Stalled in Congress, LGBT rights advance at the local level

By : Wire Report
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At the U.S. Capitol and in most statehouses nationwide, supporters of LGBT rights are unable to make major gains these days. Instead, they’re notching victories in seemingly unlikely venues, such as Morgantown, West Virginia, and Birmingham, Alabama.

They are among scores of cities and towns in Republican-governed states that have acted on their own, passing resolutions and ordinances pledging nondiscrimination protections for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in the absence of comparable statewide laws.

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The Other Side of Life: The Other Hands, The Other We

By : Jason Leclerc
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Hands, it seems, are the new eyes: tools for feeling our way through the many ways we see our America.

Given the flurry of historical reassessments we are currently experiencing, I find that many of my conservative friends are torn between seeing and feeling, between their commitment to their ideals and their short termer’s allegiance with political expediency.

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Lawmakers seek proof Pentagon advised Trump on trans military ban

By : Karen Ocamb of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Virginia Rep. A. Donald McEachin is spearheading a call for all correspondence and documentation from the Pentagon to show the process that informed President Trump’s directive to institute a ban on all transgender military service.

In a letter to Defense Sec. Jim Mattis dated Oct. 10 and signed by 114 members of Congress, including many from California, McEachin writes: “We request information about what discussions or correspondence between the White House and the Pentagon, if any, led President Trump to make his assertion. If senior military or Department of Defense personnel asked that the president ban transgender individuals from military service, we request access to any letters, e-mails, telephone transcripts, meeting logs and minutes or other materials that document such requests.”

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Army nominee forced to withdraw over anti-LGBT views runs for Congress

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A Tennessee state senator forced to withdraw his nomination as Army secretary under the Trump administration after calling being transgender a “disease” has launched a campaign to run for Congress.

Mark Green will pursue the seat representing Tennessee’s 7th congressional district in the aftermath of its current occupant, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), declaring her bid to run for U.S. Senate.

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Transgender woman running for Honduras congress

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Rihanna Ferrera could become the first openly transgender person elected to the Honduran congress if she wins in November. (Photo courtesy of Rihanna Ferrera)

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — A transgender woman who is running for a seat in the Honduran congress hopes to make history in her country’s general election in November.

Rihanna Ferrera is a candidate for the center-left United Social Democratic and Innovation Party (PINU).

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62 lawmakers blast anti-gay DOJ filing in bicameral letter

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A group of 62 Democrats from both chambers of Congress is blasting the U.S. Justice Department for a recent court filing arguing lesbians, gays and bisexuals have no protections under existing federal civil rights law.

In a letter dated Aug. 7 and made public Tuesday, the lawmakers assert the Justice Department’s recent friend-of-the-court brief in the case of Zarda V. Altitude Express is “not only contrary to existing law, but violates our nation’s ideals of liberty and justice for all.”

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Gay State Representative David Richardson plots historic run for Congress

By : Billy Manes
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After becoming Florida’s first LGBTQ politician elected to Tallahassee’s big leagues, State Rep. David Richardson – who is known as a stickler for details and a champion of civil rights – has entered the national ring, publicly announcing that he intends to go after the Congressional District 27 seat that is soon to be vacated by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who unexpectedly revealed that she would be vacating the position before she was projected to bow out in 2020. The Miami-based seat she will likely vacate is an important one, as Richardson’s current district is virtually enclosed within Ros-Lehtinen’s congressional district.

“Whoever goes there and has a seat is going to have to work in a bipartisan way, which is something I’ve done in Tallahassee,” Richardson says on the phone from a special session in Tallahassee. “I think healthcare will continue to be an issue. Immigration will be a very big issue in South Florida. And criminal justice reform will be key.”

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Busy year for protests could cost Washington millions

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP)- The major protests in Washington that have greeted President Donald Trump’s first year in office are set to return in force, continuing an already expensive year for city officials who work to keep people safe during mass gatherings.

With polls showing Trump facing unusually strong disapproval of his agenda in the first 100 days of a presidency, organizers are promising spring rallies for a variety of mostly liberal causes including science, climate change, immigrants’ rights, gay rights and arts funding. Last weekend, demonstrators called on Trump to release his tax returns.

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Utah transgender candidate to run for Congress

By : Wire Report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Democrat Misty Snow announced April 13 she will take aim again at becoming the first openly transgender woman elected in Utah.

Snow said she will challenge U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart in the state’s 2nd Congressional District in 2018.

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Gay candidate launches bid for Texas congressional seat

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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A gay HIV/AIDS activist has launched a bid for a Texas congressional seat currently held by a 16-term Republican member of Congress who recently gained notoriety for instructing a constituent to “shut up” during a town hall meeting.

Currently the compliance officer at Prism Health North Texas, the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS service organization in the area, John W. Duncan declared in a statement Monday his intention to seek the Democratic nomination to run for the seat representing Texas’ 6th congressional district.

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Out Colombia congresswoman to seek higher office

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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BOGOTA, Colombia — The first openly LGBT person elected to the Colombian Congress on Tuesday confirmed that she plans to run for a seat in the country’s Senate.

“I am optimistic,” Congresswoman Angélica Lozano told the Washington Blade during an exclusive interview at the Colombian Congress in the country’s capital of Bogotá. “Optimism is a condition that factors into my decision . . . but you must fight.”

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Uprisings: A New Deal?

By : Billy Manes
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On the last day of February, our national leader and television star Donald Trump launched his congressional speech with a nod to his wife and to Black History Month, attempting, apparently, to launch a new narrative about the Trump presidency, one that doesn’t involve salacious groping and Twitter accounts.

“Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our Nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains,” he said with all the gall of a teenage actor.“ Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”

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