Vermont’s gender-free restroom bill running against deadline

By : Wire Report
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP)- Vermont is moving ahead with a statewide measure to take gendered signs off single-occupancy public bathrooms, but time is running out to pass the bill during this year’s lawmaking session.

After an identical California law passed last year, nearly a quarter of Vermont’s 150-member House signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. New York is the only other state that is considering a similar legislation this year. A Hawaii bill in the same vein failed last year. Washington, D.C., and many cities and colleges have already enacted similar policy.

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Cooper signs deal to replace HB2 as LGBT advocates cry betrayal

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed Thursday a proposal to replace North Carolina’s anti-LGBT House Bill 2 with another law enabling anti-LGBT discrimination, prompting cries of betrayal from LGBT advocates who say he disregarded his campaign promise to sign the bill in full.

The measure, House Bill 142, was approved on a bipartisan basis Thursday in the Senate by a vote of 32-16 and the House by vote of 70-48 after Republican leaders and Cooper announced the deal late Wednesday night. Cooper announced during a news conference later in the day he signed the bill.

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Katy Perry speaks about praying the gay away at HRC event

By : Wire Report
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LOS ANGELES (AP) – Katy Perry says she “prayed the gay away” during her “unconscious adolescence.”

The 32-year-old singer opened up about her sexuality and praised the gay community while receiving an award from the Human Rights Campaign on Saturday in Los Angeles.

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HRC gets Disco Fever at Colonial Lanes

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Human Rights Campaign of Central Florida held the sixth annual Disco Bowl at Colonial Lanes in Orlando March 5.

Miss Sammy and Gidget Galore hosted the annual bowl-a-thon to a full house. HRC not only had a day of bowling, but food, raffles and a costume contest.

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Revised travel ban allows Kurdish activist to travel to U.S.

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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A human rights activist from Kurdistan can now travel to the U.S. to attend a Human Rights Campaign conference next month after President Trump signed a revised executive order that allows Iraqi citizens to enter the country.

The original executive order that Trump signed on Jan. 27 banned citizens from Iraq and six other predominantly Muslim countries — Iran, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya — from entering the U.S. for 90 days.

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HRC prefers ‘Lion’ over ‘Moonlight’ for Best Picture?

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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One week before the 89th Academy Awards ceremony was set to take place in Hollywood on Sunday night, Feb. 26, a full-page ad appeared in the New York Times arts section on Feb. 17 listing Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin as one of “21 voices on why Lion is the Best Picture of the Year.”

The ad includes a quote from Griffin praising “Lion,” a highly acclaimed film about an adopted child from India who, as a young adult, searches for his biological family and self-identity. The film doesn’t have any LGBT-related content or storyline.

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LGBT groups urge Trump admin to keep trans protections

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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PHOTO: GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard is among the LGBT advocates who signed a letter urging the Trump administration to keep trans protections. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Following a signal from the U.S. Justice Department that guidance protecting transgender students may be on the chopping block, a trio of LGBT groups — as well as an LGBT-supportive women’s organization — are calling on the Trump administration to keep the policy in place.

The letter, dated Feb. 13, is addressed to newly confirmed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who would be responsible for any decision to rescind the guidance.

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Kentucky Senate advances bill that would allow religious expression in public schools

By : Wire & Staff Reports
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky Senators voted Feb. 10 for the measure that defends the rights of students to express religious beliefs in public schools and allows the Bible to be used for the study of religion.

Senate Bill (SB) 17 passed with a vote of 31-3. It now moves to the House.

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In emotional speech, Streep renews harsh criticism of Trump

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – In an emotional speech by turns tearful, defiant and humorous, Meryl Streep doubled down on her harsh criticism of President Donald Trump, and spoke of having become a target since she first took him on in her Golden Globes speech in January.

Addressing a cheering audience at a fundraising gala for the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT group, Streep referred to Trump’s tweet after her Globes speech, in which he called the celebrated actress “overrated.”

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Evan Rachel Wood gets candid about being a bisexual woman

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Evan Rachel Wood opened up about being a bisexual woman while accepting the HRC Visibility Award at the 2017 Human Rights Campaign North Carolina Gala on Saturday.

The 29-year-old actress confessed she found herself attracted to women at age 12 but didn’t think it was unusual.

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The Connection is Made: Mover and shaker Carlos Carbonell meets, greets and wins

By : Billy Manes
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It’s almost impossible to peruse any Orlando media without catching a glance of the Human Rights Campaign’s (seemingly) chief networker Carlos Carbonell. Carbonell also serves on the Contigo Fund Grant Committee, an affiliate of the Our Fund Foundation, that was developed in Orlando in the wake of the Pulse massacre. He’s also a key figure in the newly formed LGBTQ alliance which seeks to pull resources together from throughout the community to achieve equality and fairness.

“I have a huge love for everything Orlando,” he says. “I graduated college from the University of Florida. I came to Orlando and had odd jobs, like working for Disney. I ended up working for a marketing firm. For 10 years, I helped build up the marketing side of that. But, it was through my friend [Orlando LGBTQ advocate] Jennifer Foster and a few others that I got involved in HRC, because there wasn’t an HRC here. So there were about four or five others that got that going. I was also somewhat involved in the Democratic Party, just helping out here and there. That gave a little bit of a compassion for advocacy.”

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Hero in the ‘Burg: St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman stood up for the little guy and got a little bit famous from it

By : Jeremy Williams
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There was not a whole lot of positive influence coming from Twitter in 2016, but one notable tweet that went out into the Twitterverse at the end of 2015 was one from St. Petesburg’s mayor Rick Kriseman in response to then presidential nominee Donald Trump calling for a ban on Muslims into the country.

“It was remarkable,” Kriseman recalls. “I never would have thought that the response would have been what it was. It was re-Tweeted I think 22,000 times and it was read more than a million times.”

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