Venezuelan, Cuban activists to speak at World OutGames

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Two prominent LGBT and intersex rights advocates from Venezuela and Cuba are scheduled to speak at a conference that will coincide with the World OutGames in Miami.

Tamara Adrián is the first openly transgender person elected to the Venezuelan National Assembly. Juana Mora Cedeño is an independent LGBT rights advocate who met with former President Obama during his historic trip to Cuba in 2016.

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LGBT protections stall before Brevard School Board, activists regroup

By : Jamie Hyman
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Viera – LGBT activists are getting prepared for another round before the Brevard County School Board following a setback Feb. 23.

“A group of us that have been attempting to update the nondiscrimination policy for the school board to include sexual orientation and gender identity for about a year and a half now were attending that meeting under the belief that it was a formal step that has to be taken, and that the board would, during that meeting, move the policy change along,” President of Space Coast Pride Lexi Wright says.

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Anti-transgender bill finds opponents in tourism industry and its benefactors

By : Wire Report
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Sioux Falls, S.D. (AP) – Opponents of a bill that would prohibit transgender students in South Dakota from using the bathroom of their choice are taking aim at the state’s $3.8 billion tourism industry.

Activists this week used a Twitter hashtag created by South Dakota’s Tourism Department to criticize lawmakers for advancing legislation the activists believe would lead to bullying and discrimination, the Argus Leader newspaper reported.

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Five awesome activists not to miss at Come Out With Pride 2015

By : Jamie Hyman
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The boisterous, colorful parade gets all the headlines, but don’t overlook the Come Out With Pride Rally, a chance to listen to and applaud the activists who are fighting for LGBT equality.

This year, some great people who do the grassroots work will appear on stage. Here are the five activists you do not want to miss:

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25 gay rights activists arrested in Idaho Capitol protest

By : Wire Report
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Boise, Idaho (AP) – Gay rights activists once again returned to the Idaho Capitol to protest lawmakers’ refusal to pass anti-discrimination protections, this time by refusing to leave the state’s bill-drafting offices.

Idaho State Police made 25 arrests, including six people who were arrested twice, March 16 for trespassing in the Statehouse. Protesters staged three different demonstrations March 16.

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Idaho’s gay and lesbian activists claim progress on bill

By : Wire Report
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Idaho’s gay and lesbian activists lined up 22 hours of testimony in their effort to have anti-discrimination laws amended to include them in housing and employment protections.

And though they weren’t able to change the state’s Human Rights Act, supporters say they were able to change perceptions among lawmakers with the flood of emotional stories.

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Gay rights groups target World Cup for spotlight

By : Wire Report
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Gay rights activists in Brazil are using the spotlight of the World Cup to draw attention to the harsh penalties gay people face in many of the countries represented at soccer’s premier event.

This week’s first-round featured a match between Iran, whose former president claimed gays don’t exist, and Nigeria, where the penalty for gay sex ranges from imprisonment to death by stoning. At a city square near the match in Curitaba, a protest led by the gay rights organization Grupo Dignidade attracted about 400 people, many brandishing signs reading “Show homophobia the red card,” and “In this World Cup, homophobia is out of bounds.”

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Anti-gay forces are a tangled web of false pretense, fake names and hidden connections

By : Jamie Hyman
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Last month a notorious pro-religion, anti-gay legal group called Liberty Counsel filed a motion to intervene in Pareto v. Ruvin, the Florida lawsuit via which six same-sex couples are fighting for marriage equality. The motion wasn’t a surprise—no one expected anti-gay activists to take the lawsuit sitting down. But a look at the three groups named as interveners reveals something interesting.

Two of the three groups—People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality (P.U.L.S.E) and Florida Democratic League—sound an awful lot like the types of organizations that would be more likely to support same-sex marriage than fight marriage equality.

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Transgender activists: ‘Time to step up for our own advocacy’

By : David Moran
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In the 1950s and 1960s, the United States saw a cultural shift in its approach to civil rights. African-Americans and their allies finally stood together and demanded change. The movement killed segregation, ignited debate about interracial marriage and helped pave the way for equality among races in the United States. Some argue that battle is still continuing.

In 1969, the Gay Rights movement took off after the Stonewall Riots. Forty-Five years later, same-sex couples can legally wed in 17 states (and counting) and more government agencies are granting domestic partnership benefits.

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An uncomfortable Olympiad: Russia’s Olympics are particularly perilous for LGBTs

By : Steve Blanchard
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Sochi, Russia – Just as the Opening Ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympics were set to begin, Russian Police were arresting LGBT activists.
The Russian LGBT Network, a gay rights group, said four people were arrested on Feb. 7 after activists stepped out of a vehicle holding banners protesting the country’s strict prohibition of LGBT propaganda.

“Discrimination is incompatible with Olympic movement,” the banner read, in part. The arrest came just one day after four other activists were arrested for unfurling pink-triangle-shaped banners comparing the Sochi Olympics to the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin, Germany.

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Protestors clash at Russian gay rights rally

By : Wire Report
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St. Petersburg, Russia (AP) – A gay rights rally in St. Petersburg has ended in scuffles after several dozen protesters were confronted by about 200 conservative and religious activists.

The police standing nearby waited until clashes broke out between the two groups before intervening. According to Russian news agencies, the police detained 67 people from both sides.

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Some LGBT activists regret focus on marriage equality

By : Wire Report
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New York (AP) – Even as it celebrates victories in the push for same-sex marriage, America’s gay-rights movement is experiencing self-criticism and internal divisions over its approach to other thorny issues.

Some activists say the nationwide marriage campaign, while worthwhile, has diverted energy and resources from causes that may be harder to market – such as rights for transgender people and advocacy to combat HIV and AIDS.

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