news & opinion
California Bill Will Ensure the Success and Well-being of Transgender Students
3.4.13—California Assemblymember Tom Ammiano has introduced the School Success and Opportunity Act, Assembly Bill 1266, co-authored by Senator Mark Leno and Senator Ricardo Lara. The bill will ensure that California public schools understand their responsibility for the success and well-being of all students, including transgender students, and will allow transgender students to fully participate in all school activities, programs, and facilities.
Kansas Supreme Court Rules to Protect the Interests of Children in All Families, Regardless of Parents’ Sexual Orientation
2.22.13—Today, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that when a same-sex couple has a child together, both parents can be fully recognized as parents under Kansas state law. The court explained that Kansas parentage laws apply equally to women and non-biological parents, and that courts must consider the reality of who a child’s parents are in order to protect the interests of children. The court also ruled that an agreement to co-parent and share custody can be enforceable.
Special Fund Helps LGBT “DREAMers” Get Work Permits and Relief from Deportation—LGBT Dreamers Helped So Far Share Their Stories
2.19.13—Nearly 200 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) undocumented young people have either received or are in the process of receiving two-year work permits and reprieves from the threat of deportation, thanks to a fund made possible by over four dozen LGBT organizations.
Leading Mental Health Professional Organizations, Health Care and Constitutional Scholars, and Social Services Providers Urge Appeals Court to Uphold California Law Prohibiting Dangerous Psychological Practices to Change Minors’ Sexual Orientation
2.8.13—A diverse group of prominent mental health professional organizations and social services providers, scholars of constitutional and health care law, civil liberties and religious organizations, the City and County of San Francisco, and individuals and family members filed ten friend-of-the-court briefs this week urging the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to uphold a 2012 California law that prohibits licensed therapists from trying to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender expression.
President Obama Unveils Inclusive Immigration Plan
1.29.13—Today, President Obama laid out a broad proposal for legislation that will overhaul U.S. immigration policy and replace it with a humane and workable system. In a much-anticipated address in Las Vegas, President Obama announced general principles he would like to see included in forthcoming legislation. The White House subsequently released a factsheet containing additional information and more detailed proposals, including a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and the substance of two pieces of legislation that have been particularly important for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) immigrants.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Groups Release Joint Statement on Immigration Reform as U.S. Senators Release Set of Principles for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
1.28.13—National lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights organizations, including the National Center for Lesbian Rights, today released a joint statement reiterating the call for a comprehensive immigration policy that ensures fair and just treatment for all those currently impacted by our failed immigration policy. It comes as a bipartisan group of U.S. senators today released a set of principles for comprehensive immigration reform, and as President Obama prepares to announce his own immigration plans tomorrow.
HUD Enforces LGBT Equal Access Rule
Statement by NCLR Policy Director Maya Rupert, Esq.
1.2.13—Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a settlement agreement in a claim it brought against Bank of America for discriminating against a lesbian couple applying for a federally insured mortgage loan. This settlement marks HUD’s first enforcement action taken under its recently enacted LGBT Equal Access Rule.
NCLR and EQCA Respond to Temporary Delay of CA Law Protecting LGBT Minors from Dangerous Practices that Try to Change Their Sexual Orientation
12.21.12—Today, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily delayed the start date of a new California law that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth from therapists who try to change their sexual orientation despite warnings by medical experts that these discredited practices put youth at risk of serious harm.
NCLR Responds to U.S. Supreme Court Decision To Take Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act Cases
Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell
12.7.12—Today, the United States Supreme Court announced that it will hear the challenge to California’s Proposition 8 and one challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Federal Court Gives Green Light to California Law Protecting Youth from Dangerous Practices by Therapists Who Claim to Change Sexual Orientation
12.4.12—Today, Judge Kimberly Mueller of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California denied a request by an anti-LGBT group to postpone the January 1, 2013 start of the state’s new law protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth from psychological abuse at the hands of state-licensed therapists who use dangerous practices to try to change their clients’ sexual orientation or gender expression. The ruling means that the law will go into effect as scheduled.
NCLR Responds to Federal Court’s Decision on California Law Protecting LGBT Youth from Dangerous Practices by Therapists Who Claim to Change Sexual Orientation
Statement by NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter, Esq.
12.3.12—Today, Judge William B. Shubb of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California issued an order temporarily exempting three plaintiffs from the enforcement of a new law preventing licensed therapists from trying to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender expression. The order applies only to the three plaintiffs and does not prevent the state from enforcing the law against other licensed mental health professionals. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2013.
case updates and program highlights
Doe v. Anoka-Hennepin School District No. 11 and E.R. v. Anoka-Hennepin School District No. 11
NCLR, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, and Culberth and Lienemann LLP represent a group of former and current students from the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota who experienced pervasive verbal and physical harrassment based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender expression.
Perry v. Brown
On May 22, 2009, two same-sex couples filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, challenging California’s Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to prohibit marriage by same-sex couples.
Victory! (U.S. Supreme Court)
Christian Legal Society v. Martinez
Like many public schools, the University of California - Hastings College of the Law allows law students to organize student groups that can apply for university funding and other resources for group-related events. To be recognized as an official student group, all student groups must abide by Hastings' policy on nondiscrimination. In 2004, the Christian Legal Society (CLS) filed a lawsuit against Hastings, arguing that the nondiscrimination policy violated the group's First Amendment right to discriminate against LGBT and non-Christian students. NCLR represents Outlaw, the LGBT student group at Hastings, which intervened to defend the University's policy. Hastings is represented by Ethan Schulman of Crowell & Moring LLP.
Greene v. County of Sonoma et al.
In a tragic case that touched the hearts of thousands across the country, NCLR clients Clay Greene and the estate of Harold Scull, Greene's deceased partner of 20 years, reached a settlement on July 22 resolving their lawsuit against the County of Sonoma and other defendants.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is a bill to create a federal law which would prohibit discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity, defined to include gender expression. It would provide critically-needed protection for people at serious risk of job discrimination. After years of hard work and thousands of conversations with law and policymakers, we are poised to pass an ENDA inclusive of gender identity in this Congress. In order to achieve that, senators and representatives must hear from their constituents that this bill is a high priority for the LGBT community. President Obama has identified passing this bill, inclusive of both sexual orientation and gender identity, as one of his civil rights agenda priorities.