Washington Markup

The American Public Gets It. President Obama Gets It. Why Doesn't Congress?

The American Public Gets It. President Obama Gets It. Why Doesn't Congress?

By Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office at 10:46am
Like millions of Americans, President Obama doesn't think it makes a lot of sense to fire an employee or force her to take unpaid leave because she's six months pregnant and needs a stool to sit on while working the cash register.
Playing Politics with the World War II Memorial

Playing Politics with the World War II Memorial

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:56am

Today, a subcommittee in the House of Representatives will hold a hearing on a bill to require that an inscription of a D-Day prayer given by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, reflecting a specific religious viewpoint, be added to the World War II Memorial.…

The 40th Anniversary of an LGBT Milestone in Congress

The 40th Anniversary of an LGBT Milestone in Congress

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:00pm

Forty years ago today, "Battling Bella" Abzug, a member of Congress from New York and a trailblazer for women, introduced a bill to protect gay people from discrimination for the first time in American history. The Equality Act of 1974 would have banned…

Who's the Boss? Not Who You Think.

Who's the Boss? Not Who You Think.

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:58pm

Meet Tony and Angela.  Angela is a floor worker at a manufacturing plant and Tony is her shift supervisor. Tony’s boss, who works offsite, decides whom to hire or fire at this particular plant.  But Tony makes Angela’s schedule, gives…

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…

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…

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).…

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…

The Sweeping License to Discriminate Hidden in the NDAA

The Sweeping License to Discriminate Hidden in the NDAA

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:58pm

With Congress having recently approved this year’s NDAA, we think it is important to draw attention to a provision (Section 533(a)(1)), which, though hidden away, is unprecedented, sweeping, and could invite dangerous claims of a right to discriminate against not just lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members, but also women, religious minorities, and in the provision of health care.