2013 June » ADL Blogs
June 28, 2013 5

One Giant Step Forward Towards Full Equality for the LGBT Community — What’s Next?

There is much to cel­e­brate in the Supreme Court mar­riage equal­ity deci­sions. The Anti-Defamation League filed ami­cus briefs in both U.S. v. Wind­sor and Hollingsworth v. Perry on behalf of a broad, diverse group of reli­gious orga­ni­za­tions, empha­siz­ing that there are many dif­fer­ent reli­gious views on mar­riage and that no one reli­gious under­stand­ing should be used to define mar­riage recog­ni­tion and rights under civil law.

Your rights should not depend on your ZIP code.

Your rights should not depend on your ZIP code.

ADL’s brief in the Wind­sor case began with the asser­tion that reli­gious def­i­n­i­tions of mar­riage vary, includ­ing per­spec­tives over whether or not gay and les­bian cou­ples may marry. Our brief then set out two argu­ments: (1) the Defense of Mar­riage Act (DOMA) vio­lated the estab­lish­ment clause because it was enacted with a reli­gious pur­pose, based on a par­tic­u­lar reli­gious under­stand­ing of mar­riage; and (2) DOMA vio­lated equal pro­tec­tion under the Fifth Amend­ment because it was moti­vated by moral dis­ap­proval of gay and les­bian peo­ple with­out any legit­i­mate gov­ern­ment purpose.

Our Perry brief urged the Court to reject the reli­gious and moral jus­ti­fi­ca­tions expressed by Propo­si­tion 8 pro­po­nents.  It demon­strated how, over the past quar­ter cen­tury, the Supreme Court has rejected laws dis­fa­vor­ing minor­ity groups based on moral or reli­gious dis­ap­proval alone – with one, now dis­cred­ited, excep­tion, Bow­ers v. Hard­wick. The brief looked back over time and showed how laws like slav­ery, seg­re­ga­tion, pro­hi­bi­tions on inter­ra­cial mar­riage, and laws dis­crim­i­nat­ing against women – laws that were jus­ti­fied on moral and reli­gious grounds – had ulti­mately been rejected by the Court.

ADL hailed the Court’s two deci­sions, while rec­og­niz­ing that much work remains to be done to pro­mote LGBT equal­ity.  Now that DOMA has been ruled uncon­sti­tu­tional, legal ana­lysts – and gov­ern­ment offi­cials – will be sort­ing out the range of fed­eral ben­e­fits that can now be accorded to legally-married same-sex cou­ples.  Same-sex cou­ples in Cal­i­for­nia can pre­pare for full recog­ni­tion and rights in their state. It is clear, how­ever, that, for now, the full range of ben­e­fits, priv­i­leges, and respon­si­bil­i­ties of mar­riage will con­tinue to be denied cou­ples in 37 other states.

More­over, at a time when it is still legal to fire employ­ees solely because they are les­bian, gay, or bisex­ual in 29 states – and in 33 states it is legal to fire some­one solely for being trans­gen­der — it is nec­es­sary to com­ple­ment this week’s for­ward progress with work­place dis­crim­i­na­tion pro­tec­tions, ini­tia­tives to pre­vent bias-motivated vio­lence, and pro­grams to pro­mote safe learn­ing envi­ron­ments for LGBT students.

To these ends, ADL sup­ports the Employ­ment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would expand exist­ing fed­eral employ­ment dis­crim­i­na­tion cov­er­age to include pro­tec­tion for those who are dis­crim­i­nated against based on their sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion and/or gen­der iden­tity.  ADL is a national leader in con­fronting hate vio­lence, hav­ing played a lead role in coali­tion work to enact and imple­ment the Matthew Shep­ard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Pre­ven­tion Act (HCPA). And the League has also been in the fore­front of efforts to ensure safe school envi­ron­ments for all stu­dents, regard­less of their reli­gion, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, or gen­der iden­tity, through the devel­op­ment of edu­ca­tion and train­ing pro­grams  and bul­ly­ing pre­ven­tion initiatives.

While we cel­e­brate the great step for­ward in mar­riage equal­ity, we must not lose sight of the fact that   our nation has suf­fered a major set­back to civil rights when the Supreme Court struck down a crit­i­cal part of the 1965 Vot­ing Rights Act, In this, ADL’s  100th anniver­sary year, we reded­i­cate our­selves to secur­ing, in the words of our found­ing Char­ter, “jus­tice and fair treat­ment for all.”

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June 27, 2013 3

Accusations of Jewish Affiliation Precede a Lynching in Egypt

Anti-Semitic posters Egypt

A poster in Egypt derid­ing Shia Mus­lims as “stooges of the Jews.”

Ear­lier this week, an angry mob in a small vil­lage near Cairo attacked and lynched a group of Shia Mus­lims, a hor­rific episode that resulted in the mur­ders of four men. The inci­dent came two weeks after posters were widely dis­played in the vil­lage accus­ing Shia of being “stooges of the Jews.”

Mem­bers of Al-Nour Party, an Islamist party and a mem­ber of Egypt’s gov­ern­ing coali­tion led by the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, report­edly dis­played these posters on the walls of the village’s homes. One poster, cir­cu­lated on Twit­ter, has the logo of Al-Nour Party on the top right cor­ner of the poster.

The posters included images of out­go­ing Iran­ian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ahmadine­jad, who is per­ceived as a sym­bol of the Iranian-led Shia expan­sion in the Sunni Mus­lim world, shak­ing hands with mem­bers of Neturei Karta, an extreme anti-Israel group. The pho­tos rep­re­sent an absurd attempt to demon­strate a “Jewish-Shia’a alliance” that is allegedly plot­ting to gain con­trol over the Sunni Mus­lim world.

Two weeks after the posters first appeared, a hos­tile group of vil­lagers attacked the house of a Shia fam­ily who lived in the vil­lage. Mem­bers of the small Shia com­mu­nity had gath­ered in the house to attend a reli­gious cer­e­mony led by Has­san Sha­hata, a promi­nent Egypt­ian Shia cleric. Four men were killed dur­ing the bru­tal attack, includ­ing Sha­hata himself.

Graphic images of the vio­lence showed the mob drag­ging the bod­ies of the vic­tims through the streets of the vil­lage while police offi­cers watched from a distance.

A young daugh­ter of one of the vic­tims who wit­nessed the assault told a reporter from an Egypt­ian news agency, “Is this the form of reli­gion they want to imple­ment and they speak about? Even if we were Jews they shouldn’t have done this to us.”

Last week, a large bill­board in Tripoli showed Hezbol­lah leader Has­san Nas­ral­lah with a Star of David on his tur­ban and blood drip­ping from his mouth. The poster, the work of a rival Sunni group, was intended to demo­nize Nas­ral­lah in the worst pos­si­ble way: by char­ac­ter­iz­ing him as a Jew. Indeed, link­ing one’s enemy to Jews is a theme of the ris­ing sec­tar­ian ten­sion in the Mus­lim world. The recent lynch­ing inci­dent is a reminder of the poten­tially bru­tal con­se­quences of such accusations.

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June 27, 2013 0

ADL’s Terrorism Update Highlights New Inspire Magazine Resource

The June edi­tion of Ter­ror­ism Update, ADL’s newslet­ter pro­vid­ing news and analy­sis on inter­na­tional ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions and their fol­low­ers in the U.S., is now avail­able to our subscribers.

The fea­ture arti­cle focuses on the increas­ing num­bers of for­eign­ers, includ­ing Amer­i­cans, whTU for blogo have trav­eled to Syria to join with terrorist-linked groups fight­ing against the Assad regime. To date, there have been three pub­licly dis­closed cases of Amer­i­cans involved in fight­ing along­side rebel forces, each of whom have been linked to Jab­hat al-Nusrah, a State Department-designated alias for Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Inspire, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Penin­sula’s English-language ter­ror­ist mag­a­zine, is also fea­tured in our June newslet­ter, which can be sub­scribed to on our web­site. ADL has cre­ated a new microsite focus­ing on Inspire, which has influ­enced numer­ous inter­na­tional and domes­tic ter­ror­ists since its inau­gural issue in 2010.  The issue also con­tains arti­cles on an AQAP pro­pa­gan­dist fac­ing extra­di­tion to the United States for pro­vid­ing “expert advice and assis­tance in pho­tog­ra­phy and graphic design of media” and dis­sem­i­nat­ing AQAP mate­ri­als, as well as an analy­sis of how the lat­est issue of Inspire cel­e­brated the Boston Marathon bomb­ings.

The newslet­ter includes an analy­sis of how the thwarted 1993 plot tar­get­ing New York City land­marks fore­shad­owed the esca­lat­ing domes­tic ter­ror­ism threat, arti­cles on terrorism-related arrests in Idaho and New York, and an update on an Iran-linked assas­si­na­tion plot.  The issue also has analy­ses of Anwar al-Awlaki’s influ­ence on domes­tic ter­ror plots, includ­ing the Tsar­naev Broth­ers, and on Hamas’s Al Aqsa TV, which was the focus of intense media scrutiny recently after two its jour­nal­ists were sup­posed to be hon­ored by the New­seum in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

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