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Earlier this summer in “Matal v. Tam” (formerly “Lee v. Tam”), the United States Supreme Court struck down the restriction on the registration of marks that “disparage” under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote unanimously for the eight justices in holding that Section 2(a)’s prohibition on disparaging registrations violates a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend.

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, meaning very soon many people will be attending dinners, staying inside snuggling under a favorite blanket, binging on baked goods and hot cocoa and the list goes on. It’s also the time of year when people are more concerned about packing on the pounds because of the amount of food consumed and minimal or reduced amount of physical activity.

 

Halloween is almost here — which, for many of us, means trips to the store to purchase overpriced costumes or hours spent sewing and hot-glueing homemade versions, both for our kids and for ourselves.

Renewal of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which has provided low-cost health insurance to 9-million children for over a decade now, is in limbo across several states, including here in Pennsylvania. While it looks very likely that the CHIP program will be passed here in Pennsylvania soon, it may come with an amendment that removes trans services for youth. There is a battle to get trans services back into CHIP in Harrisburg, and as of presstime some services were restored, except for surgery. Despite the outcome of this effort, Mazzoni Center will continue to provide service for all youth, ages 14-24, with or without health insurance.

Social Security remains one of the most popular federal programs, playing a vital role in ensuring financial security for older adults, people with disabilities and their dependents. As we grow older, it is important to understand the role that Social Security will play in our financial future. 

Q: My husband and I are planning to adopt a baby! As hopeful same-sex parents, we want to begin thinking about our short- and longer-term planning. Can you offer any thoughts to get us on the right path financially?

In the last several weeks, we’ve watched in horror as Puerto Rico experiences crisis in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. We’ve seen building upon building in shambles alongside countless uprooted trees and roads and bridges that can’t be crossed. Satellite images of the tropical territory show that nearly 85 percent of the island is still without power. People are struggling to find enough food and water to sustain their families, and luxuries — yes, luxuries — like ice and solar-powered lights are very difficult to come by at this point. 

The prime minister of Curaçao, Eugene Rhuggenaath, opened the fifth anniversary of Curaçao Pride by citing key phrases of the Declaration of Independence to announce his support for LGBT equality in his country. The prime minister’s remarks come at the same time that equality-rights activists here are working on potentially groundbreaking new LGBT legislation, which is expected to be introduced in Parliament before the end of the year as part of a pathway to equality for all citizens.

 

In April, for the first time ever, a full panel of Circuit Court judges in the Seventh District in Illinois ruled that discrimination against employees due to sexual orientation was against Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, finding that discrimination based on orientation falls under discrimination based on sex. The opinion reversed a lower-court decision to throw out the case of an Indiana professor fired for being a lesbian, and set federal-level legal precedent that sex discrimination includes sexual orientation. 

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