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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Democrats consolidate support behind Vice President Harris, Republicans threaten legal action over changes to the presidential ticket, and a possible bipartisan consensus forms on the failure of the Secret Service to protect former President Trump.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

AZ organization calls for equality, justice on LGBTQ+ Equal Pay Day

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Thursday, June 13, 2024   

Full-time LGBTQ+ workers make about 90 cents for every dollar earned by the average worker in the U.S.

Today is LGBTQ+ Equal Pay Awareness Day, and an Arizona organization is continuing to call for a more just and equal Arizona.

Angela Hughey, co-founder and president of the coalition One Community, said her organization wants to see progress. In a 2020 landmark ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held an employer who fires or discriminates against an individual for being gay or transgender would be in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. But Hughey pointed out it only applies to businesses with 15 or more employees. At the state level, 11 Arizona cities have enacted LGBTQ+ inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances.

"Unless the business is located in one of the 11 municipalities, that already has LGBTQ+ municipal ordinances in place in employment and housing and public accommodations, it's not unlawful to discriminate against a person based on their sexual orientation," Hughey emphasized. "We need to do better."

Hughey said One Community is supportive of the Equality and Fairness for All Arizonans Act which would extend nondiscrimination protections statewide. The measure has faced pushback from the state's Republican majority legislature who disagree with it for ideological reasons. Yet 77% of Arizonans would support nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people, according to the nonpartisan organization Public Religion Research Institute.

Hughey noted while things are changing, LGBTQ+ people in the state live in "two Arizonas."

"What you see is that those LGBTQ inclusive ordinances cover less than 15% of the geographic area that is Arizona," Hughey pointed out. "That means if you're an LGBTQ person, particularly if you're living in the more rural areas, you don't have the same protections."

Hughey underlined while Maricopa County is seeing significant economic gains, it is also experiencing a talent deficit, so businesses, regardless of size, should ensure they are paying their employees in an equitable way.

"If you want the best and the brightest, it is important you are paying your talented folks," Hughey contended.

Hughey added along with addressing the civil rights of the LGBTQ+ population, inclusionary employment practices are also good for business.


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