By Chris Huqueriza
For the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, over 65 LGBT groups joined The Pledge for Full LGBT Equality appealing for full and equal protection under federal nondiscrimination laws nationally for 2014.
Members of the LGBT community to sign the pledge thus far include everyone from activists, military veterans, pride groups, faith associations and community centers who are requesting immediate action.
Notably, direct action for equality includes a long list of mayors from 17 states and organizations such as The Sanctuary Project, The Reformed Catholic Church, GetEQUAL, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law and the STONEWALL Veterans’ Association.
Among other things, the Equality Pledge calls for the filing of a full equality bill by the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus in early 2013. The goal is to aggregate the various individual bills and coordinate the sponsors and key LGBT organizations to combine the various initiatives with the addition of missing provisions.
The hope is that a full-equality bill will facilitative more productive Senate hearings in 2013, with a broader look at the issues, including: how discrimination harms those within the LGBT community; what full equality entails; the legal duty of the government to protect against discrimination; and to tell personal stories to compel public action.
Everyone is welcomed to join in the cause and share the pledge. You can view the full document below and find further resources and sign the pledge here.
IN ORDER TO FULFILL the promises of life and liberty, and to ensure equal protection of the law as guaranteed by the United States Constitution;
TO PROTECT the inalienable human right to be safe from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as required by international law and treaty; and
TO END the systemic stigmatization, cease the societal rejection and heal the suffering of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans as mandated by conscience;
WE, the undersigned, pledge our support for the passage of omnibus LGBT equality legislation that grants full non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity equal to those accorded other statuses under existing civil rights laws and Supreme Court jurisprudence, specifically including:
1. Public Accommodations (Title II, 1964 Civil Rights Act)(e.g., restaurants, hotels, theaters)
2. Public Facilities (Title III, 1964 Civil Rights Act) (e.g., courthouses, jails, hospitals, parks)
3. Federally-Funded Programs (Title VI, 1964 Civil Rights Act) (e.g., adoption, police, schools, homeless youth, health care)
4. Employment (Title VII, 1964 Civil Rights Act; 1978 Civil Service Reform Act; 1991 Government Employee Rights Act; 1995 Congressional Accountability Act; 10 U.S.C. Ch. 37) (e.g., civilian and military government, private sector)
5. Housing (Title VIII, 1968 Civil Rights Act, aka the Fair Housing Act) (e.g., rental, purchase, finance)
6. Education (Title IX, 1972 Education Amendments Act) (e.g., schools, bullying)
7. Credit (1974 Equal Credit Opportunity Act) (e.g., credit cards)
8. Federal Marriage Equality (based on gender, SO) (e.g., 1967 Supreme Court Decision, Loving v. Virginia)
9. Immigration, Disability, and Family Leave (Uniting American Families Act (proposed), the American With Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act)
We call upon the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus to lead the way by filing an omnibus LGBT equality bill immediately that includes all of the provisions enumerated above.
We further call upon Congress, and all candidates for elected office, to sign this pledge to pass such omnibus LGBT equality legislation immediately, but no later than 2014 — the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act — fulfilling both their individual duty and that of the United States government to ensure justice, equality, and fundamental human rights protections for all Americans.
(For Legal Details go to: http://bit.ly/PledgeLawDetails)