Political, Activism and Legal

Hundreds of Law Enforcement, First Responders, Clergy, Businesses Support Same-Sex Couples in Texas Marriage Ban Challenge

New York - September 16, 2014 - In several unique amicus briefs submitted today to the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 5th Circuit, scores of first responders, law enforcement, faith leaders and businesses urged the court to end Texas' ban on same-sex marriage. The briefs show the depth and diversity of support for the plaintiffs in the Texas case and for the freedom of gay couples to marry.
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Conservatives Visit Nevada in Campaign to Remove Anti-Gay Language From GOP Platform

New York - September 16, 2014 – Today, as part of its "Reform the Platform" campaign to remove anti-gay language from the 2016 GOP national platform, Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry is visiting Nevada to hold a series of meetings with state GOP officials and like-minded activists.
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Federal Judge Rules Arizona Must Respect Same-Sex Couple's Marriage

New York -September 12, 2014 – Today a federal judge ruled that the state of Arizona must respect the marriage of military veterans Fred McQuire and George Martinez, for the purposes of being listed as married on a death certificate. McQuire and Martinez were together for 45 years and married in California in July. Martinez passed away shortly after being diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, and Arizona state officials refused to list McQuire, the surviving partner, on the death certificate. McQuire, who is also battling a life-threatening illness, is barred from receiving Social Security survivor's benefits or veterans benefits, and is also at risk of losing his home, as a result of not being listed on Martinez's death certificate.
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Utah Submits Final Request Urging Supreme Court to Rule on Freedom to Marry

New York - September 10, 2014 – Today the state of Utah completed the paperwork asking the Supreme Court to review the 10th Circuit's ruling in Herbert v. Kitchen, affirming the freedom to marry and legal respect for same-sex couples' marriages in Utah. The case is now fully briefed and ready to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Herbert v. Kitchen, along with four other marriage cases from Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Virginia, will initially be considered at the Court's September 29 conference.  The other four will soon be fully briefed as well. 
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UN Human Rights Office Celebrates First Year of Global Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality with New Video

NEW YORK CITY, September 10, 2014 – Today, Free & Equal, the United Nations Human Rights Office's global public education campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, releases "UN Free & Equal: One Billion Rising" a video highlighting the campaign's impact to date.
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Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund Congratulates Maura Healey on Historic Win in Massachusetts Attorney General Primary

WASHINGTON - September 9, 2014 – Today the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, the nation's largest resource for openly LGBT individuals in politics, congratulated Maura Healey on her victory in the Democratic primary election for Massachusetts Attorney General. If elected in November, Healey will become the first openly LGBT attorney general in the United States.
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ACLU Asks Supreme Court to Hear Indiana and Wisconsin Marriage Equality Cases

NEW YORK - September 9, 2014– The American Civil Liberties Union is filing responses today to petitions from Indiana and Wisconsin seeking U.S. Supreme Court review of a federal appellate court ruling last week striking down bans on marriage for same-sex couples in both states. The ACLU, which represents plaintiffs in both cases, has asked the Court to grant review in order to resolve the marriage equality issue for these two states and for the country as a whole.
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9th Circuit Hears Nevada, Idaho, and Hawaii Marriage Cases

New York - September 8, 2014 – Today in San Francisco the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in marriage cases out of Nevada, Idaho, and Hawaii, seeking both the freedom to marry and legal respect of same-sex couples' lawful marriages. This is the first time the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has heard a freedom to marry case since holding in SmithKline Beecham Corporation v. Abbott Laboratories that discrimination based on sexual orientation requires heightened scrutiny – a presumption of unconstitutionality – by the courts.
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Millions to 'go purple' for Spirit Day in united stand against bullying, 10/16

New York, Friday, September 5, 2014 – GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today launched the countdown to Spirit Day, the largest and most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world that supports LGBT youth.
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Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Marriage Equality Bans in Wisconsin and Indiana

WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 4, 2014 -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has struck down marriage equality bans in Wisconsin and Indiana. In response, the National Gay and Lesbian Task has released the following statement:
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Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Indiana, Wisconsin Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

CHICAGO - September 4, 2014 – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit today affirmed district court rulings from Indiana and Wisconsin striking down the states’ marriage bans. The decision will go into effect in 21 days, unless the defendants seek a stay of the ruling. 
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Amici Briefs Filed With the Supreme Court

(Washington, DC, Sept. 4, 2014) Today, laying out the urgency of bringing an end to tangible harms and national disparities, states, businesses and family groups filed friend-of-the-court briefs with the Supreme Court urging the justices to grant review now in one or more of the cases that have reached the Court and promptly bring the country to national resolution. Although the signatories represent different constituencies and interests, they agree that the continuing injury and indignity inflicted on families by the deprivation of the constitutional guarantees of the freedom to marry and equal protection must end nationwide.
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals Strikes Down Indiana and Wisconsin Marriage Bans

New York- September 4, 2014 – Today the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, upholding lower-court decisions in Indiana and Wisconsin and rejecting marriage discrimination as a violation of the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection. Judge Richard Posner, appointed by President Reagan, wrote the unanimous opinion for the three-judge panel.
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Cartoon Network Enlists One Million People to Share I Speak Up Online Videos to Kick off its Fifth Annual Stop Bullying: Speak Up Initiative

Cartoon Network Enlists One Million People to Share I Speak Up Online Videos to Kick off its Fifth Annual Stop Bullying: Speak Up Initiative
ATLANTA, Sept. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As bullying continues to affect millions of kids nationwide, Cartoon Network is kicking off its annual Stop Bullying: Speak Up campaign with a video call-to-action encouraging people to speak up on behalf of kids who need help. With a goal of attaining the combined voice of one million user-generated videos, the network is giving people the opportunity to say to the world, "I Speak Up." By proclaiming those three words into a mobile device and sharing the video at www.StopBullyingSpeakUp.com as well as their own social media platforms using the hashtag #ISpeakUp, participants are vowing to say something if they witness bullying.
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Task Force Mourns Loss, Celebrates Life of LGBTQ Community Leader Andrew Cray

WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 3, 2014 -- At the end of last week, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force learned about the passing of Andrew Cray, who was selected by the organization as a 2009 Holley Law Fellow and also served as a founding member of Trans Legal Advocates of Washington (TransLAW) - an organization that provides legal assistance to the transgender community in the DC area.
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Gender Non-conforming Teen Files Federal Lawsuit against SC DMV after Being Forced to Remove Makeup for Driver's License Photo

New York, NY - September 2, 2014 - The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) today filed a federal lawsuit against the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles on behalf of a 16-year-old gender non-conforming teen who was targeted for discrimination last March. When he attempted to get his first driver's license, Chase Culpepper was told by the DMV that he could not take his license photo unless he removed the makeup that he wears on a regular basis.
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Catholics United Calls on Archbishop Chaput to Do More For the Transgender Community

Catholics United Calls on Archbishop Chaput to Do More For the Transgender Community
WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 27, 2014 – A transgender teen ended his own life in Croydon, Pennsylvania jumping in front of an amtrak train near Croydon station on Monday August 18th at 1:30 in the afternoon. According to his family and friends, 17 year old Riley Matthew Moscatel had been experiencing depression for years. Moscatel was frustrated about his body and was struggling with his gender identity. According to news reports, he posted on his instagram account that he was a prisoner of his own body not long before his death.
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Prominent Retired Generals: Military is Ready for Transgender Service

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - August 26, 2014 – Three retired US military General Officers, including the former chief medical officer of the US Army, issued a joint statement today concluding that the military's ban on transgender service could be eliminated in a straightforward manner that is consistent with military readiness and core values.
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