LGBTQ rights, abortion, immigrants top Supreme Court’s new term

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Vin Testa at Obergefell decision day at Supreme Court. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

WASHINGTON (AP) | Protections for LGBTQ people and young immigrants as well as abortion rights top an election-year agenda for the Supreme Court. Its conservative majority will have ample opportunity to flex its muscle, testing Chief Justice John Roberts’ attempts to keep the court clear of Washington partisan politics.

Guns could be part of a term with plenty of high-profile cases and at least the prospect of the court’s involvement in issues revolving around the possible impeachment of President Donald Trump and related disputes between the White House and congressional Democrats.

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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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Supreme Court agrees to hear whether federal law bars anti-LGBTQ discrimination

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed hear cases seeking to determine once-and-for-all if anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace is prohibited under federal law.

In its orders list on Monday, the court announced it has granted certiorari in response to three separate petitions seeking clarification on whether Title VII of Civil Rights of 1964, which bars sex discrimination in the workplace, applies to cases of anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

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Manchin explains why he’s the only Senate Dem not supporting Equality Act

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has come out with an explanation for why he’s the only Senate Democrat who has declined to support the Equality Act, citing concerns about potential problems for local schools.

Manchin issued the statement to media outlets ton March 18 in the aftermath of reintroduction of legislation last week in both chambers of Congress, insisting he “support[s] equality for all people and do[es] not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”

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Alaska mayor vetoes LGBTQ anti-discrimination protections

By : wire report
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) |  The mayor of Alaska’s second-largest city vetoed a new local law March 1 that gave sweeping equal rights protections to the LGBTQ community —  just days after the City Council approved it.

Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly said he hopes to put the issue on the ballot in October and let voting residents decide, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported March 1.

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Pence again defends wife for teaching at anti-LGBT school

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. | Vice President Mike Pence said March 1 “freedom of religion is under attack” in the United States, citing as an example criticism over his wife Karen Pence’s decision to teach at a school that refuses to admit LGBT students or teachers.

“The freedom of religion is not just enshrined in the Constitution, it’s enshrined in the hearts of the American people,” Pence said. “But make no mistake about it. The freedom of religion is under attack in this country. Lately, it’s actually become fashionable for media elites and Hollywood liberals to mock religious belief.” 

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Transgender military personnel in limbo over Trump plan

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) | Long term, lawyers and activists battling to ensure that transgender people can serve openly in the U.S. military are convinced they will prevail. Short term, they are braced for anguishing consequences if the Trump administration proceeds with its plan to sharply restrict such service.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote Jan. 22, gave the administration the green light to put the policy into effect even as legal challenges continue.

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Supreme Court green lights Trump’s transgender military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 22 issued stays on lower court orders against President Trump’s transgender military ban, apparently allowing the policy to go into effect.

In orders from the court, the Supreme Court granted stays the U.S. Justice Department requested in two separate cases challenging the ban before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Karnoski v. Trump and Stockman v. Trump. The stays means the Trump’s policy against transgender service will be allowed to go into effect as litigation moves forward.

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Watch: Randy Rainbow urges you to vote in ‘Wicked’ parody

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Randy Rainbow wants you to vote.

The YouTuber known for his political musical parodies has taken on everyone from Brett Kavanaugh to Kellyanne Conway but now he’s focused on the midterm elections.

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House Democrats promise action on LGBTQ rights bill

By : wire report
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WASHINGTON (AP) | House Democrats are promising to prioritize anti-discrimination legislation that would for the first time establish widespread equal rights protections for LGBTQ individuals.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently said she would introduce the Equality Act as one of her first orders of business if Democrats retake the House in November. Pelosi made the announcement at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, telling the crowd the issue of equal rights for the LGBTQ community is “personal.”

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Another gay wedding cake case reaches Supreme Court

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Months after the U.S. Supreme Court in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case issued a narrow ruling in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a custom-made wedding cake for a same-sex couple, anti-LGBT legal groups are before justices again seeking a more expansive decision allowing refusal of service to LGBT people.

As reported SCOTUSblog on Monday, the Texas-based law firm First Liberty has filed before the Supreme Court a petition on behalf of Aaron and Melissa Kline of Sweetcakes in Gresham, Ore., asserting a First Amendment right to decline wedding-related services to same-sex couples.

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10.04.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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I like beer. This month marks 3 years since I stopped drinking. I talk about it all the time because I think it’s not talked about enough in our community.  Not talking about it perpetuates a stigma about alcoholics that is false. Since truth is now my everything, I talk about it. I like beer.

It is weird to me, turning terrible behavior into something to celebrate. Congratulations, Rick, on three years of doing something you should have been doing all along. Although, it is a celebration of sorts: It’s like coming out. It’s about owning who you are and choosing an honest path.  It’s about taking bad life choices and turning them into good, or at least attempting to. This is why every year in the month of October, I share my story. I don’t do it so I get likes on Facebook or some pat on the back. I do it so people can see how addiction affected my life, as well as those around me. I do it so people who might see similarities in their lives can know there is a better way.

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