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Washington, DC – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) celebrates several historic decisions handed down by the United States Supreme Court this week, including the expansion of marriage equality nationwide. In the Obergefell v. Hodges 5-4 ruling, the nation’s highest court stated that all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, have a constitutional right to marry the person they love in every state of the union. The decision legalizes marriage for same-sex couples in the last 13 states with laws that banned it – Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Louisiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas.

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Washington, DC – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) released the following statement today in remembrance of the nine lives lost at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on the evening of June 17, 2015:
 
“Since learning of the horrific attack of hate at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina last week, our hearts at NBJC have been broken. Our nation once again finds itself in the aftermath of a senseless shooting rampage where nine innocent lives have been taken from us. However, this particular tragedy has touched us, significantly, as Black Americans with the racist, disreputable ideology underpinning the murderer’s heart that for centuries has been a plaguing force of hopelessness in our communities.

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Washington, DC – May 15, 2015 – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, stands in solidarity with Michael L. Johnson, a Black gay man who was found guilty by a St. Charles County, Missouri jury yesterday of one count of “recklessly infecting” a partner with HIV, and three counts of “recklessly exposing” partners to HIV. The verdict from a jury, comprised of 11 white jurors and one Black juror, came after only two hours of deliberation and after just three days of a trial. He now faces life in prison.

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“NBJC is thrilled that U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch has finally been confirmed by the Senate to become our nation’s next Attorney General. It’s an embarrassment that this well-qualified nominee had to wait 165 days for a vote on the Senate floor, longer than any other nominee in our nation’s history,” said Sharon Lettman-Hicks, NBJC Executive Director & CEO. “Now that she has been confirmed, NBJC looks forward to continuing to work with the Department of Justice under her leadership working on critical issues like profiling, voting rights and equal protection laws for the LGBT community.

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Every year on February 7th our nation pauses to recognize the need for action to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Black communities. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) began 15 years ago as a means of engaging Black people about the epidemic and spread of HIV within our families and neighborhoods. At the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), we have called to action the Black family around the notion that the first step to ending the epidemic in our community is to embrace HIV/AIDS as a Black health issue.

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Today, the National Black Justice Coalition’s (NBJC) Executive Director and CEO, Sharon Lettman-Hicks, issued the following statement in support of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s termination of former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran after he went against city policy by writing a book that included homophobic statements...

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Washington, DC – Today the state of Florida joins 35 other states in granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry. This action comes after Federal District Court Judge Robert Hinkle ruled last August that Florida’s law barring same-sex couples from marrying violated the equal protection and due process requirements of the U.S. Constitution and stayed his ruling until January 5, 2015. Both the 11th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently denied the State of Florida’s request to extend the stay, which ultimately led to marriage equality as the law of the land in Florida as of today. The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) applauds the ruling and celebrates Florida joining the movement to expand marriage rights to same-sex couples in our nation.

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Washington, D.C. – The National Black Justice Coalition’s (NBJC) Executive Director & CEO, Sharon Lettman-Hicks, released the following statement in response to the Ferguson, Missouri Grand Jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014:
 
“I speak as a Black mother of a Black toddler boy who will one day grow up and learn that he lives in a nation where his very existence is a threat. As a parent, I will have to instruct him on how to properly conduct himself in front of law enforcement because one perceived wrong motion or non-submissive remark towards a police officer could serve him to be fatal. I will need to teach him about the legacy of Black lives eliminated due to physical and systematic violence that is too often justified by the law itself...."

 

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Washington, DC – Today, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) joined the call for Michigan lawmakers to include protections for transgender people in legislation to expand the state’s non-discrimination law. Michigan’s current non-discrimination law, known as the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, was passed in 1976 and banned discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on race, sex, religion, age, height, weight, marital or family status, and national origin. An updated non-discrimination bill was introduced this week in the Michigan House of Representatives to protect against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but failed to include protections on the basis of gender identity or gender expression.

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Washington, DC -- The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) celebrates the nomination of United States Attorney Loretta Lynch to be the nation’s 83rd Attorney General. Lynch is currently the top federal prosecutor of the Eastern District of New York, which includes Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Lynch would become the first Black woman to serve as the nation’s top law enforcement official, following the historic tenure of current Attorney General Eric Holder.

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