US Justice Department: Don’t treat trans athletes as girls

By : wire report
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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) | The U.S. Justice Department is getting involved in a federal civil rights lawsuit that seeks to block transgender athletes in Connecticut from competing as girls in interscholastic sports.

Attorney General William Barr signed what is known as a statement of interest March 24, arguing against the policy of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, the board that oversees the state’s high school athletic competitions.

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Immigration Equality demands ICE release detainees with HIV

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Immigration Equality, photo via Immigration Equality’s Facebook page.

Immigration Equality on Monday demanded U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement release detainees with HIV who are at increased risk for coronavirus.

Immigration Equality in a complaint it sent to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties notes the six men who are named as complainants are at higher risk for coronavirus, in part, because of inadequate health care that includes inconsistent access to antiretroviral drugs and a failure to adequately treat opportunistic infections. The men are currently detained at the Winn and Richwood Correctional Centers in Louisiana, IAH Secure Adult Detention Facility in Texas and La Palma Correctional Center in Arizona.

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White House, LGBTQ groups clash over new religious freedom regs

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

Following the release of new regulations from the Trump administration with the stated intent of protecting the religious freedom of federal grantees, LGBTQ groups and the White House locked in a dispute over whether they enable anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

Although the White House is denouncing the criticism as partisan bias, the LGBTQ advocacy groups are able to point to specific language in the regulations that would inhibit LGBTQ people from obtaining social services from religious-affiliated grantees.

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Gavin Grimm joins ACLU board

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Gavin Grimm. (Photo courtesy of GLAAD)

A transgender man who challenged his Virginia school district’s bathroom policy has been elected to the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) board of directors.

Gavin Grimm on Jan. 3 in a tweet said he has been elected to the board for a one year term.

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Judge: Illinois prisons must reform transgender inmate treatment

By : wire report
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CHICAGO (AP) | Illinois prisons must undergo wide reforms in the treatment of transgender inmates, including training for employees and avoiding cross-gender strip searches, under a court order earlier this month.

The order stems from a 2018 lawsuit filed on behalf of five transgender women who said they weren’t provided with appropriate treatment while in custody.

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New Hampshire city elects 1st openly trans person to council

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Palana Belken (center) with supporters. (Photo from Belken’s Facebook)

ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) | An American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) representative has made history as the first openly transgender person to be elected to a city council in New Hampshire.

Seacoastonline.com reports 30-year-old Palana Belken was elected Nov. 5 in Rochester. She defeated longtime incumbent city councilor and Democratic state rep. Sandra Keans. The vote was 342-300. She was one of three LGBTQ residents elected to the 12-seat City Council.

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Briefing on LGBTQ asylum seekers takes place on Capitol Hill

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

A briefing on the plight of LGBTQ asylum seekers took place on Oct. 23 at the Russell Senate Office Building.

Two asylum seekers — a transgender woman from El Salvador and a gay man from Nigeria — spoke at the briefing that Sharita Gruberg of the Center for American Progress moderated. Jennifer Quigley of Human Rights First and Richard Kelly of Center Global also participated. The Human Rights Campaign, the Council for Global Equality, the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigration Equality and the Transgender Law Center are among the groups that co-sponsored the briefing.

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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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Transgender group’s birth certificate suit advances in Ohio

By : wire report
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) | Four transgender people challenging an Ohio rule preventing people from changing the gender listings on their birth certificates have won their day in court.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Watson denied the state’s request that the lawsuit filed by the ACLU, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Ohio be dismissed.

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Ariz. court rules for wedding invitation business seeking to turn away gays

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled the City of Phoenix cannot apply its LGBT-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance to penalize a local business for refusing to make custom-made invitations for a same-sex wedding, delivering a victory for groups seeking to justify anti-LGBT discrimination in the name of “religious freedom.”

In a 4-3 decision written by Justice Andrew Gould, the court determines the guarantee of freedom of religion and speech under the Arizona state constitution permits Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studios, LC, to deny services to same-sex couples.

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Bee Love killed in South Florida, 18th trans murder this year

By : Lora Korpar
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ABOVE: Bee Love Slater. (From Facebook)

Bee Love Slater was found burned in a vehicle in Clewiston, Florida the morning of Sept. 4, just a week shy of her 24th birthday.

The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office is investigating her death as a homicide. While they are still trying to establish a motive, Slater’s best friend Kenard Wade and many others believe that this was a targeted attack that had to do with her being transgender.

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WVa lawsuit: School official harassed trans teen in bathroom

By : Wire Report
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) | A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a West Virginia transgender male who said an assistant principal harassed him when he tried to use the boys’ bathroom, the latest in a string of court challenges to school policies for transgender students nationwide.

The lawsuit filed in state court accuses the Harrison County Board of Education of failing to create a safe school environment for teenager Michael Critchfield, the American Civil Liberties Union announced in a news release Aug. 28.

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