Utah to become 19th state to ban conversion therapy

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, photo public domain.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced Tuesday his state would implement regulations prohibiting mental health experts from engaging in “ex-gay” conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth, making Utah the 19th state to prohibit the widely discredited practice.

The announcement from a Herbert, a Republican, comes after a tumultuous debate over conversion therapy in the heavily Mormon state, where family rejection of LGBTQ youth is known to contribute to Utah’s homeless population.

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Human Rights Campaign comes out for impeachment inquiry against Trump

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David, Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The nation’s leading LGBT group has come out in favor of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump over allegations he pressured Ukraine to investigate his potential political rival Joseph Biden.

Alphonso David, the new president of the Human Rights Campaign, announced his organization’s support for the process set up by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a statement late Friday.

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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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Utah governor takes action to regulate conversion therapy

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has taken action that could lead to the regulation of “ex-gay” conversion therapy in a state with a history of widespread use of the discredited practice.

In a letter dated June 17 and made public Thursday, Herbert ordered the Utah’s Division of Occupational & Professional Licensing to establish rules to regulate psychological interventions with LGBT youth and prevent unethical practices.

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Trump administration announces ‘conscience rule’ for health care providers

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Above: President Trump on May 2, 2019, announced the final version of a “conscience rule” for health care providers that critics contend would allow anti-LGBT discrimination. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Trump administration on May 2 announced the final version of a “conscience rule” for health care providers.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights in a statement said the rule “protects individuals and health care entities from discrimination on the basis of their exercise of conscience in HHS-funded programs.”

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LGBTQ groups, HHS clash over asking youth in foster care about sexual orientation

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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LGBT rights groups and the Department of Health & Human Services are clashing over the proposed elimination of questions seeking to identify the sexual orientation of youth in foster care, which the Trump administration concluded could be “intrusive and worrisome.”

Julie Kruse, director of federal policy at the pro-LGBT Family Equality Council, said in a statement the planned removal from HHS is an “abdication of its statutory responsibilities to promote the safety, well-being, and permanency of foster youth, including those who are LGBTQ.”

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Judge says Tampa should be barred from enforcing parts of conversion therapy ban

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | A federal magistrate judge has recommended that the city of Tampa be barred from enforcing parts of its ban on the discredited practice of conversion therapy.

Tampa’s Ordinance 2017-47 is designed to protect the physical and psychological well-being of LGBTQ youth from “exposure to the serious harms and risk caused by conversion therapy.” It was signed into law in April 2017.

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Supreme Court green lights Trump’s transgender military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 22 issued stays on lower court orders against President Trump’s transgender military ban, apparently allowing the policy to go into effect.

In orders from the court, the Supreme Court granted stays the U.S. Justice Department requested in two separate cases challenging the ban before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Karnoski v. Trump and Stockman v. Trump. The stays means the Trump’s policy against transgender service will be allowed to go into effect as litigation moves forward.

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LGBT legal groups urge Supreme Court to resist Trump on trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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LGBT legal groups urged the U.S. Supreme Court to decline to intervene in cases challenging President Trump’s transgender military ban, asserting action at this point would amount to “short-circuiting” the litigation process.

The groups submitted the briefs in response to two separate filings from the U.S. Justice Department under the Trump administration, one calling on the Supreme Court to take up the cases on a interlocutory basisanother calling for a stay on lower court orders against the ban.

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No clear signal from court in arguments over Trump’s trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals gave no clear signal during oral arguments Dec. 10 on whether they’d keep in place one of four injunctions against President Trump’s transgender military ban, raising the real possibility the panel would reverse the order against the policy.

After one hour of arguments in which a dominant theme was hair-splitting over the difference between being transgender and having gender dysphoria, the questioning left no clear indication of the eventual ruling. One judge seemed poised to reverse the injunction, another seemed inclined to keep it and the other gave mixed signals.

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Convicted murderer sentenced to death for being gay?

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The ACLU and four LGBT legal groups are asking a federal appeals court to allow a gay South Dakota man convicted of murder in 1993 to present new evidence showing that anti-gay bias may have motivated the jury to sentence him to death instead of life in prison.

Charles Russell Rhines, 62, has been held on death row in the South Dakota State Penitentiary for 25 years since his conviction and sentencing for the March 1992 stabbing death of a 22-year-old male employee at a Rapid City donut shop.

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FTC mum on ‘historic’ conversion therapy case

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In a little-noticed development, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission appears to have acted behind the scenes to persuade a Virginia-based “ex-gay” organization to drop its name People Can Change and soften its longstanding claims that its counseling programs can help people “transition away from unwanted homosexuality.”

But the FTC has declined to confirm or deny it took this action in response to a February 2016 consumer fraud complaint filed against People Can Change, Inc. before the FTC by the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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