July 9, 2014 at 10:37 am
Demi Lovato Stars in Web Video for HRC’s Americans for Marriage Equality Campaign
Today HRC released a web video featuring international megastar Demi Lovato, officially re-launching a successful video series for its “Americans for Marriage Equality” campaign. In the video, Lovato makes the case for marriage equality, saying, “Let’s protect love and strengthen the institution of marriage by allowing loving, caring and committed same-sex couples to legally marry.”
Today’s video is the first released as part of the re-launch of HRC’s public engagement campaign featuring prominent Americans who support committed gay and lesbian couples getting married. Demi also penned an email to HRC’s more than 1.5 million members and supporters, calling on all Americans to get involved in the fight for marriage equality nationwide.
Platinum-selling recording artist and actress, Demi Lovato, recently lent her voice to the LGBT community, by being named Grand Marshal of the 44th annual Los Angeles Pride parade and headline performing at NYC Pride’s Dance on the Pier. Her performance at LA Pride served as the backdrop for her new music video and LGBT anthem, “Really Don’t Care.” With a fan base that includes over 20 million die-hard Twitter followers and 30 million fans on Facebook, her latest album, Demi, hit #1 on iTunes in 50 countries and the lead single—”Heart Attack”— earned Platinum status just 10 weeks after launch.
As one of the LGBT community’s most vocal allies, Demi has made anti-bullying advocacy a cornerstone of her public life, impacting countless young people around the world – including the youth in the LGBT community who view her as a role-model when it comes to being true to yourself. At a time where 92 percent of adolescents are constantly being exposed to negative messages about being LGBT, Demi provides an incredible stance on positivity and love.
Join Demi Lovato in support of marriage equality. Take the pledge now.
Same-sex couples can legally marry in nineteen states and the District of Columbia, while 31 states have a law or constitutional amendment restricting marriage to the union of one man and one woman. However, polling continues to show Americans moving inexorably in the direction of supporting equality for same-sex couples, and are over 70 court cases across the country challenging bans on marriage equality.
Nationally, Gallup puts support for marriage equality at 55 percent – an astonishing 15 points increase from just 5 years ago – with other polls showing support at even higher margins. And support for same-sex marriage rights continues to grow in virtually every demographic group. According to ABC News / Washington Post, 77 percent of adults under age 30 favor marriage equality. 40 percent of Republicans – an all-time high and jump of 16 points in under two years – now support marriage for gay and lesbian couples, while the number of Catholics supporting marriage has grown to 62 percent, according to the New York Times. These numbers continue to grow, with no indication that support will slow down.
HRC’s Americans for Marriage Equality campaign seeks to advance marriage equality nationwide and provide up-to-the-minute information for lawmakers, legal experts, media, and grassroots supporters. Following the defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8 last year, new marriage equality battles are underway in the courts, at the ballot and in public education campaigns. The campaign’s video series will draw from a cadre of supportive professional athletes, film and music celebrities, and political and civic leaders speaking out in favor of marriage rights for same-sex couples nationwide. For more information visit http://americansformarriageequality.org.
July 9, 2014 at 9:53 am
Coming Out in the South: “We Decided We’re Tired of Living a Lie”
When English teacher Tippi McCullough and her partner of 14 years Barbara Mariani traveled from their home state of Arkansas to New Mexico to marry, they expected it to be one of the most joyous days of their lives. Forty-five minutes after exchanging their vows, McCullough received a call from the Little Rock school where she had taught for 15 years telling her she was fired for signing a document that declared she was, in fact, a lesbian.
In 29 states, it’s legal under state law to fire or refuse employment to a person based on sexual orientation, and 32 states lack explicit laws banning discrimination based on gender identity. Barbara and Tippi’s story helps illustrate the real work yet to be done in securing equal rights and protections for all LGBT Americans, and yet for Barbara and Tippi, it also illustrates the critical impact they can make by sharing their stories with their friends and neighbors.
“If you want progress, you have to have people come forward and say, ‘Hey this is normal. This is okay.’” says Barbara. “Because it’s that silence that perpetuates the discrimination that we have here in the South.”
Watch Tippi, Barbara and other LGBT Arkansans share their stories in the video below.
This summer, join Tippi, Barbara, Ty, Andrea and others across the South as we begin the conversations we need to move equality forward. HRC will provide you with all the tools and resources you need; all we ask is that you get the conversation started!
Learn more at hrc.org/conversations.
July 8, 2014 at 5:08 pm
HRC Celebrates One Year of Marriage Equality in Delaware
The Human Rights Campaign congratulates Equality Delaware, Governor Jack Markell and the majority of Delaware Legislators who voted in support of marriage equality in the First State.
HRC was proud to work closely with all of the above not only to win marriage equality but also to continue our partnership with them as they added gender identity to their non-discrimination law.
Delaware may be a small state, but one year ago they did big things. Congratulations and happy anniversary.
July 8, 2014 at 5:05 pm
President Obama Announces Executive Order Banning Gender Identity Discrimination for Fed. Employees
On June 30 at the White House LGBT Pride Reception, President Obama announced he would be issuing an executive order to protect transgender federal employees from workplace discrimination. Once issued, it would expand upon an executive order from President Bill Clinton, which banned workplace discrimination among federal employees on the basis of sexual orientation. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, called for such an executive order in its Blueprint for Positive Change when President Obama first took office.
Following President Obama’s announcement, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president Chad Griffin issued the following statement:
“Today President Obama proved yet again why he will be remembered as the most pro-LGBT president in history. Each and every American worker should be judged based on the work they do, and never because of a fundamental aspect of who they are – like their gender identity. And the federal government, like employers across America, is best served by ensuring every qualified individual are able to serve without fear of discrimination. We thank President Obama for announcing this crucial and historic measure, and we look forward to seeing it signed soon.”
Currently, there’s no federal law that explicitly bans workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. And 32 states lack explicit laws banning discrimination based on gender identity, while it’s legal under state law to fire or refuse employment to a person based on sexual orientation in 29 states.
For 12 years, HRC’s Corporate Equality Index has set key standards for equality in America’s workplaces. Corporations of all sizes, regions and industries have risen to the challenge and adopted policies and practices that treat LGBT workers fairly and equally. According to HRC’s research, 91 percent of Fortune 500 companies include sexual orientation in their workplace policies and 61 percent include gender identity. Also, nearly 450 major companies require their suppliers to adhere to their own LGBT-inclusive workplace policies, including more than half of the 100 largest corporations in America. These companies span 37 distinct industries and employ 13.7 million people.
Earlier this month, HRC released new public opinion research that conclusively demonstrates strong public support for federal non-discrimination workplace protections for LGBT workers. A national survey of 1,200 registered voters conducted June 6-10, 2014 by TargetPoint Consulting found that 63 percent of those surveyed favor a federal law that protects gay and transgender people from employment discrimination while only 25 percent oppose it. Enthusiasm for this is especially strong among supporters: 42 percent strongly favor it, while only 16 percent strongly oppose.
July 8, 2014 at 5:01 pm
Rye Rye Rocks for Equality
In high school, female MC Ryeisha Berrain — more widely known as Rye Rye — shot up to hip-hop stardom when her music caught the ear of producer and artist M.I.A. From the early days, Rye Rye’s perfect combination of club beats and raps brought a refreshing wave of originality to the genre of hip-hop. Recently, Rye Rye, who also has a successful acting career, has set her beat to the sound of equality.
Rye Rye voiced her support for marriage equality as part of HRC’s Equality Rocks campaign. She joins a growing list of musicians standing with the Human Rights Campaign on the right side of history.
And to celebrate, don’t miss your chance to snag an autographed Equality Rocks lanyard. Enter by Monday, July 14th at 11:59 p.m. for a chance to win an HRC and Rye Rye gift bag filled with an Equality Rocks lanyard signed by Rye Rye, a copy of Rye Rye’s “Go! Pop! Bang!” album, an HRC Equality Rocks t-shirt and HRC Equality Rocks wristband set.
Enter to win now.
The Equality Rocks campaign is sparking a conversation about love, fairness and equality across the country. To join in, visit www.hrc.org/EqualityRocks.
And for more from the artists who rock for equality, including Galantis, Betty Who, Phoenix, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Florence and the Machine, Sara Bareilles, Tegan and Sara, Animal Collective and SOJA, follow HRC on Spotify now.