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HRC SENDS LETTER TO NFL COMMISSIONER FOLLOWING REPEAL OF HERO: Yesterday, following the repeal of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), HRC President Chad Griffin, sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, requesting an emergency meeting to discuss the future of nondiscrimination protections in the city. Super Bowl LI is scheduled to take place in Houston in 2017. The letter reads in part, “Commissioner Goodell, you have emphasized the NFL's commitment to diversity and inclusion, respect and fairness. Out of that commitment we hope you will work with us to find a path forward in Houston. Finding a path to nondiscrimination protections that ensure all Houstonians are treated equally and fairly remains our crucial and urgent mission. We are eager to convene our partners in Houston for an urgent meeting at your earliest convenience to discuss how we can work together to make Houston a city that is welcoming for all residents and visitors. If the Super Bowl is to remain in Houston, these protections need to be in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all those participating.” More here:

NYT EDITORIAL ON HERO, “IN HOUSTON, HATE TRUMPED FAIRNESS”: Following the repeal of HERO, the New York Times editorializes how the opposition’s hateful and misleading messages have very real consequences for transgender Houstonians who have been vilified and attacked throughout the campaign. Despite this major setback, the Board is encouraged by the steady progress these issues of equality have seen. They write, “As opponents of the ordinance celebrate their victory this week, transgender people across the country are understandably reeling. They should take comfort in knowing that history will not be kind to the haters who won on Tuesday. In time, the bigots are destined to lose.” Read more here:

WASHPOST: STATE OF OUR CITIES ON LGBT EQUALITY: In the wake of Houston, which is now the largest city without protections for LGBT people, the Washington Post looks at the state of LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances in America’s biggest cities, and the arguments opponents have been using to push back against equality. The Post finds that 8 of the 30 largest cities are lacking these protections, leaving LGBT people vulnerable to discrimination in the workplace, housing and public accommodations. While the push for local ordinances is vital, these lack of protections around the country also underscore the need for the Equality Act, a federal bill which would provide explicit, permanent protections in federal law against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, access to public spaces, housing, education, jury service, credit and federal funding.More here:


SOUTH DAKOTA HIGH SCHOOLS UPDATE TRANS ATHLETE POLICY: The South Dakota High School Activities Association has approved changes to its transgender student athlete policy. According to the Associated Press, “One of the changes requires that an independent hearing officer, instead of a committee, decide on students' requests. No students made requests under the original policy.” Revisions are expected to come next year. And ICYMI, check out this piece from the New York Times on the accommodations schools have been making for transgender students. Read the full article here:

WI COURT UPHOLDS RULING AGAINST SAME-SEX COUPLE REQUESTING DECLARATION OF LEGAL PARENTAGE: The 2nd District Court of Appeals of Wisconsin has ruled against a gay woman’s request to become the legal parent of her partner’s child. After a judge dismissed their request, the case was heard in appeals court which agreed with the judge’s ruling. According to WKOW, “The judge said the couple really was seeking a declaration that statutes using the terms "husband" and "wife" are unconstitutional, but failed to notify the attorney general's office.” More here:


SLOVENIA TO HOLD REFERENDUM ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY: On December 20, 2015 Slovenia will become the second country to hold a national referendum on the issue of marriage equality. Yesterday by a 69-11 vote, lawmakers voted to hold the referendum after conservative group “Children Are At Stake”, gathered the required 400,000 signatures to get the issue on the ballot. Earlier this year, by an overwhelming majority, Ireland became the first country to gain marriage rights for LGBT people by popular vote. More here: and

FRANCE AND NETHERLANDS MODIFY BLOOD DONATION POLICY FOR GAY AND BISEXUAL MEN: This week, the French government announced plans to end the country’s ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men next Spring. According to Pink News, “Though a 12-month deferral system will remain in place for some donations, parts of the new system will no longer discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, and will instead judge each case on the basis of individual risk.” Last week, the Netherlands announced that it was adopting a similar policy doing away with the lifetime ban currently in place. The United States’ policy was also recently updated to allow gay and bisexual men who’ve been abstinent for a year to donate blood. While these changes are an improvement, they still fall short of a fully acceptable solution, because gay and bisexual men continue to be stigmatized. More here: and

JAPAN MAKES FIRST MOVES TO RECOGNIZE SAME-SEX PARTNERSHIPS: Today, Hiroko Masuhara and Koyuki Higashi of Shibuya Ward, became the first same-sex couple in any Tokyo Ward to receive a marriage certificate. While this is a  huge step forward, according to The Japan News, the certificates have “no legal binding power.” They write, “Although the certificate has no legal binding power, the Shibuya government is calling on real estate brokers, hospitals, and other businesses and facilities in the ward to treat same-sex couples having the certificate in the same way as they do married couples. The ordinance includes a clause allowing the municipal government to disclose the names of businesses and others that continue severe discrimination against recognized same-sex couples.” Setagaya Ward in Tokyo also began accepting relationship declarations from same-sex couples today. More here:


Metro Weekly takes a look at the outcomes for LGBT candidates in Tuesday’s election.

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