Members of Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa, an LGBTI advocacy group in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula, on July 11 were sewing a transgender Pride flag for an upcoming march. On the wall behind them were the pictures of 19 local activists and community members who have been killed over the last decade. “You can be killed at any moment in this extremely violent country,” a lesbian activist told the Washington Blade during an interview with three others affiliated with Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa who identify themselves as transsexual women.
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 Since April 2013, legislatures in Montana and Virginia have repealed their states’ sodomy laws.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
Some businesses want to be able to refuse services to LGBT people, married or not, as shown in the disturbing court case of a Hawaii B&B owner who turned away a lesbian couple. Thanks to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the conversation around religious liberty and LGBT rights in the United States has been focused mostly on wedding services in recent months: Should bakers be able to cite religion in order to deny wedding cakes to same-sex couples? Can florists refuse to arrange flowers? What about stationery shops? But as a recently-decided Hawaii Supreme Court case should remind us, anti-LGBT groups don’t just want to make it legal to deny wedding services to LGBT people, they want to make it legal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity in virtually every area of public life.
HRC Confronts Trump-Putin With Projection Calling Out Anti-LGBTQ Crimes Against Humanity in Chechnya
Today, just ahead of tomorrow’s Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, HRC projected an enormous message onto the Presidential Palace in Helsinki demanding that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin immediately end the ongoing anti-LGBTQ crimes against humanity occurring in the Russian republic of Chechnya. For more than 15 months, Donald Trump and his administration have refused to publicly condemn the systematic torture, abuse, and murder of LGBTQ people occurring in Chechnya as Vladimir Putin has licensed the violence to continue. More than a 100 LGBTQ people have been rounded up, tortured, and abused -- and as many as 20 have been murdered.
The gravity of President Trump’s nomination of a second Supreme Court justice for LGBTQ people and other vulnerable groups cannot be overstated. If confirmed, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, would tilt an already conservative court to the far hard-right. Political scientist Lee Epstein recently evaluated Judge Kavanaugh’s record and found that it would place him well to the right of every single current justice except Clarence Thomas. For LGBTQ people, in particular, this poses a serious threat. While we do not expect a direct reversal of the landmark holdings in Romer v. Evans, Lawrence v. Texas, or Obergefell v. Hodges — historic Supreme Court cases that acknowledged the equality of LGBT persons, decriminalized same-sex intimacy, and recognized that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry — there are a number of new issues that may be heard by the court and that could result in lasting harm to LGBT people and their families.
A controversial anti-LGBT pastor who once urged his followers to bring guns to church has turned his attention to delivering invocations at campaign rallies for Scott Wagner, the Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor. Wagner and his campaign say the pastor sneaked in because he knew the owner of the venue. Pastor Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon made his way into the public eye in the wake of the Parkland shooting in February, when he instructed his followers to carry AR-15-style rifles into their Pennsylvania church and wear crowns of bullets. (The church was labeled an “anti-LGBT cult” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.) A spokesman for Wagner told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that the pastor wasn’t invited and didn’t get permission from anyone to speak. He also noted that the venue that hosted the event, Tommy Gun Warehouse in Greely, is owned by the pastor’s brother.
Jade Quintanilla had come to the northernmost edge of Mexico from El Salvador looking for help and safety, but five months had passed since she had arrived in this border town, and she was still too scared to cross into the United States and make her request for asylum. Violence and persecution in Central America had brought many transgender women such as Ms. Quintanilla to this crossroads, along with countless other LGBTI migrants. They are desperate to escape an unstable region where they are distinct targets.
A House committee approved on Wednesday as part of major appropriations legislation an amendment seen to allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to deny placement into LGBT families over religious objections. The amendment, introduced by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), would bar the federal government and state or localities from denying funds to adoption agencies that have “declined or will decline to provide, facilitate or refer for a child welfare service that conflicts with, or under circumstances that conflict with, the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs of convictions.”
President Trump, America’s top drama queen, did everything he could to infuse his second Supreme Court nomination with ratings-grabbing suspense and pageantry. But for queer Americans, there was only one question to be answered in Monday’s prime-time selection spectacle: Are we definitely screwed, or probably screwed?
The Department of Justice is hoping to restructure the U.S. asylum system to bar anyone who enters the country illegally from applying for asylum, news that Vox broke recently. The proposed changes would likely prevent most people from Central America from winning asylum in the U.S. The DOJ’s changes to the asylum system, as currently described, would prove catastrophic for persecuted LGBTQ Central Americans. Central America remains dangerous for many LGBTQ people. According to a 2017 Amnesty International report, attacks on LGBTQ people are rampant in the Northern Triangle of Central America — Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. The report confirms 264 murders of LGBTQ people in Honduras between 2009 and July 2017. During February 2017, three trans women were murdered within a mere 72-hour period. A fourth trans woman was brutally attacked only days later. The nongovernmental organization Transgender Europe has reported that 40 trans people were murdered in Guatemala during 2016.
Just minutes into the night shift at Lowe’s, beads of sweat sparkle on Bol Gai Deng’s forehead. He’s at the back of the suburban Richmond store, unloading a 54-foot truck crammed with leaf blowers and barbecue grills, Drano and pitchforks — tough work that drives off most in a matter of weeks or months. Deng has stuck with it for six years because he likes having his days free for his other gig: running for president of South Sudan. Deng’s campaign operates out of Blake’s offices at the Virginia Christian Alliance, which leads battles against abortion and gay rights in the state Capitol. Hundreds of African American Baptists, gathered at a Richmond convention in June, gave Deng a standing ovation, comparing him sympathetically to children fleeing Central America today.
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