Egypt court releases two people arrested for raising rainbow flag at concert

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: An Egyptian court has released two people who were arrested after they raised a rainbow flag at a concert in September. Photo by Ted Eytan; courtesy Flickr

An Egyptian court has released two people who raised a rainbow flag during a Cairo concert in September.

Egyptian Streets — which describes itself as an “independent, young and grassroots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets” — on Tuesday reported the Giza Criminal Court released Sarah Hejazy and Ahmed Alaa on $56.37 (1,000 Egyptian pounds) bail.

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Pelosi asked to probe transgender woman’s discrimination case

By : wire report
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(Image from Riley Del Rey’s YouTube)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Democratic New Mexico gubernatorial hopeful is asking U.S. House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to investigate claims Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham discriminated against a transgender intern.

Jeff Apodaca said Monday that Pelosi should launch a formal congressional ethics investigation into the charges from a former intern with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

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Pence urged to raise anti-LGBT crackdown in Egypt

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Dozens of members of Congress on Monday urged Vice President Pence to raise Egypt’s anti-LGBT crackdown when he visits the country.

“In recent years, independent civil society groups have been the target of a concerted government effort to silence their voices and limit their ability to operate,” notes a letter that U.S. Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and 71 others signed. “Minority groups, including religious minorities and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have been the targets of discrimination and violence. Independent media organizations have been shuttered and dozens of journalists, bloggers and citizens have been jailed for their speech.”

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Speaker Ryan: ‘I haven’t given any thought’ to Cakeshop case

By : CHRIS JOHNSON OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) had no comment Thursday on the pending Masterpiece Cakeshop lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court in which a baker is seeking a First Amendment right to deny wedding cakes to same-sex couples.

In response to a question from the Washington Blade on the litigation, Ryan was seemingly unaware of the lawsuit. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case Tuesday.

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Pelosi: Trump budget would hurt people with HIV/AIDS

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday said President Trump’s proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year would adversely impact people with HIV/AIDS.

She noted in her speech at the opening of the U.S. Conference on AIDS at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in D.C. that Trump’s budget would cut $850 million from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and $225 million from the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Pelosi also said the proposed budget would cut $150 million from the Centers for Disease Control, $59 million to the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency Act that provides assistance to low-income people with HIV and their families, $26 million from the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) Program and $72 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health.

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Israeli military’s first transgender officer criticizes Trump

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The first transgender officer in the Israel Defense Force has criticized President Trump’s decision to ban trans people from the U.S. military.

Capt. Shachar Erez in a commentary that A Wider Bridge, which describes itself as an “LGBTQ advocacy group building connections between the Israeli and North American LGBTQ communities,” posted on its website on July 27 wrote “barring transgender individuals from serving their country is not a policy based on credible professional opinion.”

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Both sides of the debate speak out following transgender bathroom decision

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – Transgender students lost federal protections that allowed them to use school bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities Feb. 22, as the Trump administration came down on the side of states’ rights, lifting Obama-era federal guidelines that had been characterized by Republicans as an example of overreach.

Below, some of the comments about the Trump administration decision to rescind the federal guidelines.

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Pelosi: DOJ reversal on trans protections ‘deeply disappointing’

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday the U.S. Justice Department’s decision to reverse course in litigation to defend Obama administration guidance barring schools from discriminating against transgender students is “deeply disappointing.”

In an exclusive statement to the Washington Blade, Pelosi also made news about a friend-of-the-court brief House Democrats have prepared on behalf of transgender student Gavin Grimm in a related case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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House Democrats hold sit-in for gun reform

By : Wire Report
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Washngton (AP) — A drained and dwindling group of Democrats, some draped in blankets and toting pillows, carried their remarkable House floor sit-in past daybreak June 23, disrupting the business of Congress in the wake of the Orlando shooting rampage with demands for gun-control votes in an extraordinary scene of protest broadcast live to the world.

Unyielding Republicans who control the chamber branded the move a publicity stunt and summarily adjourned the chamber at around 3:15 a.m. EDT until after the Fourth of July. By 7:30 a.m. on June 23 — 20 hours after the protest commenced — around a dozen Democrats remained, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, giving speeches that mixed victory declarations with vows to never back down in their drive to curb firearm violence.

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