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HRC Warns 12 States ‘Don’t Repeat The Mistakes Of Indiana' In New Media Campaign

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The Human Rights Coalition launched a new ad campaign asking 12 state governors to reject bills that target LGBT people like the one Gov. Mike Pence passed in Indiana. HRC's new campaign comes after a study conducted by the organization yielded results stating that a majority of Hoosiers believe Pence’s bill is damaging Indiana’s economy. JoDee Winterhof, HRC's vice president for policy and political affairs, warned of the repercussions states could endure if they follow Pence’s example.

Said Winterhof:

"Gov. Mike Pence found that experimenting with anti-LGBT bills that allow businesses to discriminate killed his approval ratings and damaged the Hoosier economy. Governors who go down the same path as Mike Pence and put their state economy at risk in an attempt to further discrimination are going to find themselves at risk of being rejected by the voters."

The results of HRC's study reflects Winterhof's warning as a majority of voters (70% to 24%) believe that businesses should not discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or identity. Surprisingly a majority of Republican voters (58% to 36%) concur. Pence’s approval ratings have since plummeted, allowing for a potential Democratic challenger to make gains in the state. HRC's media campaign officially began today on social media in Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, Florida, New Hampshire, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Texas. Although Pence attempted to clarify that official language in the new law would prevent LGBT discrimination, HRC isn’t buying it, noting that the state’s laws are still devoid of any clear LGBT anti-discrimination laws that would grant full protections to LGBT people in the state.


Over 100 Tech Leaders Call for Nationwide LGBT Non-Discrimination Protections: LIST

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The list of technology industry leaders calling for nationwide protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity continues to grow, HRC reports.

“The unified message from these business leaders is clear: Pass LGBT non-discrimination protections and pass them now,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Until legislators finally step up to the plate and take action, this issue is not going to go away. It’s time for elected officials to listen to the overwhelming voice of fair-minded Americans demanding equality for their LGBT loved ones, friends, and neighbors. No American should risk losing their job, be denied housing, or refused service simply because of who they are or whom they love.”

New recent cosigners of the call to action include leaders from YouTube, AppNexus, Coupons.com, Consumer Electronics Association, Hotsuite, Google, Uber Technologies, Intuit, Facebook, GoPro, Cisco, Pinterest, Pandora Media, Yahoo!, Logitech, and many others companies.

Read the full updated list of leaders and the full statement, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Over 100 Tech Leaders Call for Nationwide LGBT Non-Discrimination Protections: LIST" »


Lamba Legal, ACLU, NCAA, Tony Perkins and More React to Proposed 'Fix' to Indiana 'Religious Freedom' Law

Reactions to a proposed "fix" to Indiana's "religious freedom" bill are rolling in, with right-wingers understandably furious that the amendment now explicitly prevents the law from being used to discriminate against LGBT individuals.

LGBT organizations, meanwhile, are saying the proposal doesn't go far enough and are pushing to ensure LGBT Hoosiers are protected from discrimination statewide. 

Said Jennifer C. Pizer, National Director of Lambda Legal's Law and Policy Project:

Pizer"This bill reduces the threat but is far less than this situation requires. It recognizes there are problems, but does not fix it as LGBT Hoosiers and others urgently need. Now that there's broad public understanding that gay and transgender people in much of Indiana are terribly vulnerable to arbitrary discrimination by businesses, refusal of housing, and being fired just for being who they are--and even Gov. Pence has agreed that that is wrong--that unacceptable situation requires a full solution. We've provided multiple options of straightforward bill language. This is not a complicated or novel task. Many states have done it with only positive results economically and socially. The time is now. America is watching.

"Indiana's RFRA is an ill-conceived law that invites religiously motivated refusals to comply with laws that protect everyone. The state's elected leadership today has taken one step to reduce these refusal problems by amending the RFRA to ensure compliance with civil rights laws. Now they need to complete the fix by actually providing those basic protections that LGBT people need to be equal and safe in the Hoosier State, and by further amending RFRA to prevent it from being used to excuse any harm to other people.

"The local voices, organizations as well as national business and government leaders who have been insisting on a full and proper response in Indiana are right. This job should be finished before this legislative session ends and Governor Pence leaves on vacation if state leadership wants to show their claims about opposing discrimination are sincere.

HRC said the proposed fix "falls far short of adding non-discrimination protections for LGBT Hoosiers to the state's civil rights laws, and future legislative sessions have an obligation to return to fix both the RFRA and this glaring hole in Indiana's laws protecting their own citizens."

Said Freedom Indiana campaign manager Katie Blair:

Fi“These changes represent an important step forward. They fall short in many ways, and our work is far from over.

“Statewide nondiscrimination protections for LGBT Hoosiers still do not exist, meaning discrimination is still legal in most of the state.

“Businesses in Indiana, and many other employers looking to do business with our state, have made it clear that the state must pass a statewide nondiscrimination law that protects all Hoosiers from discrimination and ensures that Indiana is seen as a welcoming place to visit and do business.

The ACLU expressed a similar view, saying:

"The events in Indiana over the last week represent a dramatic change in the way our country reacts to discrimination hiding under the guise of religion.

The Indiana legislature and the governor made a terrible and dangerous mistake, and they were met with widespread condemnation and a backlash that has hurt their state’s reputation and its economy.

The outcry – from businesses, religious organizations, community leaders, and millions of people inside Indiana and around the country – forced a change to the law.

Because of these changes, the harm of the law has been lessened, but there remain significant problems that must be addressed.

With these amendments, the RFRA cannot be used as a defense in some kinds of discrimination cases. That’s a major improvement. But it still poses a risk that it can be used to deny rights to others, including in education, access to health care, and other aspects of people’s lives. While this is one piece of the solution, it is incomplete. Religious freedom is important, but it doesn’t give anyone the right to impose their beliefs on others, discriminate, or cause harm.

This national conversation has shined a light on the fact that Indiana – as well as 27 other states – do not have statewide nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people, meaning that discrimination is still legal in most of the country. 

NCAA President Mark Emmert said the association is "very pleased" with the #RFRA revisions but failed to speak out on the growing push to secure state-wide LGBT non-discrimination protections.  

FRC hate leader Tony Perkins, meanwhile, is calling on Gov. Mike Pence to veto the fix:

Perkins"On the eve of Good Friday, Big Business is encouraging elected leaders to take the silver over religious freedom.This new proposal guts the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and empowers the government to impose punishing fines on people for following their beliefs about marriage. Religious freedom should not be held hostage by Big Business. Big Business is now putting religious freedom in a worse place than before RFRA was signed into law. Gutting RFRA in this manner would put people of faith in the crosshairs of government discrimination as never before. Far from being a 'clarification,' this would gut religious freedom in Indiana. Religious freedom doesn't need a 'fix.' This proposal would force religious businesses and even nonprofits deemed 'not religious enough' to participate in wedding ceremonies contrary to their owners' beliefs. If the government punishes people for living their faith, there are no limits to what government can control. We urge the governor to veto this measure that will be used by the government to bring financial ruin on people like florist Barronelle Stutzman, bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein, and wedding photographer Elaine Huguenin."

Heritage Foundation's Ryan T. Anderson, who recently duked it out with Dan Savage over #RFRA, is similarly displeased:

AndersonIt is important to note that this fix does not create new sexual orientation and gender identity privileges in Indiana; it says that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act cannot protect citizens from existing (municipal) Indiana sexual orientation and gender identity laws and ensuing coercion from government.

In other words, it eliminates any balancing test for sexual liberty and religious liberty. It says sexual orientation should trump religious liberty. That’s bad policy.

All citizens should oppose unjust discrimination, but sexual orientation and gender identity laws are not the way to achieve that goal. Sexual orientation and gender identity laws threaten fundamental First Amendment rights. These laws create new, subjective protected classes that will expose employers to unimaginable liability, and would increase government interference in labor markets in ways that could harm the economy.

Bryan Fischer is upset too:

 


Apple, American Airlines, Microsoft Denounce 'Harmful' Anti-Gay 'Religious Freedom' Bills: VIDEO

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Human Rights Campaign (HRC) yesterday launched a statement supported by a number of corporations calling on public officials to defeat or abandon efforts to enact harmful anti-LGBT legislation being considered around the United States.

HRC_Red-LogoAmerican Airlines, Apple, Levi Strauss, Microsoft, Orbitz, Replacements, Starwood Hotels, Symantec and Wells Fargo have already signed the statement while other corporations are expected to sign on in the coming days.

HRC President Chad Griffin said:

"Business leaders have made it abundantly clear that these anti-LGBT bills undermine their core values and set dangerous precedents that stifle investment and economic growth. Anti-equality lawmakers who value corporate investments in their state should sit up, pay attention, and abandon these bills attacking LGBT people."

The HRC statement reads:

"Corporate leaders are speaking out against bills that could allow individuals and businesses to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and other minorities -- several versions of which are actively being considered in states across the country.

“This proposed legislation is bad for business.

“Equality in the workplace is a business priority to foster talent and innovation, and these state laws undermine this core value.

“These state laws set a dangerous precedent that stifles investment and economic growth by jeopardizing a state's status as a welcoming place for employees to live and thrive, undermining the success of a business at large.

“It is unreasonable for job creators to recruit a diverse workforce from states that encourage businesses to discriminate against our community of employees or consumers.

“While these bills won't alter our commitment to equality in the workplace, this legislation sends the wrong message about the states in which we operate and threatens our core corporate commitment to respect all individuals.

“We the undersigned call for public officials to defeat or abandon efforts to enact this type of harmful legislation."

Yesterday, 39 top tech leaders - including Yelp, Twitter, AirBnB and Evernote - released a joint statement supporting non-discrimination protections for LGBT people to civil rights laws around the country.

Watch a report on a Christian pizza restaurant in Indiana that unfortunately cannot cater for your same-sex wedding, AFTER THE JUMP...  Stupid warning - the owners actually believe that people "choose" the "gay lifestyle."

Continue reading "Apple, American Airlines, Microsoft Denounce 'Harmful' Anti-Gay 'Religious Freedom' Bills: VIDEO" »


Little Rock Nine Members Stand Against Arkansas HB1228 'Religious Liberty' Bill

In a symbolic move, two members of the Little Rock Nine — Carlotta Walls Lanier and Ernie Green have voiced their opposition to Arkansas’ H.B. 1228, the new Indiana-style  bill that will open the door for discrimination against minorities of all kinds in the state of Arkansas.

MarkansasOn Tuesday, the Arkansas state assembly passed H.B. 1228. Like Indiana's law, the bill would allow for allow discrimination against LGBT people, people of color, religious minorities, other minority groups, and women in the name of "religious liberty."

Despite voicing doubts about such a bill in the past, Arkansas' Republican governor Asa Hutchinson has said he will sign the bill, despite opposition from Walmart, Apple, and the Arkansas Municipal League, and others.

During the civil rights movement, Walls Lanier, Green and seven other students African-American students  — the Little Rock Nine — integrated Little Rock’s Central High School.

LittlerocknineSaid Green and Walls in a statement:

'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,' Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told us, and those words are as true today as they were half a century ago. In our home state of Arkansas, legislators are attempting to enshrine their own hatred into law…Once again, opponents of equality are giving credence to those who would refuse to serve their own neighbors under the guise of 'religious liberty,' telling us that our freedom of religion, cemented into law by the Constitution and by state law, is under attack. But we stand with our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters, as well as religious minorities and others who could fall victim to discrimination under HB 1228, and we stand against this dangerous and derogatory legislation in its current form. This bill must be amended to protect civil rights or abandoned entirely.

[Via HRC]


A Supercut of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Refusing to Say Whether He Supports Anti-gay Discrimination: WATCH

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence appeared on ABC’s This Week yesterday and continually deflected questions from host George Stephanopoulos on whether he opposes discrimination against gays and lesbians. No matter how hard Stephanopoulos tried, Gov. Pence weaseled his way out of answering his questions eight separate times.

Watch HRC's supercut of Pence's trainwreck interview, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "A Supercut of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Refusing to Say Whether He Supports Anti-gay Discrimination: WATCH" »


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