LGBTI News and Politics

Archive for 06/17/2014

VICTORY: President to sign executive order to protect LGBTQ employees of federal contractors


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VICTORY: President to sign executive order to protect LGBTQ employees of federal contractors

WASHINGTON, DC, Jun 16, 2014: “This is a major step forward in the struggle for freedom and justice for LGBTQ workers and their families. Now millions of people will have the economic security they need to provide for their families. Through his actions, the President has demonstrated again his commitment to ending discrimination. We thank all the organizations who have worked so hard to make this piece of history. This decision is good for LGBTQ people, good for our economy and good for America. Unfortunately, many of us who don’t work for federal contractors will still lack workplace protections. Now we must redouble our efforts for the urgent passage of state employment protections and strong federal legislation.”

Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

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To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force,
visit and follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.

Ugandan Gays in Kenya Desperate, Sick and Fear Death


Melanie Nathan | Oblogdeeoblogda | June 16, 2014

OBLOGDEE Copyright

Most refugees, when finding shelter in UNHCR camps, despite the difficult conditions, can at least find solace in the fact that they have escaped the persecution that sent them there in the first place. But this is not the case for Ugandan LGBT people who are now refugees in Kenya, having escaped state sanctioned homophobic arrests,  community threats and attacks in their own country.

There are an estimated 60 members of Uganda’s LGBTI community in refugee camps and hiding out in Kenya right now. They are living in deplorable conditions. Sick, beaten down, fed unsustainable food, and their bleak existence exacerbated not only by a slow resettlement process, but by enduring persecution at the hands of the general camp populace.

Some have been forced into the camps, due to their particular circumstances and inability to survive outside the camps and others continue to struggle in Nairobi’s slums.

It seems that the resettlement process can take up to 2 years.

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Pride at Work Statement on the President’s Signing of an Executive Order Barring Discrimination against LGBT Federal Contract Workers


For Immediate Release
June 16, 2014

Contact: Jerame Davis
jdavis@aflcio.org


Pride at Work Statement on the President’s Signing of an Executive Order Barring Discrimination against LGBT Federal Contract Workers


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the White House announced plans for President Obama to sign an executive order to protect employees of federal contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Pride at Work interim Executive Director Jerame Davis issued the following statement:

“We are glad the president is taking this important step to protect federal contractor employees from discrimination on the job,” said Davis. “But unfortunately for many Americans – especially in states with no employment discrimination protections – their only option for workplace protections is still a strong union contract.

“Congress still must act to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to ensure that all LGBT Americans are protected from workplace discrimination. Only 18 states currently ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity while three other states ban discrimination based on sexual orientation alone. With marriage equality sweeping the nation, it is unconscionable that gays and lesbians could still be fired for putting a photo of their legal spouse on their desk at work.“

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Pride At Work organizes mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBT Community for social and economic justice. We seek full equality for LGBT Workers in our workplaces and unions and we organize in the spirit of the union movement’s historic motto, “An Injury to One is An Injury to All.” Workers interested in joining Pride at Work or in launching new chapter organizing efforts, can visit http://www.prideatwork.org or email Pride at Work at info@prideatwork.org.

White House Announces Plans For Executive Order Prohibiting LGBT Discrimination


For Immediate Distribution
June 16, 2014

Contact:
Laura Rodriguez, lrodriguez@rabengroup.com, (310) 956-2425
Donald Gatlin, dgatlin@rabengroup.com, (202) 587-2871

14 Millions More Workers Would Be Protected By Executive Order employment discrimination against LGBT people

Order will reduce persistent and pervasive employment discrimination against LGBT people

LOS ANGELES— The White House has announced that President Obama has directed his staff to prepare a federal executive order requiring contractors to prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity—a move that will protect 14 million more workers in the U.S. than current state law, according to research by the Williams Institute.

“The executive order will help reduce the number of American workers who can be harassed or fired based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Williams Institute Executive Director, Brad Sears. “Williams Institute research has documented pervasive and persistent patterns of workplace discrimination in all fifty states, however, our analysis indicates that state and local nondiscrimination laws protect only a portion of the American workforce.”

“Today, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is disturbingly common. A 2013 survey found that 21 percent of LGBT people report having been treated unfairly by an employer,” said Williams Distinguished Scholar, Lee Badgett. “Further, almost half of transgender people in a recent survey had experienced discrimination in hiring, promotion or job retention.”

A Williams Institute infographic illustrating evidence of workplace discrimination against LGBT people is available here.

“The executive order brings the federal government a step closer to nondiscrimination policies already enacted by many top 50 federal contractors and Fortune 500 companies, said Senior Counsel, Christy Mallory. “These employers link inclusive policies to recruiting and retaining the best talent, generating the most innovative ideas, and maintaining positive employee morale and relations.”

Williams Institute research has shown:

• As of May 2014, 86% of the top 50 federal contractors prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation, and 61% prohibited discrimination based on gender identity.

• All but two of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation (96%) as of May 2014, and 70% prohibited discrimination based on gender identity.

• Local policies that require city and county contractors to prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination do not burden governments or businesses.

• Combined, the top 50 contractors represent 47.7% of all contracting dollars awarded by the federal government – over $218 billion in spending.

• An estimated 11 million more workers will be protected from sexual orientation discrimination when taking into account those already protected by state law or employer policy.  An additional 14 million workers will be protected from gender identity discrimination.  Estimates take recent changes in state nondiscrimination laws into account.

Film: Pride Is For All Ages


BEFORE YOU KNOW IT

 

Documentary comes to Lake Worth as part of national theatrical tour to shed light on issues facing LGBT elders

 

(Lake Worth, Florid) Film festival favorite BEFORE YOU KNOW IT comes to the Lake Worth Playhouse June 20-26th, just in time for Pride Month. BEFORE YOU KNOW IT chronicles the lives of three gay men as they navigate the challenges, adventures and surprises of their golden years. Implementing a DIY strategy (including a $50,000 Kickstarter outreach campaign) the directing and producing team behind BEFORE YOU KNOW IT hope to ignite a much needed conversation about aging in the LGBT community with the PRIDE is for All Ages theatrical tour.

 

“If you can imagine a situation where you’re 80 years old, with no kids, a partner passed, no cousins or relatives and not one service that will provide you help with a modicum of respect, that’s what most LGBT seniors in this country face right now.” – Michael Adams, Executive Director, SAGE (Service and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders)

 

According to research conducted by the Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles, there are an estimated 2.4 million lesbian, gay or bisexual Americans over the age of 55. LGBTQ seniors are five times less likely to access social services than their heterosexual counterparts, half as likely to have health insurance coverage, twice as likely as straights to live alone, and 10 times less likely to have a caretaker should they fall ill. In many instances, gay and lesbian seniors return to the closet when they seek care or enter an assisted living, nursing or retirement facility.

 

Activism in the LGBTQ community tends to focus on queer youth and education. Anti-bullying and “It Gets Better” campaigns are important and necessary pieces in the struggle for LGBTQ equality, but we need to recognize and address the needs of LGBTQ elders, who are still surrounded by a generation of those less tolerant. To be frank, it

 

doesn’t always get better. For some, it gets worse. During this time of public discourse about LGBTQ equality and rights, it is imperative that the voices of LGBTQ senior citizens are heard.

 

BEFORE YOU KNOW IT will screen in cities across the country this June (NY, LA, Portland, Austin, Seattle, Mobile, Dallas, Iowa City, Detroit, San Diego, Miami, Denver, Lake Worth). In each city, the filmmakers are partnering with community organizations to create intergenerational conversations, panel discussions and filmmaker Q&As about important issues facing the aging lgbt population to accompany a screening of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT.

 

About the Film

The subjects of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT are no ordinary senior citizens. They are go-go booted bar-hoppers, love-struck activists, troublemaking baton twirlers, late-night Internet cruisers, seasoned renegades, and bold adventurers. They are also among the estimated 2.4 million lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans over the age of 55 in the U.S., many of whom face heightened levels of discrimination, neglect, and exclusion. But BEFORE YOU KNOW IT is not a film about cold statistics and gloomy realities, it’s a film about generational trailblazers who have surmounted prejudice and defied expectation to form communities of strength, renewal, and camaraderie – whether these communities be affable senior living facilities, lively activist enclaves, or wacky queer bars brimming with glittered trinkets and colorful drag queens.

 

Dennis is a gentle-hearted widower in his 70s who begins exploring his sexual identity and fondness for dressing in women’s clothing under the name “Dee”, Ty is an impassioned LGBT activist who hears nothing but wedding bells once gay marriage is legalized in New York, and Robert “The Mouth” is a feisty bar owner who presses on when his neighborhood institution comes under threat.

 

Born before the Civil Rights Era, these men have witnessed unbelievable change in their lifetimes: from the Stonewall Riots and gay liberation movement, to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the founding of Queer Nation, to the legalization of gay marriage and Lady Gaga. They have lived to become part of an unprecedented “out” elder generation. BEFORE YOU KNOW IT focuses on the lives of these three vibrant gay seniors, and reminds us that while LGBT elders face a specific set of issues, aging and its challenges are universal. An affirmation of life and human resilience told with humor and candor, BEFORE YOU KNOW IT confirms that you are never too old to reshape society.

 

Trailer & Clips available at: http://vimeo.com/channels/ beforeyouknowit

For tickets, go to: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/701588 

 

About the filmmaker.

 

Named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” (2006), and one of Out Magazine’s “Out 100″ (2010), PJ Raval is an award-winning cinematographer and filmmaker. He shot and directed the feature documentary Trinidad (Best Documentary Cleveland International Film Festival 2009; Showtime, LOGO), and he also directed the Christeene video collection, which has shown at SXSW. Raval’s cinematography work has earned awards such as the ASC Charles B. Lang Jr. Heritage Award and the Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography, and his past cinematography work includes the Academy Award-nominated Trouble The Water (2009), as well as the Independent Spirit Award-nominated Room (2005). He recently shot the feature Love & Air Sex, (dir. Bryan Poyser), which premiered at SXSW 2013. In his spare time Raval likes to try and take small nap and pretend he knows ballet.

Underground Reservoir Triple Size of Oceans Found


Al Jazeera America | Reader Supported News | June 15, 2014

cientists have found evidence of a huge underground reservoir containing up to three times as much water as on the entirety of the earth’s surface and theorized to be the source for all the world’s oceans.

The new evidence, published Friday in the journal Science, suggests that melting rocks, including those containing the water-rich mineral ringwoodite, may exist far deeper below the earth’s surface. The discovery suggests to researchers that most of the earth’s water seeped out from within, as opposed to arriving on ice-bearing comets, a theory many scientists have posited.

“I think we are finally seeing evidence for a whole-earth water cycle, which may help explain the vast amount of liquid water on the surface of our habitable planet,” said Steve Jacobsen, a Northwestern University professor and a co-author of the study. “Scientists have been looking for this missing deep water for decades.”

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The US Military’s Campaign Against Media Freedom


Chelsea Manning | The New York Times | June 15, 2014

A supporter of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki protested in Baghdad on March 26, 2010, with a poster depicting inked fingers being hanged and alleging voter fraud in Iraq’s general election. Credit Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images        

hen I chose to disclose classified information in 2010, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others. I’m now serving a sentence of 35 years in prison for these unauthorized disclosures. I understand that my actions violated the law.

However, the concerns that motivated me have not been resolved. As Iraq erupts in civil war and America again contemplates intervention, that unfinished business should give new urgency to the question of how the United States military controlled the media coverage of its long involvement there and in Afghanistan. I believe that the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance.

If you were following the news during the March 2010 elections in Iraq, you might remember that the American press was flooded with stories declaring the elections a success, complete with upbeat anecdotes and photographs of Iraqi women proudly displaying their ink-stained fingers. The subtext was that United States military operations had succeeded in creating a stable and democratic Iraq.

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