Judge tosses lawsuit challenging Md. conversion therapy ban

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) | A federal judge has thrown out a psychotherapist’s lawsuit challenging Maryland’s ban on treating minors with conversion therapy, the practice of trying to change a client’s homosexual orientation.

U.S. District Judge Deborah Chasanow’s ruling on Friday rejected Christopher Doyle’s claims that the state law violates his First Amendment rights to free speech and religious freedom.

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Gay married couple in Md. sues after daughter denied US citizenship

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The Kivitis, photo via Twitter.

A gay married couple from Maryland on Sept. 12 filed a federal lawsuit against the State Department over its refusal to recognize their daughter’s U.S. citizenship.

Roee Kiviti and Adiel Kiviti of Chevy Chase married in California in 2013. Their daughter was born via surrogate in Canada in February.

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Washington state Democrats elect lesbian as 1st woman speaker of the House

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ABOVE: Washington state Rep. Laurie Jinkins. (Photo from Facebook)

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) | Democrats elected the first female speaker of the House in Washington state on July 31.

With the selection of state Rep. Laurie Jinkins of Tacoma, Washington becomes the eighth state to have a woman in the top spot in the House and is now the second state to have a gay speaker of the House, joining Oregon. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven other states have female speakers of the House: Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon and Vermont.

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Maryland voter forms to provide third gender option

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ABOVE: Maryland’s State Board of Elections host a conference to prepare for the 2020 elections and beyond. Photo courtesy Maryland’s State Board of Elections Facebook page.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) | Voters in Maryland will no longer be required to identify themselves as male or female when they register to vote.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the Maryland State Board of Elections will soon allow voters to choose “X” or “unspecified'” as a gender when they fill out voter registration forms.

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Puerto Rico lawmakers block vote on bill to ban conversion therapy for minors

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Members of a pro-statehood party in the Puerto Rico House of Representatives on March 18 blocked a bill that would have banned so-called conversion therapy for minors.

El Nuevo Día, a Puerto Rican newspaper, reported the New Progressive Party caucus blocked Senate Bill 1000.

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Church rally draws more than 200 after LGBTQ sign vandalized

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TOWSON, Md. (AP) | The Baltimore County executive has agreed to meet with a coalition of community activists and people of faith in the next 30 days to discuss further actions after a church sign promoting support for LGBTQ people was vandalized.

The Baltimore Sun reports County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. attended a rally Feb. 17 at Maryland Presbyterian Church in Towson with his 3-year-old daughter, Daria, and more than 200 other people. The church’s sign was vandalized more than a week ago.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Angie Folks and Lindsay Khanna

By : Aaron Drake
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Angie Folks knew she would marry her wife, Lindsay Khanna, after a trip the couple took to St. Augustine.

“We took a long weekend trip to St. Augustine, inadvertently around Valentine’s Day,” Folks tells. “We had some bad luck with our accommodations but rolled with it and still had the best time. I think we both knew then that we had something really special. About 18 months later, we got engaged.”

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Bisexual Md. lawmaker joins Democratic Party

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A Maryland lawmaker who came out as bisexual earlier this year and said her parents suggested that she undergo so-called conversion therapy has joined the Democratic Party.

State Del. Meagan Simonaire (D-Anne Arundel County) on Oct. 15 declared herself a Democrat when she filled out a voter registration form at the Maryland Board of Elections office in Annapolis.

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Gay man sues Washington Teachers Union for discrimination

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A gay former employee of the Washington Teachers Union filed a lawsuit in federal court on Sept. 18 accusing the union, its president, and its former chief of staff of subjecting him to a hostile work environment and later firing him because of his sexual orientation.

Upper Marlboro, Md., resident Barry Hobson, 36, charges in the lawsuit that he was subjected to unfair and discriminatory treatment and harassment by WTU’s then chief of staff, Dorothy Egbufor. The lawsuit says Egbufor served as Hobson’s immediate supervisor shortly after he was hired as a receptionist and office assistant on Jan. 15, 2017.

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Maryland senator seeks apology for fired workers in ‘lavender scare’

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BALTIMORE (AP) – Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin wants Secretary of State John Kerry to formally apologize to hundreds of federal workers who were fired decades ago because of their perceived sexual orientation.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the Democratic senator said in a letter to Kerry on Nov. 29 that it’s time for the country to apologize for the so-called “lavender scare.”

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2 women, 1 believed to be transgender, hit and killed in Maryland

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JESSUP, Md. (AP) — Police say the two people killed when they were hit by a car while fighting in the middle of U.S. Route 1 in Elkridge were an 18-year-old woman and another woman who’s believed to be transgender.

Howard County police identified one of the victims Oct. 16 as 18-year-old Delcy Martinez Hernandez of Elkridge. The two women were hit by a car Oct. 15. Police say according to a witness account, they were fighting in the travel lanes of the road. Both were taken to a trauma center, where they died.

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Maryland high school promotes gender-neutral homecoming court

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BETHESDA, Md. (AP) – Students at a Maryland high school will get to choose whether they want to be considered as a king or queen, regardless of their gender, as part of a gender-neutral homecoming court.

The Washington Post reports Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School student government representatives voted last week that the top two finalists from a ballot will be crowned at the school’s football game Oct. 7. Those honored could include two boys, two girls, transgender students or a boy-girl duo.

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