Another judge deals blow to Trump’s anti-LGBTQ ‘conscience rule’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Donald Trump, photo public domain.

A second federal judge has ruled against Trump administration’s “conscience rule” allowing health care workers to get out of procedures with which they have religious objections, such as gender reassignment surgery or abortion.

U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian, an Obama appointee, ruled against the measure from the bench in Spokane, Wash., in litigation filed by the state of Washington, according to multiple sources in the courtroom.

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Judge vacates Trump admin’s anti-LGBTQ ‘conscience rule’ for health workers

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Donald Trump, photo by palinchak via Bigstock.

A federal judge in New York has vacated a Trump administration “conscience rule” allowing health care workers to get out of procedures with which they have religious objections, such as abortion or gender reassignment surgery.

In a lengthy 147-page decision against the “conscience rule,” U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer, an Obama appointee, concludes the measure was enacted in contravention of the Administrative Procedures Act, calling the violations “numerous, fundamental and far-reaching.”

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Harris pledges to create White House advocate for LGBTQ affairs

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sen. Kamala Harris, photo via Harris’ Facebook page.

Kamala Harris pledged on Thursday plans to designate a White House chief advocate for LGBT affairs should be elected in the 2020 election.

Harris made the commitment as part a comprehensive plan for LGBT rights, which was unveiled on the same day she’s set to participate in an HRC/CNN presidential candidate forum on LGBT issues.

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Gerald Bostock has his day in court

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Gerald Bostock speaks to reporters on the steps of the United States Supreme Court building on Oct. 8, 2019. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

After enduring anti-gay comments on the job, snide remarks about playing in a gay softball league and ultimately termination, Gerald Bostock finally had his day in court.

But not just any court—the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Gorsuch emerges as possible LGBT ally in Supreme Court arguments

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on LGBT inclusion under Title VII. (Washington Blade photo photo by Michael Key)

When the dust cleared Oct. 8 after two hours of arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court on whether anti-LGBT discrimination is prohibited under federal civil rights law, U.S. Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch emerged as a potential ally for LGBT people.

Gorsuch, a Trump-appointed justice who considers himself a textualist, asked many questions suggesting he’s at least considering the idea that anti-LGBT discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, thus prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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High stakes for LGBTQ Americans at Supreme Court next week

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The U.S. Supreme Court is set Tuesday to hear a trio of cases that will determine not just whether firing workers for being LGBT is legal under federal law, but will also have ramifications for LGBT people in education, health care and housing.

At issue is whether anti-LGBT discrimination is a form of sex discrimination and therefore prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex, but says nothing explicitly about sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Pelosi: Supreme Court review to have ‘no impact’ on Equality Act, floor vote in May

By : Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether existing federal law prohibits anti-LGBT discrimination will have “no impact” on the advancement of legislation seeking to ban it explicitly under federal law, a spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said April 22.

Drew Hammill, a Pelosi spokesperson, said via email in response to an inquiry from the Washington Blade the Supreme Court decision will have “no impact” on the legislative process for the Equality Act, which he said is set for floor vote in the U.S. House in May.

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Eric Holder to headline annual Human Rights Campaign dinner

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will headline the upcoming annual national dinner for the Human Rights Campaign in D.C., the organization announced Wednesday.

Holder, who served as the first U.S. attorney general during the Obama administration, is set to be the featured speaker at the 22nd annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner on Sept. 13 along with Stacey Abrams, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Georgia.

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Senate Dems urge DOJ to reinstate trans protections under Title VII

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A group of 44 Senate Democrats led by Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) urged the Justice Department on Thursday to reinstate its interpretation of existing civil rights law to prohibit anti-transgender discrimination.

In a letter dated Nov. 2, the Senate Democrats insist Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination in the workplace, also applies to discrimination against transgender workers.

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