Utah hate-crimes law to get hearing after years of gridlock

By : wire report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | A proposal to strengthen Utah’s hate-crimes law will get a hearing, marking a potential turning point for the idea long stuck in legislative gridlock, lawmakers said Feb. 19.

Republican sponsor Sen. Daniel Thatcher said the bill will be publicly discussed on Feb. 21, and he’s confident that a panel of lawmakers will approve it.

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Anti-LGBT petitions before Supreme Court could make for dire term

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A number of anti-LGBT petitions are before the U.S. Supreme Court, although legal experts say adjudication of these cases — if justices agree to take them up — may not be as bad as some observers fear.

With one exception, each of the petitions before the court calls for a rollback of LGBT rights or a reversal of decisions from lower courts affirming LGBT rights within those jurisdictions.

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DOJ dodges on whether Supreme Court should review trans protections

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Days after an explosive New York Times report revealing the Department of Health & Human Services is planning to define transgender people out of existence, the Trump administration is sidestepping a question before the U.S. Supreme Court on whether justices should take up a case to review whether the term “sex” under federal laws applies to transgender people.

The U.S. Justice Department took the position Oct. 24 in a filing responding to a petition from Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBT legal group, calling on the Supreme Court to reverse a decision from the U.S. Sixth Court of Appeals finding transgender protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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Judge rules HB2 deal doesn’t impair bathroom access for trans people

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A federal judge has allowed a lawsuit against the compromise over North Carolina’s anti-LGBT House Bill 2 to continue, but found the new law doesn’t inhibit bathroom access to transgender people in the state.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled Sunday night the challenge to House Bill 142 can proceed in so far it pertains Section 3 of the law, which prohibits municipalities from enacting ordinances regulating private employment practices or regulating public accommodations until December 1, 2020.

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Suit over Michigan gay couples denied adoptions can proceed

By : wire report
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DETROIT (AP) | A federal judge has declined to dismiss a lawsuit which says Michigan is illegally allowing faith-based groups to reject same-sex couples who want to adopt children or become foster parents.

U.S. District Judge Paul Borman said in an order issued Friday that the couples had successfully argued that the faith-based groups’ religious screening practices harmed them.

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Convicted murderer sentenced to death for being gay?

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The ACLU and four LGBT legal groups are asking a federal appeals court to allow a gay South Dakota man convicted of murder in 1993 to present new evidence showing that anti-gay bias may have motivated the jury to sentence him to death instead of life in prison.

Charles Russell Rhines, 62, has been held on death row in the South Dakota State Penitentiary for 25 years since his conviction and sentencing for the March 1992 stabbing death of a 22-year-old male employee at a Rapid City donut shop.

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ICE releases 14 transgender asylum seekers

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has released from its custody 14 transgender women who are seeking asylum in the U.S.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts in a July 31 press release that announced the trans women’s release said they had been detained at the Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, N.M.

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New GOP bill would ban flying of Pride flag at U.S. embassies

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A Republican lawmaker in the U.S. House has introduced legislation that appears to be aimed at barring U.S. embassies from flying the Pride flag in recognition of the LGBT community.

With little fanfare last week, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) quietly introduced the measure, which seeks to “prohibit the flying of any flag other than the United States flag over United States diplomatic and consular posts, and for other purposes.”

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CVS apologizes to transgender woman for prescription denial

By : wire report
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PHOENIX (AP)| Drugstore chain CVS is apologizing to an Arizona transgender woman who says she was denied a hormone prescription by a pharmacist.

The company apologized on social media Friday saying the pharmacist is no longer an employee.

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With 2018’s third transgender murder in Jacksonville, advocates seek justice and solidarity

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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At least 28 known transgender men and women were murdered nationwide in 2017, the highest number on record. On June 24, just over 2018’s midpoint, the murders of two transgender women brought this year’s total to half that—prompting community advocates to demand justice for the 14 transgender lives lost.

One of those murders was that of Cathalina Christina James, a transgender woman of color who lived her life as more than a disturbing statistic stemming from Jacksonville, Fla. James’ death sparked outrage and stoked fear for the transgender community in Florida’s fourth most populous city, with local leaders fearing a serial killer stalked Jacksonville’s streets.

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Md. school district, trans student reach settlement

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Talbot County, Md., Public Schools and attorneys representing a male transgender student reached a settlement on Monday in a 2016 lawsuit filed by the then 14-year-old student challenging his school’s refusal to allow him to use the boys locker room and bathrooms.

The settlement allows Max Brennan, who’s now 16, to freely use the boys’ restrooms and locker room at St. Michaels Middle High School in Talbot County, Md. His attorneys with the ACLU and the Maryland LGBT advocacy group Free State Justice consider the settlement a major victory for transgender rights.

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S.C. bill would label same-sex marriages as ‘parody marriages’

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: State Rep. Steven Wayne Long (R-Spartanburg) is author and lead sponsor of the anti-gay bill in South Carolina. Photo courtesy of Twitter.

Six members of the South Carolina House of Representatives last week introduced a bill calling for redefining same-sex marriages in the state as “parody marriages” and prohibiting the state from recognizing such marriages.

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