Coming Together For Equality

LGBT US stars & rainbow strips

State bans on local anti-discrimination laws in the United States is anti-LGBT state laws that prohibit local cities and counties from enacting, with the exception of public employment, anti-discrimination laws that are not covered by statewide anti-discrimination laws. The first state to enact such a law was Tennessee in 2011.

List of state bans on local anti-discrimination laws

For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_bans_on_local_anti-discrimination_laws_in_the_United_States

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Presidential Candidates on LGBT Issues

 

More than 60 Major CEOs & Business Leaders Demand Repeal of Mississippi’s Anti-LGBT Law

April 14, 2016 By Ianthe Metzger – humanrightscampaign

Today, HRC announced that more than 60 leading CEOs and business leaders– including executives from Bloomberg LP, CVS Health, Dropbox, Hilton Worldwide and Salesforce– have signed onto an open letter calling on Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, Lt. Governor Tate Reeves, and House Speaker Philip A. Gunn to repeal H.B. 1523. H.B. 1523, the so-called “Religious Liberty Accommodations Act,” allows almost any individual or organization to use religion as a justification to discriminate against LGBT Mississippians in some of the most important aspects of their lives, including at work, at school, and in their communities.

“It is unfathomable that in 2016, Mississippi has passed a law that explicitly allows LGBT people to be denied service or discriminated against simply because of who they are and whom they love,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.“That’s why across Mississippi and the nation, business leaders are speaking out against this discriminatory legislation that harms their employees, harms consumers, and harms their businesses. But there’s still time for Mississippi lawmakers to reverse course and do the right thing. We urge Governor Bryant and state lawmakers to lead their state to a better future, leaving the politics of discrimination and prejudice firmly in the past. It’s time for them to listen, stand up for all Mississippians, and work quickly to repeal H.B. 1523.”

Earlier this week, Mississippi State Rep. Jay Hughes and members of the Mississippi House of Representatives announced an effort to suspend regular House rules in order to introduce the “Mississippi Economic and Tourism Recovery Act” — a bill that would overturn H.B. 1523. Two-thirds of House members must vote in favor of suspending the rules to allow a vote on the proposed legislation to repeal H.B. 1523.

In addition to the major corporations signing onto this letter calling for repeal, some of the state’s largest employers, including Nissan Group of North America, Tyson Food Inc, MGM Resorts International, and Toyota, have publicly voiced their opposition to the appalling legislation — joining national corporations such as AT&T, IBM, and MassMutual. Gov. Bryant also ignored the call of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association (MMA) to veto the discriminatory measure. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has joined an effort to get more CEOs to speak publicly against the law, and top executives from Microsoft and IBM have asserted that the law is bad for business.

Additionally, rocker Bryan Adams cancelled a concert scheduled for later this week in Biloxi, MS, and nearly 100 prominent writers from the state, including John Grisham and Kathryn Stockett, signed a letter protesting the discriminatory law. ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts, who is featured as the welcoming face of the Hospitality State’s official tourism guide, also decried the legislation saying, “hurts my soul to think of anyone not feeling welcome.” Actress Sharon Stone has also cancelled a film shoot in Mississippi because of the law, and the New York Mississippi Society cancelled their 37th Mississippi Picnic in Central Park.

Under this new law, religion could be used by almost any individual or organization to justify discrimination against LGBT people, single mothers, unwed couples, and others. Tax-payer funded faith-based organizations could: refuse to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples for provision of critical services including emergency shelter; deny children in need of loving homes placement with LGBT families including the child’s own family member; and refuse to sell or rent a for-profit home to an LGBT person — even if the organization receives government funding. It would also give foster families the freedom to subject an LGBTQ child to the dangerous practice of “conversion therapy,” and subject a pregnant unwed girl to abuse, without fear of government intervention or license suspension. It would even allow individuals to refuse to carry out the terms of a state contract for the provision of counseling services to all eligible individuals, including veterans, based on the counselor’s beliefs about LGBT people or single mothers.

Furthermore, schools, employers, and service providers could refuse transgender people access to appropriate sex-segregated facilities consistent with their gender identity — all in direct conflict with the U.S. Department of Justice’s enforcement of federal law. HB 1523 even legalizes Kim Davis-style discrimination by allowing government employees to abdicate their duties and refuse to license or solemnize marriages for LGBT people.

For more: http://www.hrc.org/blog/more-than-60-major-ceos-business-leaders-demand-repeal-of-mississippis-anti

U.K. Issues Travel Warning About Antigay U.S. States

Days before President Obama travels to England, the United Kingdom’s foreign office has issued a travel warning to British tourists visiting the American South, specifically referencing North Carolina and Mississippi.

On the U.K.’s Foreign Office website, under the local laws and customs section of the USA travel advice, is the following message:

Local laws and customs

Laws vary from state to state. When you are physically present in a state, even temporarily, you are subject to that state’s laws. You must carry a passport showing that you have leave to enter or remain with you at all times.

The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country. LGBT travellers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi. Before travelling please read our general travel advice for the LGBT community. You can find more detail on LGBT issues in the US on the website of the Human Rights Campaign.

For more: http://www.advocate.com/world/2016/4/20/uk-issues-travel-warning-about-antigay-us-states
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9 thoughts on “Coming Together For Equality

  1. WH

    Saturday, April 16, 2016

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

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  2. Coming Together For Equality

    State bans on local anti-discrimination laws

    State bans on local anti-discrimination laws in the United States is anti-LGBT state laws that prohibit local cities and counties from enacting, with the exception of public employment, anti-discrimination laws that are not covered by statewide anti-discrimination laws. The first state to enact such a law was Tennessee in 2011.

    List of state bans on local anti-discrimination laws:
    ——————————————————————

    Tennessee (2011): Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act
    Arkansas (2015): Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act
    North Carolina (2016): Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act

    For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_bans_on_local_anti-discrimination_laws_in_the_United_States

    • More than 60 Major CEOs & Business Leaders Demand Repeal of Mississippi’s Anti-LGBT Law

      April 14, 2016 By Ianthe Metzger – humanrightscampaign

      Today, HRC announced that more than 60 leading CEOs and business leaders– including executives from Bloomberg LP, CVS Health, Dropbox, Hilton Worldwide and Salesforce– have signed onto an open letter calling on Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, Lt. Governor Tate Reeves, and House Speaker Philip A. Gunn to repeal H.B. 1523. H.B. 1523, the so-called “Religious Liberty Accommodations Act,” allows almost any individual or organization to use religion as a justification to discriminate against LGBT Mississippians in some of the most important aspects of their lives, including at work, at school, and in their communities.

      “It is unfathomable that in 2016, Mississippi has passed a law that explicitly allows LGBT people to be denied service or discriminated against simply because of who they are and whom they love,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.“That’s why across Mississippi and the nation, business leaders are speaking out against this discriminatory legislation that harms their employees, harms consumers, and harms their businesses. But there’s still time for Mississippi lawmakers to reverse course and do the right thing. We urge Governor Bryant and state lawmakers to lead their state to a better future, leaving the politics of discrimination and prejudice firmly in the past. It’s time for them to listen, stand up for all Mississippians, and work quickly to repeal H.B. 1523.”

      Earlier this week, Mississippi State Rep. Jay Hughes and members of the Mississippi House of Representatives announced an effort to suspend regular House rules in order to introduce the “Mississippi Economic and Tourism Recovery Act” — a bill that would overturn H.B. 1523. Two-thirds of House members must vote in favor of suspending the rules to allow a vote on the proposed legislation to repeal H.B. 1523.

      In addition to the major corporations signing onto this letter calling for repeal, some of the state’s largest employers, including Nissan Group of North America, Tyson Food Inc, MGM Resorts International, and Toyota, have publicly voiced their opposition to the appalling legislation — joining national corporations such as AT&T, IBM, and MassMutual. Gov. Bryant also ignored the call of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association (MMA) to veto the discriminatory measure. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has joined an effort to get more CEOs to speak publicly against the law, and top executives from Microsoft and IBM have asserted that the law is bad for business.

      Additionally, rocker Bryan Adams cancelled a concert scheduled for later this week in Biloxi, MS, and nearly 100 prominent writers from the state, including John Grisham and Kathryn Stockett, signed a letter protesting the discriminatory law. ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts, who is featured as the welcoming face of the Hospitality State’s official tourism guide, also decried the legislation saying, “hurts my soul to think of anyone not feeling welcome.” Actress Sharon Stone has also cancelled a film shoot in Mississippi because of the law, and the New York Mississippi Society cancelled their 37th Mississippi Picnic in Central Park.

      Under this new law, religion could be used by almost any individual or organization to justify discrimination against LGBT people, single mothers, unwed couples, and others. Tax-payer funded faith-based organizations could: refuse to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples for provision of critical services including emergency shelter; deny children in need of loving homes placement with LGBT families including the child’s own family member; and refuse to sell or rent a for-profit home to an LGBT person — even if the organization receives government funding. It would also give foster families the freedom to subject an LGBTQ child to the dangerous practice of “conversion therapy,” and subject a pregnant unwed girl to abuse, without fear of government intervention or license suspension. It would even allow individuals to refuse to carry out the terms of a state contract for the provision of counseling services to all eligible individuals, including veterans, based on the counselor’s beliefs about LGBT people or single mothers.

      Furthermore, schools, employers, and service providers could refuse transgender people access to appropriate sex-segregated facilities consistent with their gender identity — all in direct conflict with the U.S. Department of Justice’s enforcement of federal law. HB 1523 even legalizes Kim Davis-style discrimination by allowing government employees to abdicate their duties and refuse to license or solemnize marriages for LGBT people.

      For more: http://www.hrc.org/blog/more-than-60-major-ceos-business-leaders-demand-repeal-of-mississippis-anti

  3. West Wing Week 4/15/16 or, “I Understand We Have a Live Chicken!”

    Published on Apr 15, 2016

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, the President commemorated Equal Pay Day by designating a new national monument, hosted smart girls and boys at the 6th White House Science Fair, met with the National Security Council to discuss the counter ISIL effort, and kicked off the Wounded Warrior Ride. That’s April 8th to April 14th or, “I Understand We Have a Live Chicken!”

  4. April 16, 2016

    WEEKLY ADDRESS: Ensuring Our Free Market Works for Everyone

    Remarks of President Barack Obama as Delivered
    Weekly Address
    The White House
    April 16, 2016

    Hello, everybody. One of America’s greatest strengths is our free market. A thriving private sector is the lifeblood of our economy – it’s how we create jobs, expand opportunities, and give everybody a shot at success. It’s what has made America the strongest country on Earth.

    The most essential ingredient in a healthy free market is competition. But right now, too many companies are engaging in behaviors that stifle competition – like blocking new competitors from entering the market or limiting the information and options that give consumers real choice. As a consequence, the rest of us pay higher prices for lower quality products and services. Workers receive lower wages than they otherwise would. Small businesses and entrepreneurs can get squeezed out of the market. And none of that is fair – or good for our economy.

    The deck should not be stacked in favor of the wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations, against working Americans. That’s why my administration is doing everything we can to reverse this trend and promote more competition in the marketplace. In addition to enforcing the rules on the books, I’ve directed federal agencies to identify anti-competitive behavior in different industries, and find new and specific ways to promote competition.

    One industry that’s ripe for change is cable TV. Right now, 99 percent of cable and satellite TV customers rent set-top boxes from their providers. According to one survey, this costs households an average of more than $230 per year. We spend some $20 billion to rent these devices. While we have almost unlimited choice in what we watch on television, from traditional programming to online content, there’s next to no competition to build a better, user-friendly product that allows you to easily access all this content in one place. So most consumers just rent whatever the cable company offers. Because we have to. That means companies have little incentive to innovate. As a consequence, we need multiple devices and controllers to access content from different sources.

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/weekly-address

    April 15, 2016
    Executive Order — Steps to Increase Competition and Better Inform Consumers and Workers to Support Continued Growth of the American Economy

  5. 1963 Birmingham Campaign

    April 16, 1963
    Martin Luther King, Jr., is arrested and jailed during anti-segregation protests in Birmingham, Ala.; he writes his seminal “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” arguing that individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_from_Birmingham_Jail

    —————

    April 16, 1963 LETTER FROM BIRMINGHAM JAIL

    MY DEAR FELLOW CLERGYMEN:

    While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statements in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.

    I think I should indicate why I am here In Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against “outsiders coming in.” I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty-five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct-action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here I am here because I have organizational ties here.

    But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

    For more: http://abacus.bates.edu/admin/offices/dos/mlk/letter.html

  6. How the GOP Made Obama One of America’s Most Powerful Presidents
    By stonewalling new laws and new budgets, Congress handed control to the White House.

    April 14, 2016 By Zachary Karabell – politico

    Republicans over the past seven years have come to view Barack Obama not just as an ideological enemy but as a “dictator”—an accusation hurled most recently by both Chris Christie and Glenn Beck—a president who has unconstitutionally abused his executive power with an array of unilateral actions.
    But Republicans are hardly passive victims of an overweening executive; they are, in fact, paying for their own unilateral surrender of power. The GOP-dominated Congress has sought to weaken and undermine Obama and instead has achieved the opposite. Unable to pass significant legislation after the Affordable Care Act, the Obama White House filled the vacuum by creative use of executive authority, setting a potentially risky precedent for the future balance between the branches but spurred, ironically, by the very opponents who were trying to contain him.
    Story Continued Below

    Out of anti-Obama pique, Congress has also relinquished much of its primary tool, the power of the purse. Congress and the White House have not agreed on a budget since 2009, and only at the end of 2015 was an actual budget passed by the House. So while it is technically true that even the most controversial military programs of the Obama years have had de facto congressional support, Congress has failed to use its constitutional control of the budget as a check on executive action.

    Some critics also currently speculate that the refusal by most Republican senators to even consider the new nominee for the Supreme Court could lead to an attempt to simply place an appointee on the court.

    Obama could use the novel interpretation that nothing in the Constitution says the Senate must actually confirm a nominee by vote and that failing to vote could be construed as a tacit and passive approval of a nominee. Were that to happen, it would surely be condemned by Republicans as a naked power grab, but it could also set another precedent for the current imbalance of power between the executive and legislative branches.

    Read more:http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/04/barack-obama-gop-most-powerful-213814

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