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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Gillibrand vows to introduce 2.0 bill against Trump’s trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In the aftermath of orders from the U.S. Supreme Court allowing the President Trump’s transgender military ban to go into effect, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has vowed to introduce updated legislation to ensure transgender people can serve and enlist in the U.S. armed forces.

Gillibrand, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said Jan. 22 she’d introduced the legislation in the U.S. Senate, recalling an earlier version of legislation she introduced with the late Sen. John McCain.

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16 states urge Supreme Court to rule workers can be fired for being trans

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A coalition of 16 states led by Nebraska Attorney General Douglas Peterson is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a federal appeals court decision in favor of a fired transgender funeral home worker and determine workers can be terminated for being transgender.

The states filed a friend-of-the-court brief before the Supreme Court last week in response to a petition urging justices to take up and reverse the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, which held anti-trans discrimination is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars sex discrimination.

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New Trump administration memo on Obama order alarms LGBT advocates

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the Trump administration has issued new guidance that seeks to uphold “religious freedom” in the implementation of former President Obama’s executive order against anti-LGBT workplace discrimination among federal contractors — a move troubling to LGBT rights supporters.

The Aug. 10 guidance from the Labor Department purports to “incorporate recent developments in the law regarding religion-exercising organizations and individuals” with the enforcement of the executive order, taking note of the narrow ruling in decision of Colorado baker Jack Phillips as well as other recent rulings in favor of religious freedom, such as the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case.

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Activists welcome National Center for Transgender Equality to Tampa

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Area activists will host a special reception for the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) Sept. 12 at the Tampa Club to raise awareness and funds for the social justice advocacy organization.

NCTE is devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues. They advise that by empowering transgender people and their allies to educate and influence policymakers and others, NCTE facilitates a strong and clear voice for transgender equality in the nation’s capital and around the country.

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‘Fierce warriors’ rally against Trump plan to undo trans health rule

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Transgender advocates rallied in opposition to a Trump administration plan to undo a transgender health care rule. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Transgender rights advocates rallied Tuesday night in defiance of Trump administration plans to roll back a rule under Obamacare barring health care providers from denying treatment to transgender people, including gender reassignment surgery.

The attendees congregated at the headquarters of the AFL-CIO near the White House as the Trump administration considers reversing the Obama-era rule interpreting Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which bars sex discrimination in health care, to apply to transgender people.

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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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