January 5, 2010 |
Dear Karen: How can I minimize returns to my retail website after the holidays? Answer: Make sure your sales page includes product details and a toll-free customer service line. "The easier it is for customers to speak to a real human being, the less likely they are" to return merchandise or resort to a credit card "chargeback," said Brien Heideman of BadCustomer.com. Customers sometimes use chargebacks -- disputing credit card charges and demanding repayment -- if retailers don't have a clear return policy.
April 12, 2012 |
WASHINGTON-- Rejecting pressure from gay rights activists, President Obama has decided not issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis on sexual orientation, his spokesman said Thursday. Obama “is committed to securing equal rights” for gays and lesbians, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. But he added that for now the president would pursue a slower path on the issue. Carney said Obama would continue to push for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would provide broader protection.
December 21, 2010
The Senate's vote to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military is an occasion for looking both backward and forward ? backward to the long struggle by gay activists to put equality on the national agenda and forward to the campaign to prohibit discrimination on other fronts. In the past year, attention has focused on the role of political and military leaders in repealing the demeaning "don't ask, don't tell" policy, enacted in 1993. Indeed, it's hard to overstate the historical significance of the congressional hearing in February at which Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, endorsed repeal.
July 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- A Senate committee approved a bill Wednesday prohibiting workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, just two weeks after the Supreme Court handed down rulings expanding protections for married same-sex couples. Three Republicans -- Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Orrin Hatch of Utah and Mark Kirk of Illinois -- voted for the bill, which passed 15 to 7. The Republican support gave the perennial bill some hope of passage in the Senate, though its prospects in the House are less certain.
April 29, 2004 |
Here's the latest Republican spin on homosexuality: Hate gay marriages but love gays. In his State of the Union address, President Bush noted that "the same moral tradition that defines marriage also teaches that each individual has dignity and value in God's sight."
November 1, 2012 |
At the risk of sounding like a troll, have social conservatives replaced "homosexual teachers" with "transgendered teachers" as their scare tactic of choice? I have to concede right up front that I haven't been paying close attention to the news releases that the Traditional Values Coalition sends out. Nevertheless, the one the group released Wednesday struck me as a new wrinkle on a familiar theme. " Traditional Values Coalition is running awareness campaigns in 7 states to inform voters which candidates for U.S. Senate support putting transgender teachers in the classroom ," the release declares (emphasis in the original)
July 10, 2013 |
As Congress begins to deliberate overhauling the nation's immigration policy, several California Republicans are being eyed as persuadable targets by those supporting legalization for the millions of people who entered the country illegally or overstayed their visas. Reps. Gary Miller of Diamond Bar, Howard “Buck” McKeon of Santa Clarita, and Jeff Denham and David Valadao of the Central Valley are frequently named as potential supporters of a comprehensive immigration package, in part because of the make-up of their districts.
April 18, 2014 |
What does the federal Violence Against Women Act have to do with outlawing discrimination against gays and lesbians? A good deal, it turns out. The latest version of the law, which among other things provides grants to agencies that deal with victims of sexual assaults, has a nondiscrimination provision. It says that recipients may not discriminate in their hiring on the basis of “actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.” The Justice Department recently released a briefing paper on implementation of the law. There is a limited exception for necessary “sex-specific programming.” Also, religious agencies, consistent with the Religion Freedom Restoration Act, may prefer members of their own faith in hiring.
July 18, 2013 |
The federal Fair Housing Act was passed 45 years ago, just one week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Initially the law prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin or religion. Over the decades, it has been amended to include protection from discrimination on the basis of gender or disability or whether there are children in the household. Now it's time to amend the law again to prohibit bias based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Currently, the law does not set aside as a protected class people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.
May 22, 2009
A decade after a young gay man named Matthew Shepard was tortured and killed in Wyoming, legislation designed to help prosecute similar outrages may be on the verge of enactment. President Obama should press the Senate to take up -- and improve -- a House-passed hate crimes bill informally known as the Matthew Shepard Act. But he shouldn't stop there in redeeming his campaign promise of legal equality for gays and lesbians.