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I Attended Creating Change 2017 And Came Back, Well, Changed

I recently had the privilege of attending the 2017 “Creating Change Conference” hosted by the National LGBTQ Task Force, which took place in Philadelphia last weekend. What an awesome sight in the City of LOVE! 

There were more than 4,000 attendees from across the country, and all were energized and ready to stand up and fight for LGBTQ rights, which will no doubt be under attack this year.

Feeling Frustrated? Here Are Some Ways To Channel Your Energy Into Positive Action

This is it. Today Donald J. Trump, a real estate developer and reality TV host with no political experience and a bevy of alarming views, is being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

This seemed unthinkable just a few short months ago, but it’s reality, and we have to deal with it.

Advocates and activists I know were certainly disappointed and even angry after the election. But none of them has turned away from activism. If anything, they’re more fired up than ever.

The State Legislatures Are Back In Session, And We’re Ready!

It’s January, which means state houses across the country are beginning to bustle. Legislators are coming back to the capitals to begin their sessions and governors are preparing their next moves. Georgia, Kentucky, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia are among the states that have already convened and in the next few weeks, dozens more join them. 

Going On The Offense Over Defense

The 2016 presidential election dominated the headlines for months. But even as that struggle played out, a political showdown was taking place in the U.S. Congress that could end with religious discrimination being enshrined in our nation’s laws.

The drama centered on the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill, which funds the Department of Defense and its military operations, is considered must-pass legislation. Thus, it often attracts amendments that promote socially conservative views on military issues.

A Reflection on Atlantic Live’s LGBTQ Summit: Why Religious Liberty and LGBTQ Rights Are Not at Odds

On Wednesday, along with some of my Americans United colleagues, I attended a LGBTQ summit hosted by Atlantic magazine’s Atlantic Live. The summit’s title, “Unfinished Business,” betrayed the organizers’ expectations of who would be our next president. What could have been a reflection on progress was instead a reminder of how much is now at stake and how much remains to be done.

No Moore Embarrassment

On Sept. 28, members of the Ala­bama Court of the Judiciary, a body that provides oversight of judges in the state, met for some unusual proceedings: The state’s chief justice, Roy S. Moore, was on trial – for the second time.

These Fundamentalists Are Not Going To Tolerate Legal Abortion And Marriage Equality. So There.

I opened up my Washington Post yesterday morning – yes, I still read a paper edition – only to see a full-page ad on page A7 headlined, “DECLARATION OF DEPENDENCE UPON GOD AND HIS HOLY BIBLE.”

“Oh, this ought to be good,” I thought.

Indeed, the ad didn’t disappoint. It stated that people have certain rights given to them by the Creator and among them “is the right to exercise our Christian beliefs as put forth in God’s Holy Bible.”

AU Opposes Religious Discrimination In Federal Grants

Americans United and 91 organizations sent congressional leaders a letter to express strong opposition to a House of Representatives bill provision that would authorize taxpayer-funded discrimination in federal contracts and grants.

“The government should not fund discrimination and no taxpayer should be disqualified from a job under a federal contract or grant because he or she is the ‘wrong’ religion,” the Aug. 25 letter asserted.

Federal Court Blocks Trans Rights Directive

A federal court in Texas issued a nationwide injunction on Aug. 21 blocking the Obama administration’s new anti-discrimination guidance for federally funded schools .

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor’s action suspends the guidance, which was issued in May by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. The rules would have prevented public schools from discriminating against students on the basis of sexual identity; it was fueled in part by the push to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that align with their gender orientation. 

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