Montgomery Appointment Dangerous Setback for LGBTQ Arizonans

HRC responded to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey nominating Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery for a seat on the Arizona Supreme Court.

“Bill Montgomery has made a career of marginalizing the most vulnerable Arizonans, including the LGBTQ community,” said HRC Deputy Campaign Director Justin Unga. “He has shown that he’s unable to set aside personal biases and treat LGBTQ Arizonans with the dignity and respect that we deserve in our legal system. With LGBTQ Arizonans’ rights on the line, it’s more important than ever to ensure that the Arizona Supreme Court be comprised of unbiased jurists capable of deciding cases on merit and law rather than partisanship or anti-LGBTQ extremism. Montgomery’s appointment is a dangerous step in the wrong direction. HRC will continue to remain vigilant in order to hold Montgomery accountable, including when voters have the opportunity to decide whether he remains on the court.”

In 2015, as Maricopa County Attorney, Montgomery refused to provide legal assistance to LGBTQ couples seeking to adopt a child. This failure prompted the ACLU to sue him and his office in an attempt to earn LGBTQ Arizonans the equal treatment and legal assistance they deserve under the law. 

Earlier this year, the Arizona Supreme Court heard arguments in Brush & Nib Studio v. City of Phoenix. Despite a Phoenix city ordinance banning discrimination on the basis of gender identiy and sexual ortentation,  the Brush & Nib Studio is proactively seeking the authority to turn away LGBTQ people in violation of this established law. The Supreme Court received this case after the Arizona Court of Appeals issued a ruling denying the business owners the ability to discriminate against same-sex couples. HRC joined the ACLU in an amicus brief supporting LGBTQ rights and the City of Phoenix.

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HRC Endorses Gina Ortiz Jones for U.S. Congress

Today, HRC announced its endorsement of Gina Ortiz Jones in her historic bid to represent Texas’ twenty-third congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

If elected, Ortiz Jones will become the first openly LGBTQ member of Congress elected from Texas. She served in the U.S. military under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), which banned gay, lesbian, or bisexual individuals from serving openly in the military. Repealed in 2010, the discriminatory law was in place for 17 years. Since serving, Ortiz Jones has spoken out about the fear she experienced under DADT and her desire to never again be forced back into the closet. Ortiz Jones has made LGBTQ equality a priority in her campaign platform. HRC was proud to endorse Ortiz Jones in her nailbiter 2018 bid. 

“Gina Ortiz Jones has the opportunity to make history in Texas and help grow the historic pro-equality majority in Congress,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “As an openly LGBTQ military service member who served under ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,’ Ortiz Jones will have a unique opportunity to share her story and fight back against the Trump-Pence administration’s continued attacks on LGBTQ people — and particularly on LGBTQ military service members. The Human Rights Campaign is proud to endorse Gina Ortiz Jones and fight alongside her as she works to make Texas a more fair and just place for all.”

“I’m honored to earn the HRC endorsement again this year,” said Gina Ortiz Jones. “As an LGBTQ veteran who served under ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,’ I know firsthand what is at stake when our elected officials don’t have the moral courage to ensure everyone is treated equally under the law. I am proud to partner with HRC in our fight for equality and fairness, and their support will be critical to our 2020 victory.”

“Gina Ortiz Jones will be a strong voice for all Texans, especially LGBTQ Texans in Congress,” said HRC Texas State Director Rebecca Marques. “Texas has an opportunity to make history in 2020 by electing our state’s first openly LGBTQ member of Congress. HRC will work tirelessly alongside her campaign to ensure Ortiz Jones is successful.”

In 2018, HRC deployed staff on the ground across the state to help elect Ortiz Jones and other pro-equality candidates across Texas. Alongside its three permanent full-time staff in Texas and four local volunteer steering committees, HRC deployed 13 additional staff and organizers for a major get-out-the-vote effort across the state. Over the last four days in Texas, HRC members and supporters knocked on over thousands of doors and texted over 27,000 Texans voting resources and reminders. In addition to robust door-to-door, mail and phone canvassing in partnership with local groups including Equality Texas, HRC hosted four Equality Action Academy trainings to give HRC members and supporters the tools they need to take action locally in legislative advocacy and in support of pro-equality candidate campaigns.

Paid for by HRC PAC (www.hrc.org). Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

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Donald Trump’s Attacks on LGBTQ Workers

President Trump might be launching a new campaign, but in reality, we know that it’s the same anti-equality Trump-Pence administration we’ve come to know.

Throughout Trump’s Presidency, this White House has led a coordinated assault on LGBTQ workers and our rights.  

Here are some of the lowlights of the Trump-Pence Administration’s attacks on LGBTQ workers:

  1. Opposition to the Equality Act: Despite support from almost every segment of the US population and a majority of Republicans, President Trump opposed the Equality Act. Last month, the House passed the Equality Act, voting to guarnatee critical non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ workers and allowing them to be who they are openly on the job without risk of being fired.
  1. Rollback of Obama-Era Non-discrimination protections: Trump’s Department of Justice upended previous DOJ interpretations of the Civil Rights Act that protects transgender and non-binary workers from employment discrimination and ceased enforcing nondiscrimination protections as well as taking a hostile stance to LGBTQ workers in court.

Planned New Rules to License Discrimination: Trump’s Department of Labor issued a directive that designed to allow federal contractors claim a religious exemption to fire LGBTQ workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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