LGBTI global news 24-7

Content about LGBT rights in the United States

January 23, 2015

Human Rights Campaign has published its annual State Equality Index and warns that despite marriage equality in most states, other inequalities persist

Human Rights Campaign has today published its annual State Equality Index, which ranks 50 US states and Washington D.C with regards to the protections that it offers LGBT citizens.

It has broken states down into four categories, with 29 states occupying the bottom slot: those states offering the least protection.

Just seven states fill the top category: those with the most protection.

January 9, 2015

Retailer claims the right to discriminate against transgender employees

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has taken the rare step of suspending Saks Fifth Avenue’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) score, following the retailer's claim that transgender employees are not protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The department store made the claim in response to a discrimination lawsuit filed by Leyth Jamal, a transgender former employee, alleging discrimination, harassment and a hostile work environment based on her gender identity.

Saks scored 90 out of 100 on the most recent CEI, the national benchmark for gay-friendly companies.

January 8, 2015

They suggest he could be more consistent

Gay rights leaders in some of the world's most homophobic countries have written a letter to President Obama.

They are calling on him to be more consistent with dealing with the governments that are passing anti-LGBTI laws.

The letter, signed by people like Kenya's Eric Gitari and The Gambia's Pasamba Jow, suggest the way he dealt with Ugandan politicians should be the same as the way he deals with lawmakers from countries that do not receive the same media attention such as Nigeria or Kyrgyzstan.

January 8, 2015

'Congress must repeal DOMA and ensure that all married, same-sex couples are treated equally under federal law'

The US Supreme Court may have gutted the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 but they didn't kill it.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is leading an effort to completely repeal the anti-gay law which was enacted in 1996.

This week, Feinstein introduced the Respect For Marriage Act which would ensure that all legally-married, same-sex couples are treated equally under federal law.

January 3, 2015

Idaho Governor and Attorney General say marriage is a state's-rights issue and that the state has been consistent in legalizing only hetrosexual marriage

A ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in October legalized same-sex marriage in Idaho after rejecting Idaho Governor CL 'Butch' Otter's argument to uphold the ban. He argued Idaho residents have the right to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

On Friday Otter filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court making good on his promise to take the fight against gay marriage to the highest court.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has also filed a separate petition to the US Supreme Court.

December 29, 2014

The story is told through the eyes of two young kids who want their moms to marry one another

A charming children’s book looking at the subject of same-sex marriage and its impact on families has been made into a short film – which can now be viewed on YouTube.

Cynthia Chin Lee’s story looks at the issue through the eyes of Alex and Nicky – the adopted children of a female couple, Kathy and Lee.

December 22, 2014

The Church of Latter Day Saints has acted quickly to amend a statement that led some to believe it was backing a nondiscrimination bill to protect gay people

The Mormon Church has issued a statement to clarify that it is not supporting a statewide LGBTQ non-discrimination bill in Utah – just two days after it made a statement that led some to think that it may do so.

December 20, 2014

US Supreme Court denies the Florida Attorney General's request for the court to keep same-sex marriage ban

Florida is on its way to becoming the 36th state in the US to allow same-sex marriage after the US Supreme Court on Friday the US Supreme Court cleared the way for weddings in the state to start next month.

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2, the Miami Herald reported.

December 19, 2014

AG Eric Holder has announced that federal prosecutors will take the position going forward that sex discrimination provisions in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 include protections against discrimination based on gender identity

US Attorney General Holder announced yesterday that the Department of Justice will take the position that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covering sex discrimination extends to claims of discrimination based on an individual’s gender identity, including transgender status when prosecuting government job discrimination cases.

December 13, 2014

In his decision, Garcia said allowing same-sex couples to marry as the case is appealed 'would only be temporary, with confusion and doubt to follow'

While a judge ruled the Texas ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, he's unwilling to lift a stay while the case faces appeal.

This past February, US District Judge Orlando Garcia found the southern's state's prohibition went against the US Constitution's protection of equal treatment under the law.

November 20, 2014

Facebook, Yelp, Apple and Xerox are among the top scorers

A record 366 US companies have received a perfect score for LGBTI workplace inclusion in the new Corporate Equality Index released yesterday (19 November).

Top scorers included newcomers Facebook and Yelp as well as stalwarts Apple and Xerox, who have been leaders in LGBTI equality in the workplace since Human Rights Campaign began the biannual survey in 2002.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who recently came out as gay, celebrated the company's 13th consecutive perfect score on Twitter:

November 17, 2014

Letter asking about LGBTI workers rights sent to American Express, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Starbucks and 65 more

A group of US investors worth $210billion are pushing top firms to support their LGBTI workers around the world.

The investors point out that many leading firms now offer equal workplace benefits and protection from discrimination to their gay, bi and trans staff in the US.

But the same firms may be less clear on their LGBTI policies in other countries.

November 17, 2014

City allows trans people to legally change their gender without a court order

Mexico City has approved a bill to allow transgender people to legally change their gender without a court order.

The Legislative Assembly of the Federal District passed the legislation on Thursday (13 November) by 42 votes to zero. Six lawmakers abstained.

Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera proposed the bill on the recommendation of the assembly's Commission for Attention to Vulnerable Groups.

Jorge Zepeda Cruz, president of the commission, said in a statement that the legal changes were ‘inevitable.’

November 6, 2014

Decision 6th Circuit Court of Appeals opens the doors for US Supreme Court to review cases in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee

Momentum for marriage equality in the US hit a major roadblock on Thursday (6 November) when a federal appeals court upheld gay marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

The ruling by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals applies to six cases in the four states where federal judges had struck down same-sex marriage bans.

It comes after more than 30 federal rulings since June 2013 declaring bans on gay marriage to be unconstitutional. The previous legal victories have led to same-sex marriage now being legal in 32 states.

October 23, 2014

Texas Republican Louie Gohmert has told talk radio that he believes that gay soldiers will not be ready to defend against sudden attacks because they will need to get massages first before going into battle like the Ancient Greeks

Outspoken anti-gay Republican congressman Louie Gohmert has used an appearance on the Point of View radio talk show to make a bizarre attack on gays and lesbians serving in the US military – claiming that they will not be battle ready in the event of a sudden attack.

Gohmert made the comments a day after the third anniversary of the end of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that barred openly gay and lesbian personnel from serving, saying he still believes allowing them to serve ‘is not a good idea.’

October 13, 2014

In a brief filed with the Firth Circuit Court of Appeals, Greg Abbott also said that – in relation to legal arguments – the fact such unions may benefit children with same-sex parents ‘doesn’t matter’

At the beginning of the month, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said that part of the reason he was opposed to gay marriage was because he’d been married to his wife for 33 years.

Now, Abbott – a Republican who is currently running for the position of Governor of Texas – has voiced another reason why the Lone Star State should maintain its ban on gay marriage: Maintaining such a ban reduces out-of-wedlock births.

October 11, 2014

'Homo[sexuality] is a problem for us'

Twenty-one years ago, when Bill Clinton was in the White House, the Democratic president formed a military policy called 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'

The code permitted gay, lesbian, and bisexual troops to serve in the US military as long as they were not out. Yesterday, 10 October, the Clinton Library released documents chronicling the debate in creating the plan.

October 9, 2014

Ruling comes after probate judge began issuing licenses to same-sex couples

South Carolina seemed poised to join the growing number of US states with same-sex marriage during a historic week.

But on Thursday (9 October), the state's Supreme Court dashed those hopes - for now - when it ordered probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Charleston County Probate Judge Irvin Condon on Wednesday (8 October) ordered that a license be given to Charleston County Councilwoman Colleen Condon and Nichols Bleckley [pictured].

October 7, 2014

Decision comes a day after marriage equality comes to six additional US states

Same-sex weddings in Las Vegas?

It appears to be just a matter of time now that the Ninth District Court of Appeals has struck down gay marriage bans in the states of Nevada and Idaho.

The ruling comes a day after the US Supreme Court opted not to intervene in gay marriage appeals in Utah, Virginia, Oklahoma, Indiana and Wisconsin making same-sex marriage legal in those states. Colorado also began issuing licenses to same-sex marriages this week.

October 6, 2014

NOM President Brian Brown: 'We are not defeated or dispirited'

Monday was not a good day for the National Organization for Marriage, one of the most vocal opponents of gay marriage in the US.

The US Supreme Court's decision to pass on reviewing any of the seven same-sex marriage cases submitted to them has resulted in same-sex marriage immediately becoming legal in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana on the same day.

In addition, Colorado also announced it would begin issuing marriage licenses state-wide to same-sex couples with five more states likely to soon follow suit.

October 6, 2014

Same-sex couples in all 64 Colorado counties are now allowed to get married

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers on Monday (6 October) ordered that all 64 counties in his state begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

His actions came shortly after the US Supreme Court announced that it would let stand a 10th Circuit Court's ruling granting marriage equality.

The high court denied a hearing for cases in both Oklahoma and Utah which, like Colorado, are also in the 10th Circuit.

September 21, 2014

Three couples filed their case against the state's same-sex marriage ban approximately a year ago

A US judge in West Virginia is waiting on the Supreme Court before going on with the gay marriage lawsuit on his docket.

According to WOUB.org, District Judge Robert Chambers points to an 'overlap of issues' with the marriage equality case in neighboring Virginia as the reason for delay.

September 10, 2014

Maura Healey, the 43-year-old former Massachusetts assistant attorney general who was instrumental in challenging DOMA, has secured the Democratic nomination for state attorney general

Maura Healey could become the first openly gay attorney general in the nation after securing the Democratic nomination Tuesday (9 September).

When the polls showed she defeated state lawmaker Warren Tolman for the nomination by 62.4% to 37.6%, she went on to thank those who supported her ‘underdog’ campaign, promising to champion the rights of workers, students and homeowners if elected.

September 9, 2014

HRC President Chad Griffin: 'I am sorry for the times you have been underrepresented or unrepresented by this organization'

The Human Rights Campaign has formally apologized to the transgender community for putting their issues on the back burner in the past.

'I am sorry for the times you have been underrepresented or unrepresented by this organization,' HRC President Chad Griffin said over the weekend at the Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta.