Full EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW For LGBTQIA Nebraskans


OMAHA, NE – The Nebraska Unicameral Session for 2015 is almost over, just 10 days or less actually. It is crunch time in the Nebraska Equality Movement! Thursday, May 14th, the Unicameral will debate and vote on workplace equality. We need you to call or email your state senator in our state’s Unicameral. Don’t know who that is? You can click here: http://nebraskalegislature.gov/senators/senator_find.php Don’t know what to say or write? We have that covered too!  Read the next paragraph below, You can start with what’s written below and add your experience and name to it!

Dear (Your State Senator’s Name), LB586 adds Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to the state’s workplace protections statute which already cover race, sex and religion. Discrimination against Nebraskans based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity is real. We lose talented Nebraskans to other states that treat their residents equally. We also lose the business opportunities associated with those lost talents. As result, inequality in the workplace has a direct impact on our state’s economy, passing LB586 would help decrease Nebraska’s brain drain. Over 100 Nebraska businesses have pledged support for Workplace Equality. The Chambers of Commerce in both Lincoln and Omaha have also voiced their support. Young professionals groups representing more than 10,000 young professional Nebraskans also support LB586. They are the Lincoln Young Professionals Group and the Greater Omaha Young Professionals. LB586 also keeps Nebraska’s current religious exemptions intact, so it doesn’t force religious organizations to hire gays as some people have erroneously claimed. So many Nebraska conservatives claim to support a growing economy, supporting equality in the workplace should be a no-brainer!

Sincerely, (Your Name)


OMAHA,  NE – The Nation’s only Unicameral state legislature is once again debating LGBT issues. Legislative bills similar to previously introduced equality legislation are once again on the table for discussion in 2015. The Equality Agenda bills as they are being known as are three bills introduced by State Senators Jeremy Nordquist (LD7), Sara Howard (LD9), Adam Morfeld (LD46). Last week’s judiciary hearing gave the public the chance to speak about the bills.

LB647, the measure by Nordquist would ban discrimination based on various factors, including sexual orientation and gender identity.  Nebraska is one of two states which prohibit LGBT foster parents.  Nebraska’s ban is based on nothing more that a departmental memo from 1995. The next bill, LB648, introduced by Sara Howard, would allow joint adoption by two individuals, regardless of marital status. The final measure, LB586, introduced by newly elected Adam Morfeld would ban discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

All three bills have an uphill battle in the ultra-conservative Unicameral. If the bills advance out of committee, supporters will need 33 votes to break any likely filibusters.  But a couple of turncoats, the Chambers of Commerce of Lincoln and Omaha spoke in favor of Morfeld’s workplace protections bill on Wednesday.

The Video  below begins with a nice clip of State Senator Adam Morfeld.

 

There is still time to send the Committee telling them to support these bills, or sign the ACLU’s petition below.

Dear State Senator,

I am writing as a Nebraska Voter to urge you to support the bills LB586, LB647, and LB648. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Nebraskans are our family, friends, and co-workers. Every Nebraskan should be entitled to the same opportunities to take care of their families and to feel safe at work. Equality before the law isn’t just an idea, it’s the
state motto of Nebraska. Please support LB586, LB647, and LB648.

Sincerely,
{YOUR NAME}

Judiciary Committee Members Emails:

amorfeld@leg.ne.gov,
ppansingbrooks@leg.ne.gov,
lseiler@leg.ne.gov,
ccoash@leg.ne.gov,
mwilliams@leg.ne.gov,
lebke@leg.ne.gov,
bkrist@leg.ne.gov,

ACLU’s Equality Agenda Petition

 

 

2014 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


OMAHA, NE – WordPress has this new Voter Info Tool where you can look up your voter information, like your polling place. Check it out! See how you like it! Consult your election official for further information. 🙂


A nice little article detailing information about LGBT groups who dropped their support of ENDA.

Progressive Oasis

OMAHA, NE –  The National Center for Lesbian Rights went on record against supporting ENDA a few weeks ago. It was joined Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Transgender Law Center, Lambda Legal,Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund.

The Equality Pledge Network officially launched last week to push for one-bill strategy for full federal equality, calling for Congress to “Add4Words” to existing statutes as a solution to LGBT inequality issues. The American Equality Bill would add Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to existing laws like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 1972 Education Amendment Act, Fair Housing Act and Fair Credit to name a few which would affect areas of Employment, Education, Public Accommodation, Public Facilities, Housing, Federally Funded Programs and Credit to name a few.  ENDA only covers employment, and LGBT groups now balk…

View original post 484 more words


OMAHA, NE – The Equality Pledge Network announced a united call for full LGBT Equality at the MLK Jr Memorial in Washington, D.C. on June 30th at 8:30 pm with renowned African American faith leaders and LGBT activists, featuring song, prayer, speeches, and the resounding call to “ADD 4 WORDS” to the 1964 Civil Rights Act that turned 50 years old on July 2nd 2014.

Add 4 Words

Add 4 Words – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

The event was hosted by The Equality Pledge Network, a new nationwide campaign for full equality. The event was The Equality Pledge Network’s official launch event.  The Equality Pledge Network is supported by over 245 organizations in 44 states calling for a one bill strategy for full federal equality.

Speakers for the event highlighted the Network’s wide-range of supporters for a one-bill, full equality solution, from the United Church of Christ, to Equality Illinois, to the San Francisco LGBT Center. A Proclamation from Mayor Pougnet of Palm Springs was presented recognizing the California supporters and designating the first official “LGBT Equality Now Day.” Activists carried posters of LGBT children lost to discrimination, a key point in the campaign. And tribute waspaid to LGBT civil rights heroes, Eleanor Roosevelt and Bayard Rustin, who led the way with their unique gifts on the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, respectively.

Proponents assert that including LGBT Americans in the Civil Rights Act via one comprehensive bill is the most direct way to counter the vast harms caused by societal discrimination. “The inclusion of LGBT American in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is right and necessary,” said Veronica Eady, a board member of LGBTequalityNOW.org, the organization formed to support the Network. “As an African American woman, I understand why only fully inclusive nondiscrimination laws meet the standard for basic human dignity in our nation.”

The power of seeking full equality is also highly motivating and could actually build the mass movement the LGBT movement requires to become a top Congressional priority. The Network points to the success of The Pledge for Full LGBT Equality at the heart of this campaign that brought the over 240 diverse organizations together around a shared intention, spanning sixteen statewide equality organizations from Equality Hawaii to Equality South Carolina, transgender groups such as the Tennessee Trans Political Alliance, PFLAG chapters from Pasadena to Ann Arbor, the ACLU of Mississippi, The Unitarian Universalists Association, Metropolitan Community Churches, LGBT Democrats of Virginia, Palm Springs and Florida, and over 11 City Council Proclamations from West Hollywood to New Orleans and Tallahassee.

Launching two new public policy arguments in a bi-partisan approach, the campaign’s information-packed website features the cutting-edge facts about “minority stress” by Dr. Ilan Meyers of the William’s Institute, detailing the harm LGBT people endure from discrimination to make the argument that discrimination must be outlawed on public health grounds as called for by theAmerican Psychological Association and many others. And international law is also emphasized, referencing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s historic speech, and the United Nation’s Free & Equal campaign, to make clear that Congress has a duty to include LGBT Americans in the country’s nondiscrimination laws immediately.

At the vigil, Reverend Abena McCray a co-founder of Unity FellowShip Church performed Break Every Chain with choir members from the Howard University School of Divinity.  Rev. Dr. Dennis Wiley a straight-ally African-American leader on LGBT justice from Covenant Baptist UCC affirmed the inter-connectedness of all struggles, as faith leaders proclaim the spiritual imperative to protect LGBT Americans fully and equally from discrimination.

Richard Noble, who walked across America on foot for equality, presented a proclamation for “LGBT Equality Now Day” from Mayor Pougnet of Palm Springs , applauding the 15 organizations in California from LA Pride to the San Francisco LGBT Community Center that support The Pledge for Full LGBT Equality, at the heart of this new campaign.

Dr Dana Beyer, a recent state senate candidate in Maryland and a highly respected community member, will speak on behalf of Gender Rights Maryland. Transgender Rights Advocate, Consuella Lopez, from the DC Mayor’s LGBT Advisory Board spoke on the horrific suffering of TransGender Americans, from homelessness to suicide, as pictures were lifted up of fallen LGBT children to the song, Echos by Rev McCray.

Cindy Bray, Treasurer of LGBT Democrats of Virginia, and Dr Robin H Gorsline, of People of Faith for Equality in Virginia, who both brought the activist spirit and spiritual determination to bear. Rev Wes Jamison, also of United Church of Christ, offered a special prayer written for the occasion.

“All believers in equality and justice for LGBT Americans are urged to gather as we set a tone of inclusive and loving-kindness for the campaign ahead,” said Todd Fernandez, campaign manager for The Equality Pledge Network. “Our suffering requires we unite immediately to outlaw anti-LGBTQ abuse, to end the judgment, and to welcome all LGBT souls in community embrace. Join us.”

Join The Equality Pledge Network
Website: http://www.LGBTequalityNOW.org
Twitter: @EqualityPledge
FB: http://bit.ly/EqualityPledgeFB

Equality Pledge

Join the Equality Pledge Network.

Help Fund Equality!

 


OMAHA, NE – The Equality Pledge Network demands Congress “Add 4 Words” – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to various laws passed by Congress, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The new campaign for full LGBT equality, backed by over 245 organizations, will officially launch with an LGBT Civil Rights Vigil at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in D.C. beginning at 8:30 p.m., Monday, June 30th. The theme of the event is “Add 4 Words” reflecting the demand to add Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The event also celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of July 2nd.

Add 4 Words

Add 4 Words: Sexual Orientation Gender Identity

A new organization, LGBTequalityNOW.org, has been created to facilitate the Network, led by a wealth of veteran experience and diversity, including Erica Keppler, Chair of the Arizona Stonewall Democrats; Cathy Marino-Thomas, former chair of Marriage Equality USA; Veronica Eady, a straight-ally and African-American civil rights attorney currently at the Conservation Law Foundation; Josef Pons de Jesus previously with ACT-UP NY, Human Rights Campaign, and the National Latino Lesbian & Gay Organization; Pablo Colon, former community outreach and advocacy director at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis NY; Attorney Yetta Kurland, former candidate for City Council in NY and a human rights advocate; Michael Miller, formerly with the AIDS Action Committee of Boston and Harvard AIDS Institute; and Executive Director and Board Chairperson, J. Todd Fernandez, Esquire, former Ombudsman to the Governor and General Council and Legislative Director for Economic Affairs of Massachusetts.

The new network is uniting the grassroots and state groups like never before, breaking the corporate insider mold with direct empowerment of local experts. Over 40 activists in 22 states are serving as volunteer state leads, including Attorney Peter Sergienko working with his gay son Eugene in Oregon; Richard Noble, from the Walk Across America; Attorney Stephen Zollman of the National Equality March; Jeff White-Perkins from Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center; straight-ally Jean Kryean of Pennsylvania, and Mika Covington and Ken Riter, who have joined forces in Iowa and Nebraska.

The new strategy is in sharp contrast to the Human Rights Campaign’s push for the Employment Nondiscrimination Law, now embroiled in community dissent because of the religious-exemptions that would leave our most vulnerable children behind. Groups including the ACLU, Lambda Legal, Equality California, Queer Nation NY, Equality Illinois, and others, strongly oppose the Senate version of ENDA, which would ensconce in federal law anti-LGBT discrimination in taxpayer-funded programs, as a concession for Republican votes, that entirely misses the point of organizing for social change.

“Seeking full equality is not just a legislative agenda, but is the antidote to the vast harm LGBT Americans endure under discrimination, which causes children to commit suicide, and keeps 53% of LGBT workers in the closet, living in daily fear,” said Todd Fernandez, campaign manager for The Equality Pledge Network. “The ENDA compromises are a sign of our movement’s strategic weaknesses, and they should not be accepted until we have first united in full force nationwide. We won this debate in Arizona with Republican Senators’ support, and it’s the debate we need to have as a nation to heal homophobia and transphobia in our culture.”

The Network’s information-filled website advances two main arguments: 1. That international law requires Congress to outlaw SO-GI discrimination, and 2. That the vast harm caused by discrimination, known as “minority stress,” makes this a public health emergency. As support, the site includes the United Nation’s Free & Equal campaign, the historic speech by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proclaiming “gay rights are human rights,” and congressional expert testimony of Dr. Illan Meyers of the Williams Institute, backed by official reports of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, the American Psychological Association, and others.

The 2014 Campaign goals include 1. Increasing Pledge support from 245 to 500 organizations, 2. Establishing state leads in all 50 states, 3. Conducting a 2014 Equality Poll to map support in Congress, and 4. Mounting a PSA campaign about the “minority stress” impact including suicide and mental health disparities, such as depression, anxiety, and hypervigiliance.

The vigil will feature pictures of LGBT Americans lost to suicide and murder, Activists and religious leaders will carry rainbow flags and herald the contributions of LGBT civil rights heroes Eleanor Roosevelt, who led the way on the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and Bayard Rustin, the gay human rights leader who was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work leading to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which his community yearns to join.

NEBRASKA
Ken Riter, Nebraskans for Equality: “Nebraskans for Equality is proud and excited to be part of a new dialogue for LGBT equality. It is time LGBT people learn about other areas of their rights as Americans that deserve full equal attention under the law.”

IOWA
Mika Covington, Iowa State Pledge Lead: “”As an new Iowan, I have come to experience equal rights here in Iowa. They are awesome. However, they are constantly under attack and we have to constantly fight to keep them. This is why it is more important than ever to get full federal human rights for everyone no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity. The fight forward is not over until all humans have full and equal human right.”

See Full Press Release: http://www.actonprinciples.org/2014/06/24/new-nationwide-campaign-demands-lgbt-rights-be-added-to-1964-civil-rights-act-vigil-june-30th-mlk-memorial-will-launch-campaign

FUND FULL EQUALITY

%d bloggers like this: