LGBTI History Month: June Jordan Poet


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Labor Department Issues Guidelines on Nondiscrimination Protections for LGBTQ Federal Contract Workers

Mark Daley
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Labor Department Issues Guidelines on Nondiscrimination Protections for LGBTQ Federal Contract Workers
WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 21, 2014 — The U.S. Department of Labor has finalized a federal rule making it illegal for federal contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ workers. Earlier this year, the President issued the executive order on nondiscrimination protections and tasked the Labor Department with releasing guidelines on its implementation.

“This is yet another step forward by the federal government to eliminate discrimination against LGBTQ workers. It’s great news for the millions of hardworking LGBTQ families across the country who work for federal contractors and who simply want to make a living and provide for their loved ones, without the specter of being fired.

“We thank U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director Patricia Shiu for working to implement EO 13672. We also thank the President for his continued leadership in securing full freedom and justice for all LGBTQ people and their families.”

— Rea Carey, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force

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The Supreme Court Eviscerates the Voting Rights Act in a Texas Voter-ID Decision

Ari Berman | The Nation | October 21, 2014

Anti-voter repression signs

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

In 1963, only 156 of 15,000 eligible black voters in Selma, Alabama, were registered to vote. The federal government filed four lawsuits against the county registrars between 1963 and 1965, but the number of black registered voters only increased from 156 to 383 during that time. The law couldn’t keep up with the pace and intensity of voter suppression.

The Voting Rights Act ended the blight of voting discrimination in places like Selma by eliminating the literacy tests and poll taxes that prevented so many people from voting. The Selma of yesteryear is reminiscent of the current situation in Texas, where a voter ID law blocked by the federal courts as a discriminatory poll tax on two different occasions—under two different sections of the VRA—remains on the books.

The law was first blocked in 2012 under Section 5 of the VRA. “A law that forces poorer citizens to choose between their wages and their franchise unquestionably denies or abridges their right to vote,” wrote Judge David Tatel. “The same is true when a law imposes an implicit fee for the privilege of casting a ballot.”

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Getting a Grip on Ebola

Robert Reich | Robert Reich’s Blog | Reader Supported News | October 21, 2o14

e have to get a grip. Ebola is not a crisis in the United States. One person has died and two people are infected with his body fluids.

The real crisis is the hysteria over Ebola that’s being fed by media outlets seeking sensationalism and politicians posturing for the midterm elections.

That hysteria is causing us to lose our heads. Parents have pulled their children out of a middle school after learning the school’s principal had traveled to Zambia. Zambia happens to be in Africa but it has not even had a single case of Ebola.

A teacher at an elementary school has been placed on paid leave because parents were concerned he might have contracted the Ebola virus. When and how? During a recent trip to Dallas for an educational conference.

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Obama may allow continuation of Bush-era torture practices

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American Voters Disaffected with Political Establishment

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New evidence changes Ferguson narrative

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New Documents Show NSA and Private Companies Have Closer Relationship Than Previously Thought

Jeff Larson and Julia Angwin | ProPublica | Reader Supported News | October 21, 2014

ewly disclosed National Security Agency documents suggest a closer relationship between American companies and the spy agency than has been previously disclosed.

The documents, published last week by The Intercept, describe “contractual relationships” between the NSA and U.S. companies, as well as the fact that the NSA has “under cover” spies working at or with some U.S. companies.

While not conclusive, the material includes some clear suggestions that at least some American companies are quite willing to help the agency conduct its massive surveillance programs.

The precise role of U.S. companies in the NSA’s global surveillance operations remains unclear. Documents obtained by Edward Snowden and published by various news organizations show that companies have turned over their customers’ email, phone calling records and other data under court orders. But the level of cooperation beyond those court orders has been an open question, with several leading companies, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook, asserting that they only turn over customer information that is “targeted and specific” in response to legal demands.

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How Edward Snowden Changed Journalism

Steve Coll | The New Yorker | Reader Supported News | October 21, 2014

itizenfour,” the new documentary about Edward Snowden, by Laura Poitras, is, among other things, a work of journalism about journalism. It opens with quotations from correspondence between Poitras and a new source who identifies himself only as Citizenfour. This source turns out to be Snowden. Soon, Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, at the time a columnist for the Guardian, travel to Hong Kong to meet Snowden in a hotel room.

They don’t know, at this point, if Snowden is who he says he is. They don’t know if his materials are authentic. Yet Poitras turns on her camera right away. Greenwald, who attended law school, questions Snowden, quite effectively. Gradually, Snowden’s significance becomes clear. The sequence is enclosing and tense and has many remarkable facets. One is that we witness a historically significant exercise in reporting and source validation as it happens. It is as if Bob Woodward had filmed his initial meeting, in a garage, with Deep Throat.

Snowden comes across in the film as shrewd, tough, and hard to read. (My colleague George Packer, in his recent Profile of Poitras, captures the film’s range brilliantly. Snowden also spoke to Jane Mayer remotely at this year’s New Yorker Festival.) Snowden has said that he had never spoken to a journalist before he contacted Poitras. “I knew nothing of the press,” he told the Guardian last summer. “I was a virgin source, basically.” This is not entirely persuasive: he may never have talked to a journalist, but he behaved with exceptional sophistication, both then and later— he is very far from the proverbial “naïve source.”

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PFLAG Oamha Event

PFLAG Header

Parents, Families, Friends, and Allies 
United with LGBT people to 
                     move equality forward!

Starburst Omaha     Urban Abbey2

PFLAG Omaha is honored to once again be Urban Abbey‘s Community Partner of the month*. Below are some of the activities that are coming up in the next weeks. So come up for a cup of coffee, enjoy the activities, and support us!
Tuesday, 10/21, join us at Urban Abbey for LGBTQ 101 & Speakers bureau training. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

LGBTQ 101 – An educational presentation about sexual orientation and gender identity.

PFLAG Speakers bureau training – Learn more about our program and how you can become a panelist or presenter.
Saturday, Oct. 25 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Coffee Social & Support. Informal and relaxed support and sharing. Perfect for newcomers! Co-hosted by PFLAG Omaha & Urban Abbey.
From Oct 1- Oct 30 ten percent of all Urban Abbey’s coffee bar sales support PFLAG Omaha. Bags of Urban Abbey’s Blend coffee featuring PFLAG’s logo will also be for sale. One hundred percent of these bagged coffee sales go to support our chapter. So stop into Urban Abbey soon, pick up a great beverage and snack, browse their wonderful selection of books and support PFLAG Omaha too!
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