Equal Rights Advocates

Pennsylvania agency sues to stop same-gender marriages

PHILADELPHIA -- The Pennsylvania Health Department today sued the Montgomery County Recorder of Wills to stop the issuance of marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples who want to wed.

Pennsylvania is the only state in the Northeast to ban civil unions and same-gender marriages.

Read Obama Administration's "friend of the court" brief seeking demise of Prop 8

WASHINGTON -- The Obama Administration on Thursday filed an amicus "friend of the court" brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the justices to strike down California's Proposition 8 law that bans marriage equality in the Golden State.

The 40-page brief, which can be viewed below, was filed by Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. and other legal minds from the Justice Department.

Highlights include:

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Title VII protects transgender employees, EEOC declares in historical ruling

WASHINGTON – In a landmark ruling, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced late Monday that Title VII, the federal sex-discrimination law, protects employees who are discriminated against because they are transgender.

In its unprecedented 5-0 decision, the EEOC concluded that “intentional discrimination against a transgender individual because that person is transgender is, by definition, discrimination ‘based on … sex’ and such discrimination … violates Title VII.”

National Center for Lesbian Rights hires leading civil rights attorney as deputy director

SAN FRANCISCO -- The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) announced that Arcelia Hurtado, one of the nation’s leading civil rights attorneys, will be joining its staff as the new deputy director, responsible for overseeing the organization’s day-to-day operations, and helping lead future planning, strategy and development initiatives.

For the last two years, Hurtado has served as the executive director of Equal Rights Advocates (ERA), a San Francisco-based civil rights organization dedicated to advancing equal opportunity for women and girls through impact litigation and advocacy.