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UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi Sued Over November Pepper-Spray

3:00 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Puzzlingly still-employed UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, of last fall’s infamous “silent treatment” walk of shame (and worst Buick Enclave commercial ever), has been sued for infringing on the free speech rights of students pepper-sprayed during campus #Occupy protests by campus police.

The suit names UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi as a defendant, along with several other campus administrators and campus police officers. It details allegations against campus Police Lt. John Pike, who the suit says sprayed the seated or crouching protesters at a distance of one to two feet, causing burning pain to their eyes and faces.

The federal lawsuit, filed by 19 students and alumni with the help of the ACLU of Northern California, seeks both financial damages and changes to policy and procedures at UC Davis:

“Our goal in this lawsuit is to ensure the university makes a clear commitment to protect free speech on campus and prevent this from ever happening again,” said Michael Risher, a staff attorney with American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California, which is helping to represent the students.

A University spokesman couldn’t comment on the case as he had not seen it yet.

9 of 10 Americans Think ENDA is Law

12:07 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Kevin Durant face-palm. #gomavs #mffl 23 pt lead.

Kevin Durant face-palm. #gomavs #mffl 23 pt lead. by rondostar

This may explain why the Democrats got away with not passing the Employee Non-Discrimination Act when they controlled both houses of Congress, and why there’s no dull roar in the land for its passage. Supported by the same percentage of voters, across all categories, as repeal of DADT was at the height of the campaign, here’s the problem:

9 of out 10 voters erroneously think that a federal law is already in place protecting gay and transgender people from workplace discrimination. A similar number of voters also did not know whether their state had a gay and transgender workplace discrimination law. These numbers show the huge disconnect between voter perceptions about workplace protections and the realities that gay and transgender people face on the job.

No matter how high up in the stratosphere support for enacting workplace non-discrimination laws is, if almost all Americans think those protections already exist, then there will be no pressure — at all! — on legislators to enact such provisions.

Seventy- five percent of likely voters say they favor “protecting gay and lesbian people from discrimination in employment,” while 73 percent say they favor these protections for “gay, lesbian, and transgender people.” The responses are essentially identical.

Why bother taking a tough vote, or subjecting members of the Democratic caucus to a tough vote, as long as voters think it’s illegal to discriminate against LGBT people in hiring and the workplace?

This is one place our national organizations have badly failed, with their laser focus on DADT repeal, DOMA repeal, and marriage equality: Americans already think it’s illegal to discriminate in the workplace. And yet, look at how many people experience discrimination at work:

As CAP recently reported, studies show that anywhere from 15 percent to 43 percent of gay people have experienced some form of discrimination and harassment at the workplace. An astonishing 90 percent of transgender people report some form of harassment or mistreatment on the job. Nearly half of transgender people also report experiencing an adverse job outcome because of their gender identity. This includes being passed over for a job (44 percent), getting fired (26 percent), and being denied a promotion (23 percent).

It’s impossible to get Congress to pass a law the American people almost unanimously already believe exists. This is a profound failure on the part of national organizations, and they should be held accountable for it. Americans don’t care about passing ENDA: they already favor it very strongly and they almost all think it’s already law.

How can we move forward in that political environment? Nothing will happen when almost all Americans say, “Sure, that’s why I am glad it is law.”

ACLU’s Anthony Romero Tells His Story & Asks for Your Help: NO on Prop 8

2:35 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

I received an amazing email from ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero that I would like to share with you. It is long, but he tells an incredibly personal story about why Prop 8 matters to him. Please take time to read his story, and to help if you can — Teddy

Dear ACLU Supporter,

I’m angry and heartsick about what may happen in California on November 4th.

In the most personal way possible, I’m writing to ask you for a favor: help us ensure that gay couples all across California keep their fundamental right to marriage — the basic right to be treated just like anybody else.

I hope you will forgive the indulgence when I speak from the heart and tell you my personal story.

You see, I grew up in a loving and supportive household, where my family believed I could be anything I chose — anything except being an openly gay man. Neither of my parents finished high school, and yet, they believed I could accomplish all I set out to do as I went off to Princeton University and Stanford Law School.
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