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November 21, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate approved legislation, 64-32, that would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The Employee Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA for short, was first introduced in 1994 and has been brought up time and time again in Congress but went nowhere. The legislation is now before the U.S. House of Representatives, but it faces tough odds there. House Speaker John Boehner has said there is "no basis or need" for the legislation and it's unclear whether the Republican leader will let the bill come up for a vote.
November 18, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Del Monte Fresh Produce, one of the world's leading producers of fresh fruit and vegetables, has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit related to the mistreatment of Thai immigrants working on pineapple farms in Hawaii. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Del Monte and several farm labor contractors in 2011, accusing the companies of discriminating against workers recruited from Thailand from 2003 to 2006. The EEOC said the money will be distributed to the Thai immigrants who were mistreated.
November 7, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - A bill to extend historic new protections to gays in the workplace won easy Senate approval Thursday, bolstered by rare bipartisan support that illustrated the dramatic shift in the politics around gay rights amid growing public acceptance for same-sex marriage. Seventeen years after a similar proposal failed by a single vote in the Senate, 10 Republicans joined a unanimous Democratic bloc to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA, which would prohibit public and private employers, employment agencies and labor unions from using sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for decisions about employment, promotion or compensation.
November 6, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
In the latest example of the profound change in Americans' attitudes toward homosexuality, the Senate is moving toward a vote on a bill that would outlaw job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. But whether the Employment Non-Discrimination Act becomes law could depend on whether the Republican leadership in the House decides to alienate the very voters it will need to attract to remain competitive on a national level. Initial indications are that the Republicans, who sullied their brand with last month's disastrous shutdown of the federal government, may sabotage both the bill known as ENDA and their own prospects.
November 4, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - The gay rights movement won at least a preliminary victory Monday as the Senate voted to advance a measure that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The 61-30 procedural vote does not necessarily predict the final outcome, expected later this week. But statements of support from Republicans ensured that the bill known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act could attract the necessary 60 votes to overcome any additional procedural hurdles.
October 16, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY - Irma Lopez, a Mazatec Indian, waited to receive attention at a medical clinic in Oaxaca, but her labor pains became overwhelming. Spurned by the nurses, she retreated outdoors - and abruptly gave birth to a baby boy on the hospital lawn. A few days later, it was revealed that two other pregnant indigenous women had also been turned away from Oaxaca hospitals, one of whom also delivered on the lawn, and that a fourth woman had been forced to have her baby on the reception floor at a hospital in Puebla.
September 30, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
The Obama administration is suing North Carolina over the state's new restrictive voting rules, the latest federal effort to protect minority voters after the Supreme Court recently struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act. The suit, announced Monday morning, had been expected after North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, in August signed the measure that imposes tough voter identification requirements, including photo identification....
September 27, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Not even typically liberal Hollywood is free of anti-gay bias, according to a new study.  A survey of SAG-AFTRA members found that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender actors continue to face discrimination when looking for work, though opportunities are increasing. About a third of those who responded to the survey by UCLA's Williams Institute and the entertainment union said that directors, casting directors and producers may be biased against LGBT performers. The study , to which roughly 5,700 people responded, also said more than half of LGBT performers had heard anti-gay comments while on set.   PHOTOS: Hollywood Backlot moments "Coming out remains a significant and consequential decision for many performers, and we are committed to supporting our members in living honest and authentic personal and professional lives,” said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA's chief administrative officer and general counsel, in a statement.
September 20, 2013 | By Maura Dolan and Jeremiah Dobruck
SAN FRANCISCO - A Newport Beach ordinance that restricts group homes for recovering addicts may have been motivated by illegal discrimination and may be challenged at trial, a federal appeals court ruled unanimously Friday. The decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals revived lawsuits against the city over a 2008 zoning ordinance that drove most group homes out of the city and forced others to limit services. The law was seen as a model for other California communities grappling with complaints about group homes in residential neighborhoods.
September 20, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
If lawyers are forbidden to remove prospective jurors based on their race or gender, they shouldn't be able to do so on the basis of the jurors' sexual orientation. That's the rule in California state courts, and this week the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was asked to rule that it should apply in federal trials as well. We agree that all courts should treat sexual orientation in this setting in the same way they do race and gender. But that won't address the underlying problem, which is that it is easy for lawyers to conceal discriminatory motives for so-called peremptory challenges of prospective jurors.
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