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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

Liberal Jews Praise Gay Protection Law, Orthodox

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

An array of liberal Jewish groups lauded the U.S. Senate for passing a bill that would extend federal anti-discrimination protections to gays.

“Today’s bipartisan Senate passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is an overdue and historic accomplishment in our nation’s effort to end workplace discrimination for the LGBT community,” Reform clergyman David Saperstein, the director of the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, said Thursday.

“ENDA will extend federal workplace protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, who deserve to be judged on the merits of their work, not on whom they love,” said Saperstein, who has for years been among those leading advocacy for such a bill.

The bill was passed 64-32, with the support of all 55 senators in the Democratic caucus and nine Republicans.

Also praising its passage were the National Council of Jewish Women, the Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith International, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the American Jewish Committee.

Expressing concern about the passage was Agudath Israel of America, saying its final version “fails to adequately take into account the rights of religious entities.”

Agudath Israel noted that the bill has a religious exemption, but said “it is not clear which religious entities or activities come within its parameters.”

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who voted in favor of the final version, had offered an amendment that would have extended protections to religiously affiliated private businesses, but proponents of the bill kept it from being included, saying the loophole could ultimately exempt virtually any business.

The Orthodox Union, another Orthodox group, did not release a statement. But when asked, its Washington director, Nathan Diament, singled out for praise Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) for inserting into the bill bans on government retaliation against organizations that seek religious exemptions.

The bill now goes to the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives. Leaders there have suggested they will not bring it to a vote.

Pro-Gay Rights Matt Nosanchuk to be White House Jewish Liaison

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

The White House is set to name Matt Nosanchuk, a lawyer who has been prominent in advancing the Obama administration’s gay rights policies, as its new full-time Jewish liaison.

JTA learned Wednesday that Nosanchuk will replace Zach Kelly, who has held the job part time since the last full-time liaison to the Jewish community, Jarrod Bernstein, left for the private sector in January.

Nosanchuk was a top staffer in the Justice Department’s civil rights division from 2009 to 2012 and helped shape the Obama administration’s response to a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act. That challenge last month successfully nullified the act, extending federal rights to same-sex couples.

The administration at first refused to defend the act and ultimately submitted a brief arguing that it should be struck down.

Nosanchuk also oversaw implementation of the Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Act, passed in 2009, that expanded hate crimes to include those motivated by gender, gender identification and disability. Hate crimes generally mandate tougher sentences for crimes in which bias is part of the motivation.

Since 2012, Nosanchuk has worked at the Department of Homeland Security.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pro-gay-rights-matt-nosanchuk-to-be-white-house-jewish-liaison/2013/07/10/

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