Court applies Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling to uphold Ariz. LGBT ordinance

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A state appellate court on Thursday upheld a city non-discrimination ordinance in Arizona, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in the reasoning for the decision.

The court in a decision written by Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Lawrence Winthrop determines a non-discrimination ordinance in Phoenix barring anti-LGBT discrimination enacted in 2013 is valid under the U.S. Constitution.

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Judge: Va. school board can appeal Gavin Grimm ruling

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A federal judge on Tuesday said a Virginia school board can ask a federal appeals court to consider whether its bathroom policy is discriminatory.

U.S. District Court Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Norfolk, Va., on May 22 dismissed the Gloucester County School Board’s motion to dismiss Gavin Grimm’s lawsuit against the policy. The Associated Press reported Wright — who in 2014 ruled Virginia’s constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman is unconstitutional — on Tuesday granted the school board’s request to petition the 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals to resolve the case.

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Supreme Court sidesteps major ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop case

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Supreme Court sidestepped making a major decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case pending before the court, issuing a narrow decision based on the facts of the lawsuit in favor of a Colorado baker sued for refusing a wedding cake to same-sex couple.

In the 7-2 decision written by U.S. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court vacates the decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals against baker Jack Phillips on the basis the state commission handling his case displayed a religious bias against him.

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Judge declines to dismiss Gavin Grimm lawsuit

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Gavin Grimm speaks at SMYAL’s annual Fall Brunch in D.C. on Nov. 6, 2017. A federal judge in Norfolk, Va., has declined a motion to dismiss his lawsuit against the Gloucester County School Board. Washington Blade photo by Tom Hausman.

A federal judge on Tuesday declined to dismiss a lawsuit that a transgender man filed against his Virginia school district’s bathroom policy.

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Kansas governor signs ‘religious freedom’ anti-LGBTQ adoption law

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed anti-LGBTQ adoption legislation making his state the latest to enact a “religious freedom” law enabling taxpayer-funded agencies to deny placement into LGBTQ homes.

Colyer signed the legislation, Senate Bill 284, into law on Friday, according to a local media report. The Washington Blade has placed a call in with Colyer’s office seeking confirmation that he signed the bill.

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Trump’s HHS secretary dodges question on trans health care

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar dodged a question Friday on whether the Trump administration would repeal an Obamacare rule barring medical practitioners from denying health care to transgender people, including gender reassignment surgery.

During the White House daily briefing, which Azar attended to flesh out President Trump’s plan to lower drug prices that he announced moments earlier in the Rose Garden, the health secretary professed he was unaware of the issue in response to a question from the Washington Blade.

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Transgender inmate says she was raped despite raising fears

By : wire report
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DENVER (AP) — A transgender inmate who is suing Colorado’s corrections agency says she was raped at a men’s prison hours after a federal judge denied her request to block the prison from keeping her in a disciplinary unit, according to court records and the woman’s attorney.

Lindsay Saunders-Velez filed a lawsuit in July saying she has been threatened, harassed and assaulted since entering Colorado’s prison system last spring for violating her plea deal in a menacing case. She called the state’s prisons “discriminatory and dangerous” for transgender offenders.

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Trump’s new faith initiative raises concerns among LGBTQ advocates

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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President Trump’s new initiative to support faith-based organizations with federal assistance is stirring unease among LGBTQ rights supporters, who say they’ll keep watch to ensure the program doesn’t enable anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

Trump, who created the initiative by executive order on Thursday on the National Day of Prayer, said during a signing ceremony in the White House Rose Garden the program will “help design new policies that recognize the vital role of faith in our families, our communities, and our great country.”

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House rejects bill letting agencies refuse LGBT adoptions

By : wire report
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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas House has rejected a bill that would have allowed adoption and foster care contractors to refuse placements to gay and lesbian couples based on religious grounds.

The Wichita Eagle reports that the House voted down the measure Thursday, hours after the state Senate approved nearly identical legislation. The bill now goes to a conference committee, where lawmakers from the House and the Senate will negotiate a final bill.

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Judge issues decision favorable to Md. trans student on locker room use

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A federal judge in Maryland has issued a decision favorable to a transgender student whose school has barred him from the locker room consistent with his gender identity.

In a 40-page decision, U.S. District Judge George Russell III, an Obama appointee, stopped short Tuesday of issuing a preliminary injunction in favor of Max Brennan, identified as M.A.B in the lawsuit, but nonetheless finds St. Michaels Middle High School in Talbot County’s policy “does not withstand” heightened scrutiny and amounts to unlawful sex-stereotyping.

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House Dems step up efforts against new anti-LGBT division within HHS

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: House Dems led by Rep. Charlie Crist are stepping up efforts to combat the anti-LGBT division at HHS. Photo public domain.

Amid the widespread view a new conscience division at the Department of Health & Human Services would enable medical practitioners to refuse treatment to women seeking abortions and LGBT people, House Democrats are stepping up efforts against the office.

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Transgender student denied unrestricted locker room access

By : wire report
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PALATINE, Ill. (AP) — A judge has denied a suburban Chicago transgender student’s request for an injunction that would grant her unrestricted access to the girls’ locker room at her high school.

The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports a Cook County judge denied the request on Thursday from Palatine High School student Nova Maday.

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