After a gunman killed 49 people at Pulse, a predominantly gay nightclub in Orlando in 2016, I found myself disappointed that more Catholic leaders did not offer support to the LGBT community. And that the few who did found it difficult to acknowledge that LGBT people specifically had been targeted for murder. For me, that silence highlighted a certain failure to be compassionate to the LGBT community even in a moment of tragedy. It also revealed that the LGBT community was still largely invisible to some church authorities. In response, I recorded a brief video that was posted on Facebook. It offered some support for the LGBT community during a terribly difficult few weeks.
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 Since April 2013, legislatures in Montana and Virginia have repealed their states’ sodomy laws.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
There is so much more to the life and work of Father Mychal Judge than his quiet heroism on 9/11. The time has come to honor this profoundly Christian man with the sainthood he so richly deserves. On the morning of his death on September 11, 2001 Father Mychal Judge was moving quickly. Stopping only for his Fire Chaplain’s helmet and FDNY coat, he raced down to the smoking World Trade Center buildings to offer all the aid and comfort that he could. Despite the danger to his own life, his presence was mandatory, he believed. In a prayer, once he had outlined this philosophy: “Lord take me where you want me to go, let me meet who you want me to meet…” it began.
A woman who brought a Supreme Court case that struck down parts of a federal law that banned same-sex marriage has died. An attorney for Edith Windsor says she died Tuesday in New York. She was 88. Windsor was 81 when she sued the federal government in 2010 over the Defense of Marriage Act following the death of her first spouse, Thea Spyer. They legally married in Canada in 2007 after being together for more than 40 years.
Estefany has many scars—some are visible on her face—lifelong reminders of the death threats and abuse she survived in Honduras. She has short, curly black hair. Her brown eyes are round and wide. She wears bright pink lipstick, and her lashes stretch all the way up to her eyebrows. “We’re made of flesh and bone. We have a heart, we have feelings. We want to be supported,” she says. Estefany is a 22-year-old transgender woman. She’s alive, nearly 2,000 miles away from her home country, after escaping violence that nearly killed her. “We are brave women. We made it here to México. There are things that happened to us in our home countries that we want to forget. The only thing that’s left is to move forward and become stronger. What we saw was brutal, but something good will come out of it.”
Two prominent LGBT groups have criticized a Stanford study as ‘junk science’, but a professor who co-authored it said he was perplexed by the criticisms. A Stanford University study showing that artificial intelligence (AI) can accurately guess whether people are gay or straight based on their faces has sparked a swift backlash from LGBT rights activists who fear this kind of technology could be used to harm queer people. The research, which went viral this week, used a sample of online dating photos, limited only to white users, to demonstrate that an algorithm could correctly distinguish between gay and straight men 81% of the time and 74% for women, suggesting machines can potentially have much better “gaydar” than humans.
Today, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that the Department of Education will roll back Obama Administration-era Title IX guidelines which protected sexual assault survivors on college and university campuses across the nation. This policy decision could harm LGBTQ studentswho experience higher rates of sexual assault. The Education Secretary announced the start of a “notice-and-comment” process to solicit input on a new campus adjudication system.
Two key medical associations should publicly affirm their support to end medically unnecessary surgery on intersex children, Human Rights Watch and interACT said today. The groups sent letters to the medical associations, the Pediatric Endocrine Society and the Societies for Pediatric Urology, urging them to use their upcoming international medical conferences to publicly state this position.
In the aftermath of President Trump’s decision to nix an Obama-era immigration program allowing young, undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States, Tony Choi doesn’t know his fate — but realizes one possibility is he’ll be deported to South Korea. Speaking to the Washington Blade by phone while taking part in a rally just outside Trump Tower in New York City, Choi said he felt uncertainty since news reports emerged Trump would phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. “I’ve had a few weeks to think about it, but for the first two weeks, I was incredibly stressed out that my life was swinging on a pendulum, and I felt like I couldn’t do anything about it,” Choi said. “I didn’t know what could happen.”
A transgender woman from Chechnya who was granted asylum in the US is putting her life at risk by campaigning for other Chechens facing the risk of anti-LGBT persecution to be let into the country. Leyla, whose details have been kept limited to protect her, told the Washington Post how she faced persecution from her family, friends and authorities because of her identity. For a long time, Leyla tried to conceal her gender identity while living in Chechnya. However, she eventually moved to a close by region before moving to Moscow so she could begin to live more truthful to herself.
CHRISTIAN supporters of LGBT inclusion in the Church have been quick to issue a direct and opposing response to a statement released by Conservative Evangelicals this week which affirmed their belief that approval of “homosexual immorality” is sinful. But LGBT campaigners responded by publishing a parallel statement, named Christians United, the following day. It imitates the structure and language of the Nashville statement, but contradicts its beliefs. The foreword reads: “A new day is dawning in the Church, and all Christians are being called to step out boldly and unapologetically in affirmation and celebration of our LGBT+ siblings as equal participants in the Kingdom of God.
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