For same-sex couples, a new path to legal parenthood

By : wire report
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BOSTON (AP) | When Sara Watson’s partner got pregnant with their son through in vitro fertilization, they were overjoyed. Then the fear came.

They weren’t married, so Watson had no legal rights as Eli’s parent even though her eggs were used to conceive him with donor sperm. If the worst happened, Watson wondered, would she even be able to bring their baby home from the hospital?

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Transgender rights lie in the hands of a state’s electorate

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BOSTON (AP) | Nicole Talbot isn’t quite old enough to vote, but she isn’t shy about urging Massachusetts residents who are to keep a state law that protects transgender people from discrimination, including the right to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

It makes her feel safe, Talbot said, which wasn’t always the case for the teenager, an accomplished singer with dreams of a Broadway career. For as long as she can remember, she felt she was a girl — like the time she insisted upon being a princess at a preschool Halloween party — even when the world beyond her mother subjected her to taunts and discrimination.

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Massachusetts anti-trans ad renews fear-mongering over bathroom use

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The campaign in Massachusetts seeking to repeal a law barring discrimination against transgender people in public accommodations is resorting to old tactics of stoking unfounded fears about male sexual predators being allowed in women’s restrooms.

The ad is unveiled as Massachusetts voters are poised to vote in November on Question 3, which will decide whether the state will retain its non-discrimination law against anti-trans discrimination in public accommodations, including restrooms and locker rooms. The law was signed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker in 2016 and has been on the books for two years, but placed on the ballot as a result of a voter-initiated referendum.

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Gov. Baker to address national Republican LGBT organization

By : wire report
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BOSTON (AP)| Gov. Charlie Baker is set to address the nation’s largest Republican LGBT organization.

The Massachusetts Republican will deliver the keynote address Oct. 2 at the Log Cabin Republicans Spirit of Lincoln Dinner in Washington.

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Bill to ban conversion therapy dies in Mass.

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A bill calling for banning licensed mental health professionals from performing conversion therapy for minors died in the Massachusetts Legislature on Aug. 1, even though it had been approved by both the state House and Senate.

In a development that disappointed LGBT activists, the state Senate passed the bill by voice vote without opposition minutes after midnight on the final day of the legislature’s 2018 session. But the Senate was unable to make technical changes needed to make the bill consistent with a version passed by the House in June before the legislative session ended for the year.

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Exclusive: Kennedy, Markey seek to ban anti-LGBT panic defense in court

By : CHRIS JOHNSON OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced legislation against anti-LGBT panic defense. (Washington Blade photo of Kennedy by Michael Key; photo of Markey public domain)

The use of a panic defense to justify anti-LGBT violence in federal court will come to an end if new legislation introduced this week by a pair of Massachusetts Democrats becomes law.

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Miss Trans America founder’s husband charged with her murder

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, founder of the Miss Trans America pageant and a transgender activist, was found stabbed and beaten in her North Adams, Massachusetts home on Friday. She was 42 years- old.

According to the autopsy report, Christa Leigh suffered from blunt force trauma to her head and a stab wound on her torso. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled her death a homicide.

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4 churches drop lawsuit challenging Massachusetts’ transgender law

By : Wire Report
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BOSTON (AP) – Four churches have withdrawn a federal lawsuit that claimed a state law prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in public restrooms violated their constitutional right to religious freedom.

The conservative Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom sued in October on behalf of the churches, saying they would be forced to open changing rooms, shower facilities and restrooms based on perceived gender identity and not on biological sex. It said that because the new law also prohibits covered entities from making statements intended to discriminate, it would force churches and pastors to refrain from religious expression regarding sexuality that conflicts with the government’s view.

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Michael Sam to give lecture at Clark University

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WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — The first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team is heading to Massachusetts to talk about his life.

Michael Sam is scheduled to deliver a lecture at Clark University in Worcester on Tuesday.

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2 men face charges in explosion of LGBT newspaper box

By : Wire Report
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SALEM, Mass. (AP) – Two men from New Hampshire will be charged in the explosion of a news box for an LGBT newspaper in Massachusetts.

The Salem News reports that 23-year-old John Richard of Holliston, New Hampshire, and 20-year-old Lawrence Gilman of Milford, New Hampshire, have been summoned to Salem District Court on Oct. 21 facing charges related to property damage and placing an incendiary device.

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4 Massachusetts churches sue over transgender bathroom law

By : Wire Report
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BOSTON (AP) – A new state law that prohibits discrimination against transgender people in public restrooms is “punishing” the protected religious speech of churches and pastors, a conservative Christian organization claims in a federal lawsuit filed Oct. 11.

Alliance Defending Freedom, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, said it sued on behalf of four Massachusetts churches to protect their right to operate their facilities “in a manner that doesn’t violate their core religious beliefs.” The lawsuit names Democratic state Attorney General Maura Healey and members of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination as defendants.

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Police investigating explosion of LGBT newspaper box in Massachusetts

By : Wire Report
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SALEM, Mass. (AP) – Police in Salem are investigating the detonation of an explosive placed inside a news box for an LGBT newspaper as a possible hate crime.

The explosion of the Rainbow Times box along the Essex Street mall was reported Aug. 23. Police say it shook the downtown area and was heard up to a mile away.

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