Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Via JMG: CNN Poll: Obama's Approval Ratings Are Highest Regarding LGBT Rights

The president's overall approval rating is 51%.  That's up four points since last month but is four points below his all-time high.  When those polled were asked about specific issues, only his "policies towards gays and lesbians" scored over 50%.

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: We Need An Executive Order On LGBT Employees And Federal Contractors

In 2008 then-Sen. Obama promised to deliver an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  Since then the White House has repeatedly said that a legislative solution that would affect all employers is the goal. But that goal, ENDA, very clearly is out of reach while the GOP controls the House.  So how about that executive order? Chris Geidner reports some new stats at Buzzfeed:
Nearly $250 billion in federal contracts given out in the last fiscal year went to contractors operating in states where the companies could fire a worker solely because the person is gay, lesbian or bisexual, a new report has found. A group of organizations that have been urging President Obama to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers will be releasing the new report Tuesday as a step in increasing pressure on the president to act during tax time.

The report, a copy of which was provided to BuzzFeed Monday night, also has found that nearly $300 billion in federal contracts were given out in states that have no specific state-level protections against anti-transgender discrimination.

Although federal government employees are protected from anti-LGBT discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, there is currently no protection for employees of federal contractors against sexual orientation discrimination and protections against gender identity discrimination are unclear. And while most of the top federal contractors have policies against LGBT discrimination, the report aims to draw attention to the limits employees would have in states without legal protections.
While an executive order would only affect companies that do business with the federal government, it's a start. A start with $250B in federal money attached to it.

Reposted from Joe

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma April 9, 2013

The Ground of Compassion

To be truly and wholly present even for the briefest moment is to be vulnerable, for we have arrived at the point where the obstacle that fear constructs between ourselves and others dissolves. It is here that the heart is drawn out of hiding and the inherent sympathetic response called compassion arises. 
- Lin Jensen, “An Ear to the Ground”
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Via Buddhism on Beliefnet:

Daily Buddhist Wisdom

As a Buddhist monk my concern extends to all members of the human family and, indeed, to all sentient beings who suffer. I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their own happiness or satisfaction.
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, Oslo, December 1989