Jonathan Demme, director of ‘Philadelphia,’ dead at 73

By : Jeremy Williams
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Jonathan Demme, the eclectic director best known for such hit films as Philadelphia, The Silence of the Lambs and Married to the Mob, died April 26. He was 73.

Demme won the Best Director Academy Award in 1992 for The Silence of the Lambs, considered by many film historians to be one of the greatest horror-thrillers ever made.

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Syphilis rates higher for gay men in South

By : Staff Report
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A new U.S. report shows the spread of syphilis is far worse in gay men in southern states, the Associated Press reports.

North Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana have the highest rates. In North Carolina, as many as one in 134 gay and bisexual men were diagnosed with the most contagious forms of syphilis in 2015.

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Dan Savage raises $100K with ‘Impeach the Mother F**ker Already’ gear

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Dan Savage has donated $100,000 to organizations threatened by the Trump administration with funds from the sale of ITMFA, an acronym for “Impeach The Mother F*cker Already,” merchandise.

The LGBT author and activist chose Planned Parenthood, American Civil Liberties Union and International Refugee Assistance Project as the recipients. Buttons, T-shirts, hats, stickers, coffee cups, and lapel pins emblazoned with “ITMFA” are all on sale.

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World champion olympic pole vaulter Shawn Barber comes out

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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World champion pole vaulter Shawn Barber came out as gay in a Facebook post on Monday.

“Gay and proud! Thank you to my parents for being such a great support. I continue to grow as a person and have a great support group. My parents are my greatest support and have helped me through a lot recently. To my friends, you are always my friends and I love you too!” Barber writes.

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Report: States lack protections for transgender youth

By : Wire Report
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Most states lack anti-discrimination policies and staff training needed to protect transgender youth in foster care, juvenile detention facilities and homeless shelters, according to a new report.

There are clear federal standards for the treatment of such youth, but states and communities don’t always follow such rules, said Currey Cook of the civil rights organization Lambda Legal, which helped write the report.

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Dems challenge Pence to support proposal to ban ‘ex-gay’ therapy

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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(Image: Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) has reintroduced a proposal to ban ‘ex-gay’ therapy.)

Democrats in Congress have reintroduced legislation seeking to ban “ex-gay” conversion therapy nationwide, challenging Vice President Mike Pence to support the bill given his past comments suggesting support for the widely discredited practice.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) in the U.S. House and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) in the U.S. Senate reintroduced on Tuesday the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, legislation that would ban “ex-gay” therapy by declaring it fraudulent practice.

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Spooky Empire: Retro left fans with a bloody good time

By : Danny Garcia
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Spooky Empire: Retro returned to the Wyndham Orlando for three days of SPOOK-tacular fun; including unique vendors, original art, guest celebrities and more.

Spooky also offered the most impressive collection of cos-players, tattoo artists, horror film collectibles and lots of entertainment, both indoors and out.

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Sen. Rubio denounces gay Chechnya arrests on Senate floor

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) denounced on the Senate floor Monday the ongoing reports of anti-gay arrests and detention in Chechnya, blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for allowing them to happen.

Rubio, who previously denounced the alleged atrocities on Twitter, called on the U.S. government to “do more to ensure that all people are protected and those who harm them are held responsible.”

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Transgender woman fatally shot in Miami area

By : Wire Report
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MIAMI (AP) – Authorities in Miami are investigating the fatal shooting of a transgender woman.

Authorities say Chayviss Reed was fatally shot at an intersection not far from the north campus of Miami-Dade College.

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Bacterial infection forces Elton John to cancel May shows

By : Wire Report
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LAS VEGAS (AP) – Elton John has cancelled more than a month of upcoming shows after contracting an unusual bacterial infection during a South America tour that left him in intensive care for two nights.

John is scrapping all upcoming April and May dates of “The Million Dollar Piano” at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, as well as performance on May 6 in Bakersfield, California.

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NYC activists protest gay Chechnya arrests

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Roughly 60 LGBT rights activists gathered outside the Russian consulate in New York on Saturday to protest the arrest of more than 100 gay men in Chechnya.

RUSA LGBT, a group of LGBT Russian speakers and their supporters, organized the protest that included a memorial. Members of ACT UP New York, Human Rights First, Rise and Resist, the Caribbean Equality Project and Congregation Beit Simchat Torah also took part.

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Google Home ad features busy gay dads

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Google Home’s latest commercial features gay dads preparing for a busy day.

Ross and Alex are getting their children and themselves ready for the day. Alex prompts the personal assistant device, “OK Google, tell me about my day.” The device informs Alex his commute will be 45 minutes due to heavy traffic. Ross asks Google Home to tell him about his day before the couple decides Ross will take their son and daughter to school.

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