In a campaign promise fulfilled, President Obama signed the first significant pro-lesbian, pro-woman, pro-disability rights legislation today. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act expands the 1969 federal hate crimes law to include sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability.
Posts Categorized: Legislation
The National Organization for Women is proud to stand with Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) in support of legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) … a discriminatory law that is deceptive and harmful. Under DOMA, same-sex couples who legally wed are still denied federal marriage benefits, and other states may refuse to recognize their unions. NOW thanks Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) for co-sponsoring this important legislation.
President Barack Obama’s address to Congress and the people of the United States resonates at a time when people are fed up with the health care status quo because it is not working. The National Organization for Women is pleased President Obama mentioned the need for a public option to provide health care to those not currently served by the profit-driven private insurance industry.
NOW is outraged to learn that the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed an amendment excluding abortion services from the ‘essential’ health benefits package as defined by the government. Under this amendment, subsidies used to help pay insurance premiums for low-income people could not be used for abortion services. The New York Times reports that “insurers must use money from private sources to pay for any abortions.
Health care is a fundamental human right, and ensuring access to quality, affordable and comprehensive health care within the United States is a moral imperative confronting our legislators today. Since 1993, the National Organization for Women has been a leader in the campaign for single-payer health care in the U.S. It is, as President Obama noted last week, the only way to ensure coverage for everyone.
The National Organization for Women urges legislators to support the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act, which would guarantee federal workers four weeks of paid parental leave for a new child. Paid parental leave for the 2.7 million workers employed by the federal government will help millions of working families right now, and can be a model for achieving paid parental and family leave for the rest of our nation’s workers, setting the standard for upcoming discussions about policies intended to help families balance work and family life.
NOW President Kim Gandy said, “It goes without saying that the combination of war, economic collapse, piracy and a potential pandemic may have removed many important items from the top of the president’s legislative agenda, including the Freedom of Choice Act. But I urge President Obama to maintain his public support for this critical legislation, which he enthusiastically endorsed during the campaign.”
Tonight the Senate passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by a bipartisan vote of 61 to 36, vindicating Lilly Ledbetter’s long search for redress after 19 years of pay discrimination.
“This is an important first step in our efforts to undo years of backsliding on the right to be paid a fair and equitable wage,” said National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy. “The Ledbetter bill will allow redress for workers with the energy and willpower to seek redress in the courts, but we have a long way to go before we have fair pay for women, and laws with real teeth.”
“It’s a one-two punch for women, that could knock out many pay inequities,” said NOW President Kim Gandy as the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills today that would advance fair pay for women.
The Bush administration issued the final version of a new HHS “conscience” rule — just in time to take effect on Jan 18, two days before the inauguration. This harmful regulation would require any health care entity receiving federal funds to certify in writing that none of its employees are required to assist in any way with any medical services they find objectionable.