AMA: Trans military ban ‘mischaracterized and rejected’ medical research

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The nation’s association for physicians had stern words Wednesday for Defense Secretary James Mattis over his recommendation to President Trump against transgender military service, saying his findings “mischaracterized and rejected” medical research.

In a letter dated April 3 and made public by Politico, James Madara, executive vice president of the American Medical Association, said Mattis distorted medical research in his determination transgender people are ineligible to serve in the U.S. armed forces.

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‘Will & Grace’ showrunner donates gay bunny book to Indiana elementary schools

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: John Oliver presenting ‘A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo.’ Screenshot courtesy of YouTube.

“Will & Grace” co-creator Max Mutchnik has donated copies of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo” to every elementary school in Indiana.

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Student spearheads first gay pride festival in Mike Pence’s hometown

By : wire report
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COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — An 18-year-old Indiana high school student is organizing what’s believed to be the first gay pride festival for Vice President Mike Pence’s hometown.

Erin Bailey says she proposed the Columbus festival last year for her senior project at Columbus Signature Academy New Tech High School. The April 14 event will feature bands, vendors and a drag queen competition.

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Who’s to blame for trans military ban: Mattis or Pence?

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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When President Trump reaffirmed his ban on transgender military service last Friday, the memo was backed up by a report from Defense Secretary James Mattis in which he asserted that a nine-month review of the issue revealed “substantial risks” in allowing transgender people in the U.S. military. But was it really his doing, or that of Vice President Mike Pence, who has a virulent anti-LGBT record?

Upon the release of the memo, many were surprised Mattis — who’s seen as one of the more mature voices in the Trump administration — was found to have signed his name to a document against transgender military service. After all, media reports from the time the memo was delivered in February indicated Mattis would advise Trump to allow transgender people to keep serving.

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John Oliver spoofs Pence picture book about bunny, tops best seller list

By : Wire and Staff Reports
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NEW YORK (AP) — John Oliver has trolled his way to the top.

The HBO host’s spoof of a new picture book by the wife and daughter of Vice President Mike Pence was No. 1 on Amazon.com and out of stock as of midday March 19.

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Pence criticized for excluding media from breakfast with gay Irish PM

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Vice President Mike Pence (center) and Second Lady Karen Pence (right) met with the gay Irish PM Leo Vardakar for St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. Photo courtesy Twitter.

Vice President Mike Pence is taking heat for excluding the media from his breakfast meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who is gay.

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Fit for Print: Rippon and Pence, a missed opportunity

By : Steve Blanchard
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The Olympics are coming to an end, and although politics are supposed to be set aside for the international games, they still manage to float up to the top and make headlines.

So it was no surprise when two openly gay United States athletes, figure skater Adam Rippon and skier Gus Kenworthy, made headlines right at the start of the games with an Instagram photo of them embracing at the opening ceremonies with a caption that included, “Eat your heart out, Pence.”

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Out US skater Rippon wants Pence spat to take backseat to games

By : wire report
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GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — Adam Rippon doesn’t want his monthlong dispute with Mike Pence over the vice president’s record on gay rights to overshadow his long-awaited Olympic performance.

Or those of the rest of the American team.

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Push for hate crimes law fails again in Indiana Legislature

By : wire report
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana will remain one of just five states without a hate crimes law after Republican Senate leaders announced Tuesday they were killing a bill that targeted crimes motivated by bias.

Advocates say the move deals a blow to Indianapolis’ bid to land a new Amazon headquarters after unexpectedly making the shortlist of 20 finalists. The Republican Statehouse majorities, however, could not overcome opposition within their ranks.

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Pence breaks tie to confirm anti-LGBT Brownback nomination

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was confirmed as U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

In his role as president of the U.S. Senate, Vice President Mike Pence had to break the tie Wednesday to confirm Sam Brownback as U.S. ambassador at-large for religious freedom.

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LGBT groups place blame on Trump for government shutdown

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In the wake of Congress failing to approve funding to avert a U.S. government shutdown, LGBT groups are placing the blame squarely on President Trump for refusing to agree to deal allowing young, undocumented immigrants known as DREAMers to stay in the United States.

The U.S. government shutdown took place at midnight after the U.S. Senate failed reached the 60-vote threshold needed to advance debate on a continuing resolution to fund the government. The shutdown comes exactly on the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration.

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Report of HHS anti-trans health rule riles LGBT advocates

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A new media report that the Trump administration is set to propose a rule that would allow medical providers to refuse abortion-related services or treatment for transgender people has invoked concern among both LGBT and women’s groups.

On Wednesday, Politico reported the Department of Health & Human Services is preparing a rule enabling its civil rights office to shield workers who refuse to provide abortion-related care and services to transgender people on religious grounds. The rule would reportedly allow HHS to punish organizations that don’t allow practitioners to express these objections.

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