LGBT Advocates Commend New VAWA Non-Discrimination Guidance, Urge Other Federal Agencies to Follow Lead

As advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, we applaud the Department of Justice for issuing strong implementing guidelines for the historic non-discrimination provisions in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), ensuring that LGBT survivors of violence receive equal services and treatment free from unlawful discrimination. The recently released Frequently Asked Questions about the new provisions are precedent-setting and will be a guide for other federal agencies on how to implement LGBT non-discrimination provisions. These provisions mark the first ever explicit protections from discrimination for LGBT people under federal law.

Learn more here.

DCF Commissioner Draws Fire from NCTE

This week the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner, Joette Katz, transferred a 16-year-old transgender girl to an adult prison despite the lack of any criminal charges against her.

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) issued a letter today urging Commissioner Katz to seek immediate removal of this youth from an adult prison.

Read more here.

NCTE Applauds Federal Protections for Transgender Survivors of Violence

Department of Justice Clarifies Police, Courts, Shelters, and Others Must Respect Gender Identity

This week the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) release long-awaited guidance on the 2013 law prohibiting discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity by entities funded under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA's nondiscrimination protections provide broad protections, not only for LGBT survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, but for anyone else facing discrimination from law enforcement agencies, courts, or community groups that accept VAWA funding for any part of their operations. The guidelines clarify that refusing to accept a person's self-identified gender when delivering services constitutes unlawful discrimination, and that in many cases segregating by gender in the first place is prohibited.

Learn more: here

New Contractor Orders Reaffirm Need for Transgender Protections

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) lauds President Obama's effort to close the gender gap in wages by signing two executive orders and commemorating Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 as "National Equal Pay Day." President Obama's actions reaffirm executive authority to help end pervasive discrimination among federal contractors and highlights the need to extend similar protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans.

Read more: here.

Victory: Social Security Admin Clarifies Benefits Applications for Trans People and their Spouses

NCTE thanks the Social Security Administration for issuing updated guidance that will simplify benefits applications for many transgender people and their spouses, and better ensure correct eligibility determinations.

Until now, all benefits applications involving couples with at least one transgender spouse required legal review by one of SSA's chief regional attorneys, often adding significant delays. Without clear guidance on applicable law, many benefits applications also received incorrect denials and had to be appealed. With this new guidance, most claims now can be evaluated under the normal application process, without additional and inappropriate scrutiny of the marriage.

Read more here.

NCTE Welcomes Passage of MD Transgender Discrimination Bill

Today, with passage of the Fairness for All Marylanders Act through the House of Delegates, Maryland is poised to join 17 states plus DC and Puerto Rico in explicitly banning workplace discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression in employment, housing, credit, and public accommodations. The Senate passed the bill previously and Governor O'Malley is expected to sign it.

Read more here.

Weak DHS Sexual Abuse Rules Underscore Need to End Detention of Transgender Immigrants

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the Transgender Law Center (TLC) express disappointment in the final standards published today by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to address the severe problem of sexual abuse in immigration detention. While the final standards contain some valuable provisions, they fall short of the minimum steps needed to address the ongoing crisis of sexual abuse in immigration detention. In particular, the standards--which are, in key respects, weaker than those adopted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2012 for prisons and jails--lack critical protections for transgender immigrants, who are among the most highly vulnerable to sexual abuse.

Read more here.

Facebook Opens Gender Options for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Users

The Associated Press reported today that the social media giant, Facebook, will provide 50 different terms for people to use to identify their gender in addition to three preferred pronoun choices: him, her or them. The changes go into effect on Thursday, February 13, 2014 and the options in the list will evolve based on user input.

Learn more here.

NCTE Applauds Dept. of Agriculture for New Trans Nondiscrimination Rule

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proposed a new rule that will extend protection from discrimination, in programs and activities conducted by the Department, on the basis of gender identity and political affiliation. Last revised in 1999 to add sexual orientation, this amendment to the USDA's non-discrimination regulations will protect transgender and gender nonconforming people seeking loans and assistance in agriculture and rural communities.

Learn more here.

New Analysis Released on Suicide Among Trans and Gender Nonconforming People

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and the Williams Institute, released new analysis from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS), which was released by NCTE and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in 2011. This report uses the 6,456 accounts of discrimination from transgender and gender non-conforming (GNC) adults (compiled in NTDS), to find unprecedented links between experiences of discrimination, and suicide attempts among transgender people.

Learn more here.

VICTORY: Senate Passes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Watch all of our video updates during the Senate's deliberations of ENDA here.

Read our statement on ENDA's passage here.

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