Out & In The News 7/8

Out & In The News is our weekly blog focusing on workplace equality in the news — be sure to check back every Friday for the latest from Out & Equal and our partners!

MA Governor Charlie Baker signs Trans Non-Discrimination legislation into law

Massachusetts’s law already prohibits discrimination against trans people in housing and employment, but the new law will, signed on July 8, will extend these protections to public accommodations, including: locker rooms, restrooms, malls, and restaurants.

Ten States Sue the Federal Government Over Facilities Use by Trans Students

On Friday, ten states sued the federal government “over rules requiring public schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms conforming to their gender identity”, according to AP. The suit was filed in federal court in Nebraska by Nebraska AG Doug Peterson. The nine other states are: Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

House of Representatives to hold FADA (Religious Freedom) Hearing on 1-Month Anniversary of Orlando Massacre

Over 70 organizations have called on Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to cancel the hearing scheduled for July 12. The First Amendment Defense Act would allow taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT individuals and other groups. “We urge you to cancel the July 12 hearing and instead hold hearings on how best to ensure that no one in this country is subjected to violence or discrimination based on who they are or whom they love”, says the letter.

Vox Interviews EEOC Commissioner working to stop anti-LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination

Chai Feldblum, the openly-lesbian EEOC commissioner, speaks with Vox about the federal agency’s work to combat LGBT discrimination. Commissioner Feldblum also discusses the results of a newly-released EEOC study of harassment in the workplace.

Openly Trans Soldiers Speak Out

The Daily Beast interviews Army Sgt. Ken Ochoa on his experience as a trans service member and what lifting the ban signifies. At NBC News, Army Captain Jennifer Peace reflects on her experience transitioning while in the military and discusses the shifts she has witnessed in the military’s policies towards LGBT service members.

Former Barracks Lawyer Explains Details of New DOD Trans Decision

In the wake of Sec. Carter’s announcement last week, many have asked how the ban lift will be implemented and what consequences the decision has for existing and future trans service members. Writing for The Advocate, Amanda Kerri explains some of the consequences of the DOD’s decision to lift the trans military ban.

How a Quiet Decision by the Secretary of State Advanced Trans Rights

Politico features the story of Jackie Richter, the owner of Heels and Hardhats, a construction company in Illinois. Jackie discusses the difficulties she faced transitioning as a small business owner and the impact receiving a US Passport with her correct gender identity had on her business. The article explores then-Secretary Clinton’s thoughts on LGBT equality and the repercussions of her decision to not require surgery for passport gender changes.