Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin stepping down

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Equality activist Chad Griffin – president of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – announced Nov. 15 that he will vacate the position in 2019 after seven years.

“Under Griffin’s leadership, HRC has become a leader in the resistance to the Trump-Pence administration, and one of the most politically powerful organizations in the country,” the organization shared.

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With Democrats winning the House, LGBT advocates have great expectations

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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After a disappointing election night in 2016 and two years of President Trump in the White House, Democrats came back with an important win Nov 6. and were projected to win control of the U.S. House — a victory celebrated by LGBT rights supporters eager to thwart the administration and advance equality measures.

NBC News and Fox News declared Democrats would win enough seats on Election Day to take control of the House, marking the first time since 2008 Democrats won a majority of seats in the chamber. Democrats needed a net gain of 23 seats to win control of the House, but the early call meant they could win significantly more as the night progressed.

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56 major companies denounce Trump admin anti-trans plan

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Fifty-six major companies came out Nov. 1 against a reported Trump administration plan to eliminate transgender protections under federal law, asserting transgender people must “be treated with the respect and dignity everyone deserves.”

“We oppose any administrative and legislative efforts to erase transgender protections through reinterpretation of existing laws and regulations,” the companies said in a statement. “We also fundamentally oppose any policy or regulation that violates the privacy rights of those that identify as transgender, gender non-binary or intersex.”

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Activists gather at White House to protest Trump anti-trans proposal

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Upwards of 200 people gathered outside the White House on Monday to protest against the Trump administration’s proposal to define sex in federal policy as biological gender.

National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling and Casa Ruby CEO Ruby Corado are among those who spoke at the #WontBeErased rally. Keisling, Corado, National LGBTQ Task Force Rea Carey, Freedom for All Americans CEO Masen Davis and others spoke at the Human Rights Campaign before they marched to the White House.

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Outrage over report of sweeping Trump administration anti-trans plan

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Transgender advocates were vocal in their indignation Oct. 21 over a report in the New York Times about a sweeping anti-transgender plan within the Trump administration to limit the definition of “sex” in U.S. government policies to biological gender.

According to the New York Times, the Department of Health & Human Services is set to spearhead the initiative with the proposed rule that has been drafted and circulating since last spring and will be presented to the Justice Department by the end of the year. In the words of the New York Times, the proposal would amount to “defining transgender out of existence.”

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20 years after his tragic death, we look back and remember Matthew Shepard and the work done in his name

By : Jeremy Williams
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In the early evening hours of Oct. 7, 1998, a cyclist was heading down a desolate, dirt road outside of the town of Laramie, Wyo. when he passed by something hanging from a fence. The cyclist initially thought, with it being so close to Halloween, that it was a scarecrow decoration. The “scarecrow” turned out to be the beaten and broken body of 21-year-old, openly-gay college student Matthew Shepard. He was barely breathing. His face was completely covered in his own blood, sans a strip down each side of his face where his tears washed the blood and dirt clean.

This was the introduction of the heinous attack to police, and eventually Shepard ‘s friends and family, the media and the world. The attack was felt firsthand by Shepard 18 hours prior after meeting two men in their early 20s at the Fireside Lounge, a bar in Laramie.

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HRC gives a perfect score to Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg in annual ratings

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced Oct. 8 that Orlando, St. Petersburg and Tampa each received a perfect score of 100 in the organization’s seventh annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI).

The report examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies and services are for LGBTQ people who live and work in each city rated by the organization. The score is based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and the city leadership’s public position on equality.

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HRC, NextGen America encourage UCF students to “charge your vote”

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO | NextGen America, a nonprofit and political action committee focused on environmental advocacy, dispatched teams across Florida for National Voter Registration Day Sept. 25, attempting to register as many students as possible before the Oct. 9 deadline.

The organization claims it has registered almost 40,000 voters in the state so far for the 2018 election and received over 15,000 pledges to vote.

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UCF journalism students compile a list of common — and some not so well-known — sexual orientation and gender identity terms

By : Colton Adkins, Jeremy Brener, Layla Ferris and Kathy Ruiz
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The cultivation of proper terminology helps educate both the LGBTQ community and the cishet (an abbreviation of the term cisgender heterosexual) community about the identities that not everyone may have heard or may not understand. In the past, coming out as gay took so much courage and demanded even more understanding. Now that same-sex couples can get married and transgender individuals feel more comfortable being themselves, the newer gender and sexual identities fall into even more categories—everything from the ace spectrum to being a completely sexual person have so many nuances.

The terms in this glossary are important because education is essential for progress. Members of these smaller groups still feel marginalized from within the LGBTQ community. As murders and other crimes increase in the United States against the transgender community, it is important that more people seek understanding in their identities. Have you ever heard a term and been confused by it? This glossary will hopefully help you define and understand the term.

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Eric Holder to headline annual Human Rights Campaign dinner

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will headline the upcoming annual national dinner for the Human Rights Campaign in D.C., the organization announced Wednesday.

Holder, who served as the first U.S. attorney general during the Obama administration, is set to be the featured speaker at the 22nd annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner on Sept. 13 along with Stacey Abrams, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Georgia.

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PHOTOS: HRC Orlando’s 7th Annual Disco Bowl

By : Meghan Sweeney
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Team Watermark attended Human Rights Campaign Orlando’s seventh annual Disco Bowl Aug. 12 at Aloma Bowl.

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