National Center for Lesbian Rights

Date

Month: September 2011

Our Voices blog

Federal Bureau of Prisons Makes Major Change in Transgender Medical Policy

(San Francisco, CA, September 30, 2011)—A settlement was announced today in the case of Vanessa Adams, a Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) inmate at FMC Butner in North Carolina, who has gender identity disorder (GID). Adams sued BOP in order to receive appropriate treatment for her GID. Adam’s challenge to BOP’s treatment of transgender prisoners has resulted in BOP ending its so-called “freeze frame” policy in which treatment for any person with GID is kept frozen at the level provided at the...

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Adams v. Federal Bureau of Prisons

Vanessa Adams is a transgender woman who was diagnosed by Federal Bureau of Prison (BOP) medical professionals with Gender Identity Disorder (GID) in 2005 while she was incarcerated in a BOP prison. Over the next few years, she made at least 19 written requests asking for medical treatment for GID. The BOP denied all of her requests outright based on its so-called “freeze frame” policy in which treatment for any person with GID is kept frozen at the level provided at the time he or...

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NCLR Challenges Cozen O’Connor’s Refusal to Provide Death Benefits to Surviving Same-Sex Spouse

(San Francisco, CA, September 23, 2011)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a brief in federal district court in Pennsylvania yesterday arguing that private employers cannot hide behind the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to justify discriminating against same-sex spouses in private benefits plans. NCLR is representing Jennifer Tobits, the widow of Sarah “Ellyn” Farley, whose parents have challenged the couple’s marriage and now seek death benefits provided by...

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NCLR Responds to Execution of Troy Davis by the State of Georgia

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq. (San Francisco, CA, September 22, 2011)—Late last night, the State of Georgia executed Troy Davis for the 1989 murder of Savannah Policeman Mark MacPhail even though seven witnesses from his trial recanted their testimony and no physical evidence linked him to the crime, and despite petitions signed by hundreds of thousands of people on his behalf. Davis maintained his innocence up until his execution. Statement by NCLR Executive Director...

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NCLR Celebrates End of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq. (San Francisco, CA, September 20, 2011)—Today, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”—the discriminatory nearly two-decade old policy that bars lesbian, gay, and bisexual people from serving openly in the military—is officially over. In July 2011, President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen certified that the military was prepared for the implementation of repeal,...

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“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal Marks New Era

Tomorrow, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the discriminatory nearly two-decade old policy that bars lesbian, gay, and bisexual people from serving openly in the military, will officially be repealed tomorrow. Watch this video for my take on this historic day. Then, read the blog entry by Huong Nguyen, who last year chronicled her personal story about how “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” changed the course of her life. And you don’t want to miss NCLR Federal Policy Director Maya...

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NCLR Responds to Order Releasing Proposition 8 Federal Trial Video

Statement by NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter, Esq. (San Francisco, CA, September 19, 2011)—Today, U.S. District Court Chief Judge James Ware ordered the public release of the video recording of the historic trial in Perry v. Brown. In that trial, which took place in January 2010, two same-sex couples challenged Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that stripped the freedom to marry from same-sex couples in California. Following the trial, now-retired Chief District Judge Vaughn Walker...

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Finale: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: In the Olden Days

By Huong T. Nguyen NCLR Guest Columnist At the beginning of this school year, Rowan, my 6-year-old son, held court in his first-grade class about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). The unprompted conversation with his classmates went something like this: Rowan: My mom was in the military. Classmates: Really? Rowan: Yeah, but she was kicked out because she was gay. (His peers gathered around to hear his tale.) One classmate: No, I don’t believe you! Rowan: No, really, I saw her uniform! In the...

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NCLR Responds to North Carolina Constitutional Amendment Measure that Would Ban Marriage Equality

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq. (San Francisco, CA, September 13, 2011)—Today, the North Carolina Senate voted 30-16 to put a sweeping constitutional amendment before voters that would not only bar same-sex couples from marriage, but also deprive them of any type of legal recognition. On Monday, the bill, SB 514, cleared the House Rules Committee before it immediately moved to the full House, where legislators voted 75-42 to move it forward. The measure will go before...

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