Out Law by Angela Giampolo

Angela D. Giampolo, principal of Giampolo Law Group, maintains offices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and specializes in LGBT law, family law, business law, real estate law and civil rights. Her website is www.giampololaw.com and she maintains a blog at www.phillygaylawyer.com. Reach out to Angela with your legal questions at 215-645-2415 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Ohio’s House of Representatives is considering legislation that forces educators, therapists and social workers to out transgender minors to their parents or face fourth-degree felony charges. For those who display characteristics in opposition to their assigned gender at birth, or who openly question their gender, the stakes are nothing short of life and death.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled narrowly in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips in his anti-LGBTQ discrimination case. In the 7-2 opinion, the court ruled Phillips had not received fair treatment for his religious beliefs by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The majority justices held that, based on the language used by the CCRC in formal public hearings, the Commission held animus against Phillips’ religious belief that he could not bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, calling his beliefs rhetorical and despicable, and comparing them to defenses against slavery and the Holocaust.

In early December, SCOTUS heard oral arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The crux of the case is that bakery owner Jack Phillips sued the CCRC claiming his rights to freedom of religion and freedom of speech have been denied when he refused to bake a custom wedding cake for a gay couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins. Citing his religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman, Phillips claims that because he sketches and sculpts his culinary creations, he’s an artist. Therefore, forcing him to make these cakes violated his right to free expression, speech and religious freedom.

It has been quite a roller-coaster year for the LGBT community, with some pretty high highs and some equally low lows. We saw a new president take office, and with it came stalling of the progress LGBT civil rights have made in recent years. That said, organizations like the ACLU, the Human Rights Campaign and the Center for Constitutional Rights have had our backs, filing lawsuits on behalf of LGBT citizens to preserve the hard-won protections we’ve fought for.

On Nov. 22, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, released a proposal to kill net neutrality in the United States — and the public released an outcry of epic proportions.

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