Kennedy wrestles with wedding cake case at Supreme Court

By : wire report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — His vote likely to decide the outcome, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy voiced competing concerns Tuesday about respecting the religious beliefs of a Colorado baker who wouldn’t make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, and the gay couple’s dignity.

Kennedy, the author of all the court’s major gay-rights cases, worried early in a riveting argument at the high court that a ruling in favor of baker Jack Phillips might allow shop owners to put up signs saying “We do not bake cakes for gay weddings.”

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Opponents in LGBT case agree: It’s not about wedding cake

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In a legal case with profound implications for LGBT rights and religion’s place in public life, the opposing sides agree on this: It’s not about the cake.

At its core, the case that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court for oral arguments on Dec. 5 is a showdown between a gay couple from Colorado and a Denver-area baker who in 2012 cited his Christian faith in refusing to make a cake for their wedding celebration.

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ACLU, Colorado file briefs for gay couple in Masterpiece Cakeshop case

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Lawyers advocating for the gay couple who insist they should be able to purchase a wedding cake from a baker under Colorado law — whether the baker has religious objections or not — fired their opening salvo before the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.

In the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, a pair of opening briefs was submitted by Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which argues the court should uphold lower court decisions for Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Law, and the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the same-sex couple in the lawsuit, Charlie Craig and David Mullins.

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North Carolina deal would expand transgender protections

By : Wire Report
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s governor launched a two-part strategy Wednesday that could end protracted litigation over the state’s so-called bathroom bill and its replacement, while expanding LGBT protections lawmakers aren’t inclined to endorse.

Plaintiffs who had sued the state claiming discrimination asked a judge to approve a settlement with the governor that would ensure transgender people can use restrooms corresponding to their gender identity in facilities run by executive branch agencies that oversee the environment, transportation and Medicaid, among others.

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Cornell Fine Arts Museum Lecture:Themes of Racial Injustice and Student/Youth Rights

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Join Natishia June, Regional Organizer, ACLU of Northeast FL Regional Office, as she talks about Themes of Racial Injustice and Student/Youth Rights.

Natishia Y. June is the Regional Organizer for the ACLU of Northeast FL Regional Office. June has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Florida Agriculture & Mechanical University (FAMU). She previously served as Project Manager for a Jacksonville faith-based youth program FISH Kids, Inc. and Health Educator for Shisa Inc. conducting HIV/AIDS testing, education and outreach to both LGBTQ and heterosexual high-risk populations. June is well versed on the Northeast Florida political structure and its’ powerbrokers. She is a native of Jacksonville and has organized extensively in the past three (3) years in local churches and community-based organizations such as the Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment (ICARE), the Women’s Academic & Cultural Society, and National Black HIV/AIDS Network.

Free admission courtesy of Dale Montgomery ’60.
​No reservations required

ACLU sues Metro to reinstate ads for Milo, others

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday charging that the D.C.-area Metro transit system’s decision to ban advertisements for a book written by gay conservative writer Milo Yiannopoulos and “message” ads from three other groups, including the ACLU itself, violates the First Amendment.

Noting that Metro initially accepted the ads for Yiannopoulos’ book before abruptly taking them down last month, ACLU lawyers filed a motion asking for “immediate relief” from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for reinstatement of the ads to avoid further loss of revenue from book sales.

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Unity prevails at the June 11 Equality March on Washington D.C.

By : Billy Manes
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By the time Sunday, June 11, rolled around in Washington, D.C., the weekend of celebration took a more political turn, as was planned.

“Shame! Shame! Shame!” hundreds of thousands screamed as they walked past the White House. The Human Rights Campaign and the ACLU were heavily present, and the pomp of a parade gave way to the circumstance of a march. That march ended up on the Washington Mall, where speakers screamed down history and screamed up civil rights.

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Trump ‘religious freedom’ order silent on LGBT issues

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Many LGBT advocates breathed sighs of relief after learning that a long-awaited “religious freedom” executive order issued by President Trump on Thursday did not include specific anti-LGBT provisions that media reports said were included in an earlier draft of the order.

But officials with several national LGBT advocacy organizations expressed concern that the two-page executive order, called “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty,” gives U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions authority to interpret existing federal laws and regulations in a way that could result in discrimination against LGBT people.

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NCAA returns events to NC after state makes changes to LGBTQ law

By : Wire Report
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)- The NCAA has awarded coveted men’s basketball tournament games and other events to North Carolina, effectively ending a boycott that helped force the state to repeal parts of a law that limited protections for LGBTQ people.

The governing body announced decisions Tuesday for events through 2022, two weeks after the NCAA said it had “reluctantly” agreed to consider North Carolina again for hosting duties. It had stripped North Carolina of seven championship events for the past sports season, including opening-weekend men’s basketball tournament games, and said it could relocate more events if there wasn’t a change in the “bathroom bill.”

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N.C. lawmakers reach deal on HB2 criticized as ‘a train wreck’

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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With the NCAA’s threat looming of no championship games for the state for years to come, North Carolina lawmakers came to an agreement Wednesday night with Gov. Roy Cooper on a deal to undo anti-LGBT House Bill 2 — and LGBT rights supporters are outraged over a proposal they say doubles-down on discrimination.

In exchange for repeal HB2, Republican leaders of the legislature and the governor agreed during a behind-the-doors meeting to a different measure that still precludes efforts to prohibit discrimination against LGBT people.

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Opponents: Arkansas exposure bill targets transgender people

By : Wire Report
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP)- An Arkansas lawmaker wants to expand the state’s indecent exposure law in a move that opponents say could criminalize transgender people’s use of bathrooms.

Republican Rep. Bob Ballinger’s proposal would make it a crime for people to knowingly expose their sex organs to someone of the opposite sex in a public place under circumstances likely to cause alarm. Ballinger said the measure was needed to protect children in situations such as when a father takes his daughter into the men’s restroom. The bill would make it a crime for the men to deliberately expose themselves to the child.

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ACLU launches nationwide training on protest, resistance

By : Wire Report
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP)- The American Civil Liberties Union staged a nationwide training event Saturday to make sure people are aware of their rights as protesters and urge organized, public resistance by those opposed to policies of President Donald Trump.

Organizers said the event at a sports arena on the University of Miami campus was live-streamed to locations in all 50 states. ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said 200,000 people had signed up to attend one of an estimated 2,000 local events.

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