Lambda Legal announces resignation of CEO Rachel Tiven

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Amid staffer discontent as the organization pursues legal challenges in support of LGBT rights against President Trump, the executive director of Lambda Legal has resigned, the organization announced Friday.

In a statement, Tiven — who has served as head of Lambda Legal since 2016 — said she came to the organization “with a mandate to make big changes” and is “proud of how much we’ve accomplished,” but will take on a new position to work on the mid-term elections with the Leadership Now Project, a progressive non-profit of business professionals.

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Attorneys who argued gay rights cases reflect on Kennedy legacy

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: From left, Jean DubofskyPaul SmithRoberta Kaplan and Mary Bonauto (Photo of Dubofsky courtesy of Dubofsky, Washington Blade photos of Smith, Kaplan and Bonauto by Michael Key)

U.S. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy is stepping down from the U.S. Supreme Court after writing four milestone cases in favor of gay rights over the course of his 30 years on the bench.

The Washington Blade contacted the attorneys who argued each of those cases — Romer v. Evans in 1996, Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, U.S. v. Windsor in 2013 and Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 — for their reflections on those decisions and LGBT rights in the aftermath of Kennedy’s retirement.

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Polish court rules against man who wouldn’t serve LGBTQ group

By : wire report
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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday against a businessman who refused to print posters for an LGBTQ business group because he did not want to “promote” the gay rights movement.

The country’s top court said it was upholding the ruling of a lower court. The Regional Court in Lodz had argued that the principle of equality before the law meant the businessman did not have the right to withhold services from the LGBT Business Forum.

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Hawaii candidate fights off ‘anti-LGBT preacher’ claims

By : wire report
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HONOLULU (AP) — A well-known Democratic candidate for Congress who gained notoriety opposing President Donald Trump’s travel ban targeting mostly Muslim countries is being forced to explain a decades-old rant perceived as intolerant of gay people.

Hawaii Lt. Gov. Doug Chin said he won’t “quibble” about what’s on a recording posted on YouTube last year, or its context, and has apologized. But he hasn’t been able to put the issue entirely behind him.

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LGBT groups rally at Supreme Court against Trump nominees

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Mass.) speaks at a rally in front of the United States Supreme Court against Trump nominees. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Civil rights leaders, transgender parents and LGBT advocates — joined by Reps. Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass.) and Donald McEachin (D-Va.) — rallied before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday in opposition to two Trump nominees, one with a history of anti-LGBT legal work, the other with a history of black voter suppression.

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High court declines Arizona same-sex parental rights case

By : wire report
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PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona Supreme Court ruling that entitles a Tucson woman in a same-sex marriage to the same parental rights a man would receive will stand after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case Monday.

Suzan McLaughlin said the case is a great victory for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

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Gay parade permit sparks major debate in Mississippi

By : wire report
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STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — At first, the plan to hold a gay-pride parade here didn’t seem like such a big deal. Such festivals aren’t that unusual even in the traditionally conservative Deep South, and Starkville, “Mississippi’s College Town,” made a name for itself as the first community in the state to pass a resolution denouncing discrimination against people for sexual orientation.

But when organizers applied for a permit, they ran into a roadblock: A majority of Starkville’s aldermen voted it down, transforming what had been envisioned as a relatively small-scale event into a constitutional confrontation over free speech and equal rights.

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Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to Mississippi anti-LGBT law

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Supreme Court won’t take up legal challenges to a Mississippi “religious freedom” law enabling sweeping discrimination against LGBT people, leaving extremely limited recourse to combat the anti-LGBT statute.

In an orders list on Monday, the Supreme Court announced it had rejected two petitions for certiorari — one filed by legal groups in the lawsuit Barber v. Bryant, the other filed by legal groups in Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant — as well as a series of other petitions pending before the Supreme Court.

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Kentucky clerk Kim Davis to seek re-election

By : Wire Report
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – The Kentucky county clerk jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples will run for re-election in 2018, facing voters for the first time since her protest against marriage equality in rural Appalachia provoked a national uproar.

Kim Davis could face a familiar foe: A gay man to whom she refused to issue a marriage license said he’s seriously considering running against her.

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Clinton, Harris urge HRC supporters to ‘rise’ against Trump

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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It wasn’t the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner that attendees anticipated a year ago.

Hopes were high that Hillary Clinton would be elected president and lead the way on advancing LGBT rights in the United States and around the world. Instead, Donald Trump is president and LGBT rights supporters are seeking to oppose his administration’s efforts to compromise rights for the LGBT community.

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Judge allows new route to challenge Mississippi LGBTQ law

By : Wire Report
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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A gay rights group is getting another chance to challenge a Mississippi law that lets government workers and private business people cite their own religious beliefs to refuse services to LGBTQ people.

Legal experts say it’s the broadest religious-objections law enacted by any state since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015.

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DOJ seeks time to argue for anti-gay baker in Supreme Court case

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The U.S. Justice Department under U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is seeking a time slot of 10 minutes before the U.S. Supreme Court to argue on behalf of a Colorado baker who wishes to refuse the sale of make wedding cakes for same-sex couples.

U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed the two-page request Wednesday before the Supreme Court in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

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