Full EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW For LGBTQIA Nebraskans

Posts tagged ‘Full Equality’

Fight For Full Federal Equality


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:

  1. Public Accommodations (Title II, 1964 Civil Rights Act)(e.g., restaurants, hotels, theaters)
  2. Public Facilities (Title III, 1964 Civil Rights Act) (e.g., courthouses, jails, hospitals, parks)
  3. Federally-Funded Programs **Possibly the single most important one**(Title VI, 1964 Civil Rights Act) (e.g., adoption, police, schools, homeless youth, health care)
  4. 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)
  5. Housing (Title VIII, 1968 Civil Rights Act, aka the Fair Housing Act) (e.g., rental, purchase, finance)
  6. Education (Title IX, 1972 Education Amendments Act) (e.g., schools, bullying)
  7. Credit (1974 Equal Credit Opportunity Act) (e.g., credit cards)
  8. Federal Marriage Equality (based on gender, SO) (e.g., 1967 Supreme Court Decision, Loving v. Virginia)
  9. 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.

Advertisements

First “Full Equality Before The Law” Rally a Success!


OMAHA, NE – Nebraskans for Equality’s first event, the ‘Full Equality Before the Law’ rally is a complete success. A big thank you to all who joined the First Full Equality Rally today!!! It was fun, it was great to see some new faces!! I hope the very happy and peaceful Full Equality Rallies become regular events for Nebraskans For Equality because Full Equality Before the Law is what Nebraskans need and deserve!  While a certain HeartLand Pride President would compare peaceful activists like us to Westboro Protesters, we know we did the right thing.  Thousands of Omahans were made aware of LGBT issues as they drove by and honked at seeing our signs, informing them of the need for legislation covering Marriage Equality, Workplace Fairness, Stop Bullying, LB380/LB385 and overall Full Equality, to name a few. Seven wonderful activists showed up for the rally, and I would like to give Fremont a special shout out for supplying 4 of the 7 ralliers!

On another note, I don’t understand why so many activists in Nebraska have to trash LB380 and LB385. These bills could have been law by now, if the community had gotten on board to begin with. Nebraska children and Nebraska families need those bills. These bills also encompass more than just the LGBT community. It doesn’t help the movement to put one LGBT issue ahead of another, especially laws that we can pass by LEGISLATIVE ACTION. We should be pushing for FULL EQUALITY. I grew up in a household that taught me to have a job, have an education BEFORE you start a family. This is why I don’t understand why there is this push to put marriage equality above all else, when there are no state level protections for housing, public accommodation and the workplace, all which are basic needs for people who plan to get married someday. Being married does not protect you from job or housing discrimination. This why I believe we should push for FULL EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW in Nebraska.

There are four currently scheduled items that are huge for Full Equality efforts in Nebraska.
1.  Forward Equality’s Pizza and Postcard party in Lincoln, Tuesday, August 6th at 5:30pm at Yia-Yia’s Pizza see the FaceBook Event for further details,
2. The next event is Forward Equality’s Pizza and Postcard party in Omaha, August 20, at 5:30pm,
3. Rally for Marriage Equality on Sept 3 from 2pm to 4pm at 72nd Dodge Street,
4. Brad Ashford‘s Unicameral Judiciary Hearing in Lincoln on Oct 4th for Same-Sex Marriage in Nebraska.

**Memorandum for Full Equality in Nebraska: We must work toward Full Equality legislation that grants full non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression equal to those accorded other statuses under existing civil rights laws and Supreme Court jurisprudence including, not limited to Public Accommodations, Public Facilities, State-Funded Programs, Employment, Housing, Education, Credit, State-Level Marriage Equality, as well as Labor, Disability and Leave.

Ken Riter

%d bloggers like this: