Federal Legislation

Two Years after DADT’s End, Work Remains to Ensure Transgender Servicemembers Can Serve Openly

Two years ago today, on September 20, 2011, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was officially repealed. The discriminatory and stigmatizing 1994 policy that barred lesbian, gay, and bisexual servicemembers from serving openly in the military has had a damaging impact on the strength of the armed forces during one of the most dangerous military times in a generation. As a result of DADT, more than 13,500 women and men were discharged from the military because of their sexual...


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...


NCLR Responds to U.S. Supreme Court Decision To Take Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act Cases

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell (San Francisco, CA, December 7, 2012)—Today, the United States Supreme Court announced that it will hear the challenge to California’s Proposition 8 and one challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Proposition 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, who found that the measure discriminates against...


NCLR Applauds Congresswoman Speier’s Resolution to Protect LGBTQ Youth from Harmful Attempts to Change their Identity

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq. (Washington, D.C., November 28, 2012)—Today, United States Congresswoman Jackie Speier introduced the landmark “Stop Harming Our Kids” resolution, which calls on states to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth from dangerous and discredited practices by mental health professionals who falsely claim to be able to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. These practices have been rejected as ineffective and...


President Obama’s Record on LGBTQ Issues

The President’s announcement that he supports marriage equality has encouraged other high- profile leaders and organizations to express their support for marriage equality, most notably the NAACP, which decided in a near-unanimous vote to pass a resolution officially supporting marriage equality. The President also adds his voice to a growing chorus of people of faith who embrace equality not in spite of their religious beliefs, but because of them. It would be tempting to see this moment as...


NCLR Responds to Supreme Court Decision Upholding the Affordable Care Act

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq. (San Francisco, CA, June 28, 2012)—Today, in a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and ruled that the individual mandate, which requires most individuals to buy health insurance, is constitutional. The Court upheld the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility, but also ruled that states that do not comply with the expanded Medicaid provisions cannot be denied existing...


Federal Court of Appeals Strikes Down Anti-Gay Defense of Marriage Act

Statement by NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter, Esq. (San Francisco, CA, May 31, 2012)—Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. The court held that DOMA, which prevents the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples even in states where those marriages are valid, violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws. The ruling came in a case...


NCLR Responds to Congressman Barney Frank’s Retirement After 30 Years of Service

Statement by NCLR Federal Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq. (San Francisco, November 28, 2011)—Today, Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass) announced he would not seek reelection in 2012, which signals an end to a 16-term congressional career that has spanned 30 years. Frank was first elected in 1981, and in 1987, became the first sitting member of Congress to publicly come out as gay. Since that time, he has become a leading lawmaker advancing the rights of the LGBTQ community. He has been...


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