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Remembering How Gay Lawyers Became Legal

Remembering How Gay Lawyers Became Legal

BY ANDY HUMM | The panelists in the ornate rotunda of the New York County Supreme Court were out gay and lesbian legal scholars, advocates, and judges at the highest echelons of the courts. But at the June 19 forum sponsored by the Richard C. Failla LGBTQ Commission of the New York State Courts — named […]

Protecting Trans People Without Saying So

Protecting Trans People Without Saying So

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | Talk about hiding the ball! On June 6, a unanimous four-judge panel of the New York Appellate Division’s Second Department, based in Brooklyn, confirmed a State Division of Human Rights (SDHR) order that had adopted a decision by an administrative law judge ruling that a Port Jervis employer violated the law […]

Another DOJ Loss on Transgender Military Ban

Another DOJ Loss on Transgender Military Ban

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | US Senior District Judge Marsha J. Pechman in Seattle, on June 15, rejected another attempt by the Trump administration to get her to lift her preliminary injunction against its proposed ban on military service by transgender individuals while officials appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Pechman’s opinion emphatically rejects […]

Longtime Gay Death Row Inmate’s Appeal Denied

Longtime Gay Death Row Inmate’s Appeal Denied

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | The Supreme Court has denied a petition from South Dakota gay death row inmate Charles Russell Rhines, who challenges the fairness of his death sentence in light of evidence that some jurors took anti-gay stereotypes into account while determining his sentence. In line with normal practice, the Supreme Court merely listed […]

Defendant Points to Third Man in 1993 Gay Murder

Defendant Points to Third Man in 1993 Gay Murder

BY DUNCAN OSORNE | Taking the stand in his own defense, the man who is accused of the brutal 1993 murder of James Hawkins testified that a third man armed with a knife entered Hawkins’ Chelsea home while he and Hawkins were partying there and that Hawkins was alive and uninjured when he fled the […]

Sessions’ New Asylum Posture & LGBTQ Refugees

Sessions’ New Asylum Posture & LGBTQ Refugees

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued an opinion toughening the standards for granting asylum to persons seeking to live in the US based on the claim they fled their home country because of persecution. The focus of Sessions’ June 11 opinion was cases where women seek asylum based on past […]

Citing Baker’s “Win,” Arizona Court Rejects Stationary Store’s Opt-Out Claim

Citing Baker’s “Win,” Arizona Court Rejects Stationary Store’s Opt-Out Claim

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | The precedent established by a Supreme Court decision can often depend on how lower courts interpret it. The quick takeaway from last week’s Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling was that it was a “win” for baker Jack Phillips, since the court reversed the discrimination rulings against him by the Colorado Court of Appeals […]

Two New Job Discrimination Petitions to SCOTUS

Two New Job Discrimination Petitions to SCOTUS

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | At the end of May, the US Supreme Court had received two new petitions asking it to address the question whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s Title VII ban on employment discrimination “because of sex” can be interpreted to apply to claims of sexual orientation discrimination. Altitude Express — which employed […]

Anti-Gay Colorado Baker Prevails in Narrow Ruling

Anti-Gay Colorado Baker Prevails in Narrow Ruling

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | The US Supreme Court ruled on June 4 that overt hostility to religion tainted the decision process at the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it ruled that baker Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop had unlawfully discriminated against Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins in 2012 by refusing to make them […]

Gavin Grim Prevails Over Former High School in Court

Gavin Grim Prevails Over Former High School in Court

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | Opening up a new chapter in Gavin Grimm’s continuing battle to vindicate his rights as a transgender man, US District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen, on May 22, denied the Gloucester County, Virginia, School Board’s motion to dismiss the latest version of the case the young man first filed in […]