Maine Episcopalians elect openly gay bishop

By : wire report
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BANGOR, Maine (AP) | Clergy and church members have elected the first openly gay Episcopal bishop in Maine.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the Rev. Thomas James Brown was elected Feb. 9 by a majority of the 261 clergy members and laypeople at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

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ICE confirms 45 transgender women being held at Texas detention center

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed to the Washington Blade that it is currently housing 45 transgender women at a privately-run detention center in Texas.

Danielle Bennett on Feb. 5 said the trans women are being held at the South Texas Detention Complex in Pearsall, Texas. The GEO Group, a Florida-based company, operates the facility that is roughly 60 miles southwest of San Antonio.

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Bipartisan group of lawmakers introduce bills to protect transgender servicemembers

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A group of bipartisan lawmakers on Feb. 7 introduced bills that would allow openly transgender people to enlist in the military and protect trans servicemembers who are already serving.

U.S. Reps. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.), John Katko (R-N.Y.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.) and Anthony Brown (D-Md.) introduced House Resolution 1032 in the U.S. House of Representatives. U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) introduced an identical bill in the U.S. Senate.

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Bill to ban physical conversion therapy treatments for minors killed in Va. Senate

By : James Wellemeyer of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National Gay Media Association
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A bill in the Virginia Senate that would have banned physical treatments in so-called conversion therapy for minors was effectively killed when it was sent back to the Education and Health Committee.

Senate Bill 1778, which state Sen. Stephen Newman (R-Lynchburg) introduced, originally passed with a vote of 20-19. The state Senate on the following day, however, reconsidered the vote on the bill and referred it back to committee.

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Marlon James shares truths though the fantasy of new novel

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) | Marlon James is in search of a definition.

“Myths are so suffused with monsters. It makes me think of the Latin root of monsters, `monstrum. What does `monstrum’ mean?” the novelist asks, seated at a Brooklyn coffee house, briefly forgetting the meaning before looking it up in a novel he’s been reading. “Ah! `Monstrum is a divine messenger of catastrophe.’ A monster is a harbinger.”

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Idaho LGBTQ youth feel unsafe at school, survey shows

By : wire report
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) | Most of the Idaho youth who took part in a national survey of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer teenagers say they regularly hear homophobic remarks at school.

The Times-News reports the findings consistent with the national results of GLSEN’s 2017 “National School Climate Survey.” The organization was previously called the Gay and Lesbian Independent School Teachers Network but now goes by the acronym, which organization members pronounce “glisten.”

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San Francisco police release sketch of ‘Doodler’ killer

By : wire report
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) | Police announced a reward and released a sketch Feb. 6 depicting what a serial killer might look like now in a cold case involving at least five stabbing deaths of gay men in the mid-1970s in San Francisco.

The killer was dubbed the “Doodler” after he told a person who later became a victim and survived that he was a cartoonist. Police say the attacker was doodling while he and the man talked at a late-night diner.

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Trump praises Karen Pence for teaching at anti-LGBT school

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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President Trump made a series of veiled anti-LGBT statements under the guise of “religious freedom” Feb. 7 at the National Prayer Breakfast, including praise for Karen Pence for teaching at a Christian school that bars LGBT students and teachers.

In his introductory remarks at the annual event, Trump pointed out the second lady and said, “She just went back to teaching art classes at a Christian school. Terrific woman.”

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HHS lays out details for Trump’s plan to confront HIV/AIDS

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Top officials in the Department of Health & Human Services laid out details on Feb. 6 of President Trump’s plan to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030, asserting “significant new resources” would be in the upcoming budget request for domestic HIV/AIDS programs after two years of proposed cuts.

In a conference call with reporters, the officials fleshed out the plan announced by Trump this week during the State of the Union address, saying the goal was to reduce new HIV diagnoses by 75 percent within five years, and by 90 percent within 10 years.

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D.C. sees alarming increase in anti-LGBT hate crimes in 2018

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The number of anti-LGBT hate crimes reported in D.C. in 2018 nearly doubled from the number of reported cases in 2016, according to recently released data by D.C. police.

The data show there were a total of 97 reported hate crimes in the nation’s capital in 2018 based on the victims’ sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, representing an increase from 59 such cases in 2016 and 69 anti-LGBT hate crimes reported in 2017.

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Some summer camps try to better support transgender campers

By : wire report
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Inclusion is a core value shared by many summer camps, and in recent years there’s been a lot of discussion in the camp community about how to help transgender and gender-nonconforming youth succeed.

Tom Rosenberg, president and chief executive officer of the American Camp Association, says the group is doing more every year to support camps that want to be more welcoming to kids of all identities. “Our goal is to offer expert educational support for camps that wish to welcome transgender kids, and also to really learn more and develop the culture of their camp to be more inclusive,” he says.

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Proud Boys founder sues SPLC over hate group label

By : wire report
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) | The founder of a far-right men’s group filed a defamation lawsuit Feb. 4 against the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling the organization as a hate group, in the latest attempt to use litigation to fight the extremist label.

Gavin McInnes, founder of the Proud Boys — an organization that describes its members as “Western chauvinists” — contends in the lawsuit that he was banned from social media platforms and saw his livelihood suffer after getting the designation from the SPLC.

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