WHEREAS the attitudes, policies and practices of adoption agencies are discriminatory against prospective adoptive parents with disabilities despite home studies which determine that the person could provide an excellent home for an adopted child; and
WHEREAS statutes in numerous states do not prohibit discrimination against prospective adoptive parents with disabilities; and
WHEREAS disabled parents often are denied custody of their children in legal child custody disputes because of the disability of the parent based on unfounded stereotypical views of the parenting abilities of people with disabilities; and
WHEREAS social service agencies' attitudes, policies and practices often result in challenges to or the termination of parental rights of a parent with disabilities based on unfounded stereotypical views of parenting abilities of people with disabilities.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW support and advocate for legislation that mandates nondiscriminatory policies and practices regarding adoption, custody and the protection of parental rights of parents with disabilities; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW either seek an appropriate test case or coordinate litigation with other advocacy groups to challenge such discriminatory attitudes, policies and practices.
WHEREAS the National Organization for Women (NOW) has been fighting anti-lesbian and -gay ballot initiatives for over 20 years; and
WHEREAS civil rights activists recently celebrated the Supreme Court's decision to declare Amendment 2 (Colorado's anti-lesbian and -gay ballot) unconstitutional; and
WHEREAS the ruling in Romer v. Evans, while historic, may not close the door on further attempts to legalize discrimination against lesbians and gay men; and
WHEREAS the hateful rhetoric that permeates anti-lesbian and -gay ballot initiatives incites a severe increase in violence against lesbians and gay men;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW continue to monitor anti-lesbian and -gay ballot measures, organize to defeat any future such initiatives, and provide materials to NOW members and to the general public as necessary to defeat such initiatives.
BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women (NOW) shall immediately issue a press statement to denounce the racially targeted church burnings which are a cowardly attempt to intimidate and silence all people working for social and economic justice; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW join the efforts of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other allies in the civil rights community to keep pressure on the U.S. Department of Justice, the Attorney General, and the President to uncover and prosecute the responsible individual(s) and/or group(s) to the fullest extent of the law.
WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has adopted resolutions condemning sexual harassment in public schools; and
WHEREAS, NOW has adopted resolutions supporting federal mandates that require sexual harassment policies and compliance with Title IX; and
WHEREAS, many school districts are not in compliance with these mandates;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that NOW prepare and provide to all NOW subunits materials on the pervasiveness of, and legal issues involving, sexual harassment and also implementation of Title IX in public schools; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that these materials include a list of resources, sample letters, and sample checklists for revising school policies sufficient to allow NOW subunits to educate themselves on the complexity of the issues, and enable them to take action to end sexual harassment and ensure compliance with Title IX in public schools; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW strongly encourage all NOW subunits to develop and implement a program to monitor local school districts and individual schools for compliance with and enforcement of the requirements of Title IX and sexual harassment policy.
WHEREAS, an estimated 40% to 50% of men who frequently abuse their spouses also seriously abuse their children (Finkelhor, 1990; Gondolf and Fisher, 1991; Walker and Wolovick, 1994); and
WHEREAS, nearly three-fourths of all spousal assaults nationwide involve separated or divorced victims (House Hearing, Violence and the Law, 1987); and
WHEREAS, abusive fathers often ask for custody in order to gain control in divorce cases (American Psychological Association Study on Family Violence, 1996); and
WHEREAS, women seeking relief from domestic violence through divorce are often required to give primary or joint custody of their children to the abuser due to gender bias in the courts (Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Rosalie E. Wahl, 1993);
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that state and local National Organization for Women (NOW) chapters are encouraged to take steps to make the justice system and the public aware of this trend by working with existing women's shelters and court advocates to establish court watches, document cases of court gender bias, document cases of abusers gaining custody and issue press releases;
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that state and local NOW chapters be encouraged to take steps to change the justice system, protect women and children from domestic violence by calling for review of suspect judges, work to recall or defeat judges that do not treat domestic violence as a serious issue, and lobby for laws that require courts to take domestic violence into account when determining custody.
WHEREAS organizations advocating "fathers' rights," whose members consist of non-custodial parents, their attorneys and their allies, are a growing force in our country; and
WHEREAS the objectives of these groups are to increase restrictions and limits on custodial parents' rights and to decrease child support obligations of non-custodial parents by using the abuse of power in order to control in the same fashion as do batterers; and
WHEREAS these groups are fulfilling their objectives by forming political alliances with conservative Republican legislators and others and by working for the adoption of legislation such as presumption of joint custody, penalties for "false reporting" of domestic and child abuse and mediation instead of court hearings; and
WHEREAS the success of these groups will be harmful to all women but especially harmful to battered and abused women and children; and
WHEREAS the efforts of well-financed "fathers' rights" groups are expanding from a few states into many more, sharing research and tactics state by state; and
WHEREAS many judges and attorneys are still biased against women and fathers are awarded custody 70% of the time when they seek it per the Association of Child Enforcement Support (ACES);
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women (NOW) begin a national alert to inform members about these "fathers' rights" groups and their objectives through articles in the National Now Times (NNT); and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, as a part of this alert, NOW establish a clearinghouse for related information by sharing with NOW state and local Chapters the available means to challenge such groups, including the current research on custody and support, sample legislation, expert witnesses, and work done by NOW and other groups in states where "fathers' rights" groups have been active; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage state and local Chapters to conduct and coordinate divorce/custody court watch projects to facilitate removal of biased judges; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW report to the 1997 National Conference on the status and result of this national alert whereupon its continuation or expansion will be considered.
WHEREAS, women are systematically discriminated against and barred from all forms of participation in sports activities in Islamic countries where there is no separation between church and state; and
WHEREAS, the exclusion of women athletes, who were absent from thirty-five (35) national delegations to the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, is just the tip of the iceberg representing discrimination against women and the determination to close them off from participation; and
WHEREAS the Olympic Charter stipulates that "Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on the grounds of race, religion, politics, sex, or otherwise, is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic movement;" and
WHEREAS, South Africa was excluded from participation in the Olympics because of apartheid; and
WHEREAS, the ATLANTA+ Committee was created in 1992 following the Barcelona Olympic Games to demand exclusion from the Atlanta Games of any delegations that bar women athletes;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW join the ATLANTA+ Committee in demanding the exclusion from future Olympic events countries that systematically practice gender apartheid by prohibiting women from participating in athletic activities; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW members and supporters be encouraged to write their U.S. Representative and Senators, asking Congress to join the governing European coalition in calling on the International Olympic Committee to bar from future Olympic events countries that do not allow women athletes to participate in these games; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW endorse the demonstration at the opening ceremonies in Atlanta demanding an end to "gender apartheid in sports," and encourage participation in this event by NOW members and supporters.
WHEREAS, the Native Hawai'ian peoples are the indigenous peoples of the islands of Hawai'i; and
WHEREAS, Queen Lili'uokalani did not abdicate her throne, but was forced to relinquish it on January 16, 1893, in order to protect her Hawai'ian peoples from certain violence and genocide; and
WHEREAS, in the 1993 Apology Bill to the Native Hawai'ian peoples, President Clinton acknowledged the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i and formally recognized the American and the Hawai'ian societies; and
WHEREAS, prior to statehood, Hawai'i was scheduled to become an independent nation recognized by the United Nations; and
WHEREAS, under statehood the children of the indigenous Hawai'ian peoples have experienced a U.S. government-imposed, two-tiered system of discrimination based on fifty percent blood quantum, both below and above, which has divided the indigenous Hawai'ian peoples; and
WHEREAS, the indigenous Hawai'ian peoples have been deprived of the exercise of their sovereignty, including self-determination, control of their islands and ocean resources, use of their language, and exercise of their cultural and religious practices; and
WHEREAS, the self-determining indigenous Hawai'ian rights movement has sustained momentum from the first contact with other nations; and
WHEREAS, the Hawai'i National Organization for Women (NOW) has formally recognized the existence and work of the independent indigenous Hawai'ian peoples' NOW VISION SUMMIT self-determining grassroots sovereignty movement since October 1, 1994; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. government is currently conducting a sovereignty vote through the State Office of Hawai'ian Affairs (SOHA);
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that NOW provide moral support for and encourage political recognition of the self-determining indigenous Hawai'ian peoples and the newly forming independent indigenous Hawai'ian women's non-governmental organization.
WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a longstanding policy of supporting health care, true informed consent, and safe products for women; and
WHEREAS, breast implants contain toxic chemicals, known carcinogens, and heavy metals such as aluminum and platinum, which bleeds into the body for decades at levels exceeding OSHA maximum allowable levels in the workplace air by 1,500%; and
WHEREAS, cancer victims have been further injured by silicone implants, and early research suggests that some children may also have silicone-related illnesses; and
WHEREAS, over one million American women, and thousands more worldwide, were told silicone breast implants were safe and would last a lifetime without any clinical trials, and even after 30 years of use, safety data is still inadequate; and
WHEREAS, hundreds of thousands of women have manifested a constellation of atypical illnesses, whose common link is breast implants, which are known to bleed silicone within 24 hours of insertion into the human body; and
WHEREAS, the use of breast implants continues today even though the rupture rate is reported as high as 71 percent; implant manufacturers have been found guilty of fraud with one charge upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court; and doctors and manufacturers continue to profit from women, while scientific data is still inadequate; and
WHEREAS, the Breast Implant Accountability Act (H.R. 2796), was introduced in Congress to aid victims by making manufacturers responsible for the removal recall of their ruptured or defective products; to require further research on the physiological, neurological, and immunological effects of the toxicity of silicone and other chemicals in breast implants; and to ensure that no physician refuse to treat a woman because she has breast implants.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that NOW work to educate women and men about the details of the breast implant issue and to continue to empower people to accept their bodies as they are; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW support individuals affected by the breast implant issue by supporting legislative intervention and avenues of relief.
WHEREAS, it is important for the future of the feminist movement that we maintain continuity with our foremothers and forefathers so that their experience and wisdom are available to us; and
WHEREAS, too often the voices of such women and men have been lost with each reincarnation of the modern feminist movement;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women (NOW) maintain, with input from the Veteran Feminists of America, a contact list of early activists, with particular emphasis on those who have played key roles in the NOW; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that a dialogue between veteran and newer feminists be scheduled at the 1997 National NOW Conference.
WHEREAS, the global economy promotes slavelike conditions and sweatshops in "Maquila" (piecework) factory industries throughout the world, including Nike subcontractors in developing countries; and
WHEREAS, women who are forced to migrate due to economic or political conditions lack basic human and labor rights throughout the world;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women (NOW) in conjunction with other human rights organizations and with the labor movement expose the companies that practice or allow discriminatory labor practices against women workers and demand a change in policy.
WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has been on the cutting edge of supporting equal rights for lesbians and gay men; and
WHEREAS, in 1995, NOW acknowledged that marriage is a basic human right and an individual's personal choice that should not be denied to lesbians and gay men; and
WHEREAS NOW has endorsed Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund's "Marriage Resolution" and is an integral part of the coalition fighting for the right of same-sex marriage; and
WHEREAS thirty-six states have faced bills banning same-sex marriage, and the radical right has pledged to introduce similar bills in all fifty states; and
WHEREAS a bill banning same-sex marriage has been introduced in Congress;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that NOW encourage its state and local chapters to organize coordinated nationwide actions supporting same-sex marriage to take place on Valentine's Day 1997; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW provide state and local leadership with resources to assist in planning and implementing these actions, including but not limited to: talking points, fact sheets, sample action plans, sample speeches and letters to the editor.
WHEREAS, many, if not most, state organizations of the National Organization for Women (NOW) work in state legislatures to pass a feminist agenda and/or to stop the anti-woman agenda promoted by the radical right; and
WHEREAS, our experience shows that the radical right is engaged in organized campaigns to introduce model or "boilerplate" legislation on topics such as abortion, sex education, child custody, marriage and divorce, lesbian and gay rights, AIDS, and other issues of concern to NOW into state legislatures around the country; and
WHEREAS, such bills are typically part of a national effort that provides local right-wing organizations and networks model legislation, lobbying strategies, "fact sheets," model testimony, and other assistance in nationally orchestrated campaigns; and
WHEREAS, many of these bills are identical or nearly identical to legislation introduced at the federal level; and
WHEREAS, NOW's effectiveness will be greatly increased if campaigns to support or oppose legislative measures are waged at the state as well as the national level;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that NOW undertake a coordinated program to promote a feminist legislative agenda and to "fight the right" in state legislatures through the following actions:
WHEREAS, Native Americans have alarmingly high rates of health problems such as alcoholism, heart disease, diabetes, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects, suicide or attempted suicide, death from breast cancer, and accidental death; and
WHEREAS, economic conditions on reservations are appalling including contaminated water, no electricity or plumbing, and a lack of adequate housing; and
WHEREAS, many young Native Americans are growing up in a dangerous and even lethal environment demonstrated by the high incidence of gang rape, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, murder, and child sexual and physical abuse; and
WHEREAS, the future of Native Americans has been jeopardized by the loss of their children through such programs as forced attendance at boarding schools and adoption and placement outside the tribe without tribal permission; and
WHEREAS, obstacles to reproductive freedom abound such as limited access to safe contraceptives, lack of access to safe abortions, and a history of forced sterilization which has now evolved into coerced sterilization; and
WHEREAS, Native Americans' culture has been debased through forced assimilation, laws forbidding religious practices, and disrespect of sacred sites; and
WHEREAS, governmental policies have fostered extermination of Native Peoples (i.e. genocide), as demonstrated by the fact that Native Americans currently number less than 2 million people nationwide with an average life expectancy of 45 years.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women (NOW) solicit input from Native American women on current problems and issues affecting them; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW develop educational materials on Native American issues to be distributed to chapters and the general public; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW encourage chapters to increase participation of Native Americans in NOW events by such means as fundraising for NOW memberships or conference attendance; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW calls upon Congress and the President to respect tribal sovereignty with regard to placement of their children by amending the 1996 Child Welfare Act to reinstate tribal permission regarding adoption and placement outside the tribe; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW form alliances with Native American groups to actively promote reversal of the damage done to Native American cultures and encourage the nation to celebrate the strengths and acknowledge the contributions, both current and historical, of Native American groups.
WHEREAS, the religious political extremists are attempting to erode previously won rights by restricting or banning specific medical procedures such as the dilation and extraction (D&X) procedure; and
WHEREAS, abortion providers and women's health centers remain under attack; and
WHEREAS, attempts by the Roman Catholic hierarchy and religious extremists to deny access to, and prevent dissemination of, information and services about reproductive health and HIV/AIDS; and
WHEREAS, the current economic climate that encourages the proliferation of hospital mergers and the privatization and elimination of school health services directly threatens women's reproductive options; and
WHEREAS, historically the National Organization for Women (NOW) has remained on the frontlines, uncompromising, for women's reproductive freedom;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that NOW reaffirm its original and consistent position, represented by prior National Board motions and previous National Conference resolutions, that a woman's right to have a safe, legal, and accessible abortion is an absolute right without restriction.
WHEREAS, NOW, the women's movement, and the social environment have evolved over the last 30 years; and
WHEREAS, in order to continue to create opportunities and respond to the challenges of the 21st Century, NOW must re-Vision itself; and
WHEREAS, we need a vision that comes rom the combined ideas of our members with their enthusiastic support as an essential first step toward redefining a mission, values, goals, and strategies that will make us effective and successful in the 21st Century,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that members are strongly encouraged to continue the visioning process on the chapter, state, and/or regional levels and prepare to share those ideas at a Visioning Summit as the primary focus of the 1998 National NOW Conference, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that each sub-unit of NOW be provided with instructions in the National NOW Times and a leadership mailing that enable them to contribute ideas about their vision for NOW, and that the results of these small group sessions be published in the materials provided at the conference.
WHEREAS, as a result of the 1994 elections, the conservative onslaught on Congress and on the states threatens all of the progress made by women resulting in all of our rights hanging in the balance; and
WHEREAS rather than flocking to the polls in 1994 women stayed home in record numbers because candidates and parties did not address the real issues in their lives, which resulted in devastating losses for progressive candidates;
WHEREAS the new motor voter law allows us increased ability to identify potential new voter registrants around support for feminist issues and to register them.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women (NOW) declare that reversing the right wing assault on women be its highest priority in 1996 and direct its local and state chapters to stress the importance of targeting, registering and turning out the feminist women's vote to elect feminist candidates and defeat discriminatory ballot measures; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW urge NOW Political Action Committees (PACs) to ensure that the 1996 elections represent a turning point in this nation's history in which women will flock to the polls to seize power by electing those candidates who will truly protect women's lives, their families, and their livelihoods; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW urges NOW/PAC to prepare and distribute materials on targeting districts, precincts, and voters that will maximize our goals.
WHEREAS, the purpose of the National Organization for Women's (NOW) Political Action Committees (PACs) is to increase the number of feminists elected to public office; and
WHEREAS, protection of civil rights is a paramount goal of NOW; and
WHEREAS, experience has taught us that increasing feminist and minority representation at every level of government is critical to achieving progress on our priority issues; and
WHEREAS, recent Supreme Court decisions undermine the progress achieved by the Voting Rights Act, which allowed the election of record numbers of feminist minority candidates;.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that NOW urge its PACs at all levels to work with renewed fervor to elect feminist candidates to positions which control judicial appointments to stop the right wing erosion of our political rights; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW reaffirm its support for a strong, effective, and enforced Voting Rights Act; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW urge its PACs to prevent feminist minority candidates from losing their seats through court ordered reapportionment and to work diligently to reelect those redistricted candidates wherever they are forced to run.
WHEREAS, in order to have an effective third wave of feminism, the National Organization for Women (NOW) must address the needs of the people who are going to fuel it; and
WHEREAS, NOW has formally demonstrated its desire to incorporate young feminists as fully participating NOW members and activists; and
WHEREAS, young feminists have expressed the desire to organize themselves through and with NOW in order to be an active and visible feminist presence in their schools and communities;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that NOW continue to actively involve and recruit young feminists through such efforts as continuing to organize actions around young feminist issues, electing young women to chapter, state, and national leadership positions, creating young feminist-oriented literature, and organizing at schools and community youth centers; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW encourage intergenerational dialogue in order to maintain and develop stronger ties between activists of all ages by including a workshop addressing intergenerational issues at the 1997 National NOW Conference and continuing this dialogue at future conferences; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW and the Young Feminist Conference Implementation Committee (CIC) renew their commitment to implementing previously passed resolutions such as those mandating a Young Feminist Resource Kit and the development of strategies and programs to assist young people in combating sexism in their school environments; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW encourage the Young Feminist CIC in its efforts to create a NOW young feminist network by maintaining a full CIC membership of diverse, pro-active regional representatives interested in creating and maintaining such a network on a national level; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW support young feminists' efforts to organize themselves by encouraging the establishment of official NOW entities such as task forces, chapters, grrrl clubs, and other subunits; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW encourage young feminists' efforts to create their own forms of networking, such as adding an additional web page onto the existing NOW site for news, updates, and actions regarding young feminist issues, establishing an e-mail list for young feminists, and adding young feminist contacts to the existing World Wide Web contact list; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW continue unique approaches to reaching out such as offering young feminist sleep overs, summits, and mentoring programs in NOW's continued effort to recognize that, although young feminist issues are as varied as the women who confront them, young feminists are unique in having grown up in an era where feminism is already prevalent; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that all efforts on behalf of young feminist activism encourage young feminist independence and flexibility, yet ensure that NOW structure, administration, and goals stand firm.
WHEREAS employers are increasingly using tactics to limit their own liability under federal and state laws and to limit access of their employees to civil rights laws and
WHEREAS employers including Saks Fifth Avenue and Purity Supreme have asserted that employees who are victims of rape and/or sexual assault in the workplace can only seek redress through workers compensation boards and not through the civil courts, and a recent decision from the highest court in Massachusetts has already interpreted state law to restrict employees' rights in this manner, and
WHEREAS the securities industry requirement that all employee disputes, including allegations of sexual harassment and assault, must go before employer-selected arbitration panels and this has created a hostile work environment for women in the securities industry, and
WHEREAS mandatory arbitration having been approved by the courts, is spreading to other industries through employee manuals, pre-employment contracts, court decisions, and legislation.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women (NOW) educate its membership through the National NOW Times about the legislation, court decisions, and employer tactics to deny employees access to Title VII protection against discrimination, a hostile work environment, sexual harassment and assault; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Action Center develop a national press and legal strategy in opposition to these tactics.
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