Cuba begins distributing PrEP through pilot program

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Cuban government has begun to distribute PrEP through a pilot program that began last month.

Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, last week reported 28 people in Cárdenas, a city in Matanzas province that is roughly 90 miles east of Havana, have received PrEP since the program began on March 6.

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Prosecutors drop prostitution charge against trans activist

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced at a D.C. Superior Court hearing on April 9 that they were dropping a charge of misdemeanor solicitation for prostitution against transgender activist Dee Curry.

Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Motley immediately approved the prosecutors’ request for a “Nolle Prosequi,” a legal term for stopping a prosecution, and dismissed the case.

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Former ambassador seeks to become first out gay man elected to U.S. Senate

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A gay foreign policy expert who worked in the Obama administration on international LGBT issues has declared his intention to run for U.S. Senate in Colorado.

Daniel Baer, who’s 42 and a former U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe, announced his candidacy Tuesday in an email blast referencing his spouse, Brian Walsh.

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Annual Equality Virginia dinner raises more than $250K

By : James Wellemeyer of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the Natioan LGBT Media Association
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Equality Virginia held its 16th annual Commonwealth Dinner at the Greater Richmond Convention Center on Saturday.

The event raised more than $250,000 for the Virginia LGBT advocacy group, according to Executive Director James Parrish.

Among the attendees were state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas), the first openly transgender person seated in any state legislature in the country, and freshman Virginia Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger. Thirty lawmakers attended the event in total.

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Supreme Court won’t undo death penalty for inmate alleging anti-gay bias in jury

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday it won’t hear a case contesting the death penalty of gay man in South Dakota despite evidence suggesting the jury invoked the punishment based on his sexual orientation.

Without explanation, the Supreme Court announced in an order list it wouldn’t hear the petition filed by a public defender in February on behalf of Charles Rhines, who’s been on death row for 22 years and sought to have his penalty reviewed.

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The Orlando Ribbon Project releases new enamel pin

By : Lauren Lee
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Famous figures including Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and HRC’s Chad Griffin have worn the now famous rainbow-colored ribbon, now the Dissent Pin Company has partnered with the Orlando Ribbon Project to create enamel versions of the ribbons that traveled the world in memory of the 49 lives lost at Pulse Orlando.

“Its been rather amazing watching the project grow from just a handful of fabric ribbons for volunteers to a worldwide symbol of love and hope,” says founder of the Orlando Ribbon Project, Ben Johansen.

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Morehouse College to admit transgender men starting in 2020

By : wire report
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The country’s only all-male historically black college will begin admitting transgender men next year, marking a major shift for the school at a time when higher education institutions around the nation are adopting more welcoming policies toward LGBT students.

Leaders of Morehouse College in Atlanta told The Associated Press that its board of trustees approved the policy on April 13. 

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Student charged over protest at anti-transgender speech

By : wire report
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) | A University of Missouri-Kansas City student is facing charges after he sprayed a substance toward conservative political commentator Michael Knowles during an anti-transgender speech.

Knowles was giving a speech titled “Men are Not Women” on the Missouri-Kansas City campus April 11 when protesters disrupted the event. Authorities said that during the disruption, student Gerard Dabu used a water gun to spray a substance at Knowles, who was not injured. Police tackled and subdued Dabu with a stun gun near the stage.

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New study finds LGBT people less likely to be homeowners

By : James Wellemeyer OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A Freddie Mac study release in October 2018 found that homeownership rates among LGBT people trail behind those of the U.S. population at large.

Whereas 64.3 percent of American households own a home, only 49 percent of LGBT households in the U.S. own their own home. These numbers drop for young LGBT people and black LGBT people. Thirty percent of LGBT African-Americans own a home and 23 percent of LGBT Millennials are homeowners.

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Brunei government again defends penal code

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The government of Brunei continues to defend the country’s new penal code that includes the death penalty for anyone found guilty of consensual same-sex sexual relations.

“We reaffirm that the Syariah criminal law system focuses more on prevention than punishment. Its aim is to educate, deter, rehabilitate and nurture rather than to punish,” wrote Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof, the country’s minister of foreign affairs, in a letter it sent to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights on April 7. “It seeks to strike the right balance between protecting the rights of the accused person and the rights of the victims and their families.”

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Trump’s transgender military ban now in effect

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Pentagon initiated April 12 the transgender military ban in accordance with Trump administration plans for the policy, returning the U.S. military to restrictions on LGBT service that harken to the days of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Transgender service members — who had been able to serve openly and obtain transition-related health care since the final year of the Obama administration in 2016 — will now face significant impediments on their service and an outright ban for many of them seeking to enlist.

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It’s official: Mayor Pete Buttigieg declares 2020 presidential campaign

By : Chris Johnson Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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Before a crowd of adoring supporters in South Bend who braved the rain to hear him speak, Pete Buttigieg made his 2020 presidential campaign official by declaring he’d pursue the Democratic nomination to run for the White House.

“I’m here to join you to make a little news,” Buttigieg said. “My name is Pete Buttigieg. They call me Mayor Pete. I am proud son of South Bend, Ind., and I am running for president of the United States.”

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