Monday, March 14, 2011
A coalition of openly gay celebrities and their allies have issued a public letter to the president, asking that he complete his "evolution" and come out publicly in support of same-sex marriage. The letter reads, in part:
Like so many Americans, you have spoken of your personal journey toward support for the freedom to marry. You have talked about the gay and lesbian people in your life, their commitment to each other and care for their kids, and their families that aren’t so different from any other family.Among those signing the letter: Ellen DeGeneres, Anne Hathaway, David Geffen, Martin Sheen, Eric McCormack, Lily Tomlin, Scott Fujita, and Julian Bond.
We ask you now for your leadership on ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage, an exclusion that harms millions of Americans each day. Whether to end discrimination in marriage is a question America has faced before, and faces again today. With so many Americans talking it through in heartfelt conversations, it is a question that calls for clarity from the President.
Labels: activism, Anne Hathaway, Barack Obama, Ellen Degeneres, Evan Wolfson, Freedom Tower, Hollywood, Julian Bond, marriage equality
"I am equally committed to the full and meaningful implementation of Equal Employment Opportunity policies for all HHS employees and applicants. My goal is to create an environment within HHS, free of discrimination, where all employees may work without fear of reprisal or discriminatory harassment; where qualified employees and applicants with disabilities receive reasonable accommodations; and where all employees are recognized for their individual performance and contributions to HHS, without regard to race, national origin, color, age, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, disability (physical or mental), status as a parent, genetic information, or other non-merit factor. I fully expect all employees and supervisors to adopt these goals. With your support and participation, we can ensure workforce diversity and equal opportunity are two of our greatest strengths." - Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, via press release.
(Tipped by JMG reader Nicholas)
Gay students at a southern California public high school have gone to the ACLU with complaints about a pattern of harassment from their teachers.
In one instance, a Paloma Valley High School student alleged a teacher wrote an "S" on her hand and called her "a sinner." In another, a student group says it was barred from doing an activity for gay and lesbian history month, though an ethnic student group could. An openly gay senior says he was unfairly disciplined after a dispute with a classmate who he says harassed him. Teachers and students took their concerns to Paloma Valley administrators, the school board and the ACLU. District officials say they are addressing the complaints. "We take them very, very seriously," said Leslie Ventuleth, spokeswoman for the Perris Union High School District and its chief human resources officer.The school has held recent anti-bullying assemblies and says it has disciplined the "sinner" teacher, whose name is being withheld due to employee confidentiality rules.