Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

LGBT groups slam Voting Rights Act ruling
From press releases
2013-06-25

This article shared 3460 times since Tue Jun 25, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Washington, DC — Today, the Supreme Court struck down a central part of the Voting Rights Act, invalidating crucial protections passed by Congress in 1965 and renewed four times in the decades since. The sharply divided decision will significantly reduce the federal government's role in overseeing voting laws in areas with a history of discrimination against African-Americans.

We, America's leading LGBT advocacy organizations, join civil rights organizations — and indeed, all Americans whom this law has served to protect — in expressing acute dismay at today's ruling. Not only had Congress repeatedly reaffirmed the need for this bedrock civil rights protection, but authoritative voices from across America had filed amicus briefs urging the court not to undermine the law: the NAACP; the American Bar Association; the Navajo Nation; the states of New York, California, Mississippi and North Carolina; numerous former Justice Department officials charged with protecting voting rights; dozens of U.S. senators and representatives; and many others.

These varied and powerful voices attest to the self-evident reality that racial protections are still needed in voting in this country. As recently as last year's elections, political partisans resorted to voter suppression laws and tactics aimed at reducing the votes of people of color.

Voting rights protections, which have long served our nation's commitment to equality and justice, should not be cast aside now. The court has done America a grave disservice, and we will work with our coalition partners to undo the damage inflicted by this retrogressive ruling.

Center for Black Equity

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals

Equality Federation

Family Equality Council

Freedom to Marry

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders

Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC)

Human Rights Campaign

Immigration Equality Action Fund

Lambda Legal

National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Center for Transgender Equality

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

PFLAG - Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays

Pride at Work, AFL-CIO

Unid@s

Task Force attacks Supreme Court Voting Rights Act decision

Press Release

WASHINGTON, June 25 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is describing the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a central part of the Voting Rights Act — in its ruling on Shelby County v. Holder — as a major step backwards in the ongoing effort to eliminate racism from our democracy.

The ruling invalidated crucial protections passed by Congress in 1965 — protections subsequently renewed four times in the decades since.

"Discrimination at the ballot box is a real problem and causes real harm to our democracy. This ruling is a major step backwards in the ongoing fight for a truly free and fair democracy and democratic system," said Rea Carey, Task Force Executive Director.

The controversial ruling will significantly reduce the federal government's role in overseeing voting laws in areas with a history of discrimination on the basis of race, color or membership in a language minority group.

The Task Force has joined with other LGBT and civil rights organizations to express its deep concern with today's ruling.

"We are committed to working with Congress and continuing our work on the ground in the states to make sure America's democracy is free, fair and accessible for all," Carey stressed.

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, visit www.theTaskForce.org ( www.thetaskforce.org/ ) and follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce ( http://www.twitter.com/thetaskforce).

Statement by the President on the Supreme Court Ruling on Shelby County v. Holder

I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court's decision today. For nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act — enacted and repeatedly renewed by wide bipartisan majorities in Congress — has helped secure the right to vote for millions of Americans. Today's decision invalidating one of its core provisions upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent.

As a nation, we've made a great deal of progress towards guaranteeing every American the right to vote. But, as the Supreme Court recognized, voting discrimination still exists. And while today's decision is a setback, it doesn't represent the end of our efforts to end voting discrimination. I am calling on Congress to pass legislation to ensure every American has equal access to the polls. My Administration will continue to do everything in its power to ensure a fair and equal voting process.

REMARKS AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY BY ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER ON THE SUPREME COURT DECISION IN SHELBY COUNTY V. HOLDER

June 25, 2013, WASHINGTON, D.C.

Good afternoon. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in the case of Shelby County v. Holder — and invalidated an essential part of the Voting Rights Act, a cornerstone of American civil rights law. Like many others across the country, I am deeply disappointed with the Court's decision in this matter. This decision represents a serious setback for voting rights — and has the potential to negatively affect millions of Americans across the country.

In the nearly half-century since its initial passage — in 1965 — the Voting Rights Act has consistently enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress as well as the Executive Branch. After extensive hearings, Sections 4 and 5 of this important law were reauthorized most recently in 2006, with the unanimous support of the U.S. Senate and the near-unanimous support of the House of Representatives. This is a uniquely legislative function and responsibility that the Constitution expressly gave to Congress. The last reauthorization was signed into law by President George W. Bush — just as prior reauthorizations had been signed by Presidents Reagan, Ford, and Nixon — in accordance with core nonpartisan American values.

After all, as Congress correctly recognized in the hearings held in 2006 — racial and language minorities face significant voting discrimination in some parts of our country. Given the successful decisions in the Department's Voting Rights Act cases over the last 18 months, the need for a vital — and intact — Voting Rights Act remains clear.

Last year, a federal court cited the value of the Voting Rights Act in blocking the Texas congressional redistricting map on the grounds that it discriminated against Latino voters. In that case, the court noted that the parties "provided more evidence of discriminatory intent than we have space, or need, to address here." The federal court that reviewed South Carolina's photo ID law also noted the "vital function" that the Voting Rights Act played in prompting the state to change how it will implement the statute in future elections so that it would no longer disproportionately impact black voters. Without the Section 4 coverage formula, neither of these discriminatory voting changes would have been subject to review and both could have been implemented immediately.

These are just two of many examples demonstrating that these problems have not been consigned to history — they continue to exist. Their effects are real, they are of today — not yesterday — and they corrode the foundations of our democracy. Our country has changed for the better since 1965 but the destination we seek has not yet been reached. Indeed, a reading of today's opinions demonstrates that every member of the Supreme Court agrees with this fact — as the Chief Justice wrote, "voting discrimination still exists: no one doubts that." This is why protecting the fundamental right to vote — for all Americans — will remain one of the Justice Department's highest priorities.

The Department of Justice will continue to carefully monitor jurisdictions around the country for voting changes that may hamper voting rights. Let me be very clear: we will not hesitate to take swift enforcement action — using every legal tool that remains available to us — against any jurisdiction that seeks to take advantage of the Supreme Court's ruling by hindering eligible citizens' full and free exercise of the franchise.

As the President has made clear, Congress needs to act to make sure every American has equal access to the polls. The Department also will work with Congress and other elected and community leaders to formulate potential legislative proposals to address voting rights discrimination — because, on their own, existing statutes cannot totally fill the void left by today's Supreme Court ruling. And I am hopeful that new protections can and will pass in this session of Congress.

The Voting Rights Act has always had strong bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, and today's ruling should not change that. This is not a partisan issue, it's an American issue — because our democracy is founded on ensuring that every eligible citizen has access to the ballot box.

Finally, we need to be clear about what happened today. Part of the Voting Rights Act, but not all of it, was struck down. The constitutionally protected voting rights of all Americans remain fully intact. And the right to vote, free from discrimination based on race or language, requires our vigilant protection. We know from many decades of long, hard struggle that the best way to defend a right is to go out and exercise it. So no one should conclude that today's unfortunate decision has rendered her or his voting rights invalid, or has made attempting to cast a ballot on Election Day futile.

To the contrary, it is incumbent on all American citizens to stand up for their rights by registering to vote, going to the ballot box, exercising that most fundamental of rights, and voting for their preferred candidates of any party. Our democracy is dependent on each of us, and on our active participation in the electoral process. Although today's decision represents a serious and unnecessary setback, the Justice Department remains committed to moving forward in a manner that's consistent with the arc of American history — which has always been a story of increasing equality, inclusion, and access to the franchise. This is what makes the United States of America truly exceptional. And this is what we will zealously guard.

Thank you.


This article shared 3460 times since Tue Jun 25, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Greek legislature approves marriage equality 2024-02-15
- Greece has become the 36th country, and the first Christian Orthodox-majority one, to legalize same-sex marriage. The BBC reported that same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after the 176-76 vote that ...


Gay News

Tenn. legislators back bill that lets officials refuse to perform same-sex weddings 2024-02-15
- Defying a national ruling that authorized marriage equality, Tennessee lawmakers approved a measure that would allow public officials to refuse to perform weddings of same-sex couples, The Hill reported. Tennessee's House Bill 878/Senate Bill 596 says ...


Gay News

WORLD Marriage in Greece, UK politics, cruise death, HRC grants 2024-02-02
- The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece unanimously agreed at a recent meeting that it is "strongly opposed" to the Greek government's promised bill on same-sex marriage and adoption, Balkan Insight reported. The conservative New ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Marriage news, fighting fentanyl, anti-LGBTQ+ crimes, Grindr 2024-02-02
- The Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill that would affirm marriage equality in the state, The Washington Blade noted. House Bill 174, introduced by state Del. Rozia Henson (D-Prince William County), passed in the Democratic-controlled ...


Gay News

WORLD Activist honored, marriages in Estonia, Madrid law, trans sports item 2024-01-05
Video below - The National AIDS Commission (NAC) recently honored Caleb Orozco—a leading figure in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in Belize—for his instrumental contributions to the national HIV response, BNN reported. According ...


Gay News

Catholic Church allows priests to bless same-sex couples but reaffirms disapproval of gay marriage 2023-12-22
- LGBTQ+ couples can now receive blessings from priests, but the Catholic Church maintained its strict ban on gay marriage, according to a Vatican document approved by Pope Francis Dec. 18. This historic change in doctrine marks ...


Gay News

Greek government vows to back marriage equality 2023-12-22
- Despite opposition from the Church of Greece and within the ruling New Democracy, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' government said it will eventually move to legalize same-sex marriage, The National Herald reported. However, no timetable was ...


Gay News

Dignity/Chicago welcomes new rule on church blessings for same-sex marriages 2023-12-18
--From a press release - Dignity/Chicago, the advocacy organization for LGBTQI Catholics and friends, welcomed the news that the Vatican's doctrinal office has officially declared it possible for Catholic priests to bless same-sex unions and ...


Gay News

New Ways Ministry: Pope's blessings approval is Christmas gift to LGBTQ+ Catholics 2023-12-18
--From a press release - MOUNT RAINIER, Maryland—Statement by Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry: Pope Francis gave LGBTQ+ Catholics an early Christmas gift this year by approving blessings for same-gender couples. The Vatican ...


Gay News

Pope Francis changes policy, allowing priests to bless same-sex unions; GLAAD responds 2023-12-18
--From a press release - GLAAD: "By removing barriers to priests blessing LGBTQ couples, the Pope accurately recognizes that LGBTQ people and our relationships are worthy of the same affirmation and support in the Church, and this strengthens couples in their ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ couple the first in South Asia to have marriage recognized 2023-11-30
- Transgender woman Maya Gurung and Surendra Pandey became the first LGBTQ+ couple to have their marriage legally recognized in South Asia after they received a legal certificate in Nepal's Lamjung district on Nov. 29, The Guardian ...


Gay News

WORLD Thai marriage law, French bill, Miss Universe, IKEA, activist dies 2023-11-24
- Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said that the cabinet approved a draft law on marriage equality and that it would be brought to parliament during a session starting in December, Reuters reported. If the draft law ...


Gay News

Pope: Trans people can be baptized and act as godparents 2023-11-09
- Pope Francis has stated that trans people may be baptized and act as godparents or witnesses to marriage under the same conditions as any other adult—as long as a scandal does not result, according to PinkNews. ...


Gay News

Jamaica court upholds sodomy law; activist ends fight in that country 2023-11-01
- On Oct. 27, the Jamaica Supreme Court upheld the country's anti-sodomy law, claiming that only Parliament could repeal the statute—and the ruling has resulted in a longtime advocate/attorney ending his fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the ...


Gay News

Several dozen people arrested over 'gay wedding' in Nigeria 2023-10-25
- Nigerian security personnel arrested more than 70 young people after accusing them of organizing a same-sex wedding, The South China Morning Post reported. Same-sex marriage is illegal in Nigeria under a 2014 law. Gombe, where the ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.