National Center for Lesbian Rights


Month: January 2011

Our Voices blog

Making a Federal Case Out Of It

Desiree “Dez” and Sarah are high school seniors at Champlin Park High School (CPHS), which is in Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin School District. They’re also a couple, and both are out at school as lesbians, which takes a lot of courage given the conservative climate in their school district (this is Michele Bachmann’s district). There have been reports of serious anti-gay bullying, and a number of LGBTQ students in the area have committed suicide in the past year and a half. Every...


Lesbian Couple and School District Reach Agreement

Couple Will Be Allowed to Walk Together in High School Procession (Champlin, MN, January 29, 2011)—This is a joint press statement from Sarah Lindstrom, Desiree Shelton, their counsel, and the Anoka-Hennepin School District, Champlin Park High School, Principal Michael George, Superintendent Dennis Carlson, and their counsel. All parties are pleased to announce that we have worked together, collaboratively, to arrive at an arrangement for introductions of elected royalty that is respectful and...


Rights Groups File Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Anoka-Hennepin School District and Champlin Park High School

Motion for Temporary Restraining Order Also Filed After Failure to Rescind Discriminatory Actions (Champlin, MN, January 28, 2011)—The Southern Poverty Law Center, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Faegre & Benson, LLP have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Anoka-Hennepin School District and Champlin Park High School (CPHS) on behalf of two lesbian students, Desiree (“Dez”) Shelton and Sarah Lindstrom. The lawsuit, which addresses the school’s effort to...


Former NCLR Executive Director to be Appointed to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell (San Francisco, CA, January 26, 2011)—Today, President Barack Obama announced his intention to appoint Roberta Achtenberg, former Executive Director of National Center for Lesbian Rights from 1983-1990, to a key post in his Administration as a Commissioner on the United States Commission on Civil Rights. She will be the first out lesbian to hold such a position. Achtenberg is a corporate advisor in economic and workforce development policy,...


In Memoriam: Diane Alexis Whipple

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the horrific death of Diane Alexis Whipple. For those of you who may not know or remember what happened to Diane, it was an unimaginable nightmare. On the late afternoon of January 26, 2001, Diane was mauled to death by two enormous dogs in the hallway of her San Francisco apartment building as she was bringing home groceries to make dinner that evening for herself and her partner of seven years, Sharon Smith. The brutality and terror of the attack were...


NCLR Applauds Proposed HUD Rule to Ensure Equal Access to Housing for LGBTQ Community

Statement by NCLR Federal Policy Attorney Maya Rupert (San Francisco, CA, January 20, 2011)—Today, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced proposed changes to a number of its core housing programs, which would provide increased protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The proposed changes will: prohibit all lenders offering Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages from considering sexual orientation or gender identity in determining a...


Community Premier Set for Innovative Radionovela Designed to Reach Latino Families with Stories of LGBTQ Acceptance and Equality

The Spanish-language Radio Soap Operas to Air Across California on Radio Bilingüe Stations (Salinas, CA, January 18, 2011)—Proyecto Poderoso, the Family Acceptance Project and Radio Bilingüe are proud to announce the January 19, 2011 community premier of their radionovela series, a Spanish-language radio soap opera similar to those popular during the Golden Age of Radio and developed specifically to reach California’s Latino families with stories about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and...


NCLR Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Decision to Let Marriage Equality Stand in D.C.

  Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell (San Francisco, CA, January 18, 2011)—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a decision by the District of Columbia’s highest court that an initiative taking away the right to marry from same-sex couples cannot go on the ballot. Today’s ruling puts an end to the legal battle to secure marriage equality in our nation’s capital. In December 2009, the D.C. Council passed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Act of...


New Federal Hospital Visitation Rule in Effect Today, Providing LGBTQ Patients with Significant Protections

Statement by NCLR Federal Policy Attorney Maya Rupert (San Francisco, CA, January 18, 2011)—Today, a new federal hospital visitation rule goes into effect that provides significant protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people at all hospitals that receive federal funding. The rule was prompted by a memo that President Barack Obama issued on April 15, 2010, directing the Department of Health and Human Services to adopt new regulations that would require hospitals to grant...


NCLR Founder Judge Donna Hitchens Retires From the San Francisco Superior Court

(San Francisco, CA, January 13, 2011)—The Honorable Donna Hitchens, founder of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, has retired from the San Francisco Superior Court after two decades on the bench, where she developed a reputation as a compassionate judge and an innovative leader. “Donna’s vision and tenacity has transformed the legal landscape for lesbians and all LGBTQ people,” said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell. “As the founder of NCLR, she saw an enormous need...


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