gay rights

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Australians Party as Country Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

'About bloody time,' senator says

(Newser) - The Australian Parliament voted on Thursday to allow same-sex marriage across the nation, following a bitter and divisive debate settled by the government polling voters in a much-criticized ballot survey that strongly endorsed change . The public gallery of the House of Representatives erupted with applause when the bill passed to... More »

Analysts Parse Kennedy's Words in Gay Cake Case

He is expected to be the deciding vote, and he might be leaning toward the baker

(Newser) - So must a baker make a cake for a gay couple even if he opposes same-sex marriage? The answer, it seems, lies solely with Anthony Kennedy. That's the gist of coverage from Tuesday's closely watched arguments in the Supreme Court. The Washington Post reports that the four more... More »

Landmark Cakeshop Case Reaches Supreme Court

Baker argues he shouldn't be forced to make wedding cake for gay couple

(Newser) - The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments Tuesday in the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case—a divisive and complicated case with ramifications that go far beyond the world of baked goods. Lower courts found Colorado baker Jack Phillips guilty of violating anti-discrimination laws when he... More »

Critics Say 2 Memos From Sessions Attack LGBTQ Rights

Justice Department says federal civil rights law doesn't apply to transgender employees

(Newser) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued two memos this week that critics say put the rights of the LGBTQ community at risk. NBC News reports a Justice Department memo issued Wednesday states Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sex,... More »

Murder of Transgender Teen Not a Hate Crime: Cops

Advocates disagree; Ally Lee Steinfeld was found stabbed in the genitals with her eyes gouged out

(Newser) - Questions are swirling around the grisly murder of a transgender teenager in Missouri who was found stabbed last week in the genitals with her eyes gouged out. Authorities in rural Houston say the killing of Ally Lee Steinfeld, who was born Joseph Matthew Steinfeld Jr., wasn't a hate crime,... More »

Edith Windsor, Who Paved Way for Gay Marriage, Dies

She ended Defense of Marriage Act with 2013 Supreme Court case

(Newser) - Edith Windsor, the woman behind the legal case that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and paved the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage, died Tuesday at 88, the New York Daily News reports. The longtime New Yorker and gay-rights activist was the plaintiff in United States v.... More »

Justice Dept. Sides With Baker Who Refused Gay Couple

Administration files brief supporting Jack Phillips

(Newser) - The Trump administration has picked a side in a controversial upcoming Supreme Court case —and it isn't the side of gay rights. The Department of Justice filed a brief Thursday supporting Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for gay couple Charlie Craig... More »

Pentagon Panel to Consider Trump's Transgender Ban

Experts to weigh fate of transgender service members currently serving

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is assembling a panel of experts to discuss the matter of openly transgender individuals already serving in the US military, the AP reports. President Trump last Friday directed the Pentagon to extend indefinitely a ban on transgender individuals joining the military, but he gave Mattis the... More »

Whiskey Heir Says She Was Sacked for Being Lesbian

Hollis Bulleit says she came out 10 years ago but was rejected by her family

(Newser) - After working for more than two decades at the whiskey business her father re-founded , Hollis Bulleit says she was fired by email right before Christmas because she refused to stay silent about being a lesbian. Dubbed the "First Lady of Bourbon," Bulleit says she has kept mum at... More »

A 2nd Trump Move Has Ticked Off LGBT Supporters

Justice Department argues against protection for gay workers under 1964 law

(Newser) - On Wednesday, President Trump angered the LGBT community by banning transgender people from the military. But his administration made a second, lower-profile move the same day that has similarly angered the gay community. As BuzzFeed reports, the Justice Department filed a legal brief arguing that a federal civil rights law... More »

2 Men Publicly Caned for Gay Sex

They received dozens of lashes in Indonesia

(Newser) - Two men in Indonesia's Aceh province have been publicly caned dozens of times for consensual gay sex, a punishment that rights advocates denounced as "medieval torture" and that has escalated an anti-gay backlash. Hundreds packed the courtyard of a mosque to witness the caning Tuesday, which was the... More »

Funeral Home Refused to Cremate Gay Man: Lawsuit

Mississippi funeral home allegedly said it doesn't 'deal with their kind'

(Newser) - A Mississippi funeral home went back on an agreement to cremate an 86-year-old man after he died and paperwork showed he was gay, according to a lawsuit in state court. Picayune Funeral Home had told a nephew that Robert Huskey's body would be picked up and cremated for $1,... More »

Court Rules for LGBT Rights in Workplace 'Game Changer'

Federal court decides Civil Rights Act applies

(Newser) - The Civil Rights Act protects gay and lesbian employees from workplace discrimination, a federal appeals court decided Tuesday—three weeks after a three-judge panel in Atlanta ruled the opposite. In a ruling that is being called a "game changer" by LGBT rights groups, the 7th US Circuit Court of... More »

NC Lawmakers Reach Deal to Repeal Bathroom Bill

'Not a perfect deal,' but it 'begins to repair our reputation,' governor says

(Newser) - North Carolina Republican lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper say they have agreed on legislation to resolve a standoff over the state's "bathroom bill" through a replacement measure that still restricts LGBT nondiscrimination protections. GOP leaders announced late Wednesday that the new legislation would be debated and voted... More »

Sources: Ivanka Helped Sink Trump Order on Gay Rights

Religious right still hopes for action

(Newser) - President Trump decided against an executive order rolling back gay rights after Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner argued against it, sources tell Politico and the New York Times . The draft order, which reversed some of President Obama's orders on gay rights and expanded religious exemptions, was killed after the... More »

3rd-Largest Democracy May Ban Sex Outside Marriage

This could be a 'disaster' for human rights in Indonesia

(Newser) - Indonesia is the world's third-largest democracy, with more than 260 million people, but it's moving in a direction that some rights groups find very alarming. In what could end up being the latest victory for religious conservatives in the majority-Muslim country, its highest court is considering changing the... More »

2 Nuns Fall in Love, Leave Church, Get Hitched

Franciscan sisters in Italy joined in civil union

(Newser) - Two former nuns were joined in a civil union in Italy on Wednesday in a ceremony coming only four months after the heavily Catholic country approved same-sex partnerships. Identified only as Isabel and Federica, they met three years ago doing charitable work with drug addicts and gradually fell in love,... More »

Navy to Name Ship After Gay Rights Icon

'When Harvey Milk served in the military, he couldn't tell anyone who he truly was'

(Newser) - Five years after the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" law allowed gay sailors to serve openly, the Navy plans to name one of its ships after California's first openly gay elected official. A Military Sealift Command ship, one of several John Lewis-class oilers currently... More »

Romeo and Juliet Balcony Now Open to Same-Sex Couples

Italian landmark can now be used for same-sex civil unions

(Newser) - One of Italy's most popular spots for lovers—the balcony in Verona where Romeo supposedly pitched woo at Juliet—will soon be available to all couples, the Guardian reports. The Verona city council announced this week that all municipal venues used for heterosexual wedding ceremonies must also be available... More »

North Carolina Loses NBA All- Star Game Over Anti-LGBT Law

It was expected to put $100M into Charlotte-area economy

(Newser) - The NBA, following through on a threat made months ago, has pulled the 2017 All-Star Game out of North Carolina over concerns about the state's anti-LGBT legislation , USA Today reports. “We were frankly hoping that they would make some steps toward modifying the legislation, and frankly I was... More »

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