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Friday August 22nd 2014



Pride Agenda endorses Cuomo after his affirmation of support for GENDA passage

-1The Empire State Pride Agenda today announced its endorsement of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for reelection as Chief Executive of New York State, as well as additional endorsements for statewide offices.

Governor Cuomo reaffirmed in a letter to the Pride Agenda his “deep commitment” to protections for transgender New Yorkers, stating that, “the State Human Rights Law leaves some of New York’s most vulnerable citizens, including transgender New Yorkers, without some basic protections. To ensure that the Human Rights Law extends protections to some of those who need it most, we should amend the law to provide protections based on ‘gender identity or expression,’ which will prohibit ongoing discrimination and harassment.”

The letter goes on to acknowledge that transgender New Yorkers face “pervasive discrimination in all areas of life,” without such protections, and adds that Governor Cuomo is “reaffirming my commitment to the progressive ideals and sense of equality that we have advanced and continue to hold dear. In this regard, I look forward to continuing my pledge to have our laws and policies reflect the core values of New Yorkers; equality and fairness for all.”

The full letter from Governor Cuomo can be read at:

Other Statewide Endorsements Include:

·       Kathy Hochul, Lieutenant Governor (D)

·       Eric Schneiderman, Attorney General (D)

·       Tom DiNapoli, Comptroller (D)


Supreme Court stays Virginia marriage ruling

6a00d8341c730253ef01a3fd340715970b-800wiToday the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay of the Fourth Circuit’s July 28 ruling, which held that Virginia’s denial of the freedom to marry to same-sex couples is unconstitutional.

The Fourth Circuit had declined to stay, or freeze, its decision, but today’s procedural action by the Supreme Court means that same-sex couples will continue, for now, to be denied the freedom to marry in Virginia as the case makes its way through the appeals process.

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

“This Supreme Court’s stay of yet another freedom to marry ruling underscores the urgency of the Court’s granting a full review and bringing the country to national resolution by next year. Americans across the country are being deprived of the freedom to marry and respect for their lawful marriages, as well as the tangible protections and precious dignity and happiness that marriage brings. It is time for the Supreme Court to affirm what more than thirty courts have held in the past year: marriage discrimination violates the Constitution, harms families, and is unworthy of America.”

Opponents have begun the process of seeking Supreme Court review of each of the three appellate rulings in favor of the freedom to marry so far, including the Virginia case in the Fourth Circuit and Utah and Oklahoma cases in the Tenth Circuit. Since the Supreme Court struck down the heart of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013, 37 state and federal courts have upheld the freedom to marry, with only 1 ruling the other way.  Every appellate ruling has been in favor of the freedom to marry.


New Jersey school reverses course on trans teen

rachel-pepe-new-jersey-thumb-autox262-39495By John M. Becker on The Bilerico Project

Thorne Middle School — the New Jersey school that allegedly told Rachel Pepe, a transgender girl, that she couldn’t return to school unless she presented as male — has reversed course, will allow Pepe to attend as herself, and will work with LGBT groups to ensure a safe and welcoming learning environment for all students, regardless of gender identity.

Garden State Equality reports:

GSE Executive Director Andrea Bowen just spoke with Middletown Township Public Schools Superintendent William O. George III, Ed. D. The two agreed that GSE will take the lead in training administration and staff members of Middletown Township Public Schools in LGBT sensitivity. GSE will work with partners Lambda Legal and the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Central New Jersey chapter.

“We applaud Superintendent George for taking the right steps to affirm the health and safety of students,” says Bowen. “This is a victory for transgender students everywhere. This Middletown student and students like her are heroes for standing up for their needs. We’re excited that the community came together in dialogue to bring this situation to a happy resolution.”

Kudos to Rachel Pepe and her mom, Angela Peters, for standing strong in the face of discrimination.


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