Dan Levy to receive HRC Visibility Award

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Dan Levy, photo via Levy’s Facebook page.

Dan Levy, co-creator of the LGBTQ fan favorite TV show “Schitt’s Creek,” is being honored by the Human Rights Campaign with their annual Visibility Award.

The nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization announced Monday that the Emmy-nominated showrunner, writer, actor, director and producer will be presented the honor at the 2020 HRC Los Angeles Dinner, which is set to take place on Saturday, March 28 at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.

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White House, LGBTQ groups clash over new religious freedom regs

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Donald Trump, photo public domain.

Following the release of new regulations from the Trump administration with the stated intent of protecting the religious freedom of federal grantees, LGBTQ groups and the White House locked in a dispute over whether they enable anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

Although the White House is denouncing the criticism as partisan bias, the LGBTQ advocacy groups are able to point to specific language in the regulations that would inhibit LGBTQ people from obtaining social services from religious-affiliated grantees.

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Tennessee sends anti-LGBTQ adoption bill to governor’s desk

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Tennessee, photo by formulanone via Wikimedia Commons.

Adoption legislation in Tennessee opponents say would enable discrimination against LGBTQ families is on its way to the desk of Gov. Bill Lee, who’s expected to the sign the bill in the aftermath of approval Tuesday by the state Senate.

In its first bill of the year, the Tennessee Senate approved HB 836, which would allow adoption agencies to refuse placement into LGBTQ homes on the basis of religious objections. The Senate passed the bill 20-6.

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Bill to ban anti-LGBTQ discrimination in Va. introduced

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The Virginia State Capitol (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Virginia state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) has introduced a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s nondiscrimination law.

Senate Bill 868 — also known as the Virginia Values Act — would prohibit anti-LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and credit. The measure has been referred to the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee.

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US hosts homosexuality decriminalization event at UN

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The U.S. Mission to the U.N. on Dec. 18, 2019. Photo via Twitter.

The U.S. Mission to the U.N. on Wednesday hosted an event that highlighted efforts to decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations around the world.

A press advisory provided to the Washington Blade notes U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Knight Craft and U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell hosted the event that took place alongside a U.N. Security Council meeting.

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Jane Castor, Mayor of Tampa

By : City of Tampa Staff
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After serving 31 years with the Tampa Police Department, Jane Castor became the 59th and first openly LGBTQ mayor of the city of Tampa this year.

She worked her way from a beat cop to the first female Chief of Police. Castor helped reduce major crime by 70% citywide, oversaw the security plan for Super Bowl XLIII and led the Department of Homeland Security’s Tampa Bay Urban Area Security Initiative. It was announced this year that Super Bowl LV will return to Tampa in 2021, its fifth time.

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Hallmark Channel pulls, then reinstates ads featuring kiss between lesbian brides

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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At the end of a tumultuous week for The Hallmark Channel, the pay television network has announced it would reverse its decision to pull several ads featuring a same-sex kiss.

The controversial commercials were among a series of six ads for Zola, a wedding planning website, which had been airing on the Hallmark Channel since Dec. 2. In all of the ads, couples standing at the altar for their wedding wonder if guests might have arrived on time and bought them better gifts if they had used Zola to create a custom wedding website. Most of the ads include a same-sex couple; while only one focused specifically on the lesbian brides, the two women were shown kissing in several of them.

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Free PrEP program unveiled under Trump’s HIV initiative

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In the same week World AIDS Day was recognized, the Trump administration has unveiled a new program to provide free PrEP as part of the initiative to beat the epidemic by 2030.

Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar announced the plan, known as “Ready, Set, PrEP,” in a conference call Tuesday with reporters, calling the initiative “a major step forward in the president’s plan to end the HIV epidemic in America.”

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Black LGBTQ activists split over Harris, Buttigieg spat

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In the aftermath of Sen. Kamala Harris criticizing Mayor Pete Buttigieg for bringing up the gay experience when confronted with his issues with black voters, black gay activists living at the intersection of the two groups are split in their reactions.

The responses from black gay activists ranged from backing Harris, saying neither was right and rejecting the spat in a call for unity against President Trump.

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11.27.19 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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My husband and I recently marked three years of marriage, which is as strange to type as it was to celebrate. Not because I didn’t think we’d make it, I looked forward to our decades to come long before our wedding day, but because I’ve lost my perception of time.

A number of factors have contributed to my inability to understand the calendar year, Tampa Bay Bureau Chief among them operating in Watermark’s two-week press cycle, but I mostly attribute it to living in Florida. Even though I moved here more than a decade ago, I have yet to adjust to the lack of proper seasons; time flies when you’re having sun.

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Jamie Lee Curtis says she supports outing closeted anti-gay lawmakers

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Jamie Lee Curtis, photo via Curtis’ Facebook page.

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis has told an interviewer she supports the outing of closeted lawmakers who advocate for anti-LGBTQ causes.

During an interview in support of her knew film, “Knives Out,” the longtime LGBTQ ally told Chris Azzopardi of Pride Source that she normally views sexuality as a private matter, saying, ““I don’t think it’s anybody’s business what people’s sexuality is, to be perfectly honest.”

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A trans woman’s journey to activism

By : Alec Reynolds
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Would constant fear of harassment and assault motivate or defeat you? Would you turn inward, mentally tucking yourself away on the outskirts of society if you felt unloved and unappreciated in almost every instance of your life? If you felt that your mere existence made others feel uncomfortable, could you still love yourself?

These are the struggles faced by many transgender women of color in the United States and across the world every day. Transgender women of color are engulfed in fear of becoming the next statistic in the American transgender murder epidemic. Violent deaths in Dallas, Jacksonville, Kansas City and across the nation often instill a sense of perpetual panic.

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