Happy Pride Month 2018!

It’s another Gay Pride Month throughout most of the world, and in the U.S. we recall the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969.

Pace Law Library extends best wishes to its entire LBGTQIA+ community and invites everyone to look at its new book display in recognition of Gay Pride 2018.  We also invite you to learn more the about the LBGTQA community at Pace University’s LBGTQA & Social Justice Center, and to enjoy the various Pride events in NYC. Further, in Westchester County the LOFT Community Center has a range of activities for the LBGTQIA+ community. LOFT is widely known for funding the Forward & Out series featuring topics of interest and concern to the LGBT community.

As you ponder the meaning behind this month’s celebration, it’s important to learn more about the history of the gay rights movement  and the rainbow flag. However, the movement currently faces new hurdles, as many laws are being introduced to “attack or undermine LGBT rights” throughout the U.S., according to the Human Rights Watch 2018 World Report.

There are a number of major LGBTQIA+ related legal issues that U.S. courts decided during the year including:

June 2018 Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colo. C. R. Comm’n, No. 16-111, 2018 WL 2465172 (U.S. June 4, 2018). The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission did not comply with the Free Exercise Clause’s requirement of religious neutrality when it decided that the cake shop owner discriminated against customers based on his religion.
June 2017 Pavan v. Smith, 137 S. Ct. 2075 (2017). The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states may not treat same-sex married couples differently than other married couples, including when it comes to issuing two-parent birth certificates to children born to same-sex spouses.
April 2018 Strickland v. Day, 239 So. 3d 486 (Miss. 2018). Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that married same-sex couples should have the same parenting rights as different sex couples.
April 2018 Gonzalez v. Nevares, No. CV 17-1457CCC, 2018 WL 1896341 (D.P.R. Apr. 20, 2018). Court ruled that denying accurate birth certificates to transgender people is a violation of their privacy.
March 2018 F.V. v. Barron, 286 F. Supp. 3d 1131 (D. Idaho 2018). District Court of Idaho ruled that the current birth certificate policy denying transgender Idahoans the ability to obtain accurate birth certificates discriminates against them.



EEOC v. R.G. &. G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc., 884 F.3d 560 (6th Cir. 2018). RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes unlawfully discriminated against Aimee Stephens when it fired her after she told her employer that she would begin presenting as a woman because she is transgender.



Christopher YY. v. Jessica ZZ., 69 N.Y.S.3d 887 (N.Y. App. Div. 2018). On January 25th, 2018, the Appellate Division, Third Department, in New York, ruled that a married same sex couple have a “presumption of legitimacy”.

Some highlights of ongoing LBGTQIA+ related issues in the NYC Council include greater attention to the rights of transgendered youth via NYC’s Dignity for All Students Act :

  1. Resolution calling upon the NYC Department of Education to create and maintain a functional Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA) in all middle and high schools in order to support and protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) and other vulnerable students.
  2. Resolution calling upon the NYC Department of Education to provide curricular and other support to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer or questioning (LGBQ) and transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) and other vulnerable students and to ensure that administrators, teachers and students in all middle and high schools are informed that, under the Equal Access Act, students have a right to convene and participate in a Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA) at school.

Recently enacted NYC local law:

Amendment to the administrative code of the City of New York, in relation to runaway youth and homeless youth who have not accessed shelter services funded by the Department of Youth and Community Development

Please look forward to our forthcoming research guide focusing primarily on researching LGBTQIA+ legal issues.

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