Gay-owned company brings Parkland shooter’s brother to Va.

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Zachary Cruz was arrested for trespassing at the school where his brother allegedly killed 17 people. Photo courtesy Broward County Police.

A Virginia-based company founded by a gay businessman last week arranged for the release from jail of the brother of the Parkland, Fla., shooting suspect who had been arrested in March for trespassing on the grounds of the school in which his brother allegedly killed 17 people.

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Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy skip Olympic athletes visit to the White House

By : wire report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump welcomed Team USA Olympic athletes to the White House on Friday, congratulating them on representing the U.S. at the 2018 winter games.

“You made us very proud,” Trump said to the rows of young men and women standing on the White House’s north portico in matching windbreakers. “You overcame setbacks, you powered through obstacles. And I will tell you this, because of your hard work and your sacrifice, you were given the greatest honor in sports: to represent the United States as an Olympic athlete.”

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Gay parade permit sparks major debate in Mississippi

By : wire report
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STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — At first, the plan to hold a gay-pride parade here didn’t seem like such a big deal. Such festivals aren’t that unusual even in the traditionally conservative Deep South, and Starkville, “Mississippi’s College Town,” made a name for itself as the first community in the state to pass a resolution denouncing discrimination against people for sexual orientation.

But when organizers applied for a permit, they ran into a roadblock: A majority of Starkville’s aldermen voted it down, transforming what had been envisioned as a relatively small-scale event into a constitutional confrontation over free speech and equal rights.

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Hugh Hefner championed gay rights pre-Stonewall

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Playboy founder Hugh Hefner died from natural causes at his home, the Playboy Mansion, on Wednesday. He was 91.

A pioneer for the straight sexual liberation movement, Hefner was also one of the early advocates for gay rights tracing back to the 1950s.

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Libya LGBT activist receives asylum in Germany

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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An LGBT rights activist from the Libyan city of Benghazi has received asylum in Germany.

The activist, who asked the Washington Blade not to publish his name, on Monday said during an exclusive interview from Berlin that he arrived in Germany in May.

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Idaho high court: Unmarried gay partner has no custody right

By : Wire Report
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) – The Idaho Supreme Court has denied custody and visitation rights to a gay woman who raised a child with her former partner, reflecting state laws that have not been updated since same-sex marriage became legal in 2014.

The couple raised the child together after splitting up in 2012. But their relationship deteriorated two years ago, and the child’s biological mother barred her former partner from contacting the child, who is now 7.

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Harry Styles says gay rights are ‘fundamental’ not ‘politics’

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Harry Styles revealed he doesn’t see gay rights as politics but just fundamental during an interview with a French talk show.

Styles, 23, was asked for his opinion on Brexit, but the singer refused to answer stating he doesn’t like to talk politics.

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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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