5th Circuit rules for Mississippi anti-LGBT ‘religious freedom’ law

By : Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has lifted a court order against a “religious freedom” law in Mississippi that would enable sweeping anti-LGBT discrimination, citing a lack of standing for plaintiffs in litigation against the statute.

Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel, U.S. Circuit Judge Jerry Smith issued a decision allowing enforcement of HB 1523, which had been blocked as a result of a lower court order.

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Joe Biden to LGBT gala: ‘Hold President Trump accountable’

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) – Former Vice President Joe Biden, warning of transgender Americans “under attack” in Republican-led states, on Wednesday challenged the nation’s LGBT community to push back against President Donald Trump’s administration.

“Hold President Trump accountable for his pledge to be your friend,” Biden declared at a private LGBT gala hosted by the Democratic National Committee in New York. “Just because you don’t have Barack and me in the White House doesn’t mean it’s time to give up, keep quiet, stay on the sidelines.”

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HHS nixes plan to eliminate LGBT questions from elder survey

By : Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The Department of Health & Human Services has reversed itself on a plan to eliminate questions allowing LGBT elders to identify their sexual orientation from a federal health survey amid pressure from LGBT advocates and members of Congress.

In a Federal Register notice set for publication on Thursday, HHS declared it made minor adjustments to plans to change the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants, such as “retaining the primary question regarding sexual orientation.”

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European court rules Russian propaganda law is discriminatory

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The European Court of Human Rights on Wednesday ruled a Russian law that bans so-called gay propaganda to minors is discriminatory and violates freedom of speech.

Three Russian LGBT advocates — Nikolai Bayev, Alexei Kiselyov and Nikolai Alexeyev — challenged the law that President Vladimir Putin signed in 2013.

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Modern family: More courts allowing 3 parents of 1 child

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP)  Sixteen-year-old Madison’s family clustered for a photo in a California courtroom, commemorating the day it finally became official that she has three parents.

The adults she calls Mom, Dad and Mama were all there for her birth, after the women decided to have a child together and approached a male friend. They shared time with Madison and input on raising her. Their Christmas Day traditions involve all of them.

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Confirmation of Serbia’s first gay Prime Minister thrown into doubt

By : Wire Report
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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) – Serbia’s ruling conservatives said June 19 if Prime Minister-designate Ana Brnabic doesn’t get enough votes to be confirmed by parliament as the first openly gay person to head the country’s government, an early general election will be held.

Brnabic, nominated last week by Serbian Present Aleksandar Vucic, could also become the conservative nation’s first female prime minister if she’s selected. But some of Vucic’s coalition partners said they will vote against her because of her sexual orientation.

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Indiana Christian school at center of LGBT voucher debate

By : Wire Report
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – The Lighthouse Christian Academy promises to provide an exemplary education, a caring atmosphere and service to God but not for everyone. The school says in its admissions brochure that it reserves the right to deny admission to LGBT students because their lifestyle is prohibited by the Bible.

As the Trump administration seeks to expand school choice nationwide, the academy was thrust into the national spotlight last month as part of a heated debate over whether schools that receive money from taxpayer-funded vouchers can discriminate against certain groups of students, such as LGBT children or students with disabilities.

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St. Pete Pride board member Susan McGrath responds to our St. Pete Pride Viewpoint column

By : Billy Manes
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Though we don’t normally do this – not directly, except in our letters section – we’d like to present this rebuttal to one of our Viewpoints. Not everybody is happy with Greg Stemm’s opinion piece in our Viewpoint section about St. Pete Pride. You can read the original here.

This is Pride board member Susan McGrath’s response.

As a St Pete Pride board member and a 19-year homeowner in Historic Kenwood, I cannot express my level of disappointment in opening the “St Pete Pride” Watermark edition to see a page devoted to substantial misinformation and language that is divisive and unproductive for our community.

Let’s begin with the facts.

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Trump tweets ‘never forget’ on one year mark of Pulse shooting

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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On the one-year mark of the Pulse massacre, President Trump tweeted on Monday an image of the 49 individuals killed at the gay nightclub, urging his followers to “never forget” the victims.

“We will NEVER FORGET the victims who lost their lives one year ago today in the horrific #PulseNightClub shooting,” Trump tweeted.

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Pentagon celebrates Pride with LGBT service members

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. military has entered a new era under the Trump administration as many wonder if the LGBT progress after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal will remain in place, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the annual reception at the Pentagon recognizing Pride.

The event — coordinated by DOD Pride, the Pentagon affinity group for LGBT service members and civilians — took place on Monday as it has each year after repeal of the military’s gay ban, and now after the rule change allowing transgender people to serve in the armed forces.

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Across the US, marches and rallies in support of LGBT rights

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – In the nation’s capital, and dozens of other cities across the U.S., supporters of LGBT rights gathered for marches and rallies Sunday, celebrating their gains but also angered over threats to those advances.

The centerpiece event, the Equality March in Washington, has been endorsed by virtually every major national advocacy group working on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. Leaders of those groups have been embittered by several actions of President Donald Trump’s administration – including the rollback of federal guidance advising school districts to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice.

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Equality March draws thousands from across country

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Carrying rainbow flags and signs reading “Love, not hate, makes America great” and “Resist Trump,” tens of thousands of LGBT people and their supporters marched from the White House to the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol on Sunday in the Equality March for Unity and Pride.

Through dozens of signs held by marchers saying “Remember Pulse” and in speeches at a rally on the Mall, march participants noted the event took place one day before the first anniversary the shooting rampage at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., that took the lives of 49 mostly LGBT people.

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