Elections, films help effort to ban gay conversion therapy

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) | Activists urging more states to ban gay conversion therapy for minors are expecting major gains in 2019, thanks to midterm election results and the buzz generated by two well-reviewed films.

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have already enacted laws prohibiting licensed therapists from trying to change a minor’s sexual orientation. Leaders of a national campaign to ban the practice are hopeful that at least four more states — Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts and New York — will join the ranks in the upcoming legislative sessions.



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Court applies Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling to uphold Ariz. LGBT ordinance

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A state appellate court on Thursday upheld a city non-discrimination ordinance in Arizona, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in the reasoning for the decision.

The court in a decision written by Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Lawrence Winthrop determines a non-discrimination ordinance in Phoenix barring anti-LGBT discrimination enacted in 2013 is valid under the U.S. Constitution.

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No recommendation from Mattis yet on trans military service

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Defense Secretary James Mattis is poised to make recommendations to the White House this week on transgender military service, although that hasn’t happened as of Wednesday afternoon despite a deadline of that day, a defense official said.

Maj. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesperson, said the Mattis recommendation is forthcoming, but not yet submitted.

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Report of HHS anti-trans health rule riles LGBT advocates

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A new media report that the Trump administration is set to propose a rule that would allow medical providers to refuse abortion-related services or treatment for transgender people has invoked concern among both LGBT and women’s groups.

On Wednesday, Politico reported the Department of Health & Human Services is preparing a rule enabling its civil rights office to shield workers who refuse to provide abortion-related care and services to transgender people on religious grounds. The rule would reportedly allow HHS to punish organizations that don’t allow practitioners to express these objections.

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Trans of Thought: Claiming our voice

By : Melody Maia Monet
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About a month ago, I was asked by a friend to present to his class at the University of Central Florida.

He teaches a course on representations of gender in entertainment, and because the subscribers to my YouTube channel seem to think I’m entertaining, and I do indeed have a gender, I was the obvious choice to address his students and tell them my story. This was the third time I had been the designated transgender speaker for this course in the last few years, but it was the first time I had gotten the brainwave to ask the class a question to confirm a trend I had noticed developing over time.

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DOJ appeals ruling against Trump’s transgender military ban

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Eliminating any question on whether the administration would allow court orders against President Trump’s transgender military ban to stand, the U.S. Justice Department late Tuesday appealed one decision to a federal appeals court.

The appeal came on the same day a federal court in Maryland issued a preliminary injunction against Trump’s transgender military ban, becoming the second court to enjoin the directive Trump issued in August.

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Win or lose, marriage equality is likely headed to Florida’s Supreme Court

By : Jamie Hyman
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Miami  On Jan. 17, six same-sex South Florida couples entered the Miami Beach Clerk’s office and applied for a marriage license. Because marriage equality is illegal in the Sunshine State, all six couples were turned down.

On Jan. 21, those same couples filed an historic lawsuit in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, challenging that Amendment 2, the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, and other Florida laws banning marriage equality, are unconstitutional.

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