Thursday, July 16, 2009

Speaker Nancy Pelosi & the LGBT Community

The Democratic-led Congress is working to ensure the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. Unlike under previous Republican-controlled Congresses, malicious measures intended to divide the American people or to undermine the rights of the LGBT community are off the table. Speaker Pelosi’s efforts include repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ for military service, ending discrimination against same-sex couples in federal immigration laws, and ensuring that a fully-inclusive Hate Crimes Prevention and Employment Non-Discrimination Act become law.

Photo - Meeting with LGBT leaders in San Francisco to discuss a hearing examining discrimination against transgender Americans in the workplace.

Just Another Day In San Francisco - A large contingent from a group called Balloon Magic makes a dazzling colorful display.

Speaker Pelosi Statement on San Francisco’s 39th Annual LBGT Pride Celebration - 6/26/09

Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement in recognition of San Francisco’s 39th LGBT Pride Celebration:

Greetings to everyone gathered to celebrate San Francisco LGBT Pride this weekend. This year’s theme, 'To Form a More Perfect Union,' is derived from the Preamble to our Constitution. The promise of our Constitution, and of America, is that that all men and women are created equal. Together, we will work to redeem this promise and ensure equality for the LGBT Community and for all Americans.

 In Washington this week, Chairman Barney Frank, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, and Congressman Jared Polis introduced an inclusive Employment Non Discrimination Act. I thank them for their leadership and commitment to this critical legislation. ENDA has long been a priority for me and for Chairman George Miller who is fighting tirelessly to get it passed. 

America is a great and wealthy country, but we cannot afford to squander the talents of any of our citizens, nor should we. We all benefit if everyone gets a chance to work hard and support their families. Yet today, in more than 30 states, you can be fired for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Federal action is needed to right this wrong and it is long overdue. We will be working hard to get this historic bill considered and passed this fall so we can get it to President Obama’s desk as soon as possible. Read more

Preventing Hate Crimes

Hate crimes have no place in America. This Congress is committed preventing bias-motivated violence based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, or disability. Read more

Ending Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) legislation is an historic advancement for gays and lesbians and their families that would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation. The House passed this critical bill in November 2007. In 30 states, it is currently legal to fire someone simply because of his or her sexual orientation. This bill would prohibit employers, employment agencies and labor unions from using an individual’s sexual orientation as the basis for employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, promotion or compensation. The bill extends federal employment protections to gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers similar to those already provided to a person based on race, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability. Read more

Marriage Equality

Speaker Pelosi takes great pride in California Supreme Court decision that provides for equal treatment of gay and lesbian couples. It is a significant milestone towards equality for the LGBT community in California and across the nation. Read more

Hearings and Oversight

Armed Services Hearing on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”The Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee held a hearing, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Review.” The hearing included testimony from military veterans on the effects of the policy. Former Naval intelligence officer Captain Joan E. Darrah, USN, (Ret.) testified: "There was always that fear in the back of my mind that somehow I had been outed, and that the Admiral was calling me in to tell me that I was fired. The constant fear of being outed and fired, even though your perfomance is exceptional, is hard to quantify. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ discourages thousands of talented and patriotic citizens from joining the military, because rightly so, they refuse to live a lie. This is a tremendous loss for our military.” Read more

Examining Discrimination Against Transgender Americans in the Workplace

The Education and Labor Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing: "An Examination of Discrimination Against Transgender Americans in the Workplace." Witnesses included Congressman Barney Frank, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, and others. Read more

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