Hobby Lobby, 2015, and President Obama.
Hobby Lobby, 2015, and President Obama.
How the U.S. Supreme Court rules in the Hobby Lobby religious freedom case will likely impact the next stage of the debate over state-level religious protection laws like the one recently vetoed in Arizona.
“It’s clear we have a long road to travel to change hearts and minds and laws all over the world,” he said during the Human Rights Campaign Gala in Los Angeles.
LGBT and human rights advocates remain uncertain about what to expect in Russia under the international spotlight of the Olympics. Several organizations, along with the U.S. State Department, warn LGBT visitors to exercise caution.
“I have accepted th[e] position so that I can fulfill what I have come to see as a religious and family duty: defending the constitutionality of traditional marriage in the state where my church is headquartered and where most of my family resides,” Gene Schaerr wrote.
“They’re there to compete. They’re not there to talk about their politics or their religion or anything else,” U.S. Olympic Committee CEO says. LGBT groups push back on comments “bordering on speech police.”
The head of the Human Rights Campaign tweeted “thanks” to the Utah Attorney General’s Office — which is defending the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying — on Thursday night. “He’s owed our thanks for his general incompetence,” an HRC staffer said of the acting attorney general.
With 50 days until the Sochi Games, the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy group is paying out proceeds from its “Love Conquers Hate” campaign.
“It tells you a lot about [IOC] President Bach and the IOC’s commitment to human rights that they believe this issue should be easily compartmentalized into a protest zone,” one LGBT advocate says.
Mandela ushered in the world’s first constitution to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation. “Nelson Mandela tore down oppression, united a rainbow nation, and always walked arm-in-arm with his LGBT brothers and sisters—and with all people—toward freedom,” Human Rights Campaign president says.
“So, what does it really mean that he supports openly gay candidates if he doesn’t support their equal treatment under the law?” Rep. Jerry Nadler responds.
Raising nearly $14.5 million in contributions in 2012, NOM reported spending nearly $16.5 million during the year. The group unsuccessfully fought three marriage equality ballot measures and one state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex couples from marriage in November 2012.
On a 64-32 vote, the Senate sends the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to the House, where Speaker John Boehner opposes the legislation. “I think it’s important for the Senate as an institution,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says of Thursday’s vote.
Global LGBTI activists worry HRC’s new international initiative could run roughshod over local partners and are concerned that it is partly funded by vulture fund money. “It is not money that should used by anyone for LGBTI work any side of the world. It’s an insult,” said one activist.
“Leader Reid informed Leader McConnell that the Senate will consider ENDA next week,” a Human Rights Campaign spokesman says.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to announce the coming floor consideration of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act on Monday, his office says.
“[T]he USOC must take a more activist position against these heinous Russian laws,” a leading LGBT advocate says. The USOC did not respond to questions about how its nondiscrimination policy squares with its rule that people must adhere to foreign laws when traveling.
“[W]hat good are benefits for your same-sex spouse if you risk being fired for disclosing your sexual orientation in order to access them?”
Brad Clark is leaving Colorado’s LGBT rights group to help the national organization with advancing its issues in states where they are lagging. “[M]y married friends in Iowa can literally get on a plane and, when they land in another state, their family is no longer recognized,” Clark says.
An executive order banning contractors from discriminating against LGBT people could be seen as “one party sort of taking action prematurely before the Senate has had a chance to vote,” the head of a new campaign to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act says. A break from other LGBT advocates’ public comments.
Sen. Jeff Merkley will introduce the resolution. The measure will call on the International Olympic Committee to oppose Russia’s anti-LGBT propaganda law and protect athletes and spectators from discrimination at the Winter Olympics.
“The opinion of the Russian government is now perfectly clear: if you’re gay and you come to Russia for the Olympics, you will be in harm’s way,” an advocate says. The sports minister’s comments contradict a statement last week from International Olympic Committee.
Statement comes after a week of heavy criticism about the anti-LGBT “propaganda” law passed in Russia this June, months ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. “Mere verbal assurances from the Russian government that foreigners will be exempt from their repressive laws are not enough,” a leading American LGBT advocate says.
As a new secretary takes over the helm at the Labor Department, LGBT advocates raise questions about inaction on transgender workers’ protections — and the White House’s role in that inaction.
Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia wants a constitutional amendment to end the debate. He joins 39 Republicans in the uphill effort.
“I recognize that it is an area that, as a Republican, I will be criticized for,” Murkowski says.
Advocates — and the bill’s lead sponsor — had hoped the chairman would consider the bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, in his committee in May or June. It won’t happen until “probably after the Fourth of July break,” Iowa’s Tom Harkin says.
“The LGBT community will not stand for Congress placing the blame of their own dysfunction on our shoulders,” Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin says.
“Tolerating this kind of bigotry will only serve to turn off more and more voters, and until the leadership of the RNC is willing to confront and denounce bigotry in its own ranks, they will continue to lose elections,” GOProud leader says.
Although unlikely to be a part of the initial Senate bill, LGBT advocates are confident protections for same-sex couples will be added in committee.