Sen. Murray comes out against Trump’s anti-LGBT pick for NASA

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee has come out against President Trump’s pick to head NASA over the nominee’s anti-LGBT views, becoming the first U.S. senator to oppose the selection.

In a letter dated Oct. 26 to Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) urges senators “to vote against” the nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) as administrator of the National Aeronautics & Space Administration.

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LGBT, HIV groups pan Trump’s executive order on health care

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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LGBT and HIV/AIDS groups are criticizing President Trump’s executive order on health care, asserting the measure endangers people with pre-existing conditions who could be left out in the cold.

Trump signed the executive order Thursday in the Oval Office in front of Vice President Pence, senior administration officials and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who opposes Obamacare, but has threatened to vote “no” on legislative replacement plans.

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Trump confirmed as keynote speaker for anti-LGBT conference

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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President Trump is confirmed as the keynote speaker at the upcoming Values Voters Summit in D.C. hosted by the anti-LGBT Family Research Council, marking the first-time ever a sitting U.S. president has spoke at the annual event.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, announced late Tuesday in a statement Trump would speak on Friday at the conference, which is taking place over the weekend at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

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US opposes UN resolution against death penalty for same-sex relations

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The U.S. on Sept. 29 voted against a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution that condemns the death penalty for those found guilty of committing consensual same-sex sexual acts.

The resolution — which Belgium, Benin, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia and Switzerland introduced — passed by a 27-13 vote margin.

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White House invokes ‘religious freedom’ to defend anti-gay nominee

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders invoked “religious freedom” on Monday to defend one of President Trump’s judicial nominees who has faced criticism for her views, including opposition to same-sex marriage.

Sanders made the remarks in response to a question from The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, which asked if the White House is concerned about criticism in Congress and the media over Amy Barrett. Trump nominated her for a seat on the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

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White House distances Trump from Roy Moore’s anti-gay views

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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President Trump may have said on Twitter Roy Moore “sounds like a really great guy,” but White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was busy Thursday distancing Trump from the U.S. Senate candidate over his anti-gay views.

In response to questions from mainstream media outlets, Sanders said Trump, who has his own anti-LGBT record, doesn’t share the views of Moore, who’s said homosexual conduct should illegal and called on Alabama to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. On Tuesday, Moore won a Republican primary to run for an open seat representing Alabama in the U.S. Senate.

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Roy Moore, vocal opponent of LGBT rights, wins Alabama race

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Roy Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice who was removed from the bench for calling on the state to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court ruling for same-sex marriage, won the Republican primary against U.S. Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), the interim senator appointed to replace Jeff Sessions upon his confirmation as attorney general, by a margin of 54.6-45.4.

Moore won by a substantial margin even though President Trump, who remains popular in Alabama, backed Strange and traveled to the state for a rally on behalf of the interim senator. Upon Moore’s win, Trump tweeted he spoke to the victor on election night for the first time and he “sounds like a really great guy who ran a fantastic race.”

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Trump’s EEOC nominees ‘wishy-washy’ on LGBT workplace rights

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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President Trump’s nominees for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during recent congressional testimony — described by one Democratic senator as “wishy-washy” — signaled they may reverse the agency’s position that current federal law against sex discrimination applies to LGBT people.

Under questioning during their confirmation hearing on Tuesday, both nominees — Janet Dhillon, Trump’s choice to become the next chair of the commission, and Daniel Gade, Trump’s choice to fill a vacancy — were non-committal about upholding EEOC’s determinations Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids discrimination against LGBT workers.

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Mattis: Trans troops can re-enlist in armed forces — for now

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Faced with President Trump’s task of implementing a ban on their service, Defense Secretary James Mattis has issued a memo allowing transgender troops currently in the military to re-enlist — at least during the six-month period when Pentagon studies the issue.

The interim guidance, obtained Friday by the Washington Blade and other media outlets, lays out the implementation plan for Trump’s directive last month to ban transgender military service.

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McCain co-sponsors new 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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Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is among the bipartisan co-sponsors of a bill for transgender military service. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A new standalone bill that seeks to undermine President Trump’s ban on transgender military service has key support from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — who years ago was a chief opponent of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.

In a statement upon the bill’s introduction, McCain declared his support for transgender military service and said he awaits feedback on the issue from Defense Secretary James Mattis, who set forth a plan for a study on transgender service after Trump’s order.

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Trump admin comes out against amendment protecting trans troops

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Trump administration has come out against an amendment proposed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) that would undermine President Trump ban on transgender people in the U.S. armed forces.

A White House National Security Council spokesperson told the Washington Blade the administration opposes the amendment, which may be considered on the U.S. Senate floor this week as part of the fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill.

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Court asked for ‘immediate intervention’ to block trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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LGBT legal groups are seeking “immediate intervention” from a federal court to block President Trump’s ban on transgender military service as litigation moves forward.

In a 51-page legal brief, lawyers from GLBTQ Advocates & Defenders and the National Center for Lesbian Rights seek a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the ban, which Trump directed late last week.

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