Transgender student’s treatment during safety drill blasted

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STAFFORD, Va. (AP) | Officials at a Virginia middle school are facing criticism after allegedly barring a transgender student from using the boys’ or girls’ locker rooms during an active shooter drill.

The LGBTQ rights group Equality Stafford said that during the drill, the girl was forced to sit on the bleachers and later in the hall while other students in her physical education class took shelter in locker rooms. The group said the teachers were apparently debating which locker room would be appropriate.

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Taylor Swift makes politics personal with endorsement

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) | Taylor Swift’s first big jump into politics might have gained her some extra haters, but her endorsement in a competitive midterm U.S. Senate race isn’t likely to result in a massive backlash against the country-singer-turned-pop-star, observers say.

Republicans now have some bad blood with the star after a surprise endorsement on Instagram Oct. 7 for Tennessee Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen and an argument against Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn.

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Nikki Haley resigns as US ambassador to UN

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley resigned on Tuesday.

President Trump told reporters at the White House that Haley will be “leaving” at the end of the year.

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World transgender bodybuilding competition comes to Atlanta

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ATLANTA (AP) | It’s been twenty years since Charles Bennett took the stage to compete in bodybuilding. But at the age of 63 he’s now done something he’s never done before — compete as a man for the first time in what’s billed as the world’s only transgender bodybuilding competition.

Bennett and seven fellow competitors went before a crowd on October 6 in the annual International Association of Trans Bodybuilders competition at a theater in Atlanta.

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CNN’s Kaitlan Collins apologizes for homophobic tweets

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins apologized on Sunday for anti-gay tweets that resurfaced from her college days.

Collins, 26, posted the tweets in 2011. In one tweet, Collins calls her friend a “fag.” In another tweet, she says she doesn’t know if she wants to room with a lesbian. The tweets were screenshot and shared by Log Cabin Republicans.

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Billie Jean King, Abdul-Jabbar tackle homophobia in sports

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NEW YORK (AP) | Billie Jean King and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are being honored for lending their names to the fight against homophobia in sports.

They are working with Athlete Ally, a nonprofit founded by former college wrestler Hudson Taylor.

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Transgender policy studied in Georgia school assault case

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WASHINGTON (AP)| The Education Department said October 3 that it is investigating whether a Georgia school district’s policy allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice created a “hostile environment” for a 5-year-old girl who said she was sexually assaulted in a school bathroom.

The complaint, filed on behalf of the parent of the girl, has the potential to upend a heated national debate on transgender students and their access to education bathrooms and locker rooms. The Obama administration sided with transgender students in their choice of school bathrooms, but the Trump administration scrapped that policy and said it was a local decision for schools and states.

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Lambda Legal announces N.Y. activist Richard Burns as interim CEO

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Lambda Legal has appointed a longtime N.Y. activist to take the helm as interim leader, following the recent departure of its CEO ahead of the mid-term elections, the Washington Blade has learned.

Richard Burns, who served as executive director of the NYC LGBT Community Center for 22 years, is set to take over as interim CEO as the search continues for a replacement for Rachel Tiven, who resigned in August.

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Log Cabin president to step down after 6 years

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The list of Republicans announcing their exits from leadership roles in Washington prior to Election Day expanded into LGBT circles Tuesday night when Gregory Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, announced plans to step down after six years heading the organization.

Angelo announced “this will be my final Spirit of Lincoln dinner serving as your president” before the estimated 250 attendees at the annual event in D.C., which this year was held at the Mayflower Hotel.

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Former U.S. ambassador to Vietnam criticizes new diplomatic visa policy

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Former U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius on Wednesday joined the chorus of criticism over a new State Department policy that requires partners of foreign mission personnel and employees of international organizations to be married in order to qualify for a diplomatic visa.

Osius, who is raising two young children with his husband, Clayton Bond, told the Washington Blade he agrees with former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power’s description of the new policy as “needlessly cruel and bigoted.”

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Keith Haring sculpture to be placed in AIDS Garden Chicago

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CHICAGO (AP) | Officials say a sculpture by the late artist Keith Haring will be placed at the AIDS Garden Chicago.

The Keith Haring Foundation said September 27 that the artwork will be called “Self-Portrait.” The foundation welcomed Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Tom Tunney for the announcement.

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New State Department diplomatic visa policy takes effect

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A new State Department policy that requires partners of foreign mission personnel and employees of international organizations to be married in order to qualify for a diplomatic visa took effect on Oct. 1.

A State Department letter the Washington Blade obtained last month states, “consistent with internal Department of State policy changes, partners accompanying officers and employees of international organizations or seeking to join the same must be married in order to be eligible for a derivative G-4 nonimmigrant visa or to seek a change into such status beginning October 1, 2018.” The letter also says the State Department “will only accept the accreditation of spouses of newly arrived officers and employees of international organizations, both same-sex and opposite-sex, as members of the family of the respective international organization.”

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