High Court won’t hear les­bian’s em­ploy­ment dis­crim­i­na­tion case

GA Voice - - Front Page -

The U.S. Supreme Court an­nounced on Dec. 11 it will not re­view the case of Jameka Evans, a Ge­or­gia woman who claims she was ha­rassed in the work­place and fired from her se­cu­rity of­fi­cer po­si­tion at Ge­or­gia Re­gional Hos­pi­tal in Sa­van­nah be­cause she is a les­bian and wears her hair in an an­drog­y­nous style.

“This was not a ‘no,’ but a ‘not yet,’ and rest as­sured that Lambda Le­gal will con­tinue the fight, cir­cuit by cir­cuit as nec­es­sary, to es­tab­lish that the Civil Rights Act pro­hibits sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion dis­crim­i­na­tion,” Greg Nevins, em­ploy­ment fair­ness project di­rec­tor for the or­ga­ni­za­tion, said in a news re­lease. “The vast ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans be­lieve that LGBT peo­ple should be treated equally in the work­place. The pub­lic is on the right side of his­tory; it’s un­for­tu­nate that the Supreme Court has re­fused to join us to­day, but we will con­tinue to in­vite them to do the right thing and end this hurt­ful balka­niza­tion of the right of LGBT peo­ple to be out at work.”

Nevins chal­lenged Congress to pass a fed­eral law ban­ning work­place dis­crim­i­na­tion on the ba­sis of sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion and gen­der iden­tity.

Lambda Le­gal sought a na­tion­wide rul­ing af­firm­ing that sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion dis­crim­i­na­tion vi­o­lates Ti­tle VII of the Civil Rights Act. Evans orig­i­nally filed the law­suit in the U.S. District Court for the South­ern District Court of Ge­or­gia in April 2015. Her com­plaint was dis­missed. Lambda Le­gal then filed an ap­peal, cit­ing rul­ings by fed­eral district courts and the Equal Em­ploy­ment Op­por­tu­nity Com­mis­sion that show sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion dis­crim­i­na­tion is a form of sex dis­crim­i­na­tion and is thus “a pro­hib­ited em­ploy­ment prac­tice.” In March 2017, a three­judge panel of the Eleventh Cir­cuit de­nied the claim, and later, a re­quest for the full cir­cuit court to hear the case was also de­nied. Lambda Le­gal took the case to the Supreme Court in Septem­ber 2017.

CDC di­rec­tor dis­putes banned words re­ports

Re­ports sur­faced in late De­cem­ber that showed the U.S. Cen­ters for Disease Con­trol and Preven­tion were given a list of forbidden words pro­hib­ited from be­ing used in pre­par­ing bud­get doc­u­ments for 2018.

On that list were such words as “sci- Left to right: Jameka Evans and Lambda Le­gal’s Greg Nevins ence-based,” “ev­i­dence-based,” “fe­tus” and “trans­gen­der.”

But CDC Di­rec­tor Brenda Fitzger­ald tweeted that “there are no banned words at CDC. We will con­tinue to talk about all our im­por­tant pub­lic health pro­grams,” the At­lanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion re­ported.

Ac­cord­ing to the AJC, the De­part­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices re­leased a state­ment in­di­cat­ing noth­ing changed.

“The as­ser­tion that HHS has ‘ banned words’ is a com­plete mis­char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of dis­cus­sions re­gard­ing the bud­get for­mu­la­tion process,” the state­ment reads. “HHS will con­tinue to use the best sci­en­tific ev­i­dence avail­able to im­prove the health of all Amer­i­cans. HHS also strongly en­cour­ages the use of out­come and ev­i­dence data in pro­gram eval­u­a­tions and bud­get de­ci­sions.”

HIV/AIDS ex­pert Dr. Wendy Arm­strong told the AJC that “the use of words like ‘sci­ence-based,’ ‘ev­i­dence-based,’ and words to de­scribe sub­sets of in­di­vid­u­als that have unique health ex­pe­ri­ences, like ‘trans­gen­der,’ ‘fe­tus,’ ‘vul­ner­a­ble,’ etc., are nec­es­sary.”

Elec­tion of­fi­cials con­firm Bot­toms as At­lanta’s next mayor

The votes are in, and so is the re­count: At­lanta City Coun­cil­woman Keisha Lance Bot­toms will take the helm of “the city too busy to hate” in 2018. Elec­tion of­fi­cials an­nounced the re­sults on Dec. 18.

Bot­toms gar­nered 46,661 votes — 50.44 per­cent — and Nor­wood 45,840, or 49.56 per­cent, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ported. Nor­wood re­quested a re­count af­ter the Dec. 5 runoff af­ter Bot­toms won by a mar­gin of less than 1 per­cent.

Du­bose Porter, chair of the Demo­cratic Party of Ge­or­gia, con­grat­u­lated Bot­toms, say­ing she “cham­pi­oned our Demo­cratic val­ues and never backed down.”

“[Bot­toms] un­abashedly spoke out against big­otry, sex­ism and dis­crim­i­na­tion,” Porter said. “She stood tall and never flinched un­der fire. [Bot­toms] fought for her city and all of its peo­ple with love, de­ter­mi­na­tion, a spirit of eq­uity and an of­fer of jus­tice. This is the kind of lead­er­ship Democrats be­lieve in.”

Both can­di­dates courted At­lanta’s LGBT com­mu­nity through­out the race. Nor­wood was en­dorsed by Ge­or­gia Log Cabin Repub­li­cans in the orig­i­nal race, and by both Ge­or­gia Equal­ity and les­bian for­mer may­oral can­di­date Cathy Woolard in the runoff. Bot­toms got the nod from Ge­or­gia Stonewall Democrats.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.