Taylor Swift accepts ‘Video of the Year’ at VMAs with drag performers

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Taylor Swift opened MTV’s 2019 Video Music Awards on Monday with a performance of her pro-LGBTQ anthem “You Need to Calm Down” which ultimately won Video of the Year, the biggest award of the night.

Swift performed the song along with bestie Todrick Hall and a slew of drag performers who also performed with Miley Cyrus during her 2015 VMAs performance of “Dooo It.” Swift later slowed things down with her first live performance of the single “Lover.”

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Trump admin to Supreme Court: It’s OK to fire workers for being trans

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Donald Trump, Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

Defying massive case law, the Trump administration urged the Supreme Court late Friday to issue a ruling that federal civil rights law doesn’t cover discrimination based on gender identity, therefore firing workers for being transgender is perfectly legal.

In a 54-page brief signed by U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco, the U.S. Justice Department argues Congress didn’t intend to include transgender people when it passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex in employment.

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Congressional Dems say Title VII ‘makes clear’ anti-LGBT discrimination unlawful

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A group of 151 congressional Democrats—113 House members and 38 senators—have signed a legal brief insisting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “makes clear that workplace discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity is unlawful.”

The lawmakers submit the 25-page friend-of-the-court brief to the U.S. Supreme Court as justices are set to determine whether Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination in the workforce applies to cases of anti-LGBT discrimination.

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Biden says Equality Act will be No. 1 priority as president

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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On the first day of Pride month, Democratic presidential candidate Joseph Biden declared on Saturday night the Equality Act to ban anti-LGBT discrimination would be his No. 1 priority if elected to the White House.

Speaking before 730 attendees at a Human Rights Campaign dinner in Columbus, Ohio, Biden said passage of the Equality Act would “send a message around the world” the United States supports LGBT rights.

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Trump recognizes Pride month, global initiative to decriminalize homosexuality

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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For the first time in three years in office, President Trump has recognized June as LGBT Pride Month in a series tweets Friday, referencing his administration’s international initiative to decriminalize homosexuality.

“As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison or even executive individuals on the basis of sexual orientation,” Trump wrote. “My administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invite all nations to join us in this effort!”

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Human Rights Campaign close to naming next president: sources

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Current HRC president Chad Griffin, who announced late last year he will depart the organization.

Fresh from the successful U.S. House vote on the Equality Act, the Human Rights Campaign is close to naming a new president to lead the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy group, insiders have told the Washington Blade.

LGBT advocates said this week they’ve heard board members for the Human Rights Campaign, which began a search for the organization’s next president after Chad Griffin announced late last year he’d depart the organization, are nearing their decision. One person familiar with board deliberations said the process is “going well.”

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The US House of Representatives has passed the Equality Act

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act by a vote of 236-173 on May 17.

“It’s the first time a chamber of Congress has approved a comprehensive LGBTQ civil rights bill that would finally provide clear, nationwide protections for LGBTQ people throughout daily life,” wrote the Human Rights Campaign on Twitter shortly after the measure passed.

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Trump comes out against Equality Act

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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With a vote on the Equality Act in the U.S. House expected on Friday, a senior administration official indicated exclusively to the Washington Blade that President Trump opposes the bill.

“The Trump administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all; however, this bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights,” the senior administration official said via email.

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House to vote next week on Equality Act to ban anti-LGBT discrimination

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. House is expected to hold a floor vote next week on the Equality Act, legislation that seeks to ban anti-LGBT discrimination, a senior Democratic aide told the Washington Blade on Monday.

The official announcement on the vote, the aide said, was set for May 3, which is the normal day for when the next week’s schedule is announced in the House.

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House Judiciary Committee passes Equality Act

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Above: (U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), center, introduced the Equality Act in March. The House Judiciary Committee on May 1, 2019, approved the measure that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights laws. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The House Judiciary Committee on May 1 approved a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights laws.

The Equality Act, which U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in March, passed the committee by a 22-10 vote margin with all Republican committee members voting against it. The openly gay Rhode Island Democrat in a statement after the vote said “fairness and equality are core American values.”

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Pelosi: Supreme Court review to have ‘no impact’ on Equality Act, floor vote in May

By : Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether existing federal law prohibits anti-LGBT discrimination will have “no impact” on the advancement of legislation seeking to ban it explicitly under federal law, a spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said April 22.

Drew Hammill, a Pelosi spokesperson, said via email in response to an inquiry from the Washington Blade the Supreme Court decision will have “no impact” on the legislative process for the Equality Act, which he said is set for floor vote in the U.S. House in May.

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O’Rourke backs LGBTQ rights at Northern Va. town hall

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke drew resounding applause and laughter at a campaign appearance in Alexandria, Va., April 17 when he inadvertently used a curse word to describe an anti-transgender law passed in North Carolina and quickly tried to withdraw it.

He was responding to a question from a young man in the audience who asked if he would sign the Equality Act, an LGBTQ rights bill pending in Congress, if he were elected president, and whether he thought a conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court might overturn such a law.

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