Gay Primary Source

Thursday, March 31, 2016

NC AG Won't Defend Anti-Gay Bill

" We should not even be here today. But we are. We are here because the Governor has signed state-wide legislation that puts discrimination into the law. Obviously, the LGBT community is targeted, but also people who are discriminated against based on race or religion and other classes of people could likely have a harder time bringing an action to protect themselves. The law even eliminates local ordinances that protect veterans and the wages of working people employed by companies that contract with cities.

Not only is this new law a national embarrassment, it will set North Carolina’s economy back, if we don’t repeal it. And that means there will be a negative impact on innocent people who work hard every day and pay taxes. They don’t deserve to lose money because of this. They deserve better.

We know that businesses here and all over the country have taken strong stances in opposition to this law and that convention and sporting event organizers are rethinking their plans. The threats to our economy will grow even darker the longer this law stays in effect. It will also cause a flood of litigation – the first case having been filed yesterday.

Over the last 15 years, our office has defended the state, its officials and agencies when they are sued. Our office will continue to that, except it will not defend the constitutionality of the discrimination in HB 2. The reason is this.

Since 2001, my office has had its own non-discrimination policy that includes, along with other protections, marital status and sexual orientation – two classes not protected by the state. I believed in 2001, when we adopted it, and I believe now that our policy is not only the right thing to do, but it is a necessary and vital signal to send as we recruit and retain the best and brightest employees here. Many of the top law firms in our state provide these protections and we needed to as well. I made a promise. Employees who get the job done here should be welcomed without fear of discrimination ...

 ... Discrimination is wrong, period.

The Governor and the Legislature should repeal this law.

 ... Conservative Republican Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia was recently presented with a discrimination law passed by his legislature. He saw what happened in Indiana when that state passed laws that discriminate. He saw that Indiana lost business and millions of dollars in revenue hurting every day working people there. Governor Deal didn’t want that for his state. He just stepped up yesterday and vetoed this law that would have allowed discrimination in Georgia because he knew it would hurt Georgia’s economy.

Our Governor should have done the same thing and vetoed HB 2. But he did not. Considering what is happening, I believe he must now call for and work with the Legislature to repeal it. I’ll work with all of them to get that done.

It’s time to do the right thing for the good of our people, our economy and our state. "

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, March 29, 2016.


Virginia Gov Vetoes Anti-Gay Law

Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Senate Bill 41, which would shield from civil liability those who actively discriminate against same-sex couples.

Although couched as a “religious freedom” bill, this legislation is nothing more than an attempt to stigmatize. Any legitimate protections afforded by Senate Bill 41 are duplicative of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Virginia; and the Virginia Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Any additional protections are styled in a manner that prefers one religious viewpoint—that marriage can only validly exist between a man and a woman—over all other viewpoints. Such a dynamic is not only unconstitutional, it equates to discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.

This legislation is also bad for business and creates roadblocks as we try to build the new Virginia economy. Businesses and job creators do not want to locate or do business in states that appear more concerned with demonizing people than with creating a strong business climate. Legislation that immunizes the discriminatory actions of certain people and institutions at the expense of same-sex couples would damage Virginia’s reputation for commonsense, pro-business government. We need only look at the damage these types of laws are doing in other states to understand the harm this bill could bring to our Commonwealth and its economy.

We should be pursuing policies to make Virginia a more vibrant and welcoming place to live, work, and raise a family. Senate Bill 41 would accomplish the opposite by making Virginia unwelcome to same-sex couples, while artificially engendering a sense of fear and persecution among our religious communities.

Accordingly, I veto this bill. "

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, March 30, 2016; veto message on bill which would shield from civil liability those who actively discriminate against same-sex couples. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

NBA Slams North Carolina Law

" The NBA is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for all who attend our games and events.  We are deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect and do not yet know what impact it will have on our ability to successfully host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte. "

National Basketball Association, March 24, 2016; in response to North Carolina law passed that bans local anti-discrimination laws and more.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Obama Touts Same-Sex Marriage in US & Canada

"... Our shared values also guide us at home. I’m proud to be the first American President to stand with a Canadian Prime Minister and be able to say that - in both our nations - health care is not a privilege for a few but is now a right for all. And as two vast and vibrant societies, we reaffirm that our diversity is our strength - whether your family was among the first native peoples to live on these lands or refugees we welcomed just yesterday. Whether you pray in a church or a synagogue, or a temple, or a mosque. Where, no matter what province or state you live in, you have the freedom to marry the person that you love..."

President Barack Obama, March 10, 2016; welcoming Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House.

Click here to read the entire addresses of Pres. Obama and PM Trudeau

"... But there is a point to this, though, and that is that we’re not here for power. We’re not here for fame or fortune. We’re here for our kids. We’re here for everybody’s kids - to give our sons and our daughters a better world. To pass to them a world that’s a little safer, and a little more equal, and a little more just, a little more prosperous so that a young person growing up in Chicago or Montreal or on the other side of the world has every opportunity to make of their life what they will, no matter who they are or what they look like, or how they pray or who they love..."

President Barack Obama, March 10, 2016; at State Dinner for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Click here to read the entire address (it's really funny among other things) 


Sunday, March 6, 2016

South Dakota Gov Vetoes Anti-Transgender Bill

" Dear Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives,

I respectfully return to you House Bill 1008, with my VETO.

House Bill 1008 does not address any pressing issue concerning the school districts of South Dakota.  As policymakers in South Dakota, we often recite that the best government is the government closest to the people.  Local school districts can, and have, made necessary restroom and locker room accommodations that serve the best interests of all students, regardless of biological sex or gender identity.

This bill seeks to impose statewide standards on “every restroom, locker room, and shower room located in a public elementary or secondary school.”  It removes the ability of local school districts to determine the most appropriate accommodations for their individual students and replaces that flexibility with a state mandate.

If and when these rare situations arise, I believe local school officials are best positioned to address them.  Instead of encouraging local solutions, this bill broadly regulates in a manner that invites conflict and litigation, diverting energy and resources from the education of the children of this state.

Preserving local control is particularly important because this bill would place every school district in the difficult position of following state law while knowing it openly invites federal litigation.  Although there have been promises by an outside entity to provide legal defense to a school district, this provision is not memorialized in the bill.  Nor would such defense eliminate the need for school or state legal counsel, nor avoid expenses relating to expert witnesses, depositions and travel, or other defense costs.  Nor does the commitment extend to coverage over settlement or damage expenses.  This law will create a certain liability for school districts and the state in an area where no such liability exists today.

For these reasons, I oppose this bill and ask that you sustain my veto. "

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed HB 1008 - an act to restrict access by transgender students to certain restrooms and locker rooms in public schools - March 1, 2016.