Government wants delay of transgender military enlistment

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is asking a judge to put on hold a requirement that it begin allowing transgender people to enlist in the military on Jan. 1.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in October barred President Donald Trump’s administration from proceeding with plans to exclude transgender people from military service. Part of her ruling required the government to allow transgender individuals to enlist beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

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Federal court urged to strike down Puerto Rico birth certificate policy

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Lambda Legal has urged a federal court to strike down a Puerto Rico policy that does not allow transgender people to change the gender marker on their birth certificates.

The group made the request in a brief it filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico on June 26.

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Confirmation of Serbia’s first gay Prime Minister thrown into doubt

By : Wire Report
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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) – Serbia’s ruling conservatives said June 19 if Prime Minister-designate Ana Brnabic doesn’t get enough votes to be confirmed by parliament as the first openly gay person to head the country’s government, an early general election will be held.

Brnabic, nominated last week by Serbian Present Aleksandar Vucic, could also become the conservative nation’s first female prime minister if she’s selected. But some of Vucic’s coalition partners said they will vote against her because of her sexual orientation.

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Malta prime minister pledging to introduce same-sex marriage law

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VALLETTA, Malta (AP) – Joseph Muscat, who was sworn in June 5 for a second term as Malta’s prime minister, is pledging to introduce a same-sex marriage law when Parliament convenes in the next few weeks.

Official results showed his Labour Party won 55 percent of the vote June 3 to the opposition National Force coalition’s 44 percent, the same margin as his first victory in 2013. The National Force is comprised of the Nationalist Party and the Democratic Party.

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Activist seeks to become first LGBT member of Honduran congress

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of National Gay Media Association
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TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — A prominent Honduran activist would become the first openly LGBT person elected to the country’s Congress if he wins his campaign this year.

Erick Martínez, who is the coordinator of the Diversity Movement in Resistance’s Human Rights Committee, is one of 23 candidates from the Liberty and Refoundation and Anti-Corruption Parties, a left-leaning coalition that opposes President Juan Orlando Hernández’s ruling National Party, who are on the ballot in the Francisco Morazán Department in which Tegucigalpa is located. The five candidates who win the most votes in the March 12 primaries will advance to the general election that will take place in November.

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Czech Republic approves gays living in partnership to adopt children of partners

By : Wire Report
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PRAGUE (AP) – The Czech government has approved a plan to allow gays and lesbians living in a registered partnership to adopt the children of their partners.

Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier says the move is meant to ensure the rights of the children. He said Oct. 24 it is estimated that up to 1,000 children in the country live with a biological parent in a same sex partnership.

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LGBT festival canceled in Haiti amid threats, government order

By : Wire Report
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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – Organizers of a cultural festival in Haiti celebrating the Afro-Caribbean LGBTQ community said Sept. 27 that it has been called off due to numerous threats of violence and a subsequent prohibition by a government commissioner.

The four-day Massimadi film, art and performance event was supposed to start Sept. 27 in the capital, Port-au-Prince, but organizers said it had to be postponed after a prominent Haitian cultural institution known as FOKAL and other co-hosts were threatened with arson and other attacks.

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Trump wants to test immigrants on LGBT rights, religious liberty

By : Wire Report
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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Donald Trump will call for a new ideological test for admission to the United States Aug. 15, vetting applicants on their stance on issues like religious freedom, gender equality and LGBT rights. The policy would represent a significant shift in how the U.S. manages entry into the country.

In a speech in swing state Ohio, Trump will also call for “foreign policy realism” and an end to nation-building if elected president. And he’ll argue that the United States needs to work with anyone who shares the mission of destroying the Islamic State group and other extremist organizations, regardless of other disagreements.

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Serbia’s first gay minister wants less public attention

By : Wire Report
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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) – The woman slated to become the first openly gay government minister in highly conservative Serbia said Aug. 9 she hopes public attention surrounding her election will soon fade so she can focus on her new job.

Ana Brnabic, who is expected to become the minister of public administration and local government, told The Associated Press that “I would prefer to get it out in the open right now and get it over with, so that afterward I can focus on my work.”

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Bangladeshi LGBT community lives in fear after killings

By : Wire Report
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New Delhi (AP) – The killing of two gay rights activists in the Bangladeshi capital has driven the country’s already secretive and small gay community underground, wondering if they can trust a government that considers their status to be criminal, rights groups said.

Police detectives say they are working with evidence including a mobile phone, documents and witness testimony to solve the case, in which a gang of young men fatally stabbed a theater actor and the editor of Bangladesh’s only LGBT rights magazine, who also worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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Uprisings: Putting out the fire with gasoline

By : Billy Manes
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For those of us Floridians with thinking caps at the ready (not made of tin foil), the whole legislative pre-emption fracas brought on by backroom dealings over mahogany tables a few years back makes for an interesting echo in regard to the North Carolina hate bill called HB2. By now, you’re aware that Bruce Springsteen, Cirque de Soleil and Bryan Adams among others have canceled their shows in that state, and others, like Duran Duran and Against Me! have chosen to fulfill their civic duties more vocally by openly and proudly asking ticketholders to sign petitions against North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s law during their performances. It’s bigotry at its worst, and the governor, at least on Meet the Press, has yet to realize the needling damage he’s done.

“I do believe in our high schools, in our middle schools, in our universities, we should continue to have the tradition that we’ve been having in this country for years,” McCrory told NBC’s Chuck Todd on his weekend parade.“And we have a women’s facility and a men’s facility. You know, it’s worked out pretty well. And I don’t think we need any further government interference.”

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Congressman introduces resolution to protect LGBT people

By : Wire Report
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A congressman from Rhode Island is banding with other lawmakers to introduce a resolution seeking to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination under the law as religious objection bills in other states have prompted protests.

Rep. David Cicilline, one of the few openly gay members of Congress, said the resolution is a call for comprehensive federal legislation that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Crafted by Cicilline and four other Democratic members of Congress, two of whom are also openly gay, the resolution is a declaration that Congress is committed to ending discrimination, Cicilline said.

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