LGBT, HIV, and Women’s Groups Speak Out Against Efforts to Let Corporations Discriminate

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LGBT, HIV, and Women’s Groups Speak Out Against Efforts to Let Corporations Discriminate

50 Groups Issue Statement Against Extreme Agenda in State Bills and U.S. Supreme Court Case that Would Let Corporations Pick and Choose Laws to Obey

WASHINGTON - Saying that an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case and a slew of state legislation are all part of a dangerous agenda to give corporations new rights to discriminate and deny health care, nearly 50 leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, HIV, and women’s groups today issued a joint statement vowing to fight so-called “license to discriminate” efforts at every level.

The unusual joint statement comes on the heels of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s vetoing SB 1062, legislation that would have allowed businesses to refuse services to LGBT people based on the owner’s personal religious beliefs and comes just three weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments by corporations that want to defy federal law and take away birth control coverage from their employees based on the corporate owners’ personal religious beliefs.

Following is the joint statement issued today, with the list of organizations that issued it.

Statement of Opposition to “License to Discriminate” Efforts:

We represent, serve, and advocate for millions of Americans, including women; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people; people with HIV and AIDS; and others.

We value the rights of all people to exercise their religion free from discrimination or interference. However, we are deeply alarmed by a sharp increase in efforts by politicians and corporations to use religious objections to discriminate against and deny health care to large numbers of Americans. Simply put, this isn’t about religious liberties. It’s about letting corporations pick and choose which laws they obey.

This is much bigger than one bill in one state. Legislation has been introduced in at least 10 states to allow companies to discriminate against LGBT people and others, while the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments from corporations that want to take away birth control coverage from their employees. All of these attacks are cut from the same dangerous cloth, and they would roll back the clock on the balance our nation has struck to respect religious beliefs while protecting the rights and liberties of all.

People from all across the country would face very real harm if corporations get a license to discriminate under the guise of religious liberty. LGBT people could be turned away at hotels and restaurants, women could be denied access to birth control, people with HIV or AIDS could be denied health care, single mothers could be denied bank loans, and children could be prevented from getting immunizations.

Because this extreme agenda poses a very real threat to millions of American, and because it poses a threat to bedrock American values, we stand strongly united against it. Together, we will fight these attacks from boardrooms to state legislatures to the U.S. Supreme Court, and together we will ensure that everyone’s freedoms are protected.

Advocates for Youth

American Association of University Women (AAUW)

American Civil Liberties Union

American Medical Student Association

American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Bethel Christian Church, DC

Bisexual Resource Center

Black Women’s Health Imperative

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

Equality Federation

Family Equality Council

The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries

Feminist Majority Foundation

Feminist Women’s Health Center

Freedom to Work

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)

Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

GetEQUAL

GLAAD

GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality

GMHC (Gay Men's Health Crisis)

Harvey Milk Foundation

Human Rights Campaign

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)

Lambda Legal

Marriage Equality USA

Movement Advancement Project (MAP)

NARAL Pro-Choice America

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

National Organization for Women (NOW)

National Women’s Health Network

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

Physicians for Reproductive Health

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Population Connection Action Fund

Population Institute

Pride at Work AFL-CIO

Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need

Reproductive Health Technologies Project

Rivers at Rehoboth Church, NYC

Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)

Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)

Southwest Women’s Law Center

Transgender Law Center

Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC)

The Trevor Project

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