Kansas City bans conversion therapy

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Flag of Kansas City (from Wikimedia Commons)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) | Conversion therapy for LGBTQ young people will not be allowed in Kansas City.

The city council approved an ordinance banning the therapy Nov. 14, which tries to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Idaho board axes birth certificate gender rule

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Boise, Idaho (from Pixabay)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) | The Idaho State Board of Health and Welfare has scrapped a temporary rule requiring transgender minors to get a doctor’s approval before changing the gender listed on their birth certificate.

The Idaho Press reports that board chairman Darrell Kerby announced the rule was being vacated on Nov. 14. The move came after a closed-door executive session with attorneys, where board members learned the rule had actually required four votes to go into effect.

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Orange County Democrats rally against GOP as they look ahead to general elections

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: (L-R) OCDEC chairman Wes Hodge, DNC Secretary Jason Rae and FDP Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo at the OCDEC Masquerade Ball in Orlando. (Photo by Jeremy Williams)

ORLANDO | It was an evening of magic and masks as the Orange County Democratic Executive Committee (OCDEC) hosted its 2019 masquerade ball at The Mezz in Orlando Nov. 16.

While the atmosphere was one of celebration, the evening’s message was one of focus and readiness as the democratic speakers spoke of the dangers of the current administration.

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Chick-fil-A to stop donating to anti-LGBTQ organizations

By : Lora Korpar
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ABOVE: A Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich (from Wikimedia Commons)

Fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A has announced that its charitable foundation will no longer be donating to the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes — organizations known for having anti-LGBTQ views.

The Chick-fil-A Foundation will focus on solving problems of hunger, homelessness and education by giving to organizations such as Junior Achievement USA, Covenant House International and local food banks in over 120 communities.

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SMART Ride cycles into record-breaking 16th year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: SMART Ride 16’s reveal banner, photo courtesy the SMART Ride’s Facebook page.

KEY WEST, Fla. | Organizers revealed Nov. 16 that SMART Ride 16 raised a record $1,325,427, 100% of which will be used for HIV/AIDS services throughout Florida.

The annual trek is a two-day, 165-mile bicycle ride from Miami to Key West. It is the nation’s second largest AIDS bicycle ride and the only one of its size to donate the entirety of funds raised to AIDS service organizations.

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‘Paris’ will ‘burn’ again, now with unseen footage

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Fans of “Paris is Burning” are about to discover a whole new treasure trove of footage from the seminal 1990 documentary, thanks to Criterion.

The Criterion Collection, which focuses on licensing “important classic and contemporary films,” announced its roster of new releases for February 2020, and one of them will be none other than the now iconic documentary about New York’s underground ballroom culture. It will get the full Criterion treatment, which includes not only a restoration, but about an hour of previously unseen footage.

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onePULSE Foundation releases information on The 49 Legacy Scholarships program

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The onePULSE Foundation announced Nov. 18 that the application period for the inaugural 49 Legacy Scholarships will begin Dec. 1.

The 49 Legacy Scholarships program will award 49 individual scholarships annually — each up to $10,000 — for use at an accredited institution of higher learning, including career and technical schools.

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22 transgender murders of 2019 documented in new HRC report

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Days before the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, the nation’s leading LGBTQ group has issued a report detailing the murders of each of the 22 transgender and gender non-conforming people killed this year.

The report, produced by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and titled A National Epidemic: Fatal Anti-Transgender Violence in the United States in 2019, includes a short bio for each the 22 transgender and gender non-conforming people killed in 2019.

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Pope compares politicians who use anti-LGBTQ hate speech to Hitler

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Pope Francis, photo by Zebra48bo via Wikimedia Commons.

Pope Francis on Friday compared politicians who use hate speech against LGBTQ people and other minority groups to Adolf Hitler.

“It is not coincidental that at times there is a resurgence of symbols typical of Nazism,” said Francis during an international law conference, according to Reuters. “And I must confess to you that when I hear a speech (by) someone responsible for order or for a government, I think of speeches by Hitler in 1934, 1936.

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Kickstarter campaign for The Degenderator wants to make bathroom signs more inclusive

By : Jeremy Williams
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Queer artist and engineer Robb Godshaw has developed new bathroom signage to help make public restrooms more inclusive for transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals.

The Degenderator kinetic figure takes the traditional male and female restroom icons and combines them to make one, animated gender-inclusive symbol. A pendulum mechanism perpetually moves the figure between a person in pants to a person in a dress.

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Ellie Goulding controversy sparks renewed accusations of homophobia, transphobia against Salvation Army

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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ABOVE: Ellie Goulding (Photo credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

A long-standing controversy around the Salvation Army and its stance on homosexuality has been reignited by singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding.

The situation arose when the NFL announced that the English recording artist would give the halftime performance for the Dallas Cowboys football game on Thanksgiving Day – a game which also serves as the kickoff for the Red Kettle Campaign for Salvation Army. Goulding praised the Christian organization on her Instagram Nov. 12 for “providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need.”

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Morgan Unger and the cast of ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ bring Jimmy Buffett fun to Dr. Phillips Center

By : Jeremy Williams
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We may be heading into the holiday season, but this week it is all tropical getaways and beach weather at the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando as the Fairwinds Broadway series presents “Escape to Margaritaville,” the Broadway musical based on the songs of Jimmy Buffett.

“Escape to Margaritaville” was first performed in San Diego in 2017 and is based on a book by Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley. The show played in New Orleans, Houton and Chicago before making its Broadway stage debut in Feb. 2018.

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