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News & Press Releases

Wedding Venue’s Ongoing Battle to Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples Must End

Commercial wedding venues cannot discriminate against same-sex couples, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union will argue today, asking the Appellate Division to affirm the State Division of Human Rights holding that Albany’s Liberty Ridge Farm illegally rejected Melisa and Jennifer McCarthy because of their sexual orientation.

NYCLU Applauds New Discrimination Protections for Transgender New Yorkers

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced tonight an executive action directing the State Division of Human Rights to issue regulations that would interpret existing protections against discrimination on the basis of sex and disability to cover gender identity, transgender status and gender dysphoria.

Victory: Landmark State Policy Promises Transgender Students an Equal Education

The New York State Education Department today released official guidance for school districts across the state, a major step toward ensuring that transgender and gender nonconforming youth can access their right to an education.

Report Exposes Illegal Treatment of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students in New York Public Schools

The New York Civil Liberties Union today released a report revealing the serious and pervasive discrimination and harassment faced by transgender and gender nonconforming youth in New York public schools across the state. Despite New York’s reputation as a progressive leader, the state is failing to protect the right to an education of one of its most vulnerable student populations.

Cuomo’s AIDS Task Force Report Promotes Civil Rights, Individual Autonomy and Bodily Integrity

Governor Cuomo’s Task Force to End the AIDS Epidemic today released a report calling for statewide protections for New Yorkers who are transgender, comprehensive sex education in public schools, the ability for minors to consent to the HPV vaccine, decriminalizing syringe possession and a comprehensive ban on the ability of law enforcement to use a person having condoms on them as evidence of prostitution — all important measures the New York Civil Liberties Union has long advocated for.

NYCLU Victory: Wedding Venues Cannot Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples

The New York State Division of Human Rights has affirmed it is illegal for businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation. The New York Civil Liberties Union victory came in the case of Melisa and Jennifer McCarthy, whose wedding was rejected by the owners of an Albany area farm and wedding venue when the owners found out that they were a same-sex couple. “No one should have the happiest time of their life marred by discrimination,” said Jennifer McCarthy. “We hope this decision will protect all New Yorkers from having to go through the hurt that we experienced.”

NYCLU Applauds Central Islip School Board for Rejecting Sex-Specific Policy for Homecoming Queen and King Nominees

The Central Islip School Board last night voted down a proposal to require nominees for Homecoming King to be male and Homecoming Queen to be female. The Suffolk County Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union applauded its decision. The proposal came after a local church group filed a petition to the school board after a lesbian student at Central Islip High School, Faith Shepherd, ran for and won the title for Homecoming King as a statement for gender equality and to support transgender individuals.

U.S. Supreme Court Declares Core Section of the “Defense of Marriage Act” Unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that section three of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) is unconstitutional and that the federal government cannot discriminate against married lesbian and gay couples for the purposes of determining federal benefits and protections. Today’s ruling is an historic victory for gay and lesbian Americans and a tremendous step forward for the cause of equality.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Widow's Challenge to DOMA

Attorneys for Edith "Edie" Windsor told the U.S. Supreme Court today that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unfairly forced Windsor to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate taxes after the death of her spouse, Thea Spyer, in violation of the equal protection principles guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Supreme Court to Hear Widow's Challenge to Defense of Marriage Act

The U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to hear Edith "Edie" Windsor's challenge to the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Windsor, 83, was forced to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate taxes after the death of her spouse Thea Spyer, because their marriage was not recognized under federal law. If Spyer had married a man instead of a woman, no estate tax would have been owed.

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