Civil Rights

NEW YORK: GOP-Controlled Senate Committee Votes Down Trans Rights Bill For Eleventh Consecutive Year

Chris Johnson reports at the Washington Blade: Any hopes that New York would join other states this year and enact a law explicitly prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity were dashed Tuesday when a Republican-controlled Senate committee voted down a transgender rights measure. The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA, was defeated in the New York Senate Investigations ...

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Federal Lawsuit Claims FDNY Recruit Was Taunted To Have Sex With Stripper To Prove He Isn’t A “Faggot”

The New York Post reports: They stripped him of his dignity. A former probie firefighter from Queens said his colleagues demanded he “have sex with a stripper” to prove his manhood, according to an explosive new federal discrimination lawsuit against the FDNY.  Michael Troina’s lawsuit, filed Saturday, alleges he “was singled out time and time again on account of his ...

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Trump Rescinds Obama-Era Rules Protecting Trans Inmates: Prisoners To By Housed By “Biological Sex”

Buzzfeed News reports:  The Trump administration on Friday rolled back rules that allowed transgender inmates to use facilities that match their gender identity, including cell blocks and bathrooms, thereby reversing course on an Obama administration effort to protect transgender prisoners from sexual abuse and assault. The Bureau of Prisons now “will use biological sex” to make initial determinations in the ...

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NEW HAMPSHIRE: Legislature Adds Trans Protections To Civil Rights Law, GOP Gov. Chris Sununu To Sign Bill

Via press release from Freedom For All Americans: In a legislative victory two years in the making, the New Hampshire Senate, by a bipartisan vote of 14-10, voted in favor of a bill, HB 1319, that adds transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination protections to the state’s existing civil rights law. The bill now heads to the desk of Republican Governor Chris Sununu, who ...

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BRITAIN: Supreme Court Hears Gay Cake Case

The Guardian reports: A bakery run by evangelical Christians is to launch a fresh attempt to overturn a £500 award made against it for refusing to bake a cake promoting same-sex marriage. Ashers bakery, which has branches in Northern Ireland and is financially supported by the Christian Institute, is taking its claim to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, which is ...

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Not One Anti-LGBT Bill Has Passed So Far This Year

The Associated Press reports: In a striking shift from recent years, major legislation curtailing LGBT rights has been completely stymied in state capitols around the country this year amid anxiety by Republican leaders over igniting economic backlash if they are depicted as discriminatory. In the thick of this year’s legislative sessions, LGBT activists were tracking about 120 proposed bills that ...

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Theresa May Calls On Commonwealth To Reform Anti-Gay Laws: “I Regret Our Legacy Of Discrimination”

Reuters reports: Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday she regretted Britain’s role in anti-gay legislation across its former colonies, seeking to address criticism of the Commonwealth at its gathering in London. May is looking to reinvigorate the Commonwealth, a 53-country network of mostly former colonies, as Britain seeks new post-Brexit ways to project its influence in the world and ...

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TRINIDAD: Three Gay Men Evicted From Homes After Appearing At Rally Celebrating Repeal Of Buggery Law

Trinidad’s Newsday reports: Members of the gay community are calling for calm and tolerance as three young men who were at the forefront of a human rights rally celebrating the historic court ruling on the unconstitutionality of the buggery and serious indecency laws, last Thursday, have been kicked out of their homes. The three men, social worker Luke Sinette confirmed ...

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CHINA: #IAmGay Hashtag Floods Social Media Giant Weibo After Government Bans “Homosexual Content”

Agence France-Press reports: China’s Sina Weibo said it would remove “homosexual” content from the popular microblogging platform, prompting a storm of online protests Saturday under the hashtag “I am gay”. Weibo said in a statement Friday it had begun a “clean-up campaign” to remove “illegal” content, including “manga and videos with pornographic implications, promoting violence or (related to) homosexuality”. It ...

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NEW YORK CITY: Noted LGBT Rights Attorney Burns Self To Death In “Protest Suicide” Against Fossil Fuels

The New York Daily News reports: A nationally known gay rights attorney and green activist set himself on fire and burned to death in Prospect Park early Saturday in a bizarre ecological protest suicide. The charred remains of David Buckel, 60, were discovered shortly after sunrise when firefighters responded to a report of a fire in the southwest corner of ...

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Diver Tom Daley Wins Commonwealth Gold, Calls On Member Nations To Decriminalize Homosexuality

BBC Sports reports: Diver Tom Daley has called for more Commonwealth countries to decriminalise homosexuality. Daley won his fourth Commonwealth Games gold medal as he and Dan Goodfellow won the synchronised 10m platform on the Gold Coast in Australia, where same-sex marriage was made legal in December. Homosexuality remains illegal in 70% of the 53 Commonwealth countries. “Coming to the ...

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TRINIDAD: High Court Strikes Down Buggery Law

Erasing 76 Crimes reports: Trinidad’s High Court today ruled that the nation’s law against same-sex intimacy is unconstitutional. Justice Devindra Rampersad, who is presiding over the case, stated in his ruling: “The court declares that sections 13 and 16 of the [Sexual Offences Act] are unconstitutional, illegal, null, void, invalid and of no effect to the extent that these laws ...

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ALASKA: Anchorage Rejects Anti-Trans Initiative

I held off on reporting this earlier this week because there were still many uncounted ballots. But as of last night, we have a final result. The Anchorage Daily News reports: Anchorage voters have rejected an initiative that would have regulated access to restrooms and locker rooms by a person’s sex at birth instead of gender identity, a local version ...

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Woman Fired For Flipping Off Trump Files Suit

Courthouse News reports: Juli Briskman, the woman who was caught flipping off the presidential motorcade in a photograph that went viral last year, has sued her former employer for firing her, claiming it was a violation of her right to free speech. In a 10 page complaint filed in the Fairfax County Circuit Court, Briskman claims her former employer, government ...

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MISSISSIPPI: State Supreme Court Rules Divorced Lesbian Has Parental Rights For Non-Biological Child

The Associated Press reports: Mississippi’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a woman has parental rights to a 6-year-old boy born to her ex-wife when the two were married, in a case watched by gay rights activists and groups aiding in vitro fertilization. Christina “Chris” Strickland brought the appeal, challenging a lower court decision that an anonymous sperm donor still had ...

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Linda Brown Of Brown V Board Of Education Dies At 76

NPR reports: Linda Brown, who as a schoolgirl was at the center of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that rejected racial segregation in American schools, died in Topeka, Kan., Sunday afternoon. She was 76. Her sister, Cheryl Brown Henderson, confirmed the death to The Topeka Capital-Journal. The 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education, involved several ...

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Louisiana State Supreme Court Rejects Bid To Restore Employment Protections For LGBT State Workers

The Associated Press reports: In a 4-3 decision, Louisiana’s Supreme Court on Friday rejected Gov. John Bel Edwards’ attempt to revive an executive order protecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in state government. The court refused to hear arguments on Edwards’ April 2016 order banning discrimination in state government and state contracts based on sexual orientation ...

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Conference Of Catholic Bishops Issue “Strong Support” Of Bill To Legalize Anti-LGBT Discrimination Nationwide

Via press release: Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, gave their strong support for the First Amendment Defense Act, which was recently introduced by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in ...

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GEORGIA: ACLU Wins Battle For Protest Signs Against Mike Pence At Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The Associated Press reports: Protesters seeking to carry signs in an area being secured for Vice President Mike Pence to participate in the South’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade won a brisk free speech fight Friday as city officials in Savannah backed off prohibiting signs and posters at the event. City officials reversed course and announced signs would be allowed ...

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SOUTH CAROLINA: GOP Gov Issues Order Allowing Foster Care Agencies To Reject Non-Christian Parents

The Charleston Post & Courier reports: Gov. Henry McMaster is coming to the defense of an Upstate foster care agency that requires participating families to be Christian. McMaster issued an executive order Tuesday that allows foster care providers to discriminate based on religion without losing their license. For nearly three decades, Greenville-based Miracle Hill Ministries has only allowed foster children ...

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