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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)
posted by amberglow on Sep 4, 2007 - 58 comments

 

persecution complex? prosecution complex?

The First Freedom Project --new from the Dept of Justice, announced at the Southern Baptist Convention along with a call for their help---specifically and only to protect the religious from discrimination against them. Many are not impressed: The administration has often ignored the importance of the no establishment principle by supporting attempts of governments to endorse a religious message, using tax dollars to fund pervasively religious organizations, allowing religious discrimination in hiring for federally funded projects, ... Legal strategies and actions from groups like the Alliance Defense Fund and ACLJ are now official DOJ policy, it appears. ...In his statement, Gonzales mentioned several cases litigated by ADF and its allies ...
posted by amberglow on Feb 23, 2007 - 56 comments

...at the end of the day, we're specimens to be dissected, examined and studied so that you may teach a "lesson" that you view as important. ...

We Are Not Freaks --from Silber's Power of Narrative--and applicable to all who fall outside the norms.
posted by amberglow on Feb 17, 2007 - 31 comments

"more than two centuries of surveillance in America"

Tracked In America --the stories of 25 individuals who have been targeted by the U.S. government. The stories span from World War I to the post-9/11 world.
posted by amberglow on Jan 23, 2007 - 4 comments

The (Wedding) March of Progress

The grooms wore khakis and leather boots. Two game rangers, Vernon Gibbs and Tony Halls, became the first same-sex couple to legally wed in South Africa on December 1, a day after President Thabo Mbeki's government authorised gay marriages. SA is the 5th country allowing fullly equal same-sex marriage rights--Worldwide timeline of advances here, from 1979 until now. (In other news: Israel just officially recognized full rights for marriages made abroad, and Mexico City just approved Civil Unions)
posted by amberglow on Dec 4, 2006 - 23 comments

civil unions? marriage?

NJ says yes to same-sex marriage! (altho it might not be called that in the end) -- link to pdf of ruling here.
posted by amberglow on Oct 25, 2006 - 138 comments

...from that block came the sound of screaming ...

Meet the new jailers-- Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad is at the centre of fresh abuse allegations just a week after it was handed over to Iraqi authorities, with claims that inmates are being tortured by their new captors. Mass executions, torture again, etc. How bad is it when the inmates plead for us to come back? (Warning--this second link is graphic evidence of what we did there--NSFW)
posted by amberglow on Sep 10, 2006 - 27 comments

After the operation it was confirmed...

Sherri Finkbine --as reported by BBC News, on this day in 1962 (video clip too)--her travails and travels, the law, publicity, and what happened afterwards. (more here from American Prospect in 05: ...A Gallup Poll taken that year showed that the majority of Americans supported Finkbine, and her case was a turning point ...)
posted by amberglow on Aug 26, 2006 - 16 comments

This might explain why the U.S. keeps getting caught spying on peaceful war-protestors.

DHS's CyberStorm-- --Recognizing the imminent threat hippies and assorted leftists obviously pose to us all, a massive cyber terror simulation (international and involving 115 organizations) recently came to light: ...The attack scenario detailed in the presentation is a meticulously plotted parade of cyber horribles led by a "well financed" band of leftist radicals who object to U.S. imperialism, aided by sympathetic independent actors. At the top of the pyramid is the Worldwide Anti-Globalization Alliance, which sets things off by calling for cyber sit-ins and denial-of-service attacks against U.S. interests. WAGA's radical arm, the villainous Black Hood Society, ratchets up the tension on day one by probing SCADA computerized control systems and military networks ...
posted by amberglow on Aug 17, 2006 - 28 comments

sunny day...

Ernest and Bertram --short film, formerly one of the best films you can't see after debuting at Sundance in 2002, with Sesame's lawyers then cracking down and forcing it to be pulled--now on youtube.
posted by amberglow on Aug 15, 2006 - 27 comments

Still, neither Nixon nor Reagan changed the division's procedures for hiring career staff

"If anything, a civil rights background is considered a liability." Meet the politically-appointed career staffers of the Justice Dept.'s Civil Rights Division: ... the kinds of cases the Civil Rights Division is bringing have undergone a shift. The division is bringing fewer voting rights and employment cases involving systematic discrimination against African-Americans, and more alleging reverse discrimination against whites and religious discrimination against Christians. ... Thorough Boston Globe article on how the administration disbanded the hiring committee in 2002 to appoint lawyers with a very different vision of what civil rights are, and the ensuring and ongoing results.
posted by amberglow on Jul 23, 2006 - 24 comments

...the emancipation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from bigotry disguised as religious truth ...

Faith In America asks a simple question: Is using religious teachings to deny equal rights to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people any less wrong than using religious teaching to discriminate against people of color, against equality for women or against people of different cultures wanting to marry? (check their ad campaign too--some great ones) Meanwhile, clueless elected officials like Barack Obama continue to buy into the GOP lies that all people with faith are conservatives/Republicans, and that Democrats are hostile to people with religious beliefs.
posted by amberglow on Jun 28, 2006 - 116 comments

.

Eighth grader Anthony Soltero shot himself on Thursday, March 30, after the assistant principal at De Anza Middle School told him that he was going to prison for three years because of his involvement as an organizer of the April 28 school walk-outs to protest the anti-immigrant legislation in Washington. The vice principal also forbade Anthony from attending graduation activities and threatened to fine his mother for Anthony's truancy and participation in the student protests." Anthony was learning about the importance of civic duties and rights in his eighth grade class. Ironically, he died because the vice principal at his school threatened him for speaking out and exercising those rights," ...
posted by amberglow on Apr 7, 2006 - 206 comments

Why is there more social acceptance, but less and less progress towards legal rights and equality?

...his boyfriend Josh. --beautiful story, made all the more poignant at a time of more and more state constitutional amendments ensuring second-class citizenship, and a Democratic party urging us to just shut up already, but still give.
posted by amberglow on Mar 4, 2006 - 49 comments

what you need right now isn't the righteous anger the rest of the blogosphere will give you. You need more.

For the women of South Dakota: an abortion manual --building on the history and expertise of Jane, , an underground referral and abortion-providing group in Chicago in the 60s, Molly provides the vital info women in South Dakota (and maybe elsewhere soon) need.
posted by amberglow on Feb 26, 2006 - 133 comments

"She's done a lot of good."

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.
posted by amberglow on Feb 20, 2006 - 15 comments

D: Yes, it does, because I've already had this discussion with him, and I've already been asked to change the signs, and I did. And I looked up all the statutes.

Red State, Meet Police State --take a big anti-Bush bumper sticker, some DHS cops, and an outspoken and educated federal employee. Put them in Boise, Idaho. Mix well. "It's the First Amendment for a reason--not the last, not the middle. The first."
posted by amberglow on Feb 16, 2006 - 251 comments

even posting "Pepsi Blue" would make us liable.

"Drove my Chevy to the levee..."? That's a lawsuit. "Pass the Courvoisier"? Yup. Lawsuit too. Artwork using Barbie Dolls? Lawsuit again... It's all part of the Trademark Dilution Revision Act, which would eliminate the non-commercial "fair use" protections of trademarks in art, literature, and speech-- To amend the Trademark Act of 1946 with respect to dilution by blurring or tarnishment. It goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the 16th, and there's a large roster of groups fighting it, including the American Library Association, EFF, and more, saying that consumers as well as artists would be preventing from exercising their free speech rights unless it's amended.
posted by amberglow on Feb 3, 2006 - 35 comments

...respecting and defending the life and dignity of every human being...

Roe v. Wade, 33 years old today. With abortion back in the news due to the Supreme Court nomination of Alito, will the Ideological Rumble over the issue ever be settled or are we doomed to see questionable declarations like today's recognition of "National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2006"? ...creating a society where every life has meaning...-- every life? Really?
posted by amberglow on Jan 22, 2006 - 200 comments

Bush's executive order allowing some warrantless eavesdropping on those inside the United States ­...­ is based on classified legal opinions...

"The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny." What's the article about? The NSA, and you, if you've ever called internationally or sent email overseas: ...the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, ... (very long, NYT--and the NSA's mission is to spy only on communications abroad)
posted by amberglow on Dec 15, 2005 - 74 comments

the 28th Amendment?

A explicit Right to Privacy Amendment? Dan Savage asks: why can't we have one?--...Here we are, decades after Griswold, and social conservatives and liberals are constantly arguing about whether or not the right to privacy, which is a popular right (naturally enough), and one to which most Americans believe they're entitled, is actually a right to which Americans are entitled, constitutionally-speaking. ... It affects all aspects of our lives-- from sexuality to procreation to speech to property to employment to housing, so isn't it time?
Europe has one, in the European Convention on Human Rights : Article 8-the right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence. ...Article 8 offers general protection for a person’s private and family life, home and correspondence from arbitrary interference by the State. This right affects a large number of areas of life ranging from surveillance to sexual identity - it is framed extremely broadly. However, the right to respect for these aspects of privacy under Article 8 is qualified. ...
posted by amberglow on Nov 3, 2005 - 50 comments

by sitting she stood up.

Rosa Parks, RIP
posted by amberglow on Oct 24, 2005 - 194 comments

Hidden from History?

Claudette Colvin --a Montgomery teen arrested 9 months before Rosa Park's now-famous refusal to sit in the back of the bus. There were 4 women who stood up before Mrs. Parks, yet most of us know nothing about them. It was their actions that led to the Supreme Court overturning segregation on public transit, yet Rosa Parks is the visible symbol. On worthy and "unworthy" messengers and symbols.
posted by amberglow on Aug 13, 2005 - 14 comments

the sunlight of a public trial

..I would like to convey the message that our system works. We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States Constitution. ...We can deal with the threats to our national security without denying the accused fundamental constitutional protections. ...--U.S. Western District Judge John Coughenour, while sentencing "Millennium Bomber", Ahmed Ressam. With 60 Terror Plots foiled in the past 10 years, and pretty much none foiled due to the DHS and Patriot Act, it has to be asked-- Why isn't regular law enforcement and all the rest enough? (a little more inside)
posted by amberglow on Jul 27, 2005 - 38 comments

at least it's not Luttig?

the Supreme Court Short List --read it and weep, or not. CNN is already reporting it's John Roberts, and not Edith Clements. Bush announces at 9pm est. Roberts worked for both Reagan and Bush 1, btw.
posted by amberglow on Jul 19, 2005 - 185 comments

a failure for the Fourth Amendment

LossofPrivacyFilter: 1) Patriot Act Expansion Bill Approved in Secret, which now provides a new ‘administrative subpoena’ authority (that) would let the FBI write and approve its own search orders for intelligence investigations, without prior judicial approval. ...Flying in the face of the Fourth Amendment, this power would let agents seize personal records from medical facilities, libraries, hotels, gun dealers, banks and any other businesses without any specific facts connecting those records to any criminal activity or a foreign agent. ..., and from the Justice Department: 2) Most health care employees can't be prosecuted for stealing personal data, and finally, 3) Citibank admits losing 4 million customer files.
These 3 examples all within the past few days--any others i missed?
posted by amberglow on Jun 8, 2005 - 31 comments

Dude, be prepared. Be that Boy Scout they won't let you be anymore.

The Uses of Canaries--and what canaries need to do --...Why go to all that trouble when we have reduced the homosexual, himself, to nothing more than a body part? Remove the homo -- he's just a diseased body part, after all -- and the problem is solved. Of course there will always be those so pathologically sex-panicked that they have to rely on their Think Pieces to get their pornography fix. Not worth worrying about, generally. But when United States Senators start in with the Depravity Fillip, and the DF starts showing up in the campaign literature of various groups... well, you want to keep your eye on that sort of thing. You maybe want to start thinking about that famous canary in the mine-shaft. ...
posted by amberglow on May 9, 2005 - 51 comments

MA, NY, CA--who's next?

Love and Marriage, Love and Marriage... California joins New York in a lower-court decision for marriage equality, with the judge stating, "The idea that marriage-like rights without marriage is adequate smacks of a concept long rejected by the courts — separate but equal," ... And in DC, Ken Mehlman, (closeted) head of the RNC, in an interview with the AP, backslides on his party's trumpeting of anti-gay sentiment: - It's not his job as head of the party to tell states whether they should allow same-sex couples to wed or form civil unions. "Certainly our platform states that the party is committed to ensuring that there is traditional marriage," he said, but he didn't think the party should take a position on state initiatives. More on today's court decision here.
posted by amberglow on Mar 14, 2005 - 132 comments

speaking of Hunting Season...

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.
posted by amberglow on Mar 17, 2004 - 21 comments

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