Eric Holder to receive 2017 ‘Spirit of Justice’ award

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BOSTON (AP) – Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. has been named the recipient of the 2017 Spirit of Justice Award for his work on LGBTQ rights.

The award from Boston-based GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders recognizes Holder’s leadership on a range of civil rights issues, including voting rights, criminal justice reform, examining racial bias in policing, marriage equality and transgender rights.

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Anti-transgender bus sparks protests as it visits US cities

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BOSTON (AP)- Anti-transgender activists are being met with protests as they drive through cities in the northeastern United States in a big, orange bus emblazoned with the words “boys are boys” and “girls are girls.”

The “Free Speech Bus” parked in front of the Massachusetts State House in Boston on Thursday morning, drawing more than two dozen protesters holding signs and chanting, among other things, “No hate. No fear. Trans people are welcome here.”

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Gay veterans: We’ve been denied spot in St. Patrick’s parade

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BOSTON (AP)- Gay veterans who marched in Boston’s 2015 St. Patrick’s Day parade after decades of resistance from organizers say they have been denied a spot in this year’s event.

The veterans group, OutVets, said on their Facebook page that the reason for the denial is unclear, but “one can only assume it’s because we are LGBTQ.”

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Orlando charities learn from prior mass killings mistakes

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – In the days after the June 12 attack on the Pulse nightclub, other victims of mass shootings reached out to the survivors and their families to ensure that mistakes made with charity efforts after previous attacks were not repeated.

Anita Busch, whose cousin Micayla Medek was killed with 11 others in a Denver-area theater attack in 2012, said those families had to scrape and claw and still wait months for help.

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New Orleans favored to host All-Star game after NBA drops North Carolina

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New York (AP) – A person close to the situation tells The Associated Press that New Orleans has emerged as the favorite to host next year’s NBA All-Star game. The person said the league and city are “deep in negotiations” to stage the game there for a third time. The person spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because the details of the discussions have not been publicly announced.

The league moved the game out of Charlotte on July 21 because of its objections to a North Carolina law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.

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Massachusetts group fights to repeal transgender equality bill

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Boston (AP) – An organization that opposes the state’s new transgender anti-discrimination law says it will attempt to repeal the measure on the 2018 state ballot.

The Massachusetts Family Institute said in a statement that it has filed a petition with the secretary of state and plans to begin gathering signatures.

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Massachusetts man pleads not guilty to elaborate theft from gay victims

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Boston (AP) – A Norwood, Mass. man charged with drugging gay men so he could steal from them has pleaded not guilty.

Riccardo D’Orsainville had his bail lowered to $100,000 June 8 at his arraignment on charges including kidnapping, poisoning and larceny.

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Massachusetts House approves transgender non-discrimination bill, turns now to Senate

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Boston (AP) – A bill that would bar discrimination against transgender people in public accommodations and allow them to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with the gender they identify with won overwhelming approval in the Democratic-controlled Massachusetts House on June 1.

Its passage comes a day after Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said he would sign the House version, which includes language that targets false claims of gender identity, bill if it reaches his desk. The bill must now be reconciled with a Senate version, which does not include that language.

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Man claims bias over use of HIV-blocking drug, sues company

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BOSTON (AP) — A Boston man has filed a discrimination complaint against Mutual of Omaha, claiming the company rejected him for long-term care insurance because he is taking an HIV prevention drug.

The man is identified only as John Doe in a complaint filed Sept. 16 with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

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Boston opens parade to LGBT marchers

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LGBT groups marched in Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade for the first time since a ban was imposed more than 2 decades ago.

The gay military veterans of OutVets and Boston Pride, a Massachusetts’ gay rights group, marched alongside the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council and other local organizations in the annual celebration March 15.

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Gay veterans get OK for Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade

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BOSTON (AP) – The organizers of Boston’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade voted to allow a group representing gay veterans to march next year, a dramatic turnaround for an organization that has long resisted the inclusion of gays.

The South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, which won a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1995 upholding their right to ban gay groups from the annual parade that draws hundreds of thousands of spectators, voted 5-4 on Dec. 15 to allow the group OutVets to march in the parade scheduled for March 15. They will be allowed to carry a blue banner with five white stars representing the branches of the military, and six vertical rainbow stripes.

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