Former Obama admin officials urge Supreme Court to uphold LGBT protections

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: (L-R) Chai Feldblum, Arne Duncan and Mary Beth Maxwell. Washington Blade photos of Feldblum and Duncan by Michael Key, photo of Maxwell public domain.

A group of 36 former federal government officials who served during the Obama administration is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold LGBT rights in pending litigation that will determine whether firing a worker for being LGBT is legal.

The 43-page brief points to decisions made during the Obama administration that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in the workplace, should be read to constitute workplace protections for LGBT people.

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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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D.C. schools to allow students to register as ‘non-binary’

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In a little-noticed development, the D.C. public school system earlier this year adopted a policy that will allow parents to select a category of “non-binary” rather than male or female when asked on school enrollment forms to indicate their child’s gender.

D.C. Public Schools spokesperson Shayne Wells said the school system’s interim chancellor, Amanda Alexander, finalized the policy over the summer as part of an annual effort initiated by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to streamline and update D.C. government forms.

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Justice Department set to host annual LGBTQ Pride event on June 26

By : CHRIS JOHNSON OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Department of Justice is set to host an event recognizing Pride month and LGBTQ employees on June 26, the Washington Blade has learned.

A spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday to the Blade the event is set to take place on that date in the Justice Department’s Great Hall per the annual tradition for DOJ Pride, the LGBTQ affinity group for Justice Department employees.

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Judge issues decision favorable to Md. trans student on locker room use

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A federal judge in Maryland has issued a decision favorable to a transgender student whose school has barred him from the locker room consistent with his gender identity.

In a 40-page decision, U.S. District Judge George Russell III, an Obama appointee, stopped short Tuesday of issuing a preliminary injunction in favor of Max Brennan, identified as M.A.B in the lawsuit, but nonetheless finds St. Michaels Middle High School in Talbot County’s policy “does not withstand” heightened scrutiny and amounts to unlawful sex-stereotyping.

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Sarasota County School Board refuses to vote on a trans-inclusive bathroom policy

By : Jeremy Williams
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SARASOTA – Students and allies of the trans community spoke out yet again for a trans-inclusive bathroom policy for Sarasota County schools at a school board meeting Aug. 2, and again the Sarasota County School Board refused to vote on a policy.

Since January, when Pine View Charter School created a policy that gave transgender students the right to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity, members from both sides of the argument have been asking for the school board to make a decision on the policy.

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California bill to prevent LGBT discrimination at religious schools

By : Wire Report
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SACRAMENTO (AP) — The conflict between religious freedom and gay rights has a new battleground — California’s religious colleges and universities.

A bill moving through the Legislature would remove a longstanding exemption from anti-discrimination laws for religious institutions, potentially exposing the schools to civil rights lawsuits from students and employees.

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GOP rejects call to back off gay marriage opposition

By : Wire Report
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CLEVELAND (AP) — Republican officials have rejected an emotional plea to back off the GOP’s opposition to same-sex marriage, renewing the party’s embrace of religious conservative values as delegates prepared to welcome Donald Trump to their national convention.

Republicans who gathered July 11 to shape their party platform in Cleveland this week also refused to reverse their opposition to bathroom choice for transgender people, exposing a rift with their presumptive presidential nominee — despite internal warnings that social conservative policies on gay rights alienate voters.

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10 states sued the federal government over transgender bathroom policy

By : Wire Report
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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Ten states sued the federal government July 8 over rules requiring public schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms conforming to their gender identity, joining a dozen other states in the latest fight over LGBT rights.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Nebraska and included nine other states: Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

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School superintendents disregard advice to deny transgender bathroom access

By : Wire Report
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Topeka, Kan. (AP) — Dozens of central and western Kansas school superintendents say they have no intention of following U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp’s advice to disregard a recent transgender bathroom directive from President Barack Obama’s administration.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reached out to 129 school superintendents who were given the Republican congressman’s letter and received responses from 30 of them.

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Hawaii Department of Education releases transgender protections for students

By : Wire Report
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Honolulu (AP) – Hawaii education officials have released new guidelines they say are meant to help state schools better address the needs of transgender students.

The state Department of Education’s policies regarding transgender students have been in the works since last year and were presented to the Board of Education on June 7. Under the proposed guidelines, students are allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity and staff is encouraged to address students by their preferred names and pronouns.

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Virginia court refuses to reconsider transgender bathroom case

By : Wire Report
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Richmond, Va. (AP) – The debate over whether transgender students should be able to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court after a federal appeals court refused May 31 to reconsider a three-judge panel’s ruling on the matter.

The Gloucester County School Board had asked for a review by the full 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a three-judge panel said in a 2-1 decision last month that a Virginia high school discriminated against a transgender teen by forbidding him from using the boy’s restroom.

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