Cicilline touts Equality Act as House’s new senior gay member

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) will become the most senior openly gay member of the U.S. House as Democrats take the majority this week, but he’s more excited about the growing ranks of openly LGB people who will serve in Congress alongside him and finally being able to move long-awaited legislation to ban anti-LGBT discrimination.

Asked by the Blade during an interview in his office Dec. 20 about his new distinction as the most senior out gay member of the House with outgoing Rep. Jared Polis leaving to become governor of Colorado, Cicilline said he’s “very proud” the chamber will have a net gain of two out LGB members in the 116th Congress and talked about the Equality Act.

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Announcement of Trump Supreme Court choice nears

By : Wire Report
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BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) | President Donald Trump was closing in on his choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Saturday, making final deliberations from the privacy of his New Jersey golf club.

Clearly relishing the mounting suspense, Trump tweeted early in the morning: “Big decision will soon be made on our next Justice of the Supreme Court!”

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Trump’s gay nominee Ric Grenell confirmed as ambassador to Germany

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Senate confirmed Richard Grenell on Thursday as U.S. ambassador to Germany, making him the most high-profile openly gay appointee in the Trump administration.

Grenell — who has faced Democratic opposition for months over mean tweets he made about the appearance of women and other comments downplaying the significance of Russia’s influence in the 2016 election — was confirmed by a largely party line vote of 56-42.

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Gay Connecticut chief justice defeat becomes election year issue

By : wire report
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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Connecticut Senate’s rejection Tuesday of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s State Supreme Court chief justice nominee, mostly along partisan lines, set off political reverberations in a state where an open governor’s seat and control of the General Assembly are at stake in November.

State Democrats and various candidates pounced on the 19-16 vote opposing the confirmation of Associate Justice Andrew McDonald as the high court’s top justice, linking Connecticut Republicans with President Donald Trump and Washington Republicans. Malloy and other Democrats have accused GOP lawmakers of opposing McDonald for political reasons and in part because he is openly gay. He would have been the first openly gay state supreme court chief justice in the U.S.

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LGBT groups rally at Supreme Court against Trump nominees

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Mass.) speaks at a rally in front of the United States Supreme Court against Trump nominees. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Civil rights leaders, transgender parents and LGBT advocates — joined by Reps. Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass.) and Donald McEachin (D-Va.) — rallied before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday in opposition to two Trump nominees, one with a history of anti-LGBT legal work, the other with a history of black voter suppression.

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Pence brags about ‘promises made and promises kept’ — and LGBT advocates agree

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 Thursday promises made by the administration are being kept after more than one year of President Trump in the White House. In terms of anti-LGBT commitments, LGBT rights supporters are agreeing with him.

In a speech before the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference, Pence gave Trump high marks for staying true to commitments made on his campaign trail.

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Log Cabin assails Dems for blocking Ric Grenell nomination

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Richard Grenell is facing opposition in his confirmation process from Democrats. Screen capture public domain.

Log Cabin Republicans officials are assailing Democrats for blocking the confirmation of Richard Grenell as U.S. ambassador to Germany.

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Dems seen as caving after agreeing to end gov’t shutdown

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was seen to cave after Senate Democrats agreed to end the U.S.
government shutdown. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Democrats are widely viewed as having caved on their pledge to fight for young, undocumented immigrants to remain in the country, after agreeing to end a U.S. government shutdown shortly after supporting it.

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McCain co-sponsors new bill against Trump’s trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is among the bipartisan co-sponsors of a bill for transgender military service. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A new standalone bill that seeks to undermine President Trump’s ban on transgender military service has key support from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — who years ago was a chief opponent of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.

In a statement upon the bill’s introduction, McCain declared his support for transgender military service and said he awaits feedback on the issue from Defense Secretary James Mattis, who set forth a plan for a study on transgender service after Trump’s order.

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Senate rejects ‘skinny’ Trumpcare in narrow, late-night vote

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Senate rejected early Friday morning an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace with it a “skinny” version of Trumpcare, raising serious questions about whether President Trump will succeed in his campaign of dismantling Obamacare.

The bill failed on 51-49 vote as a result from three defections from Republican caucus: Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). Vice President Mike Pence, whose vote would been necessary for a tie vote, had left the chamber before the roll call was called. All Democrats vote against the measure.

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Senate delays Trumpcare vote as LGBT advocates raise alarm

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The U.S. Senate shelved on Tuesday a plan to vote this week on a measure seeking to repeal and replace Obamacare as LGBT rights supporters continue to raise the alarm about its impact both for LGBT people and America at large.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced the chamber would no longer hold a vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act on Thursday, delaying the vote until after lawmakers return from July 4 recess.

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Gorsuch confirmed to the dismay of LGBT rights supporters

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The U.S. Senate confirmed on Friday Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court much to the dismay of LGBT rights supporters who think he’ll oppose LGBT rights and Democrats who say the seat was unfairly awarded to him.

The Senate confirmed him to the seat by a largely party-line vote of 54-45, although Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) joined Republicans to confirm the nominee. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who’s recovering from back surgery, missed the vote.

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