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Boy Scouts of America to allow girls to join, earn Eagle Scout rank In The News 

Boy Scouts of America to allow girls to join, earn Eagle Scout rank

(Reuters) In a historic shift, the Boy Scouts of America will let girls enroll in Cub Scouts starting next year and allow them to eventually earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout, the organization said on Wednesday. The unanimous decision by the 100-year-old group’s board of directors came after years of requests from families and girls, it said, though the announcement prompted a largely negative reaction on social media. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences…

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U.S. anti-bias law does not protect transgender  workers: Justice Department In The News 

U.S. anti-bias law does not protect transgender workers: Justice Department

(Reuters) The U.S. Department of Justice has reversed course on whether federal law banning sex discrimination in the workplace provides protections for transgender employees, saying in a memo that it does not. The memo sent to U.S. Attorneys’ offices on Wednesday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions says Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 only prohibits discrimination on the basis of a worker’s biological sex, and not their gender identity. Sessions rescinded a Justice Department memo from 2014 that said Title VII does protect transgender people, a position…

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Microsoft, Apple among  companies urging U.S.  Supreme Court to weigh  gay workers’ rights In The News 

Microsoft, Apple among companies urging U.S. Supreme Court to weigh gay workers’ rights

(Reuters) Dozens of companies including Alphabet Inc’s Google, Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, and Viacom Inc have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to address whether a law banning sex discrimination in the workplace provides protections to gay employees. A group of 76 companies submitted a brief to the court saying a split among lower courts on that question had created uncertainty for employers and gay workers. The companies asked the Supreme Court to take up the case of Jameka Evans, a former security guard at a Georgia hospital who says she…

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Supreme Court asked to consider anti-bias protections for gay workers In The News 

Supreme Court asked to consider anti-bias protections for gay workers

(Reuters) LGBT group Lambda Legal asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether discrimination against gay workers is a form of unlawful sex bias, teeing up what could be a monumental case for the gay rights movement. The group filed a petition for certiorari on behalf of Jameka Evans, a former security guard at Georgia Regional Hospital who says she was harassed and forced to quit her job because she is gay. A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in March dismissed her case, saying it…

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Publisher of High Times acquires LGBT publications In The News 

Publisher of High Times acquires LGBT publications

(Reuters) Oreva Capital, the Los Angeles-based investment firm that recently bought marijuana enthusiast magazine “High Times,” has funded a management buyout of a handful of media brands catering to the gay community. Oreva has backed a management-led buyout of Here Publishing, which owns such titles as “The Advocate” and “Out,” with plans to grow its online and events business, Oreva CEO Adam Levin told Reuters in an interview. Oreva is buying Here Publishing, which it is rebranding “Pride Media Inc,” at a time when many print publishers are struggling with…

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Transgender members in U.S. military may serve until study completed: Mattis In The News 

Transgender members in U.S. military may serve until study completed: Mattis

(Reuters) U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said current policy regarding transgender personnel serving in the military would remain in place until he advises President Donald Trump on how to implement his directive on a transgender ban. Mattis said in a statement he would set up a panel of experts serving in the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to provide recommendations on implementing the ban. He said he would advise the president after the panel reports it recommendations, and “in the interim, current policy with respect to currently serving members…

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Trump administration backs baker who refused to make cake for gay couple In The News 

Trump administration backs baker who refused to make cake for gay couple

(Reuters) The Trump administration filed papers at the U.S. Supreme Court backing a Christian baker in Colorado whom a state court ruled against for declining to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. In the brief, Acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall said Jack Phillips should be exempt from Colorado’s anti-discrimination law because making custom cakes is a form of free expression protected under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. The high court agreed in June to hear Phillips’ appeal of the state court ruling that his refusal to make the…

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Two lawsuits challenge Trump transgender military service ban In The News 

Two lawsuits challenge Trump transgender military service ban

(Reuters) Civil rights groups filed two new lawsuits challenging President Donald Trump’s controversial ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military. The lawsuits, filed in federal courts in Seattle and Baltimore, say the ban issued on Friday violated U.S. constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. Trump had announced the ban in a series of tweets on July 26, reversing a policy of his predecessor, Barack Obama. On Aug. 9, five transgender service members filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington D.C. asking a judge to block…

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international : Hate crimes against LGBT people in UK almost double in 4 years (survey) In The News 

international : Hate crimes against LGBT people in UK almost double in 4 years (survey)

LONDON (Rueters) Hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Britain have almost doubled in the past four years, campaigners said, with one in five people targeted. A newly-released survey of 5,000 LGBT people by pollster YouGov found 16 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual respondents reported experiencing hate crimes, such as abusive language, threats and violence, in the past year, up from 9 percent in 2013. Transgender people were not included in the 2013 poll. Gay rights group Stonewall described the trend as “alarming”, with these…

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International – Australian ad draws fire for linking gay marriage to boys in dresses In The News 

International – Australian ad draws fire for linking gay marriage to boys in dresses

Australia (Rueters) An Australian campaign ad that claims same-sex marriage laws would lead to school children acting out gay relationships and boys wearing dresses in class drew widespread fire. The advert was aired by the Coalition for Marriage, a group that opposes equal marriage laws. It said that legalizing same-sex marriage would usher in education programs that rob parents of the right to choose how children learn about sexuality. The adverts – the first national televised campaign for the ‘No’ vote in a September referendum on same-sex marriage – misled…

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INTERNATIONAL – Chile’s President Bachelet sends gay marriage bill to Congress In The News 

INTERNATIONAL – Chile’s President Bachelet sends gay marriage bill to Congress

SANTIAGO (Reuters) Chilean President Michelle Bachelet sent Congress a bill that would legalize gay marriage, a move that follows a string of liberal reforms in one of Latin America’s most conservative nations. In 2015, Chile’s Congress approved same sex civil unions after years of legislative wrangling. In March, Bachelet, a center-left politician, pledged to send a full marriage bill to legislators before the end of the year. “We do this with the certainty that it is not ethical nor fair to put artificial limits on love, nor to deny essential…

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U.S. Justice Department under Jeff Sessions says anti-bias law does not protect gay workers In The News 

U.S. Justice Department under Jeff Sessions says anti-bias law does not protect gay workers

Reuters – The Trump administration told a U.S. appeals court that federal law does not ban discrimination against gay employees, a sharp reversal of the position former President Barack Obama took on a key civil rights issue. The U.S. Department of Justice, in a friend of the court brief, told the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Wednesday that Congress never intended Title VII, which bans sex discrimination in the workplace, to apply to gay workers. The department also said the court owed no deference to the…

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In first, U.S. pro teams unite to bolster LGBT inclusion In The News 

In first, U.S. pro teams unite to bolster LGBT inclusion

Reuters – Five big Seattle professional sports teams were poised to kick off a mass offensive against LGBT discrimination in sports, a first initiative of its kind in the United States. Seattle’s Mariners, Seahawks, Sounders FC, Storm and Reign said they had coordinated back-to-back matches and other activities this week to mark LGBT Pride Month, a celebration of LGBT people. The first pride match will pit the Sounders, a soccer club that competes in the top men’s soccer league in the United States and Canada, against Orlando City SC. Other…

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Judge refuses to block Mississippi anti-LGBT law In The News 

Judge refuses to block Mississippi anti-LGBT law

(Reuters) – A federal judge in Mississippi has allowed to stand a new state law that permits people to deny wedding services to same-sex couples based on religious objections. U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves argued in his four-page order that since none of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs would be harmed by the law in the immediate future, a preliminary injunction would be inappropriate. “Here, none of the plaintiffs are at imminent risk of injury,” Reeves wrote. The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi said the measure unconstitutionally discriminates against lesbian, gay,…

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Florida LGBT rights push reflects changing times In The News 

Florida LGBT rights push reflects changing times

Reuters – A Republican, a Democrat and a lobbyist for leading businesses in Florida huddled this spring at the state Capitol, mapping out the next move in a campaign to enact the first statewide LGBT anti-discrimination law in the U.S. South. A record number of Republican lawmakers had thrown their support behind proposed protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and hundreds of companies backed the cause. While the bill has so far fallen short with time running out on the legislative session, its lead backers were heartened by…

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