‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ might have gay character

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“Guardians of the Galaxy 2” might have a gay superhero.

Director James Gunn revealed that the upcoming flick could already include a gay lead. During a recent press event for the blockbuster’s sequel, Gunn was asked if he would consider a gay protagonist later in the franchise.

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South Korea accused of targeting gay soldiers

By : Wire Report
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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – A watchdog group says South Korea’s army is hunting down and prosecuting gay servicemen after a video of two male soldiers having sex was posted on the internet earlier this year, stoking fear in an already persecuted minority group.

Military investigators looking into the case have threatened soldiers to out their gay peers, confiscated cellphones to check communication records, and even used dating apps to dupe soldiers into revealing their sexual identity, said Taehoon Lim, the head of the Military Human Rights Center for Korea, which tracks down abuses in the armed forces.

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Chechnya president again denies gay arrests

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov on Wednesday once again denied reports that more than 100 gay men have been arrested in the semi-autonomous Russian republic.

Kadyrov told Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting that Vesti, a Russian television station, broadcast that “even talking about this is uncomfortable.”

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Katy Perry ‘wasn’t allowed to interact with gay people’ as a child

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, courtesy of The National Gay Media Association
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Katy Perry opened up about her conservative, Christian upbringing in a recent interview with Vogue.

Perry, 32, grew up with evangelical Pentecostal pastors as parents. She admits her family would picket Madonna and Marilyn Manson concerts and watch Bill O’Reilly. They also didn’t celebrate Halloween.

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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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Nikki Haley: U.S. ‘disturbed’ by gay Chechnya arrests

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley on Monday said the U.S. remains “disturbed” by the arrests of more than 100 gay men in Chechnya.

“We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture, and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation and those persecuted by association,” she said in a statement. “If true, this violation of human rights cannot be ignored – Chechen authorities must immediately investigate these allegations, hold anyone involved accountable, and take steps to prevent future abuses.”

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Russian violinist comes out in emotional YouTube video

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Russian violinist Artem Kolesov has come out as gay in a YouTube video that has since gone viral.

The 23-year-old musician filmed the video as part of the Russian “Children-404” project, in which teenagers share their stories related to LGBT issues. In order to protect their anonymity, participants hold a “Children-404” sign in front of their faces.

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Luke Evans talks being openly gay in Hollywood

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Luke Evans has opened up about what it’s like for him being openly gay in Hollywood.

In an interview with The Jackal, Evans says he tries to “keep my personal life and my private life separate.”

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