5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: December 1

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience.

1. Bill to Protect Same-Sex and Interracial Marriage Passes the Senate

In a landmark bipartisan vote on Tuesday, the Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which would protect same-sex and interracial marriage. 

The bill was supported by all Democrats and 12 Republicans in a final vote of 61-36. Those same GOP members backed the bill in a procedural vote earlier in November. The legislation will now need to be approved by the House of Representatives before it goes back to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. The house could pass the bill as soon as next week, but it is definitely expected to pass before the end of the year. 

In a statement Tuesday evening, Biden said the Senate’s passage of the bill was a “bipartisan achievement.”

“For millions of Americans, this legislation will safeguard the rights and protections to which LGBTQI+ and interracial couples and their children are entitled,” he said. 

Read more about how companies are supporting the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act. 

2. DiversityInc CEO Carolynn L. Johnson Discusses the War on Diversity with Forbes

The backlash against diversity efforts has reached a precipice as people question diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. In a recent interview with Forbes, DiversityInc CEO Carolynn L. Johnson defended and explained the importance of DEI efforts. 

When asked about claims about corporate diversity efforts that are inaccurate, Johnson said it is not true that DEI is only for Black and Hispanic people. She said DEI is about workplace fairness. 

To understand DEI and sift through the misinformation, Johnson said people “have to research what folks are saying and make sure that you understand if it’s right or wrong.”

“If they’re wrong, message them. You spend so much time with certain personalities, whether you’re reading a column or listening to a show or watching a show. Reach out to them and make sure that they understand how what they said was received. Maybe there’s a correction that they mean to issue, they need to issue, or not, but don’t just take it,” she said. 

“Make sure that you hold people accountable that you are trusting to bring you the news and facts that go along with it.”

3. DEI in the World Cup: The Good and the Bad

A few weeks ago, we reported on how some fans were boycotting watching and attending the World Cup because of laws against gay sex and the overall treatment of LGBTQ+ people in Qatar. And as the competition continues, we’ve seen other abuses of DEI in the sport as well as some wins.

One major example of inequality came in the form of people in Iran celebrating the country’s loss to the U.S. In a country where women are fighting for basic rights, people were glad to see “the government losing to the people,” as one witness put it. 

A positive thing we’ve seen from the World Cup is that FIFA made a move toward equality with the debut of the first all-women refereeing team in men’s World Cup history during Thursday’s match between Germany and Costa Rica.

4. Biden’s Statement About Honoring and Protecting LGBTQ+ Rights on Transgender Day of Remembrance

On Transgender Day of Remembrance, which was the day after the tragic November 19 shooting at an LGBTQ+ night club in Colorado Springs, Colorado, that killed five people and injured 25,  President Biden honored the 32 transgender Americans who died this year in “horrific acts of brutality.”

In a statement, he said the “true toll is likely much higher, with Black and brown transgender women disproportionately targeted,” and added that his administration is committed to strengthening the rights of LGBTQ+ Americans. Since taking office, the Biden Administration has “made it possible for transgender service members to once again serve proudly and openly in our military, improved the travel experience for transgender Americans, and provided resources to support the mental health of transgender kids and their families.”

He also encouraged state governments to “combat the disturbing wave of discriminatory state laws targeting young transgender Americans” and pass the Equality Act to “provide long overdue protections to transgender and all LGBTQI+ Americans.”

“This is a matter of safety and basic dignity. As we mourn the lives we’ve lost, let us resolve to continue building a country where every American can live free from fear and discrimination.”

5. Passenger Waiting for His Wheelchair Claims He was Threatened by Delta Staff

Georgia-based blogger Cory Lee said in an Instagram post that the airport crew and flight attendants with Delta threatened to have TSA remove him “with their guns” if he didn’t get off the plane on a recent flight home from Chile to Atlanta. 

Lee was waiting for his wheelchair to be brought to the door of the plane and said he would wait on the aircraft until it arrived. He said the flight attendants “immediately got livid,” but eventually, a ground crew member found a way to bring the wheelchair to the door and apologized for the situation. 

“By law, according to the Air Carrier Access Act, they are required to bring the wheelchair as close to the plane as possible and you do not have to get off the plane until they do so,” Lee said in the Instagram post. “I have flown into the Atlanta airport hundreds of times & they have always brought my wheelchair to the door of the plane. I don’t know why they were so adamant about not bringing it today, but to threaten us with guns?! What in the world?!”

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