LGBTQ groups, HHS clash over asking youth in foster care about sexual orientation

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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LGBT rights groups and the Department of Health & Human Services are clashing over the proposed elimination of questions seeking to identify the sexual orientation of youth in foster care, which the Trump administration concluded could be “intrusive and worrisome.”

Julie Kruse, director of federal policy at the pro-LGBT Family Equality Council, said in a statement the planned removal from HHS is an “abdication of its statutory responsibilities to promote the safety, well-being, and permanency of foster youth, including those who are LGBTQ.”

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North Carolina sued again over transgender rights

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) | North Carolina is being sued again over its treatment of transgender people, as state employees argue that their health plan violated federal law by dropping coverage of medically necessary procedures.

The new lawsuit comes amid unresolved litigation over North Carolina’s so-called bathroom bill and the law that replaced it.

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Gillibrand declares support for third-gender option on federal IDs

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a 2020 Democratic hopeful, has come out in favor of a non-binary gender marker on federal identification documents, according to CBS News.

The New York Democrat’s support for the third-gender option — a practice adopted in at least two states — Oregon and New Jersey — for birth certificates and driver’s licenses — makes her the first 2020 candidate to take that position.

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Group of 30 LGBTI migrants enter Mexico from Guatemala

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico | A group of 30 LGBTI migrants entered Mexico from Guatemala on Feb. 1.

Estuardo Moscoso of Asociación Lambda, a Guatemala City-based advocacy group that provides assistance to LGBTI migrants, told the Washington Blade the migrants who are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador crossed the Suchiate River, which marks the border between Guatemala and Mexico, and arrived in Ciudad Hidalgo in Mexico’s Chiapas state. Moscoso said the migrants are currently traveling to Tapachula, a city that is roughly 30 miles northwest of Ciudad Hidalgo.

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Transgender military personnel in limbo over Trump plan

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) | Long term, lawyers and activists battling to ensure that transgender people can serve openly in the U.S. military are convinced they will prevail. Short term, they are braced for anguishing consequences if the Trump administration proceeds with its plan to sharply restrict such service.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote Jan. 22, gave the administration the green light to put the policy into effect even as legal challenges continue.

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LGBT legal groups urge Supreme Court to resist Trump on trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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LGBT legal groups urged the U.S. Supreme Court to decline to intervene in cases challenging President Trump’s transgender military ban, asserting action at this point would amount to “short-circuiting” the litigation process.

The groups submitted the briefs in response to two separate filings from the U.S. Justice Department under the Trump administration, one calling on the Supreme Court to take up the cases on a interlocutory basisanother calling for a stay on lower court orders against the ban.

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Trans teacher sues P.G. County alleging ‘horrifying’ abuse

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A lawsuit filed against Prince George’s County Public Schools and the county’s Board of Education charges that a female transgender teacher was subjected to five years of discrimination, harassment, abuse and retaliation by school administrators, fellow teachers, students and parents after she transitioned in 2011 from male to female.

The lawsuit was filed Nov. 28, 2018 in United States District Court for the District of Maryland by the nationally known law firm Arnold and Porter on behalf of Jennifer Eller, an English teacher. On Dec. 20, the LGBT litigation group Lambda Legal joined Arnold & Porter in representing Eller.

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ICE official defends treatment of transgender detainees

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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An official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Dec. 18 defended the agency’s treatment of transgender people who are in its custody.

Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, the openly gay deputy assistant director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Custody Programs, during an interview with the Washington Blade at ICE headquarters in Southwest Washington noted a 2015 memorandum that then-ICE Executive Associate Director of Enforcement and Removal Operations Thomas Homan signed.

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Trump admin turns to Supreme Court to ban trans people from military

By : CHRIS JOHNSON OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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With court orders in place from four judges barring the U.S. military from enacting President Trump’s transgender ban, the Trump administration is seeking recourse from the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the policy to go into effect.

U.S. Solicitor General Neil Francisco submitted petitions Nov. 23 for certiorari in three cases calling on the court to review the litigation and reverse the preliminary injunctions enjoining enforcement of Trump’s transgender ban.

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Lambda Legal announces N.Y. activist Richard Burns as interim CEO

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Lambda Legal has appointed a longtime N.Y. activist to take the helm as interim leader, following the recent departure of its CEO ahead of the mid-term elections, the Washington Blade has learned.

Richard Burns, who served as executive director of the NYC LGBT Community Center for 22 years, is set to take over as interim CEO as the search continues for a replacement for Rachel Tiven, who resigned in August.

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Judge rules HB2 deal doesn’t impair bathroom access for trans people

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A federal judge has allowed a lawsuit against the compromise over North Carolina’s anti-LGBT House Bill 2 to continue, but found the new law doesn’t inhibit bathroom access to transgender people in the state.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled Sunday night the challenge to House Bill 142 can proceed in so far it pertains Section 3 of the law, which prohibits municipalities from enacting ordinances regulating private employment practices or regulating public accommodations until December 1, 2020.

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Senate advances Kavanaugh nomination — but there’s a floor vote deal

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In the aftermath of powerful testimony from Christine Blasey Ford asserting she’s “100 percent” Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her as a teenager, the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 28 voted to advance his nomination — although a deal is in the works for an investigation before his final confirmation vote.

The Senate panel approved the nomination on 11-10 party lines. Republican members insisted on moving forward with the nomination despite objections from Democratic members, many of whom called for delay until the FBI could conduct an additional investigation.

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