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Transgender military equality: The plan of attack

Earlier this year, a select group of active duty members of the military met at a community center in Texas. The 30 Americans represented every branch and component of military service. They were members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. The vast majority had been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan at least once, and many others had multiple deployments under their belts — some to both countries. A majority were junior enlisted and junior noncommissioned officers. But what brought them together was the same thing that cloaked their meeting in secrecy: They are all transgender.

For three days, those 30 servicemembers — who under military policy can be discharged because of their gender identity — heard each others’ stories. Many of them had never met another transgender servicemember before, let alone another trans person. In some cases, it marked the first time they had ever come out to another person. The meeting was not just an opportunity to build a network of support relationships for those forced to continue to live life in the closet while serving their country, but also to strategize. The gathering had been organized by a group of activists with decades of combined experience working on LGBT military issues who are seeking to open the armed forces to transgender service. Read more

Will Christie punish a New Jersey judge for his gay-marriage ruling?

The New Jersey Supreme Court justice who led Gov. Chris Christie to abandon his fight over a court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in the Garden State could face political retribution from the Republican governor.

Last October, New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner delivered the court’s unanimous opinion denying a request by the Christie administration to put on hold a ruling by a lower court permitting same-sex marriage in the state while the case is appealed. Although the decision was not a final decision in the case, which was supposed to go before the high court several months later, many looked to the 7-0 decision allowing same-sex marriages to begin Oct. 21 as a preview of how the New Jersey Supreme Court could rule when the justices reached the merits of the case. The Christie administration appeared to agree. Read more

How corporate America became the LGBT community’s most powerful ally

Brendan Eich was CEO of Mozilla for just over one week before public pressure became too much.

Eich, who invented JavaScript and helped found the company behind the Firefox Web browser, had made a political contribution in 2008 to the campaign supporting California’s same-sex marriage ban. The $1,000 donation supporting Proposition 8 was first reported by the Los Angeles Times in 2012 – four years after it was made – and while the revelation caused a dustup on Twitter, it was just as soon forgotten. That all changed when the Mozilla board of directors announced on March 24 that Eich had been named CEO, making a man opposed to same-sex marriage essentially the most public face of the company.  Read more