LGBT discrimination

Workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation a violation of the Civil Rights Act

And considering the makeup of the court, this ruling is a game-changer:

A federal appeals court ruled for the first time Tuesday that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBT employees from workplace discrimination, setting up a likely battle before the Supreme Court as gay rights advocates push to broaden the scope of the 53-year-old law.

The 7th Circuit is considered relatively conservative and five of the eight judges in the majority were appointed by Republican presidents, making the finding all the more notable. In an opinion concurring with the majority, Judge Richard Posner wrote that changing norms call for a change in interpretation of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin or sex.

Even if Gorsuch does get seated (which is highly probable), it will be surprising if the Supreme Court reverses this decision. I'm sure there will be some clever arguments put forward, but there simply is no justification for basing an employment decision on somebody's sexual orientation. To decide the Civil Rights Act doesn't apply to some classes of citizens would be an erosion of the Law itself, and I just don't see more than two Justices throwing their weight in that direction.

7th Circuit decision - bfd or ??

"A federal court in Chicago on Tuesday became the first U.S. appellate court in the nation to rule that LGBT employees are protected from workplace discrimination under the 1964 Civil Rights Act."
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-law-covers-lgbt-workplace-bias-20170404-story.html
I saw reports that this is BIG but I'm still waiting for the sweet tears of NC Values Coalition before I believe it. Any thoughts?

Roy Cooper goes on the record about HB142 deal

Actually, Doug Clark's blog is called Off The Record, but let's not quibble:

The Democratic governor is engaged in damage control today. He even called me, even though my take and the N&R editorial favored the compromise while acknowledging its drawbacks. We spoke for 23 minutes, mostly on the record. Cooper insisted yesterday's bill represents "nothing but forward movement" for North Carolina and ticked off the reasons why.

By repealing HB 2, it removes any directive on bathroom use. "People can go where they want," he said, meaning that transgender men can use men's facilities, transgender women can use women's facilities as they always have. Gone is the language requiring them to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate.

I've been hawking social media today to gauge responses, and have seen a lot of analyses that point out what this deal has actually accomplished, versus yesterday's seeming consensus that it was HB2 all over again. But those who do support this move need to be real damn careful, and not create false hope. Just because HB2's bathroom/birth certificate bullshit is no longer statute, it doesn't automatically follow that, "People can go where they want." If it wasn't a problem before, if transgender men and women didn't have to "hold it" or make 2-3 trips home every day just to use the bathroom, that part of the Charlotte Ordinance wouldn't have been needed in the first place. It was a problem, and still is a problem, because without protections every trip to a public restroom is a gamble. And after a whole year of HB2 controversy, that gamble probably feels a lot more dangerous than before. Here are some other facets that may have been overlooked yesterday:

Historical context of the rise of HB2 and other discriminatory practices

Barry Yeoman at the Indy spells it out:

House Bill 2 seemed like a bolt from nowhere. One day transgender North Carolinians were living low-profile lives; the next day their most private moments were being bandied about without a modicum of understanding. But the new law was not a bolt from nowhere. It can be understood by examining the decades preceding its passage. If history is a river, then at least three distinct tributaries converged in Raleigh on March 23.

The first is the growing practice by state lawmakers—one that took root during the Reagan era—of slapping back local governments that get too proactive. The second is the successful national Republican effort to seize control of North Carolina's government. And the third is the recent visibility of transgender Americans, their push for legal equality, and the utterly predictable backlash.

Before we continue, a few words on what may be about to happen today. The supposed compromise bill that has emerged is, in some ways, worse than a few of the bills the GOP has floated since last year to repeal HB2. But it's important to understand, those other bills did *not* hit the floor for a vote, without some last-minute alterations that changed them into something different. So before we start whining about what could have been, keep that in mind. We don't really know what could have been, and speculation at this time is pointless. And before anybody starts lining up Democrats for excoriation for supporting this bill, such as a Tweet I just saw calling for a new NCDP Chair election to oust Wayne Goodwin, the responsibility for HB2 and its consequences falls solely on the shoulders of the Republicans who wrote it and passed it. They want this controversy to tear the Democratic Party apart, but we can't allow that to happen. The article continues:

GOP leaders floating "religious freedom to discriminate" legislation

Alternate title: "Let the zealots take care of teh gay problem":

N.C. House Democratic Leader Darren Jackson says Republicans want to include “religious freedom” language – similar to a controversial Indiana law – in legislation repealing House Bill 2. Jackson posted several images of the proposed legislation on Twitter Wednesday. “Since the speaker wouldn’t share with his caucus, I figured I would share the bill they are discussing,” Jackson wrote.

The proposed legislation Jackson posted is labeled “Religious Liberty,” and says that anyone whose “Constitutional exercise of religious liberty and rights of conscience has been burdened ... by an action of the state” can sue the state or any state or local government agency involved.

"Rights of conscience has been burdened"? And they call us snowflakes? And for those reading this who don't think such lawsuits would ever materialize, that nobody would sue a municipality for passing a non-discrimination ordinance or other protections for LGBT folks, think again. And remember the conspiracy that had Republicans in half of NC's counties filing unsubstantiated complaints of voter fraud in an effort to de-legitimize the Gubernatorial Election. These idiots are just waiting for an opportunity like this, and such challenges would allow Republican leaders to dodge any consequences for their stances.

Joel Ford's battles with LGBT activists turns ludicrous

But the truth is, he's been dropping turds on his own party for some time:

On Tuesday N.C. Sen Joel Ford (D-Charlotte) had a strange, tense exchange with LGBT activists who criticized his record on LGBT issues. He responded to the activists with a GIF of a dog defecating in the snow. This led Matt Comer, a Charlotte-based LGBT activist, to ask if that was appropriate behavior for a state senator.

Ford, a more conservative Democrat, is used to criticism from the LGBT community. Last year he was one of the few Democrats to support a Republican bill to allow magistrates to recuse themselves from performing same-sex marriages. This session he has been one of the few Democrats to support a repeal of HB2 that would put LGBT protections to local referendum votes. But the criticism has turned up to 11 since Ford announced he’d be running against Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, a fellow Democrat, as she seeks re-election.

Joel Ford is so full of himself he doesn't get the symbolism of posting that GIF, that he himself is the turd in that particular scenario, not the creature dropping it. Purely speculation on my part, but I believe he is trying to carve out a niche for himself as a "maverick," not one to follow the lead of others. Which is fine to a certain point. But I also believe he is trying to benefit from and maybe even exacerbate the confusion and conflicting beliefs in the African-American community over LGBT issues. At its core, this is the politics of division, not inclusion, and all parties will emerge in a weaker position because of it.

Exporting bigotry: NC man charged in gay-bashing incident in Key West

Because we don't already have a bad enough reputation:

Kevin Seymour and Kevin Price told police that about 1 a.m. on Feb. 23, they were riding bicycles in the 700 block of Duval when they saw a man swerving on a rented scooter. Seymour says he shouted to warn the scooter rider, identified by police as Davis, that he almost hit a car. Davis yelled, “You guys are a couple of fags,” “I bet you faggots voted for that bitch Hillary” and “You live in Trump country now,” police say.

When Seymour threatened to call police, Davis allegedly told him, “If you do that, I’ll cut you up.” At one point, the scooter rider struck the rear tire of Seymour’s bike, knocking him to the ground. Seymour and Price got the scooter tag number before he fled. The scooter was rented from A and M Rentals. It was found parked near the Southernmost Point.

Dude, you're on fricking vacation. Leave the hate at home, for God's sake. I fear "Florida Man" may end up playing second fiddle to "North Carolina Man" in the national "Holy shit what did he do now?" competition...

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