Jan 152015
 

There are currently about 30,000 gay and lesbian binational couples living here now, many of them recently married. Since our Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, same sex couples can legally marry. This ruling also enables same sex couples to apply for their foreign-born partners to become citizens. In most cases this will be no more difficult for LGBT binational couples than it is for other couples with foreign-born partners. However, some of these foreign born husbands, wives or fiancées are in this country illegally, many because they have overstayed their visas. Without a waiver, applications for permanent residency are usually denied for foreigners who have overstayed their visit. A waiver requires proof of the couple’s relationship among other requirements. Some binational partners have been refused entrance when attempting to return stateside after visiting their home countries. Other partners could face deportation if they cannot attain an immigration waiver. Advocates say we should not break up these, or any other family, over a technicality.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current LBGT binational spouse policy

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to grant immigration waivers to foreign-born LBGT spouses

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Currently, there is no law to prevent employers from discriminating against people because of their sexual orientation. Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) Americans are often denied employment opportunities because of preferential treatment given to non-gays. Recent studies have found that between 15% and 43% of all LGBT workers have experienced being fired, denied promotions or have been harassed at work. Advocates claim protection measures are needed to insure unfair employment practices are prohibited, and equal employment opportunities exist for all Americans. They claim these protections would have a significant and positive impact on LGBT workers without overly burdening employers. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013(ENDA), passed by the Senate, has been championed by the LGBT community for the past 20 years. However, many members of the LGBT community now oppose reintroducing ENDA because of the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby ruling and its broad exemption for religious employers. The Court ruled that Hobby Lobby stores are exempt from having to provide birth control in their employee health insurance plans if they have a religious objection to it. Many LGBT groups feel this exemption could also be used to deny rights to gay and lesbian workers by employers with religious objections to hiring LGBT workers. ENDA still has the support of some in the LGBT community and the bill’s sponsor is trying to fix the religious issue. However, others wish to begin drafting a new LGBT non-discrimination law, one which is based on LGBT Civil Rights. They wish to introduce a bill which ensures the same civil rights protection for gays and lesbians that minority races, religions groups and other classes receive from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current gay employment discrimination policy

I support prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by employers, employment agencies, labor organizations, or joint labor-management committees; prohibiting preferential treatment or quotas and allowing only disparate treatment claims, prohibiting related retaliation; making this Act inapplicable to: religious organizations, and the relationship between the United States and members of the Armed Forces, and wish to identify a legislator who will either reintroduce S.815 or H.R.1755 Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (113th Congress 2013-2014), or similar versions thereof

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor an employment non-discrimination bill which gives gays and lesbians the same protections given to those of minority races, religions groups and other classes protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Most people experience challenges while growing up. It is the same with many LGBT youth, only more so. In School, most of these kids experience harassment, bullying and cyberbullying, hostile environments and a lack of support from teachers and school staff. A recent survey found nearly two thirds of LGBT students felt unsafe because of their gender expression and many have missed school for this reason. There are also higher levels of depression reported among students victimized for their sexual orientation or gender expression. One study showed that LGBT youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide that their peers, and nearly half of these youth have seriously considered taking their lives. Advocates say that these issues are far from resolved despite the national attention on bullying and suicide in recent years. They say LGBT children need supportive educators, enactment of comprehensive bullying and harassment policies, and safe spaces such as Gay-Straight Alliances integrated into our schools to solve some of the problems LGBT youths face while growing up.

Pending Legislation:

S.403 & H.R.1199 – Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current LGBT youth policy and wish to defeat S.403 & H.R.1199

I support requiring states to direct their local educational agencies (LEAs) to establish policies that prevent and prohibit conduct, including bullying and harassment, that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to: limit students’ ability to participate in, or benefit from school programs; or create a hostile or abusive educational environment that adversely affects their education; requiring LEAs to also provide: students, parents, and educational professionals with annual notice of the conduct prohibited in their discipline policies; providing students and parents with grievance procedures that target such conduct; providing the public with annual data on the incidence and frequency of that conduct at the school and LEA level; and enacting discipline policies that minimize the removal of students from instruction and prevent disproportionate punishment, and wish to pass S.403 & H.R.1199

 Posted by at 12:00 am