OMAHA, NE – Equality for all Americans is important, and of particular importance to our nation’s LGBT community. I am excited to donate some of my time to take on the task as a state lead for Nebraska for The Equality Pledge. and the American Equality Bill.
The time to push for Full Federal Equality has arrived. ENDA has been introduced in every session of Congress since 1994, and has failed to pass. The LGBT movement has been “piecemealing” our civil rights for so long, that people have forgotten that Marriage Equality and NonDiscrimination in Housing and Employment are just a small part of what we in the LGBT Community deserve as true and equal Americans. I say the people are growing weary. There is also a need to look to fairness in education, public accommodation, federal funding, and credit, among an entire list of civil rights that we should be demanding now and discussing everyday within our respective communities.
A day of action is coming. May 17th is our first day of action to stand against homophobia and transphobia in cooperation between the people of the Full Equality Pledge and IDAHOT 2014. Omaha will have rally May 17th 2014, from 2pm-7pm on the NorthWest corner of 72nd and Dodge. According to The Equality Pledge leader Todd Fernandez, “The key objective on May 17th is to bring local Pledge groups together to discuss and create a plan for coalition work focused on the Pledge, and on other state nondiscrimination priorities you may have. It’s time to organize to win. And July 2nd is the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act – so if not now, when?”
(FB Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/281157485379314)
See also http://dayagainsthomophobia.org
A new arm in the LGBT movement is rising to take up this responsibility of discussing and pushing the need for Full Federal Equality and that is The Equality Pledge. Our message is that LGBTQIA Americans are entitled to full and equal federal nondiscrimination protection; first, as a matter of international human rights law, and urgently, as a matter of public health, to stop the horrible suffering caused by anti-LGBTQIA stigma in society.
The Equality Pledge supports the passage of an omnibus LGBT equality legislation that grants full non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity equal to those accorded other statuses under existing civil rights laws and Supreme Court jurisprudence, specifically including:
- Public Accommodations (Title II, 1964 Civil Rights Act)(e.g., restaurants, hotels, theaters)
- Public Facilities (Title III, 1964 Civil Rights Act) (e.g., courthouses, jails, hospitals, parks)
- Federally-Funded Programs **Possibly the single most important one**(Title VI, 1964 Civil Rights Act) (e.g., adoption, police, schools, homeless youth, health care)
- Employment (Title VII, 1964 Civil Rights Act; 1978 Civil Service Reform Act; 1991 Government Employee Rights Act; 1995 Congressional Accountability Act; 10 U.S.C. Ch. 37) (e.g., civilian and military government, private sector)
- Housing (Title VIII, 1968 Civil Rights Act, aka the Fair Housing Act) (e.g., rental, purchase, finance)
- Education (Title IX, 1972 Education Amendments Act) (e.g., schools, bullying)
- Credit (1974 Equal Credit Opportunity Act) (e.g., credit cards)
- Federal Marriage Equality (based on gender, SO) (e.g., 1967 Supreme Court Decision, Loving v. Virginia)
- Immigration, Disability, and Family Leave (Uniting American Families Act (proposed), the American With Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act)
This is an important turn in the history of the LGBT movement. Every individual and every group is warmly welcomed to this organizing that respects autonomy and diversity in strategy, messaging and tactics. Retired organizers are rising up again, able to work by phone and email these days. And LGBT community centers, state equality groups, and grassroots marriage equality groups, to name a few, are taking leading roles for May 17th. The Equality Pledge has already received endorsements from over 225 groups from 44 states and the District of Columbia. These groups represent the full array of advocacy, direct action, faith-based, statewide, local, marriage, immigration, pride, transgender/gender-nonconforming, community centers, and other community constituencies. See also: http://www.actonprinciples.org/thepledge
If you are interested in bringing your group into this vast and growing network, please contact Ken Riter at 4o2-686-6389 in Nebraska or Mika Covington at 712-314-8258 in Iowa.