Chad Griffin participates in UnidosUS conference forum

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin on July 9, 2018, was among those who took part in a forum at UnidosUS’ annual conference that focused on civil rights during the Trump administration. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin participated in a forum on civil rights under the Trump administration that took place during UnidosUS’ annual conference in D.C. on Monday.

“The LGBTQ community is as diverse as the fabric of our nation,” said Griffin during the forum that UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía moderated. “We are women. We are Muslim and we are Jewish. We are black, white, Latinx, Asian, and Native American. We are immigrants and we are people with disabilities.”

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Gay-affirming Panic! back with tight new pop-leaning record

By : Thom Murphy of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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For those of us who were teenagers in the late 2000s, pop punk music was defined not only by its sound, but also its look — skinny jeans, band T-shirts and Vans shoes. Skater-inspired teenagers adamantly defended their favorite bands and devoutly followed major acts such as My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy. Lesser-known bands performed in small venues where fans would push against each other (light “mosh”-ing) while the bands played overloud guitars, singing snappy choruses in a nasal tenor. Frontmen and band members alike attracted devoted followings, drawing attention to their sometimes ambiguous sexuality in performative ways.

After signing to Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz’ label Decaydance Records (later renamed DCD2), Panic! At The Disco became a major force in the scene with albums “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” (2005) and “Pretty. Odd.” (2008). Frontman Brendon Urie, the only original member who still remains in the group, has continued to release hugely successful music under the original band name. He recently made his Broadway debut in “Kinky Boots.”

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LGBT activists join protests against Trump immigration policy

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: The Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Transgender Equality are among the groups that took part in the #FamiliesBelongTogether rally against President Trump’s immigration policy that took place in D.C. on June 30, 2018. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

LGBT rights advocates across the country on Saturday took part in protests against President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

Human Rights Campaign Foundation Director of Faith Outreach and Training Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera, National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling and the National LGBTQ Task Force staffers are among those who took part in the #FamiliesBelongTogether rally that took place in Lafayette Square across the street from the White House. Lin-Manuel Miranda is among those who spoke before a march took place on Pennsylvania Avenue.

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LGBTQ groups condemn Supreme Court travel ban ruling

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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LGBTQ advocacy groups on Tuesday condemned the U.S. Supreme Court for upholding the Trump administration’s policy that effectively bans the citizens of five Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

Lambda Legal Executive Director Rachel B. Tiven in a statement said the ruling is “as shameful as the internment of Japanese Americans and the doors slammed shut to Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany.”

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St. Petersburg celebrates sixteen years of Pride

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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St. Pete Pride drew 220,000 people to St. Petersburg for its weekend-long celebration last year, around 40,000 short of the Sunshine City’s entire population.

As any event of its size would, particularly one so intrinsically tied to the community it serves, the organization’s 15th year faced its fair share of cheers and jeers. For the first time in its history, the St. Pete Pride parade was held in downtown St. Petersburg rather than in the city’s Grand Central District.

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US withdraws from UN Human Rights Council

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. on Tuesday announced it has withdrawn from the U.N. Human Rights Council.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told reporters during a press conference at the State Department that Cuba, Venezuela, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries “with unambiguous and abhorrent human rights records” are members of the council. She also accused the council of having a “chronic bias against” Israel.

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Wonderful World of Wanzie: Watermark Style Guide “Gay Correlation”—Wanzie Style

By : Michael Wanzie
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I’ve been happily writing for Watermark for some time now. With the coming of this past New Year, a message went out to all contributing writers—from the desk of the publisher of this fine publication—instructing us that moving forward all Viewpoint submissions were to have a “correlation” to gayness.

In my particular case the point was made that if I’m going to write a rant about tRump, then I need to make a point as to how and why the topic of my column should also be of concern to the gay community. I was admonished— in a totally civil manner— to do so because, in the words of the publisher, “After all, this is a gay publication.”

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Bermuda marriage repeal law declared unconstitutional

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Bermuda Supreme Court Chief Justice Ian R. C. Kawaley on Wednesday ruled a law that rescinded marriage rights for same-sex couples in the British island territory is unconstitutional.

Kawaley issued his ruling five days after the Domestic Partnership Act took effect.

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Hawaii governor signs bill banning conversion therapy for minors

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Friday signed into law a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy for minors.

“Sexual orientation is not an illness to be ‘cured’ — we accept you just the way you are,” said Ige in a tweet that included a picture of him signing the bill.

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Gay-friendly Apple weighs North Carolina despite LGBTQ laws

By : wire report
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Gay-rights advocates are divided on whether to cheer or bemoan a potential marriage between the state of North Carolina and one of the global corporations most friendly to LGBTQ workers and causes.

Feelings remain raw over North Carolina’s so-called bathroom bill, which prompted a boycott campaign. Many advocates remain frustrated that a legislative compromise that put an end to the controversy still allows discrimination against them.

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Police: Trans man fatally shot during argument in Atlanta

By : wire report
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ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities say the suspects in the fatal shooting of a transgender man in Atlanta remain at large.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports 36-year-old Nino Fortson was found with multiple gunshot wounds early Sunday and died at a hospital.

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Gubernatorial candidate criticizes grant to LGBTQ group

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Scott Dawson and family. Image is from Scott Dawson Facebook.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A Christian evangelist running against Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday called an anti-violence grant given to a support organization for gay and transgender people a “betrayal” of Alabama values.

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