Maine Episcopalians elect openly gay bishop

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BANGOR, Maine (AP) | Clergy and church members have elected the first openly gay Episcopal bishop in Maine.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the Rev. Thomas James Brown was elected Feb. 9 by a majority of the 261 clergy members and laypeople at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

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Teen who killed parents sentenced to 40 years

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) | A teenager who told authorities she “snapped” and killed her parents while struggling with gender identity and acceptance was sentenced Dec. 4 to 40 years in prison.

Andrea Balcer, who was 17 at the time of the fatal stabbings, asked for forgiveness from her remaining family members, many of whom had called for the maximum penalty.

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LGBT group in Maine to launch resource guide for community

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BANGOR, Maine (AP) | An organization that serves the LGBT community in Maine is launching an online resource guide early next year.

OutInMaine says its website and social calendar will try to bring businesses and organizations together with the LGBT community by offering groups a place to list “gay-inclusive events throughout the state of Maine.” OutInMaine says it started collecting information from organizations such as churches, businesses and schools on Nov. 28, and the website will be launched on Jan. 1.

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George H.W. Bush ‘unsupportive’ on gay rights, HIV/AIDS

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Following the death of former President George H.W. Bush at age 94, the nation remembers him for his civil tone in contrast to President Trump and for helping bring the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union to a peaceful conclusion — but his legacy on LGBT rights and failure to confront the raging HIV/AIDS epidemic at the time remain a stain on his overall record.

Gay former Rep. Barney Frank, whose 32-year tenure in Congress included the George H.W. Bush administration from 1989 to 1992, told the Washington Blade in an interview Saturday the late former president “was bad” on LGBT rights and “wouldn’t do anything” to advance them.

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USF alum Steven Reigns brings ‘The Gay Rub’ to Tampa

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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University of South Florida (USF) graduate Steven Reigns, now West Hollywood’s first Poet Laureate, says he’s motivated by a sense of love for the LGBTQ community. “Some of the most beautiful and brilliant people I know are a part of it,” the educator says. “We’re complex and complicated.”

It’s that love which led to his touring art exhibit “The Gay Rub,” opening Oct. 15 at his alma mater’s Centre Gallery. The collaborative project, which Reigns created in 2010 and continues to organize, showcases a growing collection of over 350 important markers in LGBTQ history.

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Transgender activism group adopts lobster emoji for advocacy

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) | A transgender activism group is promoting use of Maine’s lobster emoji while it rallies for an emoji to represent the transgender community.

The Portland Press Herald reports the group is urging supporters to use the lobster for now, which can display both male and female anatomy.

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Maine woman playing transgender teen on the big screen

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ABOVE: Transgender actress Nicole Maines moving from documentaries to film. Photo courtesy of Teen Vogue. 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) | A transgender former middle school student who fought to use the bathroom of her choice in Maine is preparing for her big screen debut.

Nicole Maines is starring in the indie horror film “Bit” as a transgender teen trying to co-exist with and understand a group of feminist vampires in Los Angeles.

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Maine Gov. LePage vetoes ‘conversion therapy’ bill

By : Wire Report
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) | Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed a bill that would’ve banned state-licensed therapists from engaging in conversion therapy aimed at changing someone’s sexual orientation.

LePage said Friday the bill is unnecessary for professionals who already have a defined scope of practice and said he has concerns that it could harm parental rights and the work of faith-based counselors.

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Court seeks justification for unusual gay slur hate crime order

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s high court this week ordered a lower court to explain why potential jail time for any future hate crimes he might commit would be justified for a Turner man convicted of twice ramming into the car of a man he believed was gay.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday ordered the Androscoggin County Superior Court to provide clear reasoning for issuing the “very broad and permanent injunction” against Ronald Champagne.

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Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage supports Mississippi ‘religious objections’ law

By : Wire Report
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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage is backing Mississippi’s appeal to reinstate a law letting merchants and government employees cite religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples.

The “religious objections” law was struck down in July.

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Maine GOP chairman keeps job after apologizing to gay Democrat

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Portland, Maine (AP) – The head of the Republican Party in a Maine county will be permitted to keep his position after apologizing for degrading an openly gay Democratic lawmaker in an email.

The Portland Press Herald reports  the executive committee of York County Republicans voted July 27 to not take disciplinary action against county GOP chairman Jim Booth.

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Maine Republican says gay lawmaker is hated

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Rep._Justin_Chenette

Maine Rep. Justin Chenette

Portland, Maine (AP) – A county Republican Party leader in Maine has come under fire from Democrats and fellow Republicans for an email they say belittles an openly gay state lawmaker.

The Portland Press Herald reports an email from the account of York County Republican Committee Chairman Jim Booth sent to party activists refers to Rep. Justin Chenette, a Democrat, as “Little Justine” on several occasions.

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