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USA: New Poll Says 60% of Likely Voters Support Marriage Equality

Friday, February 13th, 2015

titleA new poll from HRC shows a heightened level of support for marriage equality among likely voters.

Politico reports:

With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to rule this spring on whether same-sex couples nationwide should have the right to marry, a gay rights organization on Friday released a new survey showing support for gay marriage at 60 percent among likely voters in the 2016 election. The Human Rights Campaign — a Washington, D.C.-based tax-exempt nonprofit that works to “achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans” — says its survey shows conservatives who claim the country will balk at court-imposed marriage rights are out of step with public opinion. The poll was conducted late last month by the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. According to the survey, 60 percent of likely voters say they favor “allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally,” while 37 percent oppose allowing gays to marry.

While the poll measures likely voters vs. people in general, it’s still a great number to see.

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New HRC Report Exposes World Conference of Families’ Anti Gay Bigotry

Monday, August 25th, 2014

World Congress of FamiliesA new report from the Human Rights Campaign profiles the anti gay activities of the World Conference of Families.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

The report by the HRC Foundation, the educational arm of HRC, documents: WCF’s origins and founding members; a timeline of its major international events; affiliations with prominent American officials, political groups, and religious organizations; engagement and lobbying with leaders and lawmakers abroad; and the primary regions in which the group has been most active. According to the report, the WCF and its affiliates are connected to anti-LGBT advocacy in Uganda, Russia, Nigeria, and many other countries. “This organization and their affiliates’ global advocacy have corresponded with a dangerous rise in anti-LGBT laws, discrimination, and even violence around the world,” said Cobb.

See the full report here.

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The Most Awesome Response to Westboro Baptist Church, Ever

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Panic at the DiscoThe band Panic! At the Disco turned a WBC protest into an HRC fundraiser in a brilliant response to the homophobic group’s pathetic rally outside the band’s concert in Kansas City.

Queerty reports:

The Bible-thumping gang that just loves to hate recently put out the most nails-on-a-chalk-board version of Panic At The Disco’s pop-punk anthem “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” which they call “You Love Sin What a Tragedy.”… They also announced plans to picket Panic’s show in Kansas City, Mo this past weekend. Because apparently there weren’t any bigger sinners to harass that day. Well the band fired back in just about the prefect way imaginable. Frontman Brendon Urie (who is married to a woman but doesn’t shy away from talking about past experiences sleeping with men) and co. posted this message to Twitter, pledging a $20 donation to HRC for every Westboro protester.

Only 13 showed up, so the band upped their donation from $260 to an even grand. How awesome is that? They also donated 5% of their merchandise sales for the show. Love these guys!

National LGBT Groups Drop ENDA Support

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

New Human Rights Campaign President Ready to Wade Into More Marriage Equality FightsIt started yesterday with an announcement from NGLTF.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Six of the nation’s leading LGBT rights advocacy groups on Tuesday announced they were withdrawing their support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), fearing that broad religious exemptions included in the current bill could compel private companies to cite objections similar to those that prevailed in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last week.

The withdrawal was first announced earlier Tuesday by The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and by mid-afternoon the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and the Transgender Law Center issued a joint statement that they would no longer support the current version of ENDA because it provides “religiously affiliated organizations … a blank check to engage in workplace discrimination against LGBT people.”

The issue has been simmering for awhile, but the Hobby Lobby decision last week brought it to a boil.

Towleroad.com reports from the NGLTF press release:

“The morning after the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, we all woke up in a changed and intensified landscape of broad religious exemptions being used as an excuse to discriminate. We are deeply concerned that ENDA’s broad exemption will be used as a similar license to discriminate across the country. We are concerned that these types of legal loopholes could negatively impact other issues affecting LGBT people and their families including marriage, access to HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention and access to other reproductive health services. As one of the lead advocates on this bill for 20 years, we do not take this move lightly but we do take it unequivocally – we now oppose this version of ENDA because of its too-broad religious exemption. We cannot be complicit in writing such exemptions into federal law.”

The lone hold-out? HRC.

Pink News reports:

Despite the shift, the Human Rights Campaign – which tackled anti-gay discrimination – has maintained support for the bill. Human Rights Campaign Vice President Fred Sainz said yesterday: “HRC supports ENDA because it will provide essential workplace protections to millions of LGBT people.”

Is HRC hanging on because it has spent years and years failing to get this thing passed, and now fears seeing the whole thing go down in flames?

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President Obama Will Sign LGBT Employment Executive Order

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

President Barack ObamaPresident Obama will finally sign 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 reports:

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.

A new HRC poll shows that 63% favor a law protecting the LGBT community in the workplace.

LGBT Weekly reports:

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) today released new public opinion research that conclusively demonstrates strong public support for federal non-discrimination workplace protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers. A national survey of 1,200 registered voters conducted June 6-10, 2014 by TargetPoint Consulting found that 63 percent of those surveyed favor a federal law that protects gay and transgender people from employment discrimination while only 25 percent oppose it. Enthusiasm for this is especially strong among supporters: 42 percent strongly favor it, while only 16 percent strongly oppose.

And Senator Orrin Hatch has the gall to ask the President to put conditions on his order, after helping to block the passage of ENDA for how many years?

The Washington Blade reports:

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is calling for the executive order that President Obama is poised to sign barring LGBT discrimination among federal contractors to include a religious exemption along the lines of the pending Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Hatch made the comments via a statement to the Washington Blade in response to a request to comment on the directive, which the White House on Monday announced President Obama intends to sign. “While the specifics of this executive order are not yet clear, I believe it must include the same religious protections that are included in the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act that passed the Senate,” Hatch said.

OMG, the balls it must take to stand up and say that with a straight face (pun intended).

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USA: HRC Launches Campaign in the Deep South

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

New Human Rights Campaign President Ready to Wade Into More Marriage Equality FightsThe Human Rights Campaign is taking its gay rights and marriage equality fight to the Deep South.

The Advocate reports:

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s most prominent LGBT rights organization, is launching an $8.5 million intiative to enhance its presence in states that offer no protections for its LGBT citizens. Called Project One America, the initiative will establish offices in the Deep South states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas (coincidentally or not, HRC president Chad Griffin hails from Arkansas). The impetus is to address the serious inequalities in the South, where there is not only a lack of marriage equality, but also no basic protections in housing and employment for LGBTs.

Seems to me Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas could use a little extra LGBT love… 🙂

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USA: Joe Biden Speaks Out at HRC Dinner

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Vice President Joe BidenVice President Joe Biden gave a rousing speech at the HRC gala yesterday.

The Advocate reports:

“Because of what all of you’ve done,” he said during the Human Rights Campaign’s Los Angeles gala, “my granddaughter is going to grow up in a better country, and a more just country, and a more fair country.” Biden said that among the many wins for marriage equality, the silent majority has been liberated to speak up. “You liberated tens of millions of straight guys and straight women,” he told the room. Adding later, “they know they are not the exception, they know they are the majority.”

Give ’em hell, Joe!

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USA, Utah: County Clerks Can Finish Same-Sex Marriage Paperwork Already in Progress

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Utah MapEnding one small part of the uncertainty around the marriage equality lawsuit in Utah, the Attorney General ordered the state’s county clerks to finish any paperwork on same-sex marriages that was started before the Supreme Court’s stay.

Joe.My.God reports:

The stay remains in effect while the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers the long-term question of whether gay couples have a right to wed in Utah. In Weber County, about 30 couples married before the ruling, but their marriage certificates were not completed after county attorneys said to put them on hold. Reyes’ new advice was issued to clear up some confusion and only applies to marriages that were solemnized, his spokeswoman Missy Larsen said. “As long as the marital ceremony happened prior to the stay, then the marriage can receive documentation,” Larsen said. The attorney general’s office said Thursday’s guidance is not a decision on whether the marriages are valid.

So that’s something.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign is asking the US Attorney General to ensure that Utah’s new same-sex marriages are recognized federally.

Pink News reports:

The AP has obtained a letter from the HRC which calls on the US Attorney General to immediately recognise the marriages of those couples, and allow them federal benefits.
A US Supreme Court ruling in June 2013 extended over a thousand benefits to same-sex married couples. The same court is expected to decide some time in February whether Utah same-sex couples will be able to marry going forward.

And the Mormon church is not filing a brief in the case at this point.

Gay Star News reports:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also known as the Mormons, has said it will not get involved in the Utah state government’s appeal to the legalization of same-sex marriage by a District Court for now – but has not ruled out becoming involved at a later date. Church spokeswoman Jessica Moody told Fox News 13 that the Mormons were not currently seeking to file a ‘friend of the court’ brief in the appeal of the District Court ruling that allowed over 1,300 same-sex couples to marry since 20 December – although the US Supreme Court has now stayed any further same-sex couples marrying until an appeal is heard.

Briefs in the case are due by February 25th, and the case could be heard as soon as March 17th by the 10th circuit. Could this be the case that blows away all those same-sex marriage bans? Or will the Supreme Court still be cautious once a case reaches them?

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USA: Overall Poll Results From Those HRC Polls

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

titleYesterday, we reported on new poll results out of Mississippi from HRC – but the article only reported on the high youth support numbers, so we asked if anyone had the overall poll numbers for the state. Our friend at MEUSA, ned Flaherty, came through for us once again. Thanks, Ned!

MISSISSIPPI – On 12 July 2013, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research surveyed 640 Mississipians and reported that 55% oppose marriage equality and only 36% favor it.

ARKANSAS – On 8 July 2013, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research surveyed 600 Arkansas adults, and reported that 38% support marriage equality, and 55% do not.

VIRGINIA – On 11 July 2013, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research surveyed 600 Virginia adults, and reported that 55% support marriage equality, and 41% oppose it.

As we suspected, the overall Mississippi numbers were a lot lower than the 58% of youth who support marriage equality. But the Arkansas numbers are a pleasant surprise. 🙂

USA: Openly Gay Director Offers to Match Donations for Marriage Equality

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

The Human Rights Campaign Sends Another $1 Million to Four Marriage Equality FightsHRC just snared a big hollywood donor for marriage equality. Pink News reports:

Independence Day director Roland Emmerich has offered substantial financial support towards equal marriage efforts in the US, and will match donations by the public. Roland Emmerich said he would match donations of up to $250,000 (#164,000) made before midnight on Tuesday, to the Human Rights Campaign. The HRC helped towards efforts in the court case challenging California’s Proposition 8, now defunct, which banned equal marriage in the state.

It would be great to see more Hollywood folks come forward to financially support the battle for marriage equality in the rest of the states.

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