Orlando, St. Pete, Tampa receive perfect HRC scores

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced Nov. 19 that the cities of Orlando, St. Petersburg and Tampa each received a perfect score of 100 in the organization’s eighth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI).

The MEI examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies and services are for LGBTQ people who live and work in the 506 cities rated. The score is based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and the city leadership’s public position on equality.

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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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Pence extols Trump’s anti-LGBTQ adoption rule as ‘decisive action’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Vice President Mike Pence extolled an anti-LGBTQ adoption rule proposed by the Trump administration. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Vice President Mike Pence, in a speech intended to honor National Adoption Month, extolled Nov. 12 a proposed Trump administration rule that would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse child placement in LGBTQ homes.

Pence made the comments at the Department of Health & Human Services in D.C., which was holding a celebration in promotion of adoption with top Trump administration officials, including Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar.

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Trans of Thought: Dying to be seen

By : Melody Maia Monet
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A few weeks ago, the very first National Trans Visibility March was held in Washington, D.C. As described in their call to action, the purpose of the march was to bring attention to “the social structures that have oppressed us and disenfranchised our communities.”

Thanks to the One Orlando Alliance and generous sponsors, about 50 transgender people, including myself and a few allies, made the road trip to our nation’s capital to participate. It was without a doubt a profound and inspiring experience for all of us who went, but perhaps not as successful in making our issues more “visible” to the cisgender, queer community.

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Data at forefront of congressional hearing on anti-LGBTQ bias in housing, credit

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: HRC President Alphonso David speaks at the House Financial Services Committee hearing Oct. 29. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

As LGBT rights advocates continue to press the Equality Act to ban anti-LGBT discrimination, data was at the forefront of a congressional hearing Tuesday as evidence that anti-LGBT discrimination in housing and credit continues to exist.

Among the key statistics that emerged in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee: About half of LGBT adults own their homes compared to 70 percent of the non-LGBT adult population; LGBT adults are twice as likely as non-LGBT people to report having been prevented by a landlord or owner from moving into a home; and same-sex couples experience about three to eight percent lower approval rates in acquiring a loan than different-sex couples.

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New HRC president lights up crowd at annual dinner

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David speaks at the 2019 HRC National Dinner. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Alphonso David energized the room at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual national dinner Sept. 28, receiving thunderous applause as he announced new initiatives for LGBT people facing challenging times.

As much of Washington reels from the Ukraine-call scandal that has landed President Trump at the center of an impeachment inquiry in Congress, the new president of the Human Rights Campaign made himself a beacon of hope for the estimated 3,500 people in attendance at the 23rd national dinner.

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Human Rights Campaign comes out for impeachment inquiry against Trump

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David, Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The nation’s leading LGBT group has come out in favor of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump over allegations he pressured Ukraine to investigate his potential political rival Joseph Biden.

Alphonso David, the new president of the Human Rights Campaign, announced his organization’s support for the process set up by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a statement late Friday.

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Trans March on DC called ‘first major step’ in visibility campaign

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The National Transgender Visibility March, photo by Michael Kay of The Washington Blade.

Organizers and observers said between 1,500 and 3,000 people turned out on Saturday for the first ever National Transgender Visibility March on Washington in which scores of participants held signs proudly declaring their status as transgender or gender nonconforming Americans.

The march kicked off at 11:35 a.m. on Sept. 28 from Freedom Plaza in downtown D.C. following the completion of a two-and-a-half hour rally. It traveled along Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., from 13th to 4th Streets, where the march ended four blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

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HRC president: Trump responsible for anti-trans violence

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David, Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Alphonso David, the new president of the Human Rights Campaign, doesn’t hold back when talking about the harm he says President Trump is inflicting on the LGBT community.

In fact, David said Trump is responsible for the ongoing problem of violence against transgender people. Just this year, as David noted, 18 transgender people have been reported killed, 17 of whom were people of color.

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HRC’s new leader Alphonso David recruiting more troops

By : Karen Ocamb OF THE Los Angeles BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: HRC President Alphonso David with the bull horn as former HRC President Chad Griffin looks on. Photo courtesy HRC’s Marty Rouse.

There is something reminiscent of black gay author James Baldwin in Alphonso David’s intense bearing, though the new president of the Human Rights Campaign is considerably more down-to-earth and welcoming than the defiant intellect who scorched racist America in “The Fire Next Time.”

For David, it is the fire this time that is fueling his drive for full equality and his fight against the dark amoral forces demolishing democracy through the rapacious black hole that is President Donald Trump.

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Bucking Trump’s promise, Labor Dept. to undercut Obama LGBTQ order

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Donald Trump, photo by Michael Vadon via Flickr.

In an apparent contradiction to President Trump’s promise to keep “intact” an Obama-era executive order against anti-LGBT workplace discrimination, the Department of Labor has signaled it would expand the scope of the religious exemption for federal contractors seeking to deny employment to LGBT workers.

In the proposed rule, the Labor Department proposes regulations to clarify the scope and application of the religious exemption in Executive Order 11246, an 1965 executive order signed by President Johnson which bars federal contractors from discriminating against workers based on race, sex and other characteristics.

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Human Rights Campaign taps Alphonso David as next president

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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After a nearly seven-month search, the Human Rights Campaign announced Tuesday its next president will be Alphonso David—marking the first time a person of color will lead the nation’s largest LGBT organization.

David, a 48-year-old gay black man with an extensive career in New York as a civil rights lawyer, legal advisor and law professor, is named after the board of directors launched an extensive search to replace Chad Griffin, who announced in November he’d leave the organization. David is set to start in August.

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