House Democrats call for ICE to release all transgender detainees

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: A transgender woman inside a unit for transgender detainees in Milan, N.M. Photo public domain.

More than 40 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday called for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release all of the transgender people who are in their custody.

“The United States is bound by domestic and international law to protect — not punish — vulnerable populations escaping from persecution,” reads the letter to Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence and Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf that U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) spearheaded. “We demand that ICE abide by these laws by immediately bringing facilities detaining transgender individuals into compliance, and by arranging for release of transgender individuals at risk of sexual abuse and assault in ICE custody.”

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House resolution condemns Ben Carson as transphobic

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A new resolution introduced by a pair of House Democrats — Reps. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and Katie Hill (D-Calif.) — denounces Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Ben Carson as transphobic and decries his policies as anti-LGBT.

Quigley and Hill introduced the resolution Tuesday in the aftermath of a Washington Post report last month Carson at a San Francisco shelter made comments about “big, hairy men” seeking to enter women’s homeless shelters. Those who were heard the remarks reportedly thought they were transphobic.

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HUD proposes rule change to gut trans protections at homeless shelters

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In an abrupt reversal after assurances that non-discrimination policies at Department of Housing & Urban Development would remain in place, the Trump administration is proposing a rule change to gut protections for transgender people seeking to stay at federally funded homeless shelters.

In a notice published Wednesday by the White House Office of Management & Budget, the administration proposes a rule in which shelter providers with sex-segregated facilities — such as bathrooms or shared sleeping quarters — “may establish a policy” consistent with state and local laws in which operators consider a range of factors when determining where to place individuals looking to stay, including “religious beliefs.”

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Carson: HUD won’t issue LGBT guidance because ‘you would dislike’ it

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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More than two years after the Trump administration withdrew federal guidance on rules barring anti-LGBT discrimination in homeless shelters, Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Ben Carson said April 2 his department won’t reissue the documents because LGBT rights supporters “would probably dislike” what it says.

Carson made the remarks April 2 before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Housing under questioning from Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.).

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Parents of transgender kids share hardship stories on Capitol Hill

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The parents of transgender children met on Capitol Hill Wednesday to share stories about hardships their families have encountered, including anti-trans policies of the Trump administration.

The parents gathered for a one-hour meeting at the Cannon House Office Building for a public meeting hosted by Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass.), chair of the Transgender Equality Task Force. The meeting followed a two-day summit of the Parents for Transgender Equality National Council at the Human Rights Campaign building in D.C.

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Rep. Kennedy leads trans rights meeting as House Dems prepare for majority

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Ahead of Democrats assuming control of the U.S. House in the next Congress, the Congressional Transgender Task Force led by Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass.) held a meeting on Capitol Hill on Dec. 12 with transgender rights supporters to outline priorities amid continuing anti-LGBT policies from the Trump administration.

The meeting was closed to the public, but Kennedy and other participants held a conference call immediately after the discussion to highlight key points, including oversight of the Trump administration’s anti-LGBT policies and advancement in the House of the Equality Act, legislation that would bar discrimination against LGBT people.

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House Dems step up efforts against new anti-LGBT division within HHS

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: House Dems led by Rep. Charlie Crist are stepping up efforts to combat the anti-LGBT division at HHS. Photo public domain.

Amid the widespread view a new conscience division at the Department of Health & Human Services would enable medical practitioners to refuse treatment to women seeking abortions and LGBT people, House Democrats are stepping up efforts against the office.

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Lawmakers demand meeting with Trump officials on anti-trans rollbacks

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Decrying the rollback of transgender rights in the Trump administration, lawmakers led by Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass) are seeking a meeting with civil rights officials in federal agencies “to end the current pattern of publicly-funded and government-sanctioned discrimination.”

The letter, dated Feb. 13 and obtained Monday exclusively by the Washington Blade, is addressed to the heads of eight federal departments and calls for a roundtable meeting on transgender issues with each of those agencies’ directors of the Office of Civil Rights.

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Carson defends HIV housing cuts: ‘The pie is only so big’

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Ben Carson defended on Thursday proposed cuts to housing programs for low-income people with HIV, making the case “the pie is only so big” for federal government support.

Carson made the remarks during a House appropriations subcommittee hearing under questioning from Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), who queried the secretary on the 7 percent cut in President Trump’s proposed budget to the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program.

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