Main | Friday, December 05, 2014

The Next Big LGBT Rights Battle

Via the New York Times:
As barriers to same-sex marriage fall across the country, gay rights advocates are planning their next battle on Capitol Hill: a push for sweeping legislation to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination, similar to the landmark Civil Rights Act that President Lyndon B. Johnson signed in 1964. Plans for a so-called comprehensive lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights bill are still in their infancy, and advocates say the campaign could take a decade or longer. With Republicans taking control of the House and the Senate in January, they say the measure has little chance of passing in the next two years. “This will not be an easy struggle,” said Representative David Cicilline, Democrat of Rhode Island, who intends to introduce legislation this spring. “It forces a much larger conversation about our values as a country. Are we going to be a country in which we prohibit discrimination of any kind against individuals based on their sexual orientation?” [snip]

[L]awyers for an array of gay rights and civil rights groups — including the A.C.L.U., the Lambda Legal Defense Fund and the Human Rights Campaign — have been meeting for the past six months to work on a proposed bill. The Human Rights Campaign has been convening focus groups to gauge public opinion on the plan. On Thursday, it issued a report making the case that a broad civil rights bill would “make ours a more equal nation,” as Chad Griffin, the president of the group, wrote. The Center for American Progress, a liberal research organization, will issue its own report next week. The push signals a major change in strategy. For the past 20 years, gay rights advocates have tried, unsuccessfully, to pass much narrower legislation banning discrimination only in employment. Now, with analysts predicting that the Supreme Court will soon legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states, movement leaders have coalesced around the broader approach.
Hit the link and read the full piece.

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