Tag Archives: civil rights

BREAKING: Justice Department Files Brief Arguing That LGBT Workers Are Not Protected By The Civil Rights Act

Dominic Holden reports at Buzzfeed: The US Justice Department on Wednesday argued in a major federal lawsuit that a 1964 civil rights law doesn’t protect gay workers from discrimination, thereby diverging from a separate, autonomous federal agency that had supported the gay plaintiff’s case. The Trump administration’s filing is unusual in part because the Justice Department isn’t a party in …

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Democrats And Civil Rights Groups React With Outrage, ACLU Tells Trans Soldiers To “Get In Touch With Us”

Everybody was caught by surprise by this morning’s anti-transgender tweets, including the Pentagon, but the press releases are starting to roll in. Here’s some of what I’ve gotten so far. From the Democratic National Committee: Right this moment, around the world, brave transgender service members are protecting the American people – including Donald Trump and Mike Pence. While the White …

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Texas Senate Approves Anti-Trans Bill In 21-10 Vote

The Texas Tribune reports: As part of Republican efforts to revive the controversial “bathroom bill,” the Texas Senate on Tuesday gave initial approval to another version of the legislation. The 21-10 vote — identical to the Senate’s March vote on a similar proposal — came after several amendments to the bill on the floor throughout an eight-hour debate during which …

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LIVE VIDEO: Texas Senate State Affairs Committee Hears Public Testimony On Anti-Transgender Bill

The Texas Tribune reports: For the third time this year, a committee of state lawmakers will consider measures to restrict bathroom use for transgender residents in what’s expected to be an hours-long hearing Friday that could draw out hundreds of Texans to testify. On the Senate State Affairs Committee’s agenda are Senate Bill 3 and Senate Bill 91 — both …

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TEXAS: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Opens Special Session By Fast-Tracking Anti-Trans Bill To Committee Approval

The Texas Tribune reports: On the opening day of the special session of the Texas Legislature on Tuesday, over the cries of Senate Democrats, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took a step to fast-track two bills reauthorizing the Texas Medical Board and four other state agencies jeopardized by inaction during the regular session. The Senate must first pass those bills before …

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DO NO HARM: House Dems Again Seek To “Correct” RFRA Law With Amendment Banning Discrimination

Via press release: With the support of leaders from the civil rights, social justice and faith communities, Congressman Joe Kennedy III (MA-04) and Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, today reintroduced 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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NEW ZEALAND: MP Stuns Parliament With Revelation That Her Uncle Had Murdered A Gay Man [VIDEO]

The New Zealand Herald reports: Green MP Marama Davidson used a harrowing example of the impact on her family of homophobia, remembering a young gay man who was killed by Davidson’s uncle in the 1980s. Her voice breaking, Marama spoke of the man during Parliament’s formal apology to the men convicted for consensual acts at a time homosexuality was illegal. …

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CHINA: Man Wins Forcible Ex-Gay Torture Suit

The Guardian reports: A gay man in central China has successfully sued a psychiatric hospital over forced conversion therapy, in what activists are hailing as the first such victory in a country where the LGBT rights movement is gradually emerging from the fringes. A court in Zhumadian, in Henan province, has ordered a city psychiatric hospital to publish an apology …

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BELFAST: Thousands March For Marriage [VIDEO]

The Belfast Telegraph reports: Thousands of people have joined a major parade through Belfast city centre demanding same-sex marriage rights. The demonstration on Saturday afternoon concluded with a rally in front of City Hall. The ban on equal marriage in Northern Ireland is one of several sticking points delaying the formation of a new powersharing government at Stormont. It is …

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Activists Alarmed: Trump Nominates Defender Of North Carolina’s HB2 To Head DOJ’s Civil Rights Division

The Associated Press reports: The White House on Thursday tapped a Washington labor lawyer known for representing large companies in discrimination lawsuits to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Eric Dreiband’s nomination immediately drew criticism from activists about his commitment to their priorities. The groups have been closely watching how Attorney General Jeff Sessions reshapes the division, which traditionally …

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CALIFORNIA: Government Restricts Publicly Funded Travel To Four More States Over New Anti-LGBT Laws

The Sacramento Bee reports: California is restricting publicly funded travel to four more states because of recent laws that leaders here view as discriminatory against gay and transgender people. All totaled, California now bans most state-funded travel to eight states. The new additions to California’s restricted travel list are Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and South Dakota. They join Kansas, Mississippi, North …

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RUSSIA: Vice News Reports From Inside The Chechen Prison Where Gays Were Tortured And Killed [VIDEO]

Via press release from HBO: VICE News has obtained exclusive access to Argun Prison in Chechnya where it is alleged that gay men were rounded up and tortured as part of an unprecedented ‘anti-gay purge’ by Chechnya’s law enforcement. VICE News is the first international news organization to be allowed into the location, capturing images and footage from the now …

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TEXAS: 44% Back Anti-Transgender “Bathroom Bill

The Texas Tribune reports: The “bathroom bill” that preoccupied the Texas Legislature for the first half of the year is important to only 44 percent of the state’s voters — and “very important” to only 26 percent, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. During the regular session, lawmakers considered but did not pass legislation that would regulate …

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POLAND: Thousands March In Warsaw Pride [VIDEO]

Deutsche Welle reports: The 17th annual ‘Equality Parade’ took place as Poland’s conservative government continues to oppose civil unions for same-sex couples. Organizers put the number at 50,000, while the police said 13,000 attended the parade, with 40 foreign embassies, including those of France and the US, expressing their support. The parade was intended to “draw attention to the rights …

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MICHIGAN: State Appeals Court Rules Against Woman Who Sued Over Transgender Woman In Locker Room

The Associated Press reports: The Michigan appeals court has ruled in favor of a Midland health club in a lawsuit filed by a woman who said her rights were violated when she encountered a transgender person in the locker room. The court found no evidence of sexual harassment, noting that Yvette Cormier and a transgender woman were both wearing clothes …

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MALAYSIA: Health Ministry Launches Video Contest On How Young People Can Best Prevent Homosexuality

The BBC reports: The Malaysian government is encouraging young people to make videos about “preventing” homosexuality by offering cash prizes. A competition launched on the health ministry’s website offers up to $1,000 (£780) for the best videos tackling “gender confusion”. The entries should explore prevention and control; issues and consequences; and how to get help, said the site. It is …

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Illinois Bans “Gay Panic” Murder Defense

Slate reports: On Wednesday, the Illinois House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill prohibiting the “gay panic” defense, which allows alleged murderers to defend their actions in court by arguing that their victim’s sexual orientation “triggered” their crime. The bill also bars the “trans panic” defense, which alleged murderers may use to justify the killing of a trans person on …

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Ivanka Trump “Celebrates And Honors” The LGBT Community And Twitter Is Just Totally Not Having It

One year ago today President Obama issued his final LGBT Pride Month proclamation, a tradition Donald Trump, as well as all other federal agencies, evidently chose to discontinue. Tonight, however, Ivanka issued a pair of tweets in which she declares that she is “proud to celebrate and honor the LGBTQ community” and support her “LGBTQ friends and the LGBTQ Americans …

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Democrats Issue Pride Month Proclamation And Call On Trump To Pressure Other Nations To Protect LGBTs

One year ago today President Obama issued his final LGBT Pride Month proclamation. We’re not holding our breath for any recognition from the current White House, but the Democrats have come through. From DNC chairman Tom Perez:   “From Stonewall to the Supreme Court, our nation has made great strides in LGBTQ rights. LGBTQ Pride Month is an opportunity to …

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Seventh Circuit Court Of Appeals Issues Landmark Education Ruling That Title IX Protects Trans Students

Vox reports: A single student’s case has turned into a massive legal decision for all transgender Americans. On Tuesday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Kenosha Unified School District in Wisconsin violated the rights of a trans student, Ash Whitaker [photo, with his mother], when it refused to let him use the boys’ bathroom. According to the …

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