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Federal Legislation & Policy

Our Voices blog

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We Belong At the Table

When I went to law school, there was that initial reaction of: ‘Oh! There are already too many lawyers in Washington!’ But guess what, there weren’t (and still aren’t) many lawyers who are gay and Black, grew up poor, and were raised by a Black lesbian mom. I think the policy-making world needs more people […]

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Your Voice Matters: Write to Help Transgender Veterans

Providing healthcare to all of our nation’s veterans is the right thing to do.  Federal law requires the Veterans Administration (“VA”) to “furnish hospital care and medical services” to veterans. For most veterans, this means that after serving in the military they receive comprehensive medical care from the VA. Right now, transgender veterans’ healthcare coverage […]

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LGBTQ people must oppose Trump SCOTUS nominee

* This piece originally appeared in the Los Angeles Blade and the Washington Blade on July 12, 2018. On July 9, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Kennedy, who authored the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision and a number of other landmark LGBTQ rights cases, was an […]

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A Note for Those in Our Community Planning to Enlist in the Military

On January 1, for the first time in history, transgender Americans will be able to openly enlist in our nation’s military. This is an incredible moment, and one we can all celebrate. We know that many transgender Americans have been planning and preparing for over a year for this day.  And many others will now […]

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In Trump’s budgets, LGBTQ community gets shortchanged

On May 23rd, President Trump released his first full federal budget proposal. While many knew it would be bad, nothing could have prepared us for this. If enacted, this budget would be devastating. It slashes funding for vital programs and services that help struggling individuals and families afford the basics- food, housing, heating, education, and […]

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Rise Up!

“Perseverance in almost any plan is better than fickleness and fluctuation”—Alexander Hamilton When we adopted our NCLR tag line—”The audacity to fight for justice, the perseverance to win”—it was before President Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope” and years before the cultural phenomenon that is “Hamilton” ushered in a refreshed examination of Alexander Hamilton’s writings. […]

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Senator McCain: Do the Right Thing and Reject Taxpayer-Funded Discrimination

In 2014, President Obama issued an Executive Order prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ people by entities that contract with or receive grants from the federal government. This was an important milestone in expanding essential job protections for our community, and it is now under serious threat. Sweeping language in the House version of the National Defense […]

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We will fight on

By a slim margin, this nation has elected a demagogue who trafficked in bigotry, stoked racist hatred and normalized misogyny. The election of Donald Trump as President threatens basic principles of human dignity and justice. Many of our most cherished values—inclusion, honoring difference, embracing equality, dismantling oppressive systems—are in jeopardy, but we will not be […]

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HUD is the Latest Federal Agency to Step Up for Transgender People

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently issued a regulation that requires any homeless shelter that receives federal funding to treat transgender people equally. The rule expressly requires that shelters must house transgender individuals based on their gender identity. The rule is an important coda to the groundbreaking Equal Access Rule issued […]

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Right-Wing Media in Frenzy over NCLR’s #RuralPride Summits

We all know that LGBTQ people are everywhere, which is why NCLR launched our #RuralPride Campaign, which includes holding day-long summits in rural regions across the country to help LGBTQ folks connect with federal agencies, national organizations, and one another. For the past two years, we have worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and […]

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It’s a #SummerOfAction! Are you in?

We know that having one-on-one conversations about equality is one of the best ways to change hearts and minds. Our work around marriage showed us that when we reach out, listen, and share our stories we can create monumental change towards a more just community. Now we have an amazing new opportunity to create that […]

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Harnessing Our Outrage

“…Later that night I held an atlas in my lap ran my fingers across the whole world and whispered where does it hurt? it answered everywhere everywhere everywhere” —Warsan Shire   Two days after a sniper killed five Dallas police officers, this poem, by expat Somali poet Warsan Shire, who came to world’s attention when […]

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Tell #RNC2016 to #StopHate and Help End Conversion Therapy

The Republican National Convention will consider adding its support for conversion therapy—the dangerous practice of attempting to change one’s sexual orientation and gender identity—to the GOP platform when it meets July 18-21 in Cleveland. Please help us tell the #RNC2016 to #StopHate and protect LGBTQ people from the dangerous practice, which has been condemned by […]

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President Obama Designates Stonewall National Monument

Today, President Obama designated a new national monument at the historic site of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City, honoring the movement for LGBT  equality. The new Stonewall National Monument protects the area where LGBTQ people fought back against a police raid that took place on June 28, 1969 and helped start the fight […]

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New Federal Regulations Expand Overtime Pay Guidelines

This week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released new regulations expanding the number of workers who qualify for overtime pay. Starting this December, under the new overtime rules, salaried workers are eligible for overtime pay if they are paid $47,476 a year or less. The new rules also require the salary threshold to be […]

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ERPA Would Close Gap Between Disenfranchised and Law Enforcement

The End Racial Profiling Act of 2015 (ERPA), introduced by Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), is the latest iteration of a federal bill to eliminate racial profiling in law enforcement, including at the state and local levels. The bill defines “racial profiling” to include profiling on the bases of actual or […]

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Our Recommendations to FDA Blood Donation Policies for Gay Men and Transgender Individuals

Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Gender Justice, and Legal Voice submitted public comments in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) request for comments on its Revised Recommendations for industry practices on blood donation policies for gay men and transgender individuals. Although we are encouraged that the FDA is reconsidering its […]

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The EACH Woman Act Is a Necessity

Every journey starts with one step. In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a case brought by a same-sex couple, challenging Wisconsin’s refusal to issue them a marriage license.   For the next three years, other couples brought similar lawsuits seeking the freedom to marry, and all of them failed.  It was not until 1993, almost […]

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Supreme Court Rules on Title VII! Give now & Celebrate!