Cicilline touts Equality Act as House’s new senior gay member

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) will become the most senior openly gay member of the U.S. House as Democrats take the majority this week, but he’s more excited about the growing ranks of openly LGB people who will serve in Congress alongside him and finally being able to move long-awaited legislation to ban anti-LGBT discrimination.

Asked by the Blade during an interview in his office Dec. 20 about his new distinction as the most senior out gay member of the House with outgoing Rep. Jared Polis leaving to become governor of Colorado, Cicilline said he’s “very proud” the chamber will have a net gain of two out LGB members in the 116th Congress and talked about the Equality Act.

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29 Senate Democrats call on OPM to restore trans employee guidance

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A group of 29 Senate Democrats led by Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) is calling on the U.S Office of Personnel Management to restore to its website guidance ensuring fair treatment of transgender federal employees, which was deleted during the week of Thanksgiving.

In a letter dated Dec. 19 to Acting OPM Director Margaret Weichert, the senators write “to express our serious concern” about removal of the guidance from the website.

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Tammy Baldwin wins re-election to U.S. Senate

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) won re-election Nov. 6 to her seat representing Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate, becoming the first out lesbian and openly LGBT person to win re-election to the upper chamber of Congress.

CBS News declared Baldwin, a Democrat, the winner over her Republican opponent, State Sen. Leah Vukmir, shortly after polls closed in Wisconsin at 8 pm local time. 

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Jared Polis becomes first out gay person to win election as governor

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The LGBT community achieved a major first on Nov. 6 when Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) became the first openly gay person to win election as governor in the United States.

NBC News declared Polis, a Democrat and five-term member of Congress, the winner over his Republican opponent in the Colorado gubernatorial race, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, shortly after polls closed in Colorado at 7 pm local time.

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Poll: Tammy Baldwin in dead heat with GOP opponent in Wis. Senate race

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A new poll from Marquette University shows Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) in a dead heat with her Republican challenger Leah Vukmir, showing a tightening race as Election Day approaches.

The poll from Marquette University Law School finds a plurality of 49 percent likely Wisconsin voters supporter, but Vukmir is two points behind in the race at 47 percent.

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Senate Dems object to removal of LGBTQ health data from gov’t websites

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

A group of 17 Senate Democrats led by Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) have expressed “serious concerns” with the Trump administration about the removal of LGBTQ health data from government websites and are calling for the restoration of the information.

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Speaker Ryan becomes latest Republican to announce retirement

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

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Madaleno mocks Democratic opponent at Victory Fund brunch

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Maryland state Sen. Rich Madaleno speaks at the LGBTQ Victory Fund’s annual National Champagne Brunch in D.C. on April 8, 2018. (D-Montgomery County)

Maryland state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) on Sunday at the LGBTQ Victory Fund’s National Champagne Brunch in D.C. mocked a Democratic opponent who said he “prances around Annapolis.”

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Pride Fund To End Gun Violence looks to the November mid-terms for answers

By : Jeremy Williams
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Pride Fund To End Gun Violence founder and executive director Jason Lindsay remembers in detail the moment he decided to start the organization.

“It all began the day of Pulse,” Lindsay recalls. “I was watching the news like so many other people and saw the tragedy unfold and a pivotal moment was seeing a mom, Christine Leinonen, who was waiting to find out whether her son had survived or not, and she pleaded in a clip that’s been played over and over again asking for somebody to please do something about the assault weapons.”

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Dems seen as caving after agreeing to end gov’t shutdown

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was seen to cave after Senate Democrats agreed to end the U.S.
government shutdown. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Democrats are widely viewed as having caved on their pledge to fight for young, undocumented immigrants to remain in the country, after agreeing to end a U.S. government shutdown shortly after supporting it.

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LGBT groups place blame on Trump for government shutdown

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In the wake of Congress failing to approve funding to avert a U.S. government shutdown, LGBT groups are placing the blame squarely on President Trump for refusing to agree to deal allowing young, undocumented immigrants known as DREAMers to stay in the United States.

The U.S. government shutdown took place at midnight after the U.S. Senate failed reached the 60-vote threshold needed to advance debate on a continuing resolution to fund the government. The shutdown comes exactly on the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration.

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Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith named breakthrough LGBTQ politician, dedicates award to Pulse first responder being let go from duty

By : Jeremy Williams
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Carlos Guillermo Smith (R) shows off his Breakthrough Award from the Victory Institute with the honor’s namesake, Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Photo courtesy Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith’s Facebook).

ORLANDO | Florida State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orlando) was recognized with the Victory Institute’s inaugural Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award during the 2017 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference in Washington, DC on Dec. 6.

Smith was nominated along with five other LGBTQ elected officials including sitting mayors, councilpersons and legislators from across the country. The award was designed to recognize an “up-and-coming LGBTQ elected official who is driving equality forward.”

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