civil rights

Gay community watches Mich. for legal landscape changes

Gay community watches Mich. for legal landscape changes

If you're overweight or old, pregnant or African American, your boss can't fire you for any of those reasons.

The law says so.

But if you're a gay man or lesbian, there's no such protection — one of several legal issues that weigh heavily on the gay community as it awaits a decision in Michigan's historic same-sex marriage trial. Read more »

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2 religion 'fixes' we don’t need

2 religion 'fixes' we don’t need

Legislation thrown together in response to a crisis almost always turns out to be heavy-handed or ineffective once it becomes a statute. Hard cases, as they say, make bad law.

But for really bad law — the kind with the potential for creating serious unintended consequences — nothing beats legislation that provides a solution for a non-existent problem.

Legislation sponsored in the House by Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, and in the Senate by Sen. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler, represents a good example of the latter. Both of their bills — identical, for the time being, at least — would reframe and expand the state’s religious-expression protection laws. Read more »

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What’s Next for Gay Rights in 2014?

What’s Next for Gay Rights in 2014?

The year 2013 was a banner one for gay marriage—but some LGBT activists are asking whether the movement is headed down the path to true equality and liberation.

“On one level, our movement has been a staggering, if controversial, success; yet on another level, gay and lesbian people remain profoundly stigmatized, struggling against the same crises—in health, violence, discrimination and social services—that have plagued us for decades.” Read more »

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ENDA Vote: Senate Votes To Outlaw LGBT Workplace Discrimination

ENDA Vote: Senate Votes To Outlaw LGBT Workplace Discrimination

WASHINGTON -- The Senate voted Thursday to approve the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, landmark civil rights legislation that would make it illegal to discriminate against LGBT individuals in the workplace.

The final vote was 64-32, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats. The Republican senators backing the legislation were cosponsors Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), along with Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). Read more »

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LGBT History Month Icons

LGBT History Month Icons

LGBT History Month celebrates the achievements of 31 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender Icons. Each day in October, a new LGBT Icon is featured with a video, bio, bibliography, downloadable images and other resources.

The LGBT community is the only community worldwide that is not taught its history at home, in public schools or in religious institutions. LGBT History Month provides role models, buildscommunity and makes the civil rights statement of our extraordinary national and international contributions.

Enjoy new videos each day below!

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Equal Rights for Everybody, There is No Difference.

Equal Rights for Everybody, There is No Difference.

The title of this entry, a quote from a popular rap song, shows that speaking out for gay rights is not only right; its cool. This is especially hopeful for those of us who live in conservative states like Arizona and cities like Phoenix.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are a white rapping duo that has taken the rap world by storm. They have also set many records along the way (most notably receiving six MTV video music award nominations, a record for indie artists in the history of the awards). Read more »

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Civil Rights Includes Gays 50 Years After March

Civil Rights Includes Gays 50 Years After March

Months before Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" declaration galvanized a quarter-million people at the 1963 March on Washington, Bayard Rustin was planning all the essential details to keep the crowd orderly and engaged.

Rustin, who died in 1987, is sometimes forgotten in civil rights history. As a Quaker and pacifist, he was often an outcast. Perhaps most notably, he was gay in an era when same-sex relations were widely reviled in American society. He served as chief strategist for King's march, over the objections of some leaders — but he was kept mostly in the background, with some organizers considering him a liability. Read more »

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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, House Speaker Jase Bolger Indicate Support For LGBT Rights Expansion

More than half of Michigan residents support gay marriage, according to a recent poll, despite the statewide ban prohibiting it. Just as worrisome for the state's LGBT residents, however, is another law that's missing: one that would protect them from being fired, denied housing, or otherwise discriminated against for their sexual orientation or gender expression. Which is a problem, because it's happened before.

But Michigan's Republican leadership has indicated it might be time for the legislature to start making, or at least talking about, change. At the Macomb County Republican Party Lincoln Dinner last week, Gov. Rick Snyder told reporters that he and Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger, a Republican, have discussed the issue. Read more »

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Advocates launch campaign to bar workplace discrimination against gays

Advocates launch campaign to bar workplace discrimination against gays

A coalition of civil rights groups is launching a $2 million campaign aimed at mobilizing support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which has languished on Capitol Hill for nearly two decades.

The coalition, called Americans for Workplace Opportunity, is targeting 13 senators in 11 states in hopes of replicating the strategy gay marriage advocates have used to push successful state ballot initiatives.

The effort includes gay rights groups such as the Human Rights Campaign and the GOP-leaning American Unity Fund, as well as the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Service Employees International Union. Read more »

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What is the Top Priority for the LGBT Community? Survey Says…

What is the Top Priority for the LGBT Community? Survey Says…

A new survey has revealed that, out of all the issues facing the LGBT community, LGBTs appear most concerned with workplace rights and employment protections. How should this inform political action, what is the danger in this kind of survey?

Pew Research Center released results of its comprehensive national survey on the attitudes and experiences of the LGBT community in America today, sampling 1,197 people from across the United States who self-identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual and/or as transgender (LGBT). Read more »

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