Wyoming Senate votes down bill banning LGBTQ discrimination

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – The Wyoming Senate has voted down a bill that would have banned discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Senate’s Committee of the Whole voted 17-13 against the bill, indefinitely postponing it. The bill would have allowed exceptions for religious organizations.

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South Dakota to consider transgender locker room bill

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP)- South Dakota lawmakers will consider restricting which locker rooms transgender students can use, reigniting a bitter fight from last year over what school facilities are open to transgender students.

The bill, introduced Wednesday by two Republican lawmakers, would require public school students to use the locker rooms, shower rooms and changing facilities that match their sex at birth. It comes after Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed a broader bill last year that also applied to bathrooms. His chief of staff, Tony Venhuizen, said Wednesday that Daugaard intends to veto a bill that is “substantially the same” as last year’s measure.

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Wyoming legislature introduces non-discrimination bill that supports discrimination. OK, here we go.

By : Billy Manes
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We could see the house of cards in the distance and predict its crumbling, but in Wyoming? Today the American Civil Liberties Union reported on the “Government Nondiscrimination Act” released just last week, HB 135. Effectively, it’s another attempt at removing the power of local rule on social issues, something those of us in Florida are by now familiar with. But it’s worse than what we got post-Textgate in Florida, wherein municipalities were forbidden from forcing employers to allow sick days. In fact, it encourages discrimination. If this harbinger of doom is coming from liberal Wyoming, we don’t even know how far things are about to go.  The ACLU’s report is after the jump.

 

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John Kerry sorry for past State Department discrimination against gays

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Secretary of State John Kerry is publicly apologizing for the State Department’s institutional discrimination in the past against gay and lesbian diplomats.

In a statement, Kerry says discrimination suffered by homosexual State Department workers has gone on since the 1940s. He says denying some people jobs and forcing diplomats out of the foreign service was “wrong then” and “wrong today.”

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4 churches drop lawsuit challenging Massachusetts’ transgender law

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BOSTON (AP) – Four churches have withdrawn a federal lawsuit that claimed a state law prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in public restrooms violated their constitutional right to religious freedom.

The conservative Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom sued in October on behalf of the churches, saying they would be forced to open changing rooms, shower facilities and restrooms based on perceived gender identity and not on biological sex. It said that because the new law also prohibits covered entities from making statements intended to discriminate, it would force churches and pastors to refrain from religious expression regarding sexuality that conflicts with the government’s view.

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Africans fail to block first UN expert on LGBT violence

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) – African nations and their supporters have failed to suspend the first U.N. independent expert charged with investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity from doing his job.

African nations had urged the General Assembly’s human rights committee to approve a resolution that would initially suspend and then get rid of the expert, appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council.

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Legal fees awarded to ex-firefighter in sex harassment suit

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A federal judge has awarded nearly $184,000 in attorneys’ fees to a former Rhode Island firefighter who won an $806,000 verdict against Providence and its fire department in a sexual harassment suit.

The Providence Journal reports that the judge on Nov. 7 issued an order awarding legal costs to retired Providence firefighter Lt. Lori Franchina.

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Senate Democrats aim to block LGBT measure from defense bill

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Democrats are intent on scuttling a House-passed provision that they say would undercut protections against workplace discrimination based on sexual or gender orientation.

In a letter delivered Tuesday to the leaders of the Armed Services committees, the lawmakers called the measure dangerous and urged that it not be included in the annual defense policy bill. They said the provision would amount to government-sponsored discrimination by permitting religiously affiliated federal contractors to refuse to interview a job candidate whose faith differs from theirs and to fire employees who marry their same-sex partners or use birth control.

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Transgender students sue Pennsylvania district restroom rule

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PITTSBURGH (AP) – Three transgender seniors at a Pennsylvania high school, including the oldest sibling of teen singing star Jackie Evancho, have sued their school district for making them use restrooms corresponding to their biological sex.

The Pine-Richland School District in suburban Pittsburgh wasn’t commenting on the federal lawsuit filed Oct. 6 in response to a school board resolution passed last month requiring students to use such restrooms or unisex facilities. Previously, the district had allowed transgender students to use the restroom corresponding to their “gender identity.”

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United Nations appoints first expert on LGBT violence and discrimination

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Vitit Muntarbhorn

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Human Rights Council has appointed international human rights expert Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand as the first U.N. independent expert charged with investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

John Fisher, Geneva director of Human Rights Watch, said his appointment on Friday “made history” and “will bring much-needed attention to human rights violations against LGBT people in all regions of the world.”

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AIDS pageant in Uganda seeks to stem stigma, discrimination

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KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) – When she was younger, Tryphena Natukunda’s mother discouraged her from swallowing her antiretroviral medicines among strangers or even distant relatives.

Because the girl had AIDS, which can fuel stigmatization and invite harsh judgment, the mother wanted her daughter’s condition kept a secret within the family.

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Lesbian Maryland state trooper alleges bias in federal lawsuit

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BALTIMORE (AP) – A lesbian Maryland State Police trooper is alleging discrimination in a federal lawsuit.

Chelsea Raley of the Cumberland barrack contends she’s also been subjected to retaliation and a hostile work environment based on her sexual orientation and gender.

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