Civil Rights

VIRGINIA: Lawmakers Finalize Ratification Of ERA

The Washington Post reports: Virginia officially became the critical 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment on Monday, clearing the way for likely court fights over whether the measure can be added to the U.S. Constitution. State lawmakers made history earlier this month when each chamber of the General Assembly separately approved ratification resolutions. On Monday, the House and …

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Empowered VA Senate Passes Host Of LGBT Rights Bills

The Washington Post reports: The Virginia Senate on Tuesday passed a host of LGBT rights bills as Democrats continued to flex their new power in the Capitol. The Senate voted to ban conversion therapy on children, repeal the state’s now-defunct ban on same-sex marriage and establish statewide policies for the treatment of transgender students. The chamber also voted to replace …

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Virginia Lawmakers Approve Equal Rights Amendment

Reuters reports: Virginia moved to the brink of becoming the crucial 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment on Wednesday, a momentous victory for many women’s rights advocates even though it is far from certain the measure will ever be added to the U.S. Constitution. The affirmative votes in both chambers of the Virginia legislature came decades after Congress …

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Texas Sued For Second Time Over Voter Suppression

Courthouse News reports: Three voters and two nonprofits brought a federal complaint Tuesday that says the failure by Texas to register voters through its online driver’s license application is illegal. The lawsuit comes eight days after a cadre of Democrats sued the Texas secretary of state on voter-suppression claims; thousands of Texans were improperly barred from voting in the 2018 …

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UK Rapist Spawns Anti-LGBT Action In Indonesia

The Jakarta Post reports: In response to reports that the family of Reynhard Sinaga, an Indonesian convicted serial rapist in the United Kingdom, lives in Depok, West Java, the city’s mayor has instructed his administration to conduct raids against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Reynhard, a 36-year-old PhD student, was sentenced on Jan. 6 by a court …

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Michigan Sees Push To Place LGBT Protections On Ballot

Michigan Bridge reports: A coalition of civil rights, business and political leaders is launching a petition drive initiative to expand Michigan law by including anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgender residents. Organizers who announced the effort Tuesday hope to spur action by the Republican-led Legislature, whose leaders have cited religious freedom concerns in resisting similar legislation, or put the issue …

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207 Congress Members To SCOTUS: Undo Roe V Wade

CBS News reports: Over 200 members of Congress asked the Supreme Court to consider overturning Roe v. Wade, which guarantees the right to an abortion, in a brief urging the court to uphold a Louisiana law severely restricting abortion. The 39 senators and 168 House members submitted the amicus brief in the case of June Medical Services LLC v. Gee, …

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UN Official: Past Decade Saw Human Rights Backlash

The Associated Press reports: The past decade has seen a backlash against human rights on every front, especially the rights of women and the LGBT communities, according to a top U.N. human rights official. Andrew Gilmour, the outgoing assistant secretary-general for human rights, said the regression of the past 10 years hasn’t equaled the advances that began in the late …

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Morocco Jails Popular YouTuber For Insulting King

The BBC reports: A well known Moroccan YouTuber has been jailed for four years after being found guilty of insulting the country’s king. Mohamed Sekkaki [photo] was arrested earlier this month after criticising King Mohammed’s speeches and for calling Moroccans donkeys. He plans to appeal against the verdict. Rights groups are worried that personal freedoms are under increasing threat in …

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NC’s Voter ID Law Gets Temporary Block From Court

The Raleigh News & Observer reports: North Carolina voters might not have to show a photo ID in the 2020 elections, due to a ruling in federal court that’s expected in the coming days. A federal judge in North Carolina said Thursday she would block the law, at least temporarily, as the voter ID lawsuit against the state continues. She …

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Turkey Imprisons More Journalists Critical Of Govt

The Associated Press reports: A Turkish court on Friday convicted six journalists and one other employee of an independent newspaper of aiding the network of a U.S.-based cleric who is accused of masterminding the failed coup in 2016, the state-run news agency reported. The seven were accused of supporting the coup through their work for the newspaper Sozcu, which has …

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GEORGIA: Court Says State Can Purge 309K Voters

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports: About 309,000 names were set to be erased from Georgia’s list of registered voters Monday night, a mass cancellation that a federal judge allowed to move forward. By Tuesday morning, the number of registered voters in Georgia was set to shrink from 7.4 million to 7.1 million. A voting rights group, Fair Fight Action, said in …

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Gabon Is 70th Nation To Criminalize Homosexuality

Reuters reports: Gabon has passed a law against gay sex, becoming the 70th country to ban the practice, an official confirmed, as the global pace of reform falters. The central African country banned “sexual relations between people of the same sex” in a new penal code earlier this year, according to copies of the law online. A government official who …

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SCOTUS Rejects Challenge To Abortion/Ultrasound Law

The Associated Press reports: The Supreme Court on Monday left in place a Kentucky law requiring doctors to perform ultrasounds and show fetal images to patients before abortions. The justices did not comment in refusing to review an appeals court ruling that upheld the law. The American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the law on behalf of Kentucky’s lone remaining …

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Only One Republican Backed The Voting Rights Act

Common Dreams reports: Just one Republican — Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania — joined a united House Democratic caucus on Friday to pass what rights groups hailed as “historic” legislation to restore and expand voter protections that were gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013. Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for Public Citizen, said passage of the Voting …

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GOP Rep Floats “Compromise” Version Of Equality Act

The Associated Press reports: As Democrats champion anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community and Republicans counter with worries about safeguarding religious freedom, one congressional Republican is offering a proposal on Friday that aims to achieve both goals. The bill that Utah GOP Rep. Chris Stewart plans to unveil would shield LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, education, and other …

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ALABAMA: Montgomery Unveils Rosa Parks Statue

The Montgomery News reports: A new statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks was unveiled in downtown Montgomery on Sunday afternoon. “This depiction will inspire future generations to make the pilgrimage to our city, to push toward the path of righteousness, strength, courage and equality,” said Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, who took office as the first African-American mayor of the …

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SURVEY: 40% Of Evangelicals Say They Are Pro-Choice

The Christian Post reports: Only a quarter of evangelicals in the United States believe abortion should be illegal in all cases, according to a new poll showing that a majority of self-identified Christians in the U.S. identify as “pro-choice” and less than half of evangelicals identify as “pro-life.” Save the Storks, a pro-life organization that partners with pregnancy centers to …

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Junior Flips Out Over “Bullshit” Report On Murderous History Of “Mormon Manson Family” Killed In Mexico

The Los Angeles Times reports: The roadside killings of nine U.S. citizens in northern Mexico has brought renewed attention to the scattered communities of Mormons who settled in the country more than a century ago to escape persecution. The family is perhaps best known for a series of killings perpetrated in the 1970s and 1980s, in both Mexico and the …

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GERMANY: Bill Would Ban Ex-Gay Torture Nationwide

Deutsche Welle reports: German Health Minister Jens Spahn unveiled a draft law on Monday that largely bans “conversion therapy” for LGBT+ people. The practice will be completely banned for all youths under the age of 18, the newspapers of the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) reported, citing a copy of the draft law. The law stops short of a complete ban, however, …

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