This No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) news digest rounds up some of the week’s top LGBTI rights stories for the week ending 7 February:
Neomi Rao: Trump’s choice for appeals court criticised for comments on race, sexual assault and LGBT rights
Independent, 06 Feb 2019
Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Brett Kavanaugh at a high-profile appeals court has been condemned by activists, who claim she has extreme views on race, sexual assault and LGBT rights.
The American president chose Neomi Rao for a seat on the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit which was left empty after Mr Kavanaugh joined the Supreme Court.
The 45-year-old currently serves as administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and used to work for the George W Bush administration.
The transgender military ban is damaging America and those who want to serve it
The Washington Post, 06 Feb 2019
For almost two years, transgender men and women have been allowed to openly serve in the military. There have been no problems; “precisely zero” were the exact words last April of Army Chief of Staff Mark A. Milley. Hundreds of transgender troops have been deployed without incident to combat zones. Commanders have singled out transgender troops for praise. Despite the success of this inclusive policy, the Trump administration has not abandoned its efforts to restrict military service by transgender men and women. Sadly, it got a boost from the Supreme Court. We hope that triumph will be just temporary, but already there has been damage done to the country and the patriotic transgender Americans who want to serve it.
Tory peer and Labour MP’s equal marriage mission for Northern Ireland
The Guardian, 04 Feb 2019
One of the more unexpected political double-acts in parliament has resumed action, with Robert Hayward and Conor McGinn pushing ahead with their joint campaign to have equal marriage extended to Northern Ireland.
Lord Hayward, a Tory peer, and McGinn, a Labour MP, are at the forefront of seeking change for the one part of the UK where same-sex marriage is still excluded. Late last year, they were named politicians of the year at the Pink News Awards. While ministers have expressed sympathy, they say the change can only be made by the Stormont assembly, which has been suspended after two years of political deadlock.
Faith should be no barrier to schools teaching respect for LGBT rights
The Guardian, 04 Feb 2019
Recently we’ve seen several clashes between local communities and education leaders over the application of the Equality Act in Britain’s schools. Shraga Stern, the Orthodox Jewish activist, warned earlier this year that Haredi Jews would “leave the UK” if faiths schools were forced to teach children about same-sex relationships and gender reassignment. And last month, the headteacher of a school in Birmingham was petitioned by mainly Muslim parents to do away with a pilot programme called No Outsiders, which is centred around inclusion and diversity as part of sex and relationship education. Although the programme addresses issues as broad as gender, race, ageism, faith and disability, the spotlight has, inevitably, fallen on the teaching of LGBT identities.
Super Bowl Host Georgia Puts Its World Cup Dreams at Risk
Human Rights Watch, 03 Feb 2019
When Atlanta hosts the 53rd Super Bowl today, it will showcase not only NFL championship football, but also the state of Georgia and the city of Atlanta’s global sports ambitions.
Since before the 1996 Summer Olympics, Georgia has sought and won the right to host major sporting events. These events allow Georgia to court multinational businesses and spotlight Atlanta’s “city too busy to hate” ethos. But if the legislature continues to attempt to pass a law permitting discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people for services or adoption or foster care in the guise of “religious freedom,” it will set back Georgia’s boosterism efforts — and may ultimately cost Atlanta the chance to be a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.