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NY to expand anti-bias rules to include gender identity

NY Gov. Andrew CuomoNew York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo used his executive power Thursday to expand the state's anti-discrimination rules to safeguard transgender people.

Cuomo, speaking to about 700 people at the Empire State Pride Agenda's annual dinner, said he had directed the state's Division of Human Rights to issue a regulation that would expand the anti-discrimination law to prohibit discrimination against transgender people.


Evictions throwing more families into homelessness

Eviction crisis in USThe national campaign to end chronic homelessness in America’s cities has focused on veterans and the chronically homeless. But there is another class of newly homeless: Evicted tenants, often families with children, who can’t afford a roof over their heads after they lose their lease.

Evictions have reached epidemic proportions and created a new homeless crisis born out of an affordable housing shortage.


Texas officials raid Planned Parenthood amid funding battle

Planned ParenthoodTexas investigators arrived without warning at Planned Parenthood facilities on Thursday and demanded documents, three days after the state told the healthcare provider it planned to terminate its Medicaid contracts.

Ken Lambrecht, the chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, told a news conference in Austin that the appearance of state officials at offices in San Antonio, Dallas and Houston was “a politically motivated … fishing expedition” for information including unnecessary details such as the home addresses of employees and their salaries.


Gun rights overshadowing South Carolina anti-domestic-violence efforts

Gun rights over domestic violenceIn South Carolina, state lawmaker and victim advocate Gilda Cobb-Hunter has found it easier to get court-ordered protections for family pets than to take guns away from domestic abusers.

For more than a decade, her state has maintained one of the worst domestic violence records in the country. Just last month, the state was ranked as the deadliest in the U.S. for women killed by men, largely in murders that involved guns. The report, by the Violence Policy Center, comes in the wake of a domestic violence reform law passed by the state’s General Assembly this summer. Ushered in by intense public pressure, the new law beefs up criminal penalties and ensures graduated gun bans for people convicted domestic abusers.


Mississippi city sued over jailing of poor who miss court payments

Mississippi sued for jailing poorPoor people are being illegally arrested and jailed in Biloxi, Mississippi, because they cannot afford to pay court fines and fees sought by the city to generate revenue, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a federal lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

The suit follows similar litigation brought by the ACLU earlier this month over what the rights group called a “modern-day debtors’ prisons” in one Washington state county.


Judge halts Jindal's attempt to defund Planned Parenthood

JindalA federal judge ruled Monday that Louisiana must keep making Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood for at least two more weeks, extending a weeks-long legal battle waged by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal.

After a round of questioning with Jindal on Friday, U.S. District Judge John deGravelles in Baton Rouge delivered his decision early Monday, according to the Associated Press.


Federal Court Upholds Bulk Of Gun-Control Laws Passed In Wake Of Newtown

gun laws upheldA federal appeals court on Monday upheld the core of gun-control legislation passed in Connecticut and New York in the wake of the school massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

The ruling dealt a blow to the various gun groups that mounted a constitutional challenge under the Second Amendment against the laws, which prohibit possession of a number of semiautomatic "assault weapons" and large-capacity magazines.


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