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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Idaho lawmakers hear heated testimony over proposed LGBT protections

Monday, January 26, 2015
Members of the Idaho state House State Affairs Committee hold a public hearing on a bill that would include sexual orientation and gender identity protections to the state's Human Rights Act, at the state Capitol building on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, in Boise, Idaho.
Supporters of religious freedom went toe-to-toe Monday against hundreds of gay rights advocates who have waited nearly a decade to speak in the Idaho Legislature for a measure that would create statewide protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. [...]

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First 24 hours of new Maryland governor’s tenure ‘not good’ for LGBT community

Sunday, January 25, 2015
Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.)
In one of his first acts as Maryland's new GOP governor, Larry Hogan has held up a regulation that would have banned Medicaid providers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. [...]

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Mich. governor hopes to revive legislation prohibiting anti-LGBT discrimination

Saturday, January 24, 2015
Gov. Rick Snyder (R-Mich.)
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder hopes to resuscitate legislation that would protect gay and transgender residents from discrimination, while LGBT advocates explore asking voters to pass the bill since it's unlikely to clear the GOP-led Legislature. [...]

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Nebraska lawmakers introduce bills to prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Nebraska-capitol
Nebraska lawmakers introduced three bills Wednesday that would ban discrimination against LGBT residents, but even supporters noted they face a tough fight in gaining approval for the proposals. [...]

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Virginia Senate committee kills housing bill, defers workplace protections bill

Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Virginia state capitol in Richmond.
It’s still legal to deny housing to LGBT Virginians after a Senate committee on Monday failed to advance legislation amid concerns that a fair housing bill would violate religious freedoms, while delaying another bill until next week that would protect LGBT workers in public employment. [...]

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West Virginia lawmakers again advocate for non-discrimination bill

Monday, January 19, 2015
West Virginia state capitol in Charleston.
At a Fairness West Virginia news conference Monday, Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler and other Democratic officials discussed the legislation that Kessler has supported for years. [...]

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Draft of new Thailand constitution offers protections for gay, transgender people

Friday, January 16, 2015
Thailand's Democracy Monument in Bangkok, depicts a representation of the 1932 Constitution sittings on top of two golden offering bowls above a turret.
The Constitution Drafting Committee, a group hand-picked by the military junta to draft a new charter after last year's coup, this week added the wording that will make it illegal to discriminate against gay and transgender people. [...]

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In reversal, Idaho GOP lawmakers now willing to discuss LGBT protections bill

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Idaho state capitol in Boise.
The bill, commonly called "Add the Words" (sexual orientation and gender identity) legislation by supporters and lawmakers, has been denied a public hearing for nine consecutive years. [...]

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Discrimination complaints spur Wyoming lawmaker to push for new protections

Saturday, January 10, 2015
wyoming
The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services has received about 40 complaints over the past four years from state residents alleging job discrimination based on their sexual orientation, an official said Friday. [...]

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Greensboro first N.C. city to pass LGBT-inclusive housing, other protections

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Greensboro-NC
The Greensboro, N.C., city council unanimously passed several new ordinance changes at their meeting on Jan.6, making it the first city in the state to prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination in housing, among other protections. [...]

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