Republimen Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Bars on Discrimination

DiscriminationRus

On Thursday, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney [D-NY] offered an amendment to the military construction and veterans affairs spending bill that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT individuals in hiring and employment activities. It was very similar to an amendment that was offered last year by Rep. Scott Peters [D-CA] which upheld President Obama’s 2014 executive order banning federal contractors from making hiring decisions that discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 60 Republicans voted forRep Peters’ bill which was adopted 241-184 [HR2577, Roll Call 326, 6-9-15]. However, Rep. Maloney’s amendment by a single vote, 212-213 [HR 4974, Roll Call 226, 5-19-16], after seven Republicans switched their votes at the last minute.

Rep. Mark Amodei [NV2] and Rep. Cresant Hardy [NV4] voted against passage of BOTH amendments (last year’s and this year’s). It should, therefore, be noted that BOTH are in favor of allowing discrimination to take place.

Although the identities of the seven vote-switchers were not publicly recorded on the House floor, here’s the names of those Reps who switched there votes and deserve your shaming:

  1. Rep. Darrell Issa [R-CA]
  2. Rep. Jeff Denham [R-CA]
  3. Rep. David Valadao [R-CA]
  4. Rep. Mimi Walters [R-CA]
  5. Rep. Greg Walden [R-OR]
  6. Rep. David Young [R-IA]
  7. Rep. Bruce Poliquin [R-ME]

“House Republicans are so committed to discriminating against LGBT Americans, that they broke regular order to force their members to reverse their votes and support Republicans’ bigotry,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi [D-CA] said in a statement.

On the other side, Speaker Ryan had this to say: “This is federalism. The states should do this. The federal government shouldn’t stick its nose in this business.” UH … Hello? This had to do with FEDERAL contracts for which States hold NO responsibility for issuance, nor for enforcement.

Here are the names of 30 Republicans who voted for the Peters amendment but against the Maloney amendment:
HR4974-30R

A Win For Workplace Fairness

— by CAP Action War Room, The Progress Report

President Obama Just Announced The Single Largest Expansion Of LGBT Workplace Protections In Our Country’s History

Progress

As many as 9 out of 10 voters believe federal law already protects LGBT workers from discrimination. But it doesn’t. And while the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) was passed by the Senate this year, it has stalled in the House; Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has made it clear that there is “no way” ENDA will pass this year.

Enter the latest chapter of the Obama Administration’s “year of action.” The White House announced today that President Obama will issue an executive order requiring that all companies who contract with the federal government must not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Think Progress reporter Zack Ford has the details:

The order, expected to be finalized in the coming weeks, is an extension of orders previously issued by past presidents — most recently Johnson — similarly banning employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin among all contractors and subcontractors who do over $10,000 in business with the government in any one year.

The protections will reach over one million LGBT workers across the country, making it the single largest expansion of LGBT workplace protections in our country’s history. There continue to be 29 states that offer no employment protections on the basis of sexual orientation and 32 with no protections based on gender identity, but many LGBT workers in those states will now have workplace protections for the first time ever. As many as 43 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people and 90 percent of transgender people have experienced some form of harassment or discrimination in the workplace.

As with Obama’s executive order raising the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $10.10, this order will cover an enormous number of people but still relies on Congress to pass a law making sure that millions more LGBT Americans have the freedom to work.

Recently, some LGBT advocates have been giving second thoughts to the current ENDA bill in Congress, based on a religious liberty exemption that could have the potential interpreted too broadly. Here’s Zack Ford again:

The LGBT movement has also become increasingly divided over whether ENDA in its current form is worth pursuing. After two decades of failed consideration in Congress, the bill has been weakened by an exemption that would grant religious organizations unprecedented privilege to continue discriminating against LGBT people. A number of state groups and legal organizations have recently dropped their support for ENDA because they believe that the exemption goes too far and codifies into law the idea that LGBT identities are incompatible with faith. The executive order is thus an important step even if ENDA eventually passes.

BOTTOM LINE: Americans of any sexual orientation and gender identity should have the freedom to work and the right to equal treatment in the workplace. President Obama’s latest executive action is the biggest expansion of those rights in American history. There is more left to be done when it comes to giving all Americans equal protection, and Congress should follow the President’s lead by passing a federal law that ends unfair and discriminatory workplace practices that hurt LGBT workers and their families.

Resources on LGBT Workplace Discrimination:


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

Kansas Bill Would Ban Abortion Clinic Employees From ‘Bringing Cupcakes’ To Their Child’s School

— by Stephen D. Foster Jr., 2013/03/08 at AddictingInfo.org

imageKansas Republicans are once again resuming their war against a woman’s right to choose and this time they are targeting abortion clinic employees in a very personal way.

A Kansas House committee passed HB 2253 on Wednesday along party lines, with Republicans pushing the bill through while Democrats opposed it. The bill is a broad spectrum of anti-abortion laws sponsored by GOP state Rep. Lance Kinzer, who is the poster boy for many of the outrageous abortion bills introduced and passed in Kansas these days. Included in the bill are measures declaring that life begins at conception, measures that keep women from deducting the cost of abortion procedures on their tax forms, and measures that affect “information the Kansas Department of Health and Environment distributes on abortion and fetal development,” according to the Topeka Capital-Journal.

But these measures weren’t the ones that Democrats objected to the most. Republicans apparently included a section in the bill that would affect employees of abortion providers in a most personal way. The Capital-Journal reports:

“Much of the debate centered on a portion of the bill that bars anyone associated with an abortion provider from working in a public school. It is meant to prevent districts from contracting with groups like Planned Parenthood to provide sexual education materials.”

Democratic Rep. Emily Perry opposes HB 2253, and pointed out another egregious section in the bill designed “to prohibit parents from going in and volunteering at their child’s school if they work at a place that provides abortion services.” Perry’s claim was later confirmed by Republican Rep. Arlen Siegfreid, who stated that the bill would “prohibit an abortion clinic secretary from ‘bringing cupcakes to’ school for his or her child’s birthday party.”

An amendment to fix the outrageous section was offered and passed but only after it was “tweaked to limit it to those who work for abortion providers and volunteer in schools, but not those who volunteer in abortion clinics and work in schools.” In other words, employees of clinics that provide abortion services are banned from volunteering at schools, even if their own children attend the school for which they wish to volunteer.

Parents should not be banned from volunteering at their child’s school because of where they work. This action is what most people would call discrimination. It’s also an intimidation tactic designed by Republicans to force abortion clinic employees to quit their jobs if they want to participate at their child’s school. It’s a sleazy personal attack that has no business being a law. People have the right to pursue whatever job they desire, including jobs that legally improve the health and lives of women. Likewise, parents have every right to volunteer at their child’s school; in fact, such participation is key to educating our kids. Teachers want parents to be involved. We shouldn’t prevent a particular group of parents from getting involved with the school system. Republicans would be standing in the way of education and personal liberty if they manage to slam this bill through the House, where it now heads, and the Senate. It’s a perfect demonstration of government over-reach, and this from the party that constantly screeches about “smaller government.”

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How Will Heller Vote Tomorrow?

NRSC communications director Brian Walsh went of the attack against Democrats and the Paycheck Fairness Act saying,

“This pathetic political attack is just the latest effort by Senate Democrats to distract Americans from their failed leadership on the economy and it simply drives home how out of touch they are.  While Democrats are busy sending out press releases and ginning up phony attacks, the rest of America is rightfully asking ‘where are the jobs.”

I seriously beg to differ with Mr. Walsh.  For many women across this nation, the Paycheck Fairness Act is very much about economics and the economy.  We work side-by-side with many men, performing the same job with equal proficiency, and in far too many cases, we, as women, are paid differently … predominantly less than our male counterparts merely because of our gender.  Now, adding insult to injury, it’s common practice by corporate America to impose a policy making it a dischargeable office to share information about what you earn with your co-workers.  Excuse me?

Far too many employers employ predatory wages for women and then turn around and employ predatory policies to prevent you from learning about the predation.  The ruling by the Supreme Court basically said that the discrimination begins from the first paycheck … and thus … if an employer can conceal that discriminatory act for the allowable 180 days in which the female employee has to file a case of discrimination …. hey, they’re good to go and can continue that discriminatory practice in perpetuity.

In union environments, if you perform a job covered by the bargaining agreement, you’re paid the same as all others in that job title.  That’s not necessarily the same in non-union environments. And given the GOP’s determination to wipe out unions and impose right-to-work laws uniformly across all 50 states, how do you think women will fare should that become the law of the land?

The majority of the middle class are women, and if you truly understand economics, you know that that makes women true “job creators” across this nation.  In spending their paychecks, they create demand for all types of products and services.  Thus, paying women less puts an automatic damper on demand.  Without demand, employers aren’t going to hire more people to create additional products and services when there isn’t a corresponding increase in demand.  No employer is going to consider increasing supply when there isn’t sufficient demand to recover their cost to produce that product or service.

Mr. Walsh and his GOP brethren, including unelected Sen. Dean Heller, in addition to pushing their supply-side economics hoax that has done nothing more than redistribute our nation’s wealth upward, now want to also ensure that women are incapable of achieving parity in the workplace.

According to AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, “Empowering women is one investment that always pays long-term dividends, not only for the women themselves, but also for their families and the nation as well. It’s time for the Equal Pay Act to live up to its promise to provide equal pay for equal work.”

Ryan’s P2P Just Another Salvo in GOP’s War Against Women

This week, the GOP-dominated Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments about whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) should be thrown out as unconstitutional, and the GOP-dominated U.S. House is debating Rep. Paul Ryan’s Path to Poverty budget proposal which would repeal all provisions of the PPACA and return everything to the way it was before it was enacted.

“Women continue to face unfair and discriminatory practices when obtaining health insurance in the individual market—as well as in the group health insurance market.  Women are charged more for health coverage simply because they are women, and individual market health plans often exclude coverage for services that only women need, like maternity care. Furthermore, insurance companies—despite being aware of these discriminatory practices—have not voluntarily taken steps to eliminate the inequities.  While some states have outlawed or limited these practices, only when the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented in 2014 will they end nationally.” — National Women’s Law Center

If either attack succeeds, women can kiss that 2014 promise of medical premium equality goodbye and expect to continue paying far more for the same health insurance policy than any man would have to pay.  If you’re a woman, and you don’t believe you’re nothing more than a pre-existing condition to be denied and overcharged, then you need to get busy.  If REPEAL is not what you want to see happen, then you need to learn all you can learn about the PPACA debate.  You need to write/call your representatives in Congress expressing your disapproval, and you need to encourage everyone in your circle of friends to actively stand against repeal.

If the Supreme Court decides to strike down the PPACA, women (and Americans, in general) will need to watch carefully to see what other pieces of legislation are adversely affected by the Court’s action.

RESOURCES PRESENTED TO THE SUPREME COURT