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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DOJ appeals order extending injunction on trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Justice Department has a filed an appeal on a court order extending an injunction against President Trump’s transgender military ban as the lawsuit against the policy goes to trial.

The three-page notice, filed on Monday, indicates the Trump administration has appealed to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals the order U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman issued on April 13.

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DOD appears to contradict White House on process for trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A Defense Department spokesperson appeared Thursday to contradict the White House on the process for drafting the transgender military policy, asserting it was “a coordinated effort” with the White House and Justice Department as opposed to Defense Secretary James Mattis and his working group alone within the Pentagon.

Dana White, a Pentagon spokesperson, made the comments Thursday during a Pentagon news briefing in response to a question on timing for the release of the policy late Friday night and whether Mattis was “proud” of his recommendation against transgender military service.

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Mattis: Trans troops can re-enlist in armed forces — for now

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Faced with President Trump’s task of implementing a ban on their service, Defense Secretary James Mattis has issued a memo allowing transgender troops currently in the military to re-enlist — at least during the six-month period when Pentagon studies the issue.

The interim guidance, obtained Friday by the Washington Blade and other media outlets, lays out the implementation plan for Trump’s directive last month to ban transgender military service.

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House narrowly rejects Hartzler amendment against trans health care

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The U.S. House narrowly rejected on Thursday an amendment that would have barred transgender service members from being eligible for transition-related health care, including gender reassignment surgery.

The measure, which would have barred the Defense Department from expending funds on transition-related care, was introduced by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) as part of the fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill, but rejected on a 214-209 vote.

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Rep. Hartzler seeks to bar transgender health care in U.S. military

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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On the heels of her tirade in committee over allowing transgender people to serve in the U.S. military, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) has proposed an amendment that would bar the Defense Department from providing transition-related care for troops.

The amendment was among the many submitted to the House Rules Committee by the Friday deadline in anticipation of a floor vote on major defense policy legislation for fiscal year 2018. The committee is set to meet this week to review and accept amendments ahead of the vote on the $697 billion bill.

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Military cautious about removing transgender ban

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – Defense Secretary Ash Carter has gotten pushback from senior military leaders on whether the Pentagon should lift its ban on transgender people serving in the armed forces, according to U.S. officials familiar with the discussions.

Carter initially told troops in Afghanistan that he was open-minded when asked if the Defense Department was planning to remove one of the last gender- or sexuality-based barriers to military service. But defense officials said members of his top brass told Carter that they had serious reservations.

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Same-sex spouses may get military benefits

By : Wire Report
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Washington, D.C. (AP) – Same-sex spouses of military members could get health care, housing and other benefits by the end of August under a proposal being considered by the Pentagon. But earlier plans to provide benefits to gay partners who are not married may be reversed.

A draft Defense Department memo obtained Aug. 7 by The Associated Press says the department instead may provide up to 10 days of leave to military personnel in same-sex relationships so they can travel to states where they can marry legally.

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Same sex spouses may get military benefits

By : Wire Report
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Washington (AP) – Same-sex spouses of military members could get health care, housing and other benefits by the end of August under a proposal being considered by the Pentagon. But earlier plans to provide benefits to gay partners who are not married may be reversed.

A draft Defense Department memo obtained Aug. 7 by The Associated Press says the department instead may provide up to 10 days of leave to military personnel in same-sex relationships so they can travel to states where they can marry legally.

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