Obama Foundation takes steps to ensure diverse workforce

By : Wire Report
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CHICAGO (AP) – Officials overseeing construction of the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side say they’re taking steps to ensure a diverse workforce builds the center.

The Chicago Tribune reports that a firm owned by the brother of former Mayor Eugene Sawyer will monitor the construction company building the center to make sure it meets diversity goals.

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Awkward tension as Pentagon hosts Pride while pushing to ban trans members

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Pride is supposed to be a time for celebration, but there was palpable tension Monday at the annual Defense Department Pride event as LGBTQ civilians and members of the armed forces recognized the occasion.

The event — hosted by DOD Pride, an affinity group for LGBTQ Pentagon employees — has been held each year within the Defense Department since 2011 when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal was certified. But the elephant in the room was President Trump’s transgender military ban. It was the first such celebration since Trump announced in July 2017 on Twitter he’d ban transgender service members “in any capacity.”

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U.S. agencies to celebrate Pride month, but without Cabinet secretaries

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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With Pride month approaching, many U.S. agencies in the second year of the Trump administration are continuing plans to hold celebrations for their LGBT workers, although Cabinet leaders will be absent and some annual events are in question.

The absence of Cabinet leaders at these events stands in contrast to the Obama years when they were featured speakers at the celebrations, wished LGBT federal workers a happy Pride and reflected on the significance of the annual event.

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127 House Dems urge White House to keep rule for trans health care

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A group of 127 House Democrats led by Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.) is calling on the White House to keep intact an Obama-era rule barring medical providers from denying health care to transgender patients, including gender reassignment surgery.

The letter, dated May 23 and sent to Office of Management & Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, points to reports a rule change is pending before the White House and calls on Mulvaney “to reject a proposed rule that undermines these important protections.”

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Trump’s gay nominee Ric Grenell confirmed as ambassador to Germany

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Senate confirmed Richard Grenell on Thursday as U.S. ambassador to Germany, making him the most high-profile openly gay appointee in the Trump administration.

Grenell — who has faced Democratic opposition for months over mean tweets he made about the appearance of women and other comments downplaying the significance of Russia’s influence in the 2016 election — was confirmed by a largely party line vote of 56-42.

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White House won’t comment on HHS proposal to nix rule for trans health

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The White House has declined to comment on recent indications the Trump administration is set to undo an Obama-era rule barring medical providers from refusing service to transgender people, including gender reassignment surgery.

The Washington Blade sought to ask White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about the proposed reversal Monday during the daily briefing, but the spokesperson didn’t call on the Blade for a question, nor did any other reporter ask about the issue following a report on the development in the New York Times.

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Senate confirms anti-LGBTQ Jim Bridenstine as NASA chief

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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President Trump’s pick to head NASA was confirmed on Thursday in the U.S. Senate despite opposition from lawmakers and LGBTQ groups who opposed him on the basis of his anti-LGBTQ record.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), who has served as a three-term member of Congress representing Oklahoma’s 1st congressional district in the U.S. House, was confirmed as administrator of the National Aeronautics & Space Administration by a party-line vote of 50-49.

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Army chief of staff undermines DOD report against transgender service

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley. Photo public domain.

The top uniformed official in the U.S. Army on Thursday undermined recommendations from Defense Secretary James Mattis against transgender military service — which led to President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the armed forces — by asserting their presence has had no negative impact on unit cohesion

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Gay ‘Dreamer’ stuck in Mexico after green card application denied

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Israel Serrato holds a picture of him and his husband, Marco Villada Garibay. The two men have filed a federal lawsuit after Villada was prevented from returning to the U.S. from Mexico after he traveled to the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juárez to apply for a green card. Photo courtesy of National Immigration Law Center.

Lawyers representing a gay married “Dreamer” who was denied a green card have filed a federal lawsuit that seeks his return to the U.S.

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AMA: Trans military ban ‘mischaracterized and rejected’ medical research

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The nation’s association for physicians had stern words Wednesday for Defense Secretary James Mattis over his recommendation to President Trump against transgender military service, saying his findings “mischaracterized and rejected” medical research.

In a letter dated April 3 and made public by Politico, James Madara, executive vice president of the American Medical Association, said Mattis distorted medical research in his determination transgender people are ineligible to serve in the U.S. armed forces.

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Trump issues (moot) memo affirming ban on transgender military service

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Consistent with expectations for timing for the new policy, ban on transgender military service issued a memo late Friday on transgender military service that — while moot thanks to court orders against banning transgender troops — nonetheless reaffirms policy against their service.

In the memo dated March 23, Trump defers on the transgender military issue to Defense Secretary James Mattis and based on his recommendation asserts transgender people shouldn’t be allowed to serve “except under certain limited circumstances.”

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LGBT historic site projects continue under Trump

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The National Park Service under Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has, so far, continued to include LGBT sites in the National Register of Historic Places. Photo by Gage Skidmore; courtesy Flickr.

The National Park Service last year approved at least four LGBT-related sites for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places as well as a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Gender and Sexuality Equality that’s expected to conduct research on women’s and LGBT civil rights issues.

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