Achieving LGBT Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

Views & Analysis

January 22, 2015

Ijpe DeKoe: Help Us Gain Same Protections Others Enjoy

By Ijpe DeKoe Tennessee Marriage Case Plaintiff Thom was my childhood sweetheart. We met in 1999 when we were in our late teens and working as camp counselors that summer. We knew there was something special in one another and maintained a close friendship for a decade before finally admitting that we were perfect together….

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January 15, 2015

The Cost of Awareness

The suicide of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn has prompted widespread media attention, including a focus on her description of how being sent to conversion therapy increased her sense of isolation and rejection. Now more than ever before, it is clear that there is an urgent need for more public discussion and education around the harms…

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January 6, 2015

Leelah: “My death needs to mean something”

“We are who we are, and there’s very little we can do to change our core. If we’re asked to change, there will be a chasm so deep inside of us that it will threaten our very life.” –Jodie Patterson, mother of transgender child The suicide last week of 17-year-old transgender girl Leelah Alcorn was…

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December 30, 2014

Your Gift Today Will Be Doubled

I want to share with you Vicky’s journey with NCLR—a journey that spans 11 years. Vicky is only one of the hundreds of LGBT immigrants that turn to NCLR desperate for help each year. Your gift today doubled by the Justice and Equality Matching Gift Challenge — will help us continue our vital work for…

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December 18, 2014

New “Know Your Rights” Guide Provides Vital Information for Transgender Prisoners

I received a letter from a prisoner a few weeks ago that still haunts me. The prisoner, a transgender woman of color, tried to remove her own testicles after she was repeatedly denied medical care for her gender dysphoria. While this might seem extreme to people outside of prison, these incidents of “self-surgery” happen regularly…

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December 4, 2014

Quality Legal Services for the Low-Income LGBT Community

Recently, a colleague at a legal aid organization told me about a client who came in for help because he had quit his job. It wasn’t until the attorney gave the client an overview of their legal programs, including their LGBT work, that the client opened up and said he had quit because he was…

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December 3, 2014

A Fair Opportunity for Transgender Student-Athletes in Minnesota

The advertisement from the Child Protection League Action that appeared in several newspapers across Minnesota last Sunday—attacking the Minnesota High School League’s proposed policy to address transgender student-athletes—was misleading and dangerous. The proposed policy has nothing to do with “male” students playing on girls’ teams. Rather, it has to do with transgender students—a tiny fraction…

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November 25, 2014

Will Ferguson Change Us?

The news that we’d been dreading for weeks finally came last night, and it was as devastating as I had expected. White Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson would not face criminal charges for his killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. For days the rumors had been swirling that the Ferguson Grand Jury would not…

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November 24, 2014

A Sunday Well Spent

Earlier this month, I had the chance to take the pulpit at Cathedral of Hope, a Dallas institution. I had not visited the Cathedral in more than 10 years, but when I received an invitation from my long-time friend and community hero, Reverend Jim Mitulski, who has been serving as the interim Senior Pastor, I…

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November 19, 2014

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today, International Transgender Day of Remembrance is being observed worldwide. It is day to honor the memory of transgender people we have lost to senseless acts of hatred and violence and to reflect on the transgender community’s incredible strength and resilience. Both globally and in the United States, transgender people—and transgender women of color in…

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