Tag: LBGT rights

N.B.A. to Move All-Star Game from North Carolina Over Discriminatory Bathroom Law

This year’s N.B.A. All-Star Game in Toronto. The league is set to announce a new site for next year’s game in the next few weeks. (Credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

article by via nytimes.com

The National Basketball Association on Thursday dealt a blow to the economy and prestige of North Carolina by pulling next February’s All-Star Game from Charlotte to protest a state law that eliminated anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The move was among the most prominent consequences since the law, which bars transgender people from using bathrooms in public buildings that do not correspond with their birth gender, was passed in March.

The league, which has become increasingly involved in social issues, said that both it and the Hornets, the N.B.A. team based in Charlotte, had been talking to state officials about changing the law but that time had run out because of the long lead time needed to stage the game. The N.B.A. said it hoped the game could be played in Charlotte in 2019, with the clear inference that the law would have to be changed before then.

“While we recognize that the N.B.A. cannot choose the law in every city, state and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by the current law,” a statement by the league said.

Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina issued a blistering statement soon after the announcement by the N.B.A., in which he said “the sports and entertainment elite,” among others, had “misrepresented our laws and maligned the people of North Carolina simply because most people believe boys and girls should be able to use school bathrooms, locker rooms and showers without the opposite sex present.”

Mr. McCrory did not specifically refer to the N.B.A. in his statement, but he said that “American families should be on notice that the selective corporate elite are imposing their political will on communities in which they do business, thus bypassing the democratic and legal process.”

Others weighed in with support for the N.B.A.’s move, including two of its broadcast partners — Turner Sports and ESPN.

In taking the action it did, the N.B.A. is following the path already taken by others. A number of musicians, including Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and Itzhak Perlman, canceled concerts in North Carolina to protest the law, and there have been calls for repeal of the legislation by a number of businesses, some of which have canceled plans to create new jobs in the state.

All-Star weekend is one of the most dazzling and lucrative events on the league’s annual schedule. In addition to the game, the league arranges three days full of activities for fans. There is a separate game for the league’s rising stars, a dunk contest and a 3-point contest.

Now all of that will be held elsewhere next February, with the N.B.A. to announce a new site for the game in the next few weeks.

To read full article, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/sports/basketball/nba-all-star-game-moves-charlotte-transgender-bathroom-law.html

Obama Administration Issues Guidelines to Allow Transgender Access to Public School Bathrooms

(screenshot via cnn.com)
(screenshot via cnn.com)

article by Emanuella Grinberg via cnn.com

(CNN) The Obama administration issued guidance Friday directing public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity.

A joint letter from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice went to schools Friday with guidelines to ensure that “transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment,” the Obama administration said Thursday.
 
The announcement comes amid heated debate over transgender rights in schools and public life, which includes a legal standoff between the administration and North Carolina over its controversial House Bill 2. The guidance goes beyond the bathroom issue, touching upon privacy rights, education records and sex-segregated athletics, all but guaranteeing transgender students the right to identify in school as they choose.
 
“There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said. “This guidance gives administrators, teachers and parents the tools they need to protect transgender students from peer harassment and to identify and address unjust school policies.”
 
The letter does not carry the force of law but the message was clear: Fall in line or face loss of federal funding.  Justice and Education Department officials have repeatedly made clear that under their interpretation of Title IX, the federal anti-discrimination law in education, schools receiving federal funds may not discriminate based on a student’s sex, including a student’s transgender status.
“The guidance makes clear that both federal agencies treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of enforcing Title IX,” the administration said Thursday.
 
LGBT groups praised the announcement, calling it a validation of transgender rights and a repudiation of so-called “bathroom bills” that ban people from using public bathrooms that do not correspond with their biological sex.
 
“These groundbreaking guidelines not only underscore the Obama administration’s position that discriminating against transgender students is flat-out against the law, but they provide public school districts with needed and specific guidance guaranteeing that transgender students should be using facilities consistent with their gender identity,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.
 
“This is a truly significant moment not only for transgender young people but for all young people, sending a message that every student deserves to be treated fairly and supported by their teachers and schools.”
The letter emphasizes the departments’ shared position that schools must treat transgender students the way they want to be treated based on their gender identity, regardless of how others may feel about it.

U.S. Justice Department Sues North Carolina over State’s Discriminatory “Bathroom Law”

Attorney General Loretta Lynch  (photo: nytimes.com)
Attorney General Loretta Lynch (photo: nytimes.com)

article by Del Quentin Wilber  via latimes.com

The Justice Department sued North Carolina on Monday to stop what it called discrimination against transgender individuals, raising the stakes in a cultural and legal battle that has ramifications for other states and the 2016 election.

U.S. Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch personally announced the lawsuit, which argues that North Carolina’s so-called bathroom law violates parts of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal laws, and that the state is engaging in a “pattern or practice of sex discrimination.”

Lynch stepped in hours after North Carolina’s Republican governor, Pat McCrory, had sued the Justice Department to prevent it from blocking implementation of the state law, which requires public agencies to deny transgender people access to multiple-occupancy bathrooms and changing rooms consistent with their gender identity.

At a news conference, Lynch linked the dispute to past civil rights struggles over equal access to housing, water fountains and other facilities.  “This action is about a great deal more than just bathrooms,” she said. This is “about the respect we accord our fellow citizens and the laws that we … have enacted to protect them.”

She added, “This is not the first time we have seen discriminatory responses to historic moments of progress for our nation.”

The federal lawsuit names the state of North Carolina, McCrory, the state’s Department of Public Safety, the University of North Carolina system and its Board of Governors as defendants.

Continue reading “U.S. Justice Department Sues North Carolina over State’s Discriminatory “Bathroom Law””

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Collects Past Stories of Those Who Wrestled With Their Sexuality

Nora-Ann Thompson, 65, had three failed marriages behind her when she fell in love with a woman 20 years ago. Her family did not talk openly about sexuality. (EDWIN J. TORRES FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES)

By the time Nora-Ann Thompson fell in love with a woman, she was 45 years old and had three failed marriages behind her. The daughter of a black pastor in the Bronx, she had grown up in a family and a church that did not talk openly about sexuality, let alone homosexuality.

When she finally told her father, all he could say was “that cannot be; you need a man to take care of you and protect you,” she recalled. They never spoke of it again.

Ms. Thompson, now 65, is part of a new oral history project in Harlem that captures the experiences of 13 pioneers in New York City’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Their stories tell of the hardship and discrimination they faced within their own families at a time when expressing their sexuality was neither encouraged nor accepted.

All of those interviewed for the project are black, and range in age from 52 to 83. They include a transgender woman who was once homeless and took female hormone shots on the street and a transgender man who was shunned by co-workers after they learned of his medical history. Another man was taunted as gay by his sisters long before he moved to New York and came out.

Their stories will be shared Tuesday night at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, part of the New York Public Library system. The project will become a permanent part of the center’s “In the Life Archive,” a trove of thousands of books, photographs, original manuscripts and other works produced by and about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender New Yorkers. “In the Life” refers both to a phrase used for those lifestyles in black culture, and to the title of a 1986 anthology of black gay writers that was edited by Joseph Beam.

The new oral history project grew out of a February visit to the “In the Life Archive” by a group from a Harlem center for older adults run by Services and Advocacy for G.L.B.T. Elders, known as SAGE. As they pored over the historical materials, many of them saw their own pasts. There were exclamations of “Oh, I remember this place.” One man even picked himself out in a photo.

Continue reading “Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Collects Past Stories of Those Who Wrestled With Their Sexuality”

U.S. Supreme Court Rules All 50 States Must Allow Marriage Equality

imrs.php
(Photo via Washington Post)

This morning, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that same-sex marriage must be allowed in all 50 states, as gay people must be afforded equal rights and protections under federal law.

President Barack Obama hailed the decision, saying “Our nation was founded on a bedrock principle that we are all created equal,” Obama said. “The project of each generation is to bridge the meaning of those founding words with the realities of changing times. Progress on this journey often comes in small increments, sometimes two steps forward, one step back, propelled by the persistent effort of dedicated citizens,” he said. “And then sometimes, there are days like this when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt.”

To watch his entire statement, click below:

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

 

Donté Stallworth, NFL player, Joins Fight Against Homophobia in Sports

Donte' Stallworth #19 of the New England Patriots works out before a preseason game with the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium on August 20, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Donte’ Stallworth #19 of the New England Patriots works out before a preseason game with the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium on August 20, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

“I realize that every day is a gift and you need to do the most with the time that you have,” Stallworth said in a statement. “Joining my friend Brendon Ayanbadejo and the other NFL Ambassadors today is my way of helping make our game better. We need to build a support system in the NFL so that every player can be who they are, play their best, and live life to the fullest.”

Continue reading “Donté Stallworth, NFL player, Joins Fight Against Homophobia in Sports”

50 Years Later: Remembering Female Civil Rights Activist Pauli Murray

Attorney Pauli Murray

Harvard Law School professor Kenneth W. Mack writes at the Huffington Post that it’s an African-American woman, attorney Pauli Murray, who deserves credit for expanding the language of civil rights in 1963 to include women’s rights — and even LGBT rights.

“President Obama’s unprecedented endorsement of gay rights in his inauguration address last week — delivered on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday — marks the beginning of a year when Americans will celebrate the 50th anniversary of so many groundbreaking events of 1963: children defying dogs and firehoses in Birmingham, President Kennedy’s endorsement of civil rights as a moral cause, the church bombing that claimed the lives of four little girls in Alabama, and the March on Washington. As the nation remembers these important milestones, it is important not to forget the work of a long-forgotten activist who emerged publicly that year to link civil rights to women’s rights, and ultimately to her own closeted sexual identity. In doing so, an African American woman lawyer named Pauli Murray strongly criticized the leadership of the civil rights movement for excluding women as it was planning for the march that would bring 250,000 protesters to Washington that fall. More than any other individual, it is Murray who deserves credit for expanding the language of civil rights beyond the African American struggle for equality to women’s rights, and ultimately to what she later called “human rights” — and for paving the way for a President of the United States to claim that it included gays and lesbians as well. 

In 1963, Pauli Murray was working hard to make Americans aware of an idea she had come up with two decades earlier — one that influenced people as different from one another as Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Wright Edelman — and which would help change the meaning of equality. She called it Jane Crow. Alongside the system of Jim Crow race segregation, Murray argued, there was an equally wrong system of sex segregation. Sex discrimination should be against the law for the same reasons as race discrimination. This was a radical idea at the time …”

Read Kenneth W. Mack’s entire piece at the Huffington Post.

article via theroot.com

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