Trump praises Karen Pence for teaching at anti-LGBT school

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

President Trump made a series of veiled anti-LGBT statements under the guise of “religious freedom” Feb. 7 at the National Prayer Breakfast, including praise for Karen Pence for teaching at a Christian school that bars LGBT students and teachers.

In his introductory remarks at the annual event, Trump pointed out the second lady and said, “She just went back to teaching art classes at a Christian school. Terrific woman.”

Continue Reading >>

We look back on 2018, a midterm year for a country that’s just living on a prayer

By : Jeremy Williams and Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

It’s been two years since we, as a country, entered into the reality that is the Trump Administration. The country feels more divided than ever and the phrases “fake news” and “it’s all a witch hunt” are commonplace.

The violence that seems to define who Americans are these days is also there, particularly in Florida, where there has been no justice for the five transgender women of color who were murdered and yet another mass shooting—this time at a high school in Parkland, Fla.—pulled the focus of the world to our state.

Continue Reading >>

Justice Department set to host annual LGBTQ Pride event on June 26

By : CHRIS JOHNSON OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

The U.S. Department of Justice is set to host an event recognizing Pride month and LGBTQ employees on June 26, the Washington Blade has learned.

A spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday to the Blade the event is set to take place on that date in the Justice Department’s Great Hall per the annual tradition for DOJ Pride, the LGBTQ affinity group for Justice Department employees.

Continue Reading >>

White House hails Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling as religious liberty win

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders hailed Tuesday as a win for religious freedom the narrow ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to serve a custom-made wedding cake to a same-sex couple.

“When it comes to the bakers, we were pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision,” Sanders said. “The First Amendment prohibits government discriminating on the basis of religious beliefs, and the Supreme Court rightly concluded that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission failed to show tolerance and respect for his religious beliefs.”

Continue Reading >>

Lesbian sheriff wins Dem nomination in Texas gubernatorial race

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

Former Dallas County Sheriff and out lesbian Lupe Valdez won the Democratic nomination Tuesday night to take on anti-LGBTQ Republican incumbent in the upcoming Texas gubernatorial election.

According to results from The New York Times, Valdez secured 53.1 percent of the vote in the Democratic run-off compared to the 46.9 percent won by her competitor, businessperson Andrew White. After polls closed in Texas at 7 p.m., the Associated Press called the race a few hours later at 9:37 Central Time.

Continue Reading >>

Kansas governor signs ‘religious freedom’ anti-LGBTQ adoption law

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed anti-LGBTQ adoption legislation making his state the latest to enact a “religious freedom” law enabling taxpayer-funded agencies to deny placement into LGBTQ homes.

Colyer signed the legislation, Senate Bill 284, into law on Friday, according to a local media report. The Washington Blade has placed a call in with Colyer’s office seeking confirmation that he signed the bill.

Continue Reading >>

Oklahoma governor signs first anti-LGBTQ law of 2018

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law on Friday a “religious freedom” bill enabling taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to deny placement into LGBTQ homes, marking the first time in 2018 a state anti-LGBTQ bill became law.

In a statement Friday, Fallin announced she signed Senate Bill 1140 into law “after many hours of consideration and investigation of Oklahoma’s current practice” amid a groundswell of opposition from LGBTQ rights supporters and child care agencies.

Continue Reading >>

Trump’s new faith initiative raises concerns among LGBTQ advocates

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

President Trump’s new initiative to support faith-based organizations with federal assistance is stirring unease among LGBTQ rights supporters, who say they’ll keep watch to ensure the program doesn’t enable anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

Trump, who created the initiative by executive order on Thursday on the National Day of Prayer, said during a signing ceremony in the White House Rose Garden the program will “help design new policies that recognize the vital role of faith in our families, our communities, and our great country.”

Continue Reading >>

Pulse Activist: I ‘misspoke,’ Pence wants gays in ‘conversion camps’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

Under fire from the right-wing media for comments he made about Vice President Mike Pence wanting gays in “concentration camps,” one of the survivors of the 2016 shooting at Pulse nightclub now says he “misspoke.”

Brandon Wolf — who’s now head of the Dru Project, an organization that supports GSAs in schools — told the Washington Blade via email on Monday he intended to say Pence wants gay people in “conversion camps” to subject them to the widely discredited practice of “ex-gay” conversion therapy.

Continue Reading >>

Speaker Ryan becomes latest Republican to announce retirement

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

Pence criticized for excluding media from breakfast with gay Irish PM

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

ABOVE: Vice President Mike Pence (center) and Second Lady Karen Pence (right) met with the gay Irish PM Leo Vardakar for St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. Photo courtesy Twitter.

Vice President Mike Pence is taking heat for excluding the media from his breakfast meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who is gay.

Continue Reading >>

Pence breaks tie to confirm anti-LGBT Brownback nomination

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

ABOVE: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was confirmed as U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

In his role as president of the U.S. Senate, Vice President Mike Pence had to break the tie Wednesday to confirm Sam Brownback as U.S. ambassador at-large for religious freedom.

Continue Reading >>