High stakes for LGBTQ Americans at Supreme Court next week

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The U.S. Supreme Court is set Tuesday to hear a trio of cases that will determine not just whether firing workers for being LGBT is legal under federal law, but will also have ramifications for LGBT people in education, health care and housing.

At issue is whether anti-LGBT discrimination is a form of sex discrimination and therefore prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex, but says nothing explicitly about sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Transgender woman in Supreme Court case is ‘happy being me’

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Aimee Stephens. (Photo from Facebook)

FERNDALE, Michigan (AP) | Aimee Stephens lost her job at a suburban Detroit funeral home and she could lose her Supreme Court case over discrimination against transgender people. Amid her legal fight, her health is failing.

But seven years after Stephens thought seriously of suicide and six years after she announced that she would henceforth be known as Aimee instead of Anthony, she has something no one can take away.

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We look back on 2018, a midterm year for a country that’s just living on a prayer

By : Jeremy Williams and Ryan Williams-Jent
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It’s been two years since we, as a country, entered into the reality that is the Trump Administration. The country feels more divided than ever and the phrases “fake news” and “it’s all a witch hunt” are commonplace.

The violence that seems to define who Americans are these days is also there, particularly in Florida, where there has been no justice for the five transgender women of color who were murdered and yet another mass shooting—this time at a high school in Parkland, Fla.—pulled the focus of the world to our state.

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Chad Griffin participates in UnidosUS conference forum

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin on July 9, 2018, was among those who took part in a forum at UnidosUS’ annual conference that focused on civil rights during the Trump administration. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin participated in a forum on civil rights under the Trump administration that took place during UnidosUS’ annual conference in D.C. on Monday.

“The LGBTQ community is as diverse as the fabric of our nation,” said Griffin during the forum that UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía moderated. “We are women. We are Muslim and we are Jewish. We are black, white, Latinx, Asian, and Native American. We are immigrants and we are people with disabilities.”

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Announcement of Trump Supreme Court choice nears

By : Wire Report
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BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) | President Donald Trump was closing in on his choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Saturday, making final deliberations from the privacy of his New Jersey golf club.

Clearly relishing the mounting suspense, Trump tweeted early in the morning: “Big decision will soon be made on our next Justice of the Supreme Court!”

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Trump closes in on Supreme Court pick; 3 judges top list

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) | President Donald Trump is closing in on his next Supreme Court nominee, with three federal judges leading the competition to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Trump’s top contenders for the vacancy at this time are federal appeals judges Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge, said a person familiar with Trump’s thinking who was not authorized to speak publicly.

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Ex-Colorado official: No bias in same-sex wedding cake case

By : wire report
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DENVER (AP) — A former Colorado civil rights commissioner whose remarks on religion were the basis of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling for a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple insisted last Wednesday she has no religious bias and wouldn’t have said anything if she’d known how her remarks would be used.

Diann Rice acknowledged she made remarks cited by the high court when it ruled last Monday in favor of Jack Phillips, a suburban Denver baker. But she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that she made the comments after Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission already had ruled against Phillips and for Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins.

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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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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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Conservative Gorsuch emulates Scalia minus the rough edges

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – If confirmed by the Senate to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch would fill the seat of the man he seeks to emulate as a judge.

He would be the first justice to serve alongside a colleague for whom he worked. Gorsuch described his former boss, Justice Anthony Kennedy, Jan. 31 as one of the judges who brought him up in the law.

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