Education Dept. agrees to take up anti-trans complaint from girl athletes

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

The Trump administration has agreed to investigate a complaint from an anti-LGBT legal group contending a Connecticut’s school trans-inclusive policy has “denied equal athletic benefits and opportunities to girls.”

The complaint was filed by Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of three teen athletes and accepted by the Department of Education Wednesday at a time when opponents of LGBT non-discrimination measures are stoking fears over men playing in women’s sports to derail those efforts.

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U.S. agencies to celebrate Pride month, but without Cabinet secretaries

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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With Pride month approaching, many U.S. agencies in the second year of the Trump administration are continuing plans to hold celebrations for their LGBT workers, although Cabinet leaders will be absent and some annual events are in question.

The absence of Cabinet leaders at these events stands in contrast to the Obama years when they were featured speakers at the celebrations, wished LGBT federal workers a happy Pride and reflected on the significance of the annual event.

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‘Sex and the City’ star Cynthia Nixon announces run for New York governor

By : Randa Griffin
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Former “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon announced on Monday via Twitter her decision to run for governor in the upcoming New York Democratic primary. Her decision sets up a race against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a two-term Democratic incumbent, in the upcoming September election.

In her announcement video Nixon said, “We want our government to work again. On health care, ending massive incarceration, fixing our broken subway. We are sick of politicians who care more about headlines and power than they do about us.”

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Cynthia Nixon considering run for New York governor

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Cynthia Nixon is considering running against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) in the primary race in 2018, according to reports.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the “Sex and the City” star “is being encouraged to run by liberal groups. Her candidacy has been floated before, but she shot it down in the past. Associates of hers said she is now considering it.”

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DeVos still won’t say federal law bars anti-LGBT discrimination

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Weeks after facing criticism for refusing to speak out in congressional testimony against anti-LGBT discrimination in charter schools, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos still won’t say federal law prohibits them from discriminating against LGBT students.

DeVos on Tuesday referred generally to rules under federal law in a testy exchange on whether she’d speak out against anti-LGBT discrimination in charter schools with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who said the statute in this area is “somewhat foggy.”

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DeVos meets with LGBT groups over trans student protections

By : Chris Johnson of the Washingston Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Representatives from a trio of LGBT organizations and families with transgender kids met Wednesday with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in the aftermath of the Justice and Education Departments revoking Obama-era guidance assuring transgender students access to the bathroom consistent with their gender identity.

Mara Keisling, executive director of National Center for Transgender Equality, said the meeting came about as a result of the Trump administration rescinding the guidance, which informed discriminating against transgender students would violate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

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Both sides of the debate speak out following transgender bathroom decision

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – Transgender students lost federal protections that allowed them to use school bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities Feb. 22, as the Trump administration came down on the side of states’ rights, lifting Obama-era federal guidelines that had been characterized by Republicans as an example of overreach.

Below, some of the comments about the Trump administration decision to rescind the federal guidelines.

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Trump rescinds transgender student protections

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Much to the dismay of the LGBT advocates who sought to keep guidance barring discrimination against transgender kids in schools, the Trump administration on Wednesday revoked the guidance.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday during the daily press briefing a letter rescinding the guidance would come out that day, reiterating his words from earlier in the week the decision to withdraw the guidance is based on President Trump’s support for states’ rights.

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Orlando Magic presents first Pride Night

By : Billy Manes
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Orlando – It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Orlando’s signature sports league the Orlando Magic would be hopping onto the “Pride Night” train. After all, Orlando has been in the global spotlight since last year’s Pulse massacre which took the lives of (eventually) 50 victims. The Magic has made a point of its engagement with the community and the community has paid in kind (nearly $500 million) to build the Amway Center, the spired city landmark that hosts the basketball team and its games. The league is proud of its varied community, staff says. Giving back is what it is all about.

“We, over the last two years have been introducing more theme nights for our community around myriad things,” Linda Landman Gonazalez, vice president of philanthropy and multicultural insights for the Orlando Magic, says.“We’ve always done Black History Month; we’ve always done Hispanic Heritage Month, Latin Night; we’ve always done everything.”

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LGBT employees ask Education Secretary to keep protections

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – LGBT employees have asked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to commit to safeguarding anti-discrimination regulations amid fears that the Trump administration may weaken those protections.

In the email, obtained by The Associated Press Feb. 17, staffers at the Education Department urged the new secretary to issue a statement confirming her commitment to Title IX rules, which prohibit discrimination based on sex in educational programs.

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LGBT groups urge Trump admin to keep trans protections

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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PHOTO: GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard is among the LGBT advocates who signed a letter urging the Trump administration to keep trans protections. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Following a signal from the U.S. Justice Department that guidance protecting transgender students may be on the chopping block, a trio of LGBT groups — as well as an LGBT-supportive women’s organization — are calling on the Trump administration to keep the policy in place.

The letter, dated Feb. 13, is addressed to newly confirmed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who would be responsible for any decision to rescind the guidance.

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Editor’s Desk 2.9.17

By : Billy Manes
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This is how it goes. There is an initial spark of horror – in this case, the abject realization that our country had elected a television and real-estate mogul into its highest office in November – and then come the stages of grief.

It is no hyperbole to state that the election of President Donald Trump has already been a source of anxiety for progressives and people who follow either history or politics. These things happen, we tell ourselves. It will get better, we sigh. Maybe we’ll be safe; maybe Trump does like the LGBTQ community; maybe Vice President Pence has a switch on his back that will allow some kind of social diplomacy between the others and himself. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

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