LGBTQ groups merge to form Modern Military Association of America

By : CHRIS JOHNSON OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: (L-R)Navy veteran Tavion Dignard, Army Maj. Ian Brown, Capt. Jennifer Peace, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Megan Winters and Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland attend the State of the Union Address on Feb. 5, 2018. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

In the aftermath of the U.S. military implementing a new ban on transgender service members, a duo of groups that have worked to advance rights for LGBTQ people in the armed forces have merged to form the Modern Military Association of America.

The organizations — the American Military Partner Association and OutServe-SLDN — announced May 11 the decision to combine into one at the 2019 AMPA National Gala in D.C.

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Who’s to blame for trans military ban: Mattis or Pence?

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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When President Trump reaffirmed his ban on transgender military service last Friday, the memo was backed up by a report from Defense Secretary James Mattis in which he asserted that a nine-month review of the issue revealed “substantial risks” in allowing transgender people in the U.S. military. But was it really his doing, or that of Vice President Mike Pence, who has a virulent anti-LGBT record?

Upon the release of the memo, many were surprised Mattis — who’s seen as one of the more mature voices in the Trump administration — was found to have signed his name to a document against transgender military service. After all, media reports from the time the memo was delivered in February indicated Mattis would advise Trump to allow transgender people to keep serving.

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Trump receives Mattis recommendation on trans military service

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Defense Secretary James Mattis delivered his recommendation to President Trump on transgender military service in compliance with a directive to the Pentagon earlier this year, officials have told the Washington Blade.

Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesperson, confirmed Mattis delivered his recommendation to Trump, but wasn’t forthcoming about the next steps.

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Third court rules against Trump’s transgender military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A federal judge in Washington State has become the third to rule against Trump’s transgender military ban.

A federal judge in Washington State has become the latest to determine President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the armed forces is unconstitutional.

In a 23-page decision, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman determined Monday in the case of Karnoski v. Trump the policy likely violates rights to equal protection and substantive due process as well as rights under the First Amendment.

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Pentagon celebrates Pride with LGBT service members

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. military has entered a new era under the Trump administration as many wonder if the LGBT progress after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal will remain in place, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the annual reception at the Pentagon recognizing Pride.

The event — coordinated by DOD Pride, the Pentagon affinity group for LGBT service members and civilians — took place on Monday as it has each year after repeal of the military’s gay ban, and now after the rule change allowing transgender people to serve in the armed forces.

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Same-sex couple shares ceremonial first kiss

By : Staff Report
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SAN DIEGO – A same-sex couple was chosen for the first time to share the ceremonial first kiss for the homecoming of the USS San Francisco submarine warship.

Thomas Sawicki and his boyfriend Shawn Brier were the lucky couple who shared the first smooch off the submarine when it returned to port at Naval Base Point Loma on Feb. 9. Sawicki was back from a seven-month deployment in the Western Pacific.

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