For transgender Americans, 2018 has been marked by series of advancements and setbacks. The steps forward have included numerous legislative actions and court rulings buttressing civil rights and a victory by a transgender candidate in Vermont's Democratic gubernatorial primary. The steps back have included the Trump administration rolling back protections, and anti-transgender vitriol that caused an Oklahoma town's schools to be closed for two days in August after adults made threatening comments on Facebook about a 12-year-old transgender student's use of a girls' bathroom. And the coming weeks may be even more unsettling, ahead of the first-ever statewide vote on whether anti-discrimination protections should extend to transgender people.
In the United States, same-sex marriage has been legal nationwide since June 26, 2015, when the United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that state-level bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. The court ruled that the denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples and the refusal to recognize... Expand
In the United States, same-sex marriage has been legal nationwide since June 26, 2015, when the United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that state-level bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. The court ruled that the denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples and the refusal to recognize those marriages performed in other jurisdictions violates the Due Process and the Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
President Obama signed an executive order in June 2014 that prohibits workplace discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity by companies awarded federal contracts and outlaws discrimination based on gender identity for federal employees. In August 2014, in response to a 2012 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decision, the US Department of Labor announced plans to issue new guidance making clear that discrimination on the basis of transgender status is prohibited under the existing definition of discrimination based on sex in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
However, the US Supreme Court’s broad interpretation of religious exemption in the Hobby Lobby case could set a precedent undermining protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people on religious grounds.
Twelve US states retain sodomy laws. Since April 2013, legislatures in Montana and Virginia have repealed their states’ sodomy laws. Louisiana’s legislature voted to uphold the state’s law in April 2014.
Source: Human Rights Watch World Report 2015
Council for Global Equality, Global Rights, Human Rights Campaign, Human Rights First, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Immigration Equality submission to United Nations Human Rights Committee (2010): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights in the United States [pdf]
Human Rights Watch (2011): Rights at Risk: State Response to HIV in Mississippi
Human Rights Watch (2012): Sex Workers at Risk: Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution in Four U.S. CitiesContract
A theologically diverse group of United Methodist Church clergy and laity have called on the denomination to create a "gracious" means of allowing congregations to leave. Next February, the UMC will hold a special session of General Conference to attempt to end their internal debate over the denomination's stance on homosexuality. In an open letter released earlier this week, clergy who identify as "progressive," "centrist," and "traditionalist" have come together to ask that the Church create a "gracious and equitable process for exit which can be used by any congregation desiring to do so."
A Kenyan judge has temporarily lifted the ban on Wanuri Kahiu’s “Rafiki,” paving the way for the LGBT love story – which premiered in Cannes – to be submitted for the foreign-language Oscar race. In her ruling, Judge Wilfrida Okwany said Friday she was “not convinced that Kenya is such a weak society that its moral foundation will be shaken by seeing such a film.” She added that “one of the reasons for artistic creativity is to stir the society’s conscience even on very vexing topics such as homosexuality,” which, she noted, “did not begin with ‘Rafiki.’”
The number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender candidates running for office this year is higher than ever. But there is a partisan split among the nominees. The number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people nominated to run for Congress is four times higher than it was in 2010, a leading advocacy group said, spurred by greater social acceptance of sexual and gender minorities and a surge of liberal energy powered by opposition to the Trump administration. This year, there are 21 openly L.G.B.T. people nominated for Congress and four for governor, all Democrats, according to the L.G.B.T.Q. Victory Fund, a nonpartisan group that supports and tracks gay and transgender political candidates.
Gay dating app Grindr has announced a “zero tolerance policy” towards racism, transphobia and other discrimination on the platform as it looks to crack down on abusive behavior within the LGBT dating scene. The company said it would ban users who used hateful language and may even remove options allowing users to filter potential dates by age and race in a bid to tackle the issue. “Any language that is intended to openly discriminate against characters and traits, like infamously, ‘No fats, no femmes, no Asians’...that isn’t going to be tolerated anymore,” said Landen Zumwalt, Grindr’s head of communications.
A North Side priest says he “can’t sit well” with Cardinal Blase Cupich burned a gay-friendly flag outside his Avondale church last week — against the wishes of the cardinal he claims is trying to minimize the clergy sex-abuse crisis. Rev. Paul Kalchik says the banner, featuring a cross superimposed over a rainbow, had been featured prominently in the sanctuary at Resurrection Catholic Church but had been taken down and was forgotten in storage at the parish at 3043 N. Francisco for more than a decade.
5 Things You Need to Know about One of the Anti-LGBT Movement's Biggest Events: The 'Value Voter Summit'
One of the most powerful anti-LGBT hate groups, the Family Research Council (FRC), is getting ready for its annual gathering in the nation’s capital. Thousands of supporters and partner organizations are gearing up for speeches, networking and political action focused on “pro-family” issues — including spreading false information about, denigrating and working against the rights of LGBT people. With topics including “Restoring a Generation’s Identity” and “Reclaiming and Preserving Conservatism in a Counter-Christian Culture” on the agenda, the 2018 Values Voter Summit is set to serve up its usual lineup of anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim vitriol.
A federal judge Friday in Michigan allowed a lawsuit to move forward that experts say impacts faith-based charities across the country that provide adoption services as well as LGBT couples seeking to adopt and foster children. The case, Dumont v. Lyon, focuses on whether faith-based adoption agencies that receive state funding can turn away same-sex couples for religious reasons. It's one of the first cases of its kind, and experts say it's likely to set a legal precedent for courts and legislatures nationwide. The Deseret News covered the case in-depth in May. In September 2017, the ACLU sued the state of Michigan on behalf of two same-sex couples and a former foster child, arguing that the state is violating the First Amendment's establishment clause by allowing faith-based agencies that receive state funds to deny services to same-sex couples. In July, the state and one of the faith-based adoption agencies, St. Vincent Catholic Charities of Lansing, Michigan, filed a motion to dismiss the case.
At a gathering of some of the world’s most virulent opponents of LGBT equality, Russian conservative activist Dmitry Komov warned of the destructive agenda underlying the spread of liberal values. The West, he told a far-right French TV station in December, was committed to the “destruction of all of our collective identities: national identity, religious identity, gender identity,” and warned it would result in “the destruction of human identity.” Komov was in Chisinau, Moldova, for the Eurasian colloquium, where Russian Orthodox ideologues and European far-right activists rubbed shoulders. Between 13 and 16 September, they are also joined by members of a U.S. conservative Christian groups in the city for the World Congress of Families. The unlikely allies feel that after decades of struggle, the time has come to topple Western liberal hegemony.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has called on the Home Office to stop an evangelical preacher from the US coming to the UK. Franklin Graham, the son of the evangelist Billy Graham, is linked to Donald Trump and has a history of making Islamophobic and homophobic statements.Mr Graham, who described Islam as “evil” and “wicked” and said LGBT rights and same-sex marriage were the work of the devil, has been invited to speak at a Christian festival in Blackpool. In response to Mr Graham’s invitation, three MPs, including a Tory government whip and the MCB have come together to urge the Home Office to deny his entry to the UK.
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