Tag Archives: LGBT Rights

#LoveWins – Reactions to Obergefell v. Hodges LGBT Marriage Equality

Today, the Supreme Court issued an historic 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges in favor of marriage equality. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion strongly advocated for expanding freedom as the need arises.

The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.

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Carrying On the Social Justice Torch for Voting Rights

51 years ago, on June 21, 1964, civil rights workers James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael “Mickey” Schwerner were abducted in Neshoba County, Mississippi and murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner had been in Mississippi preparing and registering African Americans to vote as part of Freedom Summer. The three men were executed on the side of a dark road in Mississippi, and it took 44 days for their bodies to be found. Their deaths fueled support of the civil rights movement and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, an Act that we are trying to strengthen and support again today.

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Ruling for Marriage Equality Ensures Epic Pride Month 2015

Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued a historic ruling in favor of marriage equality, which establishes marriage equality in all fifty states. As we celebrate this victory for equality and as LGBT Pride month comes to an end, here’s a look back at some of the LGBT milestones that occurred this month:

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Faith Organizations Urge Lawmakers to Take a Stand on LGBT Discrimination

Currently, federal law explicitly protects students from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, and disability. However, no federal law explicitly protects students from discrimination based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or their association with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The Student Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 846/S. 439) would address this issue by explicitly prohibiting public schools from discriminating against any student based on the categories above.

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Supreme Court

Supreme Court Marriage Equality Ruling Expected Shortly

By the end of the month, the Supreme Court is expected to issue a historic ruling on marriage equality. The joint suit – known by the first listed case of the group Obergefell v. Hodges – could establish marriage equality in all fifty states and addresses two questions:

  • Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples? And;
  • Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize marriages of same-sex couples performed out of state?

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Marriage Equality and the RAC

Court Case to Ban Conversion Therapy Proceeds in New Jersey

At the end of last year, Leelah Alcorn, a trans teen from Ohio, committed suicide, citing her parents’ rejection of her gender identity, their refusal to let her transition and her feelings that things will not get better as some of the reasons for her decision. Leelah’s suicide highlighted attempts to “change” the gender identity of trans people and resulted in a petition on We The People asking the administration to “enact Leelah’s Law to ban all LGBTQ+  conversion therapy.” Several months ago, the Administration responded to the petition and came out in opposition to conversion therapy, and earlier this month a court case began against a Jewish conversion therapy provider.

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Marriage Equality and the RAC

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Reflections on Pride Month

This month, we celebrate LGBT Pride, which occurs every year in June. This month is my fifth month celebrating pride as an out gay man, and this year I have a lot to be proud of.

I am proud of our country and the direction we’re heading in. When I first celebrated Pride Month in June 2011, the military still banned gay and lesbian service members from serving openly; marriage was still defined as only between a man and a woman by the federal government; and employees of federal contractors and subcontractors had to fear losing their jobs because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Trans Visibility: Caitlyn Jenner and Transgender Rights

Earlier this week, Vanity Fair released a preview of its July issue cover story, headlined “Call me Caitlyn.” The preview, which included photos of Caitlyn Jenner (formerly known as Bruce), resulted in both positive and negative feedback on the internet. Caitlyn’s gender identity had been speculated by the media for months with Caitlyn coming out as transgender in an interview with Diane Sawyer this past April. Caitlyn’s decision to come out publicly and visibly should be applauded and the preview of her story in Vanity Fair is especially timely as we celebrate Pride Month. Caitlyn’s transition has helped increase the visibility of transgender issues among the general population and will most likely help increase people’s understanding of what it means to be trans. However, it is important that we complement trans visibility with legislation that furthers trans rights in order to ensure that full equality is achieved.

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