Human Rights Campaign launches $26M campaign ahead of midterms

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s leading gay rights groups, is launching a $26 million political organizing effort ahead of next year’s midterm elections.

While the effort is nationwide, the group is focusing its resources in particular on several key states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada. All six states are expected to have competitive Senate races next fall, and each is a presidential battleground.

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Unity prevails at the June 11 Equality March on Washington D.C.

By : Billy Manes
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By the time Sunday, June 11, rolled around in Washington, D.C., the weekend of celebration took a more political turn, as was planned.

“Shame! Shame! Shame!” hundreds of thousands screamed as they walked past the White House. The Human Rights Campaign and the ACLU were heavily present, and the pomp of a parade gave way to the circumstance of a march. That march ended up on the Washington Mall, where speakers screamed down history and screamed up civil rights.

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Trump ‘religious freedom’ order silent on LGBT issues

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Many LGBT advocates breathed sighs of relief after learning that a long-awaited “religious freedom” executive order issued by President Trump on Thursday did not include specific anti-LGBT provisions that media reports said were included in an earlier draft of the order.

But officials with several national LGBT advocacy organizations expressed concern that the two-page executive order, called “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty,” gives U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions authority to interpret existing federal laws and regulations in a way that could result in discrimination against LGBT people.

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N.C. lawmakers reach deal on HB2 criticized as ‘a train wreck’

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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With the NCAA’s threat looming of no championship games for the state for years to come, North Carolina lawmakers came to an agreement Wednesday night with Gov. Roy Cooper on a deal to undo anti-LGBT House Bill 2 — and LGBT rights supporters are outraged over a proposal they say doubles-down on discrimination.

In exchange for repeal HB2, Republican leaders of the legislature and the governor agreed during a behind-the-doors meeting to a different measure that still precludes efforts to prohibit discrimination against LGBT people.

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Opponents: Arkansas exposure bill targets transgender people

By : Wire Report
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP)- An Arkansas lawmaker wants to expand the state’s indecent exposure law in a move that opponents say could criminalize transgender people’s use of bathrooms.

Republican Rep. Bob Ballinger’s proposal would make it a crime for people to knowingly expose their sex organs to someone of the opposite sex in a public place under circumstances likely to cause alarm. Ballinger said the measure was needed to protect children in situations such as when a father takes his daughter into the men’s restroom. The bill would make it a crime for the men to deliberately expose themselves to the child.

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Anti-LGBT activists part of U.S. delegation to UN women’s conference

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The U.S. delegation to an annual U.N. women’s conference includes two representatives of organizations that strongly oppose LGBT and intersex rights.

The State Department on Monday announced the delegation to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women meeting — which began on the same day and will end on March 24 — includes Center for Family and Human Rights Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti and Heritage Foundation Associate for Social Issues at the U.N. Grace Melton. The U.S. has also asked the Washington-based Organization of American States to formally recognize C-FAM in order to participate in its activities.

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HRC prefers ‘Lion’ over ‘Moonlight’ for Best Picture?

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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One week before the 89th Academy Awards ceremony was set to take place in Hollywood on Sunday night, Feb. 26, a full-page ad appeared in the New York Times arts section on Feb. 17 listing Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin as one of “21 voices on why Lion is the Best Picture of the Year.”

The ad includes a quote from Griffin praising “Lion,” a highly acclaimed film about an adopted child from India who, as a young adult, searches for his biological family and self-identity. The film doesn’t have any LGBT-related content or storyline.

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Evan Rachel Wood gets candid about being a bisexual woman

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Evan Rachel Wood opened up about being a bisexual woman while accepting the HRC Visibility Award at the 2017 Human Rights Campaign North Carolina Gala on Saturday.

The 29-year-old actress confessed she found herself attracted to women at age 12 but didn’t think it was unusual.

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Watermark readers respond: HRC endorses Hillary Clinton

By : Jamie Hyman
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You guys had a lot to say about the Human Rights Campaign’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton for U.S. President.

Read a round-up of Watermark reader comments after the jump: 

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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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Human Rights Campaign Alabama names new director

By : Wire Report
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama’s only openly gay legislator is the new state director of a group that advocates for gay rights.

Democratic state Rep. Patricia Todd of Birmingham was introduced April 17 as the new state director of the Human Rights Campaign in Alabama.

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Hillary Clinton to announce 2016 presidential run

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton will launch her long-awaited 2016 presidential campaign on April 12.

That’s according to people familiar with Clinton’s plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss them publicly.

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