National Center for Lesbian Rights


Month: January 2014

Our Voices blog

Maine Supreme Court Supports Opportunities for Transgender Youth

Advocates for California Youth and AB1266 Hail Decision   Today, transgender students, their parents, and educators in California celebrated a Maine Supreme Court decision ensuring that all young people—including those who are transgender—should have the same opportunities to do well in school and graduate. The court held in a 5-1 ruling that a transgender student who lives her life as a girl can use the girls’ bathroom. On January 1st, California’s new School Success and Opportunity...


Federal Appeals Court Lets Stand California Law Protecting Youth from Dangerous Anti-Gay “Conversion” Therapies

(San Francisco, CA, January 29, 2014)—Today, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit let stand an earlier decision by a three-judge panel of the same court upholding Senate Bill 1172, a California statute enacted in 2012 that protects minors from dangerous and ineffective mental health treatments that falsely claim to be able to change a young person’s sexual orientation. The California Legislature enacted the law to prevent state-licensed mental health professionals from...


Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds That Government Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation Is Subject to Heightened Constitutional Scrutiny

(San Francisco, CA, January 21, 2014)—Today, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that attorneys in federal cases may not dismiss prospective jurors on the basis of the jurors’ sexual orientation. In its opinion, the court held that laws and government actions that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation are subject to heightened scrutiny under the U.S. Constitution and may not impose stigma or second-class status based on sexual...


Six Same-sex Couples and Equality Florida Institute File Lawsuit Seeking the Freedom to Marry in Florida

(Miami, FL, January 21, 2014)—Today, six same-sex couples and Equality Florida Institute filed a lawsuit in Florida state court in Miami seeking the freedom to marry. The lawsuit argues that Florida’s laws barring same-sex couples from marriage violate the United States Constitution by denying them the legal protections and equal dignity that having the freedom to marry provides. The couples are from Miami and the surrounding area. Four of the couples are raising children, and another couple...


Overcoming Injustice: CeCe McDonald and Our Culture of Violence

This week, CeCe McDonald was released early after being unjustly sentenced to forty-one months in prison in May 2012 after pleading guilty to reduced second-degree murder for the death of Dean Schmitz, one of the people who attacked her. In June 2011, CeCe was the victim of a racist and transphobic hate crime while on her way to a grocery store. She was viciously attacked by a group of people, including Schmitz. In the resulting confrontation, Schmitz was fatally stabbed. Despite being the...


Utah: This Time it’s Personal

January 2014 has barely begun and already we are off like a rocket. On December 20th, federal district court Judge Robert Shelby ruled that Utah’s Amendment 3 is unconstitutional and that same-sex couples could begin marrying there immediately. Our community, and everyone committed to justice for LGBTQ people, has been buzzing ever since. In our home, Judge Shelby’s ruling was particularly electrifying. I grew up in Utah, and I came to consciousness as a feminist and a lesbian at Weber State...


NCLR Responds to Utah Tax Commission Decision to Honor the Marriages of Same-Sex Couples

(San Francisco, CA, January 16, 2014)—Yesterday, the Utah State Tax Commission announced that it will permit same-sex couples who were legally married as of December 31, 2013 to file their state income taxes as married for the year of 2013. Earlier this month, the Governor announced that the State of Utah intended to stop providing married same-sex couples with the rights and protections of marriage under Utah law, pending the appeal of a federal district court decision. The case, Kitchen v....


Constitutional Law Expert David Codell Joins NCLR

(San Francisco, CA, January 13, 2014)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is pleased to announce that nationally respected litigator and constitutional law expert David Codell has joined NCLR as its Constitutional Litigation Director. Codell comes to NCLR with extensive experience in civil rights litigation and most recently served as Visiting Legal Director of the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law’s prominent think tank focusing on sexual orientation and gender identity law and...


Federal Government Will Recognize Utah Same-Sex Married Couples

(San Francisco, CA, January 10, 2014)—Today, the United States Department of Justice announced that the federal government will recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who married in Utah for purposes of federal benefits and protections, just as it recognizes the marriages of other legally married same-sex couples. More than 1,000 same-sex couples have married in Utah since U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled on December 20, 2013, that the state’s ban on marriage by same-sex...


NCLR Joining Utah Marriage Equality Case

(San Francisco, CA, January 9, 2014)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is pleased to announce that it is joining the law firm of Magleby & Greenwood, P.C., as counsel for the plaintiff couples in Kitchen v. Herbert, the lawsuit in which a federal judge recently struck down Utah’s ban on marriage by same–sex couples.  The State of Utah has appealed that ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.  NCLR will serve as co-counsel for the plaintiff couples in the...


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