If you are not a news junkie you are missing so much. In the span of a week, we saw the President’s lawyer’s office raided by the FBI, a doorman at Trump Tower claim he knows of a Trump love child, and the Speaker of the House announce his retirement. Oh, and the United States’ military bombed a foreign country.
Here’s some of what we’ve been reading on the Houston Rainbow Herald Facebook page.
Judge rules military can’t enact Trump’s transgender ban
Not so fast, Donald! “A federal judge has barred the federal government from implementing President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender members of the military,” reports Huffington.Post.com U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman found that the ban had to be subject to a careful court review before implementation because of the history of discrimination against transgender individuals.
Pechman, of the Western District of Washington, ruled that transgender people were a protected class and that the injunctions against the implementation of the ban should remain in place. She wrote that there was a “long and well-recognized” history of discrimination and systemic oppression against transgender people, that discrimination against transgender people was clearly “unrelated to their ability to perform and contribute to society,” that transgender people have immutable characteristics and that they lacked relative political power.
Transgender people have long been forced to live in silence, or to come out and face the threat of overwhelming discrimination.
“The Court also rules that, because transgender people have long been subjected to systemic oppression and forced to live in silence, they are a protected class. Therefore, any attempt to exclude them from military service will be looked at with the highest level of care, and will be subject to the Court’s ‘strict scrutiny.’ This means that before defendants can implement the ban, they must show that it was sincerely motivated by compelling interests, rather than by prejudice or stereotype, and that it is narrowly tailored to achieve those interests,” Pechman wrote.
Houston ordered to pay attorney fees in anti-LGBT discrimination case
Win one, lose one. “A Houston district judge has ordered the city of Houston to pay attorney fees in Pidgeon v. Parker, the case filed by plaintiffs that want to prevent the city from offering benefits to employees married to same-sex spouses. The judge also rejected a motion to move the case to federal court,” writes David Taffet of DallasVoice.com.
The article continues: “Attorneys for the city of Houston argued that equal access to marriage and all of its benefits was decided in the Obergefell decision and, therefore, the case had constitutional implications and should be heard in federal court. The judge said the city didn’t make its argument to move the case.
“The case began in 2013 when former mayor Anise Parker extended city benefits to same-sex partners. Two plaintiffs, an accountant and a pastor, sued claiming there was no fundamental right to taxpayer-funded benefits.
“Because the federal marriage equality ruling in 2015 gave same-sex couples the right marriage and all of its benefits, Houston tried to have the case moved to federal court. The district court ruled against the city saying it hadn’t proven that was the case had constitutional implications.
“The U.S. Supreme Court also refused to hear an appeal of the case after the Texas Supreme Court ruled that a right to marry doesn’t necessarily include the right to benefits and the Obergefell ruling wasn’t clear on the point. The first sentence of the Obergefell ruling is actually very clear on the point and includes the word benefits.
“Instead, on Tuesday, April 10, the court ruled against the city and ordered it to pay attorney fees for the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs were represented by Jonathan Saenz, who founded the anti-LGBT group Texas Values after his wife left him for a woman.
“A spokesman for current Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city would continue to defend the rights of city employees to have equal access to benefits.”
Judge declares LGBT workers are protected from workplace discrimination
Now for the win. A federal judge in Texas said LGBT workers should be protected from employment discrimination based on their gender identity and sexual orientation, reports DallasMorningNews.com.
Judge Lee Rosenthal, the chief judge in the Houston-based Southern District Court of Texas, said in a recent decision that federal employment law protecting workers from discrimination based on sex also applies to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Look who’s dancing
It’s America’s sweetheart vs. the trailer park queen. Fresh off his Winter Olympics glory, Adam Rippon is heading to the dance floor as one of ten contestants of season 25 of Dancing With The Stars, reports HollywoodReporter.com
He will be competing against Tonya Harding who’s discovered newfound fame with the hit film.
Other cast members are: Arike Ogunbowale, Chris Mazdzer, Jamie Anderson, Jennie Finch Daigle, Johnny Damon, Josh Norman, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Mirai Nagasu.
Dancing With The Stars: Athletes kicks off on Monday, April 30, on ABC.
Johnny Trlica is the manager of the Houston Rainbow Herald Facebook page, your source for the latest LGBTQ news and information. Contact him at HRHeditor@gmail.com.