John McCain leaves complicated legacy on LGBT rights

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sen. John McCain, who died Saturday at 81, leaves a legacy of patriotism, service to country — and being a thorn in the side of President Trump — but his legacy on LGBT issues is more complicated.

Throughout his decades in Congress, the Arizona Republican took widely different stances on LGBT issues — at times mocking them as unimportant, at other times embracing equal rights for the LGBT community. McCain would often oppose LGBT rights to align with his party and for the sake of political expediency, although the general direction of the positions he took as time went on demonstrated increasing acceptance of LGBT people.

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Bipartisan amendment introduced against Trump’s trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) is among a bipartisan group of lawmakers seeking to amend a defense bill against Trump’s trans military ban. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has proposed an amendment to major defense policy legislation that would abrogate President Trump’s ban on transgender military service.

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Gillibrand to propose amendment against Trump’s trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) plans an amendment against Trump’s transgender military ban. Image courtesy of YouTube.

Coming off her aggressive questioning of top military leaders in committee on the transgender military ban, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) now plans to seek to amend major defense legislation against the policy.

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Army chief of staff undermines DOD report against transgender service

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley. Photo public domain.

The top uniformed official in the U.S. Army on Thursday undermined recommendations from Defense Secretary James Mattis against transgender military service — which led to President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the armed forces — by asserting their presence has had no negative impact on unit cohesion

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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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Mattis: Trans troops can re-enlist in armed forces — for now

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Faced with President Trump’s task of implementing a ban on their service, Defense Secretary James Mattis has issued a memo allowing transgender troops currently in the military to re-enlist — at least during the six-month period when Pentagon studies the issue.

The interim guidance, obtained Friday by the Washington Blade and other media outlets, lays out the implementation plan for Trump’s directive last month to ban transgender military service.

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McCain co-sponsors new bill against Trump’s trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is among the bipartisan co-sponsors of a bill for transgender military service. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A new standalone bill that seeks to undermine President Trump’s ban on transgender military service has key support from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — who years ago was a chief opponent of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.

In a statement upon the bill’s introduction, McCain declared his support for transgender military service and said he awaits feedback on the issue from Defense Secretary James Mattis, who set forth a plan for a study on transgender service after Trump’s order.

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Senate blocks vote on Gillibrand amendment to protect trans troops

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: The amendment Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) filed against Trump’s transgender military ban won’t get a vote. (Washington Blade file photo by Damien Salas)

Despite bipartisan support, an amendment proposed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) that would have undermined President Trump’s ban on transgender military service won’t get a vote in the U.S. Senate, the Washington Blade has learned.

A Senate Democratic leadership aide said the Senate didn’t have unanimous consent and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was unwilling to file cloture to force a vote. Gillibrand proposed the amendment, which was co-sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), as part of the fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill.

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Trump admin comes out against amendment protecting trans troops

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Trump administration has come out against an amendment proposed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) that would undermine President Trump ban on transgender people in the U.S. armed forces.

A White House National Security Council spokesperson told the Washington Blade the administration opposes the amendment, which may be considered on the U.S. Senate floor this week as part of the fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill.

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