11.02.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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The death of Matthew Sheppard on October 12, 1998, shook me to my core. It was a devastating, brutal reminder of the misguided hatred some had, and still have, for the LGBTQ community. It was also a reminder to me of how lucky I was to have survived college relatively unscathed.

I identified with Matthew a great deal. We were close in age, just under two years apart; we both went to small, remote colleges; and neither of us was quiet about being gay.

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Ruby Rose called ‘disgusting human being’ for donating to Houston LGBT center

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Ruby Rose’s contribution to an LGBT center in Houston for Hurricane Harvey relief was met with harsh criticism.

Musician Jack Antonoff announced he would be donating $10,000 to the Montrose LGBT Center which spurned Rose to announce she would match the donation.

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LGBT relief funds launched to help Texas hurricane victims

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Houston’s LGBT community center on Monday launched a special relief fund to help LGBT people who are among the thousands of people in Houston and surrounding jurisdictions who have lost their homes over the past few days to catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

“The catastrophic and historic impact of Hurricane Harvey will be felt by the LGBTQ community of Houston, Texas, for days, months, and potentially years to come,” the Montrose Center said in a statement.

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Houston sued over possible denial of benefits to gay spouses

By : Wire Report
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Three city employees and their spouses who are concerned that Houston could be forced to stop paying benefits to same-sex spouses due to an ongoing civil case on Thursday sued the city, asking for a court order to stop any such action.

The employees’ lawsuit, filed in federal court, comes after the all-Republican state Supreme Court in June overturned a lower court’s decision favoring same-sex marriage benefits and ordered the case back to a civil court in Harris County, where Houston is located.

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Conservatives want Houston same-sex spousal benefits halted amid case

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Conservative activists are seeking an injunction blocking Houston from paying same-sex spousal benefits to its municipal employees, after Texas’ Supreme Court ruled last week that same-sex couples may not be entitled to them.

Attorneys filed a motion July 7 in District Court in Harris County, which includes Houston.

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Houston neighborhood gets gay pride crosswalk

By : Wire Report
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HOUSTON (AP) – A Houston neighborhood now has a gay pride crosswalk, which means crossings along all four segments of an intersection in the Montrose area are rainbow-painted.

Crews painted the crossings June 17 and by the next morning, residents were turning out to take photos along the crosswalk.

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Texas ‘bathroom bill’ may pose big test for sports leagues

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas knows how to throw a party, and for the Super Bowl in Houston, a new 29-story luxury hotel with a rooftop pool shaped like a meandering “lazy river” is the kind of glitzy welcome mat that keeps big events coming back. But that status may soon be put to the test.

Undaunted by the NCAA and NBA punishing North Carolina over bathroom laws that target transgender persons, powerful Texas Republican lawmakers are pushing to pass similar measures by June, and in doing so are daring leagues to boycott some of the biggest cities and stadiums in the U.S.

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Lady Gaga in talks to play Super Bowl Halftime Show

By : Chelsea Santiago
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Lady Gaga may be joining the likes of Beyonce, Katy Perry and Madonna as powerhouse divas who played the biggest stage in the world – the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Gaga is in talks with the NFL to perform at Super Bowl 51, according to a report from Billboard. One of the main reasons is said to be her performance of the National Anthem to start the 2016 Super Bowl.

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White House weighs in on defeat of Houston Equal Rights Ordinance

By : Wire Report
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HOUSTON (AP) – The White House says the defeat of an ordinance that would have established nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people in Houston isn’t “going to set back the broader trend toward greater equality and justice in this country.”

The White House had been one of the high-profile supporters of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

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Surprise! Ben Carson hops the bathroom bigot bandwagon

By : Billy Manes
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(Photo via Mark Kauzlarich/Reuters)

Everybody’s favorite Republican mistake of 2015 so far – and we’re including Donald Trump, here (while pouring acid onto our keyboards) – Ben Carson has already made it clear that he knows nothing about anything of substance, but he certainly has a lot to say about the wind drifting between his ears and eventually puffing in a softened manner out of his meditative mouth. Carson’s already taken severe flack for his affiliation/non-affiliation with a snake-oil supplement from Mannatech that was (not) proven to cure cancer (it’s that easy!). He’s also gone all Biblical by rebuking the accepted knowledge of the purpose of the Egyptian pyramids, which he suggests were utilitarian grain silos built by Joseph and not tombs for the pharoahs (it’s like meta-fiction!). Now, on the heels of the Houston nightmare ordinance-refusal that flew in our faces this week, a move which, among other things, says that transgender Texans cannot have bathroom passes to the places where they ought to be able to relieve their most basic of needs, Carson’s leaking gibberish again. Guess what! Ben Carson doesn’t like LGBT people.

Today, the Human Rights Campaign released its response to Carson’s latest missive on  toilet politics, a position which is likely boiling the roaches up from the conservative bases to push Carson to the top of the polling heap. How is this happening? Don’t ask us. Here’s the latest as released in an email from HRC. Read, weep.

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Fight over Houston LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance gets ugly

By : Wire Report
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HOUSTON (AP) — After a drawn-out showdown between Houston’s popular lesbian mayor and a coalition of conservative pastors, voters in the nation’s fourth-largest city will soon decide whether to establish nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people.

Nationwide, there’s interest in the Nov. 3 referendum: Confrontations over the same issue are flaring in many places, at the state and local level, now that nondiscrimination has replaced same-sex marriage as the No. 1 priority for the LGBT-rights movement.

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Effort to repeal Houston anti-bias ordinance fails

By : Wire Report
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HOUSTON (AP) – Officials say opponents of Houston’s new anti-bias protections for gay and transgender residents have failed to collect enough valid signatures to force a repeal vote in November.

The City Council in May adopted the discrimination bans in housing, employment and services provided by private businesses. Critics contend the ordinance impedes on religious liberties.

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