Friday, September 18, 2009

Equality in the News September 12-18

Happy Friday Everyone! I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable (yet productive) week! Hopefully you all have had a chance to enjoy this Fall-like weather we’ve been having. Aside from Thursday’s rain, it’s been all sun East of Raleigh.


In The State

Activists in Wilmington are making the need for the Safer Communities Act known both on the streets and in the media. Here's a great opportunity to check out UNC-Wilmington's newspaper, with a piece on the newly formed group, No Hate NC.

Equal rights supporter Rev. Jack McKinney steps down from his position at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh. As a friend of ENC and respected leader to his congregation, he will be missed.

Replacements Ltd. once again gets a perfect score on the HRC Foundation's Corporate Equality Index. We're not surprised, but are--as always--very proud to know them. Nice announcement on it by the Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau! Bank of America Corp., Wachovia Corp., Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, and Reynolds American Inc. are also NC-based businesses making the "Best Places to Work 2009" list. Nice job, All!

In other NC workplace news, we lost an amazing organizer for workers' rights this week with the passing of Crystal Lee Sutton, the "real" Norma Rae. Let's use inspiration from her and others in the workers' rights movement to push forward toward non-discrimination and equal rights at work!

While in this section, I would like to take a moment to invite you all to volunteer with ENC at Pride to be held in Durham on September 26th from 10 A.M.-5 P.M.! That’s NEXT WEEKEND! Pride this year will take place on Duke’s East Campus and include music, speakers, vendors, food and of course a fun parade through downtown. Click here to volunteer!

In The Nation

DOMA Repeal Introduced!

The Associated Press Reports that equal marriage supporters are moving towards repealing a law that denies federal benefits to same-sex couples. The outdated 1996 law bars federal recognition of same-sexual unions, including the granting of Social Security survivor payments and other government benefits to couples. The law even applies to states that already have equal marriage. It will take 60 votes to break a filibuster, but there has been no movement for repeal in the Senate.

New Jersey Governor to sign Marriage Equality Bill “This Year”

The Advocate reports that the Governor of New Jersey, Jon Corzine, expects to sign marriage equality legislation “this year,” as he told a union conference in Atlantic City on Monday. He was asked about the issue during an appearance before a Teamsters local in Atlantic City on Monday. Corzine faces a tight re-election this November against his opponent Rep. Christopher J. Christie. It is believed that the legislature will consider the marriage equality bill in the “lame duck” session after the election and before the January swearing-in ceremony. Let’s hope that’s not the case, because this is an important issue!

Washington to Appeal Ruling in LGBT Rights Referendum

According to the Associated Press the Washington State attorney general’s office states that it will appeal a federal judge’s decision to keep secret the names of people who signed petitions calling for a public vote on expanded equality benefits for same-sex couples. U.S District Judge Ben Settle ruled Thursday that the petitions should not be released because it would likely chill the 1st Amendment rights of petition signers.

Equality in the Work Place

This particular topic falls under the “did you know?” category. According to an editorial written in the The New York Times, it is still LEGAL in 29 states (including ours) to fire employees based his or her sexual orientation. This boggles my brain! Everyone should lobby senators to get on board with the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, so that there can be equality for all in the work place.

In The World

Indonesians for Stoning

Indonesia recently passed an outrageous bill to legalize stoning adulterers and members of the gay community. The 69-seat house voted unanimously for the bill to be passed. Some members of the Democratic Party voiced concern, but ended up not voting against the bill. The law violates international treaties signed by Indonesia.

Uruguay May Retract Equal Adoptions

Despite earlier reports, Uruguay may not enable adoptions by same sex couples after all. This news comes after some “holes” in the law have grabbed law makers attention. It is noted that parts of the law don’t “specifically” state same-sex couples have a right to adopt, and in other places it suggests that a child should take a mother and father’s surnames. This news is fairly appalling as a main concern of the law SHOULD be that a child should be adopted to a loving home. Period. To deny same sex couples the right to adopt, will deny many children to loving homes.

Alright, that’s all I have for now. Enjoy the weekend and take time out to relax!

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