Joint chiefs not briefed before Trump went public with trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. Photo public domain.

The joint military service chiefs were not briefed on the recommendations by Defense Secretary James Mattis against the transgender military ban or the Trump memo seeking to implement them before the White House went public with them last Friday, according to two sources familiar with the process.

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Colorado SWAT leader first transgender woman accepted to FBI National Academy

By : wire report
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FRISCO, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado SWAT team coordinator is believed to be the first transgender woman accepted to attend the FBI National Academy in its 83-year history.

Summit County Sheriff’s Office operations commander and SWAT leader Lesley Mumford is one of about 200 law enforcement agents who will attend the 10-week training course beginning in July in Quantico, Virginia.

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Student spearheads first gay pride festival in Mike Pence’s hometown

By : wire report
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COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — An 18-year-old Indiana high school student is organizing what’s believed to be the first gay pride festival for Vice President Mike Pence’s hometown.

Erin Bailey says she proposed the Columbus festival last year for her senior project at Columbus Signature Academy New Tech High School. The April 14 event will feature bands, vendors and a drag queen competition.

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Sarah Jessica Parker endorses Cynthia Nixon for governor

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) _ Sarah Jessica Parker has endorsed her “Sex and the City” castmate Cynthia Nixon’s run for governor of New York.

Parker endorsed Nixon on Instagram on Thursday, calling her “my sister on and off screen.”

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DOD appears to contradict White House on process for trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A Defense Department spokesperson appeared Thursday to contradict the White House on the process for drafting the transgender military policy, asserting it was “a coordinated effort” with the White House and Justice Department as opposed to Defense Secretary James Mattis and his working group alone within the Pentagon.

Dana White, a Pentagon spokesperson, made the comments Thursday during a Pentagon news briefing in response to a question on timing for the release of the policy late Friday night and whether Mattis was “proud” of his recommendation against transgender military service.

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Gay Connecticut chief justice defeat becomes election year issue

By : wire report
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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Connecticut Senate’s rejection Tuesday of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s State Supreme Court chief justice nominee, mostly along partisan lines, set off political reverberations in a state where an open governor’s seat and control of the General Assembly are at stake in November.

State Democrats and various candidates pounced on the 19-16 vote opposing the confirmation of Associate Justice Andrew McDonald as the high court’s top justice, linking Connecticut Republicans with President Donald Trump and Washington Republicans. Malloy and other Democrats have accused GOP lawmakers of opposing McDonald for political reasons and in part because he is openly gay. He would have been the first openly gay state supreme court chief justice in the U.S.

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Washington State becomes 11th to ban ‘ex-gay’ conversion therapy

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law on Thursday a ban on “ex-gay” conversion therapy, making the Evergreen State the eleventh in the nation to prohibit the widely discredited practice for youth.

Inslee signed the measure, SB 5722, at a ceremony in Olympia, Wash., making it illegal for licensed mental health therapists in engage in conversion therapy for individuals under the age of 18.

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Who’s to blame for trans military ban: Mattis or Pence?

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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When President Trump reaffirmed his ban on transgender military service last Friday, the memo was backed up by a report from Defense Secretary James Mattis in which he asserted that a nine-month review of the issue revealed “substantial risks” in allowing transgender people in the U.S. military. But was it really his doing, or that of Vice President Mike Pence, who has a virulent anti-LGBT record?

Upon the release of the memo, many were surprised Mattis — who’s seen as one of the more mature voices in the Trump administration — was found to have signed his name to a document against transgender military service. After all, media reports from the time the memo was delivered in February indicated Mattis would advise Trump to allow transgender people to keep serving.

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Man gets maximum prison term for murder of transgender woman near Cornell campus

By : wire report
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ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) — A 47-year-old Ithaca man has received the maximum sentence of 25 years in prison for killing a woman whose body was found at a construction site near Cornell University.

Michael Davis pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in February. He admitted he killed 28-year-old Josie Berrios in June. He was sentenced Friday in Tompkins County Court.

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Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith recognized by The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation

By : Jeremy Williams
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WASHINGTON | Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orlando) was awarded the Legislative Leadership Award at The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation’s AIDSWatch in D.C., according to a press release issued March 27.

Smith was selected for his HIV advocacy and, more specifically, for his part in helping to convince Publix Supermarkets to cover the HIV preventative drug known as PrEP for their employees.

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Cynthia Nixon blasts Cuomo as ‘bully,’ ‘wannabe Republican’

By : wire report
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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Actress Cynthia Nixon blasted Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a “bully” and a “wannabe Republican” Monday during her first visit to Albany since announcing her bid for New York governor.

The “Sex and the City” star and public education advocate criticized the two-term governor for not doing enough to ensure equal opportunities for poor and minority students. She also faulted Cuomo’s effort to combat government corruption and said that while he touts himself as a progressive, he’s governed as a member of what she called Albany’s “old boys’ club.”

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GetEQUAL to shut down

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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GetEQUAL Executive Director Gaby Garcia-Vera on Tuesday announced the organization will shut down.

Garcia-Vera in a letter acknowledged their decision to fire Aaryn Lang as GetEQUAL’s Movement Building and Campaign Manager earlier this month “struck a nerve in the community.” Garcia-Vera also wrote several board members “had announced their plans to transition out” of GetEQUAL “before Aaryn’s transition out of the organization” and others “resigned in the midst of the social media controversy that followed.”

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