One Orlando Alliance names former Alabama Representative as new executive director

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The Board of Directors of One Orlando Alliance announced the selection of former Alabama Rep. Patricia Todd as the organization’s executive director in a press release May 1. The selection follows an extensive nationwide search that began in August 2017.

Todd becomes the first executive director for the One Orlando Alliance, a non-profit group of more than 30 LGBTQ organizations formed in the days after the Pulse shooting on June 12, 2016.

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Pulse Activist: I ‘misspoke,’ Pence wants gays in ‘conversion camps’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Under fire from the right-wing media for comments he made about Vice President Mike Pence wanting gays in “concentration camps,” one of the survivors of the 2016 shooting at Pulse nightclub now says he “misspoke.”

Brandon Wolf — who’s now head of the Dru Project, an organization that supports GSAs in schools — told the Washington Blade via email on Monday he intended to say Pence wants gay people in “conversion camps” to subject them to the widely discredited practice of “ex-gay” conversion therapy.

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Transgender Nevada Assembly candidate hopes to make history

By : wire report
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Army veteran LaDon Henry hopes to become Nevada’s first openly transgender legislator.

Henry, a small-business owner and radio host, said he felt the urge to get involved with politics after the election of President Donald Trump, whom Henry feared would roll back protections for the LGBTQ community. His wife, a substitute school teacher, woke him at 2 a.m. after election night in tears.

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White House won’t comment on HHS proposal to nix rule for trans health

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The White House has declined to comment on recent indications the Trump administration is set to undo an Obama-era rule barring medical providers from refusing service to transgender people, including gender reassignment surgery.

The Washington Blade sought to ask White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about the proposed reversal Monday during the daily briefing, but the spokesperson didn’t call on the Blade for a question, nor did any other reporter ask about the issue following a report on the development in the New York Times.

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LGBTQ teens start tradition with state’s first ‘rainbow’ prom

By : wire report
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INSTITUTE, W.Va. (AP) — For many teens the prom is the epitome of their high school experience. But for students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer, it can be a challenge to feel like they belong. This year, some West Virginia students decided to start a new tradition: The Rainbow Formal, the state’s first dance for LGBTQ youth.

Last weekend’s event drew students from at least 10 counties to the student union at West Virginia State University. One of them, 15-year-old Steve Sartin from Mingo County, managed the jitters while adjusting his rainbow suspenders and rainbow Converse sneakers.

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Senate confirms anti-LGBTQ Jim Bridenstine as NASA chief

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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President Trump’s pick to head NASA was confirmed on Thursday in the U.S. Senate despite opposition from lawmakers and LGBTQ groups who opposed him on the basis of his anti-LGBTQ record.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), who has served as a three-term member of Congress representing Oklahoma’s 1st congressional district in the U.S. House, was confirmed as administrator of the National Aeronautics & Space Administration by a party-line vote of 50-49.

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Campaign seeks to expose the anti-LGBT history of ‘The Real Mike Pence’

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The nation’s largest LGBT group launched a new campaign on Thursday seeking to expose the anti-LGBT record of the No. 2 public official in the United States: Vice President Mike Pence.

The Human Rights Campaign initiative consists of a video highlighting Pence’s past anti-LGBT statements over his years in public office as well as a report detailing his anti-LGBT record and positions contrary to other progressive causes, such as abortion rights for women, climate change and gun control.

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Bills to curtail LGBTQ rights are failing in US legislatures

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) — In a striking shift from recent years, major legislation curtailing LGBTQ rights has been completely stymied in state capitols around the country this year amid anxiety by Republican leaders over igniting economic backlash if they are depicted as discriminatory.

In the thick of this year’s legislative sessions, LGBTQ activists were tracking about 120 proposed bills that they viewed as threats to their civil rights. Not one of them has been enacted as many sessions now wind down; only two remain under serious consideration.

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Pompeo grilled over anti-LGBTQ statements during confirmation hearing

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The confirmation hearing on CIA Director Mike Pompeo‘s nomination to become the next secretary of state took place before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 12, 2018. Washington Blade by Michael Key.

Mike Pompeo on Thursday during his confirmation hearing to become the next secretary of state faced questions about his previous anti-LGBTQ statements.

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Speaker Ryan becomes latest Republican to announce retirement

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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With Republicans fretting about losing control of Congress in the mid-term elections, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has announced he won’t seek re-election, leaving an uneven record on LGBTQ rights and the door open for another Republican to take his place as leader of his caucus.

The 10-term member of Congress, who has served as speaker since 2015, announced during a news conference Wednesday he wouldn’t seek re-election to represent Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district in order to spend more time with his family, confirming news reports about his intended plan earlier in the day.

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Come Out With Pride announces new board president

By : Jeremy Williams
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New Come Out With Pride board president Jeff Prystajko.

ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride (COWP) announced the appointment of Jeff Prystajko as the board’s new president March 19 after Brian Riha completed his two-year term in the same position.

Prystajko has been with COWP for several years, most recently serving as director of marketing and communications. He has also held leadership positions with both the Metropolitan Business Association (MBA Orlando) and the Human Rights Campaign in Orlando.

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Washington State becomes 11th to ban ‘ex-gay’ conversion therapy

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law on Thursday a ban on “ex-gay” conversion therapy, making the Evergreen State the eleventh in the nation to prohibit the widely discredited practice for youth.

Inslee signed the measure, SB 5722, at a ceremony in Olympia, Wash., making it illegal for licensed mental health therapists in engage in conversion therapy for individuals under the age of 18.

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