Civil Rights

LIVE VIDEO: Texas Senate State Affairs Committee Hears Public Testimony On Anti-Transgender Bill

The Texas Tribune reports: For the third time this year, a committee of state lawmakers will consider measures to restrict bathroom use for transgender residents in what’s expected to be an hours-long hearing Friday that could draw out hundreds of Texans to testify. On the Senate State Affairs Committee’s agenda are Senate Bill 3 and Senate Bill 91 — both ...

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ACLU Sues Four Federal Agencies For Plans On How They’ll Implement Trump’s “Religious Liberty” Order

Via press release from the ACLU: The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against four federal agencies demanding documents from the Trump administration that provide clarity on how the administration plans to implement its ‘religious freedom’ executive order. The ACLU initially filed records requests with the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, ...

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TEXAS: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Opens Special Session By Fast-Tracking Anti-Trans Bill To Committee Approval

The Texas Tribune reports: On the opening day of the special session of the Texas Legislature on Tuesday, over the cries of Senate Democrats, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took a step to fast-track two bills reauthorizing the Texas Medical Board and four other state agencies jeopardized by inaction during the regular session. The Senate must first pass those bills before ...

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Texas Gov Trolled With Photo Op: “How Will The Potty Police Know I’m Transgender If The Governor Doesn’t?”

The Associated Press reports: A transgender Texan has posted an all-smiles photo with Gov. Greg Abbott to protest a “bathroom bill” that state lawmakers will again consider during a special legislative session beginning Tuesday. Ashley Smith posed with Abbott after he announced his re-election campaign Friday in San Antonio. She later identified herself in the photo as “trans-woman” and posted ...

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Israeli Social Services Minister Walks Back Opposition To Gay Adoption: Our Brief Was Incorrectly Worded

That was quick. Haaretz reports: Minister of Welfare and Social Services Haim Katz responded on Monday to the report, first reported in Haaretz Sunday, that Israel opposes the adoption of children by LGBT couples. Katz’s office issued a statement reading: “Unfortunately, the wording submitted to the High Court was wrong and it would have been better if it was never ...

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ISRAEL: Government Opposes Adoption By Gay Couples

The Times Of Israel reports: The government announced on Sunday that there are no intentions to change the law and allow gay couples to adopt in Israel. In response to a High Court petition, the state said that it was opposed to allowing same-sex couples to adopt because it would place an “additional burden” on the child. “The professional opinion ...

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Caitlyn Jenner Claims She’s Quietly Working With The Trump Administration On LGBT Issues [VIDEO]

The Washington Post reports: First, Caitlyn Jenner claimed she wanted to be a “trans ambassador” to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) during his presidential campaign. Then she cast her ballot for President Trump in the November election. And now, Jenner — the famed transgender icon and one of the few high-profile celebrities to throw staunch support behind the Republican commander in ...

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DO NO HARM: House Dems Again Seek To “Correct” RFRA Law With Amendment Banning Discrimination

Via press release: With the support of leaders from the civil rights, social justice and faith communities, Congressman Joe Kennedy III (MA-04) and Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, today reintroduced legislation to amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The Do No Harm Act would clarify that no one can seek religious exemption ...

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BRITAIN: PM Theresa May Celebrates London Pride, Vows To Fight Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes [VIDEO]

The Telegraph reports: Theresa May, who is at the G20 in Germany, released a message praising London for sending out a “proud and positive message to the world”. The Prime Minister reiterated the UK’s pledge to encourage other countries to ensure equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation, and to take a stand against hate crime at home. Mrs ...

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NEW ZEALAND: MP Stuns Parliament With Revelation That Her Uncle Had Murdered A Gay Man [VIDEO]

The New Zealand Herald reports: Green MP Marama Davidson used a harrowing example of the impact on her family of homophobia, remembering a young gay man who was killed by Davidson’s uncle in the 1980s. Her voice breaking, Marama spoke of the man during Parliament’s formal apology to the men convicted for consensual acts at a time homosexuality was illegal. ...

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CHINA: Man Wins Forcible Ex-Gay Torture Suit

The Guardian reports: A gay man in central China has successfully sued a psychiatric hospital over forced conversion therapy, in what activists are hailing as the first such victory in a country where the LGBT rights movement is gradually emerging from the fringes. A court in Zhumadian, in Henan province, has ordered a city psychiatric hospital to publish an apology ...

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CHINA: Following Gay Content Web Ban, Communist Youth League Declares Homosexuality To Be “Normal”

What’s On Weibo reports: Over the past few days, discussions about homosexuality are all over Chinese social media. On Friday, the China Netcasting Services Association issued new criteria to strengthen regulations over online audio-visual content on Chinese platforms. One of the new regulations regarded the removal of online content that “displays homosexuality”, grouping homosexuality together with incest and sexual perversity ...

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China Bans Gay Content From The Internet

Fortune reports: China released a new regulation Friday banning any display of “abnormal sexual behaviors” — including homosexuality — in online video and audio content. The regulation, published by the China Netcasting Services Association (CNSA), lays out strict censorship rules for online content ranging from movies and documentaries to cartoons and educational videos. Under the new rules, content will be ...

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Activists Alarmed: Trump Nominates Defender Of North Carolina’s HB2 To Head DOJ’s Civil Rights Division

The Associated Press reports: The White House on Thursday tapped a Washington labor lawyer known for representing large companies in discrimination lawsuits to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Eric Dreiband’s nomination immediately drew criticism from activists about his commitment to their priorities. The groups have been closely watching how Attorney General Jeff Sessions reshapes the division, which traditionally ...

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TANZANIA: Government Vows To Arrest All Gay Activists Because Even Cows Disapprove Of Homosexuality

Agence France-Presse reports: Tanzania has threatened to arrest and deport those campaigning for gay rights and de-register organisations protecting homosexual interests, local media reported Monday. “I would like to remind and warn all organisations and institutions that campaign and pretend to protect homosexual interests … we are going to arrest whoever is involved and charge them in courts of law,” ...

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House Unanimously Approves Resolution Condemning Chechen Detention, Torture, And Murders Of Gay Men

Via press release: The Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus commended the House of Representatives for passing H.Res.351, a bipartisan resolution condemning the detention, torture, and murders of gay and bisexual men in Chechnya. H.Res.351 was introduced by LGBT Caucus founding member and former House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27) on May 23rd and passed in the House Foreign ...

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Anti-Gay Arkansas Birth Certificate Law, Neil Gorsuch Among Dissenting Votes

The Associated Press reports: The Supreme Court has ruled for same-sex couples who complained an Arkansas birth certificate law discriminated against them. The justices on Monday issued an unsigned opinion reversing an Arkansas high court ruling that upheld the law. Under the law, married lesbian couples had to get a court order to have both spouses listed as parents on ...

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CALIFORNIA: Government Restricts Publicly Funded Travel To Four More States Over New Anti-LGBT Laws

The Sacramento Bee reports: California is restricting publicly funded travel to four more states because of recent laws that leaders here view as discriminatory against gay and transgender people. All totaled, California now bans most state-funded travel to eight states. The new additions to California’s restricted travel list are Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and South Dakota. They join Kansas, Mississippi, North ...

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Joe Biden At Democratic LGBT Gala: Hold Donald Trump Accountable To His Claim To Be Your Friend [VIDEO]

The Associated Press reports: Former Vice President Joe Biden, warning of transgender Americans “under attack” in Republican-led states, on Wednesday challenged the nation’s LGBT community to push back against President Donald Trump’s administration. “Hold President Trump accountable for his pledge to be your friend,” Biden declared at a private LGBT gala hosted by the Democratic National Committee in New York. ...

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FRANCE: European Court Of Human Rights Rules Russia’s “Gay Propaganda” Law To Be Discriminatory

The Guardian reports: A Russian law that bans gay “propaganda” encourages homophobia and discrimination, the European court of human rights has ruled, in a sharply worded rebuke to the Kremlin. Three Russian gay rights activists brought the case against the 2013 federal statute, widely known as the “gay propaganda” law, after they were arrested between 2009-12 for protesting against local ...

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