Wednesday, November 3, 2010

LGBT Civil Rights Messages to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Messages to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and LGBT Activists and Allies

Monday, November 1, 2010, was the day when activists, who had organised the QueerSOS! vigil outside Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's campaign office, would transition into a fast for LGBT civil rights.

One activist, Alan Bounville, was set to begin a water-only fast beginning on Tuesday, November 2, and he has said that he would remain fasting until draft legislation known as the American Equality Bill would be filed by Sen. Gillibrand.

LGBT activists and allies are supporting the American Equality Bill, draft legislation, which, if passed, would add ''sexual orientation'' and ''gender identity'' to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The American Equality Bill would, as one legal act, end major forms of discrimination against LGBT Americans.

Some of the LGBT activists, who were present for Day 36 of the QueerSOS! vigil, shared some thoughts about the need for civil rights for LGBT Americans, based on the de jure and de facto discrimination that takes place in America each day.

In October, the city council of South Bend, Indiana, voted down a proposed ordinance that would have extended employment discrimination protection to gays and lesbians. Recently, the Obama administration appealed a court ruling that outlawed the military policy of ''Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'' To LGBT Americans, the president's appeal looks like he is trying to keep in force a military policy that enforces discrimination against LGBT Americans who serve in the armed forces. Only a handful of states even recognise marriage between LGBT partners.

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