NGLCC changes name to National LGBT Chamber of Commerce

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The NGLCC on Friday announced it has changed its name to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

The organization made the announcement at the end of its National Dinner that took place at the National Building Museum in downtown D.C. Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell co-founded what was then called the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in 2002.

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Judge blocks Trump from enforcing 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 D.C. has blocked President Trump’s ban on transgender military service as litigation against it moves through the judiciary, allowing transgender troops currently serving in the armed forces to breath a sigh of relief.

In a 76-page decision, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a Clinton appointee, restores the military policy on transgender troops before Trump’s directive under the likely assumption his action violates the right to due process under the Fifth Amendment.

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HRC official killed in D.C. motor scooter crash

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Cassidy Karakorn, the Director of Consumer Marketing for the Human Rights Campaign, was killed Saturday night, Aug. 26, when the motor scooter she was driving on Florida Avenue, N.E. crashed into a Volkswagen SUV after the driver of the SUV attempted to make a U-turn from the wrong lane, according to a statement released by D.C. police.

“The HRC family is mourning the loss of our beloved colleague and friend, Cassidy Karakorn,” HRC said in its own statement on Tuesday.

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ACLU sues Metro to reinstate ads for Milo, others

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday charging that the D.C.-area Metro transit system’s decision to ban advertisements for a book written by gay conservative writer Milo Yiannopoulos and “message” ads from three other groups, including the ACLU itself, violates the First Amendment.

Noting that Metro initially accepted the ads for Yiannopoulos’ book before abruptly taking them down last month, ACLU lawyers filed a motion asking for “immediate relief” from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for reinstatement of the ads to avoid further loss of revenue from book sales.

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Trial begins for man charged in D.C. murder of trans woman

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A D.C. Superior Court trial began on Wednesday for a District man charged with first-degree murder while armed for the February 2012 stabbing death of transgender woman Deoni JaParker Jones, 23, at a bus stop in Northeast Washington.

Police and prosecutors charged Gary N. Montgomery, who was 55 at the time of the incident, with stabbing Jones in the head as she stood at a bus stop near her home at East Capitol Street and Sycamore Road, N.E. on the evening of Feb. 2, 2012.

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Arrest in case of D.C. trans woman intentionally hit by car

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of National Gay Media Association
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D.C. police on Wednesday arrested an 18-year-old D.C. man on a charge of aggravated assault while armed for allegedly intentionally hitting a transgender woman with the vehicle he was driving on the 400 block of K Street, N.E. on July 5.

At the time of the incident, which took place around 3 a.m., police said the driver of the vehicle fled the scene and was being sought as part of a criminal investigation.

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D.C. to allow gender-neutral driver’s licenses

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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At the direction of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, the city’s Department of Motor Vehicles will begin allowing residents to choose a gender-neutral “X” identifier on driver’s licenses and other city identification documents on June 26.

The announcement on Tuesday by the mayor’s office of the soon to be available gender-neutral identification documents came on the same day that six members of the D.C. City Council introduced a bill that would enact the gender neutral I.D. policy proposed by the mayor administratively into city law.

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Record crowds expected for Capital Pride, Equality March

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Organizers of D.C.’s annual Capital Pride parade and festival scheduled for June 10 and 11 and more than a dozen related events such as dance parties, art exhibits and D.C. Latino Pride events that began June 3 were expected to draw as many as 200,000 people or more from the Mid-Atlantic region.

And with the national Equality March for Unity and Pride scheduled to kick off near the White House on Sunday, June 11, many local activists say the total number of people participating in all of these events could swell to several hundred thousand or more.

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‘Eyes on Chechnya’ protest targets Russian ambassador

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Protesters gathered before the D.C. residence of the Russian ambassador to the United States on Tuesday to call on Russia to investigate reports of anti-gay abuses and concentration camps in Chechnya and bring them to an end.

An estimated 75 people gathered before the residence of Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in a demonstration organized by the Human Rights Campaign intended to highlight the arrests and detentions of gay and bisexual men in the semi-autonomous Republic.

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Anti-LGBT hate crimes in D.C. up 59% in 2016

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The number of anti-LGBT hate crimes in the District of Columbia increased last year by 59 percent, from 37 cases reported in 2015 to 59 reported in 2016, according to the city’s annual bias-related crime report.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Acting D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham, who released the report at a news conference on Friday, reiterated the city’s commitment to combat hate crimes against each of the eight categories of bias that the report monitors each year.

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Gay Trump supporters rally in D.C.

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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At least four gay speakers who declared their strong support for President Donald Trump were cheered loudly while other speakers praised the group Gays for Trump during a March4Trump rally on Sunday, March 4, on the grounds of the Washington Monument in D.C.

The gathering of several hundred Trump supporters at the Washington Monument, who later marched to the White House, was one of more than a dozen pro-Trump rallies and marches held on the same day in cities around the country.

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Trans activist sues D.C. police

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Above: Lourdes Ashley Hunter (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Longtime transgender activist Lourdes Ashley Hunter on Wednesday sued four D.C. police officers and the D.C. government in federal court on grounds that the officers improperly arrested her at her apartment in Northwest Washington last November without a warrant on a charge of misdemeanor simple assault.

In a lawsuit filed on her behalf by the ACLU of the National Capital Area, Hunter charges that the officers’ actions violated her rights under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and amounted to a false arrest under the laws of the District of Columbia.

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