civil rights

Bias against gays: It's bad for business — and us all

Bias against gays: It's bad for business — and us all

July Fourth is more than just a holiday. It's a statement about the values we hold as Arizonans and Westerners, the freedom to make our own choices, live our own live and look forward to a better Arizona.

More than 70 percent of Arizonans believe there is equality in places of employment for all in our state. Unfortunately, this is not the reality. Today, in Arizona, you can still be fired for who you are and who you may love. Read more »

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REPUBLIC SERVICES JOINS ARIZONA BUSINESSES SUPPORTING UNITY PLEDGE

REPUBLIC SERVICES JOINS ARIZONA BUSINESSES SUPPORTING UNITY PLEDGE

PHOENIX (Feb. 10, 2014) – Today, Phoenix-based Republic Services announced it has signed theUNITY Pledge. Created in 2013 by ONE Community, the Pledge gives Arizona businesses and individuals a way to demonstrate support for workplace equality and equal treatment in housing and hospitality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals.  Read more »

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Another GOP congressman comes out in support of gay marriage

Another GOP congressman comes out in support of gay marriage

GOP Rep. David Jolly of Florida came out this week in support of marriage equality for gay couples.

The congressman told The Washington Post on Monday that his personal views about marriage center on it being a union between a man and a woman. But, he added, states should not define the “sanctity” of marriage.

“As a matter of my Christian faith, I believe in traditional marriage,” Jolly said in a statement to the Post. “But as a matter of constitutional principle I believe in a form of limited government that protects personal liberty. To me, that means that the sanctity of one’s marriage should be defined by their faith and by their church, not by their state.” Read more »

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Anti-gay laws can fuel spread of HIV, research finds

Anti-gay laws can fuel spread of HIV, research finds

Stigma and discrimination have always played a major role in the global AIDS epidemic, but they are getting renewed attention this year at the ongoing International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

A study released Monday at the conference shows that vulnerable communities in Nigeria fared far worse after legislation was passed criminalizing gay male sex. And in a panel scheduled for Wednesday , researchers were expected to discuss way to help advocates, doctors and patients combat stigma. Read more »

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Ruling Sparks Debate on Retroactive Gay Rights

A new Connecticut Supreme Court ruling is adding to the debate on whether gay marriage rights should be applied retroactively and qualify same-sex couples for rights and benefits for which they weren't entitled before state laws allowed them to marry.

Although no states that allow gay marriage have made their laws retroactive, many same-sex partners believe they should have received Social Security survivor payments, tax breaks, inheritances and other benefits that were afforded only to heterosexual married couples before gay marriage laws were passed. Read more »

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Ruling Allows Same-Sex Marriages for Florida Keys

A judge in the Florida Keys has overturned the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage after a legal challenge by six gay couples said it effectively made them second-class citizens.

The ruling was issued Thursday by Circuit Judge Luis M. Garcia and applies only to Monroe County, which covers the Keys. The lawsuit contended that the same-sex marriage ban approved by voters in 2008 violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law. The judge says licenses could be issued starting Tuesday. Read more »

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Senate Republicans Block Bill To Reverse Hobby Lobby Decision

Senate Republicans Block Bill To Reverse Hobby Lobby Decision

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a bill that would have required all for-profit employers to include the full range of contraceptives in their health insurance plans, in effect overriding the Supreme Court's recent decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

The Senate voted 56 to 43 to proceed to debate on the bill, falling short of the 60 votes needed to move forward. Three Republicans-- Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) -- voted with Senate Democrats to proceed. Read more »

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Health Survey: About 2 Percent Of Americans Are Gay Or Lesbian

Health Survey: About 2 Percent Of Americans Are Gay Or Lesbian

A federal report released Tuesday says just 2 percent of Americans over the age of 18 identify as gay or lesbian.

The report, released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), relates to sexual orientation and health among U.S. adults.

The NCHS used statistics gathered from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), an annual health study including 34,557 adults aged 18 and over. The aim of the new survey was to determine the disparities in health-related behaviors, health status, health care service utilization, and health care access among participants based on sexual orientation. Read more »

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Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton urges Congressional action to counter Hobby Lobby decision

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has joined with several other mayors from across the U.S. to urge Congressional leaders to create legislation to counteract the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision.

In a joint letter to Congress, the mayors call for legislation to safeguard against possible repercussions of the recent Court decision that “could undermine basic anti-discrimination laws and protections of individual liberties at the federal, state and local levels.”

The mayors also warn of some groups that have already begun to use the decision to challenge anti-discrimination laws in employment, housing and public accommodation. Read more »

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