New & Noteworthy:

LGBT Rights

LGBT rights are human rights and civil rights, although legal protections and laws affecting LGBT people vary greatly by country or territory. LGBT rights laws include, but are not limited to, the following: government recognition of same-sex relationships (such as via same-sex marriage or civil unions), LGBT adoption, recognition of LGBT parenting, anti-bullying legislation and student non-discrimination laws to protect LGBT children and/or students, immigration equality laws, anti-discrimination laws for employment and housing, hate crime laws providing enhanced criminal penalties for prejudice-motivated violence against LGBT people, equal age of consent laws, and laws related to sexual orientation and military service.

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Houston city attorneys change approach to sermon subpoenas

Friday, October 17, 2014
Annise-Parker
HOUSTON -- Houston city attorneys are no longer seeking through subpoenas sermons from five pastors who publicly opposed an ordinance banning discrimination against gay and transgender residents. Mayor Annise Parker said Friday that the city was backing off the sermon request but would not withdraw the subpoenas, which seek other...

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Ted Cruz criticizes Houston subpoenas as ‘abuse of government power’

Thursday, October 16, 2014
Ted Cruz
HOUSTON -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz told congregants of his home church Thursday that the city of Houston abused power by subpoenaing sermons and other documents from pastors who publicly opposed a local ordinance banning discrimination against gay and transgender residents. Cruz, standing among more than a dozen clergy at First Baptist Church...

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No, the city of Houston isn’t bullying anti-gay pastors – this is basic lawyering

Thursday, October 16, 2014
subpoena
Conservative media outlets, led by Fox News, are attacking the city of Houston for subpoenaing a number of local pastors who were part of the right-wing opposition to the city's LGBT non-discrimination ordinance that is suing the city now that the anti-discrimination law is in effect. But their claims that religious liberty should keep the pastors' public addresses secret ignores the fact that subpoenas of parties relevant to a lawsuit are a typical part of the legal discovery process.

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Houston subpoenas sermons in challenge to LGBT rights ordinance

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Houston
HOUSTON — The dispute over Houston’s LGBT-inclusive equal rights ordinance has extended to the pulpit. Houston city attorneys recently subpoenaed sermons by several local pastors who oppose the measure and are tied to conservative Christian activists. The activists have sued Houston, claiming they had enough valid signatures to put a repeal...

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Beyond marriage, the battle for LGBT equality marches on

Saturday, October 11, 2014
Pamela Thiele, left, and her spouse, Lauren Fortmiller, of Lakewood, Colo., take part in a rally on the steps of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on October 8, 2014. For many activists, the top priority after marriage is federal legislation that would outlaw a broad range of discrimination against LGBT people. There's no such federal law now, and more than half the states do not ban discrimination by employers or public accommodations based on sexual orientation.
NEW YORK -- Even as they celebrate epic victories in the push for marriage equality, gay-rights activists acknowledge that other difficult issues remain on their agenda. There's the persistent high rate of HIV infections, the struggles to expand transgender rights, and the striking fact that even in some states allowing same-sex marriage, people can lose their job for being gay.

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Kentucky town rejects LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Berea-KY
BEREA, Ky. -- The Berea City Council has rejected a proposed ordinance that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation. The proposal failed on a 5-3 vote Tuesday night in the Kentucky town in the Appalachian foothills, according to media reports. The meeting drew a standing-room-only crowd, and others filled ...

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Fla. county adds sexual orientation, gender identity to human rights ordinance

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Hillsborough-County
TAMPA, Fla. — Hillsborough County commissioners on Wednesday voted unanimously in favor of expanding the county's human rights ordinance to cover sexual orientation and gender identity. The 7-0 vote reversed a former board’s action in 1995 to strip gays and lesbians from the groups protected under the ordinance...

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Report: Discriminatory laws drive higher rates of poverty for LGBT Americans

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
lgbt
A new report released Tuesday paints a stark picture of the added financial burdens that LGBT Americans face because of anti-LGBT laws at the national, state, and local levels. The report finds that such laws contribute to significantly higher rates of poverty among LGBT Americans and create unfair financial penalties in the form of higher taxes...

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UN Human Rights Council approves resolution supporting LGBT rights

Friday, September 26, 2014
United Nations headquarters in New York.
UNITED NATIONS -- The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday approved a resolution condemning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The resolution — led by Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Uruguay — followed a resolution in 2011 on the same topic led by South Africa and asks the UN Office of the High...

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White House: Eric Holder resigning as U.S. Attorney General

Thursday, September 25, 2014
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
WASHINGTON -- Eric Holder, who served as the public face of the Obama administration's legal fight against terrorism and pushed to make the criminal justice system more even-handed, is resigning after six years on the job. He is the nation's first black attorney general.

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