NYC activists protest gay Chechnya arrests

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Roughly 60 LGBT rights activists gathered outside the Russian consulate in New York on Saturday to protest the arrest of more than 100 gay men in Chechnya.

RUSA LGBT, a group of LGBT Russian speakers and their supporters, organized the protest that included a memorial. Members of ACT UP New York, Human Rights First, Rise and Resist, the Caribbean Equality Project and Congregation Beit Simchat Torah also took part.

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Hillsborough County math teacher alledgedly bans cross necklaces from classroom

By : Staff Report
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The Liberty Counsel filed a complaint against a Riverview High School math teacher April 19.

The letter to Jeff Eakins, Hillsborough schools superintendent, stated that Lora Jane Riedas “has prohibited at least three children from wearing Christian cross necklaces in her classroom, claiming on occasion that they are ‘gang symbols.'”

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Paris officer killed in Champs-Elysees attack was a proud gay man

By : Wire Report
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PARIS (AP) – The Champs-Elysees gunman who shot and killed a Paris police officer just days before France’s presidential election had a note with him defending the Islamic State group, France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor said Friday.

Police investigating Thursday’s attack found a note praising IS that apparently fell from the pocket of French assailant Karim Cheurfi, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said. Cheurfi also had addresses of police stations written on bits of paper in his car, he said.

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Media Matters For America looks to ‘eliminate hate’ with new campaign

By : Felicia Roopchand
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Hateful speech and actions seem to be around every corner these days, especially with the current state of politics in our country; however, we have those who are fighting to make sure that hate is silenced.

Media Matters For America has launched the Eliminate Hate Campaign  a new effort aiming to expose, undermine and mitigate the increasing influence and harmful impact of anti-LGBTQ hate groups while empowering and supporting local leaders and community members confronting extremism in their daily lives.

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2nd Circuit (again) finds anti-gay discrimination legal under Title VII

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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In a case filed by a now deceased gay skydiver who alleged sexual-orientation discrimination in the workforce, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals April 18 declined to accept the legal argument that anti-gay discrimination is prohibited under current federal civil rights law.

In a 13-page decision, the three-judge panel cites a 2000 decision in the Simonton case, a 2nd Circuit ruling that determined Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of the 1964, which bars sex discrimination in the workforce, doesn’t apply to sexual orientation. As a result of that precedent, the panel concludes Title VII cannot be applied in the pending case, named Zarda v. Altitude Express.

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Sen. Baldwin prepares for re-election fight in 2018

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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As Democrats gear up for the congressional mid-term elections in 2018, one race that will be critical for the LGBTQ community and potentially a challenge to win is the re-election bid of U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the only out lesbian in Congress.

After becoming the first openly gay person elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012, Baldwin will face re-election in a state Trump won in a surprise last year. Her race will almost certainly be a priority for the LGBTQ community seeking to ensure visibility in Congress and to strike back at Trump after his victory there.

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New group defends integrated Israel military

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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A new group seeks to counter growing opposition to LGBTQ and female soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces.

Blue and White Pride describes itself as “a movement of Israelis, men and women, who serve in Israel’s security forces, both as conscripts and in the reserves, and want to maintain the IDF as a meeting point for Israeli society.” The group also seeks to strengthen “the values of the IDF and those serving” against the backdrop of “anti-liberal forces trying to stop” the integration of women, LGBTQ Israelis and other minorities into the military.

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‘Diverse’ co-chairs named for LGBTQ march on Washington

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Organizers of a planned LGBTQ march on Washington scheduled for June 11, which has been named The Equality March for Unity and Pride, released on Wednesday the names of 12 of 13 co-chairs of the event but provided few additional details such as how it will be financed or the route of the march.

“The Equality March for Unity and Pride is less than two months away and we are thrilled to host this historic march in our nation’s capital,” a statement released by organizers says.

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Nikki Haley: U.S. ‘disturbed’ by gay Chechnya arrests

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley on Monday said the U.S. remains “disturbed” by the arrests of more than 100 gay men in Chechnya.

“We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture, and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation and those persecuted by association,” she said in a statement. “If true, this violation of human rights cannot be ignored – Chechen authorities must immediately investigate these allegations, hold anyone involved accountable, and take steps to prevent future abuses.”

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Russian violinist comes out in emotional YouTube video

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Russian violinist Artem Kolesov has come out as gay in a YouTube video that has since gone viral.

The 23-year-old musician filmed the video as part of the Russian “Children-404” project, in which teenagers share their stories related to LGBT issues. In order to protect their anonymity, participants hold a “Children-404” sign in front of their faces.

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Donald Trump Jr. scoffs LGBT college students ‘triggered’ by Chick-fil-A

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Donald Trump Jr. dismissed LGBT college students’ concerns over a Chik-fil-A coming to their campus in a tweet on Thursday.

Trump Jr. retweeted a Daily Caller article about Duquesne University students who were worried about the addition of a Chik-fil-A location on their campus.

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Washington State reinstitutes N.C. travel ban after HB2 deal

By : Chris Johnson of the Washingston Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Washington State has reinstated its ban on state-sponsored travel to North Carolina — first enacted over anti-LGBT House Bill 2 — in the aftermath of the imposition of a new replacement law civil rights groups say is still discriminatory.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued a memo on Thursday putting in place a new ban on state-funded travel to North Carolina after his previous ban expired when North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, signed the new measure.

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