Saturday, July 31, 2021


Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.


Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

Rights Advocates See New Hope for Equality Act


Thursday, January 28, 2021   

NEW YORK -- A new report suggests a bill often promoted as expanding rights for LGBTQ people could benefit a wide spectrum of racial and religious minorities as well.

The Equality Act passed in the U.S. House in 2019 with broad bipartisan support, but never came up for a vote in the Senate.

Civil rights advocates hope this year, it could become law. The bill would add new, comprehensive federal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Naomi Goldberg, deputy director and LGBTQ Program Director at the Movement Advancement Project, said it would expand existing federal laws that leave many people vulnerable to discrimination based on a variety of other factors.

"Right now, for example, retail stores are actually not covered under federal law and public-accommodations protections for people of color or people of faith, or immigrants," Goldberg observed.

Opponents of the bill have said it would infringe on the religious freedom of those who feel that homosexuality, same-sex marriage or transgender identities violate their beliefs.

But Goldberg pointed out that 21 states, including New York, already have LGBT rights laws on the books, so someone can lose civil-rights protections simply by crossing a state line. The Equality Act would change that.

"It would put into place consistent and explicit protections into federal law that would, in many ways, serve as an umbrella over all 50 states, D.C. and the territories," Goldberg explained.

She added under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued last June, federal law already protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment.

Goldberg emphasized the bill would make anti-discrimination protections consistent across the board. She pointed to a 2020 survey by Sephora, which found 40% of shoppers had experienced discrimination based on their race or skin color.

"I think that really underscores the challenges of access in places of public accommodation aren't just for LGBTQ people, but this is really a broad problem and needs a federal solution," Goldberg contended.

The bill has yet to be reintroduced in the House this year, but Goldberg hopes with changes in Senate leadership, it will get a hearing and a vote there, as well.

get more stories like this via email

In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)


LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …

Health and Wellness

By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …

Across the United States, 46 states have laws allowing for harsher punishment for crimes based on bias. (Ludk/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…

Social Issues

BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…

According to AARP Connecticut, 47% of family caregivers have had at least one financial setback, such as having less money for retirement or savings, or cutting back on their own healthcare spending. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …

Health and Wellness

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021