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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Kamala Harris rapidly picks up Democratic Support - including vast majority of state party leaders; National rent-cap proposal could benefit NY renters; Carter's adoption support: Empowering families, strengthening workplaces.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

NE LGBTQ+ community, advocates see wins at state, federal levels

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Monday, April 29, 2024   

Members of Nebraska's LGBTQ+ community and their supporters saw positive actions at both the state and federal level this month.

At the state level, LB-575 failed to pass.

The bill would have required Nebraska transgender youth to participate in the sports and use the facilities that correspond with their biological gender, as determined by their chromosomes.

At the federal level, the Department of Education "expanded and clarified" Title IX protections for LGBTQ+ youth.

Johnny Redd, communications manager with OutNebraska, said the Title IX clarification in addition to the failure of LB-575 makes it feel like there's hope for the LGBTQ+ struggle in Nebraska.

"We definitely changed some hearts and minds," said Redd. "There's been these patterns of very hostile legislation towards LGBTQ youth, specifically trans youth. And it's getting more common, so having these Title IX protections that federally protect trans students is really important."

The U.S. Department of Education's "Final Rule Amending the Title IX Regulations" makes it clear that schools are responsible to protect students against all types of sex-based discrimination - including based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

It also requires schools to "respond promptly" to any complaint of sex discrimination, and inform parents and students of their "nondiscrimination policies."

A Washington Post study points to a trickle-down effect of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, which has increased dramatically since 2015.

It found police-reported LGBTQ+ hate crimes against K-12 students more than doubled nationwide in 2021 and 2022, compared with 2015-2019.

But in states that had enacted restrictive anti-LGBTQ+ laws, this type of hate crime had quadrupled.

State Sen. Kathleen Kauth - R-Omaha - introduced LB 575, and the bill behind Nebraska's new law restricting gender-affirming health care for transgender youths.

She said she plans to re-introduce LB-575 next year if she's re-elected.

Redd said these Title IX protections increase the likelihood it would fail a legal challenge, if it became law.

"LB 575 definitely did open up the state to lawsuits," said Redd, "but I feel like the case would be even stronger with these new strengthened Title IX protections."

The ACLU is currently involved with legal challenges to 175 anti-LGBTQ laws.



Disclosure: OutNebraska contributes to our fund for reporting on LGBTQIA Issues, Reproductive Health, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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