Tammy Baldwin Hub




Thursday Morning Speed Read: Mississippi, Lesbian Chef, Tammy Baldwin, New Mexico, Scrutiny Rehearing

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

MississippiLGBT RALLY FOR VETO:

LGBT groups will hold a rally on the lawn of the State Capitol in Jackson, Mississippi, at noon CDT today, in protest over the passage of a religious bias bill by the state legislature Tuesday. The groups, which include the national Human Rights Campaign, Equality Mississippi, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Lesbian and Gay Community Center, among others, will also hold a candlelight vigil this evening. As of Wednesday night, Republican Governor Phil Bryant has said he will sign the bill.

COURT UPHOLDS LARGE AWARD:

A state appeals court in New York on March 20 upheld a $1.6 million award to a lesbian chef whose boss who made repeated anti-gay statements, including saying all gay people were going to hell. A lower court judge granted the award for Mirella Salemi in 2012 against Edward Globokar, who owned the Manhattan restaurant at which she worked. The appeals panel said Globokar’s actions violated the New York City Human Rights Law by staging mandatory prayer meetings at work and “subjecting [Salemi] to an incessant barrage of offensive anti-homosexual invective.”

BaldwinBALDWIN INTROS FAIR EMPLOYMENT BILL:

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin also introduced the Fair Employment Protection Act (FEPA) March 13, to improve the law for the victims of workplace harassment. FEPA is specifically aimed at expanding an employer’s liability for workplace harassment. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, an employer’s liability for harassment perpetrated by a supervisor is greater than if perpetrated by another employee. But last June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that for a court to consider an employee a supervisor, the employee authorized to take tangible actions against an harassment victim. If the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is ever passed, LGBT workers would be able to benefit from the anti-harassment laws strengthened by FEPA.

NewmexicoNEW MEXICO BLASÉ:

A Public Policy Polling survey of 674 registered voters in New Mexico between March 20 and 23 found that 76 percent said the legalizing of marriage for same-sex couples has had either no impact or a positive impact on their lives. The poll also found voters closely split on whether they support (47 percent) or oppose (45 percent) allowing same-sex couples to marry. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.8 percent.

SCRUTINY DECISION RE-HEARING?:

At least one judge on the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals bench has asked the full appeals court to review an historic panel ruling in January that said the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, which struck the Defense of Marriage Act, “requires that heightened scrutiny be applied to equal protection claims involving sexual orientation.” The court last week asked both parties in SmithKline v. Abbott to submit briefs on whether the case should be reheard by the full court. But Jon Davidson, legal director for Lambda Legal, he seriously doubts a majority of the Ninth Circuit would vote to rehear the case.


Tammy Baldwin to Boehner on ENDA: 'Just Bring It Up for a Vote' — VIDEO

Baldwin

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) appeared on Andrea Mitchell Reports yesterday prior to the successful vote to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Baldwin spoke about the bill's chances in the House and what she would tell House Speaker John Boehner, who opposes the legislation.

Baldwin also spoke about what the legislation means to her personally, as the first openly gay Senator.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Tammy Baldwin to Boehner on ENDA: 'Just Bring It Up for a Vote' — VIDEO" »


Tammy Baldwin, 84 Dem Lawmakers Urge End to Gay Blood Donation Ban in Letter to HHS Sec'y Kathleen Sebelius

Senator Tammy Baldwin is leading an effort by Democratic lawmakers to end the U.S. ban on gay men donating blood, Gannett reports:

BaldwinShe sent a letter signed by 84 other Democratic lawmakers Friday to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius expressing concern that the ban “continues to perpetuate inaccurate stereotypes against gay and bisexual men and fosters an atmosphere that promotes discrimination.”

Baldwin, who is the first openly gay U.S. senator, and her colleagues are urging that blood donors be selected based on health factors and not sexual orientation.

“Our current policies turn away healthy, willing donors, even when we face serious blood shortages,” they wrote.

The current policy, which prohibits blood donation by any man who has had sex with another man since 1977, was put under review by HHS in March 2012, but there has been little movement since.

Gannett adds:

It’s unclear how the study is progressing or when it will be finished. An HHS spokeswoman said only that the study is “not yet complete” and that “HHS is committed to continuously improving the safety and availability of the nation’s blood supply” and “is in the process of conducting additional studies to help inform our policy discussions.”


A New Day Dawns In Congress, Though Not Bright Enough

CongressnewdayWith the new Congress settling in, Jeremy Peters of the New York Times today discusses how gay and lesbian lawmakers are slowly emerging from the shadows, an illustration of society's own evolution. But things are far from perfect.

Congress has never been an accurate reflection of the country it serves. It remains far whiter, wealthier and more male than the nation’s population. But as their numbers in Congress gradually increase, there is a sense among these newcomers that they are forcing some of their colleagues to rethink gay rights and homosexuality.

The presence of openly gay men and women and their families was a factor that many believe was decisive in turning the tide for states where same-sex marriage was legalized by legislatures. Seeing them helped put a human face on a concept that many legislators had thought about only in the abstract.

Yet even with the opportunities gay men, lesbians and bisexuals say their membership in Congress presents, their reception has not been a completely warm one. One of the first acts of the Republican-controlled House was to set aside funds to defend the 1996 law that prohibits the recognition of same-sex marriages because the Obama administration has stopped supporting it. And not everyone seems completely comfortable with their presence, like members of a Christian prayer group who seemed taken aback at a recent Congressional retreat when one noted he was married to a man. But in some ways the most telling sign of the gay lawmakers' advancement in Congress is the fact that their presence is now a little more routine.

The fact of the matter, though, is that gay and lesbian lawmakers are still a little over 1 percent of Congress, and the bulk of the GOP-controlled House remain obstinate on equality. Only 184 members have come out for LGBT rights, according to HRC; 220, a majority, are opposed.

Openly Gay, and Openly Welcomed in Congress [nyt]


Senator Tammy Baldwin on Hagel: 'I Want to See If His Apology is Sincere and Sufficient' - VIDEO

Mitchell_baldwin

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) appeared on Andrea Mitchell Reports today to speak about the Chuck Hagel nomination as Defense Secretary and the pushback it has received from some LGBT rights advocates.

Said Baldwin:

“I do not know Chuck Hagel...I do want to speak with him, particularly about his comments 14 years ago, to see if his apology is sincere and sufficient. I want to hear how he’s evolved on this issue in the the last 14 years because the significance to the post to which he's been nominated is the respect for now openly gay members of the military who because of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell can serve openly and we need to see that implemented successfully..."

Mitchell also asks Baldwin if she has any concerns about how Obama's cabinet is shaping up given that he has thus far assembled a white male team of top foreign policy advisers.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Senator Tammy Baldwin on Hagel: 'I Want to See If His Apology is Sincere and Sufficient' - VIDEO" »


Tammy Baldwin Sworn In, is First Out Gay U.S. Senator: VIDEO

Baldwin

The U.S. has its first openly gay Senator, Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Tammy Baldwin Sworn In, is First Out Gay U.S. Senator: VIDEO" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged