Category Archives: LGBT

Municipal Equality Index – 2018

Source: Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, October 2018

From the press release:
Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, announced that a record-setting 78 cities across the nation earned perfect scores in the seventh annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), meeting the most demanding and pioneering criteria since the report’s debut in 2012. The MEI is the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law, policy and services.

The 2018 MEI evolved dramatically this year, instituting new benchmarks ensuring equal access to single-user facilities in public spaces, as well as protecting LGBTQ youth from bullying in city services and from dangerous so-called “conversion therapy.” Additionally, this year the MEI deducted points for laws that include provisions licensing discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

But even with these more stringent MEI requirements, cities and municipalities are meeting and exceeding our standards with innovative measures to protect LGBTQ people. A record 78 cities earned perfect scores for advancing LGBTQ-inclusive laws and policies — up from 68 in 2017 and 11 in 2012, the first year of the MEI. And in the current political reality, welcoming cities like these are more important than ever….

How Companies Make It Tougher for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Employees to Achieve Work-Life Balance

Source: Katina Sawyer, Christian Thoroughgood, Harvard Business Review, August 23, 2018

…. Recently, we conducted a qualitative study in which we interviewed 53 lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) employees in the U.S. across various industries and job types. Specifically, we asked about their work-family experiences at their current organizations. Our study was motivated by the observation that, since its inception more than 30 years ago, research on work-family conflict in organizations has assumed that employees belong to a heterosexual family structure (one man and one woman). Our goal was to determine whether previous research on employees’ experiences of work-family conflict applied similarly to LGB employees and their families.

We found that, although LGB employees experience many of the same work-family conflicts that their heterosexual colleagues do — for example, work time interfering with family time, or feeling unable to separate from work at home — they experience a range of additional conflicts related to their stigmatized family identity. These include a sense of tension over whether to take advantage of family-related benefits for fear of revealing their same-sex relationship, feeling conflicted over whether to bring spouses to work events, and feeling uneasy about discussing with a supervisor the family-related challenges that impact their work life. ….

States Ask Supreme Court to Limit LGBT Protection

Source: Chris Opfer, Bloomberg, August, 24, 2018

– Case tests reach of ban on sex discrimination in workplace
– Trump administration agencies divided over legal question

A group of 16 states urged the U.S. Supreme Court Aug. 23 to rule that companies can fire workers based on their sexual orientation and gender identity without violating federal workplace discrimination law.

The states, led by Nebraska Attorney General David Bydalek, asked the justices to overturn an appeals court decision against a Michigan funeral home that fired a transgender worker. They said Congress didn’t intend the ban on sex discrimination in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to cover bias against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender employees….

Rural Resentment and LGBTQ Equality

Source: Luke A. Boso – University of San Francisco School of Law, Florida Law Review (Forthcoming, 2019), Date Written: August 23, 2018

From the abstract:
In 2015, the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges settled a decades-long national debate over the legality of same-sex marriage. Since Obergefell, however, local and state legislatures in conservative and mostly rural states have proposed and passed hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills. Obergefell may have ended the legal debate over marriage, but it did not resolve the cultural divide. Many rural Americans feel that they are under attack. Judicial opinions and legislation protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination are serious threats to rural dwellers because they conflict with several core tenets of rural identity: community solidarity, individual self-reliance, and compliance with religiously informed gender and sexual norms. This conflict is amplified by the relative invisibility of gay and transgender people who live in rural areas, and the predominately urban media representations of gay and transgender people. In several respects, the conflict is merely perceived and not real. It is at these junctures of perceived conflict that we can draw important lessons for bridging the cultural divide, thereby protecting LGBTQ people across geographic spaces.

This Article examines the sources and modern manifestations of rural LGBTQ resentment to provide foundational insights for the ongoing fight to protect all vulnerable minorities. Pro-LGBTQ legislation and judicial opinions symbolize a changing America in which rural inhabitants see their identities disappearing, devalued, and disrespected. The left, popularly represented in rural America as urban elites, characterizes anti-LGBTQ views as bigoted, and many people in small towns feel victimized by this criticism. Drawing on a robust body of social science research, this Article suggests that these feelings of victimization lead to resentment when outside forces like federal judges and state and big-city legislators tell rural Americans how to act, think and feel. Rural Americans resent “undeserving” minorities who have earned rights and recognition in contrast to the identities of and at the perceived expense of white, straight, working-class prestige. They resent that liberal, largely urban outsiders are telling them that they must change who they are to accommodate people whom they perceive as unlike them. Opposing LGBTQ rights is thus one mechanism to protect and assert rural identity. It is important to unearth and pay attention to rural anti-LGBTQ resentment in the post-Obergefell era because it is part of a larger force animating conservative politics across the United States.

State Constitutions in the Era of a Shifting Supreme Court

Source: Rockefeller Institute of Government and the Government Law Center at Albany Law SchoolJuly 23, 2018

The Rockefeller Institute of Government and the Government Law Center at Albany Law School recently hosted “How Can State Constitutions Respond to a Shifting Supreme Court?” to examine the role state constitutions can play if the Supreme Court begins to roll back federal protections.

With the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and the recent nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to take his place, the Supreme Court is expected to shift further to the conservative end of the ideological spectrum, with the potential for weakening or even extinguishing important constitutional protections.

Much attention is being paid to the possible implications for reproductive rights, protections for immigrants, affirmative action, environmental protections, LGBTQ rights, and other issues. So what does it mean for New Yorkers — or for states more generally? Although we often don’t think of state constitutions, many of them offer protections above and beyond what is provided in the federal Constitution.

What role can state constitutions play if the Supreme Court begins to weaken federal protections? In many ways, your position on the states-versus-federal rights issue often depends upon where you sit. Last year the Rockefeller Institute and Government Law Center at Albany Law School issued a report on the topic.

Related:
Protections in the New York State Constitution Beyond the Federal Bill of Rights
Source: Edited by Scott N. Fein and Andrew B. Ayers, the Government Law Center at Albany Law School and the Rockefeller Institute of Government, April 18, 2017

Fifty Years of Loving v. Virginia and the Continued Pursuit of Racial Equality

Source: Fordham Law Review, Vol. 86, No. 6, May 2018

From the introduction:
It has been ten years since this journal last published a volume exploring Loving v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1967 decision invalidating antimiscegenation laws on equal protection and due process grounds. In that time, the American public has been treated to a virtual smorgasbord of new opportunities to love Loving. First, in a way few could have imagined fifty years ago when seventeen states criminalized interracial marriages, that decision has provided the impetus for a “global network” of celebrations designed to praise interracial relationships and families and to combat discrimination. …. Finally, Loving, and the right to marry it identified, was at the forefront of the national litigation strategy to secure the ability of gay and lesbian couples to enter into marital unions that concerned not only states but also the federal government. Advocates for equal marriage rights repeatedly invoked the Loving Court’s language recognizing marriage as “one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival,” in challenging legal provisions that limited marriage to individuals of the opposite sex. Unsurprisingly, Loving subsequently figured prominently in the Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which finally settled legal debates about the right of LGBTQ couples to marry. The Court held that states may not deny same-sex couples the opportunity to formalize their intimate relationships through legal marriage without violating the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal treatment and dignity under the law. ….

…..Our goal in organizing this Symposium was to explore how Loving has influenced U.S. society institutionally, demographically, and relationally. Doing so obviously required a focus on the present, where the disruptive effects of the interracial “mixing” and racial inclusion Loving endorsed can be seen in the growth of marriages and dating across racial lines. Nearly 15 percent, or one in seven, of all new marriages in 2008 were between people …. The four roundtable discussions and two keynote addresses that constituted this Symposium were designed to advance the multicontextual program of study just described through robust and wide-ranging conversation about Loving and the challenges to equality that attend racial mixture today. While legal issues figured prominently, we fostered a truly interdisciplinary discourse about interracial relationships and racial mixture, which drew on the insights of scholars from a variety of academic backgrounds. ….

Articles include:
The Loving Story: Using a Documentary to Reconsider the Status of an Iconic Interracial Married Couple
By Regina Austin

Hollywood Loving
By Kevin Noble Maillard

Enemy and Ally: Religion in Loving v. Virginia and Beyond
By Leora F. Eisenstadt

Loving’s Legacy: Decriminalization and the Regulation of Sex and Sexuality
By Melissa Murray

Prejudice, Constitutional Moral Progress, and Being “On the Right Side of History”: Reflections on Loving v. Virginia at Fifty
By Linda C. McClain

Residential Segregation and Interracial Marriages
By Rose Cuison Villazor

Loving Lessons: White Supremacy, Loving v. Virginia, and Disproportionality in the Child Welfare System
By Leah A. Hill

LGBT Equality and Sexual Racism
By Russell K. Robinson & David M. Frost

The Hope of Loving and Warping Racial Progress Narratives
By Jasmine Mitchell

Fear of a Multiracial Planet: Loving’s Children and the Genocide of the White Race
By Reginald Oh

Evolution of the Racial Identity of Children of Loving: Has Our Thinking About Race and Racial Issues Become Obsolete?
By Kevin Brown

Multiracial Malaise: Multiracial as a Legal Racial Category
By Taunya Lovell Banks

More Than Love: Eugenics and the Future of Loving v. Virginia
By Osagie K. Obasogie

Race and Assisted Reproduction: Implications for Population Health
By Aziza Ahmed

When a Wrongful Birth Claim May Not Be Wrong: Race, Inequality, and the Cost of Blackness
By Kimani Paul-Emile

Unstitching Scarlet Letters?: Prosecutorial Discretion and Expungement
By Brian M. Murray

The New Writs of Assistance
By Ian Samuel

Family Courts as Certifying Agencies: When Family Courts Can Certify U Visa Applications for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence
By Sylvia Lara Altreuter

Implicit Racial Biases in Prosecutorial Summations: Proposing an Integrated Response
By Praatika Prasad Read More View PDF

State of the Union

Source: Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, Pathways, Special Issue, 2018

From the summary:
The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality is pleased to present its fifth annual report examining the state of the union. In this year’s report, we provide a comprehensive assessment of gender inequality in eleven domains ranging from education to health, employment, earnings, poverty, sexual harassment, networks, and more. The report concludes with a discussion of the most promising sciencebased policies for reducing gender inequality at home and in the labor market.

Articles include:
Gender Identification
Aliya Saperstein
The traditional gender binary just doesn’t work. When respondents of a national survey were asked about their femininity and masculinity, 7 percent considered themselves equally feminine and masculine, and another 4 percent responded in ways that did not “match” their sex at birth (i.e., females who saw themselves as more masculine than feminine, or males who saw themselves as more feminine than masculine).

Education
Erin M. Fahle and Sean F. Reardon
Despite common beliefs to the contrary, male students do not consistently outperform female students in mathematics. It’s only in high school that the male advantage in mathematics surfaces. What’s going on?

Health
Mark Duggan and Valerie Scimeca
For women and men alike, life expectancy has stagnated for the last several years, primarily due to increases in drug poisoning deaths and in the suicide rate. The male-female life expectancy gap, which favors females, fell from 7.6 years in 1970 to 4.8 years in 2010, a reduction of more than one-third.

Employment
Melissa S. Kearney and Katharine G. Abraham
After rising steadily for many decades, the overall female employment rate has been falling since 2000. Why has it fallen? Are there straightforward policy fixes that could increase women’s employment?

Earnings
Emmanuel Saez
When gender differences in labor force participation, fringe benefits, and self-employment income are taken into account, women earn only 57 cents for each dollar earned by men.

Poverty
H. Luke Shaefer, Marybeth Mattingly, and Kathryn Edin
Are women more likely than men to be in deep poverty, official poverty, and near poverty? Yes, yes, and yes.

Safety Net
Linda M. Burton, Marybeth Mattingly, Juan Pedroza, and Whitney Welsh
Why do women use safety net programs more than men? A hint: It’s not just because they’re more likely to be eligible for them.

Occupational Segregation
Kim A. Weeden, Mary Newhart, and Dafna Gelbgiser
Nearly half of the women in the labor force would have to move to a different occupation to eliminate all occupational segregation by gender. This is a classic case of stalled change: If recent rates of change are extrapolated, it would take 330 years to reach full integration.

Discrimination
David S. Pedulla
A new science of gender discrimination is being built with audit studies and other experiments. A key result: Gender discrimination is more likely to emerge when the applicant’s commitment to work can be called into question or when an applicant is behaving in a gender-nonconforming way.

Workplace Sexual Harassment
Amy Blackstone, Heather McLaughlin, and Christopher Uggen
The workplace is rife with sexual harassment. By age 25 to 26, one in three women and one in seven men experience behavior at work that they define as sexual harassment.

Social Networks
Adina D. Sterling
Although men used to have more social ties than men, now the gender gap has reversed and women have the larger networks. But women still have fewer coworker ties than men … and coworker ties matter a lot.

Policy
Marianne Cooper and Shelley J. Correll
What are the most promising science-based policies for reducing gender inequality at home and in the labor market?

Sex Discrimination Law and LGBT Equality

Source: Katie R. Eyer, Advance: The Journal of ACS Issue Briefs, Vol. 11 no. 1, Fall 2017
(scroll down)

….This Issue Brief sets out the reasons why both sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination necessarily must be considered sex discrimination under well-established anti-discrimination doctrine. It also responds to the most common arguments raised against such a conclusion. Finally, the Issue Brief concludes by briefly discussing the reasons why, despite the move towards coverage of anti-LGBT discrimination under federal sex discrimination law, explicit formal statutory prohibitions on sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination remain important….

LGBT Policy Spotlight: Public Accommodations Nondiscrimination Laws

Source: Movement Advancement Project, 2018

From the abstract:
This report LGBT Policy Spotlight: Public Accommodations Nondiscrimination Laws a provides a comprehensive overview of the patchwork of federal, state, and local protections against discrimination in public spaces. As the Supreme Court prepares to issue a ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, public places have become the next battleground in the fight for full equality for LGBT people. The core issue is whether public accommodations—places of business, public transit, hotels, restaurants, taxi cabs and more—can refuse service to people just because of who they are or whom they love.