Missouri attorney general: Law doesn’t protect LGBTQ people

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. (From Facebook)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) | Missouri’s attorney general believes that federal law doesn’t protect LGBTQ people from discrimination.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt was among GOP attorneys general nationwide who signed a U.S. Supreme Court brief outlining the position Aug. 23.

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Ohio attorney general joins federal argument against LGBTQ protections

By : Wire Report
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) | Ohio’s attorney general is joining the U.S. Department of Justice in arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court that federal civil rights laws provide no protection against workplace discrimination for LGBTQ employees

The Columbus Dispatch reports Attorney General Dave Yost said Aug. 23 he has joined a friend-of-the-court brief filed by other states arguing the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibiting discrimination based on gender doesn’t apply to those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

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Barr declares ‘zero tolerance’ for hate crimes in Pride Month statement

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: U.S. Attorney General William Barr declares “zero tolerance” for anti-LGBT violence within the Justice Department. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

U.S. Attorney General William Barr affirmed his position of “zero tolerance” for hate crimes against LGBT people in a statement to Justice Department employees  recognizing Pride Month.

In the statement, which was sent to Justice Department employees June 27 and shared with the Washington Blade, Barr declares the department is “fortunate to have many talented and dedicated LGBT public servants who work hard on behalf of the American people.”

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Gay friend defends Trump’s pick for AG amid concerns from LGBT groups

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: William Barr in the early 90s as Attorney General under George H.W. Bush. Photo public domain.

A longtime gay friend of William Barr, President Trump’s pick as the next U.S. attorney general, has come to the defense of the nominee amid concerns from LGBT groups he’d continue the anti-LGBT legal positions of the Trump Justice Department.

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Sessions announces the creation of a ‘religious liberty task force’

By : Wire and Staff Reports
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WASHINGTON (AP) | American culture has become “less hospitable to people of faith,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said July 30 in vowing that the Justice Department would protect people’s religious freedom and convictions.

Sessions spoke at a Justice Department summit on religious tolerance at a time when courts across the country have been asked how to balance anti-discrimination laws against the First Amendment’s religious freedom guarantees.

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Florida AG candidate Sean Shaw fights ‘for the people, not the powerful’ if elected

By : Layla Ferris
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TAMPA | Rep. Sean Shaw (D-Tampa) pledges to fight “for the people, not the powerful” if elected as Florida’s next attorney general.

Shaw, a Sunshine State native who studied law at the University of Florida, has represented District 61 for the State House of Representatives since 2016. While in office Shaw supported The Florida Competitive Workforce Act and voted to ban conversion therapy statewide.

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Ex-Attorney General honored for advancing gay, transgender rights

By : Wire Report
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BOSTON (AP) – Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been recognized in Boston for advancing gay and transgender rights.

The nonprofit GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders honored Holder Friday evening with its 18th annual Spirit of Justice award.

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DOJ seeks time to argue for anti-gay baker in Supreme Court case

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The U.S. Justice Department under U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is seeking a time slot of 10 minutes before the U.S. Supreme Court to argue on behalf of a Colorado baker who wishes to refuse the sale of make wedding cakes for same-sex couples.

U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed the two-page request Wednesday before the Supreme Court in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

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Justice Dept. to help in Iowa case of slain transgender teen

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has sent a federal hate crimes lawyer to Iowa to help prosecute a man charged with killing a transgender teenager last year, an unusual decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions even as he takes other steps to erode the rights of transgender people broadly.

The case involves Jorge Sanders-Galvez, 23, who is charged with killing 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson in Burlington, Iowa, in March 2016. Authorities have not disclosed a motive, but Johnson’s relatives say he may have been targeted because he identified as both male and female.

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Arkansas asks that city’s LGBT rights ordinance be blocked

By : Wire Report
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Arkansas asked a judge July 28 to block enforcement of a city ordinance that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, months after the state’s highest court ruled the measure violated a law aimed at prohibiting local LGBT protections.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and a group opposed to the Fayetteville anti-discrimination ordinance asked Washington County Circuit Judge Doug Martin to issue a preliminary injunction against the measure. The state Supreme Court in February reversed a ruling that the ordinance didn’t violate a state law prohibiting cities from enacting protections not covered by state law. Arkansas’ civil rights law doesn’t cover sexual orientation or gender identity.

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DOJ: Anti-gay discrimination perfectly OK under federal law

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Justice Department has declared anti-gay discrimination is lawful under current federal civil rights law, filing an friend-of-the-court brief in a case of alleging employment discrimination.

In a 23-page brief, the Justice Department under U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rejects the notion that sexual-orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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Sessions to rally crowd at anti-LGBT ‘religious freedom’ summit

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions — known for his anti-LGBT record — was set to speak Tuesday at an event for the anti-LGBT legal group representing before the U.S. Supreme Court a Colorado baker that denied a wedding cake to a same-sex couple for religious reasons.

Media outlets, including Buzzfeed, reported Sessions’ public schedule was updated Tuesday during his trip to California to include on the same day at 5:30 local time a speech in Orange County at Alliance Defending Freedom’s “religious freedom” summit. The remarks were closed to press.

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