Equality For All

Final Hate Crimes Legislation Passes House

Last night, the House of Representatives passed the Department of Defense Authorization by a vote of 281-146. The bill contains language that will extend important protections to victims of violent hate crimes targeted because of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability, and expands protection based on race and religion and ethnicity.

An Open Letter to Progressive Allies from People for the American Way on the Importance of Defeating Question 1 in Maine

An open letter from People for the American Way President Michael B. Keegan on the importance of Defeating question 1 in Maine

Bishop Harry Jackson Worried That Right Wing Racism Hurts His Anti-Gay Crusade

Bishop Harry Jackson, who is leading a campaign to prevent same-sex couples in the District of Columbia from being able to legally marry, is employing increasingly divisive rhetoric designed to push a wedge between the District’s African Americans and supporters of gay rights in the city.

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. "

Senate Includes Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act in DOD Authorization

The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act made it on to the DOD Authorization bill as an amendment last night -- a major step forward in finally getting this important legislation to the president's desk to be signed into law. Be on the lookout for intensified rhetoric and lies from the Right about this good bill. Learn more and take action at our resource page.

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.

The Ricci Ruling and the Sotomayor Nomination

In anticipation of a ruling by the Supreme Court in Ricci v. DeStefano today or Monday, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement: "Opponents of Judge Sotomayor have gone to great lengths to use the ruling of her panel in Ricci v. DeStefano against her, and they will surely ramp up their efforts if the Supreme Court overturns the Second Circuit. But the simple fact is that the Supreme Court's ruling, whatever it may be, will not reflect upon Sotomayor's jurisprudence."

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.

PFAW Statement on Supreme Court's Age Discrimination Ruling

The Supreme Court today issued a split decision severely limiting the ability of victims of age discrimination to obtain justice under federal law. "This is an obvious example of blatant judicial activism from the ultra-conservative wing of the Supreme Court," said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President at People For the American Way. "The Court ignored the clear meaning of the law and simply rewrote it to achieve the policy result they wanted. This decision makes it far more difficult in the real world to prove discrimination. It's Lilly Ledbetter all over again."

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,

PFAW Statement on Assassination of George Tiller

Dr. George Tiller, a physician who has been targeted for years for his willingness to provide abortion procedures often in the most difficult circumstances, was assassinated today in his church in Kansas. People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan said, "I am deeply saddened by the killing of Dr. Tiller. He was a man who was dedicated to the belief that all women deserve access to safe reproductive health services including abortion. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his friends, and his community.

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).
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