human rights

Monday numbers: North Carolina and the national wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation

BY: - February 13, 2023

Last week, Policy Watch delved into the stories of LGBTQ youth as new bills legislating their education, healthcare and identities work their way through the North Carolina General Assembly. The bills are part of a continuing wave of hundreds of new anti-LGBTQ measures filed across the country in the new year, many targeting transgender young people.


LGBTQ kids need protection from bullies and violence, not adults targeting and bullying them too

BY: - January 19, 2023

I grew up in a struggling, post-industrial Ohio town in the 1990s where ignorance and intolerance often reigned. I stood up to bullies my whole life, and when put under physical threat, I fought them. No bully can intimidate me, and so even though I was definitely a weird kid, I was also funnier, smarter, […]

Same-sex marriage protected under bill passed by U.S. Senate with GOP support

BY: - November 30, 2022

Tillis and Burr 'aye' votes help assure measure could not be filibustered WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would enshrine protections for same-sex and interracial marriages, codifying many of the rights that would disappear if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn those landmark decisions the way it overturned the nationwide right to an abortion this summer.


The link between politicians and anti-LGBTQ+ violence

BY: - November 29, 2022

It’s an age-old, chicken and egg discussion: Is it extant societal forces of exclusion, hatred and reaction that give rise to authoritarian politicians who in turn foment division, prejudice, and violence, or does it work the other way around? A global survey reveals compelling examples of both scenarios in action. It’s hard, for instance, to imagine the repressive religious fundamentalism and secular authoritarianism we see enforced today in many modern nations if there weren’t already some preexisting levels of support for it in pockets of the general public.


In Iran, women have put their lives on the line for basic rights. We barely notice.

BY: - October 26, 2022

Did you hear her screams? On Sept. 16, Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, died after being arrested by “morality police” for wearing her hijab improperly. This particular segment of Iranian law enforcement exists to stop free expression of identity and specifically to target women who show even a shred of femininity. Many of us […]

Monday numbers: A closer look at fast-evolving public attitudes toward marriage equality

BY: - October 10, 2022

In 2012 North Carolina was the last U.S. state to ban same-sex marriage through a statewide referendum. In 2015, more than a decade after Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to legalize it, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges established marriage equality for same-sex couples as a constitutional right. Today […]


DeSantis’ compassionless conservatism underscores urgency of real immigration reform

BY: - September 22, 2022

‘The migrants are human beings, and we’ve got to treat them like human beings. They are being used as political pawns to get publicity,’ U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, of Texas, said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to airlift 48 migrants from San Antonio, Texas to the island resort of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. last week was depthless in its cruelty and cynicism, evoking the worst of America’s nativist and segregationist history.

Same-sex marriage and contraception at risk after abortion ruling, U.S. House panel told

BY: - July 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — Advocates told Congress on Thursday that a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning a landmark abortion rights case is likely only the beginning, and could be followed by similar action by the high court on same-sex marriage, contraception and more. Witnesses at a U.S. House Judiciary Committee advised that to prevent that from happening, […]


Global reproductive health experts: The U.S. has joined a truly dreadful list of repressive nations

BY: - June 27, 2022

In case you missed it, Dr. Anu Kumar, the President and CEO of the Chapel Hill-based global reproductive heath organization Ipas — a nonprofit  that has worked long and courageously to bring reproductive health care to people across the globe living under repressive regimes, issued a powerful statement last Friday that forecasts the future in […]

Transgender North Carolinians see legal victories on birth certificates, health coverage

BY: - June 23, 2022

Transgender people born in North Carolina can now change the gender marker on their birth certificates without undergoing medical transition, according to a consent judgment in a federal law suit issued Wednesday. The lawsuit, filed last year by Lambda Legal, Baker Botts LLP and Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard, challenged state restrictions on how transgender North Carolinians can change their gender markers.

Congress votes to back Ukraine by suspending normal trade relations with Russia

BY: - April 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Congress on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and reinforce a ban on Russian oil imports, following weeks of back-and-forth negotiations over the specifics. Senators in a pair of rare 100-0 votes agreed to send both measures to the U.S. House, where lawmakers voted 420-3 to suspend […]

Tension, condemnations rise as “Don’t say Gay” bill nears vote in Florida Senate

BY: - March 8, 2022

On Sunday, at the start of a week in which the Florida Senate was scheduled to consider a nationally-watched piece of legislation referred to as “Don’t Say Gay,” the organization Equality Florida posted a statement condemning “homophobic, transphobic” remarks from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press secretary. Christina Pushaw tweeted Friday in support of the bill that would restrict certain conversations on LGBTQ issues in Florida’s public school classrooms. That led to a scathing statement from Equality Florida...