AIDS Quilt moving to San Francisco

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The National AIDS Memorial in San Francisco will become the new custodian of the AIDS Quilt. Photo courtesy NAMES Project.

The Atlanta-based Names Project Foundation, which has served as the custodian of the massive AIDS Memorial Quilt since 1987, is turning over that task to the San Francisco-based National AIDS Memorial, officials with both organizations announced at a Washington ceremony on Wednesday.

The officials, who were joined by U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, also announced that the two organizations have agreed to donate the “care and stewardship” of the Quilt’s large archival collection of artifacts and documents to the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center in Washington.

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Ocasio-Cortez goes fangirl for Sasha Velour

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) went to a performance by Sasha Velour on Monday night, and came out sounding like the drag queen’s biggest fan.

The House freshman met with the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum after the Washington, D.C. show, calling the performance “incredible” and “amazing.”

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Trump campaign draws on ‘Hocus Pocus’ to denounce impeachment inquiry

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The Trump campaign is drawing on “Hocus Pocus” to denounce the impeachment inquiry.

The Trump campaign is drawing on the 1993 film “Hocus Pocus” in denouncing the impeachment inquiry against President Trump, selling T-shirts of an image with Democratic lawmakers in the place of witches from the gay cult classic.

Denouncing impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House as a “Witch Hunt,” the image features House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the Bette Midler role; House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) in the Sarah Jessica Parker role; and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) in the Kathy Najimy role.

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Rep. Katie Hill resigns amid ‘revenge porn’ posts, investigation of relationship

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rep. Katie Hill addresses supporters in March. Photo via Hill’s Facebook page.

Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), the only out bisexual in the U.S. House, is set to resign her seat amid a growing scandal that includes “revenge porn” of nude images of her posted online and an admission to having an “inappropriate” relationship with a campaign staffer.

Hill made the announcement Sunday night on her Twitter account, where she posted a formal letter dated Oct. 27 to member of Congress.

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LGBT groups hedge on support for Trump impeachment

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Donald Trump, photo by palinchak via Bigstock.

Following bombshell media reports suggesting President Trump improperly made U.S. government aid to Ukraine a condition of investigating his potential political opponent Joseph Biden, LGBT groups are hedging on calling for impeachment.

Each of the LGBT organizations contacted by the Washington Blade upon release of the White House transcript of Trump’s call—which reveals the U.S. president asked Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to coordinate with Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr in the investigation—stopped short of supporting outright impeachment.

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House approves PRIDE Act to give gay couples refunds on back taxes

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The PRIDE Act would make gay couples eligible for a tax refund if they married before DOMA was struck down. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The U.S. House approved — with zero opposition — legislation that would allow same-sex couples to obtain an estimated $67 million in tax refunds if they married before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.

The legislation, known as the PRIDE Act, or the Promoting Respect for Individuals’ Dignity and Equality Act, was introduced by Reps. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and Andy Levin (D-Mich.).

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IDAHOBiT marked in US, around the world

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Politicians and activists in the U.S. and around the world on Friday commemorated the annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a statement shortly before the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights laws, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Pelosi: Supreme Court review to have ‘no impact’ on Equality Act, floor vote in May

By : Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether existing federal law prohibits anti-LGBT discrimination will have “no impact” on the advancement of legislation seeking to ban it explicitly under federal law, a spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said April 22.

Drew Hammill, a Pelosi spokesperson, said via email in response to an inquiry from the Washington Blade the Supreme Court decision will have “no impact” on the legislative process for the Equality Act, which he said is set for floor vote in the U.S. House in May.

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Civil rights groups change tune, now fully support Equality Act

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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After previously withholding full support of the Equality Act, civil rights groups have now come out in favor of the legislation to ban anti-LGBT discrimination as the House prepares to consider the bill.

Civil groups groups were among those promoting the Equality Act at a news conference Monday on Capitol Hill one day before the first congressional hearing on the legislation.

Among those civil rights advocates was Kristine Lucius, executive vice president for policy for the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, who said her organization is “proud to be here fighting for the Equality Act.”

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#LoveHandlin’: Together

By : Jerick Mediavilla
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There is a sort of divine spark within each of us that constantly follows us through life wherever we go. Some people call it a vibe, an energy, a wisdom that keeps pulling us towards what some say is our true calling.

I started writing at age 10, right around the same time I first saw the Jean-Claude Van Damme movie “Bloodsport.” My dad loved his movies for the kicking, the punching and the blood. I loved them for… well, obvious reasons. His splits, stretching between two chairs, helped me realize I was gay—Van DAMN!

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Members of Congress hang transgender pride flags outside their offices

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) showed their support for the transgender community by hanging transgender pride flags outside their Capitol Hill offices in advance of International Transgender Day of Visibility this Sunday, March 31.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) and Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Mass) also participated and showed their support on social media.

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Equality Act returns — with House Democrats in majority

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Optimistic about the prospects of enshrining a prohibition on anti-LGBT discrimination into federal law with a new Democratic majority in the U.S. House, Democrats on Wednesday introduced legislation known as the Equality Act to make that long-sought goal a reality.

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) chief sponsors of the Equality Act in their respective chambers of Congress, on Wednesday trumpeted the introduction of the legislation with great fanfare during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol.

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