Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese joins U.S. Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass.; Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio; Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc.; and Chris Shays, R-Conn., to introduce the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill would address discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee based on the person's sexual orientation or gender identity.
By DAVID BAUDER, Associated Press
O'Donnell said on the show Wednesday that she wanted to stay for one more year, and ABC wanted three. So she decided to leave, although she said she will appear occasionally next season for things like a planned one-hour special on autism.
"It just didn't work," she said, "and that's show biz. But it's not sad because I loved it here and I love you guys and I'm not going away."
O'Donnell has helped raise the ratings for the daytime chat show invented by Barbara Walters. But her outspokenness has caused continual controversy, including a nasty name-calling feud with Donald Trump that placed Walters squarely in the middle.
"We have had, to say the least, an interesting year," Walters said.
Walters said she had nothing to do with the decision, reached after talks between representatives for ABC Daytime and O'Donnell.
"This is not my doing or my choice," she said.
Walters was frequently left to clean up the damage after O'Donnell. She did it most recently Monday, when O'Donnell was criticized for using bad language and attacking Rupert Murdoch from the dais of the annual New York Women in Communication awards luncheon.
"I would like to point out that Rosie's view is not always mine," Walters said. "I would like to say for the record that I am very fond of Rupert Murdoch."
In the Trump imbroglio, O'Donnell was reportedly mad that Walters did not come more swiftly to her defense, while Trump said Walters told him she didn't want O'Donnell on the show - a claim Walters denied.
Trump quickly went on Fox News Channel Wednesday to claim that O'Donnell was fired by ABC because of remarks made at the Women in Communications luncheon.
"Barbara's the happiest person in the world that Rosie's been fired," Trump said.
Cindi Berger, spokeswoman for both O'Donnell and Walters, denied Trump's claim, wondering how he would know what had happened in contract talks between O'Donnell and ABC.
"She wasn't going to commit to anything for three years and they would not commit to her for one more," Berger said. Locking in O'Donnell to a three-year deal could protect ABC from year-to-year increases if the ratings continue to be good for the show.
Despite controversy - or maybe because of it - O'Donnell was good business for ABC, owned by the Walt Disney Co. Ratings for "The View" during February sweeps were up 15 percent in key women demographics over the same time in 2006.
Bill Carroll, an expert in the syndication market for Katz Television, said he'd be surprised if ABC didn't try hard to keep O'Donnell, given the attention she brought to the long-running show.
The timing of the announcement doesn't particularly suit O'Donnell if she wants to remain in daytime television. She wouldn't be able to introduce a new program to the syndication market until September 2008, he said. But the company that produced O'Donnell's long-running daytime show has expressed interest in having her back, he said.
O'Donnell has discussed acting on the FX show, "Nip/Tuck." But she has not decided what she wants to do in TV in the future, Berger said.
O'Donnell made headlines repeatedly for comments on "The View," and for testy exchanges with her more conservative partner, Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
She criticized "American Idol" in January for airing humiliating auditions. "Isn't that what America thinks of entertainment? To make fun of someone's physical appearance. And when they leave the room, laugh hysterically at them. Three millionaires, one probably intoxicated."
She accused fellow ABC daytime host Kelly Ripa of making a homophobic remark, said "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America" and has been critical of President Bush.
Statements by public figures are being watched more closely in the post-Don Imus era. The lobbying group Focus on the Family said it was preparing to contact advertisers on "The View" as part of a campaign against O'Donnell. The group is angry at O'Donnell for comments they feel were insulting to Catholics.
From GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano:
"From her first day on The View, Rosie put lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues front and center in America's living rooms. By telling stories about her own family, her wife and children, she brought unprecedented visibility to our lives and significant cultural change during a time when we are fighting every day in this country for equality. While always opinionated and sometimes controversial, Rosie used her national platform to tell our stories, and for that, gay people and our straight allies will always be grateful."
Nation’s Largest Women’s Fundraiser Benefits Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Women
Aqua Girl ’07, May 10 - May 13 is expected to attract thousands of women from all over the world, converging on Miami / Miami Beach for five fun-filled days of music, dancing, dining, comedy, kayaking and friendship – as only women can do!
Now in its seventh year, Aqua Girl has evolved to be ranked among the most widely attended events for women and is the nation’s largest non-profit women’s weekend. One hundred percent of the proceeds from Aqua Girl benefits the Aqua Foundation for Women (previously the Women’s Community Fund), a not-for-profit 501(C)3 organization, which also produces the event. The Foundation’s primary mission is to promote the equality, strength, health and visibility of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) women.
Aqua Girl ’07 events take place at
some of the hottest nightclubs, restaurants and venues in the Miami area, with
an A-List roster of entertainment, including DJs Shannon, Pride, Nena, Dez Rock,
Kimberly S and Alyson Calagna. Culinary delights abound, with a dinner party at
Pearl on Miami Beach and a Jazz Brunch at the Miami Beach Botanical
Prior to the five-day whirlwind of events, the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival is co-sponsoring a special Aqua Girl screening of the campy film, Itty, Bitty, Titty Committee at the Colony Theatre on Miami Beach. Following the film, attendees will head over to The Space in Miami’s trendy Wynwood Arts District, for cocktails and an array of culinary delights from celebrity chefs. Celebrity hosts include actress Nicole Vicius, famed director Jamie Babbit (L Word, Ugly Betty, But I’m A Cheerleader) and producer Andrea Sperling.Laughter is universal, and Aqua Girl’s “Night of Comedy” at the Colony Theatre on Saturday, May 12 promises an evening of non-stop laughs with veteran comedian René Hicks. One of America’s favorite lesbian comedians, René has performed her intelligent and universally appealing humor in countless clubs across the US and internationally, resulting in her having been the first African-American woman nominated for an American Comedy Award for “Best Female Stand-Up.” She has appeared on numerous television shows, including her own half hour special - Comedy Central Presents...René Hicks, as well as ABC’s Politically Incorrect, Showtime’s Full Frontal Comedy and NBC’s Comedy Showcas” with Louie Anderson. She also has appeared at famed Nevada hotels including Harrah’s, Bally’s, and MGM Grand.
Nearly 2,000 people are expected at Saturday’s Aqua Beach Ball, one of the centerpiece events of Aqua Girl ’07. Hosted by MTV’s Rachel and Veronica, the poolside bash at the Doubletree Surfcomber Hotel will feature the non-stop spin talent of DJ Pride, along with a high-energy performance by one of New York’s Finest, Lori Michaels and the Girls.
Tickets for individual events range
from $5 to $85, with event passes conveniently packaged and economically
priced. South Florida residents may purchase tickets (cash only) at Pride
Factory, 845 No. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale or at Books & Books, 933
Lincoln Road, Miami Beach.
Travel - Aqua Girl’s host hotel is the Doubletree Surfcomber Hotel at 1717 Collins Avenue on Miami Beach. For specially discounted Aqua Girl rates, call 1-800-853-0264, and mention rate code “Aqua Girl” when making your reservation. American Airlines, Aqua Girl’s official airline, is offering 10% off the lowest published fares to Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports. When booking reservations, be sure to indicate the Aqua Girl Star File number, A3757AR.
Additional details on Aqua Girl ‘07, including the complete schedule of events, may be found at www.AquaGirl.org, or by calling the Aqua Girl Hotline, (305) 576-AQUA (2782).
About Aqua Girl
The AQUA FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN, a 501(c)(3)
non-profit foundation, produces and benefits from Aqua Girl, which is organized
by a team of dedicated volunteers working throughout the year to bring the
annual event to life. The mission of the AFW is to promote the equality,
strength, health, and visibility of South Florida Lesbian, Bisexual and
Transgender Women. Monies raised during the Fund’s signature event, Aqua Girl
Weekend, as well as through individual and group donations, go directly to
educate, empower and foster women’s communities throughout South Florida.
Aqua Girl traces its beginnings to the year 1999. That year, Alison Burgos and NYC’s legendary women’s producers, Shescape, gathered a committee of women from around South Florida to produce an exciting one-night event to benefit breast cancer. The event, Sweet Charity, was an extraordinary dance event bringing together over 800 women and raising over $15,000 for two local breast cancer organizations, Cancer Link and Gilda’s Club.
In 2000, Sweet Charity grew into an entire weekend of events and Aqua Girl was born. The goal was to create a dynamic national fundraising weekend celebrating women and the issues that effect them. With over 2,500 women in attendance from all over the world, the first year of this spectacular weekend of events was a huge success.
Now in its seventh fabulous year, Aqua Girl continues to attract women from all corners of the country, the Americas and around the globe. The weekend continues to grow with an ever-expanding variety of events that enhances its appeal and attendance, and it keeps getting better every time!
Aqua Girl ’07 Sponsors
Presenting Sponsor: Bacardi Limon
Platinum: Curve, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Miami Boutique Hotels, Miami Beach VCA
Gold: Coors Light, Pandora Events, Martini & Rossi Prosecco,
She Magazine, Express South Florida, Ultra Events, Gay 411
Silver: Beachcat Design, GO nyc Magazine, Icandee Productions, Girl Bar
Bronze: Pearl’s Rainbow, rkmfutureboys.com
Event Sponsor: Olivia
Media Sponsors: Mark’s List, Entertainment News & Views
Promotional Partners: Chix Mix, Flirt Nightclub, Girl Bar, Girls in Wonderland, GLEE, Miami Gay &
Lesbian Film Festival, National Center for Lesbian Rights, PhishPhest.com, SAVE Dade, The White Party and Winter Party Festival
Host Hotel: Doubletree Surfcomber Hotel
Official Airline: American Airlines
Photo by Dale Stine Photography
From ABC News' story, The McGreevey Effect: Is Your Husband Gay?:
Along with [ex-New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey and] other high-profile examples such as evangelist leader Ted Haggard and former Congressman Mike Huffington, there are an estimated 2 million to 4 million gay people who are or have been married to straight spouses.
"It's a larger number than people suspect," said Bonnie Kaye, the author of "Is He Gay? A Checklist of Women Who Wonder." ... In her book, Kaye included "The Gay Husband Checklist," which lists ways for women to detect whether or not their husband is gay:
- If your husband thinks you are a nymphomaniac or "pushy and aggressive" because you want sex twice a week.
- If sexual activity steeply declines within the first few years of marriage.
- You're always more sexually aggressive than your husband.
- If your husband is turned off by the thought of touching your vaginal area or performing oral sex on you.
- If his best friend is gay.
- If he hangs out in gay bars.
- If he enjoys watching gay porn movies and surfing gay porn Web sites.
- If he is excessively homophobic, mocking and imitating other gay men.
- If he brags about gay men complimenting him on his looks.
From Ru'ach, the LGBT group at Temple Israel of Greater Miami:
Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
Monday, April 30th, 7:30 PM Regal 17 Cinemas
Dear friends and supporters of Trembling Before G-d,
As many of you know, I have been producing a new film for the past 5 1/2 years on Islam and homosexuality with Muslim gay filmmaker Parvez Sharma. On April 30th, please join us for a special benefit evening of films clips and discussion as we share stories from Iran, Egypt, South Africa, Turkey, India, and France. This Muslim-Jewish collaboration has been an incredible and challenging journey - and I hope you feel compelled by our vision and how far we have to come to support us towards completion. Please spread the word among your friends, families and colleagues by forwarding this email. I look forward to see you as we try to make a global difference in an increasingly polarized world! Thank you so much.
Director/Producer, Trembling Before G-d
Producer, A Jihad for Love
By Angelo Laurence and Edmond Campbell, Jamaica Gleaner
Public Defender Earl Witter, left, resorted to the vernacular yesterday as he advised members of the gay community to "hold your corners", and avoid flaunting their sexual preferences in the face of those who are repulsed by their behaviour.
Condemning violence in all forms, particularly against homosexuals, the public defender, however, warned members of the gay community that if they continued to shove their tendencies on others who found it repugnant, it might incite violence.
"It may provoke a violent breach of the peace," Mr. Witter told The Gleaner yesterday evening.
To read more, click here.
WASHINGTON - Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese, pictured, joined with Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass.; Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio; Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc.; and Chris Shays, R-Conn., to introduce the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the U.S. House of Representatives today. The bill would address discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee based on the person's sexual orientation or gender identity.
"We are a nation predicated on equality, and over the years, we have embraced an increasingly broader and more inclusive vision of what that means," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "By passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, our country will simply be adding another proud chapter to the amazing American story of opportunity."
The bill would be similar to policies that are already in place at America's most profitable companies, with 87 percent of Fortune 500 companies including sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies. In addition, 10 times the number of Fortune 500 companies cover gender identity in their discrimination policies today compared to 2001. A growing list of major companies, currently 20, have joined the Business Coalition for Workplace Fairness in support of a federal non-discrimination law. These businesses represent the financial, high-tech, food and beverage, apparel and insurance industries as well as others.
"Nationwide's equal employment opportunity, non-discrimination and harassment policies specifically state that we will not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any associate based on sexual orientation or gender identity," said Steven Keyes, vice president for compensation, benefits and human resources policy at Nationwide, a member of the business coalition. "Having a corporate culture that embraces diversity improves the productivity of our associates, helps the company recruit the best talent and makes Nationwide more competitive in the insurance and financial services industry."
Currently, federal law provides legal protection against employment discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin and disability, but not sexual orientation or gender identity. In 33 states across America, it is still legal to fire someone based on his or her sexual orientation, and in 42 states, it is still legal to fire someone for being transgender.
Qualified, hardworking Americans are denied job opportunities, fired or otherwise discriminated against for reasons that have nothing to do with their performance and abilities. Employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, whether such orientation or identity is real or perceived, denies qualified individuals equal opportunities in the workplace. Those who experience this form of discrimination have no recourse under current federal law or under the Constitution as it has been interpreted by the courts.
Said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass:
"This is a protection against discrimination that has been tried in a number of states, beginning in Wisconsin more than 20 years ago, and it has worked extremely well. It has caused none of the problems that opponents inaccurately claimed it would and it has provided job protection for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people who ask simply to be allowed do their jobs and be judged on their job performance."
Said Rep. Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio:
"This legislation is first and foremost about fairness - about allowing all Americans to pursue their right to earn a living. Workplace discrimination of any kind is wrong, period - yet, in 33 states, it is legal to fire an employee based solely on the basis of his or her sexual orientation."
Said Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc.:
"Twenty-five years ago, my own state of Wisconsin was the first in the nation to add sexual orientation to anti-discrimination statutes. Since then, 16 states have done the same. We call on Congress now to set a new and higher standard. With the support of the House leadership and members of both parties, I am hopeful that this Congress will close this loophole in existing law and pass a truly comprehensive and inclusive bill to outlaw employment discrimination."
Said Rep. Chris Shays, R-Conn.:
"In my judgment, this is common-sense legislation. Working men and women should be judged on the basis of their performance at work. They should not have to fear being fired because of their sexual orientation."
Said the Rev. Dr. Dennis Wiley of Covenant Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.:
"My question for you today is, how could you consider not passing this bill if it will help to protect the citizens of this country from discrimination and ensure that all enjoy the right to work, to earn a living, to provide for themselves and their families and to realize their full God-given potential. I know something about this because, as a black man in America, I have experienced firsthand the injustice of being discriminated against not because of what I could do, but simply because of who I was. Consequently, I made up my mind a long time ago that I would never intentionally oppress others in the manner in which I myself have been oppressed."
Business Coalition for Workplace Fairness
These employers support fairness in the workplace and the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act:
* Bausch & Lomb Inc., Rochester, NY
* Clear Channel Communications Inc., San Antonio, TX
* Charles Schwab & Co., San Francisco, CA
* Cisco Systems Inc., San Jose, CA
* Citigroup, New York, NY
* Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, GA
* Corning Inc., Corning, NY
* Gap Inc., San Francisco, CA
* General Mills Inc., Minneapolis, MN
* GlaxoSmithKline, Philadelphia, PA
* Hewlett-Packard Co., Palo Alto, CA
* HSBC, New York, NY
* Levi Strauss & Co., San Francisco, CA
* Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA
* Nationwide, Columbus, OH
* NCR Corp., Dayton, OH
* Nike Inc., Beaverton, OR
* Replacements Ltd., McLeansville, NC
* Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP, Minneapolis, MN
* Qualcomm Inc., San Diego, CA
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
Reuters -- Singapore's powerful former prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, has questioned the city-state's ban on sex between men.
"If in fact it is true, and I have asked doctors this, that you are genetically born a homosexual … you can't help it, so why should we criminalise it?" the pro-Government daily Straits Times quoted Mr Lee as saying.
Under Singapore law, a man who is found to have committed an act of "gross indecency" with another man can be jailed for up to two years, though prosecutions are rare.
But Mr Lee, who remains the most powerful minister in the cabinet of his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said Singapore should not pursue homosexuals who engage in sex.
"Let's not go around like this moral police … barging into people's rooms. That's not our business," he told a weekend meeting with the youth wing of the People's Action Party.
Authorities have banned gay festivals and censored gay films, saying homosexuality should not be advocated as a lifestyle.
But despite the official ban on gay sex, Singapore still has a thriving gay scene.
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hails today’s introduction of transgender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act in U.S. House of Representatives
Task Force, first national organization to advocate for federal nondiscrimination legislation in 1974, plays leading role in ensuring ENDA explicitly includes transgender people
WASHINGTON, April 24 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., applauds today’s introduction of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would protect against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The measure was introduced by Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Chris Shays (R-Conn.).
ENDA would provide legal recourse to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the 33 states that don’t currently have employment nondiscrimination laws that cover sexual orientation and to transgender people in the 42 states that do not provide protection on the basis of gender identity or expression.
The Task Force was the first national organization to advocate for federal nondiscrimination protections when it worked with then-U.S. Reps. Bella Abzug and Ed Koch, both New York Democrats, to introduce a sweeping bill in 1974. The Task Force has also played a leading role in ensuring ENDA is explicitly inclusive of transgender people. Eight years ago, the Task Force vowed to oppose the legislation if it were not inclusive, prompting criticism from some community members and allies who felt the Task Force was hindering ENDA’s progress. The Task Force has remained steadfast and partnered with transgender activists and organizations to defend and secure a transgender-inclusive ENDA and has strongly encouraged LGBT colleague organizations to do the same.
Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
“We vowed we would not support an Employment Non-Discrimination Act that left behind our transgender sisters and brothers. We were willing to go to the mat on this, and the measure introduced today is the direct result of that perseverance and our profound belief that equality is not to be divvied out to a select few; it is a fundamental human right for all. Today marks a critical milestone for our community and our country. For decades, a majority of the American people have supported protecting gay people from discrimination. Congress needs to act, at long last, this year.”
Additional media resources:
Visit the Task Force’s ENDA Action Center.