01.09.20 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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In “Star Trek: First Contact,” the finest film in the popular franchise’s more than 50-year history, the eternal Patrick Stewart’s Captain Picard beams into theaters to lead the U.S.S. Enterprise into battle against the sci-fi staple’s deadliest threat. No, not reboots – the Borg.

The Borg are chilling, cybernetic aliens linked to a hive mind known as “The Collective.” They forcibly transform individuals into zombie-like drones through the process of assimilation, linking their victims to a collective consciousness and erasing all traces of their individuality in the process.

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Supreme Court could deliver bad news for LGBTQ teachers at religious schools

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Advocates gather for LGBTQ rights. Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

Cases the Supreme Court has recently agreed to take up on the right for religious non-profits to hire and fire employees consistent with their faith could have major implications for LGBTQ workers at those institutions, LGBTQ legal advocates are warning.

Last week, the Supreme Court announced it had a granted a writ of certiorari, or agreed to hear, the two cases now consolidated as one: Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, Agnes and St. James School v. Darryl Biel.

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10.17.19 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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It’s time for me to see a therapist. In fact, it’s long overdue. I don’t say this because something is wrong; therapy isn’t about having a problem. Really, everyone should see a therapist. It is sad to me that there is a negative connotation to doing so. Communication is so vital and that includes communicating with yourself.

I’ve been a couple of times in my life. My first visit was when I came out to my mom at the age of 16. She wanted to make sure we both had our heads wrapped around the concept of me being gay. The second was a result of my drinking problem, years before I admitted I had one. I had no-called, no-showed to work after a night of binge drinking and then headed back to the bar when I woke up at three in the afternoon. Hindsight’s 20/20, amiright?

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Analysis: Most states lack laws protecting LGBTQ workers

By : wire report
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Rumors started circulating around the fire station in Byron, Georgia, within a year after the medical treatments began. The fire chief’s once-crewcut hair was growing longer, and other physical changes were becoming noticeable. Keeping quiet was no longer an option.

The chief said that once members of the tiny Fire Department were told, word spread “faster than a nuclear explosion” through Byron—a city of about 4,500 in a farming region outside Macon known for growing Georgia’s famous peaches.

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Gohmert: Supreme Court ruling for trans people will create ‘great dictators’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rep. Louie Gohmert, photo by Gage Skimore via Wikimedia Commons.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) had dire predictions Saturday about the fate of the republic if the Supreme Court delivers a victory for transgender people in the pending Title VII cases.

Gohmert, a notorious and longtime opponent of LGBT rights, said the decision would lead to “such obscurity for right and wrong that it will [cause] chaos,” and transgender advocates seeking the ruling “think of out of chaos will come these great dictators.”

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Edith Windsor’s posthumous memoir released

By : Terri Schlichenmeyer of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Edith Windsor, photo courtesy St. Martin’s Press.

When Edith Windsor died at age 88 in 2017, the lead plaintiff in the 2013 Supreme Court case United States V. Windsor, which overturned a key part of DOMA, left behind a memoir. Completed with help from Joshua Lyon, “A Wild and Precious Life” is now available.

There was never any doubt that little Edie Schlain was fiercely adored.

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Harris pledges to create White House advocate for LGBTQ affairs

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sen. Kamala Harris, photo via Harris’ Facebook page.

Kamala Harris pledged on Thursday plans to designate a White House chief advocate for LGBT affairs should be elected in the 2020 election.

Harris made the commitment as part a comprehensive plan for LGBT rights, which was unveiled on the same day she’s set to participate in an HRC/CNN presidential candidate forum on LGBT issues.

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Gerald Bostock has his day in court

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Gerald Bostock speaks to reporters on the steps of the United States Supreme Court building on Oct. 8, 2019. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

After enduring anti-gay comments on the job, snide remarks about playing in a gay softball league and ultimately termination, Gerald Bostock finally had his day in court.

But not just any court—the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Buttigieg, Warren unveil comprehensive plans for LGBT rights

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Washington Blade photos by Michael Key.

On the same day they’re set to join a presidential candidate forum on LGBT issues, two Democratic hopefuls—Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg—have unveiled comprehensive plans for LGBT rights in their potential administrations.

Both Warren and Buttigieg articulate wide-ranging plans for assisting the LGBT community, such as support for the Equality Act, ending the transgender military ban and allowing a third gender marker option on federal IDs for non-binary people.

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LGBT activists arrested in front of Supreme Court

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: More than 100 LGBT activists were arrested in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 8, 2019. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Capitol Police arrested 133 LGBT activists outside the U.S. Supreme Court Oct. 8.

The activists who were affiliated Housing Works and other organizations sat in First Street, N.E., in an act of civil disobedience after the justices heard oral arguments in three LGBT rights cases. Capitol Police said the activists were arrested “for unlawfully demonstrating at First and East Capitol Streets, N.E.” and “charged with D.C. Code §22-1307, Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding.”

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Gorsuch emerges as possible LGBT ally in Supreme Court arguments

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on LGBT inclusion under Title VII. (Washington Blade photo photo by Michael Key)

When the dust cleared Oct. 8 after two hours of arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court on whether anti-LGBT discrimination is prohibited under federal civil rights law, U.S. Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch emerged as a potential ally for LGBT people.

Gorsuch, a Trump-appointed justice who considers himself a textualist, asked many questions suggesting he’s at least considering the idea that anti-LGBT discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, thus prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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A look at top cases for the Supreme Court’s new term

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

WASHINGTON (AP) | The biggest cases before the Supreme Court are often the last ones to be decided, and the focus on the court will be especially intense in June, just a few months before the 2020 election.

A look at some of the high-profile cases the court will hear in its term that begins Monday and runs through early summer 2020, and when the cases are being argued, if a date has been set:

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