New Trump administration memo on Obama order alarms LGBT advocates

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

In the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the Trump administration has issued new guidance that seeks to uphold “religious freedom” in the implementation of former President Obama’s executive order against anti-LGBT workplace discrimination among federal contractors — a move troubling to LGBT rights supporters.

The Aug. 10 guidance from the Labor Department purports to “incorporate recent developments in the law regarding religion-exercising organizations and individuals” with the enforcement of the executive order, taking note of the narrow ruling in decision of Colorado baker Jack Phillips as well as other recent rulings in favor of religious freedom, such as the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case.

Continue Reading >>

Court rules for Iowa student group seeking to ban gay leaders

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

A federal judge has ruled in favor of a Christian student group that was denied official recognition by the University of Iowa for refusing to accept gay students in leadership roles.

In a 31-page decision, U.S. District Judge Stephanie Rose, an Obama appointee, issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday in favor of Business Leaders in Christ on the basis that the University of Iowa was selectively enforcing its non-discrimination policy.

Continue Reading >>

Guest column: Diversity requires mutual respect, not jealous ranking of oppressions

By : Richard Rosendall
Comments: 0
Richard Rosendall

Richard Rosendall

Sierra Mannie, a University of Mississippi senior, wrote a commentary picked up by Time eirlier this month titled, “Dear White Gays: Stop Stealing Black Female Culture.” Here’s a portion:

“I need some of you to cut it the hell out. … I don’t care … how cute you think it is to call yourself a strong black woman, who taught you to twerk, how funny you think it is to call yourself Quita or Keisha or for which black male you’ve been bottoming — you are not a black woman, and you do not get to claim either blackness or womanhood.”
Someone was looking for a throw-down. She talked about Beyoncé, white privilege and the legacies of racism and sexism. She made some valid points. She also said that black women “cannot hide their blackness and womanhood to protect themselves the way that you can hide your homosexuality.”

Continue Reading >>

Guest Column: When Rights Collide

By : Richard Rosendall
Comments: 0
Richard Rosendall

Richard Rosendall

Call this the year of clashing rights.

On April 7, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) declined to hear the Elane Photography case, in which an Albuquerque studio refused to take commitment ceremony photos of Vanessa Willock and her same-sex partner, Misti Collinsworth. This left in place the New Mexico Supreme Court ruling that Elane Photography’s claimed free speech right “directly conflicts with Willock’s right … to obtain goods and services from a public accommodation.”

If you think this pleased all gay rights advocates, you are wrong. An amicus brief supporting the photographer was filed on behalf of the Cato Institute, Eugene Volokh, and Dale Carpenter, all marriage equality supporters. Volokh explained that “wedding photographers … have a First Amendment right to choose what expression they create, including by choosing not to photograph same-sex commitment ceremonies.”

Continue Reading >>