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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Murder case raises question: Do LGBT hate crime laws work?

By : Wire Report
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Each year, for the past three years, LGBT advocacy groups have tallied the killings of more than 20 transgender people in the U.S. Yet state or federal hate crime laws are rarely used to prosecute the slayings.

Now many LGBT-rights groups are questioning the effectiveness of the laws, saying they sometimes focus too tightly on individual acts without addressing underlying bias or wider violence. The volatile issue was back in the spotlight this week as Missouri authorities investigated the killing of a transgender teen who was stabbed in the genitals and had her eyes gouged out.

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Former Missouri college wrestler sentenced for HIV exposure

By : wire report
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ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) – A former suburban St. Louis college wrestler has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for infecting another man with HIV and endangering four other sexual partners.

Michael Johnson, 25, was sentenced Sept. 22 after reaching a plea deal, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

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Michigan sued over anti-LGBT ‘religious freedom’ adoption law

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law religious freedom adoption bills. (Photo by Major.guy2012; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

The state of Michigan is facing a first-of-its-kind lawsuit contesting its anti-LGBT “religious freedom” adoption law, which allows taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse placement to LGBT families.

The 22-page complaint was filed Wednesday in federal court in Michigan by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan on behalf of two same-sex couples denied service by Catholic adoption agencies and a Michigan resident raised in foster care who believes she would have been unable to find home placement if the law were in place years ago.

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Chelsea Manning shares first photo post-prison release

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Chelsea Manning shared her first photo since being released from prison on social media on Thursday.

Manning, who was released from prison after serving nearly seven years of her 35-year sentence for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, posted the photo on Instagram and Twitter. The 29-year-old captioned the photo, “Okay, so here I am everyone!!”

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Chelsea Manning released after nearly 7 years in prison

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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(Portrait by Alicia Neal.)

After spending nearly seven years in prison for leaking classified information, the Army has released Chelsea Manning as a result of clemency granted by former President Obama.

Manning in a statement acknowledged she had an early release from prison as a result of former President Obama granting her clemency as one of his final acts in office, which considerably reduced her initial 35-year sentence.

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LGBT groups prepare for fight over Trump ‘religious freedom’ EO

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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In the wake of a media report that President Trump is preparing to sign a “religious freedom” executive order on Thursday, LGBT groups are making plans to fight the measure on the assumption it will enable anti-LGBT discrimination.

The Human Rights Campaign is planning a rally and news conference at noon Wednesday at Lafayette Square outside of the White House to raise awareness about a directive that the organization says would put millions of LGBT people at risk of discrimination.

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Dan Savage raises $100K with ‘Impeach the Mother F**ker Already’ gear

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Dan Savage has donated $100,000 to organizations threatened by the Trump administration with funds from the sale of ITMFA, an acronym for “Impeach The Mother F*cker Already,” merchandise.

The LGBT author and activist chose Planned Parenthood, American Civil Liberties Union and International Refugee Assistance Project as the recipients. Buttons, T-shirts, hats, stickers, coffee cups, and lapel pins emblazoned with “ITMFA” are all on sale.

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4th Circuit denies request to expedite Gavin Grimm case

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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A federal appeals court on Friday denied a motion to expedite the case of a transgender student who is challenging his Virginia school district’s bathroom policy.

Gavin Grimm in 2015 filed a lawsuit against the Gloucester County School District’s policy prohibiting students from using bathrooms and locker rooms that don’t correspond with their “biological gender.”

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Gavin Grimm makes case to Supreme Court on using the boys’ room

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Oral arguments in Gavin Grimm’s case before the Supreme Court are more than one month away, but his lawyers shot their initial salvo Thursday making the case he should be allowed to use the restroom in his school consistent with his gender identity.

In its opening brief before the court, the American Civil Liberties Union makes seven key arguments for why Gloucester County Schools in Virginia should be required to allow Gavin to use the boys’ room. The argument are based on Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which bars schools from discriminating against students on the basis of sex.

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Reno speed-match program matches non-profits with donors fearful of election results

By : Wire Report
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RENO, Nev. (AP) – A group of northern Nevada nonprofits has begun hosting speed-dating style meetings to match people fearful about the results of the presidential election with organizations that need donations and volunteers.

Event organizer Jackie Shelton tells KRNV-TV that a Saturday evening gathering that drew about 200 to a Reno bakery probably won’t be the last.

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ACLU ask Obama to commute sentence for Chelsea Manning

By : Wire Report
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LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) – The American Civil Liberties Union and gay-rights groups are lobbying President Barack Obama to commute the prison sentence of a transgender soldier who leaked classified government and military documents.

The ACLU said the letter Dec. 5 co-signed by more than a dozen civil rights groups considers Chelsea Manning’s 35-year sentence unprecedented.

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