Biden receives early LGBT support amid lingering questions, criticism

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Former Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement that he is running for president has sparked a mixed reaction among activists and LGBT Democrats.

“From his support for inclusive hate crimes protections in the U.S. Senate to his leadership on marriage equality as vice president, Joe Biden has been a vocal champion of equality,” Sarah McBride, a transgender woman from Delaware who is a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, told the Washington Blade on May 30.

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Poll: 70 percent of U.S. voters willing to vote for gay male president

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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With Pete Buttigieg continuing to show strong numbers in the Democratic presidential primary, a new poll has found 70 percent of voters would be open to voting for a gay man as U.S. president.

However, that same poll reveals a majority of voters — 52 percent — believe the United States isn’t ready to elect a gay man to the White House.

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House Judiciary Committee passes Equality Act

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Above: (U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), center, introduced the Equality Act in March. The House Judiciary Committee on May 1, 2019, approved the measure that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights laws. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The House Judiciary Committee on April 1 approved a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights laws.

The Equality Act, which U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in March, passed the committee by a 22-10 vote margin with all Republican committee members voting against it. The openly gay Rhode Island Democrat in a statement after the vote said “fairness and equality are core American values.”

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Jane Castor sworn in as Tampa’s 59th, first openly LGBTQ mayor

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Jane Castor was officially sworn into office in a historical ceremony at Armature Works May 1, becoming Tampa’s 59th and first openly LGBTQ mayor.

The gathering began with a procession of Mayor Castor and her family, including longtime partner Ana Cruz and sons Sergei and Seely. Her oath was administered after an invocation, several performances and the swearing in of Tampa’s city council members Joseph Citro, Charlie Miranda, John Dingfelder, Bill Carlson, Orlando Gudes, Guido Maniscalco and Luis Viera.

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Lesbian magazine hung by ‘noose’ from D.C. light pole

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Above: (Copies of Tagg magazine were tied to a rope and hung. (Photo by Popville courtesy Tagg)

D.C. police are investigating an incident listed as a hate crime in which an unidentified person or persons tied a rope around several copies of Tagg magazine, which covers news of interest to the local lesbian and queer community and is owned by a woman of color, and hung the fastened magazines from a light pole in the heart of the city’s Adams Morgan neighborhood.

The incident was first reported on April 25 on the website of the D.C. blog POPville, which posted a photo of the hanging magazines, which themselves included photos of four African-American women on the front cover.

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Harvey Milk Festival holds 10th annual celebration

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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SARASOTA | The Harvey Milk Festival (HMF) will hold its 10th annual celebration May 9-11, honoring the life and legacy of activist Harvey Milk by fostering the arts as a catalyst for change.

“It feels comforting,” founder and HMF Executive Director Shannon Fortner says of entering the festival’s 10th year. “I feel proud of our community that we’re able to sustain festivities.”

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St Pete Pride 2019 welcomes Lisa Loeb, Rita Ora

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | St Pete Pride announced April 24 that entertainers Lisa Loeb and Rita Ora will headline concerts for the organization’s 17th annual celebration in June.

Loeb is a singer-songwriter who began her career with the platinum-selling hit “Stay (I Missed You)” from “Reality Bites.” Other singles include “Do You Sleep” and “Let’s Forget about It,” which she’s sure to perform as she headlines the organization’s SP2 Concert June 21 from 7-10 p.m.

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Equality Florida urges lawmakers to pass FCWA ahead of SCOTUS decision on LGBTQ rights

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | With the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)poised to determine if federal law bars anti-LGBTQ discrimination, Equality Florida is urging lawmakers to pass the Florida Competitive Workforce Act (FCWA) to protect LGBTQ Floridians.

Equality Florida, the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s LGBTQ community, has long supported the FCWA. It would amend the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 to add sexual orientation and gender identity, extendingstatewide housing, employment and public accommodation protections to the LGBTQ community.

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The LGBT+ Center to honor community leaders at Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center of Orlando (The Center) will honor local LGBTQ leaders and businesses during the 2019 Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast at Dubsdread in Orlando May 22.

The seventh annual event—named for the first openly gay elected official in California and LGBTQ icon Harvey Milk—will be hosted by the Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell, and will take place on what would have been the slain civil rights leader’s 89th birthday. The day is designated as “Harvey Milk Day” in the U.S.

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Air Force Academy removes commandant of cadets amid inquiry

By : wire report
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Above: Brig.(Gen. Kristin Goodwin makes remarks during the Graduation Tapping Ceremony at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, May 21, 2018. (Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez/Air Force)

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) | The U.S. Air Force Academy has removed its commandant of cadets amid an investigation, but officials didn’t release any details.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reported on April 29 that Brig. Gen. Kristin Goodwin was relieved from her duties as head of military training at the school.

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UK opens inquiry into tainted-blood scandal that killed 2400

By : wire report
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LONDON (AP) | A long-awaited inquiry opened April 30 in Britain into how contaminated blood was used to treat thousands of people in the 1970s and ’80s, killing at least 2,400.

Thousands of hospital patients — many of them hemophiliacs — were infected with HIV or Hepatitis C through tainted blood products, largely imported from the United States.

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New HBO miniseries ‘Gentleman Jack’ explores life of ‘first modern lesbian’

By : Brian T. Carney OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“Gentleman Jack,” now playing on HBO, is a fascinating portrait of Anne Lister, an English landowner often descried as “the first modern lesbian.” The splendid eight-part series, a co-production of HBO and BBC One, is a rollicking portrait of life in Regency England, a time of great social, political and economic upheaval.

Set in Halifax in 1832, the series opens when Anne Lister (the delightfully swaggering Suranna Jones) returns to the family manse after foreign travel and a collapsed affair with Vere Hobart (Jodhi May) who has decided to marry a man (something that has happened to Lister before).

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