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69 Religious And Civil Rights Groups Ask Obama To Exclude Religious Exemptions From Executive Order Banning LGBT Discrimination

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Sixty-nine religious and civil rights organizations have signed a letter asking President Barack Obama not to exempt “religiously affiliated contractors” from a planned executive order protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors.

Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, American faith leaders and 140 religious leaders have asked Obama for “a robust religious exemption” stating “it would be wrong to require [religiously affiliated federal contractors] to violate those legally protected convictions in order to be eligible to receive federal contracts.”

The aforementioned letter against religious exemptions — signed by the American Civil Liberties Union, GetEQUAL, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), PFLAG, the National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force — reads in part:

“Religious freedom is one of our most cherished values, a fundamental and defining feature of our national character. It guarantees us the freedom to hold any belief we choose and the right to act on our religious beliefs within certain limits. It does not, however, provide organizations the right to discriminate using taxpayer dollars. When a religiously affiliated organization makes the decision to request a taxpayer-funded contract with the federal government, it must play by the same rules as every other federal contractor

Indeed, taxpayer-funded discrimination, in any guise, is antithetical to basic American values. Polls consistently show that Americans overwhelmingly understand and agree that when tax dollars are in play, discrimination is wrong. If an organization requests and receives government funding, it should not be allowed to discriminate against qualified job applicants based on who they are or what their religious beliefs may be. Yet, exempting religiously affiliated organizations that contract with the federal government from prohibitions on discrimination by federal contractors would do just that.”

Chris Geidner from Buzzfeed Politics adds that the letter also asks Obama “to reverse a Bush order that expanded the religious exemption under the existing federal contractor order… [which] permits religiously affiliated organizations that receive government contracts to discriminate in hiring based on religion.

Such religious exemptions are what compelled the National Gay and Lesbian Task forced to drop its support for the current Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Read the full letter AFTER THE JUMP…

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President Obama Fist Bumps Gay Comedian in Texas

By night, Daniel Rugg Webb is an aspiring comedian based out of Austin, Texas. By day, he’s a cashier at Franklin Barbecue: the same Franklin Barbecue President Obama dropped by last Thursday as a part of his brief tour through Texas.

"If Rick Perry would've walked in, I would have lost my job. Webb told the Austin Chronicle. “I would've taken that old queen to town."

Fist_obamaInstead, Webb met face to face with the President, and, ever the performer, still managed to find a choice set of words, as he recounted to Buzzfeed:

“Equal rights for gay people!” he exclaimed.

Obama reacted without missing a beat. “Are you gay?”

Taken aback by the directness of the question, he said, Webb responded, “Only when I’m having sex!”

The president laughed, then, realizing there was a group of children near the two, said, “Not in front of the kids!”

Webb, more than mere taking the opportunity to banter with the Commander-in-Chief, saw the exchange as a chance to take a pointed stand against current governor Rick Perry.

“We are an anti-gay state. We are a state with a whole bunch of hungry children and sick old people, and [Rick Perry is] grandstanding on things that will get him a better election,” Webb explained. “I would like to see Rick Perry negatively influenced by any kind of attention. Even Obama laughing at something as, hopefully, acceptable as sexuality can show the difference.”

Watch a clip of Webb’s standup at the Austin Encyclopedia Show AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "President Obama Fist Bumps Gay Comedian in Texas" »


Gay Teacher Files Sex Discrimination Lawsuit Against Georgia Catholic School

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Flint Dollar, a music teacher at Mount de Sales Academy in Macon, Georgia, has filed a suit against the school after his contract was not renewed when the school found out he plans to marry a man.

DollarSpeaking to NPR, Dollar said that he was honest about his sexual orientation with administrators at the Catholic school.  However, at the end of the school year he was told that “the bishop of the Diocese of Savannah called and expressed his concern that if I was to return it would be against the teachings of the Catholic Church."

The school has released a statement saying they have to consider an employee's ability to teach Catholic doctrine when making staff decisions.

Dollar’s lawyer Charles Cox says that although there is nothing to be done under employment discrimination legislation, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

According to Cox:

“When you fire somebody because they are engaging in a same-sex marriage, I think that pretty clearly fits with gender discrimination. You're being fired because you're not complying with traditional gender stereotypes, and that's wrong, and we believe it's unlawful."

Although Dollar has since filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging sex discrimination, Matthew Franck, a constitutional scholar at Princeton says that even though it might work, it shouldn’t because “it's fairly clear that Title VII's reference to sex as a category of discrimination, that the people who wrote that had nothing like sexual orientation in their minds.”


Sarah Palin Brings Her Obama Impeachment Campaign to Sean Hannity: VIDEO

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After her Breitbart op-ed yesterday calling for the impeachment of Obama, Sarah Palin ran into the welcoming arms of Sean Hannity to spew her teabagger word vomit.

"Lawlessness blah blah blah gunfight blah blah blah cojones blah blah blah... Ted Cruz blah blah blah..."

If anything else, watch the interview to reassure yourself she's just as unelectable as before, or just imagine Tina Fey for a moment.

Watch the certifiable nuttiness, AFTER THE JUMP...

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John Boehner Pens CNN Op-Ed: 'Why We Must Sue The President'

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House Speaker John Boehner has written a column for CNN attempting to justify the House Republicans' latest waste of time and taxpayer money.

Writes Boehner:

...later this month, we will bring legislation to the House floor that would authorize the House of Representatives to file suit in an effort to compel President Obama to follow his oath of office and faithfully execute the laws of our country.

The President's response: "So sue me."

What's disappointing is the President's flippant dismissal of the Constitution we are both sworn to defend. It is utterly beneath the dignity of the office. I know the President is frustrated. I'm frustrated. The American people are frustrated, too.


Study: Better Qualified LGBT Applicants Face Discrimination From Federal Contractors

A new study by Freedom to Work and the Equal Rights Center demonstrates that better qualified LGBT applicants are 23% less likely than applicants who don’t identify as LGBT to get a call back from some federal contractors, reports Vox.com.

Report on employment discrimination exxon mobilLast month, President Barack Obama announced that the White House is preparing an executive order banning employment discrimination based on gender identity for federal employees.

The study, titled Federal Contractors Show Anti-LGBT Hiring Bias, sent two fictitious resumes - one of which mentioned a leadership role in an LGBT organization - to 100 positions across eight federal contractors including ExxonMobil and General Electric.

ExxonMobil has a history of repeatedly rejecting LGBT workplace discrimination policiesand have even been taken to court for anti-gay discrimination.

The LGBT resume always included a higher grade point average and stronger work experience. Despite the stronger credentials, the LGBT applicant was much less likely to get called back.

A report infographic demonstrates one example of the application process through ExxonMobil.

The report concludes that both the ERC and FTW applaud Obama’s executive order which will finally give LGBT employees legal recourse to address work discrimination.

On June 25, 140 religious leaders petitioned for an exemption from the pending executive order.

Watch President Obama's Pride Month address at which he announced the executive order, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

Continue reading "Study: Better Qualified LGBT Applicants Face Discrimination From Federal Contractors" »


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