National Center for Lesbian Rights

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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High Court Strikes Massachusetts Abortion “Buffer Zone”

Today, the Supreme Court held that a Massachusetts law creating a 35-foot buffer zone for patients at clinics that provide abortions was too broad, but affirmed that laws in line with the Federal Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act are valid, and implied that smaller anti-harassment zones could be valid. Buffer zones are important protectors of patient […]

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A Year Like None Other: NCLR’s Litigation Work

Ever since NCLR’s founding, we have been at the forefront of some of the most important legal cases in the history of the LGBTQ movement, from winning the freedom to marry in California, to securing critical protections for LGBTQ parents in courts around the country, and all the way to the steps of the U.S. […]

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The Loss of Family

I was sad all day yesterday. It was only in the moment of hearing the news of Dr. Maya Angelou’s death that I realized how much her living had meant to me. I never met Dr. Angelou, but like so many of us, when we heard this news, I felt like I had lost a […]

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Sexual Assault in the LGBTQ Community

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This month is a reminder that through a combination of stigma and myths, sexual assault in the LGBTQ community is often rendered invisible or dismissed outright, despite CDC statistics that show the sexual assault rate for LGBTQ individuals is comparable or higher than the sexual assault rate for heterosexual […]

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What Hobby Lobby Can Mean for the LGBTQ Community

Today, March 25, 2014, the Supreme Court will hear argument in yet another case that could dramatically affect LGBTQ people, but this time it’s not about marriage equality. In Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., a for-profit business is challenging its obligation under the Affordable Care Act to provide employees with access to birth control. […]

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Help Close Discrimination Loopholes in California

It may seem like common sense that the California Supreme Court—our state’s foremost judicial body—would ban judges from belonging to groups that discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion and sexual orientation. While this has in fact been the case since 1996, the state high court made an exception to this ban for nonprofit […]

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Take a Stand Against Hate in Arizona

Even as we celebrate a new breakthrough every week, we must be vigilant for threats to our community. Case in point—Arizona. This week, the Arizona legislature passed a bill which would allow businesses to refuse service, based on their religious beliefs, to LGBTQ people or anyone else. The bill is patently unconstitutional, but we cannot […]

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New Report: LGBTQ Workers of Color are Among the Most Disadvantaged

A new report released today shows that LGBTQ workers of color are among the most disadvantaged in the country, facing high rates of unemployment and poverty due to workplace discrimination, unequal job benefits and taxation, and unsafe and under-resourced U.S. schools. The report—A Broken Bargain for LGBTQ Workers of Color—examines how LGBTQ workers of color […]

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“B” Visible

This week, the White House hosted a historic roundtable discussion on the issues facing bisexual people. In the first-of-its-kind meeting, administration officials gathered activists and community members to explore the many policy concerns that are particularly relevant to bisexual individuals. Bisexuals—the “B” in LGBT—face unique issues that are sometimes overlooked in LGBTQ advocacy efforts. Bisexuality […]

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Our Summer of Landmark Victories!

NCLR has been on a tear the past several weeks. Each week, we’ve reported a great new success—our win for high school student Dynasty Young in Indiana, our federal court victory in Pennsylvania for surviving same-sex spouse Jennifer Tobits, our historic partnership with the Department of Justice on behalf of a transgender student in Arcadia, CA, and this […]

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Love Wins: A Widow’s Marriage is Vindicated

When I first heard Jennifer’s story, I was angry and shocked. Not shocked in the sense of “how could something like this happen?”—I’ve been doing this work too long to be that naïve—but shocked in the way we are when faced with cruelty and a lack of common decency. Jennifer Tobits and Sarah “Ellyn” Farley […]

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We Won for Dynasty!

In the same week that we celebrated the end of Proposition 8 and Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), NCLR was on the brink of settlement in a key case for one of our most inspiring clients. Dynasty Young is gay, African-American, and proudly gender non-conforming. What happened to him is appalling […]

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Access to Emergency Contraception Matters for LGBTQ Youth

This week, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) joins our allies in the reproductive justice movement urging Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to remove harmful restrictions on emergency contraception (EC).  The LGBTQ community – especially our young people – need access to emergency contraception without political roadblocks. Please lend your voice […]

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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 […]

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Protest Chick-Fil-A’s Hate with a Kiss! Or Two…

This Friday, LGBTQ folks across the country will be gathering outside Chick-Fil-A restaurants and kissing up a storm as part of National Same Sex Kiss Day, aimed at protesting recent anti-LGBTQ comments by a Chick-fil-A leader and the outpouring of support from restaurant chain-goers. And what better way to protest? Visibility is a powerful answer to […]

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