Full EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW For LGBTQIA Nebraskans

Posts tagged ‘LGBT Equality’

Unicameral Needs Your Voice on LB586, WorkPlace Protections.


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)

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New LGBT Equality Campaign Demands, “Add 4 Words”.


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

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