House GOP urges Trump to drop LGBT protections in NAFTA update

By : CHRIS JOHNSON OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A group of nearly 40 House Republicans are calling on President Trump to drop from the updated U.S. trade proposal with Mexico and Canada a provision encouraging countries to adopt policies barring anti-LGBT discrimination in the workforce, throwing ratification of the deal in question.

In a letter dated Nov. 16, lawmakers led by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) say they’re “deeply concerned” by the proposed LGBT requirements in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a renegotiation of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement initiated by President Trump. An article in Politico Nov. 16 highlighted the letter.

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LGBTQ and ally candidates talk Florida’s Aug. 28 vote

By : Samuel Johnson
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The midterm election primaries are right around the corner on Aug. 28. The LGBTQ community numbers nearly 900,000 Floridians, comprising 4.1 percent of the adult population of Florida. Of that adult LGBTQ population, more than a quarter of them are raising children. Based on these numbers, the LBGTQ vote can impact elections, especially in the primaries.

In Florida there are candidates throughout the state who are advocates for the LGBTQ community. They are vowing to protect and promote equality for LGBTQ—and all—Floridians. The midterm primaries in Florida are boasting at least eight openly gay candidates, plus a slew of advocates and allies who are running.

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S.C. bill would label same-sex marriages as ‘parody marriages’

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: State Rep. Steven Wayne Long (R-Spartanburg) is author and lead sponsor of the anti-gay bill in South Carolina. Photo courtesy of Twitter.

Six members of the South Carolina House of Representatives last week introduced a bill calling for redefining same-sex marriages in the state as “parody marriages” and prohibiting the state from recognizing such marriages.

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Gays under consideration for presidential AIDS advisory panel

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Gay Republicans knowledgeable on AIDS issues and LGBT people involved in AIDS work have been among those contacted by a Trump administration official for a possible appointment to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS known as PACHA, according sources familiar with the advisory body.

The outreach to potential LGBT appointees began shortly after President Trump issued an executive order on Sept. 29 extending the life of PACHA and 31 other presidential advisory committees for at least one more year.

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Sen. Cotton: Wait for DOD study to decide on trans military service

By : Jeremy Williams
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Although key Republicans are lining up in support of transgender military service, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said Sunday he has to wait for an ongoing study at the Pentagon before deciding his position.

An Army veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, Cotton made the remarks on NBC’s “Meet the Press” when host Chuck Todd asked the Arkansas Republican where he stands on the issue.

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We look at St. Petersburg’s (partisan) non-partisan primary mayoral race between Baker and Kriseman

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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On August 29, St. Petersburg could choose its next mayor. According to the Pinellas County supervisor of elections, 169,770 residents of the city will be eligible to vote in the upcoming primary election, meaning that 169,770 residents of the Sunshine City will have one of three choices that day.

First, to elect the next mayor. Second, to send two candidates to a run-off election in November, should no one receive 50 percent plus one of the vote. Or third, to stay home and let every other eligible voter decide on their behalf.

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LGBTQ rights leaders flunk Trump on first 100 days

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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With the 100-day mark of President Trump’s time in the White House fast approaching, LGBTQ rights supporters are giving him failing grades as the nation evaluates him at the benchmark.

Since he took the oath of office on Jan. 20, the White House has asserted Trump is “respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights,” but at the same time he has taken anti-LGBTQ actions — such as undoing guidance protecting transgender students — and filled his administration with opponents of LGBTQ rights.

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The Other Side of Life: Totem polls

By : Jason Leclerc
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Jason Leclerc

Who might have imagined that the irrelevance of Hollywood would become a totem to the nation writ large in the age of Trump? When I say totem, of course, I intend to conjure images of poles: the biggest poles, polls that now accurately misstate everything from presidential popularity to Academy Award winners.

We are pole-driven, metaphor-driven partisans who have bought into cults of personality if only for the fleeting moments needed to crush other cults. In 2017, we pit irrelevant reality stars against their replacements as if one were the President of the United States and the other were the former governor of California.

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper invokes LGBTQ rights in inaugural speech

By : Wire Report
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RALEIGH (AP) — Starting his term amid acrimony with Republicans, North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vowed in his inaugural address Jan. 7 to “do everything possible to reach consensus” while setting limits and pressing his case to expand Medicaid coverage and getting rid of a law limiting gay rights.

Speaking only to a television audience after a larger inauguration ceremony set for Saturday didn’t happen due to the winter storm, Cooper said he wants to lead the way in rebuilding in North Carolina trust in each other and “a government that reflects the priorities of its people.”

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Wisconsin GOP begin session eyeing anti-transgender, pro-gun policies

By : Wire Report
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Emboldened with their largest majorities in decades, Republicans began the Wisconsin legislative session Jan. 3 saying they are focused on finding long-term solutions to problems that have long vexed the state such as a projected $1 billion deficit in spending for roads and bridges.

They are also eyeing taking action on several hot-button issues, including legalizing the carrying of concealed weapons on college campuses, breaking up the Department of Natural Resources and restricting which bathrooms transgender students can use.

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Trump win resets culture war debate on abortion, LGBTQ rights

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – For the combatants in America’s long-running culture wars, the triumph of Donald Trump and congressional Republicans was stunning – sparking elation on one side, deep dismay on the other.

Advocates of LGBT rights and abortion rights now fear setbacks instead of further gains. But the outcome emboldened the anti-abortion movement and breathed new life into the religious right’s campaign for broad exemptions from same-sex marriage and other laws.

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GOP keeps Senate control as Democrats fall short

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – Republicans held onto their slim Senate majority, a stinging blow to Democrats in a night full of them. Democrats had been nearly certain of retaking control but saw their hopes fizzle as endangered GOP incumbents won in Missouri, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and even Democrat-friendly Wisconsin.

GOP-held New Hampshire remained too close to call in the early morning hours Nov. 9, but even if Democrats eked out a win there it would not make a difference.

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