Nov 11, 2008

OBAMA-BIDEN: Will not discriminate against LGBT workers! Will The Episcopal Church discriminate against LGBT priests, bishops and laity Summer 2009?

Obama transition team bans LGBT discrimination
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
11.10.2008 1:21pm EST

(Washington) The Obama-Biden transition team is telling prospective employees in the new administration it will not discriminate against LGBT workers.

“The Obama-Biden Transition Project does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or any other basis of discrimination prohibited by law,” the Transition team says on its official Web site.

Although the commitment pertains only to transition team workers, LGBT civil rights activists say they believe Obama will issue an Executive Order shortly after being sworn in to extend that throughout the administration.

“The inclusion of gender identity is a bold departure from the past – and it sends a clear message,” said Christopher E. Anders, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel.

“By including sexual orientation and gender identity in its non-discrimination policy, the Obama-Biden transition team makes clear that it will focus on the relevant qualities that actually predict an applicant’s success on the job – professional experience, character, skills and education.”

Although President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 11478, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, there are no explicit federal protections from gender identity bias in government hiring.

During the Bush administration, U.S. Special Counsel Scott Bloch refused to protect LGBT workers. The Office of the Special Counsel is supposed to protect whistleblowers and investigate complaints of discrimination by federal workers.

Bloch’s stonewalling of complaints of discrimination by LGBT federal workers dates to February 2004, when he ordered references to sexual orientation removed from the Office of the Special Counsel website.

A month after the references disappeared from the OSC website, Bloch said gay workers were no longer protected.

After intense pressure from Federal Globe - the LGBT organization for federal civil servants - and from Democrats on the Hill, the White House said it would honor the Executive Order signed by Clinton that assured LGBT workers of civil rights protections.

But with Bloch’s approval, several union contracts negotiated with various branches of the government removed the list of categories that are protected, replacing them with the more nebulous phrase “any class protected by law.”

Bloch said in May 2005 before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs subcommittee that his interpretation of the Clinton executive order cannot be used to protect gay workers, because it does not specifically name LGBT workers.

“President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden, by explicitly rejecting the bigotry and intolerance of the past, are committing that gay, lesbian, and transgender professionals can serve in government without fear of discrimination,” said Anders. “This is a critical next step in securing the basic rights of LGBT community.”

The ACLU and other rights groups are calling on Obama to make passage of a gender-identity inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act - known as ENDA - one of his priorities.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, passed the House in 2007, but without protections for the transgendered.

The legislation would make it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in hiring, firing, promoting or paying an employee.

ENDA as originally introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) included transpeople, but Frank removed those protections in committee, saying it would be impossible to pass.

More than a dozen LGBT groups immediately distanced themselves from the legislation. Frank and the Human Rights Campaign now say they will fight to ensure an inclusive ENDA is passed.

The bill expected to be reintroduced with gender identity protections in the next session of Congress.¨

read it all plus comments, click here:

Attention House of Deputies and House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church:

Will The Episcopal Church please remove ALL temporary and/or ¨prudent¨ discrimination acts/statements (B033?) and ¨secret agreements/understandings¨ and or ¨special requests¨ that have been ¨intentionally¨ leveled against LGBT Christians/Episcopalians...please clean up the pending issue of JUSTICE and EQUALITY for all Episcopalians at The General Convention, Anaheim, California, Summer 2009.

Thanks to End Bigotry in Venango County Blog, at the sidebar or click here:

Thanks to Obama-Biden
Thanks to Flickr Photosharing
Thanks to End Bigotry in Venango County
Thanks to 365 Gay Newstaff
Thanks to Juan Carlos C. Fuentes for the Volcanos Pictured


David G. said...

I saw you snatch those Gummi Bears from my bag....

You KNOW I worship the Cherry ones...How Dare You!!

(goes into Baby Jane mode)

Cany said...

Great post... and LOVE the new volcano pic!

Not surprised about this edict, and I cannot imagine he will not carry this through his whole administration. He'd better!:)