Kevin Jennings: new leadership at Lambda Legal

By : Karen Ocamb OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Kevin Jennings, photo courtesy of Lambda Legal.

Kevin Jennings is not a lawyer so why was he tapped to lead Lambda Legal, one of the LGBTQ community’s most important national organizations?

“Well that was sort of what I said when Lambda called me,” Jennings told the Los Angles Blade by phone before officially starting on Dec. 2. “They said, ‘We’re not looking for a lawyer. We have lots of brilliant lawyers. We’re looking for an experienced organizational leader,’ — and that I am. I’ve been a leader of the LGBT movement for over 30 years and this is really a critical time for a movement, particularly for Lambda. The right wing has a very clear strategy to use the court and all of [President] Trump’s horrific judicial appointments to roll back everything we’ve won over the last 40 years. Lambda is going to be a key player in stopping that.”

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Another judge deals blow to Trump’s anti-LGBTQ ‘conscience rule’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Donald Trump, photo public domain.

A second federal judge has ruled against Trump administration’s “conscience rule” allowing health care workers to get out of procedures with which they have religious objections, such as gender reassignment surgery or abortion.

U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian, an Obama appointee, ruled against the measure from the bench in Spokane, Wash., in litigation filed by the state of Washington, according to multiple sources in the courtroom.

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Judge vacates Trump admin’s anti-LGBTQ ‘conscience rule’ for health workers

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

A federal judge in New York has vacated a Trump administration “conscience rule” allowing health care workers to get out of procedures with which they have religious objections, such as abortion or gender reassignment surgery.

In a lengthy 147-page decision against the “conscience rule,” U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer, an Obama appointee, concludes the measure was enacted in contravention of the Administrative Procedures Act, calling the violations “numerous, fundamental and far-reaching.”

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Ellen DeGeneres to be honored by Hollywood Foreign Press

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Ellen DeGeneres, photo via DeGeneres’ Facebook page.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) announced on November 4 Ellen DeGeneres will receive the Carol Burnett Award at the next Golden Globe Awards.

DeGeneres, a three-time Golden Globe nominee, is the second recipient to be honored with the accolade (the first was Carol Burnett herself) and will accept the honor at the annual Golden Globes presentation on Sunday, January 5, 2020. The ceremony will air live coast-to-coast on NBC.

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Trump admin to allow adoption agencies to refuse placement in LGBTQ homes

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Donald Trump, Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The Trump administration is moving forward with a proposed regulation that will allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse placement into LGBT families over religious objections.

The Department of Health & Human Services went public on Friday with the regulation, which will undo an Obama-era policy prohibiting discrimination discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation among federal grantees.

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The Other Side of Life: Our Pumpkin Patch

By : Jason Leclerc
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For the past few years, in the time between the Epiphany and MLK Day, the pumpkins we set out in the yard after Thanksgiving finally deflate, broadcasting seeds into a corner of our yard for the next year’s patch of potential jack-o-lanterns. We watch as those vines yield breathtaking, bright orange flowers and then, lately, as the next Halloween tricks by us, wither without ever yielding pumpkins.

For two years now, our patch has been quick to tease and slow to yield. Despite the fact that male flowers and female flowers live on the same vine, they have been unable to pollinate each other. The swollen stamen remain unsatisfied by the pistils just inches away.

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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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