Discrimination Hub




Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) Says Firing Gay People Is a 'Freedom We Enjoy' - VIDEO

Pittenger

Representative Robert Pittenger (R-NC) is courting controversy for remarks made at a recent town hall meeting in response to a question asking whether or not he supported the Employment Non-Discrimination Act - which would protect LGBT people from discrimination in the workplace.

Responded Pittenger:

"It's like smoking bans. Do you ban smoking or do people have the right to private property? I think people have the right to private property… If you have a business, do you want the government to come in and tell you you need to hire somebody? Why should government be there to impose on the freedoms we enjoy?"

Backlash was swift, with gay rights groups and even the Charlotte Observer calling out Pittenger's stance. The paper wrote an op-ed Tuesday saying Pittenger's flawed argument could've been made for racial discrimination in the past. 

Watch a NBC Charlotte news report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Pittenger2In an attempt to clarify his comments, Pittenger issued a statement to the station Wednesday saying:

"The statutes are clear, that Americans are well protected already. We should fully enforce current laws against discrimination. I hear America's cry for more jobs and a stronger economy, not more federal regulations added to the vast maze of federal regulations we have already. That can only stifle the ability of entrepreneurs to create new businesses and new jobs. It's incredibly hard to operate or start a business already, and I don't think America is begging for more obstacles to an economic recovery. Where does it stop? Is the next regulation going to prohibit a layoff even during an economic downturn? Will the next law mandate full employment? Where does the government's role in dictating our daily lives end? That's the debate we should be having."

Contrary to Pittenger's idiotic follow-up statement's implications, North Carolina and 28 other states continue to have no protections for LGBT people facing discrimination in the workplace. 

An ENDA discharge petition being pushed by Rep. Jared Polis currently has the support of 75 lawmakers - all of whom are Democrats.

Continue reading "Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) Says Firing Gay People Is a 'Freedom We Enjoy' - VIDEO" »


ENDA Discharge Petition So Far Has Support from 75 Dems, No Republicans

A discharge petition for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) being pushed by Rep. Jared Polis has the support of 75 of 218 lawmakers it needs to succeed, the Washington Blade reports.

PolisThe petition has no Republican support so far, even from GOP lawmakers who went so far as to co-sponsor the original bill:

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), an original co-sponsor of ENDA, has already vowed not to sign a discharge petition, saying through a spokesperson it’s a “partisan political tool.”

But Polis took Republican supporters of ENDA to task, saying it’s time “to throw down the gauntlet” because co-sponsoring the legislation isn’t enough.

Still, the bill, which has a narrowed religious exemption, faces challenges even if passed by the House, the Blade adds:

Even if the House were to succeed in passing ENDA with a narrower discharge petition, the chances of passing a version of the bill in the Senate with that language would be complicated. Still, Polis expressed confidence the upper chamber of Congress would pass the bill if the discharge petition were successful.

“The previous incarnation of ENDA was in the pre-Hobby Lobby era,” Polis said. “I’m confident that if this is brought to the House floor and passes, the Senate will be able to expeditiously act on this bill and sent it to the president’s desk.”

The Blade reports that Dems are "bullish" on its prospects. At least one pundit is skeptical:


IDAHO: Lewiston City Councilors Speak Out on Why They Oppose LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance - VIDEO

Rj johnson Lewiston Idaho

City councilors in Lewiston, Idaho, have spoken out against a proposed non-discrimination ordinance that would make it illegal to discriminate in housing, employment and public accommodation based upon sexual orientation and gender identity, reports KLEWTV.

Lewiston City Council Mayor Pro Tem R.J. Johnson said that although all seven members of the council are against discrimination based on sexual orientation, ordinance 4614 would infringe “on our basic civil liberties."

According to Jesse Maldonado, the youngest person ever elected to the Lewiston City Council, it is currently “legal to discriminate in the workforce, hiring or firing, or refusing someone service or not giving someone housing if they are gay lesbian, or transgender and there's no ramifications for doing so. So basically what this ordinance would do would make it a misdemeanor to do that which could then be punishable by jail time or a fine."

However, councilor Clinton Daniels said that 4614 could lead to retailers being “put in jail for six months” with a fine of $1,000 for refusing to serve LGBT customers. In a statement, Daniels said:

"My strong belief in liberty compels me to oppose ordinances that do not respect private property, freedom of association, and voluntary contracts; even when the stated goal of such ordinances is something I support.

When you engage in commerce, whether it be for a personal sale or a commercial one, it is a form of a contract, and in a free society all contracts should be voluntary."

Maldonado has since asked supporters to attend the next of two further readings of the ordinance on September 22nd.

 

Watch a KLEW TV reports, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "IDAHO: Lewiston City Councilors Speak Out on Why They Oppose LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance - VIDEO" »


New Jersey Cop Files Lawsuit Claiming He Was Harassed, Discriminated Against For Being Gay

Acosta_antolos

A gay police officer from West New York, New Jersey has filed a lawsuit against the city's police department alleging he suffered harassment, intimidation, and discrimination on the job due to his sexual orientation, 

The Jersey Journal reports:

Officer "Michael [Acosta, pictured left] is the first openly gay member of the department and he has been the victim, due to his sexual orientation, of constant threats and intimidation," said his attorney, Gerald Resnick. "Such discriminatory attitude on the basis of sexual preferences are not tolerated in New Jersey and especially forbidden by the New Jersey laws against discrimination."

The suit says, "It has been well known by members of the WNYPD and Antolos that Acosta is gay, lives with a partner" and is "the only openly gay police officer in the WNYPD."

Among the allegations in the suit is that [Police Director Robert] Antolos showed Acosta "his tattoos (one of which is a skull with two lightning bolts) and his lightning bolt key chain in an attempt to intimidate Acosta. It says Antolos stated that the "police department will no longer be run by one patrolman," while "staring at plaintiff in an effeminate manner.''

Acosta also claims he was not provided with overtime shifts available to other officers and that he was singled out for "baseless" internal affairs charges against him. 

Antolos and his police department must respond to the lawsuit by September 18. 


Colombian Teen Commits Suicide After Alleged Anti-gay Harassment From Catholic School Administrators

A 16-year-old Colombian boy has committed suicide in August after reportedly anti-gay harassment from his Catholic school administrators, GLAAD reports this week:

SergioSergio Urrego, 16, killed himself after school's administrators first made public his relationship with another young man then accused him of sexual harassment. According to the story, the relationship was uncovered by a teacher who saw a photo on Sergio's phone of he and his boyfriend kissing. The school, Gimnasio Castillo Campestre, a Catholic institution, treated the situation in a deplorable manner, according to Sergio's mother, who said she will not rest until her son's name is cleared. She is filing a complaint, supported by the LGBT group Colombia Diversa

Urrego was called to the school principal, who reportedly belittled Urrego - calling him as an "anarchist" an "atheist" and "a homosexual."

The Advocate adds:

It is unclear what actions, if any will, be taken against the school and those involved in the alleged abuse. El Espectador notes that Urrego and his parents had requested meetings with school and district officials to discuss the antigay harassment Urrego was enduring at the hands of those who were paid to educate and protect him, but school officials claimed Urrego's problems were based at home, with parents who did not accept his sexual orientation.

A vigil is planned tomorrow in front of the school and at the location where Urrego ended his life.

[photo via Facebook]


Judge Tosses Out Anti-Gay Suit Against Houston Rockets

Earlier this year, food server Rasean Tate filed a lawsuit against the Houston Rockets, charging that several of the team's players taunted him with anti-gay slurs before a game in 2013. Tate was setting up catering in the Rockets locker room when he alleges he was harassed with ugly words and phrases such as "get this f—– out of here!" and "He’s trying to catch a sneaky-peeky!" He says he complained to management but instead saw his work hours cut and was then eventually fired from his job.

HrThis week, a Brooklyn judge rejected Tate's claim against the Rockets. The New York Daily News reports:

Federal Judge Jack Weinstein ruled Monday that since Rasean Tate was not a Rockets’ employee, there is no basis to sue the team for the alleged retaliation that ensued after he complained to his employer, Levy Restaurant Holdings, about the harassment. Tate claims he was barred from working in the locker rooms and his overtime was curtailed.

However, the judge ruled that Tate could pursue a case against the catering company he was employed with at the time of the incident: Levy Restaurant Holdings.

Weinstein said the suit can proceed against Levy. “We respect the judge’s decision but it doesn’t take away the culpability of what Houston Rockets players and staff did in the locker room that day,” said Tate’s lawyer Marjorie Mesidor.

“The comments were discriminatory and they happened.”

Specific players were not named in the original lawsuit.


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