Civil Rights

76 Major Companies Petition SCOTUS To Back LGBT Employment Rights: Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft

The Associated Press reports: Some of America’s most well-known companies are urging the Supreme Court to rule that a federal employment discrimination law prohibits discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation, a position opposite of the one taken by the Trump administration. The 76 businesses and organizations – including American Airlines, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Starbucks and Microsoft – filed …

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BREAKING: Sessions Issues Long-Feared And Sweeping “License To Discriminate” Against LGBT Americans

The Associated Press reports: In an order that undercuts federal protections for LGBT people, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a sweeping directive to agencies Friday to do as much as possible to accommodate those who claim their religious freedoms are being violated. The guidance, an attempt to deliver on President Donald Trump’s pledge to his evangelical supporters that he would …

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DOJ Rescinds Transgender Employment Protections

Reuters reports: The U.S. Department of Justice has reversed course on whether federal law banning sex discrimination in the workplace provides protections for transgender employees, saying in a memo that it does not. The memo sent to U.S. Attorneys’ offices on Wednesday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 only prohibits discrimination on …

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Egypt Escalates LGBT Crackdown After Rainbow Flag Waved At Concert: 33 Arrested, Forced Anal Exams

The BBC reports: Egyptian authorities have arrested at least 22 people in the past four days as part of a campaign against LGBT people, Amnesty International says. Thirty-two men and one woman have now been detained since rainbow flags were displayed at a pop concert in Cairo last month, according to activists. Anal examinations have been reportedly carried out on …

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Saudi Arabia Ends Ban On Women Drivers [VIDEO]

The Associated Press reports: Saudi Arabia says it will allow women to drive for the first time in the ultra-conservative kingdom. The kingdom, which announced the change on Tuesday, was the only the country in the world to bar women from driving and for years had garnered negative publicity internationally for detaining women who defied the ban. Women’s rights activists …

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ALABAMA: Birmingham City Council Approves Sweeping LGBT Anti-Discrimination Protections, First In State

Via press release: Today, HRC hailed the Birmingham City Council for passing city-wide non-discrimination protections that include sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, public accommodations and employment. This ordinance is the culmination of more than ten years of work from local LGBTQ grassroots organizers and a pro-equality coalition including Equality Alabama and HRC. “Today, the City of Birmingham made …

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PHILIPPINES: House Of Representatives Votes 198-0 To Include LGBT Citizens Under Anti-Discrimination Laws

Finally some good news out of the Philippines. ABS-CBN News reports: The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on third and final reading a bill that aims to protect the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Lawmakers voted 198-0 in favor of House Bill No. 4982 or the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Equality …

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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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