TOP News

Politics: Despite Senate divisions, now is a golden opportunity to pass the Equality Act

Congress barrels toward end-of-year pile up

  Congress barrels toward end-of-year pile up Congress is facing a legislative pile up as it barrels toward the end of the year with a lengthy to-do list. The House and Senate return Monday and are scheduled to be in session for just roughly two weeks before the end of 2021, setting up a legislative squeeze that is threatening to drive lawmaking deeper into the holiday season. Democrats, facing increasingly sharp headwinds as they move toward the 2022 midterms, want to deliver big wins by the end of President Biden's first year. But they have to juggle their party's political ambitions with must-pass bills that threaten to eat up shrinking floor time.Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.

For nearly a half-century, legislation has been introduced in Congress to extend federal nondiscrimination protections to LGBTQ people. Various versions have passed both the House and Senate on a bipartisan basis, but never in the same Congress - despite consistent polling showing overwhelming desire among Americans of all political affiliations for this legislation to become law.

a person holding a blue umbrella: Despite Senate divisions, now is a golden opportunity to pass the Equality Act © Getty Images Despite Senate divisions, now is a golden opportunity to pass the Equality Act

Now is the time - and this is the Congress - to do everything we can to ensure LGBTQ people are protected no matter what zip code they call home. Our window of opportunity may be short, and it may not reopen for years to come.

Democratic Rep. Jared Golden Says He'll Vote Against Build Back Better Over Tax Cut

  Democratic Rep. Jared Golden Says He'll Vote Against Build Back Better Over Tax Cut A proposed rise in federal deductions arising from state and local taxes could benefit the wealthiest Americans.Golden, who represents Maine's 2nd congressional district, issued a statement highlighting a potential tax cut for wealthy Americans contained in the $1.75 trillion legislation.

We represent the leadership of the Freedom and Opportunity for All Coalition, an alliance of 17 LGBTQ and allied national organizations that have come together in a historic way to seize this critical moment. Throughout 2021, our groups have pooled resources and organized our people and our allies to achieve consideration and passage of The Equality Act in the United States Senate.

The Equality Act would update existing federal civil rights law to include sexual orientation and gender identity as unlawful grounds for discrimination along with race, color, religion, sex and national origin. It would send a powerful message of inclusion that everyone should have the freedom and opportunity to work hard, earn a living, provide for their families and contribute to communities.

Maine's Jared Golden Shrugs off 'Democrat in Name Only' Label After Opposing Biden Bill

  Maine's Jared Golden Shrugs off 'Democrat in Name Only' Label After Opposing Biden Bill "I don't think people should accept things like this as the price of doing business," Golden said of his vote.The Democrat was the only vote in his party against the Build Back Better plan, saying that he made his decision due to what he described as "a $280 billion tax break for millionaires." He previously voted against the $1.9 billion COVID-19 relief package in March.

We must do everything possible to pass these protections as soon as we can. The path is not easy. It will require hard work and engaging in good faith dialogue with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as well as concessions on both sides to reach bipartisan consensus.

How is it that despite a 50-50 Senate, we believe an agreement can be reached?

Because, eventually, adherence to principle, hard work, constituent needs and our better angels will prevail. Just like some in our movement assume the worst of our critics, some of the Equality Act's opponents are profoundly mistaken about our objectives. Some allege that we seek to constrain religious freedom. Rather, we believe we can protect civil rights and liberties, including the freedom of religion and protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination. We have done this successfully in nearly half of all U.S. states and we know we can do so here too.

Five takeaways: House passes Biden's sweeping benefits bill

  Five takeaways: House passes Biden's sweeping benefits bill House Democrats on Friday approved the multi-trillion-dollar package of social benefits and climate programs at the heart of President Biden's domestic agenda, advancing the bill to the Senate in hopes it reaches the president's desk before Christmas. The vote marked a huge victory for Biden and the Democrats, who have struggled all year to unite behind the president's economic vision and leverage their control of government into adoption of the massive package of health care, education and family benefits.

We have nothing to fear from constructive engagement - it's how misplaced assumptions are corrected, differences are bridged and legislation becomes law. Our movement has fought for and won comprehensive nondiscrimination and other pro-LGBTQ laws in 21 states. In almost every instance - from New Hampshire to Colorado to Iowa to Wisconsin to Washington - we have found a way forward to protect millions of LGBTQ people while safeguarding the freedom of religion.

Despite this progress, in more than half of the country LGBTQ people lack protection. This affects families when one child has rights, but another does not. It affects businesses when some employees aren't protected on their way to work. It affects friends and neighbors, who have been denied a job, refused rideshare, denied services by a tax preparer or landscaper, or barred from elder care facilities.

Passing a federal law will not only help end discrimination, but also improve the health, well-being, and sense of belonging of all people including LGBTQ people, our children, colleagues, neighbors, and friends.

At the Races: 1 BIF does not equal BFFs

  At the Races: 1 BIF does not equal BFFs Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call campaign team. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here. A bipartisan club of senators, including a few facing potentially tough reelection campaigns in 2022, proved this week that across-the-aisle deals can still […] The post At the Races: 1 BIF does not equal BFFs appeared first on Roll Call.

As a movement, we have an opportunity to find principles-based common ground with moderate senators. Today's Senate divide may seem daunting, but it also presents opportunities for bipartisan victories. Protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination enjoys broad and bipartisan support nationwide: 83 percent of Americans support these protections, including 68 percent of conservatives.

There will inevitably be tough conversations. But we believe an agreement can be reached, and we owe it to our communities to try - especially the LGBTQ people living in states without explicit protections, who still face discrimination every day. They constitute a majority of LGBTQ people and include the largest concentrations of LGBTQ people of color and low-income LGBTQ people. Rights and freedoms should not depend on where you live.

Now is the time to move forward in good faith, with courage and conviction. When the Senate is done debating the Build Back Better Act, we must seize the opportunity. We must redouble our efforts to get the Equality Act over the finish line.

We call on senators on both sides of the aisle to come to the table and get this done for people who really need it. By doing so we will all be living up to our shared American ideals of freedom, fairness, and treating people as we all want to be treated.

Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, and Fran Hutchins, Executive Director of the Equality Federation, are Executive Committee members of the Freedom and Opportunity for All Coalition.

2021 MAC Football Championship Game Preview: Kent State Golden Flashes .
It’s been 49 years since Kent State’s only MAC title. The Golden Flashes need to beat Northern Illinois a second time in order to recapture the hardware.Not only are the two programs well-acquainted after a thrilling November 3 matchup on national television. Kent State’s only other MAC title game appearance transpired in 2012, and Northern Illinois was on the other side. In the highest-stakes conference championship in league history — as an Orange Bowl appearance was on the line — the Huskies edged the Golden Flashes, 44-37 in double overtime.

See also