No proclamation (again) from Trump for Pride month

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The first day of June has arrived and President Trump again declined to issue a proclamation recognizing Pride month, breaking a tradition when Democrats occupied the White House.

Meanwhile, Trump has issued proclamations in recent days recognizing National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, National Ocean Month, Great Outdoors Month, National Homeownership Month and African-American Music Appreciation Month.

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Speaker Ryan becomes latest Republican to announce retirement

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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With Republicans fretting about losing control of Congress in the mid-term elections, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has announced he won’t seek re-election, leaving an uneven record on LGBTQ rights and the door open for another Republican to take his place as leader of his caucus.

The 10-term member of Congress, who has served as speaker since 2015, announced during a news conference Wednesday he wouldn’t seek re-election to represent Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district in order to spend more time with his family, confirming news reports about his intended plan earlier in the day.

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GetEQUAL to shut down

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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GetEQUAL Executive Director Gaby Garcia-Vera on Tuesday announced the organization will shut down.

Garcia-Vera in a letter acknowledged their decision to fire Aaryn Lang as GetEQUAL’s Movement Building and Campaign Manager earlier this month “struck a nerve in the community.” Garcia-Vera also wrote several board members “had announced their plans to transition out” of GetEQUAL “before Aaryn’s transition out of the organization” and others “resigned in the midst of the social media controversy that followed.”

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Anti-LGBT ‘religious freedom’ bill is back — and Trump has promised to sign

By : CHRIS JOHNSON OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has reintroduced legislation in the U.S. Senate seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination in the name of “religious freedom” — and President Trump made signing the legislation a campaign promise during the 2016 election.

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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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Pelosi, HRC on opposite sides over re-election of anti-LGBT Democrat

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: A coalition is seeking to unseat anti-LGBT Democrat Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), but he has support from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Washington Blade photo of Pelosi by Michael Key; photo of Lipinski public domain.

The nation’s largest LGBT advocacy group is spearheading a $1.3 million effort to unseat from Congress a nearly extinct animal — an anti-LGBT Democrat — in an upcoming primary, but that effort runs contrary to the position of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

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These two anti-LGBT Republicans may run for Senate in 2018

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann may run for U.S. Senate. Washington Blade file photos by Michael Key

Shakeups in the U.S. Senate led to news Tuesday that two prominent Republicans and former presidential candidates who have anti-LGBT records — Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann — may run in 2018.

Following passage of tax reform legislation, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) announced he’d retire after four decades in the Senate, opening the door for Mitt Romney, who had publicly mulled the idea of running for the seat.

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Trump invokes Chelsea Manning to justify Arpaio pardon

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Amid criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike over his pardon of Joe Arpaio, President Trump on Monday invoked his predecessor’s clemency for Chelsea Manning to justify the decision.

Trump made the comparison at the White House during a joint news conference with Finland President Sauli Niinistö in response to a question about the criticism from Fox News’ John Roberts — deriding her as a “criminal leaker.”

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Obama endorses second mayoral candidate since leaving office: St. Petersburg’s Rick Kriseman

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Former President Barack Obama endorsed Aug. 25 only his second candidate in a mayoral race since leaving office: St. Petersburg’s current mayor, Rick Kriseman.

“As mayor of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman has taken on big challenges to move St. Pete forward,” President Obama said. “From raising the minimum wage and fighting for equality, to bold leadership on climate change, Rick was a great ally on the priorities of my administration. I strongly endorse Rick Kriseman as the only choice for continued progress for St. Petersburg.”

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Advocates protest transgender military ban outside White House

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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More than 100 people gathered outside the White House on Wednesday to protest President Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from the U.S. military.

Several trans servicemembers spoke alongside American Military Partner Association President Ashley Broadway-Mack and Diego Sánchez, a trans man who is PFLAG’s director of advocacy, policy and partnerships. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, a trans woman who is one of former President Obama’s LGBT liaisons, is among those who attended the protest.

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Chelsea Manning released after nearly 7 years in prison

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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(Portrait by Alicia Neal.)

After spending nearly seven years in prison for leaking classified information, the Army has released Chelsea Manning as a result of clemency granted by former President Obama.

Manning in a statement acknowledged she had an early release from prison as a result of former President Obama granting her clemency as one of his final acts in office, which considerably reduced her initial 35-year sentence.

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Live coverage of the Democratic National Convention DAY THREE

By : Washington Blade reporters
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Watermark Publishing Group is a member of the National Gay Media Association, a group of the leading LGBT newspaper publishers in the United States.

The Washington Blade, a member of the NGMA and D.C.’s LGBT newspaper, is providing coverage of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions for Watermark and our readers.

Photos by the Washington Blade’s Michael Key.

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