National Center for Lesbian Rights


Month: August 2014

Our Voices blog

BIA Rules Domestic Violence is Grounds for Asylum

Though domestic violence is a serious problem in countries all over the world, not all governments offer help and assistance to survivors of domestic violence. And even in countries where survivors can seek help, LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence may not be able to come forward due to fear of persecution and discrimination by governments that do not recognize—or actively disparage—their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Yesterday, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), after a...


Utah Marriage Equality Plaintiffs Ask U.S. Supreme Court to Review Case

(Salt Lake City, Utah, August 28, 2014)—Today, the three couples challenging the State of Utah’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples asked the United States Supreme Court to accept the request of Utah state officials to review the case. In the brief filed today, the plaintiffs argue that Supreme Court review is required because same-sex couples in Utah and across the country urgently need to have the security of marriage wherever they work or travel to fully protect themselves and their...


The Schedules That Work Act

Involuntary part-time work. Unpredictable schedules. Fear of employer retaliation for taking time away to care for a sick child. These are all incompatible with reproductive justice, and yet this describes the current employment situation for many low-income workers. This is particularly true for women, since women are still disproportionately the primary caregivers, while also acting as the primary breadwinner in 40% of families. Moreover, women in the LGBTQ community are especially...


NCLR Representing Conversion Therapy Survivor who Alleges Sexual Abuse by School Leader After Coming Out

(DeSoto County, MS, August 27, 2014)—Yesterday, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) helped file a complaint with the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department on behalf of a former student of Bethel Baptist School in Walls, Mississippi who says he was sexually abused for three years by a teacher attempting to “cure” his sexual orientation. The former student, Jeff White, now 32, alleges that, shortly after coming out in 1996, his parents turned to the local church, which ran a school it...


NCLR Board Co-Chair: “NCLR Took a Homesick Nebraskan Stanford Law Student and Helped her Grow to Become the Co-Chair of the Board.”

As a first year law student at Stanford in 2006, I didn’t know much. I knew I wanted to help people. I knew I wanted to do something that helped queer people or people of color. And I knew I was homesick for my family I left back in Nebraska to start this new adventure in my life. When I walked into a small classroom to volunteer for NCLR, I had no idea that I would be able to learn so much and address all of my first year law student wants. At NCLR, I’ve found a place that helps both LGBTQ...


These Are Our Sons

The killing of Michael Brown has dominated the headlines and my thoughts over the past few days. An African-American 18-year-old dead with multiple gunshot wounds. The shots fired by a St. Louis police officer. The circumstances reeking of cover-up, profiling, and racism. My African-American 18-year-old son Julian has spent the last two weeks as an intern at Equal Justice Society (EJS), an organization for which I have been a long-time board member. Founded more than 14 years ago by my friend...


Reproductive Justice Means Fully Protecting All Families Under the Law

Hobby Lobby is not the beginning—nor  the end—of laws controlling the reproductive choices of oppressed groups and privileging the reproductive choices of a select few. Our legal system has a long and continuing history of restricting the reproductive choices of women, especially American Indian women, other women of color, low-income women, and people with disabilities. These restrictions have not been limited to access to birth control or forced sterilization. They have also targeted who can...


New Jersey Court Recognizes that Bonded Stepparents can Maintain Contact with Children they Have Raised

(Trenton, NJ, August 6, 2014)—Today, an appellate court in New Jersey issued a decision recognizing that a same-sex stepparent who has raised a child from a young age can seek custody or visitation with the child if it is in child’s best interests. The court recognized that every child has a strong interest in maintaining a relationship with a psychological parent, even if the child has two other legal parents, and even if the psychological parent was not married to one of the parents. The...


Sixth Circuit Hears Tennessee Marriage Equality Case

(Cincinnati, Ohio, Aug. 6, 2014)—Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard oral argument in Tennessee’s marriage equality case, Tanco v. Haslam. Attorney William Harbison argued on behalf of the three plaintiff couples that Tennessee’s failure to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples violates the federal Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process, as well as the right to travel between and move to other states. The plaintiffs filed their...


NCLR Responds to State of Utah’s Petition for Supreme Court Review of Tenth Circuit Decision Striking Down Utah’s Marriage Ban for Same-Sex Couples

(Salt Lake City, UT, August 5, 2014)—Today, the Utah state officials defending the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the United States asking the Court to review a June 2014 decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit striking down the Utah ban. The plaintiff same-sex couples in the case—Kitchen v. Herbert—are represented by Peggy Tomsic of the Salt Lake City law firm of Magleby & Greenwood, P.C., and the...


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