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An Astoria lesbian activist long involved in the fight for immigrant rights and the empowerment of New York City lower-income communities was one of two women who confronted Senator Jeff Flake on Friday morning, September 28 just moments after the Arizona Republican, a member of the Judiciary Committee, announced he would vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Justice. Comment
Legal

Three More Wins for Trans Students

During the week of July 23, three federal courts issued welcome rulings about restroom access by transgender students at public schools — in Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Florida. In each case, the court agreed that schools are or may be obligated to allow transgender students to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity, and rejected arguments that allowing trans students to use those restrooms violated constitutional or statutory rights of cisgender students sharing facilities with them. Comment
Legal

Federal Court Rejects Foster Care Discrimination

A federal district judge has ruled that the city of Philadelphia can require foster care agencies with which it contracts to abide by its municipal nondiscrimination ordinance that forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation. Comment
Legal

Medicaid Must Fund Sex Reassignment Surgery in Iowa

An Iowa trial judge has ruled that a state regulation prohibiting Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery violates the state’s Civil Rights Act as well as the State Constitution’s equal protection requirement. Comment
Legal

Decisive Win for Pennsylvania Trans Students

In a lengthy June 18 opinion, a unanimous three-judge panel of the Philadelphia-based Third Circuit Court of Appeals explained its decision the previous month rejecting a key part of the legal challenge by some students and parents to the Boyertown Area School District’s policy of letting transgender students use facilities consistent with their gender identity. Comment
Breaking News

With Kavanaugh Pick, Progressives Fear Right’s Agenda

While Donald Trump nominated a conservative to fill the seat on the US Supreme Court left vacant by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement just 13 days ago that he would retire, he selected a federal appeals court judge who is less of a firebrand and more of a longtime functionary in official Washington. Comments (1)
Health

Medicaid Must Fund Sex Reassignment Surgery in Iowa

An Iowa trial judge has ruled that a state regulation prohibiting Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery violates the state’s Civil Rights Act as well as the State Constitution’s equal protection requirement. Comment
Breaking News

Anthony Kennedy: The LGBTQ Community’s Accidental Gift

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who has served on the Supreme Court longer than any of his colleagues and authored the majority opinion in all four major gay rights victories there, was a third-choice pick by President Ronald Reagan in late 1987. In that sense, he was something of an accidental gift to the LGBTQ community. Comments (1)
Breaking News

SCOTUS Sends Florist Case Back to Washington State Court

On June 25, the Supreme Court finally acted on a petition by an anti-gay litigation group that sought review of a unanimous Washington State Supreme Court decision affirming a lower court ruling that found a florist had Comment
Legal

Longtime Gay Death Row Inmate’s Appeal Denied

The Supreme Court has denied a petition from South Dakota gay death row inmate Charles Russell Rhines, who challenges the fairness of his death sentence in light of evidence that some jurors took anti-gay stereotypes into account while determining his sentence. In line with normal practice, the Supreme Court merely listed the case as “certiorari denied” on June 18 without explanation. Comment
Legal

Another DOJ Loss on Transgender Military Ban

US Senior District Judge Marsha J. Pechman in Seattle, on June 15, rejected another attempt by the Trump administration to get her to lift her preliminary injunction against its proposed ban on military service by transgender individuals while officials appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Pechman’s opinion emphatically rejects arguments the Justice Department has made all along. Comment
Legal

Protecting Trans People Without Saying So

Talk about hiding the ball! On June 6, a unanimous four-judge panel of the New York Appellate Division’s Second Department, based in Brooklyn, confirmed a State Division of Human Rights (SDHR) order that had adopted a decision by an administrative law judge ruling that a Port Jervis employer violated the law when it discharged a transgender employee. Comment
Guest Perspective

Centering Trans Women in Our Fight for Health Equity

I’ve been medically transitioning over the past two and a half years and have been a patient at four different clinics in New York City that specifically offer transgender health care. Before finding Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC), my experience navigating all of these clinics had been one of antagonism. Comments (1)
Legal

Remembering How Gay Lawyers Became Legal

The panelists in the ornate rotunda of the New York County Supreme Court were out gay and lesbian legal scholars, advocates, and judges at the highest echelons of the courts. But at the June 19 forum sponsored by th Comments (1)
Politics

HOP Hosts Its Debut Human Rights Conference

Heritage of Pride, the organization behind New York’s annual LGBTQ Pride Parade, hosted its first ever human rights conference on June 14. According to Eboni Munn, HOP’s communications manager, somew Comment
Politics

A Heritage of Disagreement

Moments before Charlie Cochrane, an NYPD sergeant, spoke at a 1981 City Council hearing in support of legislation that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, he had to listen to a Comments (2)
Politics

Scott Long Brutally Beaten In Oakland

Violence is always badly timed, but this was oddly unfortunate, coming during a celebratory weekend. Scott Long had just marked his birthday, and his roommate, Samir Taha, would soon be doing the same. Comments (2)
Breaking News

Sessions’ New Asylum Posture & LGBTQ Refugees

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued an opinion toughening the standards for granting asylum to persons seeking to live in the US based on the claim they fled their home country because of persecution. Comments (2)
Breaking News

Citing Baker’s “Win,” Arizona Court Rejects Stationary Store’s Opt-Out Claim

The precedent established by a Supreme Court decision can often depend on how lower courts interpret it. The quick takeaway from last week’s Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling was that it was a “win” for baker Jack Phillips, since the court reversed the discrimination rulings against him by the Colorado Court of Appeals and that state’s Civil Rights Commission. Comments (2)
Legal

Two New Job Discrimination Petitions to SCOTUS

At the end of May, the US Supreme Court had received two new petitions asking it to address the question whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s Title VII ban on employment discrimination “because of sex” can be interpreted to apply to claims of sexual orientation discr Comment
Breaking News

Anti-Gay Colorado Baker Prevails in Narrow Ruling

The US Supreme Court ruled on June 4 that overt hostility to religion tainted the decision process at the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it ruled that baker Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop had unlawfully discriminated against Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins in 2012 by refusing to make them a wedding cake. Comment
Breaking News

Connie Kurtz, Lesbian Activist, Artist, Dies at 81

Connie (Constance) Kurtz, a lesbian activist and an artist who works included paintings, collage, and quilts, died in the home she shared with her beloved spouse, Ruth Berman, in West Palm Beach on May 27 after a long illness. Kurtz would have turned 82 in July. Comments (7)
Breaking News

Gavin Grim Prevails Over Former High School in Court

Opening up a new chapter in Gavin Grimm’s continuing battle to vindicate his rights as a transgender man, US District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen, on May 22, denied the Gloucester County, Virginia, School Board’s motion to dismiss the latest version of the case the young man first filed in July 2015. Comment
Politics

Trump Jeered in Hometown Return

PHOTO ESSAY BY DONNA ACETO | In his first visit to New York City since December 2 of last year, President Donald Trump on May 23 met a throng of protesters — including immigration rights activists […] Comments (2)
Politics

Despite Acquittal, Man Assigned Sex Offender Registry Status

In an April 26 ruling that received surprised comment from the media, the New York Court of Appeals affirmed by a 6-1 vote a decision by Kings County Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice to assign sufficient points under the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act to a man acquitted of all the felony sex crimes charges against him to place him in the category of a level 2 sex offender, which requires lifetime registration and other restrictions under SORA. Comments (1)
New York City

Lambda Legal Honors Evan Wolfson

Evan Wolfson, the nation’s key strategic thinker in the battle to win marriage equality as founder of Freedom to Marry, went home on April 30 to the legal advocacy group, Lambda Legal, where he worked on staff for 12 years and headed up its Marriage Project. In its annual national dinner at Chelsea Piers, the group recognized Wolfson with its Liberty Award. Comment
Legal

Gay Judge Nixes Anonymity for Genderqueer Plaintiff

US District Judge J. Paul Oetken, the first out gay man to be appointed a federal trial judge, has granted a motion by the defendants in an employment discrimination case to lift an order he had previously issued allowing the plaintiff, a “genderqueer and trans-masculine” individual, to proceed anonymously as “Jamie Doe.” Doe, whose preferred personal pronouns are “they,” “their,” and “theirs,” had s Comment
Breaking News

De Blasio Moves on Safer Consumption Spaces to Curb Overdoses

A multi-year push in New York City to offer drug users a safe place for consuming their drugs seems destined for success after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his support for “overdose prevention centers.” Comments (1)
Gay City News Impact Awards

At Impact Awards, Diversity, Enduring Commitment Celebrated

At Gay City News’ third annual Impact Awards, 28 individuals plus the four comedians of Funny Gay Males were honored for their achievements and contributions to New York’s LGBTQ community. Comments (2)
Breaking News

Federal Court Orders Trial on Trans Military Ban

A federal court has rejected the Trump administration’s argument that the four existing preliminary injunctions issued last year against President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban are moot because they we Comment
Breaking News

David Buckel, Passionate LGBTQ Rights Litigator, Dead at 60

David Buckel, a former longtime attorney at Lambda Legal who had led the group’s Marriage Project and advanced LGBTQ rights on a broad range of fronts, was found dead in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park early in the morning on April 14, the victim of a suicide. Comments (1)
Breaking News

Nine Revolting Rebekah Mercers — In One Museum!

The Revolting Lesbians were back on the steps of the American Museum of Natural History on Friday, and they weren’t afraid to get kicked out or even have the cops called on them. In fact, that was partially their goal. Comment
Politics

Radical Visions, Tangible Wins

Historian Martin Duberman asks a provocative question in his soon to be released book, “Has the Gay Movement Failed?” Comments (2)
Legal

Birth Mother Can’t Challenge Ex-Wife’s Parental Rights

Ruling on a custody contest between a birth mother, Kimberly Jayroe Strickland, and her former same-sex spouse, Christina Strickland, on April 5, the Mississippi Supreme Court blocked K Comment
Politics

Bank of America Straddles Question of Financing Guns

With leading LGBTQ groups supporting gun control measures since the 2016 killings of 49 people in a Florida gay nightclub, a major US bank that was once strongly allied with the community is loaning tens of millions to Remington Outdoor as part of the gun manufacturer’s pre-packaged bankruptcy. Comment
Politics

On Central Park West, Saying No to Guns

They couldn’t get to the epic march in Washington on March 24, but 175,000 New Yorkers rallied here in solidarity against gun violence in the March for Our Lives. Comments (4)
Breaking News

Trump’s Latest Trans Ban Aims to Sidetrack Lawsuits

In a move intended to evade existing preliminary injunctions while reaffirming in its essential elements President Donald Trump’s Twitter announcement from last July categorically prohibiting military service by tran Comment
Breaking News

Will New Trans Military Ban Sidestep Court Injunctions?

In a policy roll-out that may successfully sidestep existing court injunctions against President Donald Trump’s proposed ban on transgender military service, the White House on March 23 announced a policy, based on the recommendations of Defense Secretary James Mattis, that would bar service b Comment
Breaking News

On Due Date of Trans Military Service Policy, Trump Resists Court Order

With President Donald Trump’s new policy on transgender military service due to have taken effect today, the Department of Justice is essentially refusing to comply with a March 2 Comment
Legal

Idaho Ordered to Issue New Trans Birth Certificates

US Magistrate Judge Candy Dale in Boise, Idaho, has ordered the state of Idaho to allow transgender people born there to obtain birth certificates correctly identifying them according to their gender identity. Once Idaho has complied with Dale’s March 5 order, the only states where trans people will remain unable to get appropriate Comment
Legal

Appeals Court Finds Sex Bias in Trans Funeral Director’s Firing

A unanimous three-judge panel of the Cincinnati-based US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on March 7 that a Michigan funeral home violated federal anti-discrimination law by terminating a funeral director who announced she would be transitioning during her vacation and return to work as a woman. Comments (1)
Politics

School Walk Out Gun Protesters Gather in Prospect Park

PHOTO ESSAY BY DONNA ACETO | In the first of several nationwide actions initiated by high school students to protest the lack of meaningful legislative action on gun control, young people nationwide walked out of their classrooms on March 14 — some for 17 minutes to commemorate the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, exactly one month before and others for longer rallies. Comments (1)
Health

“Pharma Bro” Played Up LGBTQ Donation at Sentencing

Seeking to counter allegations that he is anti-gay, a pharmaceutical executive who was convicted of securities fraud last year and earlier vilified for increasing the price of a drug used by people with compromised immune systems included, in his sentencing memorandum, a letter he received from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Comments (1)
Legal

Religious B&B Owner Loses Bid to Discriminate

The Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii has affirmed a ruling by the state’s First Circuit Court that an owner-occupied bed & breakfast violated the state’s public accommodations law by refusing to rent a room to a lesbian couple fr Comments (3)
Health

Rosenthal Takes On Insurers’ PrEP Blacklisting

Upper West Side Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal has introduced legislation to bar insurance companies from discriminating against people who take the anti-HIV treatment intended to prevent infection known as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP. Comment
Breaking News

Big Gay Rights Win in US Second Circuit

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, with jurisdiction over federal cases from New York, Connecticut, and Vermont, ruled on February 26 that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination because of an individual’s sex, also makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against a person because of their sexual o Comments (1)
Legal

More Guns Not the Answer

Facts contradict the National Rifle Association’s belief — shared over the past week aggressively by President Donald Trump — that arming more citizens will curb gun violence. Comments (8)
Legal

Unprecedented Ruling Favors Anti-Gay Baker

Breaking the consensus among courts developed over the past several years that people with religious or moral objections to same-sex weddings are not entitled to exempt their business from selling goods or services for such events, a California Superior Court judge has ruled that a baker has a First Amendment exemption from comp Comment
Politics

At HRC Gala, Resistance and an Informal 2020 Audition

At its annual New York City Gala this month, the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign presented a program that focused just enough attention on the dangers created since Donald Trump became president to press the urgent need for the community to engage in productive resistance to the now one-year old administration. Comments (2)
Politics

Again, A Massive Women’s March in Manhattan

The second annual Women’s March on New York City, held January 20, brought an estimated 200,000 people onto Central Park West from West 61st Street to West 80th Street and beyond. Comment
From the Editor

White Man’s Burden: A Dialogue on Race & Resistance

Last week, Gay City News reached out to Clarence Patton — a longtime African-American gay leader and former executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project who now heads up the Pipeline Project and Pipeline Consulting — asking him to write about President Donald Trump’s “shithole countries” comment and the resistance to both his administration and racism in America generally. At Patton’s suggestion, instead he engaged in Comments (19)
Breaking News

On Volatile Day, Immigration Activists Descend on Varick Street ICE Office

PHOTO ESSAY BY DONNA ACETO, REPORTING BY PAUL SCHINDLER | Even as congressional leaders scrambled Thursday to forge an agreement on the fate of roughly 800,000 Dreamers, federal agents in Manhattan from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained a leading immigration rights advocate, Ravi Ragbir, as he did a routine check-in with government officials. When he Comments (6)
Legal

Two More LGBTQ Issues Fall Off Supreme Court Docket

As the Supreme Court’s 2017-18 term began in October, it looked like a banner term for LGBTQ-related cases. Petitions were pending asking the court Comment
Breaking News

Corey Johnson Faces the Daunting Budget Realities of Trump’s America

As Corey Johnson assumes the role of speaker of the City Council, he has made some important and expensive promises that multiple constituencies are expecting him to keep. But he is also facing the prospect of cuts in federal and state dollars that could make fulfilling those promises difficult. Comments (1)
Legal

Decisive Win for Lesbians in Oregon Cake Case

In a case that is — for all practical purposes — a virtual clone of the Colorado case, Masterpiece Cakeshop, argued at the US Supreme Court last month, a unanimous three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals of Oregon affirmed a ruling by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) that Melissa and Aaron Klein, doing business as Sweetcakes by Melissa, violated the state’s pub Comment
Politics

LGBTQ Allies Support the Tax Bill Advocates Deride

After the NCAA ended its boycott of North Carolina over a state law there that barred transgender people from using public bathrooms that match their gender identity, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) did not hold back. Comments (2)

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