NIAID Director to Congress: Help us implement plan to end HIV

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Dr. Anthony Fauci said that scientific advances have made it possible to end the HIV epidemic in the United States within the next decade if not much sooner. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told an audience of mostly legislative aides to members of Congress at a Dec. 5 congressional briefing on Capitol Hill that scientific advances have made it possible to end the HIV epidemic in the United States within the next decade if not much sooner.

In an impassioned description of what he calls “implementation science,” Fauci said he and his colleagues at the National Institute of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other federal, state, and local health agencies are hopeful that a newly launched federal plan to end HIV will be able to overcome socio-economic barriers that have prevented the scientific advances from reaching those who could most benefit from them.

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Rep. Katie Hill resigns amid ‘revenge porn’ posts, investigation of relationship

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rep. Katie Hill addresses supporters in March. Photo via Hill’s Facebook page.

Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), the only out bisexual in the U.S. House, is set to resign her seat amid a growing scandal that includes “revenge porn” of nude images of her posted online and an admission to having an “inappropriate” relationship with a campaign staffer.

Hill made the announcement Sunday night on her Twitter account, where she posted a formal letter dated Oct. 27 to member of Congress.

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Trans service could be casualty of ‘skinny’ defense bill

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has proposed a “skinny” defense bill that will likely leave out transgender service members. (Photo pubic domain)

With House and Senate negotiators having reached a stalemate over major defense spending legislation, one proposed solution — a “skinny” bill that would focus on pay for U.S. military personnel and military construction projects — would likely leave transgender service members out in the cold.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, floated the idea of “skinny” bill in a statement Oct. 24 amid the standoff over the fiscal year 2020 defense authorization bill.

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The New York Times celebrates women in power with new book

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: “The Women of the 116th Congress: Portraits of Power,” Abrams, by The New York Times, foreword by Roxane Gay, portraits by Elizabeth D. Herman and Celeste Sloman

The 2018 midterm elections gave the United States a staggering 116th Congress, important in part for the number of women who assumed office and for the diversity among those women. The first openly LGBTQ member of the Senate to win re-election. The first two Muslim women elected to Congress. The first two Native American congresswomen. The youngest woman elected to Congress. The firsts go on, and this attractive book, “The Women of the 116th Congress: Portraits of Power” by The New York Times, documents all of them.

It is a reverential compendium that begins with a forward by author Roxane Gay that lays out many of the firsts and speaks to the importance of this Congress: “The people who have been elected to represent us are, finally, starting to more accurately reflect the American people. This matters because when a diverse range of people serve in Congress, they start to address the issues the range of Americans are facing.”

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Microsoft to reassess PAC money for anti-LGBTQ lawmakers

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Microsoft last week became the first of 49 LGBTQ supportive corporations identified by a new LGBTQ group as collectively contributing millions of dollars through their Political Action Committees to members of Congress with the “worst of the worst” anti-LGBTQ records, to consider halting those contributions.

The new group, Zero for Zeros, identifies itself as a campaign aimed at persuading the nation’s most prominent and well-known pro-LGBTQ corporations to stop a seemingly contradictory practice of giving PAC money to the re-election campaigns of members of Congress who oppose and undermine the LGBTQ supportive policies that corporations like Microsoft say they support.

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Baldwin recognizes Stonewall riots, Marsha P. Johnson on Senate floor

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Photo by Chris Schmitt Photography)

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the first out lesbian elected to Congress, recognized the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in a speech on the Senate floor June 27 that reflected on major progress of the LGBT rights movement.

“When we look back at the Stonewall uprising and activism that grew out of that moment, even the most basic progress seemed like it would take a revolution to achieve,” Baldwin said. “So we had one.”

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Florida lawmakers call for Pulse to be named National Memorial Site

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | U.S. Representatives Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Darren Soto (FL-09) and Val Demings (FL-10) announced they would like Congress to establish the Pulse nightclub as a federally recognized National Memorial Site.

Pulse owner Barbara Poma joined the Orlando-area representatives at a press conference held at the Pulse interim memorial June 10, two days before the three-year mark of the shooting.

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HRC pushes lawmakers to expand background checks, protect LGBTQ community

By : Amanda Espinosa
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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, reiterated the request for Congress to advance H.R.8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. This will enforce a background check for every sale that involves a firearm, and prevent anyone who has a violent criminal history from easy access to firearms.

Under the current federal law, there is a loophole that permits access to non-licensed dealers to sell guns to individuals without a background check. This gap in the law is allowing private gun sales to be done online or at gun shows.

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102 LGBT leaders ‘enthusiastically endorse’ Nancy Pelosi for speaker

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of The National LGBT Media Association
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Amid uncertainty over whether House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will be elected speaker next year despite a Democratic majority in the House, a group of 102 LGBT leaders have come out to “enthusiastically endorse” her to become presiding officer of the chamber.

The leaders expressed support for Pelosi in a joint statement Nov. 16 asserting they “understand that the progress we have made is progress we must protect.”

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Openly lesbian candidate sees path for success in Minnesota Congressional race

By : Wire Report
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EAGAN, Minn. (AP) | Angie Craig came so close to winning a seat in Congress that she wasn’t ready to give up.

The former medical technology executive turned Democratic politician lost by less than 2 points in 2016 to Jason Lewis, a conservative former talk radio host who styled himself on the air as “Mr. Right” and whose past on-air remarks continue to be an issue. Within a few months, she filed for a rematch.

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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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