Pence extols Trump’s anti-LGBTQ adoption rule as ‘decisive action’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Vice President Mike Pence extolled an anti-LGBTQ adoption rule proposed by the Trump administration. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Vice President Mike Pence, in a speech intended to honor National Adoption Month, extolled Nov. 12 a proposed Trump administration rule that would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse child placement in LGBTQ homes.

Pence made the comments at the Department of Health & Human Services in D.C., which was holding a celebration in promotion of adoption with top Trump administration officials, including Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar.

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Luxembourg prime minister makes history at UN General Assembly

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel on Sept. 24, 2019, made history when he became the first out head of government to speak about LGBTI-specific issues at a U.N. General Assembly. Bettel was among those who spoke at a U.N. LGBTI Core Group event. (Photo by Julien Becker; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

On Sept. 24, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel became the first out head of government to speak about LGBTI-specific issues at a U.N. General Assembly.

“Being gay is not a choice, but not accepting it is a choice,” said Bettel at an U.N. LGBTI Core Group event that focused on efforts to end anti-LGBTI hate speech in social and traditional media, according to a tweet from Luxembourg’s Permanent Mission to the U.N. “Homophobia is a choice and we have to fight against it!”

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Iceland LGBTI group criticizes Pence ahead of visit to country

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The president of an LGBTI advocacy group in Iceland has criticized her country’s government’s decision to host Vice President Pence next month.

Þorbjörg Þorvaldsdóttir, president of Samtökin ’78, the National Queer Organization of Iceland, in an op-ed that Vísir, an Icelandic newspaper, published on Aug. 11 wrote Pence is “against our marriages” and is “in favor of us being discriminated against.” Þorvaldsdóttir also noted Pence as governor of Indiana in 2015 signed a controversial religious freedom law that sparked widespread outrage among LGBTI activists and their supporters.

“He feels it is natural for people to deny us service for who we are,” wrote Þorvaldsdóttir.

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Pence backs ban on Pride flags at U.S. embassies

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Vice President Mike Pence, who’s widely known for having a notoriously anti-LGBT record, has signaled his support for a State Department policy barring the display of Pride flags on the official flagpoles at U.S. embassies.

In an interview Monday with Kristen Welker and Josh Lederman at NBC News, Pence reportedly said the State Department policy against Pride flags is “the right decision.”

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Buttigieg on Pence: ‘I’m not critical of his faith; I’m critical of bad policies’

By : Chris Johnson Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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In response to Mike Pence over what has developed into a spat over his anti-LGBT record, Pete Buttigieg shot back at the vice president April 11 for asserting his Christian faith was under attack, saying the issue is not his religion, but “bad policies.”

During an interview on “The Ellen Show” set for broadcast on April 12, host Ellen Degeneres asked Buttigieg about recent comments from Pence in which he said the openly gay 2020 hopeful was attacking his Christian faith and should “knows better.”

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Pence responds to criticism from Pete Buttigieg, says he ‘knows better’

By : Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Following remarks in which 2020 hopeful Pete Buttigieg in defense of his same-sex marriage criticized Mike Pence, the vice president responded by saying the South Bend mayor “knows better,” ignoring his own longtime opposition to LGBT rights.

“I worked very closely with Mayor Pete when I was governor of the state of Indiana,” Pence said. “We had a great working relationship, and he said some things that are critical of my Christian faith and about me personally, and he knows better, he knows me.”

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John Oliver’s parody book among most ‘challenged’ works

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) | Not everyone was amused by the John Oliver send-up of a picture book by the wife and daughter of Vice President Mike Pence.

“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” in which the Pence’s family bunny turns out to be gay, was among the books most objected to in 2018 at the country’s public libraries. The best-selling parody ranked No. 2 on the list of “challenged” books compiled by the American Library Association, with some complaining about its gay-themed content and political viewpoint.

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Buttigieg engages LGBT crowd by sharing personal struggle of being gay

By : Chris Johnson Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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The excitement within in the LGBT community over having a serious openly gay presidential contender was apparent April 8 as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg enticed an LGBT audience with his personal story of accepting his sexual orientation.

Buttigieg, a previously unknown candidate who’s rising in popularity as he pursues the 2020 Democratic nomination, made the remarks during the annual brunch for the LGBTQ Victory Fund in D.C.

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State Department disputes HRC claim US refused to sign Chechnya statement

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The State Department on March 20 disputed the Human Rights Campaign’s claim the U.S. refused to sign a U.N. statement that calls for an investigation into Chechnya’s anti-LGBTI crackdown.

Albania, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the U.K. and Uruguay signed the statement that was presented during a meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 18.

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Buttigieg slams Pence as ‘cheerleader of the porn star presidency’

By : Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Openly gay, 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg slammed his fellow Hoosier Vice President Mike Pence, who’s notorious for his anti-LGBT record, as a “cheerleader of the porn star presidency.”

Buttigieg made the comments March 10 during a CNN town hall event at the South by Southwest tech conference in Austin in response to a question from host Jake Tapper on whether Pence would be better or worse than President Trump.

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Pence again defends wife for teaching at anti-LGBT school

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. | Vice President Mike Pence said March 1 “freedom of religion is under attack” in the United States, citing as an example criticism over his wife Karen Pence’s decision to teach at a school that refuses to admit LGBT students or teachers.

“The freedom of religion is not just enshrined in the Constitution, it’s enshrined in the hearts of the American people,” Pence said. “But make no mistake about it. The freedom of religion is under attack in this country. Lately, it’s actually become fashionable for media elites and Hollywood liberals to mock religious belief.” 

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Bipartisan group of lawmakers introduce bills to protect transgender servicemembers

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A group of bipartisan lawmakers on Feb. 7 introduced bills that would allow openly transgender people to enlist in the military and protect trans servicemembers who are already serving.

U.S. Reps. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.), John Katko (R-N.Y.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.) and Anthony Brown (D-Md.) introduced House Resolution 1032 in the U.S. House of Representatives. U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) introduced an identical bill in the U.S. Senate.

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