House to vote next week on Equality Act to ban anti-LGBT discrimination

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. House is expected to hold a floor vote next week on the Equality Act, legislation that seeks to ban anti-LGBT discrimination, a senior Democratic aide told the Washington Blade on Monday.

The official announcement on the vote, the aide said, was set for May 3, which is the normal day for when the next week’s schedule is announced in the House.

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Pelosi: Supreme Court review to have ‘no impact’ on Equality Act, floor vote in May

By : Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether existing federal law prohibits anti-LGBT discrimination will have “no impact” on the advancement of legislation seeking to ban it explicitly under federal law, a spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said April 22.

Drew Hammill, a Pelosi spokesperson, said via email in response to an inquiry from the Washington Blade the Supreme Court decision will have “no impact” on the legislative process for the Equality Act, which he said is set for floor vote in the U.S. House in May.

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Parents of transgender kids share hardship stories on Capitol Hill

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The parents of transgender children met on Capitol Hill Wednesday to share stories about hardships their families have encountered, including anti-trans policies of the Trump administration.

The parents gathered for a one-hour meeting at the Cannon House Office Building for a public meeting hosted by Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass.), chair of the Transgender Equality Task Force. The meeting followed a two-day summit of the Parents for Transgender Equality National Council at the Human Rights Campaign building in D.C.

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Cicilline touts Equality Act as House’s new senior gay member

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) will become the most senior openly gay member of the U.S. House as Democrats take the majority this week, but he’s more excited about the growing ranks of openly LGB people who will serve in Congress alongside him and finally being able to move long-awaited legislation to ban anti-LGBT discrimination.

Asked by the Blade during an interview in his office Dec. 20 about his new distinction as the most senior out gay member of the House with outgoing Rep. Jared Polis leaving to become governor of Colorado, Cicilline said he’s “very proud” the chamber will have a net gain of two out LGB members in the 116th Congress and talked about the Equality Act.

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Amtrak: No evidence injured gay passenger was in fight

By : wire report
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RENO, Nev. (AP) — The family of a 22-year-old train passenger found severely injured next to railroad tracks in Truckee, California, suspects he may have been the victim of a hate crime, but Amtrak said Saturday that investigators have found no evidence of foul play.

Aaron Salazar’s family believes the Portland State University student, who is gay, was attacked and didn’t jump from the westbound train, the Reno Gazette Journal report ed.

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Trump’s gay nominee Ric Grenell confirmed as ambassador to Germany

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Senate confirmed Richard Grenell on Thursday as U.S. ambassador to Germany, making him the most high-profile openly gay appointee in the Trump administration.

Grenell — who has faced Democratic opposition for months over mean tweets he made about the appearance of women and other comments downplaying the significance of Russia’s influence in the 2016 election — was confirmed by a largely party line vote of 56-42.

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Anti-LGBTQ Trump judicial nominee Kyle Duncan confirmed to Fifth Circuit

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Senate has confirmed to the federal bench a Trump judicial nominee who made a major component of his career as a lawyer attempts to block LGBTQ rights, including same-sex marriage and transgender student Gavin Grimm’s access to the high school boys’ room,

Kyle Duncan, a partner at the D.C.-based Schaerr Duncan LLP, was confirmed Tuesday to a seat on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals — which has jurisdiction over Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi — by a party-line vote of 50-47.

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Sen. Gillibrand: Defeat Trump in 2020 to pass Equality Act

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) called Saturday night for the defeat of President Trump in Election 2020 and a change of Congress to enact long-sought after federal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people.

Gillibrand, a possible Democratic contender in 2020, made the remarks Saturday at the 2018 HRC Greater New York Gala, encouraging attendees to join efforts to make change in the mid-term election and the presidential election in 2020.

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White House: Anti-trans judicial nomination ‘not moving forward’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A judicial nomination by President Trump who had called transgender kids “Satan’s plan” and proudly said the Baptist Church discriminates against gays won’t move forward the Senate, the White House said Wednesday.

The news comes after Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, urged Trump to rethink the nominee as well as that of Brett Talley, a judicial pick who had never tried a case. A White House official confirmed to the Washington Blade “both Talley and Mateer will not be moving forward.”

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DeVos still won’t say federal law bars anti-LGBT discrimination

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Weeks after facing criticism for refusing to speak out in congressional testimony against anti-LGBT discrimination in charter schools, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos still won’t say federal law prohibits them from discriminating against LGBT students.

DeVos on Tuesday referred generally to rules under federal law in a testy exchange on whether she’d speak out against anti-LGBT discrimination in charter schools with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who said the statute in this area is “somewhat foggy.”

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