Civil Rights

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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INDIANA: Bill From GOP State Sen. Jim Tomes Would Criminalize Bathroom Use By Trans Citizens

Indiana. Again. Via the Associated Press: An Indiana lawmaker has proposed a bill that would make it a crime for transgender people to use public bathrooms and locker rooms that do not conform to their gender at birth, threatening to draw Indiana further into a national debate over transgender rights. “We’ve walked through a doorway we’ll never go back through. …

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Federal Judge Rules That Sexual Orientation Discrimination Is Covered By Landmark Title IX Law

The Los Angeles Times reports: A federal judge in California has ruled that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation falls under the purview of the landmark Title IX law, giving a broader interpretation to the 1972 statute that prohibits sex discrimination in the nation’s schools and colleges. In his 22-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson said that discrimination …

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INDIA: Gay Sex To Remain Illegal

By a vote of 71-24, India’s Parliament today rejected a bill to decriminalize homosexual acts. The Hindustan Times reports: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s private member’s bill to decriminalise gay sex was rejected in the Lok Sabha on Friday, with the former minister saying it was “surprising to see such intolerance”. Tharoor had proposed to amend Section 377 of the Indian …

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Judge Declares Mistrial In Freddie Gray Case

The Baltimore Sun reports: Judge Barry G. Williams on Wednesday declared a mistrial in the trial of Officer William G. Porter on all four counts. Porter, 26, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office in the April arrest and death of Freddie Gray. Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby charged Porter and five other …

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LA LGBT Center Looks Back On 2015 [VIDEO]

“Watch the 13 milestones that changed the world for LGBT people in 2015 and news coverage that illustrates 6 reasons why our battle isn’t over. From marriage equality to an end on the military ban on transgender people, 2015 will be remembered as a landmark year for the LGBT civil rights movement, but learn why we’ve still got so much …

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United Nations Marks Human Rights Day With Campaign On Social Costs Of Anti-LGBT Discrimination [VIDEO]

As part of Human Rights Day, United Nations delegates will today be shown the below Zachary Quinto-narrated video about the social costs of anti-LGBT discrimination. This is the first such campaign for the UN. Watch below.

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ALABAMA: NAACP Sues State Over Voter ID Law Following Mass Closures Of DMV Offices

We knew THIS was coming: Alabama now faces a federal lawsuit over its voter ID law after closing 30 or so driver’s licenses offices, many of them in areas with high African-American populations. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is bringing the suit on behalf of Greater Birmingham Ministries and the Alabama NAACP. It was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court …

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LOUISIANA: Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards To Protect LGBT State Employees From Discrimination

Well, this is a welcome surprise coming from someone who campaigned on opposing same-sex marriage. NOLA.com reports: Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards plans to issue an executive order to protect the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community from firing, discrimination and harassment as state employees and government contractors. Edwards’ directive would cover state workers and government contractors in agencies and departments …

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BRITAIN: Secretary General Of Commonwealth Nations Vows To Pursue Decriminalizing Homosexuality

Homosexuality remains criminalized in 40 Commonwealth nations. Newly-elected Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland wants to do something about that. Via the Independent: A report this month by the Kaleidoscope Trust shows that more than 90 per cent of LGBT Commonwealth citizens live in jurisdictions where they are treated as criminals or suffer discrimination. Testimony from LGBT people in that report …

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NEW York: Liberty Ridge Wedding Venue Owners Appeal Fine For Turning Away Lesbian Couple

The owners of an upstate New York wedding venue yesterday appeared in court to appeal the $13,000 fine imposed last year after they turned away a lesbian couple. The Associated Press reports: The Giffords’ lawyer, James Trainor, said at the time of the initial ruling that he was surprised the judge did not incorporate the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Hobby …

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SNL Mocks Houston’s Anti-Trans Vote [VIDEO]

Last night SNL’s Weekend Update segment took on the haters in Houston. Best line: “So the theory is that guys, in their relentless quest to watch women go to the bathroom, are going through years of hormones surgery, changing their names, their wardrobe, coming out to their families, all for that big payoff of peeing in a room without urinals. …

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UTAH: HRC Files Complaint Against Anti-Gay Judge

The Human Rights Campaign today filed a formal complaint against Judge Scott Johansen with Utah Judicial Conduct Commission. From their letter to the commission: On behalf of the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) more than 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide, I write to call your attention to a formal complaint that we have filed with the Commission regarding Judge Scott …

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