Trump admin turns to Supreme Court to ban trans people from military

By : CHRIS JOHNSON OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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With court orders in place from four judges barring the U.S. military from enacting President Trump’s transgender ban, the Trump administration is seeking recourse from the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the policy to go into effect.

U.S. Solicitor General Neil Francisco submitted petitions Nov. 23 for certiorari in three cases calling on the court to review the litigation and reverse the preliminary injunctions enjoining enforcement of Trump’s transgender ban.

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Supreme Court urged to undo Pa. school’s pro-trans bathroom policy

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Following rejection from lower courts, an anti-LGBT legal group is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to block a Pennsylvania’s school district policy allowing transgender kids to use the restroom consistent with their gender identity.

Alliance Defending Freedom submitted the 32-page petition for certiorari before the court on Nov. 19, asserting Boyertown Area School District’s pro-trans bathroom policy violates the right to privacy of its students — a notion rebuffed by a trial court in Pennsylvania and the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Watch: Michelle Obama tells Ellen how she tried to escape the White House to celebrate same-sex marriage

By : Melanie Ararat
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Michelle Obama promoted her new autobiographical memoir “Becoming” on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Nov. 15. During the interview, the former first lady recalled a story from her book about the night she tried to escape the White House with her daughter Malia to celebrate the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

The night of June 26, 2015, the White House was lit with the colors of the LGBTQ Pride flag and people were gathered outside the White House to celebrate, which Mrs. Obama was notified of and tried to take part in.

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GOP lawmaker caught on tape: Orphanages better than gay adoption

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In an exchange with high school students that was caught on tape, a Republican congressman from New Jersey was tongue-tied over the prospect of same-sex couples adopting children and suggested kids would be better off in orphanages than with LGBT families.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) made the remarks May 29 when addressing student constituents in the auditorium of Colts Neck High School. They asked the congressman about his opposition to adoption by same-sex couples, according to a source familiar with the recording. A source familiar with the tape, who delivered the recording on Monday exclusively to the Washington Blade, said it was obtained in recent days.

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Sessions announces the creation of a ‘religious liberty task force’

By : Wire and Staff Reports
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WASHINGTON (AP) | American culture has become “less hospitable to people of faith,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said July 30 in vowing that the Justice Department would protect people’s religious freedom and convictions.

Sessions spoke at a Justice Department summit on religious tolerance at a time when courts across the country have been asked how to balance anti-discrimination laws against the First Amendment’s religious freedom guarantees.

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LGBT advocates fear Kavanaugh’s votes on gay-rights issues

By : wire report
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WASHINGTON (AP) | Gay-rights supporters who thronged the Supreme Court plaza after justices declared same-sex marriage a constitutional right expect to have little to celebrate if Brett Kavanaugh replaces Justice Anthony Kennedy, the author of all the court’s major gay-rights rulings.

None of Kavanaugh’s roughly 300 opinions as an appellate judge deals directly with LGBT issues, but his approach to judging leads some scholars and activists to believe he is unlikely to echo Kennedy’s votes.

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Latest ruling could give Supreme Court crack at trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A federal appeals court has reaffirmed its decision to keep in place an injunction barring the Trump administration from enforcing its transgender military ban, setting the stage for an initial review of the policy at the U.S. Supreme Court before U.S. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy steps down.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied on Wednesday the U.S. Justice Department’s request to dissolve a preliminary injunction against the ban, which the administration made in the aftermath of Defense Secretary James Mattis’ report justifying President Trump’s policy

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07.12.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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I’m not a very religious person. Actually, I’m not religious in the traditional sense at all. Organized religion and I have not seen eye to eye for some time. That’s not a secret to those who know me well, but sometimes I find it harder to admit that to people than to say that I am a gay man.

In a previous article of mine, I described in detail a story of how I felt manipulated by “the church,” which was the beginning of the end for me. I then attended a very religious college, which to a young and outspoken liberal just seemed like a propaganda machine and torture device.

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Announcement of Trump Supreme Court choice nears

By : Wire Report
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BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) | President Donald Trump was closing in on his choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Saturday, making final deliberations from the privacy of his New Jersey golf club.

Clearly relishing the mounting suspense, Trump tweeted early in the morning: “Big decision will soon be made on our next Justice of the Supreme Court!”

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Trump closes in on Supreme Court pick; 3 judges top list

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) | President Donald Trump is closing in on his next Supreme Court nominee, with three federal judges leading the competition to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Trump’s top contenders for the vacancy at this time are federal appeals judges Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge, said a person familiar with Trump’s thinking who was not authorized to speak publicly.

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Justice Kennedy announces plans to step down from Supreme Court

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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U.S. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy — the author of major U.S. Supreme Court rulings in favor of gay rights — has announced plans to step down from the bench.

Major media outlets reported Kennedy — appointed by President Reagan in 1988 — announced plans to step down Wednesday afternoon as the court’s 2017-2018 term came to a close. The Washington Blade confirmed Kennedy’s plans for departure with the Supreme Court.

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