LGBT Rights

Idaho Inmate Becomes Second Ever to Receive Gender Confirmation Surgery

After years of legal disputes, Adree Edmo has received gender confirmation surgery, making her the second incarcerated person in the country to undergo the surgery while in prison.   Edmo, a trans woman, has been in the custody of the Idaho Department of Corrections since 2012. Upon her arrival at a men’s prison, she was...

Polish Election Results Cause Fear for LGBTQ Community

After Polish President Andrzej Duda narrowly won a second term last weekend, the country’s LGBTQ community fears increased homophobic legislation and exclusion from society. Duda, who had said LGBTQ “ideology” was worse than communism, had also promised to ban same-sex marriage and adoption rights for LGBTQ couples. He won against liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski...

Colorado Bans LGBTQ+ Panic Defense in Courtrooms

Colorado has become the 11th state to ban the LGBTQ+ “panic defense.” On Monday, Governor Jared Polis signed the bill into law, prohibiting defendants from using the gender identity or sexual orientation of a victim to excuse their behavior in the courtroom. “This bill is going to help us ensure that there aren’t biased arguments...

Lawmakers Denounce Title IX Decision on Transgender Athletes

28 lawmakers, including six of the seven members of Connecticut’s delegation, signed a joint letter condemning the U.S. Department of Education’s May 15 decision regarding transgender athletes. The lawmakers request that the Department of Education (DOE) reconsider its decision, as well as other rulings that “roll back” the rights of transgender students. They have tasked...

SCOTUS Ruling Could Upend Trump Administration’s Attacks on the Trans Community

Monday’s Supreme Court ruling to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination in the workplace could derail the Trump administration’s latest restrictions on transgender rights in healthcare. In the Trump administration’s most recent attack on the LGBTQ+ community, the anti-discrimination policies that protect transgender people in healthcare settings have been reversed. Under the Affordable Care Act, healthcare...

Tens of Thousands Show Up for Black Trans Lives in Marches Across U.S.

Tens of thousands of people across the United States rallied to demand justice for Black transgender women on Sunday. The demonstrations hoped to call attention to the fact that trans people of color are disproportionately the victims of violent crime. Approximately 15,000 people gathered for a “Brooklyn Liberation” rally outside the Brooklyn Museum in New...

Trump Administration Removes Healthcare Protections for Transgender People

On Friday, June 12, the Trump administration rolled back rules that protected transgender people from being discriminated against in healthcare. The regulation was initially implemented by the Obama Administration as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA prevents healthcare institutions that receive federal funding from discriminating on the basis of sex. Under the...

Supreme Court Rules Federal Civil Rights Law Protects LGBTQ+ Workers

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that existing federal civil rights protections forbids job discrimination against LGBTQ+ workers. The decision said that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate based on a person’s sex, also covers sexual orientation. Twenty-two states plus the District of Columbia...

First Openly Transgender Official Wins City Council Seat in West Virginia

Tuesday was Election Day in West Virginia and Rosemary Ketchum, a community organizer and activist, was among those elected to office. Ketchum will represent Wheeling, West Virginia’s Third Ward in the Wheeling City Council and has made history by becoming West Virginia’s first openly transgender elected official. Ketchum announced her candidacy for Wheeling City Council...

Activists Respond to Video of Black Trans Woman Being Attacked by Group of Men

Iyanna Dior, a 21-year-old Black transgender woman from Minneapolis, Minnesota, was brutally attacked by a group of mostly cisgender men on Monday, according to a video that has gone viral on social media this week. The video shows a group of between 15 and 30 assailants beating Dior and calling her homophobic slurs outside a...

Inclusion of Transgender Student Athletes Found to Violate Title IX

The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has found that a Connecticut high school athletics policy that allows transgender students to participate in sports teams that match their gender identity violates federal law and could cost the state federal education funding. A 45-page letter, dated May 15, explained that the decision was based on the...

U.S. Navy Grants Waiver to Transgender Service Member Despite Trump Ban

The U.S. Navy granted a waiver for a transgender service member to serve according to her gender identity last Friday, the first of its kind since the military enacted a ban on transgender troops. The waiver comes after the officer, publicly known only as Jane Doe, sued President Donald Trump over his ban on transgender...

South Korean LGBTQ Community Faces Increased Homophobia After COVID-19 Outbreak

The LGBTQ community in South Korea is facing increased homophobia after a recent outbreak of COVID-19 was linked to gay nightclubs in Seoul. In early May, the government announced that a man who had visited multiple night clubs on May 2 tested positive for the coronavirus. More than 100 cases of the virus has since...

Historic Transgender Rights Supreme Court Case Plaintiff Aimee Stephens Has Died

Aimee Stephens died yesterday at age 59. She was unsure whether the Supreme Court will decide her case as planned on Thursday and if she would live to hear the decision. In 2013, Stephens told her employer that she was going to transition to female and was subsequently fired two weeks later from her job...

Transgender Woman Nina Pop Murdered in Missouri

On Sunday, May 3rd, the body of 28-year-old transgender woman Nina Pop was found in her apartment in Sikestown, Missouri. She had been stabbed multiple times, according to police. While police have not determined a motive, they are looking into the possibility of a hate crime. The LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign reported that...

Masterpiece Cakeshop Owner Faces Second Lawsuit for LGBTQ Discrimination

Autumn Scardina is the plaintiff in the second lawsuit against Masterpiece Cakeshop Owner Jack Phillips for LGBTQ discrimination. The lawsuit argues that the business unlawfully refused service to Scardina, a transgender woman, who requested a trans-themed birthday cake. Scardina had previously filed a complaint against Phillips when the refusal happened in 2018, but Phillips sued...

ACLU Files Lawsuit Over Idaho Transgender Athlete Ban

The ACLU has filed a complaint in Boise federal court on Wednesday, April 14 following Idaho Governor Brad Little’s signing of a bill banning the participation of transgender women and girls from women’s public and university sports into law on March 30. The lawsuit challenges the new law, set to go into effect on July...

Activist Phyllis Lyon Passes Away at Age 95

LGBTQ+ rights pioneer, Phyllis Lyon, died at age 95 yesterday of natural causes. Lyon co-founded the Daughters of Bilitis, the United States’ first lesbian organization in 1955. She and her wife, Del Martin, were the first couple to married in San Francisco’s “Winter of Love” in 2004, a time when the mayor of San Francisco...

Lawyers Working Nonstop During COVID-19 Pandemic to Protect LGBTQ+ Rights

Despite courts being closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have been writing lawsuits challenging new anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across the country. In Idaho, there has been two pieces of legislation passed into law that ban transgender women and girls from playing on high school and college teams and prevents...

Senators, LGBTQ Advocates Demand Lift on Federal Blood Donation Ban to Address COVID-19 Shortages

Senators and LGBTQ rights groups are urging the federal Food and Drug Administration to allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood and plasma to address supply shortages during the coronavirus pandemic. Current FDA guidelines prohibit men who have had sex with men in the last 12 months from donating blood. Activists argue that this...