Report of HHS anti-trans health rule riles LGBT advocates

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A new media report that the Trump administration is set to propose a rule that would allow medical providers to refuse abortion-related services or treatment for transgender people has invoked concern among both LGBT and women’s groups.

On Wednesday, Politico reported the Department of Health & Human Services is preparing a rule enabling its civil rights office to shield workers who refuse to provide abortion-related care and services to transgender people on religious grounds. The rule would reportedly allow HHS to punish organizations that don’t allow practitioners to express these objections.

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Fate of HIV/AIDS council unclear after Trump terminations

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Weeks after the Trump administration fired all remaining members of the President’s Advisory Council for HIV/AIDS, the administration seems to be taking steps to refill those slots, but the ultimate fate of the body remains unclear.

In response to a question from the Washington Blade, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was non-committal when asked whether President Trump wants PACHA restaffed.

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Lambda Legal staffers vote overwhelmingly to form a union

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Employees at the LGBT legal group Lambda Legal voted Friday on an overwhelming 42-8 basis in favor of forming a union with the Washington-Baltimore News Guild.

The vote was counted after employees filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board as part of the process to unionize. As the Washington Blade reported earlier this month, Lambda Legal staffers sought to form a union amid complaints over cuts to benefits and high turnover at the organization.

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Third court rules against Trump’s transgender military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A federal judge in Washington State has become the third to rule against Trump’s transgender military ban.

A federal judge in Washington State has become the latest to determine President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the armed forces is unconstitutional.

In a 23-page decision, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman determined Monday in the case of Karnoski v. Trump the policy likely violates rights to equal protection and substantive due process as well as rights under the First Amendment.

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Supreme Court won’t hear case seeking Title VII protection for gays

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday announced it won’t hear a case seeking protecting for lesbian, gay and bisexual workers under existing civil rights law barring sex discrimination.

The court announced it denied a writ of certiorari in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital as part of an order list Monday reflecting decisions made justices at a conference last week Friday. It takes a vote of four justices to agree to take up a case, although the vote isn’t made public.

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Lambda Legal poised to unionize amid staff discontent

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Employees at Lambda Legal are seeking to unionize amid discontent under the leadership of Rachel Tiven. Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key

Employees at Lambda Legal have launched a unionization effort amid frustration over cuts to benefits and concerns over the leadership style of CEO Rachel Tiven, the Washington Blade has learned.

A petition was filed on Nov. 21 before the National Labor Relations Board, which supervises elections for labor union representation, as noted on the U.S. agency’s website. Ballots for the election were set for distribution to employees on Wednesday and counting will take place Dec. 29.

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Opponents in LGBT case agree: It’s not about wedding cake

By : wire report
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In a legal case with profound implications for LGBT rights and religion’s place in public life, the opposing sides agree on this: It’s not about the cake.

At its core, the case that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court for oral arguments on Dec. 5 is a showdown between a gay couple from Colorado and a Denver-area baker who in 2012 cited his Christian faith in refusing to make a cake for their wedding celebration.

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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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‘Matilda’ star Mara Wilson says she regrets coming out after Pulse tragedy

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“Matilda” star Mara Wilson came out as bisexual in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting in June 2016 but says she now regrets the timing of her announcement.

Wilson, 30, spoke with Lambda Legal about how she received backlash for coming out after the tragedy.

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Lawsuit seeking gay protections under Title VII reaches Supreme Court

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The question of whether lesbian, gay and bisexual people are covered under current federal civil rights law has reached the U.S. Supreme Court — where a nationwide ruling would clarify anti-gay workplace discrimination is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In a 30-page filing, the LGBT group Lambda Legal makes the case the high court should take up to clarify the nationwide prohibition on sex discrimination in the workplace under Title VII applies to cases of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

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Federal court urged to strike down Puerto Rico birth certificate policy

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Lambda Legal has urged a federal court to strike down a Puerto Rico policy that does not allow transgender people to change the gender marker on their birth certificates.

The group made the request in a brief it filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico on June 26.

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Report: States lack protections for transgender youth

By : Wire Report
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Most states lack anti-discrimination policies and staff training needed to protect transgender youth in foster care, juvenile detention facilities and homeless shelters, according to a new report.

There are clear federal standards for the treatment of such youth, but states and communities don’t always follow such rules, said Currey Cook of the civil rights organization Lambda Legal, which helped write the report.

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