Transgender military personnel in limbo over Trump plan

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) | Long term, lawyers and activists battling to ensure that transgender people can serve openly in the U.S. military are convinced they will prevail. Short term, they are braced for anguishing consequences if the Trump administration proceeds with its plan to sharply restrict such service.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote Jan. 22, gave the administration the green light to put the policy into effect even as legal challenges continue.

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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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6th Circuit: ‘Religious freedom’ doesn’t allow anti-trans discrimination

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A three-judge panel on a federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled Wednesday the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act doesn’t allow employers to engage in anti-transgender employment discrimination.

Writing the 49-page unanimous opinion, U.S. Circuit Judge Karen Nelson Moore, a Clinton appointee, determined R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes in Michigan “engaged in unlawful discrimination” against transgender employee Aimee Stephens under Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964.

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Fate of HIV/AIDS council unclear after Trump terminations

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Weeks after the Trump administration fired all remaining members of the President’s Advisory Council for HIV/AIDS, the administration seems to be taking steps to refill those slots, but the ultimate fate of the body remains unclear.

In response to a question from the Washington Blade, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was non-committal when asked whether President Trump wants PACHA restaffed.

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Third court rules against Trump’s transgender military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A federal judge in Washington State has become the third to rule against Trump’s transgender military ban.

A federal judge in Washington State has become the latest to determine President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the armed forces is unconstitutional.

In a 23-page decision, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman determined Monday in the case of Karnoski v. Trump the policy likely violates rights to equal protection and substantive due process as well as rights under the First Amendment.

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Court: DOD can’t delay transgender enlistments beyond Jan. 1

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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In response to a request to clarify a court order against President Trump’s transgender military ban, a federal judge has ruled neither Trump, nor the Pentagon, may delay transgender enlistments any further than a Jan. 1 target date.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a Clinton appointee, issued the clarification Monday in response to a request from the U.S. Justice Department in the case of Doe v. Trump, the initial lawsuit against the ban filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Advocates & Defenders.

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The Other Side of Life: Totem polls

By : Jason Leclerc
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Jason Leclerc

Who might have imagined that the irrelevance of Hollywood would become a totem to the nation writ large in the age of Trump? When I say totem, of course, I intend to conjure images of poles: the biggest poles, polls that now accurately misstate everything from presidential popularity to Academy Award winners.

We are pole-driven, metaphor-driven partisans who have bought into cults of personality if only for the fleeting moments needed to crush other cults. In 2017, we pit irrelevant reality stars against their replacements as if one were the President of the United States and the other were the former governor of California.

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Around the World: Election 2016 and Beyond: Where to Next?

By : Aaron Drake
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aaron drake around the world watermark lgbt gay travelAs the 2016 Election arrives (aka Armageddon), it’s more than just the United States of America that is bracing for our election results. It’s been a busy year of European travel for me—a year of many firsts with stops in London, Paris, Rome, Venice and Barcelona among the highlights—and of course I met many curious locals in each destination. The question on everyone’s lips is, “Is Donald Trump really running for President?” This is usually followed by a gasp or a chuckle. Sadly, there’s no good answer to this question.

It’s been the topic of conversation more than just about any other subject – even in London, where I was the morning the news of the Brexit vote rocked the European Union. Many there were more concerned with the potential of Trump running for president than the U.K. leaving the E.U.! Unfortunately, according to early polls and depending on your news source, at least half of America (or ‘Murica, if you will) isn’t as concerned. Though Trump has alienated women (already at least half of the population) and many minority populations, including LGBTs, he still has plenty of voters in his camp. (And I know the opponents will argue the same against that Nasty Woman. I can hear you over the ice pick I’m repeatedly jamming in my ears.)

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President Obama makes a last pitch for Clinton, Murphy at UCF

By : Adam Manno
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ORLANDO – President Barack Obama pulled out all the stops at a Friday night rally for Hillary Clinton at the CFE Arena to remind Central Floridians to not just vote, but to vote to preserve his legacy.

People began to wait near the arena at 1 p.m., with the line wrapping around the Tower 4 dormitory all the way back to the football stadium by 5 p.m.

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The other side of life: A full-throated endorsement

By : Jason Leclerc
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Jason Leclerc

When it comes down to it, I probably have more quality experience than either of the (realistic) presidential candidates in at least one thing: oral. I’ve been performing it for decades.

They just aren’t as eloquent. They just aren’t listeners.

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“Will & Grace” cast reunite to get out the vote

By : Jeremy Williams
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After all the social media buzz this past weekend over the cryptic tweets from the cast of the landmark TV series Will & Grace, an answer was finally revealed just before the Clinton/Trump debate Sept. 26.

The cast – Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally – reprise their roles in a mini Will & Grace webisode where Will (McCormick) and Grace (Messing) try to convince Jack (Hayes) to vote for Clinton while Karen (Mullally)adamantly defends Trump.

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The Florida Democratic Party makes some noise at opening for new Clinton campaign office

By : Billy Manes
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ORLANDO – The scene felt a little familiar. Tucked into an office building on Colonial Drive, upstairs in a world of beige cubicles and the walls that they hang upon, another Democratic presidential frontrunner was given the full grassroots treatment – knocking on doors, talking to your friends, hugs and buttons – that her predecessor Barack Obama received on the very same block, in the very same building.

On Aug. 4, local Democrats crowded the new offices to make it known that they were “with her,” and they were ready to fight. Clinton recently visited Orlando and returned for visits to Kissimmee and Tampa Bay in subsequent weeks.

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