Attorneys general weigh in on LGBTQ employment cases

By : Wire Report
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) | A coalition led by the attorneys general of Illinois and New York has filed a legal brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in hiring.

The brief comes ahead of oral arguments on three cases that may determine whether gays, lesbians and transgender people are protected from discrimination by existing federal civil rights laws.

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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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Trump’s transgender military ban now in effect

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Pentagon initiated April 12 the transgender military ban in accordance with Trump administration plans for the policy, returning the U.S. military to restrictions on LGBT service that harken to the days of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Transgender service members — who had been able to serve openly and obtain transition-related health care since the final year of the Obama administration in 2016 — will now face significant impediments on their service and an outright ban for many of them seeking to enlist.

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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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