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HRC was horrified to learn that a 17-year-old transgender woman, Ava Le’Ray Barrin, was shot and killed in Athens, Georgia, on Sunday, June 25. Jalen Breon Brown, 21, has been charged with Barrin’s murder, after allegedly shooting her during an altercation in an apartment parking lot. Police say that Barrin and Brown knew one another, but don’t know what led to the shooting.

In an online obituary, friends remembered Barrin as a “social butterfly” and an “amazing girl” who “loved to make people laugh.” On Monday, mourners held a candlelight service at the apartment complex where Barrin was killed, according to TransGriot.

Barrin is the youngest known transgender murder victim in the U.S. this year. Since January 1, advocates have tracked at least 14 deaths from anti-transgender violence across the country, including one woman who died of injuries from a 2016 attack. Every victim has been a woman of color, nearly all of them Black—a horrifying pattern that mirrors previous years, when Black women have made up the vast majority of known transgender homicide victims. In November, HRC and the Trans People of Color Coalition released A Matter of Life and Death, a report that highlights how racism, transphobia and misogyny combine to create this epidemic of violence.

Like too many transgender victims of violence, Barrin’s name and gender were misreported by local law enforcement and media outlets. Announcements that fail to respect transgender victims’ identities not only upset the victims’ loved ones, but may lead to additional violence by creating the perception that law enforcement will not protect transgender people or pursue their attackers.

HRC extends its sincere condolences to Ms. Barrin’s family and friends.

To learn more about violence against transgender people, click here.


Author: Gabe Murchison
Posted: June 28, 2017, 1:26 pm

Millions around the world took part in parades and marches in honor of National LGBTQ Pride Month, but these celebrations may not have been possible if not for a group of LGBTQ activists who 48 years ago stood up in a local New York bar and fought back against hate.

On June 28, 1969, when New York City police began again harassing LGBTQ patrons of the Stonewall Inn simply for congregating, those patrons decided they’d had enough. They began bravely fighting back against the consistent oppression and brutal intimidation they faced. From those early demonstrations grew a modern social movement determined to rid the nation of discrimination against all LGBTQ Americans.

Exactly one year later, the first Pride marches took place in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to commemorate the anniversary of the historic stand against injustice at Stonewall.

The significance of the events at Stonewall, and their influence in shaping the national conversation surrounding LGBTQ equality in America, cannot be overstated. Last summer, then-President Obama acknowledged the historic contributions of the events of 1969 by designating the Stonewall Inn as the country’s first LGBTQ national monument, a place essential to telling the story of the LGBTQ community’s struggle for equality.

“We can’t rest, we gotta keep pushing for equality and acceptance and tolerance, but the arc of our history is clear,” said Obama. “It’s an arc of progress and a lot of that progress can be traced back to Stonewall.”

The LGBTQ community hailed Obama’s announcement, which recognized what many consider the birthplace of the LGBTQ movement, providing a public acknowledgement of Stonewall’s much-deserved place in history.

Though Stonewall’s legacy is cemented in history, LGBTQ progress remains on shaky ground in the Trump Era. HRC takes inspiration from the brave members of our community who stood up for themselves -- and all of us -- at Stonewall, and remains committed to ensuring all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are treated equality and with dignity under the law.


Author: Brian McBride
Posted: June 28, 2017, 12:00 pm

The U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution condemning the anti-LGBTQ atrocities taking place in the Russian republic of Chechnya and calling on Chechen and Russian authorities to investigate the crimes and hold the perpetrators accountable.

Since early this year, Chechen authorities have rounded up and detained more than 100 men in secret prisons, under suspicion that they are gay or bisexual. Chechen leaders have denied these accusations, going so far as to deny the very existence of LGBTQ people in Chechnya. Nonetheless, there have been numerous verified reports of torture and at least three and possibly as many as 20 men have been killed. Chechen officials have also reportedly encouraged families to murder relatives they suspect might be gay, something that at least one family seems to have acted on.

The resolution, introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) in May, calls on Chechen officials “to immediately cease the abduction, detention, and torture of individuals on the basis of their actual or suspected sexual orientation, and hold accountable all those involved in perpetrating such abuses.” The resolution also includes language from Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA) calling on the U.S. government to identify those involved in the attacks and determine if they could be sanctioned under U.S. laws.

It also calls on the U.S. government to continue condemning the atrocities. To date, the only high-level U.S. official to make a statement on Chechnya is the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley. Neither President Trump or Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have weighed in. Tillerson even admitted at a recent Congressional hearing that he has not raised the situation with his Russian counterparts, an admission that HRC’s Stacy called “beyond disturbing."  

During debate about the bill on the House floor, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen called the Chechen behavior “barbaric,” adding that the U.S. must “not sit idly by while this state-sponsored persecution is ongoing.” She closed by saying that “everyone deserves dignity, everyone deserves respect in the place they call home.”

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), a chief co-author of the resolution, added that “gross human rights abuses will not be tolerated” and expressed disappointment neither Tillerson nor President Trump had raised these issues with their Russian counterparts.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), sent a clear and strong message to the Russian authorities that “these atrocities are in plain view and that their cowardly and evasive responses are not fooling anyone."

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee also chided Tillerson for his comment that the events in Chechnya are a “pending” matter to be raised with the Russians. “The United States should never put human rights on the pending list,” Engel said.

The text of the resolution, which was passed in a unanimous voice vote, can be found here.

HRC through its  #EyesOnChechnya effort is continuing to take action to stop the atrocities and help the victims. Click here for background information and actions that individuals can take to help end the violence.


Author: Jeremy Kadden
Posted: June 27, 2017, 10:29 pm

Earlier today, 34 Democratic U.S. senators, led by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos expressing disappointment and alarm over the Trump-Pence Administration’s efforts to diminish the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) enforcement of civil rights laws and calling on the department to provide specific documents relating to their enforcement efforts.

The letter details DeVos’ refusal to commit to protecting student’s civil rights, a recent ED event that featured anti-LGBTQ hate group the Family Research Council, and the appointment of staff who oppose ED’s guidance on schools’ obligations under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 to address sexual harassment, including sexual violence. The letter also documents recent decisions by ED to narrow its investigations of discrimination and harassment, and end oversight by department headquarters of certain types of investigations.

A significant portion of the letter is also devoted to the department’s actions around transgender discrimination. Earlier this year, the Departments of Education and Justice, under the direction of DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, rescinded Obama-era guidance explaining schools’ obligations to protect transgender students under Title IX.

In addition to citing this rescission, the senators’ letter also cites additional anti-transgender actions taken by DeVos and her department, including dismissing or closing at least two civil rights cases involving transgender students, withdrawing previous findings of discrimination against school districts, and publishing a memo that permits investigators to dismiss cases relating to anti-transgender discrimination.

The letter concludes by requesting nine pieces of information and documents, including a list of all open Office for Civil Rights (OCR) cases involving transgender students as of January 30, 2017, so the senators can “fully understand the impact of recent policy and civil rights investigatory and enforcement changes at the Department and OCR.“

“There is no more serious responsibility of the Department [of Education] than to ensure consistent, vigorous enforcement of civil rights laws and protections for all students,” the letter states.

HRC could not agree more and commends Senator Murray and the 33 Democratic Senators who also signed on to the letter to DeVos. HRC echoes their call for DeVos to vigorously enforce civil rights law and ensure LGBTQ students are protected from discrimination.


Author: Jordan Dashow
Posted: June 27, 2017, 9:54 pm

Scott Schoettes, HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal, joined HRC on National HIV Testing Day to discuss his choice to resign from the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS with six of his colleagues and the urgent importance of HIV/AIDS work across the country.

Author: HRC staff
Posted: June 27, 2017, 8:11 pm

TODAY @ NOON ET -- PRESS CALL ON THE FIGHT TO SAVE THE ACA: HRC, the National Center for Transgender Equality and Senator Bob Casey  (D-PA) will host a press call today at 12 noon ET to discuss the Trump-Pence-McConnell effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- which would disproportionately affect the LGBTQ community as well as millions of other Americans. Because of the ACA, thousands of low-income LGBTQ people, including those living with HIV, have been able to obtain health insurance through the Medicaid expansion, and many rely on essential services provided by Planned Parenthood. Last week, HRC strongly condemned the hatched-in-secret proposal to gut the ACA and defund Planned Parenthood, undermining life-saving access to health care for as many as 23 million Americans. Please contact press@hrc.org for more information on the call.

● The American Medical Association slammed the proposal, saying “First, do no harm. The draft legislation violates that standard on many levels.” Read their letter to Senate Leader Mitch McConnell here.

● Meanwhile, this...

BREAKING: Congressional Budget Office sees 22 million more uninsured by 2026 under Senate health bill in latest hurdle for GOP.

— The Associated Press (@AP) June 26, 2017

TRUMP’S TRAVEL BAN IS (STILL) UNCONSTITUTIONAL: After the high court in the cases of Donald J. Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project and Donald J. Trump v. Hawaii announced that it will consider this fall the constitutionality of Trump's Muslim travel ban -- and allowed portions of the ban to take effect. Ty Cobb (@TyWesleyCobb), Director of HRC Global, called the decision “flat out wrong,” noting that the ban “discriminates against a huge portion of  the world’s population and demonizes Muslims.” The court’s action yesterday, which will immediately affect travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, comes after two lower courts have blocked implementation of the discriminatory ban. “Worse yet,” Cobb said, “Trump’s reckless travel ban endangers LGBTQ people and others who are fleeing human rights abuses sanctioned by leaders in these countries. LGBTQ individuals are representative of all peoples.” More from HRC.

● Earlier this year, HRC joined the International Refugee Assistance Project  in an oped detailing how the President’s refugee policies are dangerous for LGBTQ people around the world. 

ICYMI -- MASTERPIECE AND PAVAN: Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court also agreed to hear Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case involving a baker who in 2012 refused to provide a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Last year, the Colorado Supreme Court upheld a ruling by the Colorado Court of Appeals that bakery owner Jack Phillips cannot cite religious beliefs or free speech in order to discriminate against same-sex couples. Also yesterday, the high court ordered the state of Arkansas to allow both married same-sex parents to be listed on their child’s birth certificate. The decision, in Pavan v. Smith, overturns an Arkansas Supreme Court decision that had had banned the state’s Department of Health from listing both same-sex parents on their child’s birth certificate. The Arkansas Supreme Court decision would have forced same-sex couples to enter into legal proceedings to guarantee their children’s rights. More from HRC.

● Well, we warned you… In his dissent of the Pavan decision, Justice Neil Gorsuch stated that “Nothing in Obergefell indicates that a birth registration regime based on biology…offends the Constitution…Neither does anything in today’s opinion purport to identify any constitutional problem with a biology based birth registration regime,” indicating that he will be critical of LGBTQ equality in the courts. More from Mother Jones. And read our report on why Gorsuch has always been wrong for the LGBTQ community at HRC.

TUESDAY TWEET: Despite the vital importance of yesterday’s marriage equality anniversary to the LGBTQ community, 50 percent of LGBTQ Americans live in states where they are at risk of being fired, denied housing, or refused service because of who they are. There is no federal law explicitly protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, housing, education, public accommodations, and other important areas, and 31 states still lack fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) shared what’s at stake on Twitter.

Today, as we celebrate the anniversary of marriage equality, it’s equally important to remind ourselves that the fight is far from over.

— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) June 26, 2017

 HRC takes a look back at four influential cases -- and the couples, advocates, organizations and supporters -- that paved the way for national marriage equality. More from HRC.

HAPPENING TODAY -- U.S. HOUSE TO CONSIDER BIPARTISAN RESOLUTION CONDEMNING VIOLENCE AGAINST GAY AND BISEXUAL MEN IN CHECHNYA: The resolution calls on the Russian federation to “protect the human rights of all its citizens, condemn the violence and persecution, investigate these crimes in Chechnya, and hold accountable all those involved in perpetrating such abuses.” The measure, sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), also calls on the Trump Administration to condemn the violence and persecution in Chechnya, which has included kidnapping, torture and sometimes murder of gay and bisexual men. Read the resolution here, and more about violence in Chechnya, and the #EyesOnChechnya effort at HRC.

FORMER FOSTER YOUTH -- TEXAS ANTI-LGBTQ LAW IS DEADLY:  “In a state that prides itself on being “pro-life,” Texas lawmakers sure seem hell-bent on ensuring that children in the foster care system experience the absolute worst possible outcomes,” writes Kristopher Sharp (@SharpKristopher), a former foster youth from Texas,  in a bluntly honest piece for The Advocate. Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed HB 3859, which allows child welfare organizations to turn away qualified Texans seeking to care for a child in need, including LGBTQ couples and other parents to whom the agency has a religious objection. The law also forbids the state from canceling a state contract with an agency that subjected children in their care to dangerous practices such as so-called “conversion therapy.” Read more from Sharp at The Advocate.

TODAY IS NATIONAL HIV TESTING DAY: Scott Schoettes of Lambda Legal will join HRC at 4 p.m. for an #HRCTwitterTakeover to mark the day. HRC is dedicated to helping bring about an end to the HIV and AIDS epidemic, which continues to disproportionately impact members of the LGBTQ community, especially men who have sex with men and Black and Latinx people. One in eight Americans does not know their HIV status. More from HRC.

Scott Schoettes; HRC Twitter Takeover

● The New York Times highlights the Trump-Pence budget proposal to eviscerate funding to a U.S. Department of State program that provides antiretroviral drugs to people living with HIV. “As the Trump-Pence regime looks to destroy health care access here at home, including for essential HIV treatments, they have also proposed cutting humanitarian aid that could result in at least one million deaths around the globe,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Gutting this lifesaving program is cruel and reckless.” Read more at The New York Times.

NY TO HONOR PULSE VICTIMS AND LGBTQ COMMUNITY WITH MONUMENT: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the plans for New York's Hudson River Park. More from The Huffington Post.

RESOLUTION WOULD DESIGNATE JUNE 26 AS LGBT EQUALITY DAY: The resolution, supported by 150 members of Congress, was reintroduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) yesterday to honor the anniversary of the landmark Obergefell, Windsor and Lawrence SCOTUS decisions. More from San Diego LGBT Weekly.

MERKEL MOVE RAISES HOPES FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN GERMANY: Chancellor Merkel noted at an event that she hoped marriage equality would be “headed towards a conscience vote.” More from The Guardian and The Washington Post.

TURKISH POLICE ARREST 44 AT ISTANBUL PRIDE PARADE: The governor of Istanbul banned the event for the third year in a row. An additional 25 people were detained during the event, but later released. More from The Associated Press.

We stand in solidarity with the #LGBTQ community in Turkey & all who face violence because of who they are #pride2017 https://t.co/XuBdwKkeZy

— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) June 26, 2017

LGBTQ EQUALITY ON THE RISE AMONG IRAQI KURDISTAN, DESPITE ISIS INFLUENCE: Thanks largely to advocate Ayaz Shalal Hassan -- the region has seen a rise in acceptance, including the country’s leading party fielding the first-ever openly gay candidate for Turkish parliament. More from The Huffington Post.

TANZANIA THREATENS TO ARREST AND EXPEL LGBTQ ADVOCATES: Same-sex sexual relationships are punishable by up to 30 years in prison under Tanzanian law. More from Reuters.

READING RAINBOW

Brownstoner highlights six LGBTQ historic sites in Brooklyn; Reuters reports that the Madrid City Council flew a rainbow flag in honor of WorldPride 2017

Have news? Send us your news and tips at AMEquality@hrc.org. Click here to subscribe to #AM_Equality and follow @HRC for all the latest news. Thanks for reading!


Author: HRC staff
Posted: June 27, 2017, 12:55 pm

As we celebrate two years of nationwide marriage equality here in the U.S., this is a good opportunity to take stock of marriage equality progress around the world.

There are currently 21 countries, including the U.S., that have full marriage equality. Another two countries - Mexico and the United Kingdom - have partial marriage equality. With the exception of South Africa and Taiwan, all countries with marriage equality are located in Europe and the Americas.

The most recent marriage equality victory was in Taiwan. Only weeks ago, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court issued a ruling in favor of marriage equality, paving the way for it to be the first place in Asia to achieve such a victory. The British Overseas Territory of Bermuda also achieved marriage equality last month through a ruling of the country’s top court. And, earlier this year, Finland began allowing same-sex marriages to proceed, two years after the relevant legislation was passed.

Looking forward, marriage equality is on the horizon in many places such as Australia, Chile, and Malta. Marriage equality efforts continue to move ahead in Australia despite the conservative government’s inability to allow a winning vote in parliament. In Chile, President Michelle Bachelet took the first steps towards marriage equality earlier this year. And, just last week, Malta’s newly elected government pledged to push the issue forward - quickly.

As we celebrate the anniversary of marriage equality today in the U.S., we recognize our work is not done until LGBTQ people - wherever they live - are guaranteed full civil rights and equality, including the right to marry whom they love regardless of sexual orientation or gender. HRC remains committed to achieving marriage equality and we look forward to working with activists around the world to achieve it.   

To learn more HRC’s work to advance LGBTQ equality around the globe, click here.


Author: Saurav Jung Thapa
Posted: June 26, 2017, 9:38 pm

Today marks the two-year anniversary of the historic Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which made marriage equality the law of the land and changed the lives of millions of people who can now marry the person they love. As people across the U.S. celebrate this momentous day, today also serves as an important reminder of the work that still lies ahead in achieving full federal protections for the LGBTQ community.

Just today, the Supreme Court ruled that Arkansas officials must list the names of both married same-sex parents on their child’s birth certificate. The nation’s highest court also agreed to hear a case involving a Colorado baker who refused to provide services for a same-sex couple planning their marriage ceremony. Elected leaders across the country are seeking to ensure that LGBTQ people are not discriminated against in housing,employment, public accommodations and education, while federal courts are determining how sexual orientation and gender identity are covered by our nation’s federal civil rights laws. 

Over the past few decades, brave LGBTQ plaintiffs from around the nation have stood up for their rights by asking  the Supreme Court affirm their fundamental liberties. June 26 is a day that will remain in the history books as four pivotal cases were decided on this date, spanning over 13 years.

HRC takes a look back at these instrumental cases to recognize and honor the hard work of the couples, advocates, organizations and supporters who helped change history.

Lawrence v. Texas (2003)

In 2013, the Supreme Court  in Lawrence v. Texas struck down Texas’ sodomy law - and in turn invalidated sodomy laws in 13 other states - making private, consensual, adult sexual activity between same-sex couples legal across the U.S.

This case laid the groundwork for much of the tremendous progress we’ve seen over the last several years by ensuring that LGBTQ people could not be criminalized for their loving relationships, and serves as a reminder of how much has been accomplished within the LGBTQ community. By ridding our country of this extreme persecution of LGBTQ people under the law, the narrative around equality was forever changed.

United States v. Windsor (2013)

After more than 40 years together, Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer were legally married in Toronto, Canada in 2007. Their marriage was officially recognized in New York in 2008 when their home state ordered state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. When Thea died in 2009, she left her entire estate to Edie. However, Edie was barred from claiming the federal estate tax exemptions for surviving spouses under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law that prohibited the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples, and as a result was faced with a $363,000 estate tax bill.

Windsor, represented by Robbie Kaplan, took her case to the Supreme Court, challenging the government’s ban on recognizing legally married same-sex couples for federal purposes including social security, immigration, and family and medical leave. Same-sex couples across the nation came away victorious as section 3 of DOMA was overturned.

On that same day…

Hollingsworth v. Perry (2013)

In 2009, two same-sex couples, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, filed suit against the state of California in federal court, arguing that California’s Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution by denying them a fundamental right and depriving them of equal protection under the law. Prop 8, a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, had passed at the ballot the previous November, stripping same-sex couples of the right to marry in California.

Attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies represented the couples, and marriage equality was returned to the Golden State.

Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)

Dozens of courageous couples took their fight for marriage equality to court, including Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the 2015 Supreme Court case that brought nationwide marriage equality.

In January 2015, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear Obergefell v. Hodges, a consolidation of Jim's case with the cases of other plaintiffs from Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee. David Michener & William Herbert Ives, Robert Grunn, Nicole Yorksmith & Pamela Yorksmith, Joseph J. Vitale & Robert Talmas, Brittani Henry & Brittni Rogers, Kelly Noe & Kelly McCraken, Gregory Bourke & Michael DeLeon, Randell Johnson & Paul Campion, Jimmy Meade & Luther Barlowe, Kimberly Franklin & Tamera Boyd, Maurice Blanchard & Dominique James, Timothy Love & Lawrence Ysunza, Joy "Johno" Espejo & Matthew Mansell, Kellie Miller & Vanessa DeVillez, Sergeant Ijpe DeKoe & Thomas Kostura, Valeria Tanco & Sophia Jesty and April DeBoer & Jayne Rowse, were just some of the brave individuals and couples -- along with the ACLU, Lambda Legal, GLADD, NCLR, which provided co-counsel on this case.

Two years ago, in a historic sweeping ruling, the Supreme Court sided with loving, committed same-sex couples and found all bans on marriage equality to be unconstitutional - and that the fundamental right to marriage is a fundamental right for all. However, we are still far from full LGBTQ equality in the U.S. -- 50 percent of same-sex couples across the country are still at risk of being fired from their jobs by noon and evicted from their home by 2 p.m., simply for posting their wedding photos on Facebook.

In many states, LGBTQ people are at risk of being fired, denied housing, or refused service because of who they are. There is no federal law explicitly protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, housing, education, public accommodations, and other important areas, and 31 states still lack fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.

Discrimination is a real and persistent problem for far too many LGBTQ Americans, which is why the need for the Equality Act has never been more clear.

HRC urges Congress to pass the Equality Act, which was re-introduced in May with bipartisan support and unprecedented number of businesses to guarantee explicit, permanent protections for all Americans.


Author: Brian McBride
Posted: June 26, 2017, 6:46 pm

HRC responded to announcements from the Supreme Court of the United States in multiple legal cases greatly impacting LGBTQ people, including Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case involving a Colorado bakery which violated state law by refusing service to a same-sex couple; Pavan v. Smith, a case asserting the right of both same-sex parents to be listed on birth certificates in Arkansas; as well as Donald J. Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project and Donald J. Trump v. Hawaii, cases involving President Trump’s travel ban.

Today, the high court agreed to hear Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case involving a baker who in 2012 refused to provide a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Last year, the Colorado Supreme Court upheld a ruling by the Colorado Court of Appeals that bakery owner Jack Phillips cannot cite religious beliefs or free speech in order to discriminate against same-sex couples.

“Colorado state law explicitly protects LGBTQ people from discrimination in public services, and a business open to the public must abide by the law,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “The right to practice one’s religion is firmly protected by the U.S. Constitution, however, personal religious beliefs do not give a public business owner a special right to violate the law by discriminating against LGBTQ people. HRC supports the plaintiffs in this case and their attorneys with the ACLU.”

Today, the high court also ordered the state of Arkansas to allow both married same-sex parents to be listed on their child’s birth certificate. The decision, in Pavan v. Smith, overturns an Arkansas Supreme Court decision that had had banned the state’s Department of Health from listing both same-sex parents on their child’s birth certificate. The Arkansas Supreme Court decision would have forced same-sex couples to enter into legal proceedings to guarantee their children’s rights. Under Arkansas law, a different-sex couple married at the time of a child’s birth are presumed parents, and listed as such on the birth certificate — even in cases where reproductive technologies have been used and agreed to by both parents. Additionally, a different-sex couple married after the birth of their child can both be listed as legal parents on the birth certificate if the husband attests he is the parent. The case was argued by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Ropes & Gray, LLP and Arkansas attorney Cheryl Maples.

“This is an important win for same-sex parents not just in Arkansas, but across the country,” said Warbelow. “Children deserve to have the full benefits of parental recognition from the time they are born, and this decision ensures married same-sex spouses have the same legal parental rights as different-sex spouses. We congratulate the attorneys and plaintiffs on this important victory.”

In the cases of Donald J. Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project and Donald J. Trump v. Hawaii, the high court also announced today that it has agreed to consider this fall the constitutionality of Trump's travel ban, which has thus far been blocked by two lower courts. The justices allowed portions of the ban to take effect in the interim on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries, including Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The court did however make an exception for anyone with a "bona fide relationship with a person or entity" in the U.S. — such as a family member or admittance to a school in the U.S. Earlier this year, HRC joined the International Refugee Assistance Project to pen an op-ed on how the President’s refugee policies are dangerous for LGBTQ people around the world.

“Donald Trump’s travel ban discriminates against a huge portion of the world’s population and demonizes Muslims. That is flat out wrong,” said Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global. “Worse yet, Trump’s reckless travel ban endangers LGBTQ people and others who are fleeing human rights abuses sanctioned by leaders in these countries. LGBTQ individuals are representative of all peoples — we are Jewish, Muslim, asylum-seekers, immigrants, black, white, and Latinx, and we must continue to stand together against this hateful ban. Despite today’s setback, we hope that the high court will ultimately recognize the travel ban for what it is — unconstitutional and discriminatory.”


Author: Stephen Peters
Posted: June 26, 2017, 6:21 pm

HRC strongly condemned the Senate Republicans’ hatched-in-secret proposal to gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and undermine access to health care for as many as 23 million Americans. If it passes, this bill will have a disproportionately negative impact on LGBTQ people.

WATCH: HRC released a new video on the consequences for LGBTQ people.

“If the Trump-McConnell health care bill becomes law, it will threaten the lives of countless Americans,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “For LGBTQ people, who already face health care disparities, this proposal is downright dangerous. Both the House and Senate versions of the bill gut core provisions of the Affordable Care Act and cut off tens of millions of Americans from life-saving health care coverage while increasing out-of-pocket costs. This unconscionable proposal -- drafted behind closed doors, without public input -- is a disturbingly harmful bill that Senators must reject.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has led an unprecedented covert approach to passing a bill that would affect millions of Americans and one-sixth of the American economy. After working behind closed doors, without public input and keeping both their constituents and health care advocates in the dark, they are now planning to ram through a bill without a single hearing and no meaningful time for health care experts and the American people to review, understand, and debate.  

Because of the ACA, thousands of low-income people living with HIV have been able to obtain health insurance through the Medicaid expansion. This critical coverage ensures that people living with HIV have access to the lifesaving treatments. The so-called  “Better Care Reconciliation Act” proposes drastic changes to Medicaid and it will strip many of these people, and the most vulnerable among us, of essential health care coverage.

This bill will disproportionately impact LGBTQ Americans, leaving them with some of the lowest rates of insurance coverage in the nation. The LGBTQ community has benefitted from the ACA’s tax credit structure and the Medicaid Expansion, and the rescission of both of these critical components will have devastating consequences for a community already facing significant health care disparities.  

In another dangerous move, the Senate bill would also cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which would jeopardize the ability of clinics to deliver preventive health services, including HIV testing and transition-related care. The ACA’s public health and prevention fund, established to expand investments in the nation’s public health infrastructure, would also be repealed. Health centers, like those operated by Planned Parenthood, often offer the only culturally competent healthcare available, especially in rural and isolated areas.


Author: Nick Morrow
Posted: June 22, 2017, 3:30 pm

Posts – LDS Family Fellowship

Family is Everytning

Fighting The LGBT Community’s Invisibility | In many ways, the history of the LGBT community is a history of battling invisibility. Since the dawn of time, society has tried to make us invisible. We gained strength as a community only by shedding that invisibility, coming out, and proudly saying who we are. Source: Fighting The […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 8, 2016, 3:10 am
Mama Dragons Try To Prevent Suicides Among Mormon-LGBT Children Source: Mama Dragons Try To Prevent Suicides Among Mormon-LGBT Children : NPR
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 8, 2016, 2:45 am
Is Utah’s youth suicide rate linked to Utah’s culture surrounding LGBT? BY HEIDI HATCH WEDNESDAY, JULY 6TH 2016   Is Utah’s youth suicide rate linked to Utah’s religious culture surrounding LGBT? VIEW PHOTO GALLERY 8 photos 201 shares tweet now! (KUTV) The number one killer of Utah’s kids is suicide according to new numbers from […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 7, 2016, 2:32 am
 Is The Recent Rise In Utah Youth Suicides Really Such A Mystery? 07/05/2016 02:08 pm ET | Updated 1 day ago 390 Benjamin Knoll John Marshall Harlan Associate Professor of Politics, Centre College The Salt Lake Tribune recently reported that “Utah health officials are grappling with a rising youth suicide rate that’s nearly tripled since […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 7, 2016, 2:28 am
LGBT Pride Month Highlights Deepening Divide Between Mormon Leadership and Members Mitch Mayne | Posted 06.11.2016 | Queer Voices Read More: LGBT Mormons, LGBT Mormon Children, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mormons, Gay Mormons, Mitch Mayne Gay Mormon, LGBT Pride Month, LGBT Pride, Lgbt Pride Parade, Mexico Marriage Equality, Proposition 8, Queer […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 22, 2016, 4:42 am
Diversity: Pride in science The sciences can be a sanctuary for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, but biases may still discourage many from coming out. Source: Diversity: Pride in science : Nature News & Comment
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 22, 2016, 4:14 am
Silence Is Killing Your LGBT Relatives 06/21/2016 06:32 pm ET | Updated 4 hours ago Mark O’Connell, L.C.S.W. Psychotherapist in private practice, author of Modern Brides & Modern Grooms LGBT Pride Month 2016 will always be remembered for the worst mass shooting in American history to date, one which took 49 lives at an Orlando, […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 22, 2016, 4:03 am
The Orlando Massacre: A Reminder of the Dangers LGBT People Live With Every Day There have been scores of attacks on LGBT spaces, some of which received more attention than others. 06/12/2016 10:46 am ET | Updated 5 minutes ago Michelangelo Signorile, Editor-at-Large, HuffPost Queer Voices Queer Voices Editor-at-Large, The Huffington Post STEVE NESIUS / […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 12, 2016, 8:17 pm
Deadliest Mass Shooting In U.S. History Leaves More Than 50 Dead At Gay Orlando Nightclub “We are investigating this from all points of perspective as an act of terrorism.” 06/12/2016 09:28 am ET | Updated 5 minutes ago Nina Golgowski Trends reporter, The Huffington Post Sebastian Murdock Reporter, The Huffington Post Andy Campbell Reporter, The […]
Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: June 12, 2016, 8:00 pm
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Author: LDS Family Fellowship
Posted: July 26, 2015, 11:16 pm