Saturday, July 19, 2014

PRESS RELEASE: Integrity Executive Director to Attend Signing of President's Anti-Discrimination Executive Order


Integrity is pleased to announce that Executive Director, Vivian Taylor, will be among those present when President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order on Monday banning employment discrimination by Federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The directive will not include an exemption for faith-based groups beyond that already afforded by a previous Order, signed by President George W. Bush, which grants exceptions for those directly involved in ministry.  On July 8, Taylor joined prominent Episcopalians and progressive faith leaders in signing an open letter to the President which asked that a broader exemption, allowing further discrimination by faith-based employers on the basis of "religious freedom," not be included.

Other Episcopalians who signed the letter include:

  • The Very Rev. Gary Hall - Dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Peter & St. Paul (“the National Cathedral”) in Washington, D.C.
  • The Right Rev. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire (retired) and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress
  • The Rev. Canon Susan Russell - Associate Pastor, All Saints: Pasadena, past president of Integrity
  • The Very Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale - President and Dean, Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass.
  • The Rev. Ed Bacon - Rector, All Saints: Pasadena
  • The Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge - Chaplain at Boston University, Lecturer at Harvard University, Co-Convener of TransEpiscopal

The National Equality March passing the White House
in March of 2009
PHOTO CREDIT: Kyle Rush  (
Used by Creative Commons License Some rights reserved
"I am deeply honored to represent Integrity at this historic event. Employment discrimination against our people is still a near-constant threat and burden," Taylor said.  

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force reported in May that 18 states and the District of Columbia afford employment protections to LGBT people.  Three additional states offer protection on the basis of sexual orientation only.  The President’s order will affect nearly one-fifth of the nation’s workforce.

Integrity has been working with the Task Force and other faith-based advocates to combat discrimination in several states.  Integrity is working in Ohio to build support for the Equal Housing and Employment Act, an LGBT-inclusive piece of non-discrimination legislation. In May, an attempt to pass a "religious freedom" law intended to give businesses in Oregon the right to discriminate was defeated due in part to Integrity's efforts.

Taylor, who served in the United States Army in the Iraq war from 2009 to 2010, recently wrote about her personal experience with employment discrimination for the progressive faith blog Believe Out Loud.

Integrity is a member-supported nonprofit organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender [LGBT] Episcopalians and our straight friends. Since its founding by Dr. Louie Crew in 1974, Integrity has been the leading grassroots voice for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the
Episcopal Church and our equal access to its rites. Integrity activities include advocacy, worship, fellowship, education, communication, outreach, and service to the church. Through Integrity's evangelism, thousands of LGBT people, estranged from the Episcopal Church and other denominations, have returned to parish life.

Melvin Soriano, Secretary & Director of Communications
770 Mass Ave #390170
Cambridge MA 02139
United States of America
Ph: +1-626-600-2030


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