the President’s desk.

Workplace discrimination is a real problem that affects real people. LGBT employees work just as hard and contribute just as much as other workers, and should not have to fear losing their job because of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Congress must hear from you that ENDA is a priority, that you want it, and that you need it. If you haven’t contacted your Representative and Senators, please do it today. If you already have, please do it again. It is up to all who care about equality to pass this bill. ENDA’s time is right now.

In solidarity,

kate signature

U.S. House Committee Holds Hearing on Need for Federal Workplace Protections

September 23, 2009

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act Is Urgently Needed and Long Overdue

Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) commends the House Education and Labor Committee for holding a hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009 (ENDA), H.R. 3017. This vital legislation would provide clear federal protection against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, which are unrelated to job qualifications or work performance. Since 1994, ENDA has been repeatedly introduced in the House and Senate, with each Congress failing to send it to the President.

“We appreciate the House Education and Labor Committee holding this hearing and urge immediate action on ENDA, legislation which is urgently needed and long overdue,” said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell. “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees work just as hard and contribute just as much as other workers. They should not have to fear losing their jobs simply because of who they are.”

Along with several key witnesses testifying in favor of ENDA, Acting Chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Stuart J. Ishimaru will testify on behalf of the Obama Administration. Ishimaru has advocated for reinvigorating the agency’s work on race discrimination issues. He was instrumental in the Commission’s adoption of groundbreaking guidance on gender discrimination, and he opposed the Commission’s actions to weaken age discrimination protections.

Currently, twelve states, the District of Columbia, and more than 100 localities have non-discrimination protections that protect LGBT workers, covering nearly 40 percent of the U.S. workforce. According to numerous surveys, 60 percent of likely voters in the United States support an inclusive federal employment non-discrimination law. President Obama has identified passing this bill, inclusive of both sexual orientation and gender identity, as a civil rights agenda priority.

NCLR has long supported passage of ENDA to ensure that the entire LGBT community is protected from workplace discrimination and has a full time field organizer working to organize local action teams in key communities to educate members of Congress and their staffs about the problem of gender identity and expression discrimination.

“We urge Congress to act swiftly to put this bill on the President’s desk,” said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Price Minter. “President Obama has said he stands ready to sign this bill. ENDA must become law, once and for all, to help end the scourge of workplace discrimination in this country.”

Read the Leadership Council on Civil Rights ENDA Letter to Congress.

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