Category: National

National news and events that affect Illinois.

Justice Kennedy to retire from SCOTUS

WASHINGTON — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced early Wednesday afternoon that he would retire, effective July 31. “It has been the greatest honor and privilege to serve our nation in the federal judiciary for 43 years, 30 of those years on the Supreme Court,” Kennedy, who is stepping down July 31, said in…

Texas GOP backs ‘conversion therapy,’ 23 other anti-LGBTQ issues

SAN ANTONIO — The Texas GOP approved an anti-LGBTQ platform at their state convention this past weekend in San Antonio. From Houston’s OutSmart Magazine: Texas Republicans once again officially endorsed the dangerous, discredited practice of “ex-gay” therapy, including for “self-motivated” youth. They called on state officials to reject the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of…

Lambda Legal, SPLC request DOJ documents on protection rollback for transgender people in prison

NEW YORK — On Friday, June 22, Lambda Legal and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) seeking all documents and communications connected to its decision to alter the Transgender Offender Manual, including communications with outside advocacy groups. The organizations said…

Gay Pa. state rep ‘welcomes’ Pence to town

PHILADELPHA — Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims welcomed Vice-President Mike Pence to his city by flipping the bird on a recent Facebook post. From The Hill: State Rep. Brian Sims (D), who represents Philadelphia and is the state’s first openly gay legislator, posted the photo on Facebook with a preface of “OFFICIAL WELCOME” ahead of…

OPINION: Masterpiece Cakeshop – It’s not great, but it’s not a disaster

This article was originally published on Peacock Panache, an LGBTQ news and opinion blog. In a 7-2 decision announced today, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly ruled in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop in a case about public accommodation and whether individual religious views should and can supersede a protected group’s right to free market equal access. The…

SCOTUS rules for baker in wedding cake case

Decision narrowly focused on specifics, does not set precedent on LGBTQ rights WASHINGTON — On Monday, the US Supreme Court set aside a lower court ruling against a baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. According to NBC Chicago, the court did not rule on whether or not businesses have…

Sergeant sues over US Army’s HIV policy

WASHINGTON — A US Army sergeant is suing the military service over a HIV policy dating back to 1991, according to NBC OUT. From NBC OUT: “For over 30 years, the military has placed broad restrictions on the service of people living with HIV,” says the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the…

Hawaii latest state to ban ‘conversion therapy’

HONOLULU — Hawaii state legislators approved a ban on “conversion therapy,” becoming the 12th state to do so. From Hawaii News Now: Gay rights advocates say the practice, which is largely discredited by healthcare professionals, does more harm than good to those who are subjected to it. “This has been a priority of the caucus for…