Tyler Brandt being forced to wear a nametag with a homophobic, ableist slur is but one example of the problems that face LGBT people every day in the workforce, despite President Obama’s attempts to address workplace discrimination of LGBT people on a federal level.
Wheaton College, a religiously affiliated nonprofit, has asked for an emergency order exempting it from complying with the accommodation to the contraception benefit in the Affordable Care Act.
While the Hobby Lobby ruling keeps the government from guaranteeing basic reproductive health care for workers, the Harris decision effectively hobbles the ability of a group of public employees—most of whom are women—to properly bargain for affordable health care along with other vital benefits.
Even with a disastrous deficit of $1.4 billion, the proposed 2014-15 Pennsylvania budget is pouring more money into an anti-choice crisis pregnancy center network that recently made headlines for “failing to see a single client” in another state, despite a significant government contract there.
On Tuesday, the plaza in front of the Legislative Assembly in El Salvador blazed with sun and the energy of 200 women and men gathered to demand from the state an accounting of progress made on petitions to pardon 17 women unjustly imprisoned for up to 40 years for what amount to miscarriages, stillbirths, and other obstetric complications.
Monday’s Hobby Lobby ruling is one more piece of evidence that we still do not value women’s rights in the same way that we value “universal rights”—that is, rights that pertain to men.
Although the reproductive rights movement and the broader feminist movement have become increasingly intersectional, there is still much work to be done in centering the issues faced by women who are not white, economically advantaged, heterosexual, and cisgender.
At last weekend’s National Right to Life Committee’s convention, Mary Spaulding Balch criticized the legislative strategy used by other anti-choice groups to pass 20-week abortion bans by claiming the procedure is dangerous to women. The proper approach, she said, is to base the argument around the unborn.
Amid the anguish over the Hobby Lobby ruling Monday was a note of optimism among some liberals, suggesting that the ruling was constructed with a narrowness that specifically prohibits use of its legal reasoning to protect religiously inspired discrimination against LGBT people. If only that was in fact the case.
The Hobby Lobby decision is an affront to all women and yet another barrier to Asian American and Pacific Islander women who already face significant health disparities and barriers to insurance access.