Equality For All Americans

FACT: The survivors of the Orlando shooting could be fired from their job or kicked out of their apartment simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Throughout most of Florida, it is legal to fire someone or deny them access to housing or public accommodations because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

But it’s not just Florida.  In 32 states across the country, hardworking Americans can be fired from their jobs or denied housing simply because of who they are or who they love.  While in many places it is illegal to discriminate in employment, housing and public accommodations based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap or marital status, the LGBT community is currently left out of nationwide and many statewide non-discrimination protections.

At the federal level, the Equality Act would establish explicit, permanent protections against discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity in matters of employment, housing, access to public places, federal funding, credit, education and jury service. In addition, it would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in federal funding and access to public places.  The Equality Act is supported by over 70% of all Americans as well as major corporations like Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, Kellogg, Facebook, and others.

But we also need to lay the groundwork in the 33 states that don’t have clear, fully inclusive non-discrimination laws for all LGBT Americans.

We can no longer wait.  The time has come for us to speak out, stand up, and act up.  We can do this.  LGBT and straight – you can help!

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Contact your US Senator and Congressperson and tell them to support the Equality Act.  Even if they already support the Equality Act, it never hurts to remind them of why we need their support! Simply click the link here (contactingthecongress.org) to find out who represents you in Congress.  Type in your address; you’ll be given the phone number and web contact page for both of your senators and your representative in the House.  Below are some sample scripts that you can use when you email or call these men and women.  Make sure to ask for a response!
  2. If you live in one of the states below, contact your state legislators and urge them to support legislation extending full non-discrimination protections to the ENTIRE LGBT community where you live.  Find your state below and follow the links (some states have separate links for House and Senate; for other states you will need to find your legislative district first).  Alternatively, you can use OpenStates.org to find your state legislators.  Some states have automatic forms you can fill out while others will only provide a phone number or email address.  Below are additional sample scripts you can use when you call or email these men and women.  Once again, make sure to ask for a response!
  3. Support organizations like Lambda Legal (find them on Facebook & Twitter) or Freedom for All Americans (Pledge your support, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter).  And yes, if you feel so inclined – donate money.  While our voices were necessary to win marriage equality, it also took a lot of cold hard cash.  Remember, every little bit counts.
  4. Share this with your friends and family!

Here’s a form letter for emailing/writing your US Senators and Representative:

Dear ________________,

FACT: The survivors of the Orlando shooting could be fired from their job or kicked out of their apartment simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Throughout most of the United States, it is legal to fire someone or deny them access to housing or public accommodations because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).  This problem comes up over and over again in the 33 states that don’t have clear, fully inclusive LGBT non-discrimination laws.

Therefore, I am writing to urge you to support the Equality Act to extend clear and fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections to all LGBT Americans.  The current patchwork of local and state laws leaves millions of Americans subject to uncertainty and potential discrimination that impacts their safety, their family, and their livelihood.

The Equality Act is supported by over 70% of all Americans as well as major corporations like Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, Kellogg, Facebook, and others.

It’s time to end discrimination in our country. Thank you for doing what is right for the people of [your state] and the United States.

Thank you,
[Your Name]

Want to call your Senators or Representative?  Great! Try this sample message!

Hello, my name is __________, and I’m calling today from __(city)__ to urge Senator/Representative __________ to support the Equality Act to extend clear and fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections to all LGBT Americans.  The current patchwork of local and state laws leaves millions of Americans subject to uncertainty and potential discrimination that impacts their safety, their family, and their livelihood.

The Equality Act is supported by over 70% of all Americans as well as major corporations like Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, Kellogg, Monsanto, and others.

It’s time to end discrimination in our country. Thank you for doing what is right for the people of [your state] and the United States.

Is your state on the list?

Alabama; Alaska – Click here to find your legislative district and your legislator, then click here to find contact information, ; Arizona – Click here to locate your legislative district and then click here to find your Senate and House legislators; Arkansas; Florida – click here for the House and click here for the Senate; Georgia; Idaho – Click here to locate your legislative district then click here to find contact information; Indiana; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Michigan – Click here for the House and click here for the Senate; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; New Hampshire – Click here for the House and click here for the Senate; New York – Click here for the State Assembly and click here for the Senate; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio – first look up your full zip code; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming.

Try out this sample letter for contacting your state legislators.

Dear ________________,

Did you know that the survivors of the Orlando shooting could be fired from their job or kicked out of their apartment simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender?  It is currently legal in Florida to fire someone or deny them access to housing or public accommodations because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

This can happen in our state as well.  The laws in our state do not currently contain clear, fully inclusive non-discrimination protections for all LGBT Americans, leaving thousands of Americans in our state subject to uncertainty and potential discrimination that impacts their safety, their family, and their livelihood.

Therefore, I am writing to urge you to support legislation that would extend non-discrimination protections to all LGBT Americans in [your state].

It’s time to end discrimination in our state. Thank you for doing what is right for the people of [your state].

Thank you,
[Your Name]

Or if you would rather call, try out this sample message for contacting your state legislators.

Hello, my name is __________, and I’m calling today from __(city)__ to urge Senator/Representative __________ to support legislation extending clear and fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections to all LGBT Americans in [your state].

Did you know that the survivors of the Orlando shooting could be fired from their job or kicked out of their apartment simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender?  This could happen in our state as well.  The laws in [your state] do not currently contain clear and fully inclusive non-discrimination protections for all LGBT Americans, leaving thousands of Americans in our state subject to uncertainty and potential discrimination that impacts their safety, their family, and their livelihood.

It’s time to end discrimination in our state. Thank you for doing what is right for the people of [your state].

Posted in LGBT, politics | Tagged | 4 Comments

Monday blues

Sadly there’s no way to make Mondays great again.

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World AIDS Day

Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, 78 million individuals have been infected and 35 million have lost their lives. Currently over 35 million people are living with HIV and 2 million were newly infected last year. Despite the advances in medicine and detection we cannot get complacent. Protect yourself. Get tested. Know your status and the status of your partner(s). Have open and honest dialogue about your sand your partner(s) sexual histories. Together we can defeat this.

Until it’s over.

#GettingToZero #KnowYourStatus

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A little post election analysis

There’s been a lot of post-election analysis on why Democrats lost.  And I’m not just talking Hillary Clinton, but also why Democrats failed to secure House, Senate, and state level positions that should have been within their reach.  I’m not going to get into the thick of it – besides I’ve previously posted on Facebook about how we need to stop calling all Trump supporters racist/bigoted/misogynistic/uneducated because that really does nothing to figure out why Democrats lost.

If you’re still wondering why or if you’re not tired of the endless analysis, I suggest you read this article from The Atlantic: Democrats Don’t Have an Easy Answer for the Rust Belt.  Pay attention in particular to this part:

Democrats “remain obsessed with cultural issues,” University of California-Hastings professor Joan C. Williams wrote, in a Harvard Business Review essay shortly after the election. “I fully understand why transgender bathrooms are important, but I also understand why progressives’ obsession with prioritizing cultural issues infuriates many Americans whose chief concerns are economic.”

Yup – pretty much. And I know some of you out there are thinking/saying “why is someone’s economic security more important than my fundamental rights?” Sadly that’s not an argument you’re going to win.  Getting people to care about your fundamental human rights – aka voting in a selfless manner – doesn’t matter much to them if they can’t support their own family. Unfair?  Absolutely.  Selfish? Yes, but it’s also realistic.

If we keep pushing a non-economic agenda, we’re going to keep getting creamed.  If we don’t figure out a way to assuage voters’ economic anxieties, there’s isn’t going to be time/room to talk about fundamental rights on a national level – because we’ll never be able to successfully push that agenda.

Is this the only answer/explanation as to why Democrats lost?  Obviously not – but it does partly explain the harsh reality of losing states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Posted in newspaper, politics | Tagged | 1 Comment

Holiday shopping season

The holiday shopping season officially kicked off on Friday – well, Thursday for some retailers – and today marks the now famous Cyber Monday.  Although i’ve seen that some of those Cyber Monday sales started last night too…

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revelations

The biggest communication problem is that we don’t listen to understand.  We listen to reply.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

May you be surrounded by friends and family… and may the political commentary be minimal.

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Fall in Louisiana

The temperatures have finally fallen below 70 degrees and yet somehow the air conditioning at the hospital still runs on full blast…

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