Dems put gloves back on in third debate — except for Castro

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Democratic candidates in Houston before the third debate. (Photo courtesy of ABC News)

After the last debate in which the letting of blood was all but visible on the stage floor, Democratic presidential candidates eased up on each other in their third foray Thursday — although Julian Castro didn’t seem to have gotten the memo.

With a few exceptions during the health care portion of the debate, the 2020 hopefuls — rather than attacking each other over policies and records from decades ago — generally seemed more to be willing to agree to disagree rather than put the eventual Democratic nominee in a weaker position to take on President Trump in the general election.

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2020 hopefuls highlight Medicare for All, PrEP in plans to combat HIV/AIDS

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE, L-R: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South Bend, Ind.) Washington Blade file photos by Michael Key.

The reinvigoration of the White House Office of HIV/AIDS, access to generic PrEP and the award of cash gifts for HIV/AIDS innovations as opposed to U.S. patents were just three ideas 2020 hopefuls articulated in responses to a survey conducted by HIV/AIDS advocacy groups.

The candidates expressed those ideas in a survey conducted by AIDS United, which composed its questions in conjunction with a coalition of HIV/AIDS groups and made the responses public Monday.

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09.05.19 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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When my husband and I meet our friends on the weekend and I happen to partake in enough libations to get a bit tipsy, I tend to find myself grappling with one of three levels of intoxication.

Thankfully it doesn’t happen too often, but the first is “Disney drunk” when it does. It leads to a whole new world of one-man productions featuring every animated classic under the sea. The second is “drive-thru drunk,” in which I spend ridiculous amounts of money on food that goes straight to my hips.

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HRC, CNN to host Democratic presidential town hall on LGBTQ issues

By : Jeremy Williams
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(Image from HRC.org)

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is partnering with CNN to host an LGBTQ-focused town hall for the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates on Oct. 10. The LGBTQ rights organization made the announcement on its website Sept. 5.

“The evening will constitute the largest-ever audience for a Democratic presidential town hall devoted to [LGBTQ] issues and will mark the first time in history that a major cable news network will air a presidential event devoted to issues of importance to the LGBTQ community,” HRC stated.

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Congressional Dems say Title VII ‘makes clear’ anti-LGBT discrimination unlawful

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A group of 151 congressional Democrats—113 House members and 38 senators—have signed a legal brief insisting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “makes clear that workplace discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity is unlawful.”

The lawmakers submit the 25-page friend-of-the-court brief to the U.S. Supreme Court as justices are set to determine whether Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination in the workforce applies to cases of anti-LGBT discrimination.

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N.Y. becomes eighth state to ban ‘gay panic’ defense

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a ban on gay panic defense. Photo courtesy of the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Amid celebrations of WorldPride and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a measure banning the use of trans and gay panic as a legal defense.

Cuomo penned his name to the legislation Sunday during a signing ceremony with LGBT advocacy leaders who supported passage of the ban on gay and trans panic defense in court.

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Harris shines in debate, but racial issues haunt Buttigieg, Biden

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The 10 Democratic presidential candidates from the second night debate on June 27. (Screenshot from YouTube)

Kamala Harris pulled off an impressive performance during the Democratic presidential candidates debate June 27 as racial issues haunted Pete Buttigieg and Joseph Biden.

When the smoke cleared after the debate concluded in Miami, Harris came out as a favorite based on her responses throughout the evening that served a combination of steak and sizzle, appealing to emotion as she laid out policy.

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99 Dems urge State Dept. to recognize citizenship of LGBTQ couple’s child

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A group of 99 congressional Democrats—80 in the U.S. House, 19 in the U.S. Senate—are calling on the Trump administration to reverse its policy of refusing to recognize the birthright citizenship of children to LGBT families born overseas via surrogacy methods.

The call come in the form of a pair of letters. Leading the letter in the House is Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and the co-chairs of the LGBT Equality Caucus, each of an openly LGB member of Congress, including Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), the most senior openly gay member of the U.S. House. In the Senate, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) are leading the charge.

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Danica Roem uses spotlight to boost other Virginia Democrats

By : wire report
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) | When Del. Danica A. Roem sought in 2017 to become the country’s first openly transgender state lawmaker, the Republican Party of Virginia funded a political flier that referred to her as a man and speculated that she would teach “transgenderism” to kindergartners.

This year, the GOP rushed to Roem’s defense after an anti-LGBTQ group mounted a demonstration against her presence in Richmond.

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Home state politics complicate message for some 2020 Dems

By : wire report
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NASHUA, N.H. (AP) | Democrat Beto O’Rourke uses his home state as a cautionary tale, ticking through Texas’ Republican-backed policies as warning flags for the rest of the country.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg mentions once worrying about how coming out as gay in deeply Republican Indiana might have cost him re-election, even in his more moderate college town of South Bend.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand speaks of evolving away from defending gun rights during her early years in Congress representing a conservative House district in upstate New York and notes, “I have uncles who voted for Trump. I get it.”

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Senate confirms former Log Cabin chief to State Dept. post

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Senate confirmed R. Clarke Cooper to a senior State Department position. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

With little opposition, the U.S. Senate confirmed on May 30 a former head of Log Cabin Republicans instrumental in finding Republican votes to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to a high-ranking State Department position.

R. Clarke Cooper, who’s gay, was confirmed as assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs by a vote of 90-8 nearly a full year after President Trump nominated him in June 2018.

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Biden receives early LGBT support amid lingering questions, criticism

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Former Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement that he is running for president has sparked a mixed reaction among activists and LGBT Democrats.

“From his support for inclusive hate crimes protections in the U.S. Senate to his leadership on marriage equality as vice president, Joe Biden has been a vocal champion of equality,” Sarah McBride, a transgender woman from Delaware who is a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, told the Washington Blade on May 30.

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