Washington Markup

Working Towards an LGBT-Inclusive Platform

Working Towards an LGBT-Inclusive Platform

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:28pm
On Thursday evening, BuzzFeed reported that the draft 2012 Democratic National Platform includes, as part of an overall endorsement of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, a call for passage of the Respect for Marriage Act in Congress.  This important legislation would completely repeal the discriminatory so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and provide married gay and lesbian couples with certainty that, regardless of where they travel or move in the country, they will not be treated as legal strangers under federal law. 
Court’s Ruling to Allow Employer to Discriminate Out of Step; Threatens Women’s Health

Court’s Ruling to Allow Employer to Discriminate Out of Step; Threatens Women’s Health

By Sarah Lipton-Lubet, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Brigitte Amiri, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project at 4:30pm

A federal court in Colorado today put a temporary halt on the implementation of the Obama administration’s contraceptive coverage rule, with respect to one company. The contraceptive coverage rule requires insurance plans to cover contraception…

One Down and 23 to Go: Judge Tosses Baseless Challenge to Birth Control Coverage

One Down and 23 to Go: Judge Tosses Baseless Challenge to Birth Control Coverage

By Sarah Lipton-Lubet, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Brigitte Amiri, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project at 4:53pm

Tuesday, a Nebraska federal court rejected a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s rule requiring insurance plans to cover contraception. This was the first of two dozen challenges to be decided.   We applaud the court’s…

White House Should Focus on the Constitution, Not the Bible

White House Should Focus on the Constitution, Not the Bible

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:41pm

Last week, it was reported that the president of the American Bible Society is meeting with Joshua DuBois, the head of the President's Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, "to begin a dialogue on the importance of the Bible…

A Look at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

A Look at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:31pm

In 1998, Congress created the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom to draw attention to violations of religious freedom in other countries. The commissioners vote annually to list countries that are of particular concern or place…

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…

ENDA Is Good, Could Be Even Better

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:04pm

On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held an important hearing on workplace discrimination experienced by those who are or perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). The hearing addressed…

Twelve More Lawsuits, Still No Case

Twelve More Lawsuits, Still No Case

By Sarah Lipton-Lubet, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:55pm
Every few weeks, opponents of birth control manage to garner some media attention by objecting – again – to the federal contraceptive coverage rule, which ensures that millions of women will have affordable insurance coverage for contraception…
A Hearing on a Hearing: Rep. Peter King Prioritizes Navel Gazing

A Hearing on a Hearing: Rep. Peter King Prioritizes Navel Gazing

By Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:12pm

Yesterday Peter King (R-NY), Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, brought congressional navel gazing to a new level by holding a hearing on his past hearings that have singled out and perpetuated dangerous stereotypes about the American…

Wanted: Women on Birth Control, Not Men on Ham Sandwiches

Wanted: Women on Birth Control, Not Men on Ham Sandwiches

By Sarah Lipton-Lubet, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:17pm

Yesterday's House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the new HHS rule that requires insurance plans to include birth control with no co-pay (except for those held by churches or religiously affiliated nonprofits like universities)…