Brendon Urie donates $1 million to support LGBT youth

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the Natioan LGBT Media Association
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Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie has teamed up with GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) to establish GSA (Gender & Sexuality/Gay-Straight Alliance) clubs in high schools across America.

“For years my fans have inspired me with their determination and creativity as they have created a safe and inclusive community,” Urie said in a statement. “I felt the time had come for me to join them boldly, to bring that energy and power to bear on the huge challenges facing our whole society.”

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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The U.S. on Tuesday announced it has withdrawn from the U.N. Human Rights Council.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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New LGBTI federation forms in El Salvador

By : Ernesto Valle of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Different LGBTI rights organizations have joined forces to spur the Salvadoran government to respect and promote LGBT and intersex rights. They are also demanding that political parties make security and the right of transgender people to self-identify a priority.

A total of 16 organizations have come together to form Asociación Federada LGBTI, thus uniting the entire population for the first time behind a common goal.

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Bid to extend protections to Montana LGBTQs stirs emotions

By : Wire Report
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HELENA, Mont. (AP)- Advocates launched a new bid Wednesday to extend non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across Montana – undeterred by a long string of prior legislative defeats.

Proponents this time argue that extending protections would be good for Montana’s business climate.

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Criticized for anti-LGBT, racist views, Sessions confirmed as AG

By : Chris Johnson of the Washingston Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The U.S. Senate narrowly confirmed Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as U.S. attorney general after a rancorous debate that included the silencing of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and criticism of a long anti-LGBT career.

Lawmakers approved Sessions at the nation’s top lawyer by a 52-47 vote along party lines. The Republican caucus, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), was unified in support of Sessions. The Democratic caucus, including lesbian Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), was largely opposed, although Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) broke ranks to vote with Republicans.

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No word from Jammeh as midnight deadline arrives in Gambia

By : Wire Report
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DAKAR, Senegal (AP)- After more than two decades in power, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh faced the prospect of a military intervention by regional forces, as the man who once pledged to rule the West African nation for a billion years clung to power.

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Fidel Castro is dead, will LGBT Cubans now gain more civil rights?

By : Wire Report
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HAVANA (AP) — He overthrew a strongman, brought his country free health care and education, and enlisted Cubans in what he called fights for freedom from Central America to South Africa. Fidel Castro also maintained a steel grip at home, jailing dissidents and gays, controlling freedom of travel and expression and declaring virtually any activity outside his control to be illegitimate.

Since the revolutionary’s death Friday night, Cubans have defended Castro’s record while human rights groups said they hoped that his brother and successor, Raul Castro, would move faster toward allowing Cubans more freedom of speech, assembly and other basic rights.

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Bonnie Raitt – Dig In Deep Tour

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Following the highly-anticipated release of her twentieth album, Dig In Deep (Redwing Records), Bonnie Raitt returns to Ruth Eckerd Hall after her completely sold-out performance in 2013! Joining Raitt on the road is her longtime touring band, James “Hutch” Hutchinson (bass), Ricky Fataar (drums) and George Marinelli (guitar) along with Mike Finnigan (keyboards).

Throughout her spring 2016 tour, Raitt’s performances have garnered praise, with Billboard complimenting her “magnificent form: confident, engaging and sexy, while singing and playing her bottleneck slide guitar with searing soulfulness” at one of two sold-out shows at New York City’s Beacon Theatre.

Continuing a long-standing tradition in conjunction with the Guacamole Fund, Bonnie will donate one dollar from every ticket purchased to grassroots local, regional, and national organizations whose work focuses on safe and sustainable energy, social justice and human rights, environmental protection, and blues/music education.

Obama Legacy: A quiet mission to export gay rights overseas

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – While the world was watching America’s gay rights transformation, the Obama administration was pursuing a quieter mission to export the same freedoms overseas to places like sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and eastern Europe.

The U.S. has deployed its diplomats and spent tens of millions of dollars to try to block anti-gay laws, punish countries that enacted them, and tie financial assistance to respect for LGBT rights. It was a mission animated in part by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s declaration that “gay rights are human rights.”

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Czech Republic approves gays living in partnership to adopt children of partners

By : Wire Report
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PRAGUE (AP) – The Czech government has approved a plan to allow gays and lesbians living in a registered partnership to adopt the children of their partners.

Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier says the move is meant to ensure the rights of the children. He said Oct. 24 it is estimated that up to 1,000 children in the country live with a biological parent in a same sex partnership.

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Bruce Springsteen cancels North Carolina concert due to anti-trans bathroom law

By : Jeremy Williams
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Music legend Bruce Springsteen has canceled an April 10 concert in Greensboro, North Carolina because of the recently passed HB2, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which mandates transgender people can only use public restrooms that match the gender they were born and forbids municipalities from passing any LGBT protections.

“No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden,” Springsteen wrote in a statement on his website. “To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress.”

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Jacksonville mayor announces “community conversations” on LGBT protections

By : Staff Report
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville will hold a series of “community conversations” led by the city’s mayor Lenny Curry over the next few weeks to discuss bringing a more inclusive Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) to the city, according to WJCT.

The first of three events will be held Nov. 17 at 6 P.M. at Jacksonville’s downtown campus of Florida State College.

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