Tag Archives: Matt Foreman

Religious Leaders Send Letter To President Obama On Heels Of Hobby Lobby Case Asking for “Robust Religious Exemptions”

 

Evil Prayers

 

And so it begins…….

About 20 so-called “religious leaders” sent a letter to President Obama on Tuesday, on the heels of the Supreme Courts horrendous Hobby Lobby ruling petitioning for a “robust religious exemption” to President Obama’s  announced executive order that would make it illegal for all federal contractors to discriminate in the workplace against LGBT people

This letter comes on the heels of a previous letter from 120 religious leaders asking for a similar exemption reported by Back2Stonewall.com last week.

“An executive order that does not include a religious exemption will significantly and substantively hamper the work of some religious organizations that are best equipped to serve in common purpose with the federal government.,” it said. “When the capacity of religious organizations is limited, the common good suffers.” […]

“Without a robust religious exemption . . . this expansion of hiring rights will come at an unreasonable cost to the common good, national unity and religious freedom.”

Longtime LGBT activist, and former Executive Director of both the NYC Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project and the NGLTF (when they actually did something) released the followinf statement on how disastrous it would be for the LGBT community should the Hobby Lobby case influence a religious exemption to President Obama’s executive order:

Hobby Lobby dramatically escalates the harm that will be caused if President Obama succumbs to growing pressure from religious and anti-gay forces and (with implicit or explicit approval from HRC) puts an ENDA-like religious exemption in the promised Executive Order (EO) to prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination by federal contractors. While largely under the radar, this is, in fact, a crisis situation.

“Such an exemption would have been bad enough before Hobby Lobby, but the decision makes it even more deadly. The Hobby Lobby majority said the decision shouldn’t be read to undermine employment nondiscrimination laws. BUT if the EO contains the ENDA exemption, there’s nothing to stop the reasoning in Hobby Lobby from having full force and effect in justifying anti-LGBT discrimination by federal contractors – pushing the door even more widely open for discrimination against our people for essentially any reason whatsoever.

“The only acceptable religious exemption is the one long-contained in Title VII. Anything else can spell disaster for years to come, including profoundly weakening the impact of future federal nondiscrimination laws and our hopes to secure meaningful civil rights protections in the 29 states that still lack them. There is no moral or political justification for President Obama to cave and endorse LGBT people having less protections from discrimination than other Americans. This issue is not a side show; it is core to our equality.” 

 

Exactly.

Thank you Matt Foreman for speaking out while others *cough* HRC and Chad Hunter Griffin *cough* remain silent.

Now the question is what will President Obama do?  Will he be the fierce leader that everyone makes him out to be or will he prove to have no backbone and fold?.

So much is riding on his decision lets hope that he does whats right.

Former Executive Director of the NGLTF Matt Foreman “Pull The Plug On ENDA” – #ENDAisNOTequal

Matt Foreman

 

On this the 40th Anniversary of Bella Abzug’ss introduction of the *Equality Act of 1974 that would have added sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Matt Foreman lawyer and activist with a rich background in political advocacy and civil rights work has some choice words about the current version of ENDA courtesy of Tico Almedia and Freedom to Work (who helped write it and the religious exemption) that is sitting dead in the House of Representatives.

“It’s pathetic that four decades have gone by without Congress extending basic civil rights protections to LGBT Americans. It’s even more pathetic that what’s left of Bella Abzug’s comprehensive legislation (The 1974 Civil Rights Act) is ENDA – a small-bore bill that is now riddled with giveaways to anti-gay forces, including a religious exemption big enough for an 18-wheeler to cruise through. It’s time to pull the plug on this essentially lifeless corpse and demand full equality under the federal civil rights statutes.” – Matt Foreman, former executive director of the NGLTF,  NYC Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, and a founding member of Heritage of Pride. 

Foreman’s statement includes the Twitter hashtag #ENDAisNOTequal, which is being used by Queer Nation and others who are voicing opposition to ENDA.

*  Reps. Bella Abzug (D-NY) and Ed Koch (D-NY) introduced the Equality Act of 1974, which sought to amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act adding sexual orientation as a protected class thus banning ban discrimination against gay and lesbian individuals, unmarried persons, and women in employment, housing, and public accommodations such as restaurants, hotels, museums, libraries, and retail stores. The act marked the first-ever national piece of proposed legislation that would end discrimination against gays and lesbians in the United States. It did not, however, include transgender people.

Hopes were high for passage when the act was introduced because of the increased and unprecedented media coverage gay rights issues were receiving. Also, along with the protests mentioned above, the early 1970s saw the establishment of new gay rights organizations and the first pride parades, which took place in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.

Further, the overall climate in the country seemed ripe for the expansion of civil rights with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and congressional passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, which would have prohibited the denial of equal rights under the law on the basis of sex. (The ERA ultimately failed to be ratified by enough states to be added to the U.S. Constitution).

Unfortunately, the Equality Act of 1974 never earned enough support to make it out of committee in the House.