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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Court applies Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling to uphold Ariz. LGBT ordinance

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A state appellate court on Thursday upheld a city non-discrimination ordinance in Arizona, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in the reasoning for the decision.

The court in a decision written by Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Lawrence Winthrop determines a non-discrimination ordinance in Phoenix barring anti-LGBT discrimination enacted in 2013 is valid under the U.S. Constitution.

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Hawaii governor signs bill banning conversion therapy for minors

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Friday signed into law a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy for minors.

“Sexual orientation is not an illness to be ‘cured’ — we accept you just the way you are,” said Ige in a tweet that included a picture of him signing the bill.

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High court declines Arizona same-sex parental rights case

By : wire report
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PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona Supreme Court ruling that entitles a Tucson woman in a same-sex marriage to the same parental rights a man would receive will stand after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case Monday.

Suzan McLaughlin said the case is a great victory for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

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No recommendation from Mattis yet on trans military service

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Defense Secretary James Mattis is poised to make recommendations to the White House this week on transgender military service, although that hasn’t happened as of Wednesday afternoon despite a deadline of that day, a defense official said.

Maj. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesperson, said the Mattis recommendation is forthcoming, but not yet submitted.

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Pro-LGBTQ groups file motion for Equality Florida to defend Tampa’s conversion therapy ban

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa | The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the law firm Carlton Fields have filed a motion on behalf of Equality Florida to defend Tampa’s conversion therapy ban.

In December, the anti-LGBTQ group known as Liberty Counsel filed a suit against the city for banning the practice of conversion therapy on minors, citing a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

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Fed’l court in California latest to rule against Trump’s trans ban

By : Karen Ocamb OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Late Friday, the District Court for the Central District of California handed President Trump yet another defeat in his dogged pursuit of banning transgender service members from serving in the US armed forces. The court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, requested by plaintiffs in Stockman v. Trump, to halt enforcement of Trump’s trans military ban while it is being challenged in the courts.

Also on Friday, the Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied the Justice Department’s request for a stay on trans military enlistments that are now slated to start on Jan 1. The three-judge panel noted that trans people “are already serving the country openly in the military.”

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