Kevin Bacon has gone viral with a video he made in protest of the drag bans. On Sunday, he posted a video of him and his wife, the actor Kyra Sedgwick, dancing to Taylor Swift’s song “Karma” and wearing t-shirts with the slogan “Drag is an art and drag is a right”.
In the caption to the video, Bacon wrote: “Drag bans are bad karma. Right now, drag performers and the LGBTQIA+ community need our help.
“Tap the link in my bio to shop the #SixDegreesOfKB campaign supporting the @aclu Drag Defense Fund in the nationwide effort to protect creative expression or make a gift. #DragIsARight.”
And of course the Extremists Christian Right and GOP are attaching them as we speak.
If you still have a TWITTER account please head on over and show Kevin and Kyra some love and say Thank You. – @kevinbacon and @kyrasedgwick
As of this posting the video has over 3,000,000 views.
Since 1974 when it was first introduced gays and lesbians have been the focus of and have fought tooth and nail to get the Equality Act or some incarnation of it passed in the United States Senate. Yet somehow the ACLU managed to leave both groups out of a tweet supporting itafter its most recent passage in the House of Representatives.
We have reached out to the ACLU for comment.
At the time of this posting we have received none.
There is a gay-straight alliance at Leo Jr. Sr. High School in Allen County, Indiana. but you wouldn’t know it because the school has banned all descriptive words words that can be used to name it.. Instead only permitted to refer to itself as a “Pride Alliance.”, BUT the “Pride” in its name is not allowed to refer to LGBT Pride. Instead the group is required to be used as a reference to an a common school acronym: “Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diligence, and Excellence.”
ACLU Indiana is suing the school on the student groups behalf.
“There is a lot of language policing,” Ken Falk, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, told The Daily Beast, but it may go well beyond that, too, according to the complaint, filed at the end of November in U.S. District Court.
The ACLU of Indiana’s complaint alleges the Leo Pride Alliance is treated differently from other extracurricular clubs at the school, claiming that it is “not allowed to meet outside of a single classroom,” that it is barred from participating in school fundraisers, and that it can only put up a bulletin board “if members performed community service outside of the school, a requirement not imposed on any other club.”
Other clubs, by contrast, are reportedly allowed to host activities outside of their regular meetings.
According to the complaint, the Leo Pride Alliance has been in existence for two years and now boasts over 30 members. The lawsuit alleges that Leo Jr. Sr. High School staff have told the GSA that it can’t even use terms like “gay” or “lesbian” or “queer” in its advertising—terms that would help LGBT students understand the club’s purpose of providing support and community.
Falk states that denying a GSA its full name not only violates the First Amendment but also sends a potentially damaging message to LGBT youth, many of whom are in early and potentially vulnerable stages of coming out.
The complaint also alleges that the Leo Pride Alliance’s faculty advisor “is required to send a list of all club members to all faculty”—and that no other clubs are required to follow this protocol.
There are currently over 4,000 GSAs in the United States and court cases have repeatedly upheld both their right to exist under the federal Equal Access Act and their right to call themselves “gay-straight alliances” rather than something more euphemistic. The Equal Access Act, passed in 1984, requires schools that allow extracurricular clubs to treat them fairly.
“This is our fourth GSA case [in Indiana], and the law in this area seems to be pretty much settled but yet we keep coming back to it.”
An East Allen County, Indiana Schools spokesperson said, “We take the rights of our students seriously. We are looking into this matter.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina is preparing litigation against the state over a recent bill blocking towns and cities from passing anti-discrimination measures.
Governor Pat McCrory signed House Bill 2 late Wednesday night, several hours after the legislature gave final approval during a one-day special session lawmakers called to address the issue.
Response to the bill was swift. Some major corporations, including Red Hat, American Airlines, IBM and Paypal, have spoken out against it. The NCAA also said it would be monitoring North Carolina’s next steps closely. Protests in Raleigh and Asheville drew hundreds.
Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the ACLU of NC says the group is preparing a legal challenge. She says the bill was born out of animus towards the LGBT community and could put the state at risk of losing Title IX funding.
Frayda Bluestein of the UNC School of Government has written extensively on the power structure that exists between North Carolina’s legislature and local municipalities. She says the General Assembly was well within its authority to preempt Charlotte’s ordinance.
But she says whether the GA acted constitutionally is a separate matter. So whether or not a lawsuit could succeed will depend on what grounds the bill is being challenged on, and will then be up to the courts.
Other individual LGBT activists including myself and readers of Back2Stonewall.com are working separately to convince television and movie productions in the state to move their productions and are calling on musicians and bands to cancel their upcoming dates in the bigoted anti-gay state.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will review the constitutionality of bans on same-sex marriage in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. The Court’s ruling is expected in June 2015 and will likely impact not only the same-sex couples in these four states but also the nearly 160,000 same-sex couples and their 60,000 children who live in the 14 states and Puerto Rico where same-sex marriage bans are currently being enforced, as well as more than 200,000 same-sex couples and their 65,000 children who live in the 19 states where courts struck down same-sex marriage bans under the federal constitution in 2014.
Statistics via The Williams Institure:
• As of today, more than three-quarters (75.8%) of same-sex couples across the country are living in the 36 states where they can marry and more than seven-in-ten (70.4%) Americans are living in states that allow marriage for same-sex couples. • Williams Institute research suggests that there were 690,000 same-sex couples in the US in 2013 raising an estimated 200,000 children. As many as 30,000 of those children are being raised by married parents. • Recent Williams Institute analyses suggest that the number of married same-sex couples, estimated to be as high as 130,000 in 2013, has increased by more than 50% over the last 3 years. • Fourteen states, home to nearly 30% of the US population, (AL, AR, GA, KY, LA, MI, MO, MS, ND, NE, OH, SD, TN, TX) and Puerto Rico continue to enforce bans on same-sex marriage. • In 2014, courts prohibited nineteen states, home to 32% of the US population, from enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage on federal constitutional grounds (AZ, AK, CO, ID, IN, FL, KS, OK, OR, PA, NC, NV, MT, SC, UT, VA, WI, WV, WY).
Center For American Progress:
Executive Vice President for External Affairs, Winnie Stachelberg, issued the following statement today after the announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court will make a decision on marriage equality in the coming term.
The Supreme Court’s decision to again take up the issue of marriage equality is welcome news to the thousands of loving and committed same-sex couples who seek a resolution to the cruel legal limbo that currently denies them the dignity and respect that all families deserve. We are confident that when arguments are heard, the Supreme Court will affirm that the fundamental right to marry is the right of all Americans, regardless of the person they love or where they live.
The U.S. Supreme Court today announced it has granted review of all six marriage equality cases decided by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, including two Ohio cases litigated by Lambda Legal, the ACLU and Gerhardstein & Branch. The two cases are Henry v. Hodges, where Lambda Legal joined Gerhardstein & Branch, and Obergefell v. Hodges, where the ACLU joined Gerhardstein & Branch. Oral argument is expected to take place later this year. “After years of struggle and the dedicated work of thousands across the movement, we are finally within sight of the day when same-sex couples across the country will be able to share equally in the joys, protections and responsibilities of marriage,” said Jon W. Davidson, Legal Director and Eden/Rushing Chair at Lambda Legal. “While these cases will carry the marriage standard before the Supreme Court, they represent literally dozens of cases in state and federal courts nationwide and the collective effort of Lambda Legal, NCLR, the ACLU, GLAD, and other sister LGBT groups and private (often pro-bono) counsel dating back years.”
The American Civil Liberties Union and Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic are co-counsel in the two Kentucky cases, Bourke v. Beshear and Love v. Beshear, brought by lawyers at Clay Daniel Walton & Adams and the Fauver Law Office. These cases challenge Kentucky’s anti-marriage laws on the ground that they violate due process and equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution. The ACLU along with Lambda Legal and Gerhardstein & Branch are also co-counsel in the Ohio case, Obergefell, et al v. Hodges. “We are thrilled the court will finally decide this issue,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project. “The country is ready for a national solution that treats lesbian and gay couples fairly. Every single day we wait means more people die before they have a chance to marry, more children are born without proper protections, more people face medical emergencies without being able to count on recognition of their spouses. It is time for the American values of freedom and equality to apply to all couples.”
Just a quick note to people because no other site is reporting this part. But don’t be too overjoyed yet.
Remember, if SCOTUS decide against us, we lose all the other wins in federal court. Only state laws which were changed to stop blocking our right to marry would stand.
Any declarations of victory now could turn into the equivalent of “Dewey Defeats Truman” in 1948.
The American Civil Liberties Union along with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (Task Force) both today have announced that they are withdrawing their support from the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
In a statement also signed by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Transgender Law Center. The ACLU objects to a provision in the bill that would allow religiously affiliated employers to continue to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Federal legislation to protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination is way beyond overdue, but Congress has no place giving religiously affiliated employers a license to discriminate against LGBT workers,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office. ”We can no longer support a bill that treats LGBT discrimination as different and somehow more legitimate than other forms of discrimination.”
Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s (Task Force) in a seperate interview shortly after that organization withdrew its support stated “If a private company can take its own religious beliefs and say you can’t have access to certain health care, it’s a hop, skip and a jump to an interpretation that a private company could have religious beliefs that LGBT people are not equal or somehow go against their beliefs and therefore fire them. We disagree with that trend. The implications of Hobby Lobby are becoming clear.”
“We do not take this move lightly,” she added. “We’ve been pushing for this bill for 20 years.”
Despite the new opposition to the ENDA and the outcry from the majority of the LGBT community against the religious exemption in the current version of the bill the Human Rights Campaign, said Tuesday that it continues to support the bill “because it will provide essential workplace protections to millions of LGBT people.” despite the fact that it its current form ENDA will write LGBT discrimination into law andcould be used by any group. organization, or business that that hides their bigotry behind guise of “religion”.
In a statement to Back2Stonewall from Heather Cronk Co-Director of GetEQUAL: I understand that HRC wants to continue supporting ENDA because I deeply understand the need for us to fight like hell for LGBTQ workplace protections. However, at some point, our movement needs to speak with one voice in saying that using religion as a tool for discrimination rather than for liberation is simply wrong and that we won’t accept it. I hope that HRC soon reaches the conclusion that the rest of us has, and pulls its support for a bill that sets a dangerous precedent for not only the LGBTQ movement, but also for the women’s movement and the reproductive justice movement
Earlier this year David Mullins and Charlie Craig visited the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado and wanted to order a wedding cake for their upcoming wedding. (The wedding was to take place in Massachusetts and they were to fly home to celebrate with family and friends) only to be denied service because they dared to order a same sex wedding cake from Masterpiece’s bigoted owner.
Via press release from the ACLU:
A Colorado judge today determined that the bakery unlawfully discriminated against the couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake. David Mullins and Charlie Craig visited Masterpiece Cakeshop last year, with Craig’s mother, to order a cake for their upcoming wedding reception. Mullins and Craig planned to marry in Massachusetts and then celebrate with family and friends back home in Colorado. Masterpiece owner Jack Phillips informed them that because of his religious beliefs the store’s policy was to deny service to customers who wished to order baked goods to celebrate a same-sex couple’s wedding.
Longstanding Colorado state law prohibits public accommodations, including businesses such as Masterpiece Cakeshop, from refusing service based on factors such as race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation. Mullins and Craig filed complaints with the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) contending that Masterpiece had violated this law. Earlier this year, the CCRD ruled that Phillips illegally discriminated against Mullins and Craig. Today’s decision from Judge Robert N. Spencer of the Colorado Office of Administrative Courts affirms that finding.
And of course not missing a cue American Family Association hate group spokesdouche Bryan FISTer Fischer is foaming at the mouth on Twitter.
Last year Seth Groody of Wolcott High School in Connecticut was requested by his school to remove an anti-gay t-shirt he wore on ‘Day of Silence’, a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.
Groody was originally threatened with suspension for wearing the shirt, a rainbow encased in a circle and slash but when the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) threatened to sue the school for infringing on the student’s constitutional right to free speech, Wolcott High School backed down.
Now not only is Groody permitted to wear the anti-gay t-shirt, but has reported to selling the shirts to his fellow students without any ramifications.
Sandra Staub, legal director of the ACLU in Connecticut disagrees ‘very strongly’ with Groody’s anti-gay position, but says he should be allowed to express his opinion freely .
I have to wonder if the ACLU would be so adamant and forthright about taking the case of a student who wanted to come to school in KKK attire on MLK Day? By thier opinion that also could be seen as freedom of speech. The ACLU has helped set a dangerous precedent by allowing hate speech on a school campus. And while the vast majority of the time I support the ACLU, this is about more than freedom of speech. It’s about infringing on other people’s learning environment and possible safety. The ACLU needs be more careful in the cases it chooses to advocate for. They needed not take this case, they had a choice. And I am sure there are many other more important and less hateful cases out there that the ACLU could have, and should have chosen to defend over a teenage bigots “right to hate”.
PLEASE support and register for GLSEN’s Day of Silence.
Today the Fairness Coalition joined the Appalachian town of Vicco, Kentucky as they approved the state’s first lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) anti-discrimination Fairness ordinance in a decade. The measure, which prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based upon a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, received support from three of the city’s four-member commission and Mayor Johnny Cummings. Vicco joins three other cities in the commonwealth with anti-discrimination Fairness protections–Covington, which passed an ordinance in 2003, Lexington, and Louisville, which both approved laws in 1999.
With a population of 334 residents, Vicco now becomes the smallest municipality in America to offer such protections.
Never underestimate a small group of people doing a lot of good despite pressure around them to do otherwise.
See that there actually is some good in the world after all
The Human Rights Campaing, largest and most influential LGBT advocay organization in America has FAILED this year to make it into the top 10 List of Guidestar’s, list of the best LGBT rights and progressive organizations it that it monitors.
Lambda Legal as been named number 1 as having the best practices and accounability among the LGBT non-profit organizations.
“I am very proud of the amazing talent and leadership of the Lambda Legal staff, board and volunteers that has resulted in this top ranking from our colleagues and peers,” said Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director of Lambda Legal. “We have been fighting for equality for LGBT people and people with HIV for forty years, and we have many victories and achievements about which we are proud because they have changed people’s lives – and our society – for the better. This is a transformational time in our movement for LGBT equality. Lambda Legal will continue to lead the way with all our energy and all our hearts. We are grateful to all our supporters and colleagues around the country, and thank those who have honored us with this top ranking for 2012.”