Civil Rights

NORTH CAROLINA: HRC Retains Prop 8 Champion Ted Olson For Amicus Brief In Challenge Of Anti-LGBT Law

Via press release: Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, announced that Theodore B. Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP will author an amicus brief on behalf of leading businesses in support of the Department of Justice’s lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s hateful HB2 law. “HB2 discriminates against fellow citizens because of who they are,” …

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Target CEO Brian Cornell: The Boycott Isn’t Hurting Us

Fortune reports: Target reported a disappointing set of first-quarter results on Wednesday and warned investors to expect a slight drop in business in the current quarter. The discount retailer pointed to many factors pinching sales, damp and cool weather in parts of the company and skittish consumers, among them. But one thing not hitting sales is the purported boycott of …

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POSTED: My Seventh Column For Pride Life

Back in February, I launched a twice-monthly column for the website of Britain’s Pride Life magazine, a quarterly LGBT rights and lifestyle magazine. Today’s seventh installment is titled Obama Administration Takes Bold Action On Transgender Rights. Hit the link for my status report on trans rights, Target, hate groups, and the feds. DISCLOSURE: Pride Life is owned by the US …

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REASON RALLY: Atheists To Gather On Washington Mall

As they did in 2012, tens of thousands of atheists, skeptics, and secularists will rally on the Washington Mall on Saturday June 4th. From the Reason Rally website: The goal of Reason Rally 2016 is to showcase the presence and power of the nonreligious voting bloc, and to demand that reason be put at the forefront of our public and …

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DO NO HARM: House Democrats Seek To “Correct” Federal RFRA Law With Amendment Banning Discrimination On Religious Grounds

Via press release: Joined by leaders from the civil rights, social justice and faith communities, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Congressman Joe Kennedy III (MA-04) today introduced 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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Top Vatican Cardinal Denounces “Demonic” Transgender Rights At National Catholic Prayer Breakfast [AUDIO]

From the pro-LGBT site Bondings 2.0: A top cardinal at the Vatican attacked transgender civil rights as “demonic” and compared marriage equality to “poison” during a speech before high-profile U.S. Catholics. Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship, keynoted the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast yesterday morning in Washington, D.C. His address about family and religious freedom …

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Itzhak Perlman Goes Springsteen On North Carolina

From the Raleigh News & Observer: Itzhak Perlman is the latest artist to cancel a North Carolina performance over the state’s controversial House Bill 2. One of the world’s greatest concert violinists, the 70-year-old Perlman was scheduled to play Raleigh’s Meymandi Concert Hall Wednesday night with the NC Symphony. But he called off the show on Tuesday, releasing the statement …

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CANADA: PM Justin Trudeau Unveils Trans Rights Bill

The CBC reports: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in Montreal federal legislation about to be tabled*, which will guarantee legal and human rights protection to transgender people across Canada. “We have worked too hard for us to stop here,” Trudeau said. “Too hard to stop with the progress we have made because I sincerely believe that in Canada we can …

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House LGBT Caucus Members Launch #WeAreWithYou Campaign To Mark IDAHOT [VIDEO]

Via press release: Following the introduction of over two dozen bills to curb LGBT rights at the state and federal level, and in observation of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus released a video campaign, led by Co-Chair Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), to show support for the LGBT community. Featuring over 25 members …

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Obama Marks International Day Against Homophobia And Transphobia: LGBT Rights Are Human Rights

President Obama today issued a statement marking the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia, which was launched in 2004 on the anniversary of the World Health Organization’s 1990 declassification of homosexuality as a mental illness. Obama’s message declares that “LGBT rights are human rights” and that the United States honors the work of activists and will continue to “support their …

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Trump Vows To Rescind Obama’s Pro-Trans Directives

The Washington Post reports: Donald Trump vowed Monday that if elected president he would rescind the Obama administration’s new directives aimed at protecting transgender people against discrimination in schools and health-care coverage. But even as Trump accused the administration of federal overreach and argued that such matters should be addressed by the states, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee also sounded …

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Elton John Slams “Ignorant” Pat McCrory

Elton John has penned a lengthy piece for The Hill in which he denounces the “ignorance” of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory. An excerpt: What’s worse than the discriminatory bill itself, and the millions in taxpayer dollars McCrory is wasting to defend it, is that the governor signed it after admitting he had never met a transgender person. Although McCrory …

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Moral Monday: Arrests At North Carolina Statehouse

From Raleigh’s CBS affiliate: Law enforcement started making arrests Monday evening after hundreds of HB2 protesters moved inside the Legislative building. A crowd of around 350 gathered between the Legislative Building and the Capitol building before moving inside the Legislature just before 5 p.m. The Raleigh Police were seen arresting demonstrators around 5:20 p.m. As of 5:40 p.m., 11 people …

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NORTH CAROLINA: Lambda Legal & ACLU Ask Federal Court To Stop Enforcement Of Anti-LGBT Hate Law

Via press release: The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina, and Lambda Legal today asked a federal court to order an immediate halt to enforcement of a North Carolina law that targets transgender people for discrimination in single-sex facilities. The three organizations and the law firm of Jenner and Block are challenging the law, House Bill 2, …

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Media Matters On Alliance Defending Freedom: The Terrifying Anti-LGBT Christian Hate Group [VIDEO]

Media Matters today provides a primer on Alliance Defending Freedom. An excerpt: News networks frequently invite Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) — one of the most powerful right-wing legal groups in the country — to defend laws like North Carolina’s anti-LGBT bathroom legislation. But media outlets typically identify ADF as merely a “Christian legal organization,” failing to mention the group’s record …

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Family Research Council Hater Travis Weber Won’t Say Which Bathroom Trans People Should Use [VIDEO]

Last night Family Research Council hater Travis Weber appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball, where he flailed and failed to answer when host Chris Matthews repeatedly asked him which bathroom trans activist Jennifer Boylan should use. Media Matters has the transcript: CHRIS MATTHEWS (HOST): Travis, tell Jenny what bathroom she should use. TRAVIS WEBER: Well — MATTHEWS: Which one should she use? …

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BURN NOTICE: White House Dismisses Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick As Mere “Right-Wing Radio Host” [VIDEO]

Via the right wing Townhall: Speaking to reporters Friday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest addressed the new Department of Education directive. The directive requires every school district around the country allow individuals to use the restroom of their gender identity, not of their birth sex. Districts that do not comply have been threatened with federal funding cuts. When asked …

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European Union Denounces Anti-LGBT US Laws

From the European Union: The recently adopted laws including in the states of Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee, which discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons in the United States contravene the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the US is a State party, and which states that the law shall prohibit any discrimination and …

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Rep. Alan Grayson Becomes First Member Of Congress To Use “Cisgender” Term On House Floor [VIDEO]

The office of Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) just wrote to say that earlier today he become the first member of Congress to use the term “cisgender” in a House speech. Grayson stood next to a large portrait of transgender pioneer Christine Jorgensen as he delivered a 13-minute denouncement of the GOP and of North Carolina’s anti-LGBT hate law. Grayson is …

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Franklin Graham: Trans Rights Are A Moral 9/11 That Can Only Be Stopped By White Jesus [AUDIO]

Brian Tashman has the transcript at Right Wing Watch: “The country is imploding,” he said. “We are seeing a moral implosion. Just like we saw the World Trade Center on 9/11 when the planes hit the tower, they imploded, they fell from within, and this is what’s happening to our country, we’re falling within. Our foundations have been weakened by …

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