‘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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Trump’s Easter Egg Roll a slapdash job; LGBT presence unlikely

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The annual White House Easter Egg Roll — an event that has served to enhance LGBT visibility — is haphazardly coming together under President Trump, according to media reports, and will likely not include an LGBT presence.

Ashley Broadway-Mack, president of the LGBT group American Military Partner Association, said her organization has been invited to partake in the celebration since 2012, but has “had no communication with the Trump administration whatsoever about this year’s event.”

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California latest to affirm N.C. travel ban despite HB2 replacement

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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California has joined the growing number of jurisdictions keeping in place travel bans to North Carolina enacted in protest over House Bill 2 despite the state’s governor signing into law a replacement for the anti-LGBT measure.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Wednesday his state with keep in place its ban on state-funded and state-sponsored travel and expenditures to North Carolina, citing criticism the new law continues anti-LGBT discrimination.

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British Vogue appoints first gay, male editor-in-chief

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, courtesy of The National Gay Media Association
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Edward Enninful has been named editor-in-chief of British Vogue, Condé Nast announced on Monday.

Enninful, 45, will succeed Alexandra Shulman for the position. The job brings a series of firsts to the publication. Enninful will be the first male editor, first black editor and the first openly gay editor to helm the magazine.

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Protections for trans Puerto Rico Senate employees rescinded

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The president of the Puerto Rico Senate has eliminated protections for the chamber’s transgender employees.

El Vocero, a Puerto Rican newspaper, reported Sen. Thomas Rivera Schatz on March 31 rescinded an administrative order that said trans Senate employees could use bathrooms and wear clothing that is consistent with their gender identity.

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Equality Florida celebrates two decades of making change happen for our LGBTQ community

By : Billy Manes
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“Does this look OK?”

There are yachts. There is a breeze. There is Charlie Crist’s condo out of the corner of the eye. But on this day in St. Petersburg, March 22, there is only one figure that absolutely matters, and she’s sitting on a tree close to Cassis American Brasserie, posing for her cover shot.

Nadine Smith is the force behind most LGBTQ measures that have changed Florida’s societal landscape. Her calm tones weighted by heavy thoughts have come to define the nature of Equality Florida, the organization she formed with Miami’s Stratton Pollitzer 20 years ago. She played rugby at the Air Force academy, she says, but she didn’t know where the score would go thereafter.

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With Dem filibuster assured, Gorsuch nomination heads to Senate floor

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Monday the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, although the nomination has hit a significant snag now that Democrats have secured the votes necessary to successfully filibuster his confirmation.

Before the committee approved the Gorsuch nomination on a party-line vote, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) announced during the session he would oppose the nominee and support the Democratic filibuster against him. That made him the 41st vote needed for a successful filibuster.

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HB2 deal becomes a test of the LGBT movement’s strength

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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A new test for the LGBT movement has emerged in the aftermath of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signing a deal to replace his state’s notoriously anti-LGBT House Bill 2 with a measure that critics say leaves discrimination in place.

In a rare occurrence, LGBT rights supporters will have to convince businesses the deal signed by a Democratic governor is bad enough to continue the boycott started after the anti-LGBT law was signed by the previous GOP governor that cost the state at least $650 million. That’ll be a tall order for a deal Cooper says alleviates discrimination in a state that has already suffered economic boycotts under HB2 and where companies are eager to grow after more than a year of business contraction.

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‘Love is Love’ comic raises $165,000 for Pulse victims

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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“Love is Love,” a 144-page anthology comic book, has raised more than $165,000 for the victims of the Pulse nightclub tragedy in Orlando, according to Washington Post.

The comic book, created by DC Comics and IDW Publishing, featured characters such as Superman, Harry Potter, Batwoman, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. Contributors included Patton Oswalt and Taran Killam. “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins penned the book’s forward.

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Gay candidate launches bid for Texas congressional seat

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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A gay HIV/AIDS activist has launched a bid for a Texas congressional seat currently held by a 16-term Republican member of Congress who recently gained notoriety for instructing a constituent to “shut up” during a town hall meeting.

Currently the compliance officer at Prism Health North Texas, the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS service organization in the area, John W. Duncan declared in a statement Monday his intention to seek the Democratic nomination to run for the seat representing Texas’ 6th congressional district.

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Caribbean pastors ask U.S. to stop promoting LGBT rights abroad

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Nearly 300 religious officials from the Caribbean and Guyana have urged the U.S. to no longer promote LGBT and intersex rights abroad.

The 289 ministers who are from the Bahamas, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana made the request in a letter they sent to President Trump on Jan. 31.

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HHS seeks to dump LGBT elders from U.S. health survey

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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LGBT advocacy groups are opposing the Trump administration’s announced plans to remove questions seeking to identify gay, lesbian and bisexual elders in a U.S. health survey, saying the move represents a systematic plan to undermine LGBT progress.

Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elders announced Monday the launch of a campaign to oppose the Department of Health & Human Services’ proposed elimination of the questions from the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants, or NSOAAP. The survey is intended to evaluate the effectiveness of programs funded by the Older Americans Act, such as services for home-delivered meals, homemaker services and the National Family Caregiver Support Program.

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