Judy and Dennis Shepard criticize AG Barr on LGBTQ rights

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Judy and Dennis Shepard. Photo via the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s Facebook page.

The parents of Matthew Shepard, the gay college student murdered in 1998, assailed Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday for what they called hypocrisy on LGBTQ rights during a Justice Department ceremony commemorating a hate-crimes law named after their son.

The ceremony, held in the department’s Great Hall, marked the 10th anniversary of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was signed by President Barack Obama in October 2009. The act expanded the 1969 federal hate-crime law to include crimes based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

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Elizabeth Warren marches in Las Vegas Pride parade

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (R) at Las Vegas Pride 2019. Photo via Twitter.

LAS VEGAS (AP) | Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren danced to Aretha Franklin and posed for selfies as she marched Friday night in the Las Vegas Pride parade.

The Massachusetts senator, who is gaining momentum in the crowded field of White House hopefuls, was the only candidate to appear at the parade in the early voting state.

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Kevin Jennings named CEO of Lambda Legal

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Kevin Jennings is the new CEO of Lambda Legal. Photo courtesy Jennings.

Longtime LGBT rights advocate and former Obama administration official Kevin Jennings will become the CEO of Lambda Legal, the organization announced Monday.

“Being Lambda Legal’s CEO is a dream job that anyone would love to have, and I am thrilled to be stepping into this role at such a critical time for Lambda and our nation,” Jennings said in a statement. “From my childhood as the son of a Southern Baptist preacher to when I became a member of the Obama administration, I’ve known what it’s like to be the target of hateful, anti-LGBT bullies, but those attacks only made me more determined to challenge them.”

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A look at top cases for the Supreme Court’s new term

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

WASHINGTON (AP) | The biggest cases before the Supreme Court are often the last ones to be decided, and the focus on the court will be especially intense in June, just a few months before the 2020 election.

A look at some of the high-profile cases the court will hear in its term that begins Monday and runs through early summer 2020, and when the cases are being argued, if a date has been set:

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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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Trump brings up global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality at UN

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In a surprise move, President Donald Trump included in his speech before the United Nations on Sept. 24 his administration’s global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality in the more than 70 countries where it remains illegal.

“My administration is working with other nations to stop criminalizing of homosexuality,” Trump said. “And we stand in solidarity with LGBTQ people who live in countries that punish, jail and execute people based upon sexual orientation.”

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Watch: Jazz Jennings tackles transgender bathroom debate on ‘WWYD’

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABC’s “What Would You Do?,” a hidden camera show that conducts social experiments on unsuspecting strangers, took on the transgender bathroom debate with transgender activist and “I am Jazz” star Jazz Jennings.

In the episode, a mother protests against a transgender woman, played by transgender actress Nadia Hunter, using the women’s bathroom at a restaurant. Jennings watches the scenarios behind the scenes with host John Quiñones.

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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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Former Obama admin officials urge Supreme Court to uphold LGBT protections

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: (L-R) Chai Feldblum, Arne Duncan and Mary Beth Maxwell. Washington Blade photos of Feldblum and Duncan by Michael Key, photo of Maxwell public domain.

A group of 36 former federal government officials who served during the Obama administration is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold LGBT rights in pending litigation that will determine whether firing a worker for being LGBT is legal.

The 43-page brief points to decisions made during the Obama administration that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in the workplace, should be read to constitute workplace protections for LGBT people.

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Obama honors Stonewall’s 50th

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Former President Barack Obama, LGBTQ ally and the nation’s 44th commander in chief, marked the 50th anniversary of Stonewall June 28.

“50 years ago, history was written at the Stonewall Inn when New York City’s LGBT community stood up, spoke out, and started a movement,” Obama shared.

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Federal workers plan Pride celebrations, despite Trump’s anti-LGBTQ attacks

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Amid continuing news of anti-LGBT attacks from the Trump administration, LGBT federal employees are still making plans to celebrate Pride in June with events at U.S. agencies, including celebrations at the Pentagon and the State Department.

In the face of President Trump’s recently implemented transgender military ban, DOD Pride is planning an event for LGBT service members and civilian employees June 12 in the Pentagon courtyard.

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VIDEO: Pete Buttigieg ‘slow jams the news’ with Jimmy Fallon

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Jimmy Fallon (L), Pete Buttigieg (center) and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter on ‘The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.’ (Screenshot via YouTube)

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg participated in Jimmy Fallon’s “Slow Jam the News” segment on the May 13 episode of “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

In the segment, Fallon’s guest details the news while Fallon gives the information a sensual spin and the Roots lead singer Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter adds in some slow jams. Barack Obama participated in the segment in 2016.

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