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Equality Act: Equality The Right Way

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) today introduced the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. It builds on our nation’s tradition of expanding civil-rights protections to ensure that more of our neighbors are protected from discrimination based on who they are.

N.C. Approves Changes To Controversial ‘Bathroom Bill’

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has signed what’s being considered a compromise bill to roll back the anti-transgender HB2 “bathroom bill” that sparked controversy nationwide.

The new bill passed the state Senate 32-16 and the House 70-48, and was signed by Cooper on March 30. The compromise, which Cooper said was “the best deal that we could get,” disappointed many pro-LGBTQ rights groups because it does not completely repeal HB2.

ADF Files Lawsuit On Behalf Of Pennsylvania Student Objecting To Transgender Policy

The Religious Right-affiliated legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a Pennsylvania teenager who objects to sharing a boys’ locker room with a transgender student.

The 11th-grade boy at Boyertown Area School District near Philadelphia said his privacy was violated and he was embarrassed after learning that a transgender boy was in the same locker room as he was while the plaintiff was in his underwear.

Kentucky Governor Signs Law Permitting Religion, Potential Discrimination In Schools

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R)  in March signed into law a so-called religious freedom bill purportedly intended to broaden student expression of religion in schools.

But LGBTQ advocates were quick to point out one provision of Senate Bill 17 could lead to student groups discriminating against LGBTQ students and others.

The bill states that no “religious or political organization (can be) hindered or discriminated against in the ordering of its internal affairs (or) selection of leaders and members.”

100 Days In, Trump’s Chipping Away At Religious Freedom

Tomorrow is President Donald J. Trump’s 100th day in office. Although he campaigned on his 100-day “Contract with the American Voter,” he no longer seems enthusiastic about the milestone. Perhaps that’s because he is facing criticism for failing to achieve any major legislative victories. One thing he has accomplished: He has caused real harm to religious freedom and has made promises to do even more.

AU And Allies: Michigan Funeral Home Can’t Use Religion To Justify Discrimination Against Transgender Employee

Aimee Stephens worked for six years at a Detroit funeral home. Then, she came out as transgender and announced that she would begin to live publicly as a woman, which would include dressing consistent with her gender identity.

Two weeks later, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes fired her. Why? The funeral-home owner said Aimee’s behavior contradicted his religious beliefs.

Americans United And Allies File Legal Brief In Support Of Transgender Woman Fired By Michigan Funeral Home

Religious-Liberty Organizations And Faith Leaders Argue Business Owner Can’t Cite Religious Beliefs To Justify Discrimination

Americans United for Separation of Church and State was joined by 76 faith leaders and 13 religious and civil-rights organizations in urging a federal appeals court to rule that a Michigan funeral home had violated a transgender employee’s civil rights when it fired her for wearing women’s clothing in accordance with her gender identity.

Why We’re Fighting Religion-Based Discrimination in West Virginia

Editor’s note: This post was written by Samantha Brookover and Amanda Abramovich of West Virginia, the two plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit Americans United and our allies filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. On their wedding day in February 2016, the high-school sweethearts were harassed and disparaged by a Gilmer County clerk who cited her religion-based opposition to marriage for same-sex couples.

Americans United & Fairness West Virginia File Lawsuit On Behalf Of W. Va. Same-Sex Couple Harassed By Gilmer County Clerk

Church-State Watchdog, Statewide LGBT Advocacy Group Say Gilmer County Officials Violated The Constitution By Subjecting Couple To Ill Treatment

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Fairness West Virginia and the law firm of Mayer Brown today filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a West Virginia same-sex couple that was harassed and disparaged by a county clerk who cited religious objections to issuing the women a marriage license.

High-school sweethearts Amanda Abramovich and Samantha Brookover visited the Gilmer County Clerk’s Office on Feb. 3, 2016, to obtain a marriage license. Abramovich and Brookover were accompanied by family members to celebrate the happy occasion.

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