Republimen Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Bars on Discrimination

DiscriminationRus

On Thursday, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney [D-NY] offered an amendment to the military construction and veterans affairs spending bill that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT individuals in hiring and employment activities. It was very similar to an amendment that was offered last year by Rep. Scott Peters [D-CA] which upheld President Obama’s 2014 executive order banning federal contractors from making hiring decisions that discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 60 Republicans voted forRep Peters’ bill which was adopted 241-184 [HR2577, Roll Call 326, 6-9-15]. However, Rep. Maloney’s amendment by a single vote, 212-213 [HR 4974, Roll Call 226, 5-19-16], after seven Republicans switched their votes at the last minute.

Rep. Mark Amodei [NV2] and Rep. Cresant Hardy [NV4] voted against passage of BOTH amendments (last year’s and this year’s). It should, therefore, be noted that BOTH are in favor of allowing discrimination to take place.

Although the identities of the seven vote-switchers were not publicly recorded on the House floor, here’s the names of those Reps who switched there votes and deserve your shaming:

  1. Rep. Darrell Issa [R-CA]
  2. Rep. Jeff Denham [R-CA]
  3. Rep. David Valadao [R-CA]
  4. Rep. Mimi Walters [R-CA]
  5. Rep. Greg Walden [R-OR]
  6. Rep. David Young [R-IA]
  7. Rep. Bruce Poliquin [R-ME]

“House Republicans are so committed to discriminating against LGBT Americans, that they broke regular order to force their members to reverse their votes and support Republicans’ bigotry,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi [D-CA] said in a statement.

On the other side, Speaker Ryan had this to say: “This is federalism. The states should do this. The federal government shouldn’t stick its nose in this business.” UH … Hello? This had to do with FEDERAL contracts for which States hold NO responsibility for issuance, nor enforcement.

Here are the names of 30 Republicans who voted for the Peters amendment but against the Maloney amendment:

HR4974-30R

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Married on Sunday; Fired on Monday!

A majority of states still do not clearly protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, people from discrimination in employment.  As many as 28% of LGBT people report being denied career advancement because of their sexual orientation, and 1 in 4 transgender people report being fired from a job they already have simply because of their transgender status.  YouTube celebrity Hartbeat explains why all Americans deserve the same protections from discrimination in the workplace.  Watch the whiteboard video:

This video is part of a special series, LGBT Nondiscrimination Explained.


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

Legally Married and Legally Fired

— by CAP Action War Room

The Fight For Equal Rights For LGBT Americans Does Not End At Marriage

We’ve been talking a lot about a certain Supreme Court case over the past month, with the Affordable Care Act under attack for a second time. Next up, the Supreme Court will hear another important case in April on whether to legalize marriage for committed same-sex couples throughout the country. While proponents of equality are hopeful for a historic decision to finally ensure marriage equality nationwide, regardless of the outcome, the fight for LGBT equal rights will not end in June. One aspect of that fight is securing basic non-discrimination protections for the LGBT community.

While the fundamental right to marry the one you love has been extended to Americans in over thirty states, we still have a ways to go in enacting meaningful anti-discrimination laws across the country. As the graphic below demonstrates, LGBT Americans are still vulnerable to discrimination in many other ways. And click here to learn more about all the protections that LGBT Americans don’t have.

LGBT-Discrimination

BOTTOM LINE: While the Supreme Court may soon rightly decide that marriage equality is constitutional, the fight for fairness and full equality will not be over this summer. Congress and the States need to act to ensure equal protections for LGBT Americans.


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.  Like CAP Action on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Obama to Issue Executive Order Against LGBTQ Discrimination

Campaigners say White House move ‘will begin to undo one of the last vestiges of legally sanctioned discrimination’

— by Lauren McCauley, staff writer, Common Dreams
(Photo: Sandburchick/ cc/ Flickr)

In what is being hailed as a major victory for LGBTQ rights, the White House confirmed on Monday that President Obama is going to issue an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity with taxpayer funds by all federal contractors will begin to undo one of the last vestiges of legally sanctioned discrimination,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, who called the news “historic.”

According to a White House official who spoke to the Huffington Post, the president has “directed his staff to draft an executive order” banning workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors.

However, it was not said when the president was going to sign the order into law.

According to the unnamed official, the executive order will “build upon existing protections, which generally prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”

The rights group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) said that the forthcoming order is the “culmination of six years of advocacy” on the part of human and civil rights campaigners.

Thus far, efforts to pass legislation barring workplace discrimination have stalled in Congress. Though passing the Senate last November, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)— which would affect all employers nationwide—has not yet come up for vote in the House.

“By issuing an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people, the President will not only create fairer workplaces across the country, he will demonstrate to Congress that adopting federal employment protections for LGBT people is good policy and good for business,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. Griffin added that the White House statement is “promising,” saying that advocates “look forward to seeing the details of the executive order.”

Resources on LGBT Workplace Discrimination:

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Optimizing LGBT Health Under the Affordable Care Act

 

Strategies for Health Centers

By National LGBT Health Education Center and Center for American Progress
Affordable Care Act

The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act) is expected to expand insurance coverage to millions of Americans starting this year. Among those most in need of access to affordable health insurance and high-quality health services are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Research has shown that many LGBT Americans, particularly same-sex couples, transgender people, and those living with HIV, have difficulty accessing insurance and are disproportionately likely to lack coverage.  This brief explains how the Affordable Care Act will benefit LGBT Americans, particularly through better data collection, stronger nondiscrimination policies, a new essential health benefits standard and other insurance reforms, and coverage expansions. Part 1 provides an overview of the issues, while Part 2 discusses how America’s health centers, which are integral to efforts to enroll uninsured people, can deploy effective strategies for reaching LGBT people.

Read more here …

See Also: Fact Sheets on the Affordable Care Act and LGBT Communities


Asking Patients Questions about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Clinical Settings

By The Fenway Institute and Center for American Progress

The Institute of Medicine, the U.S. government’s Healthy People 2020 strategy, and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations are among many entities that have recommended asking sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) questions in clinical settings and including such data in Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Many health care providers are in the process of considering how to do this. In order to better understand how a diverse group of people would respond when these questions are asked, several hundred patients at four health centers across the United States were surveyed about asking SOGI questions in their health center.  This study found wide patient support for the importance of SOGI data and demonstrated the feasibility of collecting SOGI data using existing question designs.

Read more …

Center for American ProgressThis material [the articles above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

Texas Judge Forbids Lesbian Woman From Living With Her Partner

In a post at Think Progress last Friday, we once again learn that the REPUBLIBAN’s culture war against the LGBT community is still raging —

By Ian Millhiser on May 17, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Carolyn Compton is in a three year-old relationship with a woman. According to Compton’s partner Page Price, Compton’s ex-husband rarely sees their two children and was also once charged with stalking Compton, a felony, although he eventually plead to a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespassing.

And yet, thanks to a Texas judge, Compton could lose custody of her children because she has the audacity to live with the woman she loves.

According to Price, Judge John Roach, a Republican who presides over a state trial court in McKinney, Texas, placed a so-called “morality clause” in Compton’s divorce papers. This clause forbids Compton having a person that she is not related to “by blood or marriage” at her home past 9pm when her children are present. Since Texas will not allow Compton to marry her partner, this means that she effectively cannot live with her partner so long as she retains custody over her children. Invoking the “morality clause,” Judge Roach gave Price 30 days to move out of Compton’s home.

Compton can appeal Roach’s decision, but her appeal will be heard by the notoriouslyconservative Texas court system. Ultimately, the question of whether Compton’s relationship with Price is entitled to the same dignity accorded to any other loving couple could rest with the United States Supreme Court.


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

Seven Terrible State Bills

— by ThinkProgress War Room | Mar 27, 2013

Recently, we discussed some of the terrible bills floating around out there in state legislatures. Here’s another look at some of the worst proposals, including a couple that were signed into law this week:

  • NORTH DAKOTA: The state’s Republican governor signed a trifecta of terrible anti-abortion bills, which are likely to have the effect of banning abortion in the state. One bill unconstitutionally bans abortion after just six weeks, which is before many women even know they’re pregnant. An even more insidious bill takes up the anti-abortion movement’s favorite new tactic: drastic overregulation of abortion clinics to all but guarantee that they will have to close. These so-called TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws are also moving in North Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, and Virginia.
  • KANSAS: A new bill will allow the state to quarantine HIV positive individuals, something Kansas actually banned back in 1988.
  • INDIANA: An anti-abortion bill was going to mandate forced ultrasounds before a woman is provided with the abortion pill. Lawmakers explain that they are dropping the controversial provision in order to focus on their real goal: regulating abortion clinics out of existence.
  • VIRGINIA: Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) signed a bill that will mandate that Virginians present photo identification when they vote, which will disproportionately impact young people, minorities, and the elderly.
  • KENTUCKY: The legislature passed a so-called “religious freedom” bill that allows individuals to ignore laws based on the vague notion of “sincerely held religious beliefs,” opening the door to discrimination against LGBT people, among other problems. Gov. Steve Beshear (D) vetoed the bill, but unfortunately his veto was overridden yesterday.
  • PENNSYLVANIA: Top Republicans in the state have yet to abandon a GOP plan to rig steal the White House by rigging the distribution of the state’s Electoral College votes. Republicans in Virginia, Florida, Wisconsin, and other states dropped the idea, but Pennsylvania Republicans are keeping it on the table.
  • ARKANSAS: In addition to its race to the bottom on abortion, Arkansas is considering some highly regressive tax changes. As part of an effort meant to stimulate growth, an Arkansas legislative committee passed two tax cuts that will largely benefit the rich and then rejected one that would benefit the working poor. A recent study found that state-level tax cuts don’t promote job growth.

Another week, another set of terrible proposals moving out in state legislatures.

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

Yes Indeedee, It’s Confirmed: GOP ‘IS’ Out of Touch

GOP Report Shows Party is Out of Touch With Americans on Threats to Democracy: Money in Politics and Voter Suppression

The Republican National Committee released a report on Monday reviewing its losses in the 2012 election cycle and laying out a roadmap for the future of the party.  People For the American Way Vice President Marge Baker released the following statement:

“This report highlights what we already knew: that the Republican party is out of touch with America. Instead of addressing the party’s anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-worker policies that voters resoundingly rejected in 2012, today’s report calls for a complete gutting of campaign finance reform – in essence calling for even more big money to be poured into our elections.  If the Republican party were listening to Americans, they would know that the country supports finding systemic solutions to the problem of unregulated money in our political system.  The answer is certainly not to gut the regulations we already have in place.  Instead, we need to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC and related cases so that we can create more effective regulations to get big money out of our democracy.

“The GOP report’s recommendations on voting rights also underscore a continuing focus on keeping certain voters from the polls.  After an election cycle overflowing with examples of discriminatory voter suppression efforts aimed at historically disenfranchised communities, the report recommends an ongoing focus on so-called  ‘ballot security training initiatives.’  This is simply another phrase for the same voter intimidation tactics used in the name of preventing supposed ‘voter fraud.’  It’s baffling that the GOP thinks it can improve its image with people of color while still working to block their access to the ballot box.

“This report is yet another example that the GOP’s ‘soul-searching’ hasn’t gotten them very far.  It’s time to refocus our efforts on getting the big money out of elections and the voters into the voting booth.”

Ready to go?

Just exactly how much lipstick have they purchased?  Maybeline and Revlon combined couldn’t make enough lipstick to take care of that pachyderm.

Yesterday— the Republican National Committee released its wide-ranging “autopsy” report called the “Growth And Opportunity Project Report.” In it, the party admits to several shortcomings that contributed to the party’s wide losses in the 2012 election. A portion of the report includes market research from voter focus groups around the country. Not surprisingly, when asked to describe Republicans, respondents said that the party was “scary,” “narrow-minded,” “out of touch,” and full of “stuffy old men.”  What’s most interesting is that the report failed to quantify just how out of touch their party has become on a number of issues, from climate change, to marriage equality, to universal background checks, to women’s rights, to the minimum wage, and more.

The GOP thinks they merely have a messaging problem … and just need to change a few words they used to talk about things.  HAH! Now that’s a joke and a half.  Maybe they should look at their 2012 Platform. Better yet, maybe they should look at what is happening in State Legislatures and what members of their party have introduced in the Congress:

  • Restricting access to or insurance reimbursement of costs associated with an abortion;
  • Restricting time frames in which a woman could seek an abortion to 12-weeks and in on case, to 6-weeks from conception;
  • Mandating the use of transvaginal ultrasounds and other medically unnecessary procedures as a means to shame women;
  • Gleefully and gloatingly defunding Planned Parenthood;
  • Attempting to elevate “religious” rights above all others to allow zealots to assert their religious rights to deny all types of service and/or medications should it offend “their” personal religious beliefs, making their beliefs superior to yours;
  • Continually attempting to repeal Obamacare and providing NO replacement;
  • Promoting continued systemic discrimination against the LGBT community, as a whole, via marriage inequality espoused throughout our Nation’s income tax and estate tax structures;
  • Attempting to enact one voter suppression tactic after another to disenfranchise voters as well as restricting early voting opportunities;
  • Continually filibustering one bill after another, even those introduced by Republicans;
  • Blocking Consumer Financial Protection and making multiple attempts to repeal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform;
  • Promoting racial profiling as a means of harassment to convince Hispanics to “self-deport’ ;
  • Promoting Personhood for embryos and essentially demoting women’s status to nothing more than an incubator;
  • Replacing Democracy with Dictatorships (Overseers);
  • Promoting fatherhood visitation rights for rapists.

I’m sure I’ve missed of few other big issues we’ve had to overcome … but need I go on?  There’s a politically incorrect term we frequently used when I was in the Navy to define that kind of behavior.  The term stars with “cluster.”  The GOPs (Grouchy Old Patriarchs) problem is much more than a “messaging” problem.  It’s a policy problem and we should cheer them on  in pursuit of their messaging delusion.  It will most certainly shorten their path to minor party status.  We may have a few challenges to overcome in the short run, but we’ll all be much better off in the long run.

Don’t believe me?  See for yourself,  take your pick, click a pic or two.  Read/compare a few — then compare the numbers.

2012-GOP-Platform GOP Growth Opportunity Rpt 2009-GOP-Path-to-Recovery 2010-GOP-Better-Solutions
GOP 2012 Platform GOP Growth Opportunites 2009 Path to Recovery 2010-Better Solutions
2010-Pledge-to-America Path to Poverty v1.0 Path to Poverty v2.0 Path to Poverty v3.0
2010-Pledge to America P2P v1.0 P2P v2.0 P2P v3.0

Have You Read SB192? You Should!

SB192, the  Nevada Preservation of Religious Freedom Act (NPRFA), is currently being considered by the Judiciary committee. NPRFA is a “statified” version of the federal RFRA (Religion Freedom Restoration Act), which was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1997 because it overstepped Congress’ power to enforce the 14th Amendment (City of Boerne v Flores).  If enacted, it would “prohibit governmental entities from substantially burdening the exercise of religion.”

It sounds like a good thing … right?  It claims to compliment religious liberties in the U.S. Constitution.  It even has bi-partisan support.  But, the bill is ill-defined and is a back-door means of promoting religious rights above all others and allowing religious zealots to use that elevated religious right to discriminate against others at will — and if they’re not permitted to do so, it gives them the right to sue the state for damages.  HELLO?  What are we seeking to create, the Nevadaban?

Religious freedom is being used insidiously by conservatives across the country as an excuse for Christians to be bigots against the LGBT community.  It’s also being used against women primarily in the form of denial to dispense birth control pills or “the morning after pill.”  A case in point is a bill (SB 514) just recently introduced in Tennessee which would “bar schools from disciplining students if they decline to treat clients with “goals, outcomes or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the student.”  It would allow graduate student counselors to reject helping suicidal LGBT students, students who are sexually active outside of marriage, and students who have been divorced.  Where did they get such a magnificent idea?  Michigan!  The egregious Tennessee bill would not only prevent counselors from being expelled or fired, it permits them to freely discriminate under the shield of religious freedom.

That’s exactly what Nevada’s SB192 would do … permit religious zealots to freely discriminate and deny good/services, all under the shield of religious freedom.  Today, the State has the ability to weigh compelling interests and arrive at accommodations.  If SB192 passes, that may no longer be the case as religious zealots begin their campaign of bullying to get their way, and if the bullying fails … expensive litigation (the ultimate form of bullying) to get their way will ensue.

Notwithstanding any provision of NRS 41.0305 to 41.039, 25 inclusive, but subject to the limitation on damages set forth in 26 NRS 41.035 when applicable, a person whose religious exercise has been substantially burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against the governmental entity.  The court shall award costs and attorney’s fees to a person who prevails in an action brought against a governmental entity pursuant to this section.

Freedom of and practice of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance.  That concept is also generally recognized to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any religion. The freedom to leave or discontinue membership in a religion or religious group —in religious terms called “apostasy” — and IS a fundamental part of religious freedom.  Belief and non-belief are opposite sides of the same coin — and one’s belief should never trump another’s dis-belief.  I believe the first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says it all and it should be the final word on this subject, no SB192:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

and given that all 50 States have agreed to the full content of the U.S. Constitution and its amendments, that should should be enough.

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New Jersey Legislators Will Vote To Override Chris Christie’s Marriage Equality Veto

— by Zack Ford on Feb 22, 2013 at 9:05 am

In early 2012, lawmakers in New Jersey successfully passed marriage equality bill, but Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed it, claiming same-sex marriage was not an issue of “gay rights.” The legislature has until January 2014 to attempt to override that veto, and Democratic leaders in both chambers announced this week that they will attempt to do just that.

The bill originally passed the Senate with a 24-16 vote, so only three more votes are needed to reach a two-thirds majority for the override. In the Assembly, however, the bill only passed 42-33, so 12 more votes are needed. Lawmakers will likely wait until after the June elections to hold the vote so that Republicans are more willing to consider a controversial vote. LGBT activists have been lobbying for more support for an override since the bill’s passage last year, primarily because they are opposed to a referendum.

Openly gay Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D) actually wants to allow for a vote, because he believes “the worst thing that can happen is the status quo.” However, Senate President Steve Sweeney also opposes a referendum, and for good reasons. As Garden State Equality pointed out last year, ballot initiatives are “a contest of which side can raise more millions” that offers “a community’s civil rights up for sale to the highest bidder.” Not only is a referendum incredible expensive, but it can have harsh consequences for the mental health of the entire LGBT community.

Arguably, a majority of New Jersey voters do support marriage equality, with polls showing as many as 53 percent, if not 57 percent, support. That, however, should be motivation for lawmakers to simply do their job and represent the interests of their constituents. Marriage equality is what’s best for New Jersey’s economy and the well-being of its citizens, in addition to just being the right thing to do.


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.