Nebraska to drop lawsuit over transgender bathroom policy

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska has asked to drop a 10-state lawsuit it led challenging the Obama administration's guidance on locker room and bathroom use by transgender students after the Trump administration ended the protection. The Nebraska attorney general's office filed the request Thursday. Chief Deputy Attorney General David Bydalek said the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education withdrew the guidance last month, according to the Lincoln Journal Star ( ).

South Dakota governor mum on religious adoption protections

South Dakota's Republican governor isn't saying whether he'll sign a measure aimed at protecting faith-based organizations that refuse to place children with gay couples or other arrangements contrary to their religious beliefs. Gov. Dennis Daugaard frustrated the more conservative elements of his party last year by vetoing a bill that would have required students to use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding with their birth gender.

Sessions' path to remake Justice Department may be clearer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The political cloud over Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to step back from any investigation touching the Trump campaign may have a silver lining for a law enforcement officer who appears preoccupied by violent crime, drugs and immigration. Now that Sessions will no longer oversee any investigation into the 2016 election, his path to continue a refashioning of the Justice Department may be even clearer.

Virginia school board: Court should delay transgender case

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Virginia school board that wants to keep a transgender teen from using the boys' restroom at his high school is calling on the Supreme Court to delay consideration of the case to allow the Trump administration to weigh in. A delay also could allow time for Senate confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court could decide transgender case. Or not.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Both the transgender teen who sued to use a boys' bathroom and the Virginia school board that won't let him still want the Supreme Court to issue a definitive ruling in their ongoing dispute, even after the Trump administration retreated from an Obama-era policy on bathroom use.

St. Louis ordinance seeks to pre-empt Missouri abortion laws

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A new ordinance in St. Louis prohibits discrimination based on "reproductive health decisions," an effort by the heavily Democratic city to pre-empt a slew of anti-abortion measures advancing through Missouri's Republican-controlled Legislature. While largely symbolic, the ordinance that took effect last week bans employers from firing, refusing to hire or disciplining women because they have an abortion, take contraception, use artificial insemination or become pregnant out of wedlock.

More sponsors for measure to repeal HB2, keep restrictions

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- More North Carolina House members have signed on to a bipartisan bill that sponsors call a compromise to eliminate a law curtailing LGBT rights and limiting which public restrooms transgender people can use. By late Thursday, 19 lawmakers -- five Democrats and 14 Republicans -- had co-sponsored the measure to repeal what's known as House Bill 2. However, it's not a simple repeal.

Arkansas Supreme Court strikes city's LGBT protections

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a city's ordinance banning discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, but it stopped short of saying whether a state law aimed at prohibiting such local LGBT protections is constitutional. The justices reversed a judge's decision that Fayetteville's anti-discrimination ordinance didn't violate a state law prohibiting cities from enacting protections not covered by state law.

End of transgender bathroom rule gets conservative praise

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Conservatives are praising the Trump administration's rollback of public school bathroom requirements for transgender students, saying the move corrects a legal overreach by the Obama administration that is best left for states to decide. Transgender rights advocates, meanwhile, are vowing to overcome a major setback. "We're not discouraged.

Praise, criticism follow transgender bathroom decision

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Comments about the Trump administration decision to rescind federal guidelines allowing transgender students to use public school bathrooms matching their chosen gender identity: ___ "As President Trump has clearly stated, he believes policy regarding transgender bathrooms should be decided at the state level.

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TRANSGENDER BATHROOMS Trump administration lifts transgender bathroom guidance WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration has lifted federal guidelines that said transgender students should be allowed to use public school bathrooms and locker rooms matching their chosen gender identity. The Wednesday decision is a reversal of an Obama-era directive issued in May. It will now be up to states and school districts to interpret whether federal sex discrimination law applies to gender identity.

Trump administration lifts transgender bathroom guidance

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Transgender students on Wednesday lost federal protections that allowed them to use school bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities, as the Trump administration stepped into a long-simmering national debate. The administration came down on the side of states' rights, lifting Obama-era federal guidelines that had been characterized by Republicans as an example of overreach.

Update on the latest religion news

SCHOOL PRAYER Indiana House education committee backs school prayer bill INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Students' right to pray aloud in Indiana schools would be reaffirmed under a measure a House education committee has approved. Democratic state Rep. John Bartlett's measure was approved Tuesday on a 10-2 vote. Bartlett has said his measure would give students an opportunity to pray in school, but not require them to do so.

Administration lifts transgender student bathroom guidance

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration on Wednesday ended federal protection for transgender students that allowed them to use public school bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities. The Justice and Education departments said in a letter being sent to school districts nationwide that the Obama-era guidance caused a spike in lawsuits over how the guidance should be applied.

Trump administration working on trans bathroom guidelines

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration is working on a new set of directives on the use of school bathrooms by transgender students, the White House said Tuesday. The announcement alarmed LGBT groups across the country that have urged President Donald Trump to safeguard Obama-era guidelines allowing students to use school restrooms that match their gender identity, not their assigned gender at birth.