Catholic agency seeks right to anti-LGBT discrimination from Supreme Court

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A new Supreme Court petition seeks a First Amendment right for Catholic agencies to discriminate against LGBT people. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A new petition filed before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of a Catholic adoption agency seeking to refuse placement into LGBT homes calls for a ruling that could enable anti-LGBT discrimination in the name of “religious freedom” — even if justices affirm in separate pending litigation LGBT protections are included under federal civil rights law.

The petition was filed July 22 by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty — an organization that takes up religious freedom lawsuits, such as the Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor cases — and seeks to establish a First Amendment right for Catholic Foster Services in Philadelphia to refuse to place children into LGBT families.

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Mehlman leads GOP brief urging Supreme Court to rule for LGBT protections

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.)

Ken Mehlman, the former George W. Bush operative and Republican National Committee chair who came out as gay in 2010, is leading LGBT-supportive Republicans in urging conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of LGBT workplace protections under current law.

In a 24-page legal brief first reported by Jeremy Peters of the New York Times, the Republicans take a conservative approach in asserting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars sex discrimination in the workforce, also applies to cases anti-LGBT discrimination.

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Supreme Court sets Oct. 8 to hear whether workers can be fired for being LGBT

By : CHRIS JOHNSON OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Supreme Court has designated Oct. 8 as the date when it will hear arguments on whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to cases of anti-LGBT discrimination, setting up a showdown for when LGBT rights in all areas of life will hang in the balance.

On Monday, the Supreme Court’s website modified the docket entries for each of three Title VII cases to indicate arguments will take place Oct. 8. During the proceedings, justices will consider whether anti-LGBT discrimination in a form of sex discrimination, and thus prohibited under Title VII, which bars discrimination on the sex in the workforce.

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Senate confirms anti-LGBT judicial nominee who stood up for Kim Davis

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The U.S. Senate has confirmed anti-LGBT judicial nominee Matthew Kacsmaryk (First Liberty Institute publicity photo)

Flouting the recognition of June as Pride Month, the U.S. Senate approved a Trump judicial nominee on June 19 who has a long anti-LGBT record, including defense of Kim Davis for refusing to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Senate confirmed Matthew Kacsmaryk to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas by a vote of 52-46.

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Supreme Court vacates $135K fine against Ore. couple who refused to serve gays

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Supreme Court vacated on June 17 a $135,000 fine against an Oregon-based family business that refused based on religious objections to make a wedding cake in 2013 for a same-sex couple.

In an order list on Monday, the Supreme Court indicated it had issued summary disposition in response to the petition for certiorari filed by Aaron and Melissa Kline, vacating the decision against the couple and remanding it back to the Oregon Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court’s action falls short of recognizing the First Amendment right sought by the couple to refuse service to same-sex couples.

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Supreme Court rejects challenge to 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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The U.S. Supreme Court has announced it won’t hear a case challenging a Pennsylvania school district’s pro-trans bathroom policy, averting a decision that could have had implications on protections for transgender students nationwide.

In an order list Tuesday, the Supreme Court indicated it has denied certiorari in the case of Doe v. Boyertown. That means the petition of certiorari—which has been pending before the Supreme Court since November 2018 — obtained fewer than the four votes needed from justices for review.

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House to vote next week on Equality Act to ban anti-LGBT discrimination

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. House is expected to hold a floor vote next week on the Equality Act, legislation that seeks to ban anti-LGBT discrimination, a senior Democratic aide told the Washington Blade on Monday.

The official announcement on the vote, the aide said, was set for May 3, which is the normal day for when the next week’s schedule is announced in the House.

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Transgender woman of African descent makes history in Brazil

By : Felipe Alface OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Above: São Paulo Congresswoman Érica Malunguinho is a transgender Brazilian woman of African descent who was elected last fall. (Photo courtesy of Comunicação Alesp)

SÃO PAULO — São Paulo Congresswoman Érica Malunguinho made history last fall when she became the first transgender woman elected to a state congress in Brazil. The groundbreaking politician who is also of African descent sat down with the Washington Blade on April 26 to talk about politics, representation and the challenges she faces.

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Planned Parenthood: States should oppose Trump ‘gag rule’

By : wire report
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) | It’s time for states with leaders who support abortion rights to go on the offensive against Trump administration attempts to restrict abortion that would reduce access to health care, the president of Planned Parenthood said April 23.

“States are a critical backstop at a time when we have the Trump-Pence administration stripping away women’s health and rights and when we cannot depend on the Supreme Court,” said Dr. Leana Wen.

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Supreme Court agrees to hear whether federal law bars anti-LGBTQ discrimination

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed hear cases seeking to determine once-and-for-all if anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace is prohibited under federal law.

In its orders list on Monday, the court announced it has granted certiorari in response to three separate petitions seeking clarification on whether Title VII of Civil Rights of 1964, which bars sex discrimination in the workplace, applies to cases of anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

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Transgender teen fights to have sex changed on transcript

By : wire report
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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) | A school board in Virginia that was willing to defend its transgender-bathroom policy all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court may finally give up the fight.

The Gloucester County School Board will hold a public hearing Feb. 19. It will discuss the possibility of allowing transgender students to use restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

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Anti-LGBT petitions before Supreme Court could make for dire term

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A number of anti-LGBT petitions are before the U.S. Supreme Court, although legal experts say adjudication of these cases — if justices agree to take them up — may not be as bad as some observers fear.

With one exception, each of the petitions before the court calls for a rollback of LGBT rights or a reversal of decisions from lower courts affirming LGBT rights within those jurisdictions.

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