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04/19/2007


Monday Morning Speed Read: Ohio, Michigan, 'ENDA' Executive Order, Hillary Clinton

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

T_blackOHIO ON THE CUSP:

A federal district court judge in Cincinnati surprised many in court Friday when he announced he will issue a ruling within 10 days declaring the Ohio ban on recognizing marriages of same-sex couples unconstitutional. Judge Timothy Black (an Obama appointee) heard arguments April 4 in Henry v. Wymyslo. The lawsuit was brought by three married lesbian couples expecting to give birth soon and a gay male couple seeking to adopt. The four couples were seeking a court order to force the state to put the names of both parents on the birth certificates of their children-to-be. Black, who previously ruled in favor of two married same-sex couples seeking the right to have a surviving spouse’s name listed on a death certificate, read a statement to the courtroom saying he would find the ban unconstitutional. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the state will appeal, and he is expected to seek a stay.

SchuetteMICHIGAN SEEKS A LEAP ‘FORWARD’:

The Michigan attorney general on Friday filed a petition with the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, asking the court to bypass the usual three-judge panel hearing and go straight to a full appeals court review. "Advancing our case to a hearing before the entire panel of Sixth Circuit judges will move us forward more quickly, and minimize delays in ultimately reaching the U.S. Supreme Court,” explained Attorney General Bill Schuette in a press statement. “This move also offers the added benefit of conserving taxpayer resources by shortening the timeline of the litigation." Cases are moving quickly through two other circuits, both of which will be heard by three-judge panels in the coming days. If the Sixth Circuit grants Michigan’s request, it could make DeBoer v. Snyder the first to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, but that doesn’t guarantee that the Supreme Court would agree to hear that case.

CarneyREDUNDANT OR RETRACING HISTORY?

The Human Rights Campaign was unhappy Thursday with comments from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about why President Obama won’t sign an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The White House has been sending mixed messages about the president’s willingness to sign an executive order but Carney has said in the past that an executive order is the “wrong approach” and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is the “right way to go.” Asked at a routine press briefing April 3 whether the president would sign an executive order if Congress passed ENDA, Carney said passage of ENDA would make an executive order “redundant.” HRC issued a statement Friday saying, “We couldn’t disagree more.” HRC pointed out that President Johnson signed an executive order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors the year after signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

SOME REDUNDACY ALLOWED:

Just three days after White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said an LGBT-related executive order would be “redundant” to the pending Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Associated Press reported that President Obama will sign an executive order Tuesday that “is similar to language in a Senate bill aimed at closing a pay gap between men and women.”

HillaryREADY FOR HILLARY:

There are two big LGBT fundraisers tonight for an independent political action committee raising money for an expected presidential bid by Hillary Clinton. One, in Manhattan, is hosted by gay philanthropist and politico Jon Stryker and features California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. The other, at a gay bar in West Hollywood, is hosted by a group called Out & Ready for Hillary and will feature a number of actors and political figures.

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


White House Press Secretary Argues Against 'ENDA' Executive Order, Says It Would Be 'Redundant'

LGBT advocates have been pressing for President Obama to issue an executive order barring discrimination against LGBT workers as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act languishes in Congress, faced by a House Speaker who says there is no chance he'll bring it to a vote.

CarneyThus far, the Press Secretary Jay Carney has insisted Obama supports such workplace protections but has directed questions from reporters asking if Obama will issue such an order to what it has said in the past, that the President would like to see the law passed by Congress.

Yesterday, Carney took the explaining a bit further, the Washington Blade reports:

“I think if the law passed — and I’m not a lawyer — and I haven’t read every sentence of the law, but I think if a law passed that broadly banned this kind of employment discrimination, it would make redundant an executive order,” Carney said.

Carney articulated his belief that an executive order would be “redundant” in the event ENDA became law after emphasizing the broad-based protections under the bill, which applies not just to federal contractors, but to many public and private employers.

“I think the employment non-discrimination legislation, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, would broadly apply, and that’s one of the reasons why we support it,” Carney said. “Because it’s a broad solution to the problem, and it ought to be passed by Congress.”

HRC lashed out at Carney:

“We couldn’t disagree more,” Sainz said. “Even if ENDA passed tomorrow, we’d still want the EO. His assertion is completely out of step with over 60 years of social change strategy related to enduring legal protections for race and gender and more recently for hate crimes and non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. What he’s asserting is the equivalent of saying that if ENDA passed tomorrow, we wouldn’t need non-discrimination laws in the majority of states that still don’t have them. That’s absolutely not the case.”

195 lawmakers recently sent a letter to Obama urging him to issue the executive order. Vice President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass the bill in a recent speech to HRC in L.A. And DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias expressed frustration on a listserv about the President's unwillingness to issue it, calling it "frustrating and perplexing."

On a related note, the Blade, in a separate article wants to introduce you to the 8 House Dems who don't co-sponsor ENDA. They are Reps. Dan Lipinksi (Ill.), Jim Costa (Calif.), John Barrow (Ga.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Pete Gallego (Texas), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Gene Green (Texas) and Nick Rahall (W.Va.).

Nodems_enda

 


White House Releases Statement Denouncing Uganda's Anti-Gay Law

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney this morning released a statement following the signing of Uganda's anti-gay law by President Museveni:

2_museveniInstead of standing on the side of freedom, justice, and equal rights for its people, today, regrettably, Ugandan President Museveni took Uganda a step backward by signing into law legislation criminalizing homosexuality. As President Obama has said, this law is more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda, it reflects poorly on the country's commitment to protecting the human rights of its people and will undermine public health, including efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. We will continue to urge the Ugandan government to repeal this abhorrent law and to advocate for the protection of the universal human rights of LGBT persons in Uganda and around the world.


Labor Sec'y Perez Says an 'ENDA' Executive Order Continues to Be Under Consideration: VIDEO

Perez

In a surprise appearance in front of the White House Press Corps. yesterday, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez was asked by Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade if an executive order protecting LGBT workers from discrimination and gender identity is something his department could implement.

Said Perez:

Well, I can’t get into what-ifs. I’m certainly aware of the executive order that was proposed that you’re talking about. And the President takes a backseat to no one in his commitment for equal access to opportunity for people regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. And it’s an issue that we continue to contemplate and work on.

Later, White House Press Secretary insisted that the EO was a hypothetical but was corrected by a Reuters reporter in light of Perez's comments that no, it's clearly not a hypothetical.

Carney replied:

I think broadly speaking, the administration looks at all opportunities to advance an agenda that expands opportunity, that levels the playing field, that sustains equal opportunity for all that is part of the President’s vision. That’s as a broad matter. On specific — would the President do this executive action or that executive action, I mean, that list could be endless, and I don’t have any update for you on that kind of proposition.

Watch the exchanges, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Labor Sec'y Perez Says an 'ENDA' Executive Order Continues to Be Under Consideration: VIDEO" »


WH Press Secretary Jay Carney Grilled on ENDA, Executive Order: VIDEO

Carney

Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade grilled White House Press Secretary Jay Carney yesterday on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and asked, given House Speaker John Boehner's remarks this week that there is "no way" it's coming up this session, if the President planned to sign an executive order.

Said Carney:

"Well, I would simply say that that is the wrong approach, and the president strongly supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He believes strongly and knows that it’s the right thing to do. I would suggest that there have been occasions when leaders in the House have declared something won’t happen, and it happens anyway. And we certainly hope that’s the case here."

Pressed, Carney would not say whether the President considers protections for LGBT people in the workplace a campaign promise despite Obama's indication that it was in a 2007 questionnaire.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE: Carney tweeted a clarification of his "wrong approach" remarks:

"Think you misunderstood. I was referring to the Speaker saying ENDA wouldn't get done this year as '"the wrong approach.'"

Continue reading "WH Press Secretary Jay Carney Grilled on ENDA, Executive Order: VIDEO" »


White House Press Secretary Jay Carney for ENDA: VIDEO

Carney

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney appeared in a video yesterday stumping for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, highlighting the risks LGBT Americans face at their jobs.

"Millions of Americans go to work every day afraid and fearful that they might lose their jobs because of who they are or who they love. That's not only unfair, it's contrary to the essence of what it means to be American. It's contrary to our values, and it's also bad for business," says Carney in the video.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "White House Press Secretary Jay Carney for ENDA: VIDEO" »


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