Month: July 2015

Our Voices blog

We Stand With Planned Parenthood

Here we are again. Surreptitiously gained footage targeting the most well-known name in access to reproductive healthcare – yes, Planned Parenthood. I know that many of us are tempted simply to sigh and shake our heads in exasperation, but instead we must remain more vigilant than ever about keeping their clinics—often the only resource for reproductive health care for low-income women and transgender people in many parts of the country–open. First and foremost, we must write or call our...


My Family. Race. And The Work Ahead

I don’t know about you, but the past three weeks have been a whirlwind. The June 26th U.S. Supreme Court ruling acknowledging our freedom to marry is a new high water mark for our movement. As this new reality settles in, I feel a profound gratitude to be here as a witness. It is the highest honor of my career that NCLR played a central role in winning marriage equality. You made this possible. Now it’s time to harness this new energy. Now is the time to capitalize on this momentum and our...


A Historic Final Rule Aimed at Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced last week an historic final rule aimed at affirmatively furthering fair housing. This final rule marks the first time since the Fair Housing Act (FHA) passed in 1968 that HUD has clarified this provision of the FHA, which requires the government and federally funded program recipients to take affirmative steps to achieve fair housing. That broad mandate has the potential to fulfill the promise and purpose of this civil rights era...


Joint Statement on the Sentencing of Michael L. Johnson

Counter Narrative Project, Positive Women’s Network (PWN-USA), HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights On Monday July 13, 2015, Michael L. Johnson was sentenced to 30½  years in prison (a concurrent sentence) after being convicted of “recklessly infecting a partner with HIV” and “recklessly exposing partners to the virus.” We are outraged by this sentencing and Johnson’s incarceration. This represents a failure of the justice system and a blatant...


Our Recommendations to FDA Blood Donation Policies for Gay Men and Transgender Individuals

Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Gender Justice, and Legal Voice submitted public comments in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) request for comments on its Revised Recommendations for industry practices on blood donation policies for gay men and transgender individuals. Although we are encouraged that the FDA is reconsidering its longstanding policy of indefinite deferral of men who have sex with men (MSM) from blood and blood products donation, the...


Full Marriage Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses To Be Available Nationwide

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced on July 9, 2015 that full federal marriage benefits will be available to all same-sex spouses, following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision affirming the freedom of same-sex couples to marry nationwide. These benefits include eligibility for Supplemental Security Income, compensation for spouses or families of a military servicemember who died while in the line of duty, and spousal benefits for retirement and disability funds. Many of these...


Nationwide Survey of DACA Recipients Shows Program’s Major Benefits

A nationwide survey released this week on recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows eligible unauthorized immigrants who entered the country as children to apply for work permits and relief from deportation, illustrates the program’s impact on national employment, wages and education. The survey shows the broad economic and societal benefits for those covered under DACA: 96 percent of respondents are currently employed or in school, and many are...


The EACH Woman Act Is a Necessity

Every journey starts with one step. In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a case brought by a same-sex couple, challenging Wisconsin’s refusal to issue them a marriage license.   For the next three years, other couples brought similar lawsuits seeking the freedom to marry, and all of them failed.  It was not until 1993, almost 20 years later, that momentum for marriage equality began to build. Throughout the years it took repeated attempts by resolute individuals and couples to stand up...


No Time for a Honeymoon

Today, America is closer to being a country that walks the talk of “Equal Justice Under Law.” After last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in our Tennessee marriage case (one of four cases before the Court), striking down discriminatory state marriage laws and affirming our freedom to marry, millions of families are more equal and secure.  Today, in every corner of this nation, every lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender person can take a deep breath and walk a little taller. The ground has...


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