National Center for Lesbian Rights


Month: November 2014

Our Voices blog

Will Ferguson Change Us?

The news that we’d been dreading for weeks finally came last night, and it was as devastating as I had expected. White Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson would not face criminal charges for his killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. For days the rumors had been swirling that the Ferguson Grand Jury would not issue an indictment of Wilson, but some small part of me remained hopeful. I was so wishing the script would be different this time around. But, no. Once again a black...


NCLR’s Statement on Grand Jury Decision to Not Indict Michael Brown’s Shooter

(San Francisco, CA, November 24, 2014)—Today, a Ferguson grand jury decided not to bring criminal charges against Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, this summer in Ferguson, Missouri. The decision comes after months of deliberation where a grand jury was impaneled to consider possible criminal charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to first-degree murder. The facts surrounding the shooting have been the subject of...


A Sunday Well Spent

Earlier this month, I had the chance to take the pulpit at Cathedral of Hope, a Dallas institution. I had not visited the Cathedral in more than 10 years, but when I received an invitation from my long-time friend and community hero, Reverend Jim Mitulski, who has been serving as the interim Senior Pastor, I jumped at the chance to return. While I’m no longer a part of any religious community, I see every day the difference that faith communities like COH make in the lives of people, including...


NCRL Responds to President Obama’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions

(Washington, DC, November 20, 2014)—Tonight, President Obama announced a series of executive actions that will provide work permits and temporary relief from the threat of deportation for close to five million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. “We welcome today’s announcement as a first step towards repairing a broken and discriminatory immigration system that has victimized undocumented immigrants and their families, including at least 267,000 undocumented people...


Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today, International Transgender Day of Remembrance is being observed worldwide. It is day to honor the memory of transgender people we have lost to senseless acts of hatred and violence and to reflect on the transgender community’s incredible strength and resilience. Both globally and in the United States, transgender people—and transgender women of color in particular—are assaulted and often murdered with impunity, simply because of who they are.  In most cases, these crimes are not...


Working to Ensure the Safety of Transgender Individuals

Interacting with law enforcement can be stressful for anyone. This is especially true of transgender individuals who all too often face discrimination, inappropriate comments, and hostility.  While most law enforcement personnel want to do what is right, we hear from many transgender people about the demeaning and degrading experiences they have had while under police custody. That’s why the National Center for Lesbian Rights, along with several other national and local LGBTQ groups, worked...


Samuel Brinton: “A Therapist Told Me I Was Sick”

I never imagined I would be in Geneva, Switzerland, but last week there I was. I was no tourist, I was there to testify before a United Nations Committee. To say this was surreal would be a vast understatement. In the two minutes that I was given to address the U.N.’s Committee Against Torture, I fought back tears as I described how a psychotherapist, at the request of my parents, tried to change my sexual orientation through conversion therapy when I was 10 years old. You can help NCLR’s...


Our Goal—End Conversion Therapy in Five Years

No child should ever be hurt because of who they are. That’s why we started the #BornPerfect campaign to end conversion therapy across the country over the next five years. We need your financial support to make it happen. All attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through conversion therapy damage LGBTQ youth, causing depression, substance abuse, and even suicide. Conversion therapy has been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization in the...


Federal Court Denies South Dakota’s Motion to Dismiss Marriage Equality Lawsuit

(Sioux Falls, SD, Nov. 14, 2014)—South Dakota’s marriage equality lawsuit is moving forward after United States Judge Karen Schreier rejected the State’s motion for the case to be dismissed on Friday. The Court heard arguments in Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard on October 17 in Sioux Falls. The Attorney General’s Office argued that a 2006 8th Circuit Court of Appeals case required dismissal. Plaintiffs’ attorney Joshua Newville argued that case isn’t on point and that the controlling decision is United...


NCLR Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Tennessee Marriage Equality Case

(Nashville, TN, Nov. 14, 2014)—Today, the three same-sex couples challenging the State of Tennessee’s laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage and refusing to recognize their out-of-state marriages asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that state marriage bans do not violate the U.S. Constitution. In a 2-1 decision on Nov. 6, 2014, the Sixth Circuit upheld marriage bans in Tennessee and three other states—the first time a federal...


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