workplace protection--not as hotbutton as Marriage Equality or Don't Ask Don't Tell, but far more essential
ENDA House hearings start tomorrow --a record 94% of Fortune 500 companies now provide Sexual Orientation Discrimination Protection, and 89% of Americans polled believe Homosexuals should have equal rights in terms of job opportunities. Repeatedly introduced and then killed since 1994, the 2007 version--H.R. 2015--Employment Non-Discrimination Act (text of bill)--includes transgender protection for the very first time. The TVC is just one of many organizations fighting it. (there is a religious exemption, but groups like the TVC would be covered by it)
Soulforce Equality Ride! Soulforce, a nationwide organization working to end religious discrimination of gays and lesbians are in the middle of their second annual Equality Ride to raise awareness of Christian colleges and universities that discriminate against queer students. GLBTQ students are discriminated against everywhere. The Riders have been met with both open arms and anger. The Reverend Mel White, who runs Soul Force, ghost wrote Billy Graham's and Jerry Falwell's autobiographies and worships at Falwell's church in Lynchburg, VA in silent protest. Previously.
“British Muslims welcome working with everyone including members of the Lesbian and Gay community against a common enemy, fascism.”
Gay and Muslim groups getting together in the UK? plans are to look at homophobia in the Muslim community and Islamophobia in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The Muslim Council of Britain is also admitting that if you have nothing positive to say keep your mouth shut, which is a very good first step. Can two groups often on the receiving end of hatred work together ? “British Muslims welcome working with everyone including members of the Lesbian and Gay community against a common enemy, fascism.” I don't know if they have the likes of Michael Savage there (or the many many others), who rail against (and call for the death of) both Muslims and gays on the airwaves daily, but it seems hopeful, no?
When tradition and modernity clash. "While Yeshiva University is officially a nonsectarian institution except for its Orthodox rabbinical school, it is the oldest and largest American university under Jewish auspices. Although commonly thought of as an Orthodox institution, Yeshiva University has been chartered since 1969 as nonsectarian, enabling it to receive state and federal funding." Which is all fine and dandy, except that YU has a history of confrontation with its gay and lesbian students. There was major opposition to the funding of gay and lesbian student organizations. Gay couples sued Yeshiva over apparent housing discrimination. And now, a gay medical student claims he was expelled because of his sexual orientation, and he has a memo that he claims proves his case. Oy.
Laurel Hester, RIP --because she and her partner fought, New Jersey police and fire department employees can now name anyone--not just a spouse--as a beneficiary for pension rights, helping to protect those they love after they're gone. Just one person who made a difference.
Joe Valentine has Two Mommies --..."It's no different than having a mother and father," he said. "These are the two women who raised me, and they are wonderful people. It's just not a big deal to me. Why should it be?" In an enlightened world, it shouldn't. But major league baseball is to enlightenment what Pauly Shore is to career longevity. ... Meet the Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher--"...a baseball player who was raised by two wonderful, loving mothers. How can anyone criticize that?"
Every gay and lesbian federal employee has just lost their protection from discrimination. Gay and lesbians in the entire federal workforce have had their job protections officially removed by the office of Special Counsel. The new Special Counsel, Scott Bloch, says his interpretation of a 1978 law intended to protect employees and job applicants from adverse personnel actions is that gay and lesbian workers are not covered. Bloch said that the while a gay employee would have no recourse for being fired or demoted for being gay, that same worker could not be fired for attending a gay Pride event.