Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin stepping down

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Equality activist Chad Griffin – president of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – announced Nov. 15 that he will vacate the position in 2019 after seven years.

“Under Griffin’s leadership, HRC has become a leader in the resistance to the Trump-Pence administration, and one of the most politically powerful organizations in the country,” the organization shared.

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Outrage over report of sweeping Trump administration anti-trans plan

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Transgender advocates were vocal in their indignation Oct. 21 over a report in the New York Times about a sweeping anti-transgender plan within the Trump administration to limit the definition of “sex” in U.S. government policies to biological gender.

According to the New York Times, the Department of Health & Human Services is set to spearhead the initiative with the proposed rule that has been drafted and circulating since last spring and will be presented to the Justice Department by the end of the year. In the words of the New York Times, the proposal would amount to “defining transgender out of existence.”

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20 years after his tragic death, we look back and remember Matthew Shepard and the work done in his name

By : Jeremy Williams
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In the early evening hours of Oct. 7, 1998, a cyclist was heading down a desolate, dirt road outside of the town of Laramie, Wyo. when he passed by something hanging from a fence. The cyclist initially thought, with it being so close to Halloween, that it was a scarecrow decoration. The “scarecrow” turned out to be the beaten and broken body of 21-year-old, openly-gay college student Matthew Shepard. He was barely breathing. His face was completely covered in his own blood, sans a strip down each side of his face where his tears washed the blood and dirt clean.

This was the introduction of the heinous attack to police, and eventually Shepard ‘s friends and family, the media and the world. The attack was felt firsthand by Shepard 18 hours prior after meeting two men in their early 20s at the Fireside Lounge, a bar in Laramie.

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LGBTQ groups gather in South Florida to announce Gillum for Governor endorsements

By : Jeremy Williams
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MIAMI | Three LGBTQ organizations—one local, one statewide and one national—gathered at the CIC in Miami Sept. 24 to jointly announce their support for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in his bid to become Florida’s next governor.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) joined with Equality Florida, the state’s largest civil rights organization, and SAVE, a South Florida LGBTQ advocacy group, to commit working together to secure full equality for Florida’s LGBTQ community, according to an HRC press release.

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HRC, NextGen America encourage UCF students to “charge your vote”

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO | NextGen America, a nonprofit and political action committee focused on environmental advocacy, dispatched teams across Florida for National Voter Registration Day Sept. 25, attempting to register as many students as possible before the Oct. 9 deadline.

The organization claims it has registered almost 40,000 voters in the state so far for the 2018 election and received over 15,000 pledges to vote.

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Eric Holder to headline annual Human Rights Campaign dinner

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will headline the upcoming annual national dinner for the Human Rights Campaign in D.C., the organization announced Wednesday.

Holder, who served as the first U.S. attorney general during the Obama administration, is set to be the featured speaker at the 22nd annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner on Sept. 13 along with Stacey Abrams, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Georgia.

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Chad Griffin participates in UnidosUS conference forum

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin on July 9, 2018, was among those who took part in a forum at UnidosUS’ annual conference that focused on civil rights during the Trump administration. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin participated in a forum on civil rights under the Trump administration that took place during UnidosUS’ annual conference in D.C. on Monday.

“The LGBTQ community is as diverse as the fabric of our nation,” said Griffin during the forum that UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía moderated. “We are women. We are Muslim and we are Jewish. We are black, white, Latinx, Asian, and Native American. We are immigrants and we are people with disabilities.”

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N.H. governor signs two pro-LGBTQ bills

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on Friday signed two LGBTQ rights bills into law.

Sununu signed House Bill 1319, which adds gender identity to New Hampshire’s nondiscrimination law. He also signed House Bill 587, which bans so-called conversion therapy for minors in the state.

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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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Washington State becomes 11th to ban ‘ex-gay’ conversion therapy

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law on Thursday a ban on “ex-gay” conversion therapy, making the Evergreen State the eleventh in the nation to prohibit the widely discredited practice for youth.

Inslee signed the measure, SB 5722, at a ceremony in Olympia, Wash., making it illegal for licensed mental health therapists in engage in conversion therapy for individuals under the age of 18.

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Pulse survivors invoke LGBT victims at March For Our Lives

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin joins Pulse survivors at the March For Our Lives. Blade photo by Wyatt Reid.

Survivors of the 2016 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., took part Saturday in the March For Our Lives with heavy hearts as they remembered the 49 people killed that night, but they also expressed optimism about the potential for change.

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Tillerson out as secretary of state

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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President Trump on Tuesday announced he has ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Trump in a tweet that announced the decision said he plans to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to succeed Tillerson. Trump also said he will nominate Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel to succeed Pompeo.

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