Anti-LGBTQ Senate candidate Roy Moore accused of sexual contact with a 14-year-old

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — A month before Alabama’s special election, Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore abruptly faced lurid allegations Thursday of sexual misconduct with minors decades ago — and an immediate backlash from party leaders who demanded he get out of the race if the accusations prove true.

The instant fallout followed a Washington Post report in which an Alabama woman said Moore, then a 32-year-old assistant district attorney, had sexual contact with her when she was 14. Three other women interviewed by the Post said Moore, now 70, approached them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s. All four women spoke on the record to the Post.

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DOJ seeks time to argue for anti-gay baker in Supreme Court case

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The U.S. Justice Department under U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is seeking a time slot of 10 minutes before the U.S. Supreme Court to argue on behalf of a Colorado baker who wishes to refuse the sale of make wedding cakes for same-sex couples.

U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed the two-page request Wednesday before the Supreme Court in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

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Justice Dept. to help in Iowa case of slain transgender teen

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has sent a federal hate crimes lawyer to Iowa to help prosecute a man charged with killing a transgender teenager last year, an unusual decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions even as he takes other steps to erode the rights of transgender people broadly.

The case involves Jorge Sanders-Galvez, 23, who is charged with killing 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson in Burlington, Iowa, in March 2016. Authorities have not disclosed a motive, but Johnson’s relatives say he may have been targeted because he identified as both male and female.

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Sessions undoes DOJ support for trans workers under Title VII

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Bucking a string of court rulings and the views of a separate U.S. agency, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday reversed the Justice Department’s support for the legal view trans workers are eligible for non-discrimination protections under current civil rights law.

In a two-page memo dated Oct. 4, Sessions informed Justice Department attorneys the U.S. government will no longer view the prohibition on sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to apply to discrimination on the basis of transgender status.

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Biden rallies support for Jones against anti-gay Moore in Alabama Senate race

By : Wire Report
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Standing before cheering supporters in the deeply red state of Alabama Oct. 3, former Vice President Joe Biden urged Alabama voters to send Democrat Doug Jones to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate.

Biden said while a win by Jones in the GOP stronghold would reverberate across the country, he said Alabama voters should elect Jones “for Alabama.”

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Murder case raises question: Do LGBT hate crime laws work?

By : Wire Report
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Each year, for the past three years, LGBT advocacy groups have tallied the killings of more than 20 transgender people in the U.S. Yet state or federal hate crime laws are rarely used to prosecute the slayings.

Now many LGBT-rights groups are questioning the effectiveness of the laws, saying they sometimes focus too tightly on individual acts without addressing underlying bias or wider violence. The volatile issue was back in the spotlight this week as Missouri authorities investigated the killing of a transgender teen who was stabbed in the genitals and had her eyes gouged out.

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Roy Moore, vocal opponent of LGBT rights, wins Alabama race

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Roy Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice who was removed from the bench for calling on the state to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court ruling for same-sex marriage, won the Republican primary against U.S. Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), the interim senator appointed to replace Jeff Sessions upon his confirmation as attorney general, by a margin of 54.6-45.4.

Moore won by a substantial margin even though President Trump, who remains popular in Alabama, backed Strange and traveled to the state for a rally on behalf of the interim senator. Upon Moore’s win, Trump tweeted he spoke to the victor on election night for the first time and he “sounds like a really great guy who ran a fantastic race.”

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62 lawmakers blast anti-gay DOJ filing in bicameral letter

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A group of 62 Democrats from both chambers of Congress is blasting the U.S. Justice Department for a recent court filing arguing lesbians, gays and bisexuals have no protections under existing federal civil rights law.

In a letter dated Aug. 7 and made public Tuesday, the lawmakers assert the Justice Department’s recent friend-of-the-court brief in the case of Zarda V. Altitude Express is “not only contrary to existing law, but violates our nation’s ideals of liberty and justice for all.”

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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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Sessions: DOJ guidance on ‘religious freedom’ on the way

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Guidance from the U.S. Justice Department assuring protections for “religious freedom” — which is considered code among conservatives to mean anti-LGBT discrimination — is coming shortly, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said this week.

Sessions said the guidance is coming soon during closed-door remarks before a “religious freedom” summit in Orange County, Calif., hosted by Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBT legal group. Although the Justice Department refused to make the speech public, the Federalist, a conservative website, published a copy Thursday.

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Sessions to rally crowd at anti-LGBT ‘religious freedom’ summit

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions — known for his anti-LGBT record — was set to speak Tuesday at an event for the anti-LGBT legal group representing before the U.S. Supreme Court a Colorado baker that denied a wedding cake to a same-sex couple for religious reasons.

Media outlets, including Buzzfeed, reported Sessions’ public schedule was updated Tuesday during his trip to California to include on the same day at 5:30 local time a speech in Orange County at Alliance Defending Freedom’s “religious freedom” summit. The remarks were closed to press.

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Trump ‘religious freedom’ order silent on LGBT issues

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Many LGBT advocates breathed sighs of relief after learning that a long-awaited “religious freedom” executive order issued by President Trump on Thursday did not include specific anti-LGBT provisions that media reports said were included in an earlier draft of the order.

But officials with several national LGBT advocacy organizations expressed concern that the two-page executive order, called “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty,” gives U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions authority to interpret existing federal laws and regulations in a way that could result in discrimination against LGBT people.

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