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Content about LGBT rights in the United States

April 28, 2015

Likely deciding vote Anthony Kennedy: 'This definition has been with us for millennia. It's very difficult for the court to say, "Oh well, we know better"'

As expected, the US Supreme Court appeared sharply divided today during oral argument for marriage equality cases in four states that could make gay marriage legal throughout the country.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who cast the deciding votes two years ago in rulings that gutted the Defense of Marriage Act and allowed same-sex marriages to resume in California, sounded cautious about doing so again.

April 21, 2015

Hannah Sweiss of law firm Lewitt Hackman explores measures that companies should take to ensure they are protecting their transgender employees from harassment and discrimination

April 15, 2015

Presidential candidate makes strongest statement yet on marriage equality

Just three days after formally announcing her candidacy for the presidency, Hillary Clinton is calling on the US Supreme Court to give same-sex couples the constitutional right to marry.

'Hillary Clinton supports marriage equality and hopes the Supreme Court will come down on the side of same-sex couples being guaranteed that constitutional right,' campaign spokesperson Adrienne Elrod tells Washington Blade.

April 12, 2015

'The constitutionality of man-woman marriage is a question of historic importance'

An anti-gay group wants the US Supreme Court to review a decision that made same-sex marriage legal in Nevada.

As reported by the Washington Blade, the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage has filed a 32-page petition with the highest court in the country.

March 19, 2015

As anti-gay legislation allowing businesses to discriminate edges closer to becoming law in the state, an Indianapolis man says he is ‘very surprised’ by an explosion of interest he has had in his ‘Open for Service’ sticker campaign

The US is currently seeing a wave of anti-LGBT bills being introduced by lawmakers.

Many of these bills are concerned with ensuring that business owners with strong religious beliefs are legally permitted to refuse service to LGBT customers.

Although it is those companies that have refused to provides services for same-sex marriages that have been making headlines, businesses that are happy to support all sections of the community are now making themselves heard.

March 12, 2015

The bill prohibits employment and accommodation discrimination against LGBT people, but gives religious organizations exemptions. It also allows people to express religious beliefs at work without facing the risk of being fired

A bill in Utah that bans employment and housing discrimination against LGBTI people, while at the same time allowing exemption to religious organizations, has been passed by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature.

The legislation, SB296, was introduced by lawmakers last week.

March 2, 2015

Our Business Editor, David Hudson, explains what you can expect from the new Gay Star News business section

One of the reasons why we’ve decided to launch a dedicated Business Section is because the corporate world’s attitude towards LGBTI issues has changed tremendously and rapidly in the last 20 years.

At first, some forward-thinking companies began to wake up to the spending power of LGBTI communities – latching on to the so-called ‘Dorothy Dollar’ and ‘Pink Pound’.

Others realized that the gay scene was often the first to adopt new trends – making it the idea place to launch new bespoke products.

February 27, 2015

The definitive listing of LGBTI-friendly employees in the US

Launched in 2002 by the Human Rights Campaign [HRC], this annually-produced US Index is an invaluable guide to those employers who embrace diversity and inclusion as part of their working ethos, and which have taken steps to welcome and champion their LGBT staff.

Businesses that score 100 percent are recognized in the Index’s ‘Best Places to Work’ list, while consumer-oriented businesses are included in the ‘Buying for Equality’ guide.

February 26, 2015

The writer and editor recalls being fired after informing her boss that she was transitioning… and how she successfully fought the decision

In my life, there have been two memorable days labeled Tuesday, October 16. For the first, I was a naval officer on a ship crossing the Pacific Ocean from Hong Kong to Pearl Harbor. When crossing the International Date Line from west to east, a day has to be repeated. Aboard our ship, that Tuesday lasted for 48 hours.

February 23, 2015

Ash Carter: 'I don’t think anything but their suitability for service should preclude them'

New US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has come out in favor of transgender people being able to serve openly in the military.

Appearing at a town-hall meeting in Afghanistan, said he aims to make 'service as attractive as possible to our best people in our country … provided they can do what we need them to do for us.'

Carter added that he doesn't think 'anything but their suitability for service should preclude them.'

February 19, 2015

Caution urged after draft report details potential policy change

The US Army is reportedly considering making it easier for transgender people to serve in the military.

A draft document obtained by USA Today proposes raising the authorisation level needed to initiate dismissal proceedings against trans service members.

The leaked report, which has not been adopted as official directive, does not rescind current Army policy, which considers transgender people "administratively unfit" for service.

February 16, 2015

The Gay and Lesbian Network (GLEN) say that its has had a promising response to its call out for submissions. It will announce Ireland’s first Workplace Equality Ranking in the autumn

Following the success of similar rankings in other countries, GLEN (Gay and Lesbian Equality Network) have announced details of a survey to discover the best places to work for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality in Ireland.

The group announced the launch of the GLEN Workplace Equality Index last week with a press event in Dublin.

The organization’s Eimear O’Reilly, Programme Officer Workplace Diversity, told to GSN that GLEN had received interest from, ‘a range of leading public and private sector employers’, since the announcement.

February 15, 2015

'It’s crystal clear that the motivation for this bill is to stifle local efforts to advance equality for LGBT Arkansans'

Arkansas is one step closer to prohibiting towns and cities from passing laws blocking discrimination against LGBTI residents.

February 5, 2015

Amendment to gun legislation challenges the state's ban on gay marriage

Nebraska may have just accidentally recognized gay marriage despite a state ban on same-sex unions.

The Nebraska Legislature yesterday (4 February) voted 38 to 0 in favor of an amendment to a bill that would waive the 180-day residency period for military spouses who want to apply for gun permits.

Sen Paul Schumacher of Columbus proposed the amendment, which applies to 'anyone receiving the federal benefits of a military spouse.'

January 26, 2015

Same-sex couples were preparing to apply for marriage licenses on 26 January

A US federal judge issued a hold on the ruling that found Alabama's gay marriage prohibition unconstitutional.

On the night before same-sex couples were going to apply for marriage certificates in the southern state, District Judge Callie V.S. Granade placed a stay on last week's judgment that the state's marriage laws violate the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.

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.