LGBT activists join protests against Trump immigration policy

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: The Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Transgender Equality are among the groups that took part in the #FamiliesBelongTogether rally against President Trump’s immigration policy that took place in D.C. on June 30, 2018. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

LGBT rights advocates across the country on Saturday took part in protests against President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

Human Rights Campaign Foundation Director of Faith Outreach and Training Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera, National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling and the National LGBTQ Task Force staffers are among those who took part in the #FamiliesBelongTogether rally that took place in Lafayette Square across the street from the White House. Lin-Manuel Miranda is among those who spoke before a march took place on Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Iowa judge rules transgender women deserve surgery coverage

By : wire report
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa cannot deny two transgender women Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery, a state court judge ruled Thursday, declaring a policy denying their care violates the Iowa Constitution and its civil rights law.

Carol Ann Beal of northwest Iowa and EerieAnna Good of the Quad Cities in eastern Iowa filed the lawsuit last year after their Medicaid provider and the Iowa Department of Human Services denied surgery requests recommended by doctors.

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Vermont gender neutral restroom requirement could be national model

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Gov. Phil Scott signs gender neutral bathroom bill into law. Image is screenshot from video on gov. Phil Scott’s Facebook

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont lawmakers hope a new law that requires single occupancy restrooms be marked gender neutral can serve as a model for the rest of the nation.

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LGBTQ teens start tradition with state’s first ‘rainbow’ prom

By : wire report
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INSTITUTE, W.Va. (AP) — For many teens the prom is the epitome of their high school experience. But for students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer, it can be a challenge to feel like they belong. This year, some West Virginia students decided to start a new tradition: The Rainbow Formal, the state’s first dance for LGBTQ youth.

Last weekend’s event drew students from at least 10 counties to the student union at West Virginia State University. One of them, 15-year-old Steve Sartin from Mingo County, managed the jitters while adjusting his rainbow suspenders and rainbow Converse sneakers.

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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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Trump receives Mattis recommendation 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 delivered his recommendation to President Trump on transgender military service in compliance with a directive to the Pentagon earlier this year, officials have told the Washington Blade.

Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesperson, confirmed Mattis delivered his recommendation to Trump, but wasn’t forthcoming about the next steps.

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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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Lush launches campaign for trans rights including a charity bath melt

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Lush’s Inner Truth Bath Melt. Photo courtesy of Instagram.

Lush has launched a campaign to bring awareness to transgender rights.

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RNC approves resolution backing Trump’s transgender military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Republican National Committee has approved a resolution in favor of President Trump’s effort to ban transgender people from the U.S. military, according to the Associated Press.

The RNC approved the resolution Friday at its annual winter meeting, which this year is taking place in West Virginia. Trump delivered remarks at the event this week before departing for Mar-a-Lago for the weekend.

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Nat’l trans group launches political arm for impact on elections

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A leading national transgender group has launched a political arm aimed at electing candidates to advance transgender rights.

The National Center for Transgender Equality, which has existed since 2003 as 501(c)(3) lobbying group, announced its new 501(c)(4) at event Tuesday evening at the D.C.-based law firm of Squire, Patton, Boggs.

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A question of identity: Neither man nor woman

By : Wire Report
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CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP)- You’ve probably never met anyone quite like Courtney Nicholas. Then again, maybe you have.

Nicholas, who likes to be called Court, was named Jackson at birth and was raised as a boy. But at some point it became clear that designation didn’t really fit.

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N.C. lawmakers reach deal on HB2 criticized as ‘a train wreck’

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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With the NCAA’s threat looming of no championship games for the state for years to come, North Carolina lawmakers came to an agreement Wednesday night with Gov. Roy Cooper on a deal to undo anti-LGBT House Bill 2 — and LGBT rights supporters are outraged over a proposal they say doubles-down on discrimination.

In exchange for repeal HB2, Republican leaders of the legislature and the governor agreed during a behind-the-doors meeting to a different measure that still precludes efforts to prohibit discrimination against LGBT people.

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