Google Play faces backlash for gay conversion therapy app

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Google is facing criticism for having an app promoting gay conversion therapy available in its Google Play store.

The Christian group Living Home Ministries, which is based in Texas, produces the app. LGBT rights organization Truth Wins Out started a Change.org petition to have the app removed. The petition says the app “repeatedly belittles transgender people as suffering from ‘gender confusion.’ The group refers to gay men as ‘sexually broken guys’ who can ‘walk out of false identities’ and claims, without evidence, that the ‘gay lifestyle’ is ‘spiritually and physically harmful.’”

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State Department ‘deeply disturbed’ by latest Chechnya anti-LGBTI crackdown

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The State Department on Jan. 17 said it is “deeply disturbed” by reports that indicate at least two people have been killed and upwards of 40 others have been detained in the latest anti-LGBTI crackdown in Chechnya.

“We are deeply disturbed by credible reports out of Chechnya about renewed attacks against individuals perceived to be members of the LGBTI community,” said Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino in a statement.

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Former Obama LGBT liaison named PFLAG executive director

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A former White House liaison to the LGBT community in the Obama administration has been named the new chief of PFLAG National, the organization announced Jan. 17.

Brian Bond, who was the first White House LGBT liaison during the Obama administration, is set to become executive director of PFLAG effective Feb. 1.

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Karen Pence accepts teaching job at school that bans LGBT students, families

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Second Lady Karen Pence has accepted a position as an art teacher at the Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Va., which does not allow LGBT students or families to enroll and will not offer employment to LGBT applicants.

The school’s guidelines are listed in its “parent agreement” which states Immanuel Christian School “can refuse admission to an applicant or to discontinue enrollment if the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home, the activities of a parent or guardian, or the activities of the student are counter to, or are in opposition to, the biblical lifestyle the school teaches.”

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Grammy-nominated album shines light on transgender pioneer

By : wire report
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) | For decades, Jackie Shane was a musical mystery: a riveting black transgender soul singer who packed nightclubs in Toronto in the 1960s, but then disappeared after 1971.

Some speculated she had died, but her legacy lived on among music historians and R&B collectors who paid big money for her vinyl records. But in 2010, the Canadian Broadcasting Company produced an audio documentary about her, awakening a wider interest in the pioneering singer. Today her face is painted on a massive 20-story musical mural in Toronto with other influential musicians like Muddy Waters.

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Lesbian couple’s housing discrimination lawsuit dismissed

By : wire report
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) | A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that alleged a suburban St. Louis senior living community discriminated against a married lesbian couple by denying them housing.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that U.S. District Judge Jean C. Hamilton said in the decision issued Jan. 16 that the Fair Housing Act doesn’t protect against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Mary Walsh and Bev Nance sued the Friendship Village location in Sunset Hills in July 2018.

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PHOTOS: Watermark Wednesday benefits SPCA Tampa Bay at Woodhouse Day Spa

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Watermark’s bi-monthly Tampa Bay social networking event Watermark Wednesday benefited SPCA Tampa Bay at The Woodhouse Day Spa Jan. 16.

SPCA Tampa Bay is the only nonprofit animal welfare agency that runs an open-admission animal shelter, pet training facility and public veterinary center in Pinellas County. Founded in St. Petersburg in 1940, the organization has cared for homeless pets throughout the area for over 75 years.

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Team that spoofed Pence book has new picture story

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) | The creative team that brought you the best-selling parody of the Pence family rabbit has a new book coming.

Writer Jill Twiss and illustrator EG Keller are collaborating on “The Someone New,” HarperCollins Children’s Books announced Wednesday. Scheduled for June 4, the book is a parable about welcoming outsiders. It tells of a forest in which a chipmunk worries that the entrance of a snail will ruin the world he knows. The publisher will donate some proceeds to a charity aiding immigrant children.

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Barr hints at continuing anti-LGBT policies at Trump Justice Department

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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William Barr, President Trump’s pick to become the next attorney general, held his cards close to the vest on LGBT issues Jan. 15 during his confirmation hearing, but hinted upon confirmation he’d pursue the anti-LGBT policies of his predecessor Jeff Sessions.

The answers from Barr suggest he’d continue to uphold the Justice Department’s view that LGBT people aren’t protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964, which bars sex discrimination in the workforce. Additionally, Barr suggested he’d uphold religious freedom even at the expense of anti-LGBT discrimination.

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D.C. restaurant agrees to second trans nondiscrimination settlement

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced on Jan. 16 that his office reached a settlement with the Cuba Libre Rum Bar and Restaurant that requires the establishment to adopt policies and procedures to prevent it from discriminating against transgender people.

The settlement came just over six months after the D.C. Attorney General’s office opened an investigation into the restaurant following a complaint that one of its managers forced a trans woman to leave after she used the women’s bathroom.

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Grindr shutters its digital publication Into

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Grindr unexpectedly laid off the editorial and social media staff for its digital LGBT publication, Into, on Jan. 15  in an effort to shift to video content.

According to the Advocate, Grindr’s communications department issued a statement to the press explaining the pivot.

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Ladyfingers: How Sabby gets her booty back

By : Sabrina Ambra
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I don’t know how to say this, so I’ll just say it: I have recently come to the realization that I lost my booty. I’m not sure how or when; I can only assume at some point in the last few years it happened. I just know now that it’s definitely lost.

You’re probably just itching to find a full body shot of me from 2011 on the internet right now, aren’t you? Spoiler alert: it ain’t big, but there was, in fact, a time when I could truly shake what my momma gave me.

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