This morning the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (EDNA) was reintroduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA). The bill would require that federal employment laws, which currently prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, age, and disability, also protect against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. EDNA would prohibit employers from firing or refusing to hire or promote employees on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.
Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, stated, "We all share the challenges of today's economic downturn, but our community also faces arbitrary discrimination in the workplace, simply because of who we are and who we love. Congress must pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and ensure that all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, get a fair chance to succeed at work."
Currently 21 states and Washington DC have laws banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and 12 states and DC protect for gender identity.
Media Resources: Human Rights Campaign Statement 3/28/11, 3/30/11, 6/24/09; Vital Voice 3/30/11; The New Civil Rights Movement 3/30/11
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .