Civil Rights

INDIANA: Fake LGB Rights Bill Dies In Senate

It was hoped that the fake LGB (no T) rights bill that advanced last week in an Indiana Senate committee would be amended and corrected today before the full chamber. Instead it wasn’t heard at all and is now dead for the legislative session. Hate groups are doing a victory dance. From the Indianapolis Star: Senate President Pro Tem David …

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INDIA: Supreme Court Agrees To Reopen Case That Recriminalized Homosexuality, Sets Five Judge Panel

Huge news out of India this morning. Video below. The BBC reports: India’s Supreme Court has agreed to revisit a previous judgement that upheld a law criminalising gay sex. Three senior judges said the 2013 ruling would be re-examined by a larger bench of judges, in a move that has been welcomed by activists. The judges said that the issue …

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MICHIGAN: LGBT Rights Ballot Drive Folds

Michigan Live reports: The proposal to add civil rights for LGBT people to Michigan’s constitution will no longer aim for the 2016 ballots, its organizer announced during a taping of public television show Off The Record Friday morning. “We are suspending our 2016 campaign, but I can assure you this is not the end of Fair Michigan,” said organizer Dana …

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INDIANA: Senate Advances Heavily-Amended “LGBT Rights” Bill That Will Only Make Things Worse

After hours of testimony from local and national hate groups as well as sobbing out-of-state martyred anti-LGBT business owners, the Indiana Senate Rules and Legislative Procedures committee tonight advanced a heavily-amended “LGBT rights” bill that actually worsens the already poor civil rights status of LGBT Hoosiers. Activist groups below are calling for “all hands on deck” to stop the bill. Freedom …

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VIRGINIA: Anti-Gay Lawmaker Busted On Grindr, Local Gay Paper Declines to Name Him, Dan Savage Objects

Brad Kutner of GayRVA, Virginia’s LGBT newspaper, was tipped this weekend about a state lawmaker spotted cruising on Grindr. Rather than publicly outing him for his anti-LGBT voting record, Kutner has published a lengthy open letter to him. A small excerpt: I know you’re obviously not out at work here at the General Assembly, but I have to ask why …

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LIVE VIDEO: Anti-Gay Florist Baronelle Stutzman To Testify At Indiana Senate LGBT Rights Hearing

As I noted in an update to this morning’s post on Indiana’s LGBT rights battle, Lambda Legal fiercely opposes the allegedly pro-gay bills to be debated right now in before a state Senate committee. Also opposing the bills is right wing martyr Baronelle Stutzman, who is there courtesy of the Alliance Defending Freedom. Watch at this link. UPDATE: The Oregon …

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INDIANA: Anti-LGBT “Super RFRA” Fails To Advance, Lawmakers To Consider Pro-LGB Bills Later Today UPDATE: Lambda Legal Slams Upcoming Bills

IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM LAMBDA LEGAL BELOW. Great news from Freedom Indiana: The Senate Rules Committee just decided to not advance SB66, the “Super RFRA” bill! That means this heinous bill is almost certainly dead for this legislative session — and it’s because of your hard work! It’s certainly a relief that Hoosiers will be spared a second RFRA-fueled tragedy. But …

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MEXICO: Same-Sex Marriage Legalized In Jalisco State After Unanimous Ruling By Supreme Court

In a unanimous 11-0 ruling, today the Mexican Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in the state of Jalisco, home to the popular gay resort Puerto Vallarta, and Guadalajara, the nation’s second largest city. Same-sex marriage is legal and recognized in all of Mexico’s 31 states, but Jalisco becomes only the sixth state to allow same-sex marriages without a complex legal …

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PORTUGAL: President Vetoes Gay Adoption Bill

AFP reports: Conservative Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva vetoed on Monday a bill giving adoption rights to gay couples in one of his last political moves before newly-elected Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa takes the office. The law allowing gay couples to adopt passed through parliament on December 18, and was one of socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa’s campaign promises. “It …

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ITALY: Huge Civil Unions Rallies Take Place Across Nation In Advance Of Parliament’s Debate [VIDEO]

From the New York Times: Tens of thousands of people demonstrated Saturday in nearly 100 cities across Italy to urge the government to permit gay and lesbian couples to have civil unions and legally recognized families. Mirco Pierro, 39, rallied in front of the Pantheon in Rome with his partner and twin infants, saying he wanted “to defend the rights …

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ILLINOIS: Sen. Mark Kirk Becomes First US Senate Republican To Co-Sponsor The Equality Act

Via press release from the Human Rights Campaign: “Senator Kirk has once again proven his leadership, by becoming the first Republican Senator to co-sponsor of the Equality Act,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “His support for the Equality Act sends a strong message that fairness and equality are bipartisan values. It also reflects the view of the overwhelming majority of …

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MONTANA: Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock Signs Order Protecting LGBT State Employees From Discrimination

Via press release: In a press conference earlier today Governor Bullock celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. day by noting that it is time to “recommit to King’s values of compassion and equity” by expanding protections for LGBT people in Montana. He also spoke to Montana’s private business owners, stating “while an executive order applies to state government only I encourage …

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ILLINOIS: Rep. Bob Dold Becomes First Republican Member Of Congress To Endorse The Equality Act

Via press release from the Human Rights Campaign: “Bob Dold is showing tremendous leadership today by becoming the first Republican to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Equality Act and we’re thrilled that he’s standing up for our fundamental values of fairness and equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Far too many LGBT people – nearly two thirds – …

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59 Anti-LGBT Bills Are Active Nationwide

According to the legislation tracker Protect Thy Neighbor, there are presently 59 anti-LGBT bills active nationwide in state legislatures. The site is tracking this post-Obergefell avalanche in multiple categories including same-sex marriage, adoption, healthcare, public accommodations, and religious liberty. Hit the link, check out your home state, and bookmark the site, which is a project of Americans United For Separation …

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ALASKA: State GOP Lawmakers Pre-File Bills Which Would Legalize Discrimination Against Married Gays

Alaska GOP state Sen. Peter Micciche today pre-filed a bill which would allow businesses to refuse “services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges” to any married or engaged same-sex couple. A companion bill has also been pre-filed in the Alaska House by GOP Rep. Dave Talerico. Via Alaska Commons: Rather than fix the unenforceable and obsolete provisions rendered unconstitutional by the …

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OKLAHOMA CITY: City Council Approves Ban On Anti-LGBT Discrimination In Housing [VIDEO]

After a “heated” public debate, yesterday the Oklahoma City Council voted 5-4 to ban anti-LGBT discrimination in housing. Oklahoma City’s NBC affiliate reports: “I just feel this incredible relief and happiness and joy that our kids are going to turn on the TV tonight and think: Oklahoma is standing with you,” said Cindy Cason, whose son is gay. She lives …

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MISSOURI: Proposed Bill Would Have Cops Record “Perceived” Sexual Orientation Of Drivers

A bill introduced yesterday by Democratic Missouri state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed [photo] would have police officers record the “perceived” sexual orientation of drivers stopped for infractions. The Fair & Impartial Policing Act is endorsed by the ACLU of Missouri and is part of a broad anti-profiling campaign. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports: “This is not an attack on law enforcement,” …

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CHINA: Court Accepts Same-Sex Marriage Case

Voice Of America reports: A Chinese court has accepted the country’s first same-sex marriage case, filed by a gay man in Hunan province against the government for refusing his application to marry his male partner. The decision is being hailed as a step forward for gay rights and as a major test case for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) …

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WASHINGTON: AG Urges State Supreme Court To Uphold Ruling Against Florist Barronelle Stutzman

Via press release: Attorney General Bob Ferguson late last night filed a brief with the Washington State Supreme Court urging the justices to uphold a Benton County Superior Court decision ordering a Richland florist to stop discriminating against gay and lesbian customers seeking flowers for their weddings. In a February 18, 2015 ruling, the Superior Court found that Arlene’s Flowers, …

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MISSOURI: GOP Attorney General Candidate Proposes Formal Legalization Of Anti-LGBT Discrimination

In Missouri, as in many other states, it’s already completely legal to refuse to serve LGBT citizens as no such protections exist in state law. But that’s not good enough for GOP state attorney general candidate Josh Hawley. The Columbia Daily Tribune reports: Hawley wrote to legislative leaders urging them to pass exemptions for ministers, churches and businesses that do …

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