Equality For All

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.

Vermont Legislature Passes Marriage For All

Both houses of the Vermont Legislature voted to override Governor Douglas's veto of marriage equality legislation, making the Green Mountain State the first state to enact marriage equality for same-sex couples through the legislative process.

Unanimous Iowa Supreme Court Upholds Marriage Equality Ruling

A unanimous Iowa Supreme Court today upheld a lower court ruling that denying marriage to same-sex couples violates the equal protection clause of the state's constitution. People For the American Way Foundation, which was amicus in the case, welcomed the decision as a victory for core constitutional and American values. "The Iowa Supreme Court's decision is a historic affirmation of equality," said People For the American Way Foundation Interim President Michael B. Keegan. "It's a joyous day for the Iowa families involved in the case, and for equality advocates in Iowa and across the nation. Congratulations to the courageous couples who challenged unfair and unconstitutional discrimination, and to One Iowa, Lambda Legal, and all their allies. We were glad to support their work in this case."

People For the American Way Welcomes Introduction of Federal Hate Crimes Law

People For the American Way welcomed the bipartisan introduction of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation would provide federal resources to help local law enforcement departments combat violent hate crimes. H.R. 1913 was introduced this week by Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Mark Kirk (R-IL).

Marriage Equality Opponents Blur Distinction Between Civil And Religious Marriage

Efforts to bring down discriminatory legal barriers to marriage equality have met with fierce resistance led by Religious Right organizations. Anti-equality leaders routinely blur the distinction between civil and religious marriage in order to portray legal marriage equality as a threat to their religious liberty. The truth can be a powerful weapon against that deception: when Americans understand that allowing same-sex couples to be legally wed would not require any church or congregation to bless or perform such weddings, support for legal equality jumps substantially.

President Signs Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

President Barack Obama today signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, legislation that repairs the damage done by the Supreme Court's decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear. People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert was present at the signing, and issued the following statement:

Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 Goes to President Obama's Desk for Signing

Today, the House passed S. 181, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, legislation correcting the Supreme Court's decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear that limited a worker's ability to be fully compensated for discrimination. PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert expressed appreciation for members' standing up for justice for American workers: "Thousands of workers who face pay discrimination now have an opportunity to seek justice. I applaud members of the House, and their colleagues in the Senate, for standing up for the rights of all Americans, and President Obama for his steadfast support of this legislation and of Lilly Ledbetter. I'm glad that Congress took the opportunity to strike a blow for basic fairness."

Two Key Pay Equity Bills Pass the House

PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert released the following statement on the passage of H.R. 11, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and H.R. 12, Paycheck Fairness Act in the House: "Two years after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of corporations over workers in discrimination cases, the House today corrected that mistake and brought justice to employees like Lilly Ledbetter who deserve restitution for unlawful pay discrimination. It's clear that the Supreme Court has lurched dangerously to the right, and Bush's new Justices have brought their political agenda to bear on the cases they hear. In November, the American people spoke loud and clear and voted to restore checks and balances. Today, we're seeing this come to fruition."

Prop 8 Protest - Washington, DC - Nov. 15, 2008

People For the American Way joined thousands of protesters to stand against Prop 8 and for marriage equality.

Blaming Black Voters for Prop 8 Loss is Wrong and Destructive

The LGBT-equality movement should recognize that its real enemies are the Religious Right organizations and leaders who oppose gay and lesbian equality and who devise and fund strategies like Prop 8. And we must commit now to building long-term partnerships with equality-affirming African American clergy and community leaders that will allow us to advance the progressive values that we share.

Radio Ads Urge African Americans to Oppose Anti-Gay Discrimination

People For the American Way Foundation's African American Ministers Leadership Council In Long-Term Project to Challenge Homophobia in Black Church & Communities

Three radio ads urging African Americans to oppose anti-gay discrimination begin running across California today. The ads are part of a long-term effort to challenge homophobia in the Black Church and African American communities that is being carried out by the African American Ministers Leadership Council, a project of People For the American Way Foundation.

Documenting Hate in the 2008 Election

A collection of some of the hate and bigotry on display during the 2008 campaign season.

ACORN Hit by Threats and Vandalism in Wake of McCain Comments

People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert released the following statement:

"On Wednesday night, John McCain outrageously claimed before a national television audience that ACORN was 'maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.' In the two days since, the community organizing group has suffered vandalism at its Boston and Seattle offices and has faced an onslaught of threats and hostile emails.

Prop 8's Call to Extremism

A report examining Lou Engle, a leader in the right-wing fight to pass Proposition 8 in California, and his extremist brand of "Dominionist" Christianity.

Myths and Facts About Connecticut's Marriage Decision

The Connecticut Supreme Court today ruled that the State Constitution requires the state to allow same sex couples to obtain civil marriage licenses.

"This is a proud day for the people of Connecticut, and a good day for the principle of equality," said Kathryn Kolbert, president of People For the American Way Foundation. "The Supreme Court's decision was grounded in constitutional principles and core American values. Discrimination is wrong. Unequal treatment under the law is wrong.

Ads Focus Spotlight on Fair Pay, Supreme Court

As part of its ongoing efforts to educate Americans about the importance of the Supreme Court , the People For the American Way Action Fund today announced a series of ads focusing attention on the confirmation of Samuel Alito and its impact on fair pay for women. The ads, which are now airing, urge Americans to demand fair minded jurists and oppose judicial nominees who obstruct equal pay for women.

Gearing Up for a Fight

Picking up where they left off on their July 30 conference call, anti-gay pastors at an estimated 170-180 locations in Arizona, California, and Florida reconvened for the third of seven conference calls between now and November, once more employing violen

People For the American Way Mourns Del Martin, Equal Rights Pioneer

People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert released the following statement: "We are greatly saddened by the passing of such an extraordinary and courageous woman. Del Martin and her partner of 55 years, Phyllis Lyon, fought for decades to secure equal rights for all Americans regardless of sex or sexual orientation. In recognition of their legendary struggle, Del and Phyllis became the first same-sex couple to wed in California after the state Supreme Court mandated equal marriage rights for gay men and lesbians."

"The Armageddon of the Culture War"

On July 30, 2008, pastors gathered at 215 sites to participate in a national conference call where they were were exhorted by Religious Right leaders and local anti-gay pastors to spare nothing in the cultural and spiritual war against Satan and his allies who support marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.
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