CHARLOTTE OBSERVER BACKS LGBT NONDISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS: Yesterday, the Charlotte Observer editorial board called for the newly elected city council to stand up for LGBT nondiscrimination protections saying that they “shouldn’t shy away from the issue” despite the recent loss in Houston and the opposition’s “distasteful campaign.” A nondiscrimination ordinance that would have protected the LGBT community in Charlotte failed to pass in March of this year. The board writes, “Instead, council members should remind the public that most large cities offer protections for the LGBT community, and that we look comparatively regressive to the businesses, young workers and big events that might be looking our way.” Last week, seven pro-equality candidates won their Charlotte City Council elections, clearing the way for the consideration of an LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance in Charlotte, which remains one of the largest cities in the country without such protections. Read the editorial here: http://bit.ly/1iQY1Lz

U.S. NEWS LOOKS AT STATE OF LGBT MOVEMENT: Susan Milligan of U.S. News and World Report looks at the state of LGBT advocacy beyond marriage equality -- from aiding LGBT refugees, to achieving corporate equality and the push to ban conversion therapy. Separately, another deep dive examines the state of domestic partner benefits at major companies; while many are opting to get rid of domestic partner benefits completely, others are recognizing that families have “evolved and diversified” and have extended these benefits to heterosexual couples as well. This past June, prior to the Obergefell decision, HRC released an issue brief urging companies to maintain these benefits, which are crucial in the absence of full, explicit nondiscrimination protections nationwide.

AHEAD OF VETERANS DAY, O’MALLEY RELEASES LGBT-INCLUSIVE VETERANS PROPOSAL: Yesterday, Presidential Candidate Governor Martin O’Malley released a comprehensive plan addressing issues faced by veterans and military families. The plan includes a promise to provide clean service records for LGBT men and women who were dishonorably discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The plan says, “The unjust Clinton-era ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy continues to harm veterans. As many as 100,000 Americans may have been improperly discharged because of their sexual orientation. The consequences of a negative discharge are far-reaching and life-long. Despite their many years of service and sacrifice, these veterans may be ineligible for veteran status, denied critical health care and education benefits, disadvantaged on the civilian job market, and even barred from voting.” While other presidential contenders have publicly pledged to take similar actions if elected, O’Malley is the first candidate to release a comprehensive plan addressing the issue. More here http://bit.ly/1HunLsY and check out the plan here: http://bit.ly/1GUYLet

PROFILES IN COURAGE: NM TEEN WINS BATTLE FOR INCLUSIVE TRANS STUDENT POLICY: Grants-Cibola County School District in New Mexico has made a new transgender inclusive policy thanks to one student who fought to be treated equally. Alex Trujillo told KOAT-TV, “I felt like I existed in a world that had no place for me. Now it's finally changing, and I’m beyond happy.” The school board has ruled that no student can face discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression following what seems to be a nationwide trend. More here: http://bit.ly/1SFGIdq

STATE SNAPSHOT

FIGHT FOR TRANS RIGHTS BILL IN MASSACHUSETTS CONTINUES: Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy and six other members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation sent letters to Senate President Stan Rosenberg and House Speaker Robert DeLeo calling for the passage of a bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against transgender people in public spaces in Massachusetts. There is already a law in Massachusetts protecting transgender people from discrimination in employment and housing. The bill currently has support from Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Attorney General Maura Healey, but Governor Charlie Baker has yet to get behind it. More here: http://bit.ly/1NoYRrr

DALLAS CITY COUNCIL TO VOTE ON INCLUSION OF GENDER IDENTITY IN NONDISCRIMINATION ORDINANCE: Today, the Dallas City Council will vote on whether to include gender identity and expression on the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance. City Council member Adam Medrano who is in support of the change has said that it is meant to “clarify the protections the city already offers” according to the Dallas Morning News. The decision for a vote was made after a 45 minute closed door meeting yesterday afternoon. More here: http://bit.ly/1L8duxu

NE PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT VOTES TO KEEP TRANS INCLUSIVE POLICY: The Omaha World-Herald covers the latest local battle over inclusive policies that create welcoming environments for transgender students. In a victory for transgender students and their families, Bellevue Public Schools in Nebraska has just reaffirmed a recent decision to adopt an inclusive policy. Just last week, the United States Department of Education ruled that an Illinois school district broke anti-discrimination laws by refusing to grant a transgender student who identifies as female and participates in girls sports, the same access to the girls’ locker room. More here: http://bit.ly/1M3RZll

AROUND THE WORLD

COUPLE CHALLENGES NORTHERN IRELAND’S BAN ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Yesterday, a same-sex couple challenged Northern Ireland’s same-sex marriage ban in Belfast High Court saying that their union had been “demeaned, devalued and undermined.” According to Gay Star News the couple was legally married in England in 2014 but Northern Ireland, their home country, only recognizes them as civil partners. Last week, for a fifth time, marriage equality was rejected in the Northern Ireland assembly making it the only part of the United Kingdom where same-sex couples still cannot legally get married. More here: http://bit.ly/1HuojyS

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