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With Kavanaugh Pick, Progressives Fear Right’s Agenda

While Donald Trump nominated a conservative to fill the seat on the US Supreme Court left vacant by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement just 13 days ago that he would retire, he selected a federal appeals court judge who is less of a firebrand and more of a longtime functionary in official Washington. Comments (1)

Quarter Century Later, Conviction in James Hawkins’ Murder

Nearly six years after he was arrested in the case, a Manhattan jury convicted Gordon Francis on a single count of second-degree murder in the 1993 killing of James Hawkins. Comments (1)

Anthony Kennedy: The LGBTQ Community’s Accidental Gift

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who has served on the Supreme Court longer than any of his colleagues and authored the majority opinion in all four major gay rights victories there, was a third-choice pick by President Ronald Reagan in late 1987. In that sense, he was something of an accidental gift to the LGBTQ community. Comments (1)

SCOTUS Sends Florist Case Back to Washington State Court

On June 25, the Supreme Court finally acted on a petition by an anti-gay litigation group that sought review of a unanimous Washington State Supreme Court decision affirming a lower court ruling that found a florist had Comment

Dick Leitsch, Pre-Stonewall Gay Activist, Has Died

Dick Leitsch, who was president of the gay rights Mattachine Society of New York at the time of the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969 and provided an essential on-the-scene report for Mattachine’s newsletter, died on June 22. His death followed a year-long battle with multiple melanoma that was first diagnosed in his eye and spread to his liver and kidneys. Leitsch, a longtime resident of the Upper West Side, was 83 and died in Comment

Abel Cedeno Denied Protection Order

Abel Cedeno, the bullied Bronx gay teen charged with manslaughter in last September’s fatal stabbing of classmate Matthew McCree, is back in court on June 25. Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark is vigorously prosecuting him, but she is also responsible for prosecuting Kevon Dennis, McCree’s brother, who with co-defendant Jonathan Espinal is charged with armed robbe Comments (1)

Sessions’ New Asylum Posture & LGBTQ Refugees

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. Comments (2)

In Final Budget, City Ups Its Youth Shelter Commitment

Advocates for homeless youth are praising a surprise breakthrough that came as Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council reached final agreement June 11 on an $89.2 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 — an increase in a new city commitment to fund she Comments (2)

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

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 and that state’s Civil Rights Commission. Comments (2)

Heritage of Pride Takes Heat Over Parade Route Change

The organization that produces New York City’s annual Pride Parade and related events first considered a controversial new route for this year̵ Comments (22)

Parade Route Reductions Began With Cost Concerns

While Heritage of Pride (HOP) is saying that community complaints prompted it to alter the route of New York City’s LGBTQ Pride Parade and move the events associated with the parade out of the West Village, the original impetus for shortening all parades in the city came from an NYPD effort to reduce the costs of policing those events. Comments (2)

Anti-Gay Colorado Baker Prevails in Narrow Ruling

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 a wedding cake. Comment
New York City

Connie Kurtz, Lesbian Activist, Artist, Dies at 81

Connie (Constance) Kurtz, a lesbian activist and an artist who works included paintings, collage, and quilts, died in the home she shared with her beloved spouse, Ruth Berman, in West Palm Beach on May 27 after a long illness. Kurtz would have turned 82 in July. Comments (7)

Sheltering Homeless Youth 21-24 Gets $1MM in New City Budget

In the eight years since former Mayor Michael Bloomberg convened a special commission to study the hurdles facing runaway and homeless youth (RHY) in New York City, advocates organized as the Campaign for Youth Shelter have pushed the city to expand eligibility for New Yorkers without stable housing to Comments (3)

Gavin Grim Prevails Over Former High School in Court

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 July 2015. Comment

Heritage of Pride Rebuffs Demands on GOAL's Presence

By reaffirming its policy that New York City’s annual Pride Parade is a “free speech platform,” Heritage of Pride (HOP) effectively rebuffed a demand made by the Reclaim Pride Coalition that HOP bar members of the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) from marching in uniform in the parade and that it keep police v Comments (6)

De Blasio Moves on Safer Consumption Spaces to Curb Overdoses

A multi-year push in New York City to offer drug users a safe place for consuming their drugs seems destined for success after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his support for “overdose prevention centers.” Comments (1)

As de Blasio Dawdles on Safer Consumption Spaces, Health Advocates Block Broadway Traffic

Outraged that Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to sit on a city health department study into the efficacy of establishing safe places for drug users to pursue their high — facilities t Comment

Statewide Agenda Advances on Two Fronts

When the 25-year-old Empire State Pride Agenda, in late 2015, abruptly announced it was closing up shop — with only a vague pledge, that it never fulfilled, to keep its political action committee functioning — activists, advocates, and service providers in the LGBTQ commun Comment
Susie Day

Herman Bell and the Future of NYS Parole

Only a couple of years ago, the New York State Parole Board was a draconian gimmick to keep people in prison — regardless of how they had grown and changed over their years inside — until they died of systemic abuse or neglect or, if they lived long enough, old age. This was especially true for people convicted of killing police officers: “offenders” who could expect never to leave prison alive, because of the unchanging Comments (3)

Can Three Parents Make a Family in New York?

In an opinion issued on April 10, a New York Family Court judge confronted the question whether there can be a third parent — an adult with legal rights to seek custody and visitation of a child who already has two legal, biological parents. In a case involving a married gay male couple and the woman who agreed to have a child with them and share parenting, Judge Carol Goldstein concluded that the “non-biological father” in this triad has “standing” under New York’s Domestic Relations Law to seek custody and visitation of the child, but not necessarily to be designated as a “legal parent.” Comments (2)

Federal Court Orders Trial on Trans Military Ban

A federal court has rejected the Trump administration’s argument that the four existing preliminary injunctions issued last year against President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban are moot because they we Comment

David Buckel, Passionate LGBTQ Rights Litigator, Dead at 60

David Buckel, a former longtime attorney at Lambda Legal who had led the group’s Marriage Project and advanced LGBTQ rights on a broad range of fronts, was found dead in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park early in the morning on April 14, the victim of a suicide. Comments (1)

Nine Revolting Rebekah Mercers — In One Museum!

The Revolting Lesbians were back on the steps of the American Museum of Natural History on Friday, and they weren’t afraid to get kicked out or even have the cops called on them. In fact, that was partially their goal. Comment

Safe Consumption Delay Prompts City Hall Sit-In

Chanting “no more overdoses,” 75 angry New Yorkers packed the steps of City Hall on April 5 and then a smaller group staged a sit-in at the gates leading to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, forcing police to eject them. The demonstrators were making an emotional plea to the mayor that he rele Comment

Progressive Hell’s Kitchen Club Sticks with Cuomo

Right in Cynthia Nixon’s backyard, just weeks after the actor and activist announced her Democratic primary challenge to Andrew Cuomo, the Hell’s Kitchen Democrats — a progressive newcomer on the local political club scene — voted Thursday night to endorse the two-term governor for reelection. Comments (2)

Dead Youth’s Brother Allegedly Targeted Witnesses

At 3 p.m. on September 27, hours after a morning fight in a Bronx classroom that left Matthew McCree dead and the bullied gay teen Abel Cedeno, wh Comment

Trump’s Latest Trans Ban Aims to Sidetrack Lawsuits

In a move intended to evade existing preliminary injunctions while reaffirming in its essential elements President Donald Trump’s Twitter announcement from last July categorically prohibiting military service by tran Comment

Will New Trans Military Ban Sidestep Court Injunctions?

In a policy roll-out that may successfully sidestep existing court injunctions against President Donald Trump’s proposed ban on transgender military service, the White House on March 23 announced a policy, based on the recommendations of Defense Secretary James Mattis, that would bar service b Comment

On Due Date of Trans Military Service Policy, Trump Resists Court Order

With President Donald Trump’s new policy on transgender military service due to have taken effect today, the Department of Justice is essentially refusing to comply with a March 2 Comment

Council Votes to Shelter Homeless Youth Up to 24

By unanimous votes on March 7, the City Council approved three measures aimed at strengthening shelter options for homeless youth in New York, including a long contested move to raise the age limit for eligibility in youth shelters to include those 21 to 24 years old. Comments (4)

Abel Cedeno Allegedly Menaced by Dead Youth’s Brother

As Abel Cedeno was leaving Bronx Criminal Court on March 6 with his family and a police escort, he was threatened by Kevon Dennis, 18, the brother of Matthew McCree, whom Cedeno fatally stabbed in their Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation classroom last September while, he has said, defending himself against pummeling by McCree and Ariane Laboy, a friend Comment

Meth Deaths Surging Again in New York

While still well below overdose deaths attributable to opioids, methamphetamine overdose deaths in New York City rose by more than 200 percent in 2015 and 2016 compared to the number of such deaths in 2013. Comments (1)

Big Gay Rights Win in US Second Circuit

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, with jurisdiction over federal cases from New York, Connecticut, and Vermont, ruled on February 26 that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination because of an individual’s sex, also makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against a person because of their sexual o Comments (1)

Gay Against Guns Target Key NRA Funder and Its GOP Tools

In the wake of the latest US gun massacre that killed 17 students and teachers in Parkland, Florida, more than a hundred demonstrators joined Gays Against Guns (GAG) to march on Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater Thursday night, protesting the plutocrat who is one of the big funders of the NRA’s massive “dark money” political spending. Comments (5)

Both Sides in Abel Cedeno Case Claim Vindication in New Video Evidence

A brief cell-phone video released two weeks ago captures (above) a harrowing September 27, 2017 assault on gay student Abel Cedeno in his Bronx high school class by Matthew McCree, joined by his friend Ariane Laboy, as Cedeno defends himself with a knife, fatally wounding McCree and slashing Laboy. Comment

Mayor Presents Increased Budget With Big Asterisk

While Mayor Bill de Blasio is proposing to increase spending by roughly $2 billion in the city fiscal year that begins on July 1, cuts in federal and state support for the city may force the mayor to curtail those plans. Comments (4)

On Volatile Day, Immigration Activists Descend on Varick Street ICE Office

PHOTO ESSAY BY DONNA ACETO, REPORTING BY PAUL SCHINDLER | Even as congressional leaders scrambled Thursday to forge an agreement on the fate of roughly 800,000 Dreamers, federal agents in Manhattan from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained a leading immigration rights advocate, Ravi Ragbir, as he did a routine check-in with government officials. When he Comments (6)

DNA Vindicates Lesbian Rape Victim Smeared by Daily News

Nearly 24 years after a lesbian was raped in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and then called a liar and a hoaxer in the pages of the New York Daily News by columnist Mike McAlary, the NYPD is reporting that it linked the DNA found in that case to a man who is serving what is effectively a life s Comment

Corey Johnson Faces the Daunting Budget Realities of Trump’s America

As Corey Johnson assumes the role of speaker of the City Council, he has made some important and expensive promises that multiple constituencies are expecting him to keep. But he is also facing the prospect of cuts in federal and state dollars that could make fulfilling those promises difficult. Comments (1)

Mr. Speaker

One thing was said over and over again about Corey Johnson as the City Council convened to elect its new speaker — the 35-year-old works hard. Comments (3)


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