Washington Markup

Is a 'Magic Wand' Needed To Fix Anti-Discrimination Bill?

Is a 'Magic Wand' Needed To Fix Anti-Discrimination Bill?

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:39pm
In a wide-ranging interview with Salon’s Josh Eidelson, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the first openly LGBT member of the U.S. Senate, was asked several questions about efforts to protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination, including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).  Sen. Baldwin was also asked for her views on the scope of ENDA’s sweeping religious exemption. Her answer:
Anti-LGBT Bill Is About Discrimination, Not Taxes

Anti-LGBT Bill Is About Discrimination, Not Taxes

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:24pm

The so-called "Marriage and Religious Freedom Act," introduced in the House of Representatives today, is a discriminatory wolf in anti-IRS sheep's clothing. Touted as a modest response to the IRS selective targeting affair, the bill is nothing of the…

Standing Up for LGBT Students on the House Floor

Standing Up for LGBT Students on the House Floor

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:22pm

On Thursday, during debate in the House of Representatives on a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), numerous members took to the floor to speak in support of LGBT students and the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA).

Unfortunately,…

Following Historic Supreme Court Decision Striking Down DOMA, Administration Acts

Following Historic Supreme Court Decision Striking Down DOMA, Administration Acts

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:32pm

Following Wednesday's historic decision by the Supreme Court striking down the heart...

Let's Extend the Promise of Equal Protection to Housing

Let's Extend the Promise of Equal Protection to Housing

By Demelza Baer, Washington Legislative Office & Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:04pm

In a week of great highs and lows for civil rights, let's celebrate ending on another high note for LGBT equality. As the Supreme Court struck down the core of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" in United States v. Windsor, the Housing Opportunities…

The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Religious Liberty and LGBT Rights in Defense Bill

The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Religious Liberty and LGBT Rights in Defense Bill

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:15pm

A sure sign of early summer in Washington, besides the sticky, humid air, is the House and Senate Armed Services Committees kicking off the annual process to pass the defense authorization bill – known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).…

VICTORY! Social Security Administration Drops Surgery Requirement for Gender Change

VICTORY! Social Security Administration Drops Surgery Requirement for Gender Change

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU & Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:05am

Late last week, after nearly a decade of advocacy led by our coalition partners at the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Social Security Administration (SSA) updated its policy for changing gender designation in Social Security records.…

Senator Portman, ENDA's Religious Exemption Is Already Too Broad

Senator Portman, ENDA's Religious Exemption Is Already Too Broad

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:18pm

At an event hosted by BuzzFeed on Monday night, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said that he totally supports the concept of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) because, "This is about discrimination in the workplace. And there should be no discrimination…

The LA Times Agrees – ENDA’s Religious Exemption Must Be Narrowed

The LA Times Agrees – ENDA’s Religious Exemption Must Be Narrowed

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:08am

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times published a powerful editorial arguing that a blank check for religiously affiliated organizations – far beyond houses of worship – to discriminate in employment against LGBT people should not be the price paid…

Why ENDA's Religious Exemption Must Be Narrowed

Why ENDA's Religious Exemption Must Be Narrowed

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:21am

Remarkably, there are only 16 states that currently have workplace non-discrimination laws that are fully inclusive of LGBT people. This leaves LGBT people vulnerable to workplace discrimination in well over half of the country–an unacceptable situation…