Equality Florida highlights 2018’s statewide legislative battles

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida

Tallahassee, fla. | Equality Florida has released a highlight of the battles fought on behalf of the LGBTQ community during Florida’s 2018 legislative session.

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Carson admits to slow-walking trans guidance for homeless shelters

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Ben Carson conceded during a congressional hearing Tuesday to having slow-walked the reissuing of guidance on transgender people seeking admittance to homeless shelters.

In response to questions from Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Carson said he’s proceeded slowly because HUD has only recently had a general counsel and the issue of allowing transgender people in the shelters is “complex,” citing concerns by women whom he said don’t want to use bathroom facilities with “somebody who had a very different anatomy.”

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NFL prospect Derrius Guice says a team asked if he likes men

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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NFL prospect Derrius Guice says that while at the NFL Combine, his sexuality was questioned.

Guice, who is a LSU running back, shared on SiriusXM’s “Late Hits” that he was asked about his sexuality during the scouting process.

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NY Gov. Cuomo announces anti-discrimination initiatives

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order that bans all New York state agencies and authorities from conducting business with companies that tolerate or promote discrimination.

The Democrat also said he’s supporting legislation that will ban the use of a “gay panic” defense in which a person charged with attacking someone attempts to blame the victim’s sexual orientation for a violent reaction.

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Two students seek $1 million in racial, sexual orientation discrimination lawsuit

By : Wire Report
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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – Two students have filed a discrimination lawsuit against The Evergreen State College and its former women’s basketball coach Jennifer Schooler.

A complaint for damages was filed by ShaMarica Scott and Linda Wilson, both of Olympia, on Oct. 13 in U.S District Court’s Western Washington district in Tacoma, The Olympian reported.

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UN human rights office unveils pro-LGBTI business standards

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The U.N. human rights office on Tuesday announced a series of standards for businesses to fight discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

One of the five standards states businesses “should develop policies, exercise due diligence and remediate adverse impacts to ensure they respect human rights of LGBTI people.”

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Board holds off for now on LGBT discrimination declaration

By : Wire Report
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) – The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is holding off for now on deciding whether to declare that discrimination against LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations is already unlawful under state law.

The commission met Monday to consider the request after two months of public feedback. The interpretive statement, if issued, would say discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is a form of sex discrimination outlawed under Michigan’s 1976 civil rights law.

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Wyoming’s biggest city will wait-and-see on LGBTQ discrimination ordinance

By : Wire Report
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – City council members in Wyoming’s largest city are holding off on plans to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Cheyenne council members say they want to see how the U.S. Supreme Court rules in a Colorado case involving a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.

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Prison doctor sues state alleging LGBTQ discrimination

By : Wire Report
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SACRAMENTO, CALIF. (AP) – A psychologist at a California prison facility has alleged she was twice locked in a room with a dangerous inmate in retaliation for reporting mistreatment of LGBTQ inmates.

Lori Jespersen sued the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Monday for violations of civil rights and whistleblower protection laws, as well as the Prison Rape Elimination Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA. Jespersen is an employee of the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, which provides health care for incarcerated men. Her lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court’s Eastern Division of California, also names several corrections employees as defendants.

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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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Confirmation of Serbia’s first gay Prime Minister thrown into doubt

By : Wire Report
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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) – Serbia’s ruling conservatives said June 19 if Prime Minister-designate Ana Brnabic doesn’t get enough votes to be confirmed by parliament as the first openly gay person to head the country’s government, an early general election will be held.

Brnabic, nominated last week by Serbian Present Aleksandar Vucic, could also become the conservative nation’s first female prime minister if she’s selected. But some of Vucic’s coalition partners said they will vote against her because of her sexual orientation.

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DeVos still won’t say federal law bars anti-LGBT discrimination

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Weeks after facing criticism for refusing to speak out in congressional testimony against anti-LGBT discrimination in charter schools, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos still won’t say federal law prohibits them from discriminating against LGBT students.

DeVos on Tuesday referred generally to rules under federal law in a testy exchange on whether she’d speak out against anti-LGBT discrimination in charter schools with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who said the statute in this area is “somewhat foggy.”

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