Political, Activism and Legal

New Queer Our Taxes Campaign calls for Taxation with LGBT Representation

WASHINGTON, Apr 15 -- The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is launching a new campaign to have the tax system more fairly reflect the reality of LGBT lives. Queer Our Taxes, a follow-up to the organization's landmark 2013 Queer the Census Campaign, urges two key changes to the tax system that could put more money in the pockets of low-income LGBT families and give the economy a much-needed multi-million dollar boost.   
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ACLU Sues Michigan to Recognize Marriages of Same-Sex Couples

DETROIT - April 14, 2014 – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan filed a lawsuit today to guarantee that the marriages of 300 same-sex couples performed last month are recognized by the state. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of eight same-sex couples who were married after a federal judge struck down the state’s ban and before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals put the decision on hold.
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Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute Statement on Official Release of the Harvey Milk Forever Stamp

WASHINGTON – Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute President and CEO Chuck Wolfe issued the following statement today regarding the first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony of the Harvey Milk forever stamp, set to take place at the White House on May 22:
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DCF Commissioner Draws Fire from Nat'l Trans Group

Washington, DC - Last week the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner, Joette Katz, transferred a 16-year-old transgender girl to an adult prison despite the lack of any criminal charges against her.
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Federal Judge Rules Ohio Must Respect Married Same-Sex Couples

New York - April 14, 2014 – Today U.S. District Judge Timothy Black struck down part of a constitutional amendment in Ohio that denies gay couples the freedom to marry and withholds legal respect for gay couples who have gotten married. He ordered the state to treat couples married elsewhere like any other couples who marry out of state -- as married.
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Task Force Commends Secretary Sebelius on her Commitment to LGBT Equality

WASHINGTON, Apr 11 -- "We thank Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for her longstanding commitment to LGBT equality and her leadership at the Department of Health and Human Services. Under her direction, we have seen unparalleled advances in the health arena for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Because of her hard work and dedication, in every state across the country, LGBT people can buy health insurance plans that don't discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. We've also seen data collection efforts begin, cultural competency among health providers increasing, and LGBT health issues becoming an integral part of the national conversation about eliminating health disparities. Pending her Senate confirmation, we look forward to working with President Obama's nominee to replace Secretary Sebelius, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, and hope she will continue the leadership HHS has shown on LGBT issues." - Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
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United We Dream and GetEQUAL Leaders Arrested Outside of Civil Rights Summit in Austin as President Obama Speaks

AUSTIN, TX. April 10, 2014 - Earlier today, as President Obama gave the keynote speech during the week-long Civil Rights Summit at the University of Texas at Austin, three brave immigrant youth leaders and allies were arrested for civil disobedience.
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Freedom to Marry: With Appellate Argument Today, Marriage Campaign Entering 'New Chapter'

New York - April 10, 2014 – Today a three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver heard oral arguments in Kitchen v. Herbert, a federal case challenging Utah's ban on marriage for gay couples. The Utah case marks the first freedom to marry case to be heard by a federal appellate court since the landmark Supreme Court ruling in United States vs. Windsor last year.
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UMass Amherst guard Derrick Gordon comes out as first openly gay NCAA Division I basketball player

AMHERST, MA - April 9, 2014 — GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, and the You Can Play Project, one of North America's leading organizations dedicated to ensuring equality in sports, today hailed Derrick Gordon's coming out as the first openly gay National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I basketball player.
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ACLU Seeks Swift Ruling to Grant Freedom to Marry to Same-Sex Couples in North Carolina

GREENSBORO, N.C. - April 9, 2014 – The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation and the law firms of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Ellis & Winters LLP filed a new case in federal court today on behalf of three married, same-sex couples seeking state recognition of their marriages. Because of the serious medical condition of one member of each couple, they are asking the court to take swift action.
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South Carolina Court Rejects Attempt to Delay Justice for Child Subjected to Unnecessary Sex-Assignment Surgery

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A South Carolina court has rejected a motion by the state Department of Social Services and two hospitals to delay a case charging that they performed a medically unnecessary sex-assignment surgery on a 16-month-old child.
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United We Dream and GetEQUAL Participate in Civil Disobedience During Civil Rights Summit to Highlight Pain of Deportations

AUSTIN, TX - April 9, 2014 - Today, as Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) gave a lecture on civil disobedience during the Civil Rights Summit in Austin, brave Dreamers and allies chained themselves around the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial statue in the East Mall of the University of Texas.
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Rights of Intersex Child Should be Recognized, Argues Columbia Law School Clinic

Rights of Intersex Child Should be Recognized, Argues Columbia Law School Clinic
New York, April 9, 2014—The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit should protect the right of an intersex child to recover damages from doctors who authorized and performed irreversible and unnecessary cosmetic genital surgery on him during infancy, the Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic argues in an amicus brief filed with the court today.
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PA AFL-CIO Backs PA Non-discrimination Bill SB/HB 300

Harrisburg Equality PA President of the Board, Adanjesus Marin, praised the Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (PA AFL-CIO) for their support of SB 300/HB 300 today. PA AFL-CIO voted on a resolution today to partner with Equality PA to support the passage of the bills that amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act by prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
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New Contractor Orders Reaffirm Need for Transgender Protections

Washington, DCThe National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) lauds President Obama's effort to close the gender gap in wages by signing two executive orders and commemorating Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 as "National Equal Pay Day." President Obama's actions reaffirm executive authority to help end pervasive discrimination among federal contractors and highlights the need to extend similar protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans.
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Supreme Court Declines to Hear Discrimination Case

WASHINGTON - April 7, 2014 – The Supreme Court of the United States declined today to hear a case brought by a New Mexico wedding photographer who refused to photograph a same-sex couple's wedding due to religious objections. The case raised similar issues to those raised by a vetoed Arizona law that would have given business owners the right to discriminate.
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Federal Judge to Order Ohio to Cease Discriminating Against Married Gay Couples

New York - April 4, 2014 – Today U.S. District Judge Timothy Black announced that he will strike down part of a constitutional amendment in Ohio that denies legal respect to gay couples who have gotten married. He will issue the ruling on or before April 14.
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Statement on Mozilla CEO Resignation by Selisse Berry, Out & Equal CEO

April 3, 2014, San Francisco, CA- On the news of the resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich following community pressure and boycotts related to his support of Proposition 8 in California and support of anti-gay candidates, Selisse Berry, CEO and Founder of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates releases the following statement:
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Mississippi Governor Signs Controversial Anti-Gay Bill

April 4, 2014 - In response to Governor Phil Bryant's signing of Senate Bill 2681, GetEQUAL - a national grassroots social justice organization focused on winning full equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Americans - issued the following statement:
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NCLR Applauds Congressional Hispanic Caucus for Endorsing Anti-Bullying Legislation

NCLR Applauds Congressional Hispanic Caucus for Endorsing Anti-Bullying Legislation
WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 3, 2014—Earlier today, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) voted to endorse the "Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA)" (H.R. 1199), a bill that would require schools to issue and enforce rules prohibiting bullying and order states to report data on bullying to the U.S. Department of Education. NCLR (National Council of La Raza) applauds the CHC for taking the necessary steps to ensure that our schools are a harassment-free zone, as well as Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D–Calif.), the lead sponsor of this bill, who has worked tirelessly to champion this essential piece of legislation.
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Task Force Action Fund: Mississippi Discrimination Law

WASHINGTON, DC April 2 -- "We are very disappointed that Mississippi lawmakers have passed this 'license to discriminate' legislation and with Governor Bryant's decision to sign this bill. This new law both cynically uses religion as a smokescreen to justify discrimination and insults people of faith who feel that discrimination is morally wrong. When he signs this bill, businesses in the state of Mississippi could turn away people who are (or are thought to be) lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Most Americans are against discrimination and will be appalled by this new law. The governor decision's sends a clear and extreme message to the country and the world that LGBT people and our straight allies are not welcome in Mississippi."
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Obama Administration to Respect Couples Married in Michigan

New York - March 28, 2014– Today Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government would respect the legal marriages of same-sex couples in Michigan.
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Task Force Action Fund: Maryland Anti-Discrimination Victory

WASHINGTON, DC Mar 27 -- "This is an enormous victory in the long struggle to end discrimination based on gender identity and expression. Marylanders are against discrimination because of who you are and who you love - and they now have a law that fully reflects this strongly held value. What happened in Maryland will be an inspiration to millions who yearn for a day when our nation is free from the scourge of discrimination in all its forms. Today's victory is also the culmination of many years of hard work -- building support from the grassroots up, moving hearts and minds, and securing the votes for passage. It would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of Equality Maryland and Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality. We would also like to thank those members and leaders in the Maryland House and Senate who worked so hard to advance and pass this legislation. We now look forward to Governor O'Malley's expected signature." Darlene Nipper, Deputy Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund
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NCTE Welcomes Passage of MD Trans Discrimination Bill

Washington, DC - Today, with passage of the Fairness for All Marylanders Act through the House of Delegates, Maryland is poised to join 17 states plus DC and Puerto Rico in explicitly banning workplace discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression in employment, housing, credit, and public accommodations. The Senate passed the bill previously and Governor O'Malley is expected to sign it.
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Republican Mayor to Chair Mayors for the Freedom to Marry

New York – Today Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer of San Diego became a chair of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, joining fellow chairs Kasim Reed of Atlanta; Julián Castro of San Antonio; Michael Nutter of Philadelphia; Annise Parker of Houston; Greg Stanton of Phoenix; and Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles.
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Treasurer McCord Supports Same-Sex Couple in Unprecedented U.S. District Court Filing

Treasurer McCord Supports Same-Sex Couple in Unprecedented U.S. District Court Filing
Harrisburg - March 27, 2014 – State Treasurer Rob McCord today petitioned federal court for permission to submit a friend-of-the-court brief in a pending marital rights case, seeking to ensure the court receives the balanced perspective of a statewide elected executive who is able to identify specific issues in which same-sex couples are deprived of equal treatment under the law when accessing state-sponsored programs and benefits.
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Former Miss Kentucky Joins Southerners for the Freedom to Marry

New York - March 26 – Today Freedom to Marry announced that former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent has joined the $1 million public education campaign Southerners for the Freedom to Marry as its newest honorary co-chair. The campaign launched in Atlanta last month with 15 partner organizations, including the Fairness Campaign of Kentucky, to build support for marriage for same-sex couples throughout the South.
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Republican Party and Marriage

Recent polls show record-levels of support for the freedom to marry. This surge in support is only possible due to a major shift in Republican attitudes on marriage for gay couples.  We're witnessing more than just generational turnover; conservatives are changing their minds. This memo crystalizes recent developments in how conservatives think about marriage for same-sex couples and provides a window into what we can expect this year on the issue in elections and in the courts.
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Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund Endorses 21 Out LGBT Political Candidates

WASHINGTON - March 25, 2014 – Today, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund - the nation’s largest resource for out LGBT individuals in politics - endorsed 21 candidates for public office. 
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Erie Area Equality PA kickoff meeting

On Thursday, March 13th, over 20 people gathered to learn more about PA HB 300/SB300. This proposed legislation would amend Pennsylvania's Human Relations Commission to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. 
The event was organized by Shanea Leonard, Western Regional Organizer for Equality PA. 
In addition to concerned community members, several organizations were represented at the meeting—the Erie Gay News, Erie Sisters, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality, Marriage Equality for PA, NW PA Pride Alliance, PFLAG of Erie & Crawford Counties, and TransFamily of Erie. A special thanks is extended to Drenched Fur, Erie Gay News, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality, Marriage Equality for PA, NW PA Pride Alliance and PFLAG Erie & Crawford Counties for providing refreshments.

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