TWO SETBACKS FOR LGBT EQUAL RIGHTS IN THE USA
Mississippi’s Queer Jim Crow law (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) is now in effect. Any business owner can refuse service to LGBT people by claiming their religious views conflict with the business transaction. Still some municipalities are challenging this law, and some businesses are affirming that they welcome everyone.
Also, Major LGBT and Civil Rights Organizations are dropping support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would bar discrimination in the workplace. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Pride At Work, and the Transgender Law Center no longer support the watered-down bill with its broad religious exemptions. Only The Human Rights Campaign continues to support ENDA.
Lastly, the President is still preparing an executive order barring discrimination against current or prospective LGBT federal contractors. Catholic Charities and the others crying for religious exemptions are now joined by Rick Warren. The religious exemption would water down the executive order and render it useless.
After the Supreme Court’s decision that the religiously affiliated for-profit Hobby Lobby doesn’t have to provide employee contraception, LGBT advocates feared The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would create more harm than good if passed. The bill had no chance of passing through the current House of Representatives at any rate.
We fight on. -GCI