A first-of-its-kind study being released Wednesday refutes the premise that the state's transgender antidiscrimination law threatens public safety, finding no relation between public transgender bathroom access and crimes that occur in bathrooms. Researchers at the Williams Institute, a think tank focused on gender identity at the UCLA School of Law, examined restroom crime reports in Massachusetts cities of similar size and comparable demographics and found no increase in crime and no difference between cities that had adopted transgender policies and those that had not. The data were collected for a minimum of two years before a statewide antidiscrimination law took effect in 2016. read more
When President Donald Trump nominates a justice to the Supreme Court on Monday night, he will be carrying out the agenda of a small, secretive network of extremely conservative Catholic activists already responsible for placing three justices (Alito, Roberts, and Gorsuch) on the high court. And yet few people know who they are -- until now.
Republican officials from 16 states are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that a transgender woman who was fired after coming out to her boss was unlawfully discriminated against, and rule that federal civil rights law does not provide protections on the basis of gender identity. In March, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 in favor of Aimee Stephens, who was fired from a Detroit funeral home in 2013 after informing her employer that she was transgender and beginning her transition. The court ruled that Title VII protects transgender workers and that an employer's religious beliefs cannot be used to justify discrimination. "The unrefuted facts show that the Funeral Home fired Stephens because she refused to abide by her employer's stereotypical conception of her sex," Judge Karen Nelson Moore wrote for the court. read more
In a colorful decision that managed to invoke the Boston Tea Party, Lady Macbeth and Jesus of Nazareth, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that feeding the homeless is "expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment." The decision revives a challenge brought by a local chapter of Food Not Bombs, which sued Fort Lauderdale, Florida for requiring a permit to share food in public parks. Thanks to the city's ordinance, Fort Lauderdale has become infamous for cracking down on compassion. In 2014, police arrested a 90-year-old man and two ministers who were simply trying to share food with the homeless. "