UNDATED (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett served for nearly three years on the board of private Christian schools that effectively barred admission to children of same-sex parents and made it plain that openly gay and lesbian teachers weren’t welcome in the classroom. The policies that discriminated against LGBTQ people and their children were in place for years at Trinity Schools Inc., which is affiliated with the insular community People of Praise.

Michigan Woman At Center Of Transgender Rights Case Dies

May 12, 2020
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT (AP) — Aimee Stephens, a Detroit-area transgender woman who was fired by a funeral home after she said she wanted to be recognized as female, has died. Stephens died Tuesday before the U.S. Supreme Court could make a decision about whether federal civil rights law protects transgender people. Stephens worked as an embalmer and funeral home director at Harris funeral home in Garden City, Michigan. She was fired in 2013 when she told her boss that she wanted to be known as Aimee, not Anthony, and would report to work wearing a conservative skirt suit or dress.


Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Hoosiers gathered from across the state for the first LGBTQ Statehouse Day. A group from the ACLU of Indiana, who organized the event, spent the day speaking to lawmakers about trans issues.

Kit Malone has been an advocate for the last five years. 

“In a time, when trans people are increasingly under attack, both locally and nationally, we want to make sure our lawmakers see that we’re real people,” Malone says.

Malone says her logic is simple: once lawmakers and other Hoosiers meet and interact with trans people, it’s harder to see them as a threat. 

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has won the endorsement of one of the nation's largest LGBTQ membership organizations. Equality California and its Nevada partner organization have more than 900,000 members.

Fernando Vergara/AP Photo

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A group organizing a Michigan ballot drive to protect LGBT people from discrimination says it will begin collecting signatures after state election officials approved the format and wording of the petition.

The Fair and Equal Michigan campaign secured the optional approvals from the Board of State Canvassers Tuesday.

It has until late May to gather about 340,000 valid signatures to put the initiative before the Republican-led Legislature.

A Goshen College graduate is going on to be the first woman and openly gay NFL coach to head to the Super Bowl. But her time at the college may not have been as accepting.

Katie Sowers is the offensive assistant coach for the San Francisco 49ers. She’s also the first female and openly gay coach to make it to the Super Bowl.

Fernando Vergara/AP Photo

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A group is launching a 2020 ballot initiative to expand Michigan's civil rights law to include anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.

Fair and Equal Michigan submitted petition language to the Board of State Canvassers on Tuesday.

Once it's approved, the committee of business, political and philanthropic leaders will try to collect 340,000 signatures to place the initiated bill before lawmakers.

If the Republican-led Legislature doesn't adopt the legislation, the initiative would go to a statewide vote in November.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court heard arguments in multiple cases of employee LGBTQ discrimination, and advocates for the community in Indiana say the stakes for young people are as high as ever. 

Justice Department Backs Catholic Church In Teacher Firing

Sep 28, 2019
Student organizer Brooklynn Thorpe uses a megaphone to amplify music as fellow students lead school chants and cheers outside of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Credit Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department is supporting Catholic Church leaders in Indianapolis who are being sued over the firing of a teacher in a same-sex marriage.

Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband says the First Amendment protects the free exercise of religion and gives faith-based schools the right to associate with some people and not others. The government filed a statement Friday in Marion County court.

Michael Conroy/AP Photo/File

The Vatican temporarily suspended a decree by the Indianapolis Archdiocese to no longer recognize Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.

In June, the Archdiocese made the decision because Brebeuf leaders refused to fire a teacher in a same-sex marriage.

Today, Brebeuf President, Rev. Bill Verbryke said in a public letter the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome suspended the decree on an interim basis, pending its final response to the school's appeal.

Darian Benson/WFYI

A prominent group advocating for LGBTQ acceptance in the Catholic church held an early morning rally at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis Friday. Cathedral was the second Indianapolis Catholic high school to fire a teacher for marrying someone of the same gender. 

Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo


Steve Luciano/AP Photo

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Pride flags are flying on the state office building in Lansing for the first time in Michigan's history.

Faith-Based Adoption Agency Sues After Michigan Settlement

Apr 15, 2019

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Faith-based adoption agencies sued the state of Michigan on Monday, challenging a settlement that prevents them from refusing to put children in LGBT homes for religious reasons.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed the lawsuit in federal court on behalf of St. Vincent Catholic Charities, which receives state funding to help place children from troubled homes with new families. Also suing are two adoptive parents and a former foster child who was adopted.

Indiana's First Home For LGBTQ Youth To Open

Mar 25, 2019


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A member of the LGBTQ community who has experience working with transitional housing and homelessness has been named the founding executive director of what's billed as Indiana's first home for LGBTQ youth who have nowhere safe to live. 
Trinity Haven is scheduled to open this summer in the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood of Indianapolis. It will serve LGBTQ youth ages 16-21. When it opens, Trinity Haven will be able to house up to 10 youth at a time, with the potential to eventually house at least 15. 

Ludovic Bertron / Wikimedia Commons


City Commissioners in St. Joseph, Michigan will hear a second reading on a ordinance that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity tonight.

The non-discrimination ordinance would protect residents and workers within the city of St. Joseph from discrimination based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. That’s something that Michigan’s Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act does not do.

Michiana Stories: South Bend LGBTQ Center

Jun 25, 2018
St. Joseph County Public Library

LGBTQ Center employees Tricia McCann and Jamie Morgan talk about the different local events and local resources available in South Bend for the LGBTQ community.

Michiana Stories is a production of the St. Joseph County Public Library and 88.1 WVPE. It is aired on Monday mornings at 7:45, and Monday afternoons at 4:45, on 88.1 WVPE.

South Bend Pride Week Ends With Block Party

Jun 18, 2018
Barbara Anguiano / WVPE

South Bend’s Pride Week 2018 wrapped up over the weekend with a downtown Block Party.

Vendors and non-profit organizations from across northern Indiana lined a block of Michigan street for the final event of South Bend’s 2018 Pride Week.

Jason Wilkinson is the executive director at the LGBTQ Center in South Bend. He says he’s proudest of all the young people that showed up during the week’s events.


Community centers, libraries and schools across the country are reading one book Thursday, in an effort to raise awareness and education around transgender children.


The book is ‘I Am Jazz” written by reality TV star and transgender child activist Jazz Jennings.