LGBT

Department of Justice Brief Defends DOMA in Marriage Case

The Department of Justice today filed a brief defending the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) in the case Gill v. Office of Personnel Management. People For the American Way president Michael B. Keegan said, “I’m disappointed that the Department of Justice once again chose to defend a law which, by the Department’s own admission, discriminates against gay and lesbian Americans. In Massachusetts and other states, there are now two groups of legally married couples: one group which gets all the federal benefits that come with marriage, and another group which receives nothing. That situation is intolerable. The administration missed an important opportunity to make clear that discrimination against LGBT people is unacceptable.

Outside Religious Right Groups Targeting Marriage Equality in Maine With a Prop 8-Style Campaign Based on Lies and Big Money

Outside Religious Right Groups Targeting Marriage Equality in Maine With a Prop 8-Style Campaign Based on Lies and Big Money

Religious Right Targets Maine & Marriage Equality with Money, Anti-Gay Swat Teams and Reprise of Prop-8’s False Fearmongering Strategies

National Religious Right organizations that bankrolled the effort to put Proposition 1 on the ballot in Maine descended on the state this past weekend with a SWAT team of anti-gay leaders and veterans of last year’s Prop 8 battle in California.

Legislation to Dump DOMA Introduced in Congress

Legislation to repeal the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA) was introduced in the House of Representatives today by Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York.

Brief Highlights Need for DOMA Repeal

While the DOJ's latest brief in the Smelt v. United States case reaffirms President Obama's pledge to repeal DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act), it's still disappointing that the Administration continues to defend the law in court.

Bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act Introduced in the Senate

Both the House and Senate have now introducted inclusive versions of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit employers from discriminating based on employees' sexual orientation, gender or gender identity

Hate Crimes Legislation Passes in Senate!

The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed in the Senate as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill. Now the bill goes to conference committee, where it's up to the House to keep the amendment in the final bill.

Senate to Hold Hearings on Don't Ask Don't Tell

The Senate Armed Services Committee today announced that it would hold hearings on Don't Ask Don't Tell in the fall of this year. Michael B. Keegan said, "Our nation needs a strong national defense, and repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell would allow more qualified men and women to serve honestly and openly in our armed forces. Americans overwhelmingly support the repeal of DADT, and it's long past time to stop mistreating our courageous military personnel. "

As Senate Prepares to Take Up Hate Crimes Bill, Far Right’s Inflammatory Claims Should Not Be Taken Seriously

Anti-gay organizations have been fighting the steady advance of federal hate crimes legislation with rhetoric that is increasingly unhinged from reality. When the U.S. House of Representatives passed a hate crimes bill on April 29 with a bipartisan 74-vote margin, Religious Right leaders and some of their congressional allies were inspired to new heights (or depths) of literally incredible accusations.

Massachusetts Sues U.S. over DOMA

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts yesterday filed suit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA.) The suit challenges Section 3 of the act, which prevents same-sex couples legally married in Massachusetts from accessing federal benefits and protections automatically granted to others couples.

An Open Letter to President Obama from People For the American Way

Today, PFAW President Michael B. Keegan issued an open letter to President Obama urging him to use his influence to advance the cause of LGBT equality and make good on his promises to help end discriminatory policies such as DOMA and Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Presidential Memorandum: "A Very Small Step in the Right Direction"

In reponse to President Obama signing a memorandum granting a limited number of benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees and reiterating his pledge to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan said,

Rev. Byron Williams on Prop 8 and Marriage Equality on CNN's Campbell Brown

Rev. Byron Williams spoke about Prop 8 and marriage equality on May 27th 2009, on Campbell Brown's show on CNN. Williams is a member of African American Ministers In Action (AAMIA).

PFAW Foundation Statement on the California Supreme Court's Decision to Uphold Prop 8

Today, the California Supreme Court denied a court challenge to Proposition 8 and allowed a bare majority of voters to place the controversial language in the State Constitution. The language bars civil marriage for same-sex couples in California, despite the fact that the Supreme Court found marriage to be a "fundamental right" just last year. The Court also upheld the unions of 18,000 same-sex couples who wed before Proposition 8 took effect.

Right's Objections to Potential Justices Reveal Anti-Gay Bigotry

Among the attacks launched by right-wing leaders against potential nominees for the Supreme Court have been suggestions that an openly gay Supreme Court Justice would be unacceptable. People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan responded with the following statement: "Let’s be clear. Opposing a Supreme Court nominee because of his or her sexual orientation is inappropriate and unacceptable."

NOM Board Member Advocates Criminalization of Homosexuality, Overthrow of Government

People For the American Way calls on the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to repudiate the bizarre and troubling remarks made by its board member Orson Scott Card, who has advocated for criminalizing sex between same-sex adults and for overthrowing the government if same-sex marriage were permitted.

House Passes Hate Crimes Legislation

Today the House of Representatives passed the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 by a bipartisan vote of 249 to 175. The legislation protects individuals from violent crimes motivated by victims' sexual orientation, disability status, gender or gender identity. The legislation still needs to be approved by the Senate.PFAW President Michael B. Keegan said, "I applaud the House for passing this legislation. Hate crimes remain all too common in this county, and it's important that the federal government take strong stand to ensure that no one is subjected to the threat of violence because of who they are. I'm especially pleased that this bill contains strong First Amendment protections to ensure that no one's right to free expression will ever be affected by this law. All Americans have a right to live in safety, and all Americans have a right to speak, preach, and worship freely."

Point Man for the Wedge Strategy: New Report Examines Political Activities of Bishop Harry Jackson, Face of the Religious Right's Outreach to African Americans

Bishop Harry Jackson, who has emerged as the leading African American voice of the Religious Right political movement, is waging a campaign in the District of Columbia against marriage equality. This report follows Jackson's years on the national political scene since he announced that God told him to campaign for George W. Bush's reelection in 2004.

Hate Crimes Legislation Passes House Judiciary Committee

The House Judiciary Committee today voted 15 to 12 to send the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (H.R. 1913) to the floor for a vote. People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan issued the following statement: "Today's vote is a very positive step towards passing this bill into law. I'm extremely optimistic that this year we'll finally be able to enact hate crimes legislation that includes protections against violence based on disability status, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity.

Right Sounds False Alarm On Hate Crimes Legislation

Religious Right leaders are vehemently opposed to federal hate crimes laws in large measure because they resist any legal recognition of LGBT people (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender). They know that most Americans support hate-crimes legislation, anti-discrimination laws, and legal protection for gay couples. So they create confusion by portraying these steps toward equality as dire threats to religious liberty. This is part of a larger political strategy by Religious Right leaders to advance their policy goals and mobilize supporters with alarmist claims that Christians in America are on the verge of being jailed for their religious beliefs.
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