GLASS Statement on Justice Department Directives

For Immediate Release
October 6, 2017
info@glasscaucus.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Steering Committee of the GLASS Caucus, the professional association for LGBTQ Senate Staff and their allies, released the following statement in response to “religious liberty”  and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 guidance recently issued by the Department of Justice:

“Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued new guidance to U.S. Attorneys reversing an interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that had previously extended nondiscrimination protections for transgender Americans. And today, the Department of Justice issued a memo to government agencies that expanded ‘religious liberty’ considerations for government hiring, contracting, and programming, allowing organizations and businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans.

“Both of these new directives undermine the fundamental American principle that all people should be treated fairly and equally throughout society, whether at a place of business, when receiving goods and services, or even here in the halls of Congress. The Steering Committee of the GLASS Caucus calls on the President and the Attorney General to commit themselves to fostering an open and inclusive society that protects all Americans from discrimination, and where religious liberties do not circumvent Americans’ constitutional right to equal treatment under the law.”

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GLASS Statement on Transgender Service Policy Reversal

For Immediate Release
July 26, 2017
info@glasscaucus.org

WASHINGTON, DC – The Steering Committee of GLASS Caucus, the professional association for LGBTQ Senate Staff and their allies, released the following statement following the announcement by the President of the United States declaring that transgender individuals will no longer be able to serve in the military:

“Today, President Trump announced that ‘the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.’ An estimated 4,000 transgender Americans actively and selflessly serve in our Armed Forces. These heroes rise to this call for the same reasons as any other American and to turn them away and label them a ‘burden’ does a disservice to all those who have earned the respect and gratitude of the entire nation.

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Defense ordered the military to begin allowing transgender personnel to enlist and serve openly. The Steering Committee strongly condemns the Administration’s reversal of this policy. We call upon President Trump and Defense Secretary Mattis to release all relevant studies and findings supporting the conclusion that open service of transgender Americans in the military would have adverse effects on readiness and inflict significant costs on healthcare spending for personnel.”
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GLASS Statement on Omission of LGBTQ Questions from the 2020 Census

For Immediate Release
March 30, 2017
info@glasscaucus.org

WASHINGTON, DC – The Steering Committee of GLASS Caucus, the professional association for LGBTQ Senate Staff and their allies, released the following statement on the U.S. Census Bureau’s omission of questions related to sexual orientation and gender identity from the 2020 Census:

“One of the guiding principles of the GLASS Caucus is to increase the visibility of the LGBTQ community. A key component to being visible is collecting information and having scientific data on the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer individuals in the country.

However, the federal government does not have a formal mechanism in place to track how many Americans identify as LGBTQ individuals. The Steering Committee was disappointed to learn that the Census Bureau will not include sexual orientation and gender identity in the 2020 Census or the supplemental American Community Surveys.

Data collection can be used not only to gauge how many LGBTQ people live in the United States, but also how current and future policies affect the LGBTQ community. Without a clear picture of just what the LGBTQ composition of the United States population is, it is very difficult for lawmakers and the federal government to create policies that enable the LGBTQ community to escape poverty, find lasting employment, and tend to unique medical needs. GLASS seeks to promote the welfare and dignity of LGBTQ people and as such, hopes that sexual orientation and gender identity data will soon be collected as part of federal surveys.”

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GLASS Caucus Statement on 2017 Steering Committee Members

For Immediate Release

March 10, 2017
info@glasscaucus.org

glass 2017 steering committee

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The GLASS Caucus is happy to announce that it has elected its 2017 Steering Committee. The new leadership has already begun working on programming and events to benefit the LGBTQ and ally community in the United States Senate.

Elections were held on the week of February 20 and the Steering Committee’s first organizational meeting was held on March 7.

At this meeting, Andrew Shine of Senator Tom Carper’s office and Caitlin Hart of Senator Bill Nelson’s office were unanimously selected to serve as Co-chairs of the Steering Committee.

“Our new Board has some of the most dedicated champions in the Senate for LBGTQ voices,” said Shine. “I am humbled to be a part of this select group as we look forward to forging new relationships and maintaining existing ones in an effort to raise awareness of important issues affecting our community.”

“It’s an honor to serve with such a diverse and hardworking group of individuals,” said Hart. “The new board really hit the ground running, and I look forward to continuing GLASS’s mission of raising LGBTQ awareness and being a true resource for LGBTQ Senate staff and allies.”

Additionally, the following positions were selected for the rest of the 2017 Steering Committee members:

Robert Curis (Sen. Debbie Stabenow), Director of Social Engagement;

Tré Easton (Sen. Patty Murray), Director of Membership Engagement;

Trelaine Ito (Sen. Brian Schatz), Secretary;

Michelle Mittler (Sen. Chuck Schumer), Director At-Large;

Peter Narby (Sen. Jeff Merkley), Treasurer;

Mario Semiglia (Sen. Martin Heinrich), Director of Communications; and

Russell Page (Sen. Martin Heinrich), Director of Outreach.

 The GLASS Caucus is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization open to all whose purpose is to raise awareness of issues affecting the LGBTQ community, increase visibility and promote the welfare and dignity of LGBTQ employees of the United States Senate by providing a safe environment for social interaction and professional development.

Staff interested in becoming involved with the GLASS Caucus can visit glasscaucus.org or email info@glasscaucus.org.

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Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Affirming Marriage Equality

Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Affirming Marriage Equality

For Immediate Release

June 26, 2015
Contact: info@glasscaucus.org

WASHINGTON, DC – The Steering Committee of the Senate GLASS Caucus, the professional association for LGBT Senate staff and their allies, released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling on state-level same-sex marriage bans:

“The GLASS Caucus proudly joins the growing chorus of those applauding today’s Supreme Court decision affirming marriage equality nationwide.

“As we celebrate the Court’s historic ruling, we remember those who fought so hard and so long for this incredible victory.

“While the Justices have removed a long-standing barrier to equality, GLASS remains committed to raising awareness about issues that continue to affect the welfare and dignity of all LGBT people.”

Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Upholding the Fair Housing Act

Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Upholding the Fair Housing Act

For Immediate Release

June 25, 2015
Contact: info@glasscaucus.org

WASHINGTON, DC – The Steering Committee of the Senate GLASS Caucus, the professional association for LGBT Senate staff and their allies, released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling on disparate impact:

“Earlier this year the Supreme Court considered whether the Fair Housing Act of 1968 permits certain lawsuits based on the discriminatory effect of housing policies, even if this discrimination was not overt or intended.

“Today, the Court ruled in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project that such claims to discrimination in housing policy, known as “disparate impact”, are in fact lawful.

“This decision helps ensure that LGBT people and families across the nation, especially those in communities of color,  have fair and open access to affordable housing.  The GLASS Caucus applauds this decision, and remains committed to raising awareness about issues that continue to affect the welfare and dignity of all LGBT people.”

Statement on the 2015 GLASS Steering Committee Elections

Statement on the 2015 GLASS Steering Committee Elections

For Immediate Release

February 26, 2015
Contact: Andrew Fuentes, info@glasscaucus.org

WASHINGTON – The Steering Committee of the GLASS Caucus released the following statement on the 2015 GLASS Caucus Steering Committee Election Results:

“On behalf of the GLASS Caucus, we congratulate the new and returning Steering Committee members elected today:

Justin Laufer
Office of Senator Lisa Murkowski

Julian Miller
Office of Senator Richard J. Durbin

Adam Henderson
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs
Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

Andrew Shine
Office of Senator Tom Carper

Andrew Fuentes
Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein

Joseph Lindblad
Office of Senator Richard J. Durbin

Mario Semiglia
Office of Senator Martin Heinrich

“Today we congratulate both new and returning members of Steering Committee, and wish them the best of luck carrying out our mission to increase visibility and raise awareness of issues affecting the LGBT community.

“As we begin the 114th Congress, we look forward to working with members and staff from varying and diverse backgrounds as we continue to build a safe environment for social interaction and professional development for all employees of the United States Senate.

“Thank you to everyone who participated in the election, and we look forward to working on your behalf in the coming year.”