19-year term for ex-youth care worker convicted of sex abuse

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PHOENIX (AP) | A former youth care worker convicted of sexually abusing seven teenage boys at a Phoenix-area shelter for immigrant children has been sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Prosecutors say 25-year-old Levian D. Pacheco of Phoenix faced a tougher punishment at his Jan. 14 sentencing because he exposed some victims to the HIV virus.

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Mexico border city provides assistance to LGBTI migrants

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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NOGALES, Mexico | The mayor of a Mexican border city that has provided assistance to LGBTI migrants says President Trump’s continued demands for a border wall is a political “tactic.”

Jesús Antonio Pujol Irastorza told the Washington Blade on Jan. 23 during an interview at his office — less than a mile south of the Nogales port of entry — that his administration is “prepared for issues of violence,” referring to one of Trump’s justifications for a border wall.

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Court will take up Phoenix’s anti-discrimination ordinance

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PHOENIX (AP) | The state Supreme Court will hear arguments Jan. 23 in a challenge of Phoenix’s anti-discrimination ordinance that makes it illegal for businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples for religion reasons.

Two Christian artists who operate a business that makes invitations and other wedding-related items argue that the ordinance will violate their religious beliefs by forcing them to custom-make products for same-sex marriage ceremonies.

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RNC committeeman: ‘Dumb ass people’ elected Kyrsten Sinema to Senate

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In the aftermath of Sen. Kyrsten Sinama (D-Ariz.) being sworn-in as the first openly bisexual U.S. senator, a member of the Republican National Committee took to Facebook on Jan. 5 to express consternation over the “dumb ass people” in his own state who elected her.

Bruce Ash, who has represented Arizona on the RNC since 2007 and is one of the RNC’s most senior members, made the comments in a public post on Facebook in response to Vice President Mike Pence swearing in the new senator, criticizing Sinema for her appearance during the event.

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Arizona group advocates on behalf of undocumented LGBTI immigrants

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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PHOENIX |  An Arizona organization that advocates on behalf of undocumented LGBTI immigrants says more of their clients are living in fear because of President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

Trans Queer Pueblo, which operates out of a small house in Phoenix’s Garfield neighborhood, runs a monthly clinic that offers health care to undocumented LGBTI migrants. Trans Queer Pueblo Project Coordinator Dagoberto Bailón told the Washington Blade during a July 19 interview that his organization also works to provide undocumented LGBTI immigrants “fair and dignified work” and access to immigration-related services.

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John McCain leaves complicated legacy on LGBT rights

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sen. John McCain, who died Saturday at 81, leaves a legacy of patriotism, service to country — and being a thorn in the side of President Trump — but his legacy on LGBT issues is more complicated.

Throughout his decades in Congress, the Arizona Republican took widely different stances on LGBT issues — at times mocking them as unimportant, at other times embracing equal rights for the LGBT community. McCain would often oppose LGBT rights to align with his party and for the sake of political expediency, although the general direction of the positions he took as time went on demonstrated increasing acceptance of LGBT people.

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CVS apologizes to transgender woman for prescription denial

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PHOENIX (AP)| Drugstore chain CVS is apologizing to an Arizona transgender woman who says she was denied a hormone prescription by a pharmacist.

The company apologized on social media Friday saying the pharmacist is no longer an employee.

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Court applies Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling to uphold Ariz. LGBT ordinance

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A state appellate court on Thursday upheld a city non-discrimination ordinance in Arizona, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in the reasoning for the decision.

The court in a decision written by Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Lawrence Winthrop determines a non-discrimination ordinance in Phoenix barring anti-LGBT discrimination enacted in 2013 is valid under the U.S. Constitution.

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Same-sex parents navigate ups and downs of making a family

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RIDGEFIELD, Wash. (AP) — Even before they wed, Kris and Jen Riley dreamed of having a child. So, while living in Arizona, they started the process of getting pregnant using an anonymous sperm donor.

In 2008, artificial insemination worked and Jen Riley became pregnant.

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Arizona Supreme Court says same-sex couples get equal parental rights

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PHOENIX (AP) – The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that a lesbian woman who is divorcing her spouse is entitled to equal parental rights under the U.S. Constitution, even though a state law doesn’t recognize those rights.

The ruling from the state’s highest court said U.S. Supreme Court precedent requires same-sex couples be afforded the same rights as straight couples.

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Dem AZ Rep. Sinema ‘seriously considering’ Senate challenge

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema said Friday she is “seriously considering” a run for the Arizona Senate seat held by Republican Jeff Flake.

The three-term congresswoman said she’s heard from many in her state encouraging her to run. Flake narrowly won his first term in 2012 and is among the very few GOP incumbents who might be vulnerable in next year’s midterm elections in a Senate map that favors Republicans.

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Arizona county bans paid “conversion therapy” for minors

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – The Pima County Board of Supervisors in Arizona approved a resolution banning paid sexual orientation “conversion therapy” of minors.

The decision made Aug. 1 echoes decisions in nine other states that have made conversion therapy illegal and takes the public stance that sexual identity is not a disorder or mental illness.

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