Survey: Support for religious objection refusals of LGBTQ is small but growing

WASHINGTON — A survey released Tuesday found that while two-thirds of Americans oppose allowing businesses to refuse service because of a religious objection, a growing number think it should be allowed. The survey from PRRI found that the biggest jump in religious based refusals involved LGBTQ people, going from 16% to 30%. Even with the jump, 67% oppose to such a police with gay and lesbian people and 68% oppose it for transgender people. However, nearly one-quarter (24%) of Americans think it is permissible to deny service to atheists if doing so violates their religious beliefs, compared to 22% with reference to Muslims, 19% to Jews, and 15% to African Americans. “A small but increasing number of Americans think it should be permissible to turn away customers based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or race,” said PRRI CEO and founder Robert P. Jones in a press release.

Oklahoma Supreme Court rules for non-biological parent in same-sex divorce

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the non-biological parent of children in a same-sex divorce can have can have the same rights as the biological parent. The Tulsa World reported that Lori Schnedler and Heather Nicole Lee had been a couple before marriage equality. Lee had a child in 2007 when the couple was together. The couple separated in 2015. The newspaper said that Schnedler filed suit when Lee denied visitation.

HRC names Alphonso David as new president

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced Alphonso David as the new organization president on Tuesday. David is the first civil rights lawyer and person of color to lead the HRC. David has previous served as the Counsel to the Governor of the State of New York, first Deputy Secretary and Counsel for Civil Rights in New York, and as a staff attorney at Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. According to the announcement, David was central securing marriage equality in New York in 2011, banning the abusive practice of so-called “conversion therapy” on minors, establishing non-discrimination protections for transgender New Yorkers, expanding Medicaid coverage to cover transition-related care, making it easier to amend gender markers on birth certificates, and enacting policies and regulations to support people living with HIV and drive new diagnoses to an all-time low statewide. He has also helped lead efforts to expand access to reproductive healthcare, restore voting rights to New Yorkers, advance workplace protections for disadvantaged communities, and require access to free translation services in essential state services.

Trump administration fought against Pride flag at Stonewall monument

NEW YORK — The Trump administration reportedly pushed back on the National Park Service flying the LGBTQ Pride flag at Christopher Street Park across the street from the Stonewall Inn. Emails obtained by E&E News through a Freedom of Information Act request show that the administration scrambled after the flag was first raised in 2017. The environmental news sites reported that local LGBTQ activists had said it was the first time the flag was permanently raised on federal land, which had the then Interior Department assistant deputy secretary demanding an explanation. From E&E News:
The 992-page cache of emails details what happened next: On Oct. 6, 2017, only five days before a ceremony to honor the flag’s arrival, Willens ordered the flag removed, setting off a scramble among NPS officials who sought to present a united front to explain the sudden reversal.

Kansas agrees to issue accurate birth certificates to transgender people

KANSAS CITY, Kan.  — Transgender people born in Kansas will now be able to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates under a consent judgment between Lambda Legal and state officials issued Friday evening by a federal court. “I’m glad to see the state of Kansas has agreed to recognize us for who we are. It should have not taken a lawsuit to reach that conclusion. This judgment makes me feel safer and like my state finally recognizes me and respects me as a woman,” said Nyla Foster, 30, a plaintiff on the case.  “I am proud that transgender Kansans like me will no longer be forced into dangerous situations because their identity documents do not match who they are.”
“This is a tremendous victory for all transgender people born in Kansas.

GLAAD: Younger Americans less accepting of LGBTQ people

NEW YORK — GLAAD’s latest Accelerating Acceptance Index found that few Americans ages 18-34 are accepting of LGBTQ people than the last poll. The poll was done on GLAAD’s behalf by Harris Poll. It found that while the overall percentage of Americans who were somewhat or very comfortable with LGBTQ stayed the same (48%), there was a sharp decline among younger people. The percentage went from 53% to 45%. The Accelerating Acceptance Index was conducted online earlier this year among a national sample of 1,970 US adults, 18 or over, who were presented with seven situations that were selected by GLAAD and The Williams Institute in 2015, GLAAD said in a statement announcing the results.


Legal weed’s a growing danger to dogs, so keep your canine out of your cannabis

By Laura Klivans, KQED

SAN FRANCISCO — It all started on a Tuesday night, when I came home from work to an unmistakable absence. My brown-and-white pitbull mix, Maizey, wasn’t at the top of the stairs to greet me. Instead, she was in her bed, shaky and confused. When I tried to get her up, she stumbled, nearly falling over while standing still. Walking to the vet, she leaped like a puppy chasing imaginary balls.

Psychoanalysts apologize for calling homosexuality ‘illness’

NEW YORK — The American Psychoanalyst Association has apologized for treating homosexuality as an “illness.” 

Reuters reported on Friday that the APsaA declassified homosexuality as a disorder in 1993, 20 years after the American Psychiatric Association had done the same. The news service said it may be the first time a medical association has apologize for its past treatment of the LGBTQ community. From Reuters:
”It is long past time to recognize and apologize for our role in the discrimination and trauma caused by our profession and say, ‘We are sorry,’” said a statement by Dr. Lee Jaffe, president of APsaA. The group uses that abbreviation to distinguish it from the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Jaffe announced the apology on Friday at the opening session of the group’s 109th annual meeting in San Diego, drawing a standing ovation from about 200 people present, witnesses said.

‘Not On Our Watch’: Rights groups rally to help immigrant communities ahead of reported weekend raids by ICE

By Julia Conley, staff writer

WASHINGTON — Ahead of raids the Trump administration is reportedly set to begin on Sunday, rights groups on Friday urgently circulated information to immigrant communities and families nationwide to ensure their rights are known and protections are in place. 

Three officials with knowledge of Trump’s directive to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told the Washington Post that up to 2,000 families facing deportation orders could be targeted in 10 major cities, including Houston, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Denver, New York, New Orleans, Atlanta, Baltimore, San Francisco, Newark, and Washington, D.C.

The news of the planned raids comes days after the president threatened that he would soon begin deporting “millions” of undocumented immigrants. To prepare communities, groups including United We Dream and Raices posted on social media information about immigrants’ rights. 

If ICE agents come to an immigrant’s home, one infographic made by the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) read, he or she should not open the door. Instead, families should demand to see a warrant for arrest and exercise their right to remain silent and speak with a lawyer. 🚨🚨READ🚨🚨: ICE raids targeting families may be happening as soon as this weekend. Miami, LA, Chicago, Baltimore, DC, and NY are possible targets, and there could be more.