2.8.19 Equality Act Could Become Reality

Equality Act Could Become Reality

As momentum in Congress for the long-discussed “Equality Act” grows, advocacy groups are examining how people feel about LGBTQ issues. In advance of these discussions, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released their annual report on which states have legal protections for LGBTQ citizens, and which do not. In the report, HRC identified Texas as a state that is a “high priority” for change. Sarah Marloff of The Austin Chronicle writes, “The report notes Texas continues to restrict schools from teaching LGBTQ topics, excludes transgender health care from Medicaid coverage, does not include gender identity in its hate-crime laws, and still allows therapists to offer “conversion” therapy for queer children.” Marloff cites recent PRRI data, writing, “64 percent of all Texans oppose LGBTQ discrimination. (That compares to 70 percent for the nation as a whole.)” 
Trump Officials: Reuniting Some Children May Not Be Best

A recent report in the Associated Press quotes multiple senior Trump administration officials who claim that it could be harmful to reunite immigrant children with their families after they have been placed in a new home. Jonathan White of the Health and Human Services Department says there would be “grave child welfare concerns” if a child was taken out of a new sponsor home. White’s colleague, Jallyn Sualog, adds that “disrupting the family relationship is not a recommended child welfare practice.” The notion that it may be too difficult to reunite families adds another wrinkle to a tense debate over border security. PRRI data shows that only 22 percent of the public support a policy that would separate immigrant children from their parents, while more than seven in ten (71 percent) Americans are opposed. The same survey found that less than half (40 percent) of the public believe that the U.S. sets a good moral example for the rest of the world. Nearly six in ten (58 percent) say we do not set a good moral example. 
American Attitudes on Socialism

At Sojourners, former PRRI staffer Harmeet Karboj opines about how discussions of the “Religious Left” in the media often leave out non-Christians. Karboj argues that the term “Religious Left” is a “misleading moniker.” She writes, “Why, then, use this term when one refers primarily to the work of Christians? Those who use ‘Religious Left’ to paint broad strokes about progressive faith while describing a narrow set of experiences reinforce systemic Christian supremacy.” In her commentary, Karboj cites PRRI data indicating that only 43 percent of Americans identify as white and Christian. 
Assimilation in 2019

Tom Brokaw recently apologized for comments that he made during an NBC broadcast of “Meet the Press,” calling for Hispanics in the nation to “work harder at assimilation.” In his apology, he said, “I am sorry, truly sorry, my comments were offensive to many. The great enduring American tradition of diversity is to be celebrated and cherished. I am sorry – I never intended to disparage any segment of our rich, diverse society which defines who we are.” Elizabeth Broadbent at the parenting site Scary Mommy writes that while Brokaw originally claimed that Hispanic children are “codified in their communities,” the same could arguably be said of white communities. Citing PRRI data, Broadbent writes, “A 2016 study conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute found that ‘fully three-quarters (75 percent) of white Americans report that the network of people with whom they discuss important matters is entirely white, with no minority presence.’ White people, therefore, are literally the least assimilated of all races, the least comfortable in ‘the communities,’ as Brokaw so euphemistically calls them.”