DOJ Pride update

Hi gang,

Happy return to standard time.  A few exciting events for the week ahead:

  • Tuesday, November 3 @ 7pm at the Newseum, 555 Penn Ave in DC:  India’s Third Gender: Transgender People in Hindu Society, a discussion with journalist Michael Edison Hayden and photographer Sami Siva, who travelled to Koovagam, one of the world’s largest transgender festivals, to profile some of India’s transgender women in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that acknowledges the existence of India’s third gender.  Free and open to the public, but RSVP required.  See more here.
  • Thursday, November 5 @12pm in the DOJ Conference Center, RFK 7411:  LGBT Employee Engagement at DOJ, an informal discussion with DOJ LGBT employees and the LGBT Special Emphasis Program Managers.  For additional questions, please contact Cecily Johnson, JMD EEO Staff.  To receive diversity credit, you must register via learnDOJ and sign in at the program it starts.

Plus a few exciting updates:

  • The DOJ Pride Board sent a list of concerns to AAG for Administration Lee Lofthus regarding the recently-circulated Off-Duty Conduct Memo and Handbook.  In short, the Board requested language be added to both to make clear that the prohibition against “criminal, infamous, dishonest, immoral, or notoriously disgraceful conduct” in 5 CFR 735.203 does not pertain to an employee being LGBT.  As discussed in the recently-screened documentary Uniquely Nasty, that language has a sordid history of being used to punish and disqualify LGBT individuals from federal service.  In addition, the Board requested that the prohibition against racist or sexist remarks or conduct be expanded to include homophobic or anti-LGBT remarks or conduct.  We will let you know when we receive a substantive response.
  • The OPM Office of Diversity and Inclusion released a new training resource, Introductory Training on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Inclusion in the Federal Government, available here under the “Training Resources” heading.
  • The Office of the Associate Attorney General seeks an experienced DOJ attorney for a detail to serve as Assistant Director of the Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative, which coordinates and expands the Department’s enforcement, outreach, and training efforts on behalf of servicemembers, veterans, and their families.  Additional information available here.

DOJ Pride update – upcoming events and news item

We have two upcoming events and a news item to share.

  1. Tonight: LGBT Bar Association Social and Networking Event

The LGBT Bar Association of Washington DC welcomes DOJ Pride members at its September social. The event is tonight at Number 9, 1435 P Street NW, from 6:30-8:30 pm. For more information or to get involved in the group, write info@lgbtbardc.org.

  1. Oct 1: Screening of “Uniquely Nasty: The U.S. Government’s War on Gays”

DOJ Pride, FBI Pride, the Civil Rights Division’s Diversity Committee, and the Antitrust Division’s Diversity Committee, will co-sponsor a screening of “Uniquely Nasty: The U.S. Government’s War on Gays,” followed by a Q & A session with Michael Isikoff , Chief Investigative Correspondent, Yahoo News, and Co-Executive Producer of “Uniquely Nasty,” from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 1, 2015, in the DOJ Conference Center (Room 7411, RFK Main Justice Building). The 30-minute documentary showcases the discrimination by the U.S. government that took place against its LGBT employees, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as the efforts of the resurrected Mattachine Society of Washington DC and their lawyers at McDermott, Will, and Emory to uncover this history.

All employees are welcome.  To request reasonable accommodation to attend, please contact the JMD Equal Employment Opportunity Staff on (202) 616-4800. The film is closed-captioned.

  1. “Where Gay Love Is Illegal”

The New York Times has published a story and photo spread depicting LGBT individuals living in countries where their relationships remains criminalized.   Thank you to Gavin Hilgemeier for directing our attention to it.

DOJ Pride letter to Attorney General Lynch

Attached is a letter sent today from the DOJ Pride Board of Directors to Attorney General Lynch. In it, we request specific actions to make DOJ more inclusive for LGBT employees. I’d like to thank each of you who took our membership survey (which is still accepting responses) as it informed the letter’s contents. Thanks also go out to each member of the board as the drafting process was truly a collaboration.

I’d also like to take a moment to express great sadness at the passing of civil rights legend and LGBT ally Julian Bond. The Southern Poverty Law Center put it well: “He advocated not just for African Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognized the common humanity in us all.”

2015.08.17 Pride letter to AG Lynch

DOJ Pride update, including Lavender Law

Greetings!  We have updates on several fronts.

  1. Lavender Law 2015 – Honorees and Events

Congratulations to Bob Koch and Anna Baldwin, both of the Civil Rights Division, for being recognized today by the LGBT Bar Association as among the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40!  Bravo!!

Those in Chicago are invited to two events tonight in connection with the conference.

DOJ Pride and DC LGBT Bar Association Happy Hour
Thursday, August 6 @ 6:45pm
Public House, 400 N. State Street

Chicago LGBT Bar Association Reception
Thursday, August 6 @ 7:30pm
River Roast, 315 N. LaSalle Drive

  1. DC Area Events

It has been quite the summer for equality, and we will celebrate by sending it off with a series of social events.  Friends and allies welcome!

Ice Cream Social
Monday, August 10 from 3-4pm
9th floor terrace of the Liberty Square Building
450 Fifth Street NW
The entrance to the terrace is toward the northeast side of the building.
If your badge does not automatically get you into LSB, enter through the visitor’s center.
In the event of rain or extreme heat, we will relocate to a nearby conference room.

DC Rollergirls
Saturday, August 15 @ 3pm
60 Southlawn Court, Rockville, MD
Tickets can be purchased for $10 at http://madtrax.bpt.me/.
Contact Latashia Gohlke for more information or visit the Rollergirls website, www.dcrollergirls.com.

Lunch at the National Portrait Gallery
Wednesday, August 26 starting at noon [rescheduled from August 13]
8th Street between F and G NW
Join us in the museum’s well air conditioned Kogod Courtyard for an informal lunch.
Come and go as you please.  Look for the DOJ Pride sign.

  1. EEO/Anti-Discrimination Procedures

I’d like to reiterate that in light of rulings by the EEOC, including the Foxx ruling last month, the Department has now instructed components to treat claims of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity as claims meriting statutory protection.  Employees now should receive a stronger, more robust process for their claims.  Because the Department’s published policy has not yet been updated, we are aiming to publicize this information ourselves.

  1. Membership Drive

If you have colleagues who might be interested in joining DOJ Pride – whether they are members of the LGBT community or allies, and whether they are new to the Department or veterans – please encourage them to message me or our Secretary, Bob Koch, to join the mailing list.

  1. Detail Opportunity in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General – Professional Misconduct Review Unit

 The Deputy Attorney General’s office is seeking two experienced attorneys to detail to the Professional Misconduct Review Unit.  For more information, see here.

DOJ Pride at Lavender Law

Next week is the LGBT Bar’s annual Lavender Law conference, this year in Chicago.  A number of Pride members will be attending, presenting on panels, and being recognized as among the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.  Consequently, DOJ Pride will join forces on Thursday evening for a happy hour with the DC LGBT Bar Association, before heading to a reception hosted by the Chicago LGBT Bar Association.  Details:

Thursday, August 6 @ 6:45pm
DOJ Pride and DC LGBT Bar happy hour
Public House, 400 N. State Street

Thursday, August 6 @ 7:30pm
Chicago LGBT Bar reception
River Roast, 315 N. LaSalle Drive

Note that the Chicago LGBT Bar is requesting that folks register for their reception by TODAY:
http://www.lagbac.org/sweet-home-chicago/

See you in Chicago!

DOJ Pride update

Happy Friday!  It’s been a busy couple of weeks.  Some exciting updates:

  1. The EEOC ruled yesterday that Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation.  The decision comes on the heels of recent guidance by OPM et al. to the same effect, and is binding on the federal government as an employer.  We will work with JMD to ensure that the Department’s EEO policy reflects this change in the law.  Buzzfeed coverage here.
  2. Attorney General Lynch announced last week that federal marriage benefits will be available to same-sex couples nationwide in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell recognizing full marriage equality.  Previously, certain social security and veterans benefits had been limited by laws that invoke a place-of-residence eligibility determination.  Press release here.
  3. Pride Month concluded in June with a bang.  The Eastern District of Michigan hosted a brownbag featuring parents of transgender teens and a program featuring the lawyers who argued Obergefell in the Supreme Court; the Michigan marriage case, DeBoer, arose in that district; thanks to US Attorney Barbara McQuade for the tip.  The Central District of California hosted a lunch and panel presentation on the transgender experience that featured speakers from the Williams Institute, Transgender Law Center, and the LA LGBT Center; thanks to AUSAs Susan DeWitt and Abby Evans for the tip.

DOJ Pride update

A few quick but exciting updates:

  1. OPM directed FEHB coverage of transgender transition-related health services beginning January 1, 2016.  This is a big deal, and completes the reversal of a prior OPM position that prohibited coverage.  More info in this Buzzfeed article.
  2. The Supreme Court’s Obergefell marriage equality decision is imminent:  the Court will hand down its final seven decisions of the term on Thursday 6/25, Friday 6/26, and Monday 6/29.  Fun (and prescient?) tidbit:  Lawrence and Windsor came down on June 26 of 2003 and 2013, respectively.
  3. Pride watch:
    1. The USAO for the District of NJ celebrated Pride last Friday with a discussion of NJ’s road to marriage equality featuring two of the named plaintiffs in the case, US Attorney Larry Lustberg, and AUSA Michael Campion.  More info in this press release.
    2. The Department of Labor celebrated Pride yesterday by inducting Frank Kameny into the DOL Hall of Fame.  More info in this press release.  #ThankFrank
    3. DEA celebrated Pride yesterday with a keynote by Kristin Beck.
    4. The USAO for the Northern District of OH will celebrate Pride this weekend by marching in the Cleveland Pride parade.
    5. The US Marshals Service will celebrate Pride next Tuesday, June 30, with a brown bag with Earl D. Fowlkes, Jr., the President and CEO of the Center for Black Equity, as well as the Chair of the Democratic National Committee’s LGBT Caucus.  The brown bag begins at 12pm in DC Superior Court conference room C-600.

Pride month events update

Pride month continues with the below events.  Also, BIG shout-out to the Oregon USAO team who marched in Portland’s Pride parade this past weekend, including Acting US Attorney Bill Williams.

Wednesday 6/17, 11am-12pm EST:  FBI Pride celebration with keynote by Ted Olsen; at FBI headquarters in the Bonaparte Auditorium.

Thursday 6/18, 12-1pm EST:  Brown bag with Amy Andre of HHS’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  Ms. Andre, an expert on health outcomes in the bisexual community, will discuss particular challenges faced and the most effective approaches to addressing them.  In DC at Main Justice, room 7612 (the Budget Staff conference room).  Dial-in information available upon request.

About the speaker: Amy Andre is the co-author of Bisexual Health: An Introduction (published by the National LGBTQ Task Force). She works at HHS as a Public Health Advisor. Prior to entering federal service, she presented her research on bisexual health to the White House, and she served on a federal task force in partnership with the office of the Surgeon General. Amy has been featured as an LGBT expert in multiple media outlets ranging from CNN to PBS to Cosmopolitan and is a blogger for the Huffington Post.  In her work as an author and public speaker, she has educated thousands of people at over 100 universities, conferences, and companies, including Harvard, the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, Microsoft, and Stanford University.  Amy holds a master’s degree in Sexuality Studies, and, as a Point Foundation Scholar, earned an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.

Thursday 6/18, 1-2:30pm EST:  Documentary screening of Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story, in the DEA Auditorium.  Registration not required; closed captioning provided.

Tuesday 6/23, 10:30-11:30am EST:  DEA Pride celebration with keynote by Kristin Beck; at DEA headquarters, 700 Army Navy Drive, 1st Floor/West Building, Arlington, VA (near the Pentagon City Metro Station on the yellow and blue lines).

Tuesday 6/23, the Department of Labor will induct Frank Kameny, a groundbreaking leader in the LGBT civil rights movement, into the DOL Hall of Honor.  DOJ press release here.  Join the conversation on twitter with #ThankFrank.  More info via youtube here.

Pride month events

Thanks to all who attended last week’s Pride program, both in person and via JTN.  It was a phenomenal event with great speakers, wonderful award winners, and a packed house to boot.  As Pride month continues, here are some upcoming events:

Wednesday 6/10, 2-3pm EST:  Conversation with Aditi Hardikar, White House Liaison to the LGBT and AAPI Communities; in DC at the Bicentennial Building Room 5133/5135 and remotely through USA Meeting; hosted by the USAO for the District of Connecticut and EEO; great for those who missed Ms. Hardikar when she visited Main Justice in April.

Wednesday 6/17, 11am-12pm EST:  FBI Pride celebration with keynote by Ted Olsen; at FBI headquarters in the Bonaparte Auditorium.

Thursday 6/18, 12-1pm EST:  Brown bag with Amy Andre of HHS’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  Ms. Andre, an expert on health outcomes in the bisexual community, will discuss particular challenges faced and the most effective approaches to addressing them.  In DC at Main Justice, room TBD.  Dial-in information available upon request.

About the speaker: Amy Andre is the co-author of Bisexual Health: An Introduction (published by the National LGBTQ Task Force). She works at HHS as a Public Health Advisor. Prior to entering federal service, she presented her research on bisexual health to the White House, and she served on a federal task force in partnership with the office of the Surgeon General. Amy has been featured as an LGBT expert in multiple media outlets ranging from CNN to PBS to Cosmopolitan and is a blogger for the Huffington Post.  In her work as an author and public speaker, she has educated thousands of people at over 100 universities, conferences, and companies, including Harvard, the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, Microsoft, and Stanford University.  Amy holds a master’s degree in Sexuality Studies, and, as a Point Foundation Scholar, earned an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.

Tuesday 6/23, the Department of Labor will induct Frank Kameny, a groundbreaking leader in the LGBT civil rights movement, into its Hall of Honor.  DOJ press release here.  Join the conversation on twitter with #ThankFrank.  More info via youtube here.

LGBT Pride Month celebration

The Department’s LGBT Pride Month Observance Program:

Bending Toward Justice:  Continuing the March Toward LGBT Equality
Wednesday, June 3, 11am-12pm
The Great Hall, RFK Main Justice

DOJ Pride will then host a Pride happy hour later that evening:DOJ Pride Happy Hour
Wednesday, June 3, 6-8pm
Nellie’s Sports Bar, 900 U Street NW (one block from the green/yellow U Street metro stop)

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