civil-rights

Rick Steves’ guide to legalizing weed
Travel guru has a message for marijuana haters: It’s more fun without you

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, left, talks legalization with Rick Steves on Tuesday. The Oregon congressman wears his signature bike pin, while the travel guru wears his signature backpack. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For two decades, Rick Steves has guided viewers through capital cities all over Europe, helping them find the best sites to see and the best food to taste. But when he traveled to the U.S. Capitol this week, it wasn’t to check out the marble — it was to explain why legalizing weed is about more than getting high.

Steves was in D.C. as a guest of Rep. Earl Blumenauer, who first met the roving television star in 2014 when they teamed up for a marijuana legalization fight in the congressman’s home state of Oregon.

A new era for the ERA?
Equal Rights Amendment measures gain traction in Congress and beyond after #MeToo

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., right, and Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., attend a June 2018 news conference in the House Triangle on the need to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a moment of reckoning for women’s equality, lawmakers and investors are teaming up to push for change in corporate boardrooms, executive suites, and across the country — and that’s generating renewed interest in an Equal Rights Amendment.

Propelled by the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, women are flexing their power to confront everything from gender pay disparities and harassment to the lack of legal protections and corporate diversity.

LGBTQ Equality Act passes House, pushing back on Trump’s religious freedom policies
Democrats and advocacy groups are attempting to counteract these policies through the courts and legislation

Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., poses with a rainbow flag at the House steps after the vote to pass the Equality Act on Friday, May 17, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Growing tensions over the Trump administration’s policies that aim to strengthen religious freedom protections for health care workers have led to a partisan tug-of-war playing out in the House.

The Trump administration has tried to strengthen religious liberty protections through numerous policies over the past several months. Those include providing federal funds to religiously affiliated foster agencies who don’t allow LGBT people to adopt children and broadening religious and moral exemptions for employers who do not want to cover birth control.

Sexual assaults in the military are on the rise. This bill would authorize Congress to intervene
The bill would allow Congress to intervene in some cases, but would not eliminate a 5-year statute of limitations.

Soldiers, officers and civilian employees attend the commencement ceremony for the U.S. Army’s annual observance of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month in the Pentagon Center Courtyard March 31, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Congress could intervene in legal cases on behalf of military members who have been sexually assaulted under a new bill co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Rep. Brian Mast.

The Florida Republican in late April introduced “Harmony’s Law,” named after his constituent Harmony Allen, who was violently raped by an instructor just three months after joining in the U.S. Air Force in 2000.

Report: Anti-Muslim groups funded by some mainstream philanthropies
Council on American-Islamic Relations report peels back donations to ‘fringe’ groups

Frank Gaffney, president, Center for Security Policy, identified by CAIR as an anti-Muslim hate group, testifies at a House Armed Services Committee hearing in 2006. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Politically active organizations known for stoking anti-Muslim animus and advocating policies that restrict the civil liberties of Muslims have gotten millions in contributions from mainstream philanthropic institutions, according to a new report from a Muslim civil rights organization.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations tracked contributions over a two year period to 39 organizations it identifies as anti-Muslim hate groups and uncovered donations from pillars of U.S. philanthropy.

‘Downright deadly’: Pelosi rips Trump rule allowing providers to deny care to LGBTQ, women
The Trump administration expanded moral and religious protections for health care workers who deny medical care

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., described the new rule as “downright deadly” in a statement Thursday night. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Facebook feud: GOP Rep. Peter King, faces lawsuit threat over blocking constituents
The New York Civil Liberties Union said it plans to sue King if he does not unblock roughly 70 people

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., has blocked about 70 people from commenting on his campaign committee’s Facebook page, a civil rights organization said. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Rep. Peter King congratulated former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson on his appointment to secretary of state on Facebook, a constituent responded by posting a link to donations the oil company made to King and other federal lawmakers.

“Money talks, anyone wondering why [t]he Congressman is not expressing any concern or doubt need look no further,” the constituent wrote.

In 2020, Biden experience could turn out to be baggage
Former vice president may have to answer for positions now out of favor in party moving further left

Former Vice President Joe Biden announced he is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Joe Biden entered the 2020 race for president Thursday at the top of the polls, with universal name recognition and the still-fresh sheen of his time as a popular vice president to Barack Obama.

In a video posted to his social media platforms, Biden characterized the race as a “battle for the soul of this nation.”

Women share pride in Eleanor Holmes Norton dedication at Georgetown Law
Friends and supporters laud D.C. delegate’s role in ‘civil rights and women’s rights and D.C. rights’

Breaking ground on the Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton Green and monument at Georgetown Law Center are, from left, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser; Georgetown Law Center Dean William Treanor; Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.; Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md.; and Georgetown President John DeGioia. (Clyde McGrady/CQ Roll Call)

The Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton Green at Georgetown University Law Center is a point of pride for the women in attendance for its groundbreaking Tuesday.

Surrounded by her children, grandchildren, colleagues and friends among the 150 supporters beneath a white reception tent on the law center’s green, Norton, 81, basked in the honor and recounted the civil rights and feminist battles fought during her time in and out of office.

Supreme Court to decide whether LGBTQ people are covered by Civil Rights Act
It's the first time the Supreme Court will decide a major LGBTQ rights case since the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh

Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project, a confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth, said his group was receiving calls related to the decision on the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission which ruled in favor of Colorado baker Jack Phillips Monday, June 4, 2018. Next term, the court will take on a trio of cases about employment discrimination based on “sex,” deciding whether LGBTQ people are protected by the Civil Rights Act. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court will decide next term whether federal law protects LGBT individuals from workplace discrimination, a major case on the politically divisive social and religious issue that will play out against the backdrop of the 2020 presidential election.

The justices announced Monday they will consider a trio of cases about prohibiting employment discrimination based on “sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and whether it also covers sexual orientation and transgender persons.