News Round-Up: June 11, 2021

(screen capture via dash camera footage)

Some news items you might have missed:

USA Today: An Arkansas woman says she had no safe place to pull over in July 2020 when a state trooper tried to stop her for speeding, so she turned on her hazard lights and slowed down. Moments later, the officer rammed her vehicle, causing it to flip over and injuring the woman, who was pregnant at the time, according to a lawsuit filed in May.

Washington Post: Donald Trump’s Justice Department secretly subpoenaed Apple for the data of two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, as well as the data of their current and former staffers and family members, in an aggressive push by the Trump administration to determine who was leaking classified information to the news media, according to a committee official.

CNN: Darnella Frazier was honored by the Pulitzer Prize Board today “for courageously recording the murder of George Floyd, a video that spurred protests against police brutality around the world, highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice.”


New York Times: During a recent visit to Argentina by the prime minister of Spain, President Alberto Fernández tried to connect with his guest by paying (xenophobic) homage to Argentina’s European immigrant heritage. “Mexicans emerged from Indigenous people, Brazilians emerged from the jungle but we Argentines arrived on boats. On boats from Europe.” #SwingAndMiss

Raw Story: A Proud Boy charged with taking part in the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building January 6 requested pre-trial release from jail claiming ‘chronic back pain.’ But according to prosecutors, his back pain didn’t stop him from wielding an axe handle against Capitol Police officers.

Twitter: Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) is calling out corporations who are flaunting their support for Pride Month while they also donate to the campaigns of anti-LGBTQ politicians.

Equality Act Introduced In Congress With Major Corporate Support

Today the Equality Act, a comprehensive federal LGBT rights bill, was introduced by Senators Jeff Merkley, Tammy Baldwin, Cory Booker, and Representative David Cicilline, has more than 140 cosponsors in the House, including Representative John Lewis, and at least 39 in the Senate.

The Human Rights Campaign has already brought three major corporations on board.

STATEMENT BY APPLE – “At Apple we believe in equal treatment for everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. We fully support the expansion of legal protections as a matter of basic human dignity.”

STATEMENT BY THE DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY – “Dow applauds the introduction of the Equality Act and continues to support a comprehensive federal framework that ensures fairness and opportunity for everyone. Full inclusion of our LGBT colleagues and citizens is quite simply the right thing to do – for business and for society.”

STATEMENT BY LEVI STRAUSS & CO. – “Levi Strauss & Co. is proud to support the Equality Act. We have a long history of supporting LGBT equality, and the time has come in this country for full, federal equality for the LGBT community. Ensuring fairness in our workplaces and communities is both the right thing to do and simply good business.”

Each of the three major companies scored a perfect 100 on HRC’s annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a nationally recognized benchmark of LGBT inclusion in the workplace, and were recognized on HRC’s list of Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality in 2015.

“These remarkable companies have proven once again their tremendous leadership on behalf of LGBT Americans,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Time and again, these leaders of Corporate America have asked ‘what more can we do?,’ and each time they’ve stepped up to the plate and delivered. As the fight for full, federal equality enters a new chapter, I am tremendously thankful that we have these champions standing shoulder to shoulder with us.”

(via press release)

Proctor & Gamble Announces Public Support For Same-Sex Marriage

Corporate giant Procter & Gamble has publicly announced it’s support for same-sex marriage.

The Cincinnati-based consumer products giant says it embraced gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees for more than 20 years. Now, the company says same-sex marriage has become an important enough issue to its workers that it is taking a public stand.

P&G executives say they want to attract top talent from all backgrounds and part of that strategy is providing a welcoming work environment.

“We have always supported our employees and fostered a culture of inclusion and respect – this includes the right to marry whomever they choose and to have that union legally recognized,” said Deborah P. Majoras, P&G’s chief legal officer and executive sponsor to GABLE – the company’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender-allied employee group.

P & G has sponsored the Cincinnati Pride Parade since 2011, provided domestic partnership benefits since 2001 and included anti-discrimination language protecting gays since 1992.

Major corporations to file SCOTUS joint brief in support of Prop 8 repeal

Come Thursday, dozens of major corporations will file a joint Supreme Court brief in support of the overturn of Prop 8.

From Fortune Magazine:

On Thursday, dozens of American corporations, including Apple, Alcoa, Facebook, eBay, Intel, and Morgan Stanley will submit an amicus brief in the landmark Hollingsworth v. Perry case broadly arguing to the U.S. Supreme Court that laws banning same-sex marriages, like California’s ballot initiative Proposition 8, are unconstitutional under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses.

According to a draft copy obtained by Fortune, the companies argue that such laws “send an unmistakeable signal that same-sex couples are in some way inferior to opposite-sex couples, a proposition that is anathema to amici’s commitment to equality and fair treatment to all.”

At least 60 companies had committed to signing the brief as of Tuesday evening, according to Joshua Rosenkranz, who is counsel of record on the brief and head of the Supreme Court and appellate litigation practice at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. That number is expected to rise by Thursday, however, according to Rosenkranz. Others who have already committed to sign include AIG, Becton Dickinson, Cisco, Cummins, Kimpton, Levi Strauss, McGraw Hill, NCR, Nike, Office Depot, Oracle, Panasonic, Qualcomm, and Xerox.

(via JMG)