Latest Blog Posts
Post by Laura Kiritsy
As we celebrate the anniversary of marriage in Massachusetts, it’s inspiring and encouraging to know that more and more Americans are coming around to supporting the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
If DOMA is overturned and you are in the process of appealing a previous tax return, you may be eligible to receive a refund on the extra taxes you paid. The IRS allows you to file amended income tax returns up to three years after the original return was filed. For example, in most cases you can still file an amended return for the 2009 tax year provided the IRS receives it before this April’s filing deadline. Read on for more information from our Legal InfoLine Manager, Bruce Bell.
In a recent post, I focused on the rights that students, particularly public school students, have and the anti-discrimination laws that provide protection to youth as well as adults in employment, housing and public accommodations.
GLAD’s Youth Initiative is also working to make sure youth in the child welfare system or the juvenile justice system know their rights, and we are exploring ways to increase those protections.
If your rights are being violated or you have questions about your rights, or if you work with LGBTQ youth in one of these areas and have questions, GLAD would like to hear from you. Contact GLAD’s Legal InfoLine by email or live chat or call our toll-free number, 800-455-GLAD (4523). A friendly volunteer will assist you—it’s free and confidential.
We’ve come a good way towards establishing legal protections for transgender people in New England in the past several years. In 2011, both Connecticut and Massachusetts added gender identity to their anti-discrimination laws, joining Rhode Island (2001), Maine (2005) and Vermont (2007) in providing protections in employment, housing and credit, and, in all but Massachusetts, public accommodations (like restaurants, bars, parks, stores, hospitals, shelters, etc.). But there is still work to do.
Do you have a story about unfair treatment you or someone you know has faced when accessing everyday places like libraries, hospitals, stores and restaurants, or when using public transit, city streets or sidewalks? Please take this 3 minute survey to tell us about your experience.
One of the great things about living in New England is that all six states offer anti-discrimination protections for LGBT employees and workers who are living with HIV. Most workers are “employees at will” and can be fired or discriminated against by their employer for any reason or no reason at all. However, states have identified “protected characteristics” and made it illegal to fire or discriminate against an employee just because they possess, or are perceived to possess, one or more of those characteristics. For lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) workers, the protected characteristic is “sexual orientation,” for workers living with HIV, “disability,” and for transgender workers, “gender identity.”
We have a lot of work ahead of us in 2013 – working to pass gender identity nondiscrimination protections in New Hampshire and completing our work on the transgender rights law in Massachusetts, overturning DOMA, working for full marriage equality in Rhode Island, and litigating on behalf of LGBT and HIV+ people in all six New England states. After this year’s inspiring election season, we are ready to go.
Into the Woods: Providing a Different Kind of Counsel at Camp for Transgender & Gender Variant Youth
The last time I went to summer camp was nearly 35 years ago. Beginning when I was seven and continuing into my early adolescence, I spent between four and eight weeks each summer at overnight camp. The experience of being among peers and away from home was formative and life-changing, as it is for thousands, probably millions, of children throughout the world. I’ll never forget those long summer afternoons surrounded by friends playing kickball for hours followed by dinner (grilled cheese and tomato soup washed down with a tall cup of bug juice), a night game of capture the flag, then milk squad, and staying up late ignoring the counselors’ warnings to “get to sleep.
GLAD Staff Attorney Janson Wu was named the 2012 recipient of the American Constitution Society’s David Carliner Public Interest Award, becoming the first LGBT-identified attorney to receive the honor. In her presentation of the award at the ACS National Convention in Washington, D.C. last Saturday, David Carliner’s granddaughter Sarah Remes pointed out the many parallels between Janson’s work and that of her grandfather, noting his work for transgender rights and marriage equality.