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Showing posts from November, 2013

Even ENDA Is Just Another Beginning

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The good news is that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act finally passed the US Senate on November 7, 2013. By a 64 to 32 vote, the upper house of Congress endorsed adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the reasons one cannot legally deny human beings employment. Specifically, ENDA prohibits private employers with over 15 employees from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Religious organizations are exempt, as they were in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as are non-profit membership-only clubs. It’s unlikely the House will even discuss ENDA, given that Republican Speaker John Boehner won’t bring it up, saying there’s “no basis or need” for legalizing protection of LGBT people and that it would lead to “frivolous lawsuits.” As usual, Republican leadership is out of touch with the majority of Americans - over 70% support ending LGBT workplace discrimination. Actually, the greatest threat to ENDA might not be religious. The challenge will be …

Will Marriage Equality Matter to the Community?

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Watching the marriages of lesbians and gay men take place this past year ought to be warming the heart of anyone who values equality and fairness. Government recognition - with responsibilities and benefits tied to the official status of a relationship - so long denied them, is becoming a reality federally and state by state. There are those radical right-wingers who wish none of it were happening and see same-sex marriages as disgustingly evil. Their reactions are, if nothing else, sad commentaries on their inability to be moved by what marriage -- so hard fought for and so often assumed to be a hopeless dream -- means to real human beings beyond just winning equal rights. It’s as if the right-wing lacks some natural feelings for celebrating love wherever it’s found. And hiding in their trumped-up religious arguments only saves them from being moved out of some common humanity that knows real empathy for the feelings of fellow human beings. While right-wing religious people go on an…