The Department of Health and Human Services issued a final regulation Friday that will pressure health insurers to cover sex change operations, which could then be subsidized by taxpayers through Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare. The final rule comes the same day the Obama administration ordered schools to let children use whatever bathroom or locker room matches "their chosen gender identity," or risk losing federal funding.
Sanctity of Marriage Alabama faulted the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) Thursday for acting on politically-motivated complaints and filing unfounded charges against Chief Justice Roy Moore which resulted in temporary suspension from office on May 6, 2016. "Chief Justice Moore has violated no federal court order and has done nothing wrong," Tom Ford, spokesperson for Sanctity of Marriage Alabama said.
The Obama administration is planning to issue a sweeping directive telling every public school district in the country to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity. A letter to school districts will go out Friday, adding to a highly charged debate over transgenderism in the middle of the administration’s legal fight with North Carolina over the issue. The declaration does not have the force of law, but it contains an implicit threat: Schools that do not abide by the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law could face lawsuits or a loss of federal aid.
The Alabama Republican Assembly responded Wednesday to the charges made by the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission against Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. "At a time when many of our elected officials are failing morally, ethically, and otherwise, Judge Roy Moore has stood strong for the traditional values that made America great," Jennifer Montrose, president of the conservative group, said. "The Alabama Republican Assembly stands firmly in support of Judge Moore and asks the Court of the Judiciary to drop these politically motivated charges immediately."
One Alabama lawmaker on Tuesday warned his Facebook followers that he believes liberals are actively working to "purge godly men" from government, including state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was recently suspended for his stance on same-sex "marriage." "I support Chief Justice Roy Moore and his brave and principled stand for Alabama values, Christian morals, and fundamental Constitutional precepts," State Rep. Will Ainsworth (R-Guntersville) said.
The State of North Carolina and the federal government exchanged lawsuits Monday over the state's effort to keep men out of women's bathrooms, with Attorney General Loretta Lynch calling HB2 the modern-day equivalent of the post-slavery Jim Crow laws that were challenged in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
North Carolina has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department to defend House Bill 2, the law that blocked Charlotte's open-bathroom ordinance. The U.S. Justice Department sent NC Gov. Pat McCrory a letter on Wednesday claiming that the state's controversial bathroom law is in violation of the Civil Rights Act. They gave the Republican leader until the end of the business day Monday to respond with a solution to "remedy the situation."
Opinions are divided on Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's suspension and potential removal from office. "Once the United States Supreme Court has spoken that is the law and whether you like it or not judges have to follow the law," said lawyer Christine Hernandez. But two-time congressional candidate Dean Young supports Moore. "It makes me very sad we’ve gotten to this point as a nation, it makes me understand we are so close to falling apart," he said.
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has been charged with violating judicial ethics and suspended from office. His crime? Telling Alabama probate judges to follow the Constitution and not issue any marriage licenses to same-sex couples, notwithstanding federal court opinions to the contrary. "The Judicial Inquiry Commission has no authority over the administrative orders of the chief justice of Alabama or the legal injunctions of the Alabama Supreme Court prohibiting probate judges from issuing same-sex marriage licenses," Moore said.
The North Carolina law that blocked Charlotte's nondiscrimination ordinance violates federal civil rights laws, the U.S. Department of Justice is now claiming. A letter from the Justice Department to North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said the law violates Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination in education based on sex. The DOJ has given the state until May 9 to "determine whether you will remedy these violations" by not implementing or complying with the law called House Bill 2.
Chicago's public school system said on Tuesday it would allow transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their "gender identities." "Chicago Public Schools, like much of the country, has become far more aware of the needs and experiences of the transgender community, and it’s crucial for CPS guidelines to reflect our commitment to promoting safe and inclusive schools," Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson said in an emailed statement.
Sen. Ted Cruz defended his stance for bathroom privacy on the weekend after Bruce Jenner claimed he was equating people who identify as transgender with child molesters. "It doesn’t make sense for grown adult men, strangers, to be alone in a restroom with a little girl,” Cruz said. "Frankly, the concern is not the Caitlyn Jenners of the world," he continued. “But if the law is such that any man if he feels like it can go in a women’s restroom and you can’t ask him to leave, that opens the door for predators."
Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Friday was pressed by a man in California to answer whether or not he believed people are born "gay," setting off a lengthy and somewhat testy exchange that resulted in the Republican presidential candidate declaring that he believes homosexuals are "probably" born that way. "You know, sir, probably. I mean, I don't, I don't know how it all works, okay?" Kasich said. "I mean, look. Are they? You know, probability they are. Okay?"
The Foundation for Moral Law, a Montgomery-based legal foundation dedicated to the defense of the Constitution and of Biblical values, announced its willingness to defend the City of Oxford in the event its restroom ordinance is challenged in court. "The Foundation regularly champions Biblical values including traditional marriage, and if this ordinance is challenged in court, the Foundation will be most willing to assist in the City’s defense," Foundation Senior Counsel John Eidsmoe said.
The City of Oxford in Alabama has swiftly responded to Target’s new transgender bathroom policy by passing a citywide ordinance outlawing individuals from using a restroom that does not correspond with their biological sex. "(Target’s) policy creates an unsafe environment,” Steven Waits, Oxford City Council’s president, said. The city’s new ordinance carries penalties of a $500 fine or six months in jail.
The Colorado Supreme Court will not review the case of a Denver-area cake artist ordered by the state government to bake and decorate cakes to celebrate same-sex "marriages." Lawyers for Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., said they are evaluating his legal options. In 2012, Phillips declined to bake a cake celebrating the same-sex "wedding" of Charlie Craig and David Mullins, who then filed a discrimination complaint against him.
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore on Wednesday said that complaints against him brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center to the Judicial Inquiry Commission of Alabama are politically motivated. "This is not about any wrongdoing I’ve done, this is not about ethics, this is about marriage," Chief Justice Moore said. "And it’s about my legal judgments I’ve issued in administrative orders, which is in my capacity as chief justice to issue. This is about legalism, it’s about what the law is."
The Oregon bakers who were ordered to pay $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex "wedding" filed a brief with the Oregon Court of Appeals on Monday, arguing the ruling against them was biased and violates both the Oregon and U.S. constitutions. The Kleins maintain that they did not decline to serve the cake due to sexual orientation—but only because of their Christian beliefs about marriage.
Monday, approximately 5000 people came to the Halifax Mall in Raleigh for a rally in support of HB 2, the North Carolina Bill that blocked Charlotte's nondiscrimination ordinance. Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, spoke at the rally. In response to the claim that supporters of HB2 are unloving, Dr. Creech quoted 1 Corinthians 13:6: "Love rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth."
North Carolina Republicans criticized President Barack Obama on Friday after the president told a news conference in London the state's law on bathroom use was wrong and should be overturned. "Not every father has the luxury of Secret Service agents protecting his daughters' right to privacy in the girls' bathroom," NC State Senate Leader Phil Berger said in a statement. NC Speaker of the House Tim Moore also commented, saying Obama's safety and security record on foreign policy was weak and "now it seems like he's challenged on some basic safety issues here in the United States, too."
The British Government has warned homosexual and transgender travelers that they may be affected by North Carolina's new law that blocked Charlotte's nondiscrimination ordinance. A travel advisory notice published by the Foreign Office reads: "The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country. LGBT travellers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi."
Transgender people should be able to use whatever bathroom they want, Donald Trump said Thursday. "Leave it the way it is," he said. "North Carolina, what they're going through with all the business that's leaving, all of the strife -- and this is on both sides. Leave it the way it is. There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go. They use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble."
Gavin Grimm, a 16 year-old girl, has persuaded the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that she should have the right to use the boys’ bathroom at her high school in rural Virginia. The 2-1 ruling, which came Tuesday afternoon, could affect the fight over House Bill 2 in North Carolina and have an impact on a lawsuit filed in March by two transgender people and a lesbian law professor.
Target Corp said on Tuesday that employees and customers will now use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, rather than their actual gender, becoming the first big retailer to weigh in on an issue at the center of a heated national debate. The move came after the North Carolina General Assembly blocked Charlotte's nondiscrimination ordinance. The law in North Carolina does not affect private-sector businesses, which are free to set their own policies.
A transgender bathroom bill in the Tennessee legislature failed Monday after the House sponsor said she was withdrawing the legislation while waiting to see how legal challenges play out in other states that have passed similar measures. "There's definitely some issues we need to work out," Rep. Susan Lynn, the bill's sponsor in the House, said. "We know as soon as this bill passes, we're going to be sued. So if we're going to be heading into a lawsuit, we want to make sure we have the strongest position possible."