Fox News exec blasts U.S. Olympic team for being ‘darker, gayer’

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Fox News executive editor John Moody wrote a scathing commentary on the U.S. Olympic team slamming the team’s diverse athletes.

“Unless it’s changed overnight, the motto of the Olympics, since 1894, has been ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger.’ It appears the U.S. Olympic Committee would like to change that to ‘Darker, Gayer, Different,'” Moody wrote in an op-ed on Wednesday.

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Bermuda governor signs marriage repeal bill

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Bermuda Gov. John Rankin on Wednesday signed a bill that rescinds marriage rights for same-sex couples in the British island territory.

The Royal Gazette newspaper reported Rankin approved the Domestic Partnership Act 2017 — which allows same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships as opposed to get married — “after careful consideration in line with my responsibilities under the Constitution.”

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Trans service members invited as guests to State of the Union

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) has invited a transgender soldier to the State of the Union address. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Two members of Congress have invited a pair of transgender troops to attend the State of the Union address Tuesday in the aftermath of President Trump’s attempt to ban them from the U.S. military.

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Central Florida attorney elected chair of HRC board of directors

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Central Florida attorney John Ruffier was elected as the vice-chair of the Human Rights Campaign board of directors and will become the chair of the organization next year.

The announcement was made by the law firm Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A.— where Ruffier is a practicing attorney—in a press release Jan. 12.

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Same-sex couples in Australia begin to marry

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Same-sex couples began to legally marry in Australia on Tuesday.

SBS News reported Diana and Deanne Ribeiro tied the knot shortly after midnight local time in the Melbourne suburb of Balaclava. The Sydney Morning Herald reported Kylie and Lisa Caro — a lesbian couple who began dating in 2014 and are raising a daughter together — are among the other same-sex couples who exchanged vows on Tuesday.

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Ellen Page marries girlfriend Emma Portner

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Photo from Instagram

Ellen Page and her girlfriend Emma Portner are married.

Page, 30, made the surprise announcement on Instagram on Wednesday. The post features the newlywed couple showing off their wedding rings.

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Amazon search for HQ2 linked to LGBT rights?

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A rendering of Baltimore’s Port Covington neighborhood, one of many contenders for the new Amazon HQ2. Image courtesy Plank Industries.

In a little-noticed development, Amazon’s surprise announcement in September that it plans to open a second headquarters has prompted growing speculation on whether the corporate giant will consider a state or city’s laws on LGBT issues as a factor in choosing the location of the new headquarters.

Based on the size and scope of its current corporate headquarters in Seattle, observers familiar with the tech company say the new headquarters will likely result in a workforce of 50,000 and a $5 billion boost to the local economy of the city and state Amazon chooses.

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Anti-LGBT Trump nominee to Export-Import Bank rejected by Senate

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Anti-LGBT Scott Garrett was rejected as president of the Export-Import Bank. Photo by Gage Skidmore via wikimedia

Amid objections from LGBT groups, the U.S. Senate rejected on Tuesday a Trump nominee to the U.S. Export-Import Bank with a history of anti-LGBT views.

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs rejected the nomination of Scott Garrett on a bipartisan vote of 10-13. In June, Trump nominated Garrett as president of the Export-Import Bank, which provides finance assistance to help foreign entities buy U.S. exports.

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Third court rules against Trump’s transgender military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A federal judge in Washington State has become the third to rule against Trump’s transgender military ban.

A federal judge in Washington State has become the latest to determine President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the armed forces is unconstitutional.

In a 23-page decision, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman determined Monday in the case of Karnoski v. Trump the policy likely violates rights to equal protection and substantive due process as well as rights under the First Amendment.

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Military shipbuilder gets high marks for LGBTQ polices

By : Wire Report
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(Image from Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Instagram.)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) – One of the nation’s leading gay rights groups is praising the LGBTQ-friendly policies of the nation’s largest military shipbuilder.

The Daily Press in Newport News reported Friday that Huntington Ingalls Industries received a 100 rating on a corporate survey from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

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Gone, not forgotten: St. Petersburg Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil to honor lives lost in 2017

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | St. Petersburg residents are preparing to honor 25 lives lost to anti-transgender violence in 2017, in what organizers of this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil are calling “the largest number of murders to date.”

The claim is no exaggeration. In all of 2016, according to the Human Rights Campaign, advocates tracked at least 23 deaths related to known anti-transgender violence—two fewer than the 25 known lives lost in 2017 thus far.

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Walmart’s score suspended in Human Rights Campaign rankings

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The retail giant Walmart, which has long been the subject of criticism over its employment practices, has found a new critic in the Human Rights Campaign’s latest corporate scorecard.

The nation’s LGBT organization suspended Walmart’s score in the 2018 Corporate Equality Index, which was unveiled last week. The cited reason for the suspension was the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. agency charged with enforcing federal employment civil rights law, finding probable cause for anti-trans discrimination within Walmart in 2017.

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