Jacksonville religious group continues to raise funds to fight city’s LGBTQ-inclusive HRO

By : Jeremy Williams
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. | The anti-LGBTQ group Empower Jacksonville is continuing to raise funds in an effort to overturn Jacksonville’s LGBTQ protections added into their Human Rights Ordinance this past Valentine’s Day.

According to FloridaPolitics.com, the political action committee brought in just over $10,000 in November. This pushes the total the conservative organization has raised to nearly $32,000.

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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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Emirati filmmaker unsettles traditions, exposes hidden lives

By : Wire Report
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – An Emirati filmmaker is pushing boundaries and bypassing state censors by delicately unraveling a story about a traditional Arab family grappling with issues of homosexual love, gender identity, sectarianism and women’s rights.

The movie focuses on a conservative Iraqi family who begin seeing and unearthing one another’s secrets after the family matriarch goes blind and dies.

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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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Texas Senate advances anti-transgender bathroom bill

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Texas State approved legislation on Tuesday that would bar transgender kids from using certain restrooms consistent with their gender identity, inching the state closer to enacting the law despite objections the from transgender advocates, the business community and law enforcement.

By a 21-10 vote, the chamber approved Senate Bill 3, which would bar schools from allowing transgender students to use the restroom of their choice and undercut municipal non-discrimination protections for transgender people in restrooms, locker rooms and athletic activities.

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Effects of ‘bathroom bill’ linger in North Carolina

By : Wire Report
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The law that replaced North Carolina’s notorious “bathroom bill” sports a new look but maintains LGBT discrimination and prevents transgender people from using restrooms matching their gender identity, according to a lawsuit July 21.

The lawsuit renews a high-profile legal battle that has thrust North Carolina into the center of the national debate over LGBT rights. The state took the “bathroom bill” off the books in late March after a yearlong backlash that hurt North Carolina’s reputation and caused businesses and sports leagues to back out of lucrative events and projects.

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Christie approves law to give schools transgender policy guidance

By : Wire Report
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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation July 21,  requiring the state to give guidance to public schools about policies for transgender students, including blocking the schools from forcing the students from using bathrooms that conflict with their gender identities.

The civil rights group Garden State Equality applauded the Republican governor for signing the measure saying that Christie took a stand for LGBT youth.

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Delaware lawmakers aim to protect gender identity

By : Wire Report
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DOVER, Del. (AP) – Democratic lawmakers have introduced a resolution calling for Delaware’s Department of Education to develop regulations with specific guidelines to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

The resolution says state employment policies and guidelines mandate that government employees not be discriminated against based on gender identity or expression. That includes the right to be called by their preferred names and pronouns, treated with dignity and respect, and allowed to use bathroom facilities corresponding to their gender identity.

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Yale sues Connecticut over gender-neutral restrooms

By : Wire Report
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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – Yale University is suing Connecticut over its plan to turn single-user restrooms into gender-neutral bathrooms at its law school.

The New Haven Register reports the state building inspector’s office previously denied the school’s request for an exemption from the state building code requiring that a certain number of bathrooms in every building be assigned by gender.

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7th Circuit affirms bathroom access for trans student

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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In another legal decision affirming federal law ensures bathroom access for transgender students, a federal appeals court has determined a transgender student in Wisconsin must be allowed access to restrooms at his high school consistent with his gender identity.

In a 35-page decision, a three-judge panel the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in favor of Ashton Whitaker, a 17-year-old who sued Kenosha Unified School District for requiring him to use a restroom separate from one used by all other students.

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