President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order banning bias based on sexual orientation and gender identity by federal contractors.
Activists have called for such an order since Republicans in the U.S. House will not allow a vote on federal legislation that would ban discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace.
Two months after Mormon Kate Kelly led hundreds in a demonstration to shed light on gender inequality in the religion — defying church orders to stay off Temple Square — the founder of a prominent Mormon women's group is facing excommunication.
Kelly said she was shocked, dismayed and devastated to receive a letter earlier this week from the bishop of her congregation in Virginia informing her that a disciplinary hearing had been set for June 22 to discuss the possibility of her ouster. The leader of Ordain Women is accused of apostasy, defined as repeated and public advocacy of positions that oppose church teachings.
The American Medical Association this week adopted a new policy supporting the elimination of any government requirement that an individual must have undergone surgery in order to change the sex indicated on a birth certificate.
Across the country, state laws governing changes to a person's gender on a birth certificate is granted to applicants who change their sex by "surgical procedure" and provide a court order to that effect. Only a handful of states allow corrections to gender markers on birth certificates on the basis of "clinically appropriate treatment," as opposed to surgery, according to the AMA.
The nation's Roman Catholic bishops meeting on June 11 renewed a focus on abortion and gay marriage under Pope Francis.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted to make only limited revisions to a guide they publish every presidential election year on church teaching, voting and public policy. The bishops also reaffirmed their fight for broader religious exemptions to laws recognizing gay marriage and a requirement in the Affordable Care Act that employers provide health insurance covering birth control.
Call it a blitz.
Equality Florida Action PAC, the largest organization dedicated to electing pro-equality candidates in the state, has endorsed Democrat Charlie Crist for governor.
“The early endorsement reflects the urgency of electing a governor who will speed progress when it comes to equality, not stand in the way of fairness,” said Stratton Pollitzer, chair of the PAC. "Florida is at a critical moment in our struggle to end discrimination, and the next Governor will have a tremendous impact on the everyday lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in our state. Charlie Crist has taken a clear stand for equality and fairness and is delivering a message that will inspire the growing pro-equality majority in our state to stand on the right side of history.”
A complaint filed this week alleges widespread abuse of unaccompanied immigrant children at the hands of U.S. border officials. Human rights and civil rights groups say more than 100 children reported experiencing abuse and mistreatment while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the border enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
"Border Patrol agents are committing appalling abuses of children all along the border," alleged Ashley Huebner, managing attorney of the Immigrant Children’s Protection Project at the National Immigrant Justice Center. "Even worse, Border Patrol has been committing these abuses for years, and our organizations have notified the agency numerous times, yet nothing has changed. The recent increase in arrivals of young people at the border makes it especially urgent that CBP ensure all children in their custody are treated safely and humanely."
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today is staging a "Stroller Jam" of mothers and children and stollers outside Target Corps' annual shareholder meeting. The protest is to call attention to the fact that Target allows the open carry of guns in its stores.
In less than a week's time, more than 160,000 people have signed petitions asking Target Corp CEO John Mulligan to prohibit the open carry of guns and Moms chapters in a number of states will also begin delivering petitions to Target stores this week.
U.S. Circuit Court Judge Barbara Crabb issued a reluctant stay this afternoon requiring county clerks to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses in Wisconsin.
A group of 119 members of Congress, including U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, called on Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to stop any further negotiations with the government of Brunei Darussalam on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement until Brunei addresses its human rights violations — part of its newly adopted a penal code.
An ever-growing coalition of groups — including LGBT and women's rights organizations — is calling for the U.S. to stop trade negotiations until Brunei revokes its criminal code.
A Salt Lake City police officer who rejected an assignment riding a motorcycle at the front of last weekend's gay Pride parade and was put on leave has now resigned.
Salt Lake City police officials said this week they received written notification of the officer's resignation. The officer, whose name is being withheld, was put on leave last week after police said he refused to provide traffic control at Sunday's parade. Police said they would not tolerate bias and bigotry.
In her new book, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she pushed President Barack Obama to lift or ease the decades-long U.S. embargo on Cuba because it was no longer useful to American interests or promoting change on the communist island.
In excerpts of the book "Hard Choices" obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its release today, Clinton writes that the embargo has given communist leaders Fidel and Raul Castro an excuse not to enact democratic reforms. And she says opposition from some in Congress to normalizing relations — "to keep Cuba in a deep freeze" — has hurt both the United States and the Cuban people. She says the 2009 arrest by Cuba of USAID contractor Alan Gross and Havana's refusal to release him on humanitarian grounds is a "tragedy" for improving ties.