WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1:
The United Methodist Church’s highest court has ruled that the consecration of its first openly gay bishop violated church law, compounding a bitter rift over homosexuality that has brought the 13-million-member denomination to the brink of schism.
In a 6-to-3 vote made public on Friday, the church’s Judicial Council found that a married lesbian bishop and those who consecrated her were in violation of their “commitment to abide by and uphold the church’s definition of marriage and stance on homosexuality.”
Still, the court ruled that the bishop, Karen P. Oliveto of Denver, “remains in good standing” pending further proceedings, offering her supporters a glimmer of hope. But it also raised the prospect of a suspension or forced retirement.
“Under the longstanding principle of legality, no individual member or entity may violate, ignore or negate church law,” the council ruled.
for more, go to: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/28/us/methodist-high-court-rejects-first-gay-bishops-consecration.html?_r=O
You and your friends are invited to a viewing of
April 30th, 2016
The letter, sent just before the state legislature returned to session, inherently acknowledges what an economic disaster HB2 has been for the state as companies look to protect their employees and consumers from discrimination and harm. It also contains the worst of the lies and misinformation Senator Berger has been peddling over the last six weeks.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has taken the liberty of redlining Senator Berger’s letter with the truth and publishing it here.
Chad Griffin, HRC president said, “Sen. Berger is defending the indefensible. He knows HB2 is an unmitigated disaster that strikes at the basic rights and dignity of North Carolinians. In the face of so many business voices denouncing the bill and calling for its full repeal, Senator Berger is desperately digging in even further. He is lying about local laws and recycling dangerous myths about transgender people that have been soundly rejected by both the business community and fair-minded North Carolinians.”
Matt Hirschy, director of advancement, Equality NC, said, “It is disheartening to see Sen. Berger use the same misinformation that has dominated so much of the debate leading to the passing of the discriminatory House Bill 2. He appears to think that these executives, companies and their collective attorneys don’t fully understand the intention or focus of the bill when in fact they are very aware and worried. Furthermore, Senator Berger claims that ‘one of those narratives misstates the impact of the law’, yet he is quick to dismiss the countless people coming out against HB2 who are negatively affected by the bill. We urge the Senator to meet with the transgender North Carolinians who now fear for their safety and meet with the mothers whose children are being bullied at school because of this harmful law. We implore the Senator to really listen to his constituents, not just the ones that he is counting on at the polls in November.”
HRC have outlined below some major points to consider regarding claims in Berger’s letter and other communications from proponents of HB2:
Berger Claim: Charlotte’s ordinance mandated gender-neutral bathrooms FALSE Charlotte joined 18 states and more than 100 cities — including Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Louisville, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Dallas, and nearly every other major city in the country – by passing a non-discrimination ordinance. Nothing in the ordinance required a bathroom to be gender-neutral. Gov. McCrory’s repeated assertions that HB2 is about keeping men out of women’s restrooms is simply a lie. Transgender women are women, and should have access to women’s restrooms.
Berger Claim: Charlotte’s ordinance raised serious safety concerns FALSE This is a tired and entirely unfounded trope that opponents of equality have trotted out in jurisdictions across the country. Tens of millions of people in this country are covered by laws that prohibit discrimination in places of public accommodation on the basis of gender identity without problems. Law enforcement officials have spoken out against bills like HB2. Asserting that gender identity non-discrimination protections pose dangers is offensive. Transgender people should not and must not be conflated with sexual predators. Men who are sexual predators will not have increased access to restrooms — if they identify as men they’ll still be required to use the men’s room. Characterizing this law as a way to enable or protect sexual predators is ludicrous. Sexual predators engage in behavior that is, was, and always will be illegal — and this law doesn’t change that.
Berger Claim: HB2 allows reasonable North Carolinians to solve complicated issues without government interference FALSE HB2 is the very definition of government interference. Charlotte spent two years considering and vetting an ordinance; candidates ran for re-election on the promise of passing such an ordinance, and were voted into office by voters who wanted them to pass such an ordinance. They passed an ordinance similar to laws in 18 states. Sen. Berger and Gov. McCrory responded by hastily convening a special session in which the General Assembly took almost no testimony, considered the matter for less than 10 hours it was approved, and signed by the governor that same day.
Berger Claim: This law allows North Carolina businesses to adopt whatever workplace and accommodation policies they may choose PARTLY FALSE The Charlotte ordinance is primarily about places of public accommodation. Workplace policies were only implicated if an employer had or wanted to have a contract with the city of Charlotte. Invoking workplace policies is a red herring, Many businesses already have their own policies prohibiting discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and the EEOC has determined that employers covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act have similar non-discrimination obligations under federal law. Some businesses that were covered by the ordinance in Charlotte are now free to discriminate in public accommodations if they so choose. However, HB2 now forces private businesses leasing property owned by the state, state agency, city, or other public agency — including the airports, convention centers, office space or otherwise – to discriminate in the provision of restroom facilities. Schools are also now required to discriminate against transgender students in the provision of facilities — a situation unprecedented in the country.
Berger Claim: Much of the opposition to House Bill 2 has rested on a false premise: namely, that a decision not expanding current law beyond protections existing in federal law and a majority of statements is an endorsement of discrimination ABSOLUTELY FALSE It continues to be clear that Sen. Berger, Gov. McCrory and Speaker Moore either don’t understand what this law does or are intentionally lying about it. HB2 does not restore the status quo. That is a lie. It is the first bill in American history to force transgender people to use a bathroom inconsistent with their gender identity. It is an unprecedented effort to write anti-transgender discrimination into law. HB2 is motivated by anti-LGBT animus, particularly toward transgender people. Writing anti-transgender discrimination into the law is an endorsement of discrimination. HB2 also embraces discrimination by removing from state law the cause of action for people who have experienced discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin and sex. HB2 is simply an endorsement of discrimination in every sense.
Excerpt from a long thoughtful editorial in the Burlington Times News on
April 15, 2016:
“We still believe a reasonable solution can be found that doesn’t mean high school kids of the opposite sex are taking showers together after gym class. We also think it’s common sense to have separate men’s and women’s restrooms. That’s how we do it here at the Times-News with one addition, there is a unisex bathroom available for anyone who wishes to use it.
“We also know that as strange and wrong as it may seem to some folks, there are men who live their lives as women, and women who live their lives as men, often without any change in sex organs. We suspect people have often occupied the same public restroom with someone who is transgender and didn’t even know it.
“There are women who — by use of hormones and other techniques — look exactly like a man with a beard. Same for men who are transgender. Public showers makes things more complicated, but bathrooms usually have privacy stalls. We are still trying to figure out where these restrooms are where folks are identifying other people’s genitals. There already are laws in place on indecent exposure.
“The simple fact is, transgender people have always used the restroom of the gender they live as. HB2 took what effectively was a don’t-ask, don’t-tell policy and turned it on its head, requiring someone who has female sex organs but looks like an NFL linebacker to use a women’s restroom. And a man who looks like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader is required to use the men’s room.”
For more, see: http://www.thetimesnews.com/opinion/20160414/editorial-sensible-discussion-solution-still-possible-on-hb2