LGBTQ Equality

July 2016

Civil & Human Rights

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, reaffirms its support for equality and equal protections under the law for persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the United States.

Hadassah proudly advocated for the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and signed amicus curiae briefs for United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges—Supreme Court rulings which extended federal rights and benefits to same-sex couples.

Despite this progress, LGBTQ Americans continue to face numerous forms of discrimination, bullying, harassment, and violence—as employees, students, parents and families, customers, patients, and in all roles as citizens.

Mandates on the use of facilities based on assigned sex at birth, regardless of gender identity; overly broad Religious Freedom Restoration Acts and other religious exemption policies are used to justify discrimination against transgender persons and same-sex couples. While Hadassah remains deeply committed to the American ideal of religious liberty, it also reaffirms that the protection of individual civil rights—regardless of sex, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender identity—must, in many circumstances, take precedence over personal religious beliefs.

Hadassah strongly opposes all efforts—whether through legislation, referendum or constitutional amendment—that would selectively limit or deny civil rights to LGBTQ Americans. To further ensure equality for LGBTQ Americans, Hadassah also calls upon federal, state, and municipal governments to enact new public accommodation and non-discrimination measures—especially in the areas of employment, education, housing, and health.

Hadassah's Policy Statements represent the organization's official stance on a wide variety of issues facing our nation, Israel and other international matters of concern. Policy Statements are debated and voted on at national meetings by Hadassah’s national board and delegates from our membership. Once approved, statements become official policies of the organization and serve to define Hadassah's overall agenda and advocacy priorities. Hadassah, as a charitable organization classified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, is prohibited from any direct or indirect support of, or opposition to, candidates for public office.