Civil Rights

OKLAHOMA: State Senate Shoots Down Bill To Override All Local LGBT Anti-Discrimination Ordinances

Holy cow. For once some good news out of Oklahoma: Twenty-five Oklahoma State Senators took a historic stand against anti-LGBTQ discrimination today. SB 694 and SB 197 were both called onto the senate floor for a vote. The former would have stripped employment and public accommodation protections form municipalities around the state, the later was a North Carolina “license to ...

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LIVE VIDEO: Neil Gorsuch Hearing, Day Four

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch yesterday completed his third and final day of questions from the Senate. Today we’ll hear from several panels of “outside witnesses” who either support or oppose his confirmation. In his defense we’ll hear from former judicial colleagues, law clerks, and law school professors. Among those testifying in opposition will be the Human Rights Campaign, the ...

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TENNESSEE: Bathroom Bill Dies In State Senate

The Tennessean reports: The bathroom bill, at least for this session, is dead in the Senate. Reintroduced by Sen. Mae Beavers [photo], the controversial bill, which would have required students in public schools to use the bathroom corresponding with the sex listed on their birth certificate, failed to receive a proper motion from the members the Senate Education Committee on ...

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GERMANY: Gay Men Convicted Under Nazi-Era Law To Be Given Compensation And Have Records Expunged

Yahoo News reports: The German government Wednesday approved plans to quash the convictions of 50,000 men sentenced for homosexuality under a Nazi-era law which remained in force after the war, and offer compensation. The measure marks a triumph for activists after a decades-long struggle to clear the names of gay men who lived with a criminal record under Article 175 ...

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Former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson Pens NYT Op-Ed Urging Trump Against Anti-LGBT “Religious Liberty” Order

The New York Times today published an op-ed by former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson which urges Trump to ignore the demands of anti-LGBT groups that he issue a “religious liberty” executive order which would legalize anti-LGBT discrimination nationwide. It begins: During Donald Trump’s campaign, he repeatedly cast himself as a supporter of L.G.B.T. rights. As president, however, he is being ...

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ALABAMA: State House Approves Bill Allowing State-Funded Adoption Agencies To Refuse Gay Couples

The Birmingham News reports: The Alabama House passed a bill Thursday that would protect faith-based adoption and foster care agencies from placing children into homes that go against their religious beliefs. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Rich Wingo, [photo], was among a package of pro-life legislation considered Thursday in the House. It passed 60-14 with one abstention. Wingo said he ...

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TEXAS: State Senate Passes Anti-Transgender Hate Bill, Passage Uncertain In GOP-Dominated State House

The Houston Chronicle reports: The state Senate on Wednesday gave final approval to the so-called “bathroom bill,” sending a message that the upper chamber of one of the nation’s largest states supports redefining which public bathrooms can be used by trangender persons. The measure passed on final reading by a vote of 21-10. That’s the same margin by which the ...

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TEXAS: State Senate Approves Anti-Transgender Bill In Preliminary Vote, Final Passage Expected Tomorrow

The Texas Tribune reports: The Texas Senate on Tuesday tentatively signed off on the so-called “bathroom bill” on a 21-10 vote. Senate Bill 6, a legislative priority of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, would require transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools, government buildings and other publicly-owned facilities that match their “biological sex” and not gender identity. And it would ...

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NORTH CAROLINA: Former Governor Pat McCrory Is Having A Hard Time Finding Work Because HB2

The Raleigh News & Observer reports: Former Gov. Pat McCrory says the backlash against House Bill 2 is making some employers reluctant to hire him but he’s currently doing consulting and advisory board work. McCrory has been appearing frequently in interviews with national media outlets to defend the controversial LGBT law, but he hasn’t announced what’s next for his career. ...

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Democrats To Introduce LGBT Equality Act

Dominic Holden reports at Buzzfeed: Democrats in Congress plan to reintroduce legislation this month that would ban LGBT discrimination nationwide, despite facing a conservative majority that’s been generally hostile toward the issue. While the bill has little shot of passage, progressives hope inaction by Republicans can illustrate a chasm between the major political parties as they approach the 2018 mid-term ...

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SOUTH DAKOTA: GOP Governor Signs Bill Allowing Public Agencies To Deny Services To LGBT Citizens

Chris Johnson reports at the Washington Blade: South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed into law a measure allowing taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to deny services and child placement to LGBT families out of religious objections, making him the first governor in 2017 to sign an anti-LGBT law. Daaugard signed the measure, Senate Bill 149, with little fanfare Friday after the ...

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BOSTON: St. Patrick’s Parade Organizers To Reconsider Banning Of Gay Veterans Group After Backlash

The Associated Press reports: The organizers of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade have scheduled an emergency meeting to reconsider their vote to bar a gay veterans group from participating. The vote Tuesday to bar OutVets drew immediate condemnation from high-profile politicians. Ed Flynn, a member of the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, which organizes the parade scheduled for March ...

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TEXAS: Senate Panel Advances Anti-Transgender Bill

The Texas Tribune reports: After 13-plus hours of emotional testimony, largely in opposition, the Senate State Affairs Committee voted Wednesday to advance the so-called Texas “bathroom bill” to the full chamber. The vote was 7-1; Sen. Judith Zaffirini voted against, and Sen. Charles Schwertner was not present at the meeting but asked to be shown as voting yes. The vote ...

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BOSTON: Gay Veterans Group Banned From City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade After Two Years Of Participating

The gay veterans group that in 2015 was the first LGBT organization to be allowed to participate in Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been banned from this year’s event. The Boston Globe reports: Ed Flynn, a South Boston resident and a member of the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council — the parade’s organizer — confirmed that the group ...

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LIVE VIDEO: Texas Senate Hears “Bathroom Bill” Testimony From Haters And Civil Rights Groups

The Texas Tribune reports: Texas senators are expected to take up the so-called bathroom bill on Tuesday, opening up the possibility that the controversial measure could clear its first hurdle in the upper chamber. The Senate State Affairs Committee will debate Senate Bill 6, a legislative priority of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, that would require transgender people to use bathrooms ...

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NORTH CAROLINA: Justice Department Quietly Moves To Drop Federal Opposition To Anti-LGBT Hate Law

The Charlotte Observer reports: The Trump administration is taking steps to drop the federal government’s legal fight against House Bill 2. The Justice Department wrote in a motion last week that it needs time to rethink its 2016 request to halt North Carolina’s requirement that transgender people use restrooms in many public buildings corresponding to the sex on their birth ...

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Trump Signs Revised Muslim Travel Ban

Reuters reports: President Donald Trump signed a revised executive order on Monday banning citizens from six Muslim-majority nations from traveling to the United States but removing Iraq from the list, after his controversial first attempt was blocked in the courts. The new order, which the White House said Trump had signed, keeps a 90-day ban on travel to the United ...

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NORTH CAROLINA: GOP Reps Introduce Bill To Charge Protesters Who Block Streets With “Economic Terrorism”

The Raleigh News & Observer reports: Protesters who damage property or block traffic could face tougher penalties under a criminal offense called “economic terrorism” proposed last week in North Carolina’s legislature. The bill from several N.C. House Republicans comes months after Charlotte faced weeks of protests following the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. While most of the protesters were ...

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Rex Tillerson Breaks Long-Standing Tradition, Skips Out On State Department’s Annual Human Rights Report

The Washington Post reports: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who during his confirmation hearings repeatedly vowed to promote human rights as a core American value, alarmed human rights advocates when he did not appear in person to present the State Department’s annual human rights report, released Friday. In a break with long-standing tradition only rarely breached, Tillerson’s remarks were limited ...

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ACLU Demands That Four Federal Agencies Release Documents On Anti-LGBT “Religious Liberty” Order

Via press release: The American Civil Liberties Union has today demanded documents from four federal agencies concerning a potential executive order that would sanction religiously motivated discrimination against LGBT people, members of minority faiths, women, and people seeking reproductive health care. “The American people deserve to know whether this administration plans to protect the rights of all Americans or whether ...

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