Rights group urges China to ban abusive gay ‘conversion therapy’

By : Wire Report
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HONG KONG (AP) – The Chinese government should stop hospitals and other medical facilities from subjecting LGBT people to conversion therapy that in some cases has involved electroshock, involuntary confinement and forced medication, a human rights group said Nov. 15.

The report released by New York-based Human Rights Watch, based on interviews with 17 people subjected to the widely criticized techniques since 2009, comes as awareness has grown in China regarding the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

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Equality Florida’s Todd Richardson shares his story of being discharged from the United States Air Force because he is gay

By : Jeremy Williams
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“Airman Richardson, I am here to escort you to the commander’s office.”

Long before Todd Richardson, the Pinellas County Regional Coordinator at Equality Florida, was an openly gay man living in Tampa Bay, he was an airman in the United States Air Force. He was also in the closet.

“Escort me?” Richardson said to the Technical Sergeant who had just walked into his office. The sergeant’s tone let Richardson know that he was in trouble, but for the life of him he could not figure out what he had done. Richardson’s performance reports showed he was an exemplary airman with an impeccable record. As they approached the commander’s office door, Richardson noticed several airmen standing in front of the office. Richardson suspected he knew what they were there for, probably the same reason he was there.

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Hundreds of Utah’s LGBTQ youth to gather at statewide summit

By : Wire Report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Hundreds of Utah LGBTQ students are scheduled to meet up for a statewide summit in Orem next month to find solidarity and discuss issues like bullying and educational and career advancement.

The event, called Ignite, aims to bring together LGBTQ teens from Utah’s rural and urban areas and those involved in gay-straight alliance organizations.

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11.02.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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The death of Matthew Sheppard on October 12, 1998, shook me to my core. It was a devastating, brutal reminder of the misguided hatred some had, and still have, for the LGBTQ community. It was also a reminder to me of how lucky I was to have survived college relatively unscathed.

I identified with Matthew a great deal. We were close in age, just under two years apart; we both went to small, remote colleges; and neither of us was quiet about being gay.

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Florida gubernatorial candidate Chris King takes LGBTQ rights personally

By : Scottie Campbell
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WINTER PARK, Fla. | Each 2018 Democratic candidate in the Florida gubernatorial race has made statements in support of LGBTQ rights, but in a speech before the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus in August, Orlando’s Chris King revealed why his long-held support is personal.

King ended his speech talking about his eldest brother, David, who was gay. A polished and considered speaker, the cadence of King’s voice noticeably changes as he relates David’s rough childhood and adolescence growing up gay in Florida during the ‘70s and ‘80s. After battling years of insecurities and depression, David eventually committed suicide 20 years ago at the age of 30. King tells Watermark that caucus speech is the one time he has talked about this publicly.

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Judge allows new route to challenge Mississippi LGBTQ law

By : Wire Report
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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A gay rights group is getting another chance to challenge a Mississippi law that lets government workers and private business people cite their own religious beliefs to refuse services to LGBTQ people.

Legal experts say it’s the broadest religious-objections law enacted by any state since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015.

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Ex-Attorney General honored for advancing gay, transgender rights

By : Wire Report
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BOSTON (AP) – Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been recognized in Boston for advancing gay and transgender rights.

The nonprofit GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders honored Holder Friday evening with its 18th annual Spirit of Justice award.

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Kamala Harris emerges as LGBT favorite for 2020 — there’s just one thing

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) was likely chosen as a featured speaker at Saturday’s Human Rights Campaign National Dinner because she’s quickly becoming a favorite in the LGBT community among potential 2020 Democratic presidential contenders.

To recognize her popularity among LGBT people, just find the animated picture of Harris making the rounds on Facebook at the Senate dais brushing her hair back, clasping her hands and blinking her eyes wearily as she’s cut off during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. Also check out the widely shared video of her exchange with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions about his Russian connections, which left the Trump official muttering he felt “nervous” under questioning from the U.S. Senate’s only black female senator.

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Why is Halloween like Gay Christmas?

By : Scottie Campbell
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History probably gives us some insight. Halloween is rooted in religion, but those origins are a convoluted mixture of Christian observances and pagan rituals.

The LGBTQ community’s relationship with religion has historically been, and continues to be, tenuous; maybe we recognize ourselves to that aspect of the October 31 celebration. Halloween is generally considered a decadent holiday so much so that Christian bloggers suggest alternatives like, we kid you not, a Reformation Day Party. (One such blogger inexplicably suggests a Noah’s Ark Party as an alternative to trick-or-treating. Now that just screams: “I need gay friends!”)

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As far right rises, LGBTQ gun group hits firing line in NY

By : Wire Report
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) – A gay, lesbian and transgender group concerned that extremists have become more emboldened and dangerous has decided to take up arms.

The Trigger Warning Queer & Trans Gun Club meets once a month to shoot long guns in a field in upstate New York.

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Orlando gathers downtown to celebrate Come Out With Pride

By : Jeremy Williams
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Lake Eola Park, and it’s surrounding streets, were packed Oct. 14 for Orlando’s annual Come Out With Pride parade and festival.

The big, colorful floats and LGBTQIA+ marchers took their turns proudly around the lake as thousands of community members and supporters cheered.

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Following controversy, Sarasota Pride renews focus ahead of Pride Fest 2017

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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SARASOTA | As the Sarasota LGBTQ community and its allies readied themselves for Pride Fest 2017 on Oct. 21, Sarasota Pride board members and community leaders met to renew the upcoming celebration’s focus.

“Perception is a reality and the past 48 hours has proven that statement to be true,” Joél Pozo, Berry Ayers (Beneva Fruitville) and Sarasota Pride released in a joint statement following an Oct. 3 meeting. “Everyone in this community has a voice and that has been reflected in our collaboration.”

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