South Carolina sued over its ban on LBGTQ sex ed discussions

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: The Campaign for Southern Equality team at the Charleston Capitol. (Photo from Facebook)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) | It is against state law in South Carolina for public school sex education classes to mention anything other than heterosexual relationships, unless the talk involves sexually transmitted diseases. A federal lawsuit now aims to change that.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights and Lambda Legal said their lawsuit filed Feb. 26 seeks to overturn the Comprehensive Health Education Act of 1988 as an unconstitutional violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

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Supreme Court could deliver bad news for LGBTQ teachers at religious schools

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Advocates gather for LGBTQ rights. Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

Cases the Supreme Court has recently agreed to take up on the right for religious non-profits to hire and fire employees consistent with their faith could have major implications for LGBTQ workers at those institutions, LGBTQ legal advocates are warning.

Last week, the Supreme Court announced it had a granted a writ of certiorari, or agreed to hear, the two cases now consolidated as one: Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, Agnes and St. James School v. Darryl Biel.

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Chicago activist named new head of National Center for Lesbian Rights

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Imani Rupert-Gordon, photo courtesy National Center for Lesbian Rights.

The new head of the National Center for Lesbian Rights will be a Chicago-based activist who has served as a voice in the LGBTQ movement for black women, the organization announced Tuesday.

Imani Rupert-Gordon, who currently serves as executive director of Affinity Community Services in Chicago, is set to take the reins of the San Francisco-based LGBTQ group on March 16, 2020.

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Utah to become 19th state to ban conversion therapy

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, photo public domain.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced Tuesday his state would implement regulations prohibiting mental health experts from engaging in “ex-gay” conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth, making Utah the 19th state to prohibit the widely discredited practice.

The announcement from a Herbert, a Republican, comes after a tumultuous debate over conversion therapy in the heavily Mormon state, where family rejection of LGBTQ youth is known to contribute to Utah’s homeless population.

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Human Rights Campaign comes out for impeachment inquiry against Trump

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David, Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The nation’s leading LGBT group has come out in favor of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump over allegations he pressured Ukraine to investigate his potential political rival Joseph Biden.

Alphonso David, the new president of the Human Rights Campaign, announced his organization’s support for the process set up by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a statement late Friday.

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LGBT groups hedge on support for Trump impeachment

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.

Following bombshell media reports suggesting President Trump improperly made U.S. government aid to Ukraine a condition of investigating his potential political opponent Joseph Biden, LGBT groups are hedging on calling for impeachment.

Each of the LGBT organizations contacted by the Washington Blade upon release of the White House transcript of Trump’s call—which reveals the U.S. president asked Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to coordinate with Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr in the investigation—stopped short of supporting outright impeachment.

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Utah governor takes action to regulate conversion therapy

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has taken action that could lead to the regulation of “ex-gay” conversion therapy in a state with a history of widespread use of the discredited practice.

In a letter dated June 17 and made public Thursday, Herbert ordered the Utah’s Division of Occupational & Professional Licensing to establish rules to regulate psychological interventions with LGBT youth and prevent unethical practices.

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Trump administration announces ‘conscience rule’ for health care providers

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Above: President Trump on May 2, 2019, announced the final version of a “conscience rule” for health care providers that critics contend would allow anti-LGBT discrimination. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Trump administration on May 2 announced the final version of a “conscience rule” for health care providers.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights in a statement said the rule “protects individuals and health care entities from discrimination on the basis of their exercise of conscience in HHS-funded programs.”

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LGBTQ groups, HHS clash over asking youth in foster care about sexual orientation

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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LGBT rights groups and the Department of Health & Human Services are clashing over the proposed elimination of questions seeking to identify the sexual orientation of youth in foster care, which the Trump administration concluded could be “intrusive and worrisome.”

Julie Kruse, director of federal policy at the pro-LGBT Family Equality Council, said in a statement the planned removal from HHS is an “abdication of its statutory responsibilities to promote the safety, well-being, and permanency of foster youth, including those who are LGBTQ.”

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Judge says Tampa should be barred from enforcing parts of conversion therapy ban

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | A federal magistrate judge has recommended that the city of Tampa be barred from enforcing parts of its ban on the discredited practice of conversion therapy.

Tampa’s Ordinance 2017-47 is designed to protect the physical and psychological well-being of LGBTQ youth from “exposure to the serious harms and risk caused by conversion therapy.” It was signed into law in April 2017.

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Supreme Court green lights Trump’s transgender military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 22 issued stays on lower court orders against President Trump’s transgender military ban, apparently allowing the policy to go into effect.

In orders from the court, the Supreme Court granted stays the U.S. Justice Department requested in two separate cases challenging the ban before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Karnoski v. Trump and Stockman v. Trump. The stays means the Trump’s policy against transgender service will be allowed to go into effect as litigation moves forward.

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LGBT legal groups urge Supreme Court to resist Trump on trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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LGBT legal groups urged the U.S. Supreme Court to decline to intervene in cases challenging President Trump’s transgender military ban, asserting action at this point would amount to “short-circuiting” the litigation process.

The groups submitted the briefs in response to two separate filings from the U.S. Justice Department under the Trump administration, one calling on the Supreme Court to take up the cases on a interlocutory basisanother calling for a stay on lower court orders against the ban.

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