Speaker Ryan becomes latest Republican to announce retirement

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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With Republicans fretting about losing control of Congress in the mid-term elections, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has announced he won’t seek re-election, leaving an uneven record on LGBTQ rights and the door open for another Republican to take his place as leader of his caucus.

The 10-term member of Congress, who has served as speaker since 2015, announced during a news conference Wednesday he wouldn’t seek re-election to represent Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district in order to spend more time with his family, confirming news reports about his intended plan earlier in the day.

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LGBT groups place blame on Trump for government shutdown

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In the wake of Congress failing to approve funding to avert a U.S. government shutdown, LGBT groups are placing the blame squarely on President Trump for refusing to agree to deal allowing young, undocumented immigrants known as DREAMers to stay in the United States.

The U.S. government shutdown took place at midnight after the U.S. Senate failed reached the 60-vote threshold needed to advance debate on a continuing resolution to fund the government. The shutdown comes exactly on the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration.

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Chelsea Manning takes steps to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A transgender former Army intelligence who rose to national prominence for leaking sensitive information to Wikileaks has taken steps to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland.

The Federal Election Commission website indicates Chelsea Manning on Thursday filed for candidacy to run as a Democrat in the mid-term election.

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U.S. agency to Congress: Pass law against LGBT workplace discrimination

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Employment Non-Discrimination protest in May, 2010. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key).

An independent, bipartisan U.S. agency is set to deliver to President Trump on Wednesday a report calling on Congress to “immediately enact a federal law” against anti-LGBT workplace discrimination, although lawmakers are unlikely to act any time soon given the current makeup of Congress and the long history of stalling on the issue.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights details in the 154-page report the history of discrimination against LGBT people and the lack of non-discrimination protections for LGBT people in federal law, citing a 2015 hearing the agency held on the issue.

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Transgender Day of Remembrance observed on Capitol Hill

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: From left, Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) (Washington Blade file photos by Michael Key)

As the nation observes the deadliest recorded year ever for transgender people on the Transgender Day of Remembrance, members of Congress are lending their voices to raise attention to anti-trans violence.

Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), chair of the Congressional Transgender Task Force, introduced a resolution in the U.S. House on Monday to recognize violence against transgender people.

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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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