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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Biden’s early support for same-sex marriage still remembered for impact

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Seven years ago this week, former Vice President Joseph Biden gave an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that fundamentally altered the course of the marriage equality movement.

Biden — now the front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination — stepped out on a limb with moving remarks on extending marriage rights to gay couples, a memorable act on behalf of LGBT rights that distinguishes him in the field of Democratic candidates.

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Chelsea Manning jailed for refusing to testify on WikiLeaks

By : Wire Report
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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) | Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who served years in prison for leaking one of the largest troves of classified documents in U.S. history, was sent to jail March 8 for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.

U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton ordered Manning to jail for civil contempt of court after a brief hearing in federal court in Alexandria in which Manning confirmed she has no intention of testifying. She told the judge she “will accept whatever you bring upon me.”

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First openly gay woman to run for Chicago mayor goes to run-off in historic election

By : Wire Report
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CHICAGO (AP) | Two African-American women will face each other in a runoff for Chicago mayor after defeating a member of the Daley family that has dominated the city’s politics for most of the past six decades and 11 other candidates in the election Feb. 26.

Political outsider Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle were the top two vote-getters, but neither received more than the 50 percent needed to avoid an April 2 runoff. The winner will succeed Mayor Rahm Emanuel and become the first African-American woman to lead the nation’s third-largest city. Emanuel did not seek re-election.

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Ellen DeGeneres makes list of most admired women in world

By : Jeremy Williams
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The queen of daytime talk, Ellen DeGeneres is among the 10 most admired women in the world according to Gallup.

The annual poll, released Dec. 27, asks Americans to name the man and woman living anywhere in the world today whom they admire most. DeGeneres, who came in eighth, is the only LGBTQ person to appear on either of the lists for 2018.

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The LGBTQ impact on movies, music, television, sports and fashion in 2018

By : Jeremy Williams
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From groundbreaking television to record-setting events, this year in LGBTQ pop culture has been explosive. Legends were remembered, new icons were formed and history was made—one certain gay athlete even became America’s new sweetheart.

Here we have compiled just a snippet of the LGBTQ impact on movies, music, television, sports and fashion in 2018 with our annual LGBTQ Pop Culture, A-Z.

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Trump’s safety panel seeks to revoke school discipline rules

By : wire report
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President Donald Trump’s school safety commission on Dec. 18 called for a rollback of an Obama-era policy that was meant to curb racial disparities in school discipline but that critics say left schools afraid to take action against potentially dangerous students.

The panel, led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, made the recommendation in a report that lays out dozens of suggestions to improve safety in America’s schools. Trump created the commission in March following a Parkland, Florida, school shooting that killed 17 students and staff members.

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Trump’s HHS secretary recognizes gays in HIV/AIDS speech

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar recognized on Dec. 11 the impact the HIV/AIDS epidemic has had on gay people and racial minorities in a speech in which he also named new co-chairs to fill longtime vacancies on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

In remarks at the Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment in Oxon Hill, Md., Azar made the reference to the impact of HIV/AIDS on the gay community when he urged his audience to combat the disease “not just as a biomedical issue, but as a social challenge, too.”

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