Justice Department set to host annual LGBTQ Pride event on June 26

By : CHRIS JOHNSON OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Department of Justice is set to host an event recognizing Pride month and LGBTQ employees on June 26, the Washington Blade has learned.

A spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday to the Blade the event is set to take place on that date in the Justice Department’s Great Hall per the annual tradition for DOJ Pride, the LGBTQ affinity group for Justice Department employees.

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Trump’s new faith initiative raises concerns among LGBTQ advocates

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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President Trump’s new initiative to support faith-based organizations with federal assistance is stirring unease among LGBTQ rights supporters, who say they’ll keep watch to ensure the program doesn’t enable anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

Trump, who created the initiative by executive order on Thursday on the National Day of Prayer, said during a signing ceremony in the White House Rose Garden the program will “help design new policies that recognize the vital role of faith in our families, our communities, and our great country.”

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Trans women struggle to survive in El Salvador city

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Three transgender women were killed in San Luis Talpa, El Salvador, in February 2017. Gang-related violence has made the small city one of the most dangerous parts of the Central American country. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Andrea, a transgender woman who lives in San Luis Talpa, a small city that is near El Salvador’s main international airport, was walking to her mother’s home on Aug. 29 when a man stopped his motorbike and began to yell at her.

Andrea was talking with her friend on her cell phone when the man confronted her. Three cars stopped on the highway on which she was walking a few minutes later and men with guns stepped out.

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Social conservatives thank Trump at White House for anti-LGBT policy

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Social conservatives like James Dobson thanked President Trump at the White House for his anti-LGBT policy. Washington Blade photo by Chris Johnson

A host of anti-LGBT leaders met with the President Trump on Monday afternoon to thank him for keeping his promises from Election 2016, including his administration’s actions against LGBT people.

The meeting at the White House was timed with Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel — a move long sought by social conservatives that many leaders in the international community have warned is dangerous.

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Supreme Court won’t hear case seeking Title VII protection for gays

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday announced it won’t hear a case seeking protecting for lesbian, gay and bisexual workers under existing civil rights law barring sex discrimination.

The court announced it denied a writ of certiorari in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital as part of an order list Monday reflecting decisions made justices at a conference last week Friday. It takes a vote of four justices to agree to take up a case, although the vote isn’t made public.

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Opponents in LGBT case agree: It’s not about wedding cake

By : wire report
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In a legal case with profound implications for LGBT rights and religion’s place in public life, the opposing sides agree on this: It’s not about the cake.

At its core, the case that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court for oral arguments on Dec. 5 is a showdown between a gay couple from Colorado and a Denver-area baker who in 2012 cited his Christian faith in refusing to make a cake for their wedding celebration.

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Anti-LGBTQ Senate candidate Roy Moore accused of sexual contact with a 14-year-old

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — A month before Alabama’s special election, Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore abruptly faced lurid allegations Thursday of sexual misconduct with minors decades ago — and an immediate backlash from party leaders who demanded he get out of the race if the accusations prove true.

The instant fallout followed a Washington Post report in which an Alabama woman said Moore, then a 32-year-old assistant district attorney, had sexual contact with her when she was 14. Three other women interviewed by the Post said Moore, now 70, approached them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s. All four women spoke on the record to the Post.

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DOJ seeks time to argue for anti-gay baker in Supreme Court case

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The U.S. Justice Department under U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is seeking a time slot of 10 minutes before the U.S. Supreme Court to argue on behalf of a Colorado baker who wishes to refuse the sale of make wedding cakes for same-sex couples.

U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed the two-page request Wednesday before the Supreme Court in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

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Justice Dept. to help in Iowa case of slain transgender teen

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has sent a federal hate crimes lawyer to Iowa to help prosecute a man charged with killing a transgender teenager last year, an unusual decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions even as he takes other steps to erode the rights of transgender people broadly.

The case involves Jorge Sanders-Galvez, 23, who is charged with killing 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson in Burlington, Iowa, in March 2016. Authorities have not disclosed a motive, but Johnson’s relatives say he may have been targeted because he identified as both male and female.

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Sessions undoes DOJ support for trans workers under Title VII

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Bucking a string of court rulings and the views of a separate U.S. agency, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday reversed the Justice Department’s support for the legal view trans workers are eligible for non-discrimination protections under current civil rights law.

In a two-page memo dated Oct. 4, Sessions informed Justice Department attorneys the U.S. government will no longer view the prohibition on sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to apply to discrimination on the basis of transgender status.

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Biden rallies support for Jones against anti-gay Moore in Alabama Senate race

By : Wire Report
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Standing before cheering supporters in the deeply red state of Alabama Oct. 3, former Vice President Joe Biden urged Alabama voters to send Democrat Doug Jones to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate.

Biden said while a win by Jones in the GOP stronghold would reverberate across the country, he said Alabama voters should elect Jones “for Alabama.”

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Murder case raises question: Do LGBT hate crime laws work?

By : Wire Report
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Each year, for the past three years, LGBT advocacy groups have tallied the killings of more than 20 transgender people in the U.S. Yet state or federal hate crime laws are rarely used to prosecute the slayings.

Now many LGBT-rights groups are questioning the effectiveness of the laws, saying they sometimes focus too tightly on individual acts without addressing underlying bias or wider violence. The volatile issue was back in the spotlight this week as Missouri authorities investigated the killing of a transgender teen who was stabbed in the genitals and had her eyes gouged out.

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