National Center for Lesbian Rights


Month: March 2013

Our Voices blog

LGBTQ Groups Challenge Medicare’s Refusal to Provide Healthcare to Transgender Patients

(Washington, D.C., March 29, 2013)—Last week, several national LGBTQ groups and a cooperating attorney filed an administrative challenge to Medicare’s ban on medically necessary healthcare for transgender patients. Medicare, which provides healthcare to Americans ages 65 and older and younger people with certain qualifying disabilities, currently prohibits all forms of gender reassignment surgeries regardless of the individual patient’s diagnosis or serious medical needs. The National Center...


National Center for Lesbian Rights Celebrates 36th Anniversary

(San Francisco, CA, March 28, 2013)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is proud to announce that it will honor several heroes in the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality at its 2013 Anniversary Celebration—which marks its 36th year—on May 18, 2013 at San Francisco’s City View at Metreon. “This event is such an emotional evening—providing us with an opportunity to celebrate our successes and to pause for a moment to recognize all the brave individuals...


NCLR Responds to U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument in Defense of Marriage Act Case

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell (San Francisco, CA, March 27, 2013)—Today, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in a constitutional challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Supreme Court heard 50 minutes of argument concerning the Court’s jurisdiction to hear the case and one hour of argument concerning the constitutionality of DOMA. DOMA was enacted by Congress in 1996 and nullifies the marriages of gay and lesbian couples for purposes of...


Dispatch from Washington, D.C.: DOMA Doomed

So it’s over. Two days that are now part of LGBTQ history. Two back-to-back arguments at the United States Supreme Court, with most of the country paying attention—hearing about our lives, our relationships, and how discriminatory government policies and voter initiatives mark us as inferior, unequal, and vulnerable. In today’s case, the issue was section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which withholds federal protection and recognition from same-sex spouses. Once again,...


NCLR Responds to U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument in Proposition 8 Case

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell (San Francisco, CA, March 26, 2013)—Today, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in the constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8. The Court heard one hour of arguments from attorneys supporting and opposing the constitutionality of Prop 8. Prop 8 is the 2008 measure that stripped marriage equality from same-sex couples in California, and was struck down in 2010 by former Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker,...


Chief Justice Roberts Is My Cousin—Guest Commentary

Dear Friend of NCLR, Most of us have been through the experience of coming out to family. We approach it with some fear, worry, and trepidation. We hope for the best, expect the worst, and sometimes we get lucky, with our family embracing, accepting, and reaffirming their love for us. And sometimes we are not so lucky, and then we move on and hope for better moments as time passes. Many of us only have to worry about our family’s judgment of us. But what if your family member was in a...


Witness to History: My Morning at the Supreme Court

Sometimes you just have to sit back and say wow. I am writing this at a desk in our Washington D.C. office, but just a few hours ago, I was sitting in the courtroom of the United States Supreme Court, listening to oral argument in the challenge to California’s Proposition 8. I will get to my impressions of the argument and where I think we might be headed in our Prop 8 saga in a bit. First, though, I want to take a moment just to breathe and acknowledge the history-making nature of this...


I’m Heading to the Supreme Court!

In December I was pretty sure I would not be going. But by January, I knew I couldn’t miss it. I’m talking, of course, about oral argument in two of the most important LGBTQ cases ever to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court—the challenges to Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). As soon as the dates of the arguments were set—back-to-back on March 26 and 27—I could not imagine NOT being there. I have never witnessed a Supreme Court argument in person. Back in 1995, I tried to...


We Filed a Marriage Equality Suit in New Mexico Today!

Marriage equality is coming to New Mexico! I am delighted to let you know that today we, along with our colleagues at the local and national ACLU, filed a lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in New Mexico. We have been working towards this moment for quite some time in New Mexico, and we’ve spent many months preparing the strongest possible case. And, as you likely have heard, it just so happened that on Tuesday, Santa Fe Mayor David Coss asked county clerks to...


Same-Sex Couples File Lawsuit Seeking the Freedom to Marry in New Mexico

(Albuquerque, NM, March 21, 2013)—Today, two same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry filed a lawsuit in Albuquerque’s district court after they applied for and were denied marriage licenses by the Bernalillo County Clerk. The lawsuit claims that the New Mexico marriage statutes and New Mexico Constitution do not bar same-sex couples from marrying, and therefore the State of New Mexico should issue civil marriage licenses to any same-sex couple who applies for one. The couples are...


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