LGBTQ Rights

The Colorado baker who won a Supreme Court case over his refusal to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple is suing state officials, alleging religious discrimination over his refusal to make a cake celebrating a gender transition.

Attorneys for Jack Phillips, who owns Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., said Wednesday that the state is "continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs."

Courtesy of Lynn Lavner

Thanks to my father’s late-life nostalgia, last summer my family reconnected with a woman we’d known back in Brooklyn decades ago who’d gone on to live a remarkable life. Her name is Lynn Lavner, and it turns out, she’d been living under 10 miles away from my parents’ place in south Florida for years. It also turns out that in the decades since we’d seen her, she’d become a pioneering crusader in the movement for equal rights for the LGBTQ community.

Danny Hwang / WLRN News

Miami Beach celebrated pride in its 10th annual Gay Pride Festival this past week. Events began last Monday with a rainbow flag-raising ceremony at City Hall.

On Sunday, the event culminated with a parade. Ocean Drive was shut down for the duration of the main parade, which ran from Fifth to 15th streets.

Paul Thomas is on the board of Miami Beach Gay Pride. He said 83 groups would draw a crowd of more than 135,000 people.

“Lots of creativity, lots of fun as everybody marches down Ocean Drive celebrating who they are,” he said.

Transgender runners who qualify can take part in the Boston Marathon as their identified gender, according to Boston Marathon officials.

The issue has garnered attention following a profile in Canadian Running of three transgender women signed up for the race.

Comments to the article included reservation from readers that the elevated testosterone levels would potentially bump other women from the race, who would otherwise have qualified.

As gay, lesbian and transgender activists around the United States felt a renewed sense of urgency under a new administration, 2017 cast a definitive spotlight on transgender rights.

In deciding not to appeal court rulings, the Trump administration has paved the way for transgender people to enlist in the U.S. military starting Monday.

The Department of Justice withdrew its legal challenge to several federal court rulings that blocked President Trump from banning transgender people from enlisting in the U.S. armed services.

Flickr/Creative Commons

Palm Beach County is the first county in Florida to ban conversion therapy for minors.

County commissioners voted 5-2 Tuesday to ban the controversial form of treatment that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation.

Opponents say the practice is pseudoscience dangerous to gay, lesbian and transgender youth. The American Psychiatric Association also opposes the practice and calls it unethical.

But supporters of conversion therapy argue the ban will infringe on free speech, religious freedom and parental rights.

More than half of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans say they have experienced violence, threats or harassment because of their sexuality or gender identity, according to new poll results being released Tuesday by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Bedecked in fondant and flowers, modern wedding cakes are the centerpiece of the marriage feast — an edible form of art. But are they also an expression of free speech?

That is the question the Supreme Court will consider this fall when it hears the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a custom wedding cake for a gay couple because he said it would violate his religious beliefs.

"You'd think cake would be apolitical, and yet here we are," muses baker Catherine George of Catherine George Cakes.

D.C. Equality March Makes Pride Political

Jun 11, 2017

Pride parades are known for glitter, upbeat music and happy people dancing on bright floats, as they make their way through loud, colorful crowds.

This was not a pride parade.

"Stonewall began as a riot," Sian Lewis, a member of the D.C. planning committee for the Equality March, said, as "YMCA" by the Village People blared from large, black speakers behind her.

"We are living the legacy of Stonewall," she said.

LGBT Pride Month around the country is marked by celebratory parades — featuring floats, dancers and celebrities. And they've been especially joyous in recent years, following the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

But this year, the tone of Los Angeles's parade has shifted from pride to protest.

"We've converted the parade, floats and fun to a march for civil rights," says Brian Pendleton, who has planned what's now called the Resist March for June 11.

Miami Beach Gay Pride Holds Its Largest Celebration Yet

Apr 10, 2017
Amanda Rabines

Pride weekend events began Thursday night, when Pulse nightclub survivor Mario Perez “flipped the switch,” turning The Freedom Tower, The Miami Tower, The AmericanAirlines Arena and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts into illuminating tributes with rainbow colored lights embellished on the buildings.

By Friday, people were spilling onto Ocean Drive from 11th to 14th streets to celebrate the ninth annual Gay Pride Festival in Miami Beach all the way through Sunday night.

The Associated Press has tallied up business lost in North Carolina because of the controversial "bathroom bill," and estimates the total cost is at least $3.76 billion over 12 years.

That estimate is probably low, the wire service says.

The Trump administration is rescinding protections for transgender students in public schools.

The move by the Justice and Education departments reverses guidance the Obama administration publicized in May 2016, which said a federal law known as Title IX protects the right of transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities.

Florida lawmakers want to add protections in state law for the lesbian gay bisexual and transgender community. 

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