Orange County Democrats rally against GOP as they look ahead to general elections

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: (L-R) OCDEC chairman Wes Hodge, DNC Secretary Jason Rae and FDP Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo at the OCDEC Masquerade Ball in Orlando. (Photo by Jeremy Williams)

ORLANDO | It was an evening of magic and masks as the Orange County Democratic Executive Committee (OCDEC) hosted its 2019 masquerade ball at The Mezz in Orlando Nov. 16.

While the atmosphere was one of celebration, the evening’s message was one of focus and readiness as the democratic speakers spoke of the dangers of the current administration.

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Lightfoot becomes first out lesbian, black woman elected Chicago mayor

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, Courtesy the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot (Photo courtesy of the Lightfoot Campaign)

The run-off election in Chicago April 2 resulted in a historic victory for Lori Lightfoot, who became the first openly lesbian and black woman elected mayor of the city.

The Associated Press called the race for Lightfoot, who was running against Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, at 8 p.m. local time.

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LGBT advocates outraged over Trump’s deference to Putin

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: U.S. President Donald Trump faced criticism after his Helsinki news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin (Screen capture via YouTube)

The news conference that followed President Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki led to jaw-dropping reactions across the globe, including from LGBT advocates and observers who say it had a negative impact on LGBT rights despite Trump’s backpedaling days later.

Trump on Monday appeared alongside Putin at a news conference and sided with the Russian leader over the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies and the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election, which led to U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russians who implemented the plan.

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Danica Roem will be featured speaker at DNC’s LGBTQ gala

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Virginia Delegate Danica Roem will be a featured speaker at the Democratic National Committee’s 19th annual LGBTQ gala on June 25 in New York City. Roem will be the first openly transgender elected official to speak at a major party’s gala.

“When Democrats flipped 15 Republican seats in the Virginia House of Delegates last year, we sent a signal across the country that no seat should go uncontested,” Roem said in a press release. “Now, as we approach the final six-month stretch of the 2018 cycle, it’s so important to make sure every Democrat from the school board to the Senate has the resources and tools they need to fight and win. DNC Chair Perez knows every ZIP code counts and when Democrats organize and compete everywhere, we win.”

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Gus Kenworthy to headline DNC’s annual LGBTQ gala

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Olympic freeskier Gus Kenworthy will attend the Democratic National Committee’s 19th annual LGBTQ gala as a special guest on June 25 in New York City.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join the DNC at their LGBTQ Gala this Pride season,” Kenworthy said in a statement. “Over the last year, the Trump-Pence administration has pushed our community to the sidelines, attacking us for who we are and who we love. It’s time we take a stand against this administration by electing representatives this upcoming November who actively support and believe in equality for everyone.”

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GetEQUAL to shut down

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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GetEQUAL Executive Director Gaby Garcia-Vera on Tuesday announced the organization will shut down.

Garcia-Vera in a letter acknowledged their decision to fire Aaryn Lang as GetEQUAL’s Movement Building and Campaign Manager earlier this month “struck a nerve in the community.” Garcia-Vera also wrote several board members “had announced their plans to transition out” of GetEQUAL “before Aaryn’s transition out of the organization” and others “resigned in the midst of the social media controversy that followed.”

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RNC approves resolution backing Trump’s transgender military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Republican National Committee has approved a resolution in favor of President Trump’s effort to ban transgender people from the U.S. military, according to the Associated Press.

The RNC approved the resolution Friday at its annual winter meeting, which this year is taking place in West Virginia. Trump delivered remarks at the event this week before departing for Mar-a-Lago for the weekend.

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Top lesbian DNC official exits less than one year on the job

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The highest-ranking openly LGBT official at the Democratic National Committee has departed from her role less than one year after she started serving in the position.

Jess O’Connell, who was named as the DNC’s chief executive officer in May, said in a statement Tuesday evening she’s leaving the organization in a news development first reported by NBC News.

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Trump asserts support for LGBT equality in Log Cabin letter

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Despite a first year of an administration marked by anti-LGBT policies, President Trump expressed support equality for LGBT people in a letter recently unveiled by Log Cabin Republicans.

The letter, dated Dec. 21 and made public this week by the LGBT Republican group, is signed by Trump and congratulates the organization on its 40th anniversary.

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Joe Biden to LGBT gala: ‘Hold President Trump accountable’

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) – Former Vice President Joe Biden, warning of transgender Americans “under attack” in Republican-led states, on Wednesday challenged the nation’s LGBT community to push back against President Donald Trump’s administration.

“Hold President Trump accountable for his pledge to be your friend,” Biden declared at a private LGBT gala hosted by the Democratic National Committee in New York. “Just because you don’t have Barack and me in the White House doesn’t mean it’s time to give up, keep quiet, stay on the sidelines.”

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Wasserman Schultz: U.S. foreign policy must promote human rights

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) on Saturday said the promotion of human rights must remain part of U.S. foreign policy.

The Florida Democrat who is the former chair of the Democratic National Committee pointed out in her remarks at the World OutGames Miami Human Rights Conference in Miami Beach that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson earlier this month said the U.S. “would have to sacrifice possibly America’s values when dealing with other countries in order to achieve sort of greater good or more broad goals, even if it meant sacrificing our values that matter to us when it comes to human rights.”

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Mayor Buttigieg backs Notre Dame walkout of Pence speech

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said Sunday he supports the students at University of Notre Dame who walked out on Vice President Mike Pence during his commencement speech over his anti-LGBT views and the Trump administration’s approach to marginalized communities.

Buttigieg, the openly gay mayor who came to national prominence during his run to become chair of the Democratic National Committee, made the remarks to the Washington Blade about students within his city at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund’s annual D.C. brunch when asked about the walkout.

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