Harry Styles declares ‘We’re all a little bit gay’ at concert

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Harry Styles showed his support for the LGBTQ community yet again during his final concert stop in Inglewood, Calif.

During the show, Styles spotted a fan holding a sign that read “I’m gay and I love you.” After reading the sign out loud Styles replies, “I mean, we’re all a little bit gay, aren’t we?”

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Hawaii governor signs bill banning conversion therapy for minors

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Friday signed into law a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy for minors.

“Sexual orientation is not an illness to be ‘cured’ — we accept you just the way you are,” said Ige in a tweet that included a picture of him signing the bill.

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Rhode Island House votes to ban ‘gay or trans panic’ defense

By : Wire Report
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – The Rhode Island House of Representatives has voted to prohibit the “gay or trans panic” defense, a controversial legal strategy that seeks to use a victim’s sexual orientation or identity as justification for a violent crime.

The House voted to ban the legal defense May 23. It will now go to the Senate.

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Tampa Bay: Claire Elisan

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Age: 34

Hometown: San Diego, California

How you identify: Lesbian

What’s your sign: Taurus

Claire Elisan’s dedication to the LGBTQ community is clear from the moment you meet her.

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Fed’l court in California latest to rule against Trump’s trans ban

By : Karen Ocamb OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Late Friday, the District Court for the Central District of California handed President Trump yet another defeat in his dogged pursuit of banning transgender service members from serving in the US armed forces. The court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, requested by plaintiffs in Stockman v. Trump, to halt enforcement of Trump’s trans military ban while it is being challenged in the courts.

Also on Friday, the Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied the Justice Department’s request for a stay on trans military enlistments that are now slated to start on Jan 1. The three-judge panel noted that trans people “are already serving the country openly in the military.”

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Bipartisan legislation introduced to protect trans servicemembers

By : Karen Ocamb of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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California Reps. Jackie Speier and Susan Davis joined four other members of Congress on Friday to introduce a bipartisan bill intended to protect transgender military servicemembers under siege by the Trump administration. H.R. 4041 prohibits the Department of Defense from discharging trans members of the Armed Forces based solely on their gender identity.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has repeatedly said the current policy of trans open service remains in effect until he has had a chance to develop a policy, under President Trump’s orders, based on recommendations from a panel of experts. Trans servicemembers have been serving openly since June 2016 without incident. However, in a sudden series of tweets last July 26, Trump issued a directive ordering Mattis and the Pentagon to reverse the Obama-era policy and kick out all transgender individuals working in any capacity and prevent any recruitment or promotion through the accessions policy. Trump gave Mattis six months to come up with a new personnel policy, while Mattis is simultaneously preparing for the possibility of nuclear war. LGBT groups have urged Mattis to recruit trans people with military or national security experience to sit on that panel of experts.

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California reduces penalty for HIV transmission

By : Wire Report
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation reducing the penalty for knowingly exposing some to HIV.

The legislation signed Oct. 6 is part of an attempt by Democratic lawmakers to reverse the tough policies enacted during the AIDS scare of the 1980s and 90s.

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LGBT groups protest potential California textbooks

By : Wire Report
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Gay rights groups told a California state commission Wednesday that they object to several of the textbooks that could be recommended for use in schools, saying the books don’t include enough information about the contributions of LGBT Americans.

The state Department of Education is preparing to update textbook recommendations for the first time since California became the first state to require teaching about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

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Prison doctor sues state alleging LGBTQ discrimination

By : Wire Report
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SACRAMENTO, CALIF. (AP) – A psychologist at a California prison facility has alleged she was twice locked in a room with a dangerous inmate in retaliation for reporting mistreatment of LGBTQ inmates.

Lori Jespersen sued the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Monday for violations of civil rights and whistleblower protection laws, as well as the Prison Rape Elimination Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA. Jespersen is an employee of the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, which provides health care for incarcerated men. Her lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court’s Eastern Division of California, also names several corrections employees as defendants.

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State report: California hate crimes up by double digits

By : Wire Report
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The number of hate crimes in California increased about 11 percent last year, the second consecutive double-digit increase, but the overall number still was a third lower total than a decade ago, the state’s attorney general reported July 3.

Blacks, Jews and gay men were among the most frequent targets.

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Supreme Court rejects challenge to California ‘ex-gay’ therapy ban

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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For the second time, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a lawsuit challenging the California law barring widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy for minors.

The court announced in an order list on Monday it had refused to hear the litigation seeking to overturn the law signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012. The law has been the subject of lawsuits on the basis it violates freedom of speech and religion, but has been upheld as constitutional.

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California considers update to antiquated HIV laws

By : Wire Report
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cure HIV AIDS red ribbon

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SAN FRANCISCO — Legislation slated to be introduced this week would update California’s laws criminalizing HIV, which were adopted during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, so that a person could not be prosecuted for intentionally transmitting the virus if their sex partner tested negative for HIV, the Bay Area Reporter reports.

Under current law, HIV-positive persons may be prosecuted for engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse with the specific intent to transmit HIV even if no actual transmission of the virus occurs. If convicted, they could be sentenced to up to eight years in prison.

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