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Boy Scouts of America Offer New Resolution Regarding Acceptance of Gay Members

Boy Scouts of America Offer New Resolution Regarding Acceptance of Gay Members

 

 
Last week, the Boy Scouts of America Executive Committee offered a policy that would establish a nondiscrimination policy to eliminate its longstanding discriminatory ban on gay Scouts, while maintaining several discriminatory practices in place for lesbian and gay parents, employment opportunities, and Scout leaders. 
 
The resolution offered by the Boy Scouts of America proposes a policy where, “no youth shall be denied entry into the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of their sexual orientation.” This policy is national in scope as opposed to the organization’s previous approach that placed the membership decisions on the shoulders of local sponsoring organizations. The new proposed resolution will face a vote by approximately 1,4000 leaders of the organization during their National Council Meeting, which is set to take place on May 22nd through the 24th. 
 
“It is welcomed news that the leadership of the Boy Scouts of America is open to terminating the ban on gay scouts; however, this resolution must contain more protections for the gay community,” said Chad Griffin, the President of the Human Rights Campaign. “Adults and Parents of good moral character, regardless of sexual orientation, must be allowed to volunteer their time to mentor the upcoming generation of Americans. What message does this proposal send to the homosexual scout who, as an adult, wishes to continue a lifetime of scouting by becoming a leader in the organization?” 
 
Unanswered in the proposal is the issue of employment discrimination; currently the job application for a leadership position with the organization explicitly says homosexual cannot apply. The application, which is uniform throughout the nation, reads: “The Boy Scouts of America will not employ agnostics, atheists, avowed or known homosexuals.”
 
In anticipation of a universal resolution, the Human Rights Campaign issued a petition asking its supporters to call on their local Boys Scouts of America councils to vote in favor of a policy which prohibits discrimination against homosexual scouts, parents, and leaders of the organization. The petition aims to generate messages to local council representatives, so they hear how the ban on homosexuals harms members of their own community. 
 
 
Source: Human Rights Campaign

It’s Official: Rhode Island becomes the 10th State to Pass Marriage Equality Laws

It’s Official: Rhode Island becomes the 10th State to Pass Marriage Equality Laws

 

 

 
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee just signed the state’s marriage equality bill into law in a riveting ceremony on the steps of the Rhode Island State House. The marriage equality bill passed the Rhode Island state House earlier this morning with unanimous bipartisan support. 
 
The Human Rights Campaign celebrated the historic victory moments after it became official by raising the Rhode Island flag above their D.C. office. The state of Rhode Island now becomes the tenth state alongside the District of Columbia to legalize gay marriage. 
 
Rhode Island becomes the last state in New England to legalize gay marriage after independent Governor Chafee signed the bill on Thursday. “I know that you have been waiting for this day for a long time,” Chafee said to the state’s lesbian and gay community at a ceremony in front of thousands. “I understand that you have loved ones that have long dreamed that this day would become a reality. I am proud to announce that this day has finally come, and you are free to marry the person you love.”
 
Chafee outlined his support for gay marriage rights for not only moral grounds, but also economic, “the talented workers who are pushing this economy forward want to live in a place that reflects their thoughts and values. These young people want diversity, not simply because of a sense of justice, but because diversity makes life more enjoyable,” he said. “Why would any state in the U.S. turn away the individuals who are most likely to create the economies of the upcoming generations?”
 
As a conservative U.S. senator in 2004, Chafee expressed his support for gay marriage when the vast majority of his party staunchly opposed it. Chafee was ousted from his seat in 2006 but won the governor’s race in Rhode Island in 2010 as an independent. 
Chafee is now urging fellow governors to push for similar legislation to what was passed in his state today; Chafee is also calling for the United States Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. 
 
Although public sentiment continues to favor same-sex marriage, legalizing the prospect remains a burden for the majority of states. Even in Rhode Island, which is positioned in the nation’s friendliest territory for gay-marriage supporters, opposition from the state’s religious right served as a staunch impediment to the bill for several years.  
 
 
Source: Human Rights Campaign

Assume the Position: Andrew Ceresney and George Canellos Named Co-Directors of SEC Enforcement

Assume the Position: Andrew Ceresney and George Canellos Named Co-Directors of SEC Enforcement

Today the United States Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Acting Director George Canellos and Andrew Ceresney will assume the positions of Co-Directors for the Division of Enforcement. 

 
George Canellos, age 48, has been serving as the Department’s director since January and previously served as the division’s Deputy Director since June of last year. Mr. Canellos played a vital role in developing the division’s Cooperation Program and generated numerous legislative and policy initiatives regarding national priority enforcement actions. 
 
From July of 2009 to June of last year, Mr. Canellos served as Director of the Security Exchange Commission’s New York Regional Office. Under this role, Mr. Canellos was responsible for 400 enforcement attorneys, investigators, accountants, and compliance examiners involved in the prosecution and investigation of enforcement actions and the performance of compliance in the region. This regional office was responsible for the largest concentration of SEC-registered finance institutions, including in excess of 4,000 investment banks, broker-dealers, hedge funds, mutual funds and investment advisers. 
 
Previously, Mr. Ceresney served as a partner at a prestigious law firm, where he focused on representing individuals and entities involved in white collar crimes and SEC investigations. Before working at this firm, Mr. Ceresney served as a Deputy Chief Appellate Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where Mr. Ceresney served as a principal member of the Securities and Commodities Major Crimes and Fraud Task Force unit. 
 
“Andrew and George are two of the finest lawyers and people I know. They are a fantastic combination to lead the Enforcement Division, which is responsible for protecting investors and keeping or markets vibrant and safe,” said the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mrs. Mary Jo White. 
 
The Enforcement Division is the Security and Exchange Commission’s largest unit, with in excess of 1,200 accountants, investigators, trial attorneys and an assortment of other professionals. In recent years this division has achieved considerable success with prosecuting insider trading, financial crisis and other financial cases, while returning billions of dollars to defrauded investors.  
 
 
Source: SEC.gov

Mark Another One Down: Rhode Island Senate Passes Marriage Equality Bill

Mark Another One Down: Rhode Island Senate Passes Marriage Equality Bill

 

 

 
The Rhode Island Senate made history this week after passing S-38, also known as the marriage equality bill, by a vote of 26 to 12. The state of Rhode Island is now poised to become the tenth state in the nation along with Washington, D.C. to formally legalize gay marriage. 
 
The Rhode Island House of Representatives unanimously passed the marriage equality bill this January, but because of an amendment passed in the Senate, the bill will return to the House for a final vote. When the House passes the amended version of the bill, the measure will be placed in front of equality supporter Governor Mr. Lincoln Chafee for his signature. 
 
The Rhode Island vote is particularly historic because earlier this week the Senate Republican Caucus declared their unanimous support for the measure. 
 
Rhode Island will be the last state in New England to enact marriage equality laws. The Human Rights Campaign had been involved for a number of years in the state of Rhode Island, working closely with marriage Equality Rhode Island and several legislative bodies to build support for relationship recognition in the state, particularly when civil unions were formally made legal in 2011. 
 
The Human Rights Campaign joined with residents of Rhode Island and Rhode Islanders United for Marriage to pass the marriage equality act. The Human Rights Campaign contributed staff and other resources to bolster the odds of the bill passing. The Human Rights Campaign sent a senior organizer to work with city councils to build support at the local level. The Human Rights Campaign also hired a local faith organizer to work with religious bodies who support equality and fairness for all residents of Rhode Island. 
 
The final vote in the state’s House of Representatives will take place next week; the state’s governor is expected to sign the bill sometime after the House approves the measure. Marriage equality in the state of Rhode Island should take effect by the 1st of August. 
 
 
Source: Human Rights Campaign