Gay Primary Source

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Senators Introduce Pro-Transgender Troops Legislation

" U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced a bipartisan bill that would protect transgender service members by preventing the Department of Defense (DoD) from removing currently serving members of the Armed Forces based solely on their gender identity. Transgender troops have been openly serving in the military since June 2016. This legislation comes after Senate leadership cut off debate on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the Senate did not get an opportunity to vote on the bipartisan amendment introduced by Gillibrand and Collins, and supported by McCain and Reed, that would have achieved the same goal.

“When less than one percent of Americans are volunteering to join the military, we should welcome all those who are willing and able to serve our country,” said Senator McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Any member of the military who meets the medical and readiness standards should be allowed to serve - including those who are transgender. The Senate Armed Services Committee will review the results of the DOD study on accession and will continue to work closely with our military leaders on any policy changes as we conduct oversight on this important issue."

“Despite being denied a vote on my bipartisan amendment to defend our transgender service members, we are not giving up in this fight,” said Senator Gillibrand, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel. “I am so grateful to Chairman McCain, Senator Collins, and Ranking Member Reed for joining me to introduce this bipartisan bill to block the Defense Department from kicking transgender troops out of our military. Thousands of brave transgender Americans love our country enough to risk their lives for it, fight for it, and even die for it, and Congress should honor them and let them serve. Doing otherwise would only harm our readiness at a time when our military is deployed around the world in defense of our country. I am proud to lead this fight in the Senate, and I urge all of my colleagues to join us in supporting this bill."

“Our armed forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country,” said Senator Collins. “If individuals are willing to put on the uniform of our country, be deployed in war zones, and risk their lives for our freedoms, then we should be expressing our gratitude to them, not trying to kick them out of the military."

“The President has manufactured a crisis for political reasons, one that is discriminatory and deeply harmful to those currently serving. Transgender service members deployed today are serving with honor and distinction. The last thing they need while serving in a combat zone is to worry about being involuntarily separated,” said Senator Reed. “Congress needs to act on a bipartisan basis to do what is best for our country and national security, and that includes overturning President Trump's poorly conceived transgender ban." "

September 15, 2017

     Click here to read the entire statement 


Saturday, August 5, 2017

56 Generals & Admirals (Retd.) Slam Trmp Trans Ban

" The Commander in Chief has tweeted a total ban of honorably serving transgender troops. This proposed ban, if implemented, would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy. As a result, the proposed ban would degrade readiness even more than the failed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. Patriotic transgender Americans who are serving - and who want to serve - must not be dismissed, deprived of medically necessary health care, or forced to compromise their integrity or hide their identity.

President Trump seeks to ban transgender service members because of the financial cost and disruption associated with transgender military service. We respectfully disagree, and consider these claims to be without merit. The Rand Corporation, as well as research in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the financial cost of providing health care to transgender troops would be, at most, $8.4 million per year. This amounts to one one-hundredth of one percent of the military’s annual health care budget. As for ostensible disruptions, transgender troops have been serving honorably and openly for the past year, and have been widely praised by commanders. Eighteen foreign nations, including the UK and Israel, allow transgender troops to serve, and none has reported any detriment to readiness.

Recently, two former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have taken courageous stands in support of our transgender service members. General Martin Dempsey said of our transgender troops that, ‘The service of men and women who volunteer and who meet our standards of service is a blessing, not a burden.’

And Admiral Mike Mullen stated that, ‘I led our armed forces under the flawed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy and saw firsthand the harm to readiness and morale when we fail to treat all service members according to the same standards. Thousands of transgender Americans are currently serving in uniform and there is no reason to single out these brave men and women and deny them the medical care that they require. The military conducted a thorough research process on this issue and concluded that inclusive policy for transgender troops promotes readiness.’ Admiral Mullen urged civilian leaders ‘to respect the military’s judgment and not to breach the faith of service members who defend our freedoms.’ We could not agree more. " August 1, 2017.

     click here to see the original and all the signatories 


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sen. McCain Slams Prez Anti-Transgender Tweet

" The President’s tweet this morning regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter.

The statement was unclear. The Department of Defense has already decided to allow currently-serving transgender individuals to stay in the military, and many are serving honorably today. Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving. There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military—regardless of their gender identity. We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so—and should be treated as the patriots they are. "

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, July 26, 2017.

     Click here to read entire statement


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Malta Approves Same-Sex Marriage

" The Maltese Parliament approved the Marriage Equality Bill during its third and final reading, making Malta the 25th country in the world, and the 15th in Europe, to approve such a law. This was the first law which Government moved in Parliament during this new legislature, as promised by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

The aim of this law is that of modernising marriage law through the mainstreaming of equality for all. This means that the institution of marriage is now fully gender neutral to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, and genderqueer (LGBTIQ) persons are free to contract a marriage with their loved ones, be they of the same or a different sex, and also to parent children without having unnecessary references to their gender or biological make-up on their children’s birth certificates.

It also means that all discrepancies between husband and wife have now been removed. For example, both are now free to adopt or take on their partner’s surname without distinction. Their siblings would then take on the family surname that the couple chooses on their marriage day.

During the process towards the adoption of the Bill, a lot of the discussion centred on whether it was necessary to convert civil marriage to a fully gender neutral institution. Government insisted that this was necessary in order to respect the anti-discrimination provisions in the country’s Constitution adopted in 2014 relative to sexual orientation and gender identity. Additionally, Government indicated that both the Civil Unions Act, and the Cohabitation Act adopted in 2014 and 2016 respectively are both gender neutral, and that marriage should not be an exception.

A celebration organised by the Government of Malta and the LGBTIQ Consultative Council (a government instituted body consisting of representatives of all LGBTIQ civil society organisations) was held in front of the Auberge de Castille, the seat of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Government of Malta press release, July 12, 2017.

     Click here to see original


Saturday, June 24, 2017

California AG Bans State Travel to GLBTQ-Phobic States

" Our country has made great strides in dismantling prejudicial laws that have deprived too many of our fellow Americans of their precious rights. Sadly, that is not the case in all parts of our nation, even in the 21st century. I am announcing today that I am adding four states to the list of states where California-funded or sponsored travel will be restricted on account of the discriminatory nature of laws enacted by those states. While the California DOJ works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back. That's why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra; California will prohibit state-funded and state-sponsored travel to Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas based on discriminatory legislation enacted in each state, June 22, 2017.

Canada's Prime Minister Marks Pride with Historic Legislation

" Hello, everyone. Happy pride!

Happy pride month! Thanks for joining us today as we raise the pride flag, the trans pride flag and the Canada 150 pride flag on Parliament Hill. I’m pleased to be here with Minister Wilson-Raybould, Minister Goodale, as well as assembled ministers and MPs of all parties, as well as my special advisor on LGBTQ2 issues, Randy Boissonneault.

Randy – thanks for your terrific work on behalf of the community. We really broke new ground with this advisor role, and the work you’ve been doing is essential to ensuring a more just Canada for all. Thank you.

You know, last year, when we raised the Pride flag for the first time here on the Hill, it was a historic moment for Canadians. But at this year’s flag raising, we’re doing something even more important, and even more historic.

This year’s ceremony marks another milestone as we acknowledge and work to rectify historical injustices experienced by Canadians due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. I am pleased to announce today that our government will be moving forward with a process for the expungement of criminal convictions for Canadians who were unjustly convicted of a crime simply for who they were and who they loved.

We will be introducing legislation on this in the House of Commons later this year. Further, we will acknowledge and apologize for the role played by legislation, programs, and policies in the historical discrimination faced by LGBTQ2 Canadians.

As we announced last month, we are committed to apologizing in an inclusive and meaningful manner before the end of 2017.

I believe that it’s essential to make amends for past wrongs, not to simply gloss over them. Today’s announcement and the forthcoming apology are important steps in the right direction. Our government believes in equality and equal treatment for all Canadians and we’re proud to take concrete action to make that a reality.

We will passionately defend the rights of all our citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are unacceptable.

In Canada, we’ve come a long way but there is still more work to be done. There is still work to do, fights to be had, here in Canada, and more and more around the world. Canadians get that recognizing LGBTQ2 rights are recognizing human rights, and leading around the world in the fight for equality, for respect, for opportunity is something that is as much a part of Canada as the maple leaf flying over Parliament Hill and as now the pride flags are.

This is something we commit ourselves to now, in our 150th year since Confederation and every year as we move forward. Let us stay vigilant and ambitious while we work together towards a brighter, safer, more accepting future for all.

Thank you very much. Thank you my friends. Thank you! "

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; remarks at the flag raising ceremony for Pride Month, June 14, 2017.

Canada Praises Pride Month

June marks the beginning of Pride season across the country, where we celebrate all those who seek to be who they truly are, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. It is also a time of year where we recognize the many barriers Canadians from these communities have overcome, and the challenges they continue to face.

Throughout the coming months, I will join Canadians in these celebrations and, as the month of June is National Aboriginal History Month, I want to extend special recognition of two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender members of Canada’s Indigenous communities.

The Government of Canada takes seriously the responsibility to challenge stigma, violence, and prejudices wherever they occur and I remain personally committed to advance and protect our communities’ rights and address historical injustices they have endured.

Canadians recognize that diversity and inclusion make our country stronger, no matter whom each of us loves or how we identify.

Special Advisor to the Canadian Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 issues, M.P. Randy Boissonnault, June 1, 2017.

     click for original


Queen's Speech Supports LGBT Rights

"... My government will make further progress to tackle the gender pay gap and discrimination against people on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability or sexual orientation. "

HM Queen Elizabeth II, 2017 Queen's Speech to UK Parliament, June 21, 2017.

     Click here to read the entire speech


Friday, June 9, 2017

Florida House Declares Pulse Remembrance Day June 12th

" A resolution recognizing June 12, 2017, as "Pulse Remembrance Day" in Florida.

WHEREAS, on June 12, 2016, an armed gunman opened fire at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, senselessly murdering 49 people, physically wounding 53, and traumatizing thousands, and

WHEREAS, many of the victims and survivors are from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community, and

WHEREAS, Pulse nightclub is an LGBTQ+ establishment; such establishments carry historical significance and are often recognized as safe havens for the LGBTQ+ community, and

WHEREAS, on that night, communities of color were disproportionately impacted by that horrific hate crime as Pulse nightclub was hosting a "Latin Night" celebration, and

WHEREAS, the attack at Pulse nightclub has been recognized as the deadliest mass shooting by a single individual, the most lethal incident of violence against the LGBTQ+ community in United States history and the largest terrorist attack in the country since 9/11, and

WHEREAS, local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel performed their duties admirably in the siege and selflessly risked their lives for the safety of the patrons of Pulse nightclub, and

WHEREAS, following the attack, the residents of Orlando and people throughout the state, the nation, and the world expressed overwhelming support for the victims and their families, and

WHEREAS, Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old; Amanda Alvear, 25 years old; Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26 years old; Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old; Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old; Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old; Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old; Juan Chavez-Martinez, 25 years old; Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old; Cory James Connell, 21 years old; Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old; Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 ears old; Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old; Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old; Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old; Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old; Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old; Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old; Frank Hernandez, 27 years old; Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old; Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old; Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old; Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old; Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old; Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old; Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old; Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old; Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old; Kimberly Morris, 37 years old; Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old; Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old; Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old; Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old; Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old; Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old; Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25 years old; Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez, 27 years old; Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old; Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old; Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old; Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old; Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old; Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old; Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old; Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old; Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old; Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old; Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old; and Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old, tragically lost their lives in that senseless act of hatred and terrorism, NOW, THEREFORE,

Be It Resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Florida:

That June 12, 2017, is recognized as "Pulse Remembrance Day" in Florida to honor the memory of the 49 innocent victims who lost their lives at Pulse nightclub in a senseless act of hatred and terrorism, to support their families and the survivors, and to acknowledge the compassion and love that was displayed during the aftermath of that tragedy by the Central Florida community and people throughout the state, the nation, and the world. "

Florida House of Representatives, House Resolution HR 8077, April 27, 2017.

      bill history

US Navy Supports Pride Month

" The Navy joins the nation in recognizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month throughout June.

ALNAV 006/17 encourages participation in all the heritage celebrations and special observances throughout the year. The Department of Defense (DoD) began observing LGBT Pride Month in 2012.

Initially established as "Gay and Lesbian Month" by Presidential Proclamation in 2000, LGBT Pride Month recognizes the accomplishments of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The LGBT community is part of One Navy Team that contributes their diverse talents, skills and service to the strength of the force.

"To remain the finest seagoing fighting force, the Navy needs men and women who are the right fit for the right job regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, creed or gender identity," said Capt. Candace Eckert, Special Assistant for Inclusion and Diversity. "Our goal is to ensure that the mission is carried out by the most qualified and capable Sailors. If an individual can meet the Navy's standards, they should be afforded the opportunity to be part of the One Navy Team."

The Navy is committed to recruiting and retaining top talent regardless of race, class, sex or background. A diverse, inclusive environment allows diversity of thought and innovation to thrive.

In 2016, the DoD instituted a policy change allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military as their preferred gender.

For service members, repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell in 2011 allowed gay, lesbian and bisexuals to serve openly in the United States Armed Forces. "

Chief of Naval Personnel, May 31, 2017. 

     Click here to see original statement 


State Dept. Supports Pride Month

" In recognition of LGBTI Month, the Department of State affirms its solidarity with the human rights defenders and civil society organizations working around the world to uphold the fundamental freedoms of LGBTI persons to live with dignity and freedom.

We also recognize that LGBTI persons continue to face the threat of violence and discrimination. Violence and discrimination targeting any vulnerable group undermines our collective security as well as American values. When all persons are protected on the basis of equality and with dignity, global stability is strengthened. We will continue to support the human rights of LGBTI persons together with like-minded governments, businesses, and civil society organizations globally.

The United States remains committed to human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons. Dignity and equality for all persons are among our founding constitutional principles, and these principles continue to drive U.S. diplomacy, "

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, June 7, 2017.

     Click here to see original statement


Friday, May 26, 2017

Taiwan Court Rules for Marriage Equality - First in Asia

" (1) The provisions of Chapter 2 on Marriage of Part IV on Family of the Civil Code do not allow two persons of the same sex to create a permanent union of intimate and exclusive nature for the committed purpose of managing a life together. The said provisions, to the extent of such failure, are in violation of both the people’s freedom of marriage as protected by Article 22 and the people’s right to equality as guaranteed by Article 7 of the Constitution.

(2) The authorities concerned shall amend or enact relevant laws, in accordance with the ruling of this Interpretation, within two years from the issuance of this Interpretation. It is within the discretion of the authorities concerned to determine the formality for achieving the equal protection of the freedom of marriage.

(3) If relevant laws are not amended or enacted within the said two years, two persons of the same sex who intend to create the said permanent union shall be allowed to have their marriage registration effectuated at the authorities in charge of household registration, by submitting a written document signed by two or more witnesses in accordance with the said Marriage Chapter. "

From summary of ruling, by Clerk of the Court, by Constitutional Court, Republic of China (Taiwan), May 24, 2017.

     Click here to read the entire press release (in Chinese) - click press release.pdf for English


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Canada Honors Marriage Equality

" At an event today in downtown Toronto, Canada Post unveiled a stamp commemorating the 2005 passage of the Civil Marriage Act, which made marriage equality the law throughout Canada. Grassroots activists, government officials and community members attended the unveiling, catching the first glimpse of the new stamp, which features the iconic rainbow symbol. The unveiling was held at and in partnership with The 519, a City of Toronto agency committed to the health, happiness and full participation of LGBTQ communities.

The marriage equality stamp is the fourth in a set of 10 that Canada Post is issuing to celebrate Canada’s 150th year since Confederation. Collectively the stamps highlight historic moments that have taken place in our nation over the past 50 years. Canada Post’s stamp advisory committee, which includes historians, collectors and artists, selected these 10 milestones that together have helped shape the story of Canada... "

Canada Post, May 9, 2017.

     Click here to read the entire press release

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Bermuda Court Rules for Marriage Equality

… I hold that: The common law definition of marriage, that marriage is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, and its reflection in the Marriage Act ... are inconsistent with the provisions ... of the HRA [Human Rights Act] as they constitute deliberate different treatment on the basis of sexual orientation. In so doing the common law discriminates against same-sex couples by excluding them from marriage and more broadly speaking the institution of marriage.

The court examined the common law definition of marriage through the broad scope of the HRA. That scope encompasses and reflects the changing values in the modern democracy that Bermuda is. Those changing values are reflected in decisions that have emanated from the Supreme Court. The courts have struck down legislation that discriminated against a same-sex male couple from adopting a child. Further it struck down immigration legislation that treated a non-Bermudian same-sex partner of a Bermudian differently from a non-Bermudian opposite-sex from a partner of a Bermudian regarding a classification of immigration status. Against the legal, social and cultural back drop of changing attitudes regarding same-sex relationship and sexual orientation it is fair to say that notions such as marriage or the institution of marriage being predicated upon heterosexual procreation and marriage being the main and most effective means of rearing healthy, happy, and well-adjusted children, to borrow a phrase from the Chief Justice, have been turned on their heads.

Their historic and insular perspective as reflected in the common law definition of marriage is out of step with the reality of Bermuda in the 21st century.

… The common law is by definition judge made law. As such it is a creature of change... “the common law does not remain static. Its very essence is that it is able to grow to meet the expanding needs of society.” On this basis, I think that it is apt that the Court should develop the common law by giving effect to the will of Parliament as expressed in the HRA... I believe that as a matter of internal and external cohesion and legal certainty it would be appropriate for the Court to remedy those sections and grant appropriate declaratory relief along the lines of those drafted below subject to hearing counsel on the precise terms of the final Order to be drawn up to give effect to the present Judgment...

The Applicants are entitled to an Order of Mandamus compelling the Registrar to act in accordance with the requirements of the Marriage Act; and

A Declaration that same-sex couples are entitled to be married under the Marriage Act 1944.

I include below a draft regarding other Declarations and possible reformulations of relevant sections of the Marriage Act and Matrimonial Causes Act...

The definition of marriage to be inoperative to the extent that it contains the term “one man and one woman” and reformulated to read “the voluntary union for life of two persons to the exclusion of all others... "

Charles-Etta Simmons, PJ, Supreme Court of Bermuda, May 5, 2017.

      Click here to read the entire decision

Friday, April 28, 2017

Nebraska Court Quashes Anti-Gay Adoption/Fostering Rule

" … the injury in an equal protection case is the imposition of a barrier that makes it more difficult for members of one group to obtain a benefit, rather than the ultimate inability to obtain the benefit ... "

Nebraska Supreme Court, April 7, 2017.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Study Equates Marriage Equality with Lower Rate of GLBT Teen Suicides


We provide evidence that implementation of same-sex marriage policies reduced adolescent suicide attempts. As countries around the world consider enabling or restricting same-sex marriage, we provide evidence that implementing same-sex marriage policies was associated with improved population health. Policymakers should consider the mental health consequences of same-sex marriage policies. "

Difference-in-Differences Analysis of the Association Between State Same-Sex Marriage Policies and Adolescent Suicide Attempts," JAMA Pediatrics, February 20, 2017; Julia Raifman (Johns Hopkins), Ellen Moscoe (Harvard), S. Bryn Austin (Harvard, Boston Children's Hospital), Margaret McConnell, PhD2

     Click here to read the entire article - download .pdf file 


National Center for Transgender Equality Fights Repeal of Title IX Protection

The Title IX guidance, widely hailed by educational and child health experts, made clear that transgender students are protected from discrimination and must be treated according to their gender identities. Should the Administration rescind the guidance, trans students would still be protected under Title IX. But such clear action directed at children would be a brazen and shameless attack on hundreds of thousands of young Americans who must already defend themselves against schoolyard bullies, but are ill-equipped to fight bullies on the floors of their state legislatures and in the White House. "

Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality, February 21, 2017.

     Click here to read entire statement


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Virginia Governor Issues Anti-Discrimination Executive Order

I hereby order the following:

I. Require future state contracting to require prohibitions on discrimination in employment, subcontracting, and delivery of goods and services, including discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It is hereby ordered as the policy of the Executive Branch that it will only contract with those who abide by the non-discrimination policies set forward in Executive Order 1 (2014), namely that discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, disability, or veteran status is prohibited.

II. Prohibit discrimination, including that based on sexual orientation or gender identity, in the provision of state services. Building on the requirements of Executive Order 1 (2014), I hereby order that no state employee or agent within the Executive Branch may engage in discrimination in the provision of public services based on race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, disability, or veteran status. Any state employee or agent who engages in such discrimination will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action."

Virginia Governor Terence A. McAuliffe, January 5, 2017.

     Click here to read the entire Executive Order

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Kerry Apologizes for Past DOS Discrimination

" Throughout my career, including as Secretary of State, I have stood strongly in support of the LGBTI community, recognizing that respect for human rights must include respect for all individuals. LGBTI employees serve as proud members of the State Department and valued colleagues dedicated to the service of our country. For the past several years, the Department has pressed for the families of LGBTI officers to have the same protections overseas as families of other officers. In 2015, to further promote LGBTI rights throughout the world, I appointed the first ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons.

In the past – as far back as the 1940s, but continuing for decades – the Department of State was among many public and private employers that discriminated against employees and job applicants on the basis of perceived sexual orientation, forcing some employees to resign or refusing to hire certain applicants in the first place. These actions were wrong then, just as they would be wrong today.

On behalf of the Department, I apologize to those who were impacted by the practices of the past and reaffirm the Department’s steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion for all our employees, including members of the LGBTI community. "

US Secretary of State John Kerry, January 9, 2017.

     Click here for original (unless future administration takes it down)


Wheeling WV Passes LGBT Non-Discrimination Law

" In order to build an inclusive community, the City will dedicate, deliberate, and provide continuous attention to the human relations and human rights of its residents and visitors. It is the public policy of the City to provide all of its residents and workers equal opportunity for employment, equal access to places of public accommodations and equal opportunity on the sale, purchase, lease, rental and financing of housing accommodations or real property. Equal opportunity in the areas of employment,public accommodations, housing accommodations or real property is hereby declared to be a human right or civil right of all persons without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, blindness, disability, familial status, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity. The denial of these rights to properly qualified persons by reason of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, blindness, disability, familial status, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity is contrary to the principles of freedom and quality of opportunity and is destructive to a free and democratic society.

This City policy is based on the recognition and vision that the diversity found in our City brings forth richness in our community, a greater understanding of our world, a multitude of talent to benefit collective needs, and an opportunity for enhanced living and learning for all. Inherent in this policy is a commitment to encourage and endeavor to bring about equal opportunity, mutual understanding and respect for persons of all ages, abilities, ancestry, blindness, color, disabilities, ethnicities, familial status, veteran status, national origins, sex, races, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, and other backgrounds or orientations. "

Wheeling WV City Council adds sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes in non-discrimination ordinance, passed unanimously December 20, 2016.

     Click here to read the entire bill

Monday, January 9, 2017

Texas Biz Org Slams Bathroom Bill

[Texas Republicans try to out-do North Carolina]

After months of debate and an unprecedented special session by the North Carolina Legislature, it’s unfortunate to see that the state chose not to repeal the discriminatory law created by HB 2. North Carolina and states that embrace discriminatory legislation will continue to suffer dire economic consequences, losing revenue and major events and disrupting job creation and investment.

That’s why the Texas business community has made clear that discriminatory laws like HB 2 have no place in Texas. We can’t afford to slam the door on the Texas Miracle, and create an environment hostile to business, unsafe and unwelcoming for citizens and harmful to our larger economy and prosperity. Keep Texas Open for Business will continue to press our own Texas lawmakers to roundly reject discriminatory bills, no matter how they’re phrased or what they’re named.

Chris Wallace, President, Texas Association of Business, December 21, 2016.

All Texans care deeply about safety and privacy, but [Texas] Senate Bill 6 isn’t about either of those things. Senate Bill 6 is discriminatory and wholly unnecessary legislation that, if passed, could cost Texas as much as $8.5 billion in GDP and the loss of more than 185,000 jobs in the first year alone.

Our communities, our families and businesses across this state face a far more uncertain future if this kind of unnecessary regulation is enacted here. We cannot afford the real human consequences and staggering economic impact of slamming the door on the Texas’ history of openness, competitiveness, economic opportunity and innovation.

The so-called Texas Privacy Act won’t make restrooms any safer for men, women and children, and it will do far more harm to them than good. This legislation will needlessly jeopardize jobs, investment, innovation and tax revenue for our state, and it sullies our reputation as an open, inclusive and welcoming state. It is also wholly unenforceable and unsupported by any public safety evidence, and will create situations that invade the privacy of Texans from all walks of life.
Chris Wallace, President, Texas Association of Business, January 5, 2017.

     Click here to read the Dec. 21 press release

     Click here to read the Jan. 5 press release