Media Matters For America looks to ‘eliminate hate’ with new campaign

By : Felicia Roopchand
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Hateful speech and actions seem to be around every corner these days, especially with the current state of politics in our country; however, we have those who are fighting to make sure that hate is silenced.

Media Matters For America has launched the Eliminate Hate Campaign  a new effort aiming to expose, undermine and mitigate the increasing influence and harmful impact of anti-LGBTQ hate groups while empowering and supporting local leaders and community members confronting extremism in their daily lives.

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2nd Circuit (again) finds anti-gay discrimination legal under Title VII

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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In a case filed by a now deceased gay skydiver who alleged sexual-orientation discrimination in the workforce, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals April 18 declined to accept the legal argument that anti-gay discrimination is prohibited under current federal civil rights law.

In a 13-page decision, the three-judge panel cites a 2000 decision in the Simonton case, a 2nd Circuit ruling that determined Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of the 1964, which bars sex discrimination in the workforce, doesn’t apply to sexual orientation. As a result of that precedent, the panel concludes Title VII cannot be applied in the pending case, named Zarda v. Altitude Express.

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Sen. Baldwin prepares for re-election fight in 2018

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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As Democrats gear up for the congressional mid-term elections in 2018, one race that will be critical for the LGBTQ community and potentially a challenge to win is the re-election bid of U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the only out lesbian in Congress.

After becoming the first openly gay person elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012, Baldwin will face re-election in a state Trump won in a surprise last year. Her race will almost certainly be a priority for the LGBTQ community seeking to ensure visibility in Congress and to strike back at Trump after his victory there.

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New group defends integrated Israel military

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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A new group seeks to counter growing opposition to LGBTQ and female soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces.

Blue and White Pride describes itself as “a movement of Israelis, men and women, who serve in Israel’s security forces, both as conscripts and in the reserves, and want to maintain the IDF as a meeting point for Israeli society.” The group also seeks to strengthen “the values of the IDF and those serving” against the backdrop of “anti-liberal forces trying to stop” the integration of women, LGBTQ Israelis and other minorities into the military.

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‘Diverse’ co-chairs named for LGBTQ march on Washington

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Organizers of a planned LGBTQ march on Washington scheduled for June 11, which has been named The Equality March for Unity and Pride, released on Wednesday the names of 12 of 13 co-chairs of the event but provided few additional details such as how it will be financed or the route of the march.

“The Equality March for Unity and Pride is less than two months away and we are thrilled to host this historic march in our nation’s capital,” a statement released by organizers says.

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Trump’s Easter Egg Roll a slapdash job; LGBT presence unlikely

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The annual White House Easter Egg Roll — an event that has served to enhance LGBT visibility — is haphazardly coming together under President Trump, according to media reports, and will likely not include an LGBT presence.

Ashley Broadway-Mack, president of the LGBT group American Military Partner Association, said her organization has been invited to partake in the celebration since 2012, but has “had no communication with the Trump administration whatsoever about this year’s event.”

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Members of Congress urge Tillerson to condemn gay Chechnya arrests

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Fifty members of Congress have asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to publicly criticize the arrest of gay men in Chechnya.

They note in an April 7 letter to Tillerson that they are “greatly disturbed by reports of arrests, disappearances and extrajudicial murders of gay men in Chechnya.”

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California latest to affirm N.C. travel ban despite HB2 replacement

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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California has joined the growing number of jurisdictions keeping in place travel bans to North Carolina enacted in protest over House Bill 2 despite the state’s governor signing into law a replacement for the anti-LGBT measure.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Wednesday his state with keep in place its ban on state-funded and state-sponsored travel and expenditures to North Carolina, citing criticism the new law continues anti-LGBT discrimination.

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Rapper Mykki Blanco releases ‘Hideaway’ video on HIV stigma

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, courtesy of The National Gay Media Association
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Queer rapper Mykki Blanco released her music video “Hideaway” in honor of National Youth HIV/AIDS Day on Monday.

Directed by Daisy Zhou, the video interprets the stigma faced by individuals with HIV. It shows Blanco as she takes her antiviral medication before getting ready for a show. A couple is also in the room where one partner is HIV-positive and faces abuse by the partner who is HIV-negative.

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Protections for trans Puerto Rico Senate employees rescinded

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The president of the Puerto Rico Senate has eliminated protections for the chamber’s transgender employees.

El Vocero, a Puerto Rican newspaper, reported Sen. Thomas Rivera Schatz on March 31 rescinded an administrative order that said trans Senate employees could use bathrooms and wear clothing that is consistent with their gender identity.

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Va. GOP gubernatorial candidates make anti-trans comments

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart on Saturday said he would sign a bill that is equivalent to North Carolina’s House Bill 2.

“As governor, I will absolutely prohibit any locality from doing any such thing and promoting transgenderism in any way, shape or form,” he said at a forum the Amherst County Republican Party sponsored. “It’s absolutely horrendously despicable.”

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NCAA restores games to North Carolina despite new anti-LGBT law

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The National Collegiate Athletic Association has decided to restore games to North Carolina in the aftermath of the state reaching a deal to replace anti-LGBT House Bill 2 with another measure that civil rights groups say is also discriminatory.

The league announced its decision Tuesday, saying the conclusion was reached after the board of directors evaluated the replacement signed by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper after negotiations with Republican leaders.

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