Civil Rights

MICHIGAN: ACLU Sues State Over Gay Adoption

USA Today reports: The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit Wednesday against the state of Michigan challenging a law that allows adoption agencies to spurn potential LGBT parents under the guise of religion. Religious exemption laws let people, churches and sometimes corporations cite religious beliefs as a reason not to enforce a law — such as declining to marry a ...

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SERBIA: Lesbian PM Attends Pride With Heavy Security

The Associated Press reports: Serbia’s first-ever openly gay prime minister joined several hundred gay activists Sunday at a gay pride march that was held amid tight security in the conservative Balkan country. Holding rainbow flags, balloons and a banner reading “For change,” pride participants gathered in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, before setting off on a march through the city. Many ...

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Ed Sec. Betsy DeVos Announces Rollback Of Obama-Era Title IX Guidance On Sexual Assault And Harassment

USA Today reports: Saying the Obama administration “weaponized” the U.S. Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights to work against students and schools, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday said she would replace the current approach to addressing sexual misconduct on college campuses with “a workable, effective and fair system” that more explicitly takes into account the rights of the ...

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Civil Rights Groups Sue Over Trump’s Trans Ban

Politico reports: A pair of advocacy groups said Monday they are going to court to overturn the Trump administration’s ban on transgender troops serving in the military, in the latest legal assault on the controversial directive. The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit on behalf of five transgender service members. The lawsuit, filed by the Maryland branch of the ACLU, ...

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INDIA: Supreme Court Ruling On Privacy Opens Door To Overturn 2013 Ruling Recriminalizing Homosexuality

The Hindustan Times reports: The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday Indians have a constitutional right to privacy, a verdict that could have wide-reaching implications on broader civil rights issues, including homosexuality and prohibition. Experts have said the ‘right to privacy’ case would be a test of our democracy, with the possibility of citizens challenging laws based of individual rights. Privacy ...

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George And Amal Clooney Donate $1 Million To SPLC

USA Today reports: If money talks, George and Amal Clooney made it shout Tuesday, by donating $1 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center to help fight hate groups in the wake of tragedy and violence in Charlottesville, Va. The SPLC, a leading civil-rights group that monitors hate groups and campaigns against bigotry, is partnering with the Clooney Foundation for ...

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LIVE VIDEO: Massive Boston Crowd Turns Out To Protest White Supremacist “Free Speech” Rally

NBC News reports: Thousands of counter-protesters flooded the streets of Boston on Saturday to confront right-wing “free speech” demonstrators in a display of solidarity after the deadly white nationalist rally in Virginia last weekend. The counter-protesters gathered near Boston’s Malcolm X Boulevard, chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA.” They also held signs that ...

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POLL: 89% Support LGB Employment Protections, Majority Of Military Households Back Trans Soldiers

Via Qunnipiac Polling: American voters say 68 – 27 percent, including 55 – 39 percent among voters in military households, that transgender people should be allowed to serve in the military, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Republicans opposed transgender service 60 – 32 percent, but every other party, gender, education, age or racial group supports transgender ...

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Nineteen Attorneys General Petition Congress To Pass Bill Protecting Transgender Troops From Trump’s Edict

The Associated Press reports: The top legal officers in 18 states and the District of Columbia have asked Congress to pass legislation prohibiting discrimination against transgender service members. Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin sent the letter dated Thursday in response to President Donald Trump’s announcement, via Twitter a day earlier, that he would ban transgender people in the military. The ...

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45 Senators Pen Open Letter To Defense Secretary James Mattis Urging Against Trump’s Anti-Trans Edict

The Washington Post reports:  A bloc of 45 U.S. senators is asking the Pentagon not to discharge any transgender service members until the Defense Department completes an ongoing review of whether they should be able to continue serving in uniform. The letter holds no legal sway over the Pentagon and lawmakers cannot stop President Trump from carrying out his stated ...

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POLL: Majority Support Transgender Military Service

Reuters reports: A majority of Americans believe that transgender individuals should be allowed to serve in the military, according to an exclusive Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday. The July 26-28 poll suggested that the country largely disagrees with President Donald Trump’s announcement this week that he will ban transgender personnel from the armed forces. When asked to weigh in ...

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Former Defense Secretary: Trump’s Tweeted Change In Transgender Troops Policy Might Have Made Me Resign

Politico reports: Former Secretary of Defense William Cohen said Friday that a Twitter announcement of the type President Donald Trump made this week banning transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military would have been enough for him to consider resigning. “I would have called the president, asked for a meeting with the president, and [said] ‘Mr. President, before you ...

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REPORT: Mattis “Appalled” By Trump’s Anti-Trans Edict

The Hill reports: Defense Secretary James Mattis was caught off-guard by President Trump’s announcement that he was banning transgender people from serving in the military, according to a New York Times report. Mattis, who was on vacation at the time of Trump’s decision, only had one day’s worth of notice before Trump tweeted his announcement of the policy, the paper ...

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BREAKING: Pentagon Tells Military Leaders That No Official Change Has Been Made On Transgender Service

Reuters reports: The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General Joseph Dunford, said in a written message on Thursday to military leaders that there has been no change yet to the military’s policy on transgender personnel, despite plans for a ban announced by President Donald Trump. “There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s ...

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ANALYSIS: Annual Military Healthcare For Trans Troops Is Equal To Just Four Of Trump’s Trips To Mar-A-Lago

USA Today reports: A report for the Pentagon last year found that transition-related care would cost between about $2.4 and $8.4 million per year — less than 0.14% of the military’s medical budget. That’s roughly the cost of four of Trump’s trips to Mar-A-Lago, GQ noted, even using a conservative estimate of $2 million per trip. And it’s way less ...

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BREAKING: Justice Department Files Brief Arguing That LGBT Workers Are Not Protected By The Civil Rights Act

Dominic Holden reports at Buzzfeed: The US Justice Department on Wednesday argued in a major federal lawsuit that a 1964 civil rights law doesn’t protect gay workers from discrimination, thereby diverging from a separate, autonomous federal agency that had supported the gay plaintiff’s case. The Trump administration’s filing is unusual in part because the Justice Department isn’t a party in ...

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GOP Sen. Joni Ernst Denounces Trump’s Anti-Trans Edict

Politico reports: President Donald Trump’s new plan to ban transgender people from the military is running into opposition from a key ally: Iowa GOP Sen. Joni Ernst. In a statement, a spokeswoman for the veteran said Ernst has served with people “from all different backgrounds” and that gender is not a vital indicator of someone’s military prowess. “She believes what ...

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Caitlyn Jenner Bemoans Trump’s Broken Promise

Caitlyn Jenner has finally weighed in on Trump’s anti-transgender edict. Romper reminds us of her history: Caitlyn Jenner, arguably one of the more high profile celebrity advocates for transgender rights, has been public in the past with her reported attempts to affect change within the Republican Party. She has admitted that the Democratic Party is “better on all LGBT issues,” ...

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GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch Slams Trump’s Anti-Trans Edict

“I don’t think anybody should be discriminating against anyone. Transgender people are people, and deserve the best we can do for them. I look forward to getting much more information and clarity from our military leaders about the policy the President tweeted today.” – Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, via press release.

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McCain Blasts Trump’s Anti-Trans Tweets: There’s No Reason To Force Trans Americans From The Military

“The president’s tweet this morning regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made by Twitter. The statement was unclear. The Department of Defense has already decided to allow currently-serving transgender individuals to stay in the military, and many are serving honorably today. Any American who meets current medical and ...

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