Gina Ortiz Jones challenges Texas congressman again

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Gina Ortiz Jones, a former Air Force captain who is an out lesbian, is once again challenging U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) (Photo by Ana Isabel Photography)

SAN ANTONIO | A former Air Force captain who is once again running against a Texas congressman whose sprawling district borders the U.S.-Mexico border on July 18 described the Trump administration’s immigration policy as “a moral crisis.”

“It’s shortsighted at best,” Gina Ortiz Jones told the Washington Blade during an interview at a Mexican restaurant near her home in San Antonio. “It’s cruel at worst.”

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Ex-‘Who’s the Boss?’ star Danny Pintauro becomes vet tech in Texas

By : wire report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) | Millions knew him as Jonathan Bower in the popular 1980s and 1990s TV series “Who’s the Boss,” in which he starred alongside Tony Danza and Alyssa Milano.

The Austin American-Statesman reports photographers snapped him on red carpets. Magazines like Tiger Beat featured him. He was even interviewed by Oprah.

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Texas transgender woman seen in videotaped attack found dead

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Muhlaysia Booker. (Image from Booker’s Facebook page)

DALLAS (AP) | A 23-year-old transgender woman seen on a widely circulated video being beaten in front of a crowd of people was found dead over the weekend in a Dallas shooting, police said.

Muhlaysia Booker was found face-down in a street early May 18 and no suspect has been identified, police Maj. Vincent Weddington said on May 19. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Top firms decry religious exemption bills proposed in Texas

By : wire report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) | Some of the world’s biggest companies are back to oppose a range of new Texas legislation they say is discriminatory, two years after Apple, Facebook and other Fortune 500 companies banded together with gay rights activists in defeating the state’s “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people.

The corporate giants, which also include Google, Amazon, and IBM, joined Texas businesses and more than a dozen local chambers of commerce in a letter to lawmakers March 27 urging the Republican-controlled Legislature to focus on other legislation.

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Texas sick leave bill alarms LGBT advocates

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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AUSTIN, Texas — A proposed bill affecting paid sick leave in Texas is being criticized for its implications for LGBT workers, The Dallas Morning News reports.

Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) filed Senate Bill 15 to prohibit municipalities from requiring private employers to offer paid sick leave and other benefits to workers. But a tweak made to the bill a few weeks ago has some worried it could threaten city ordinances that prohibit employers from discriminating against workers based on sexual orientation or gender identity, The News reports. 

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4 men charged in beating of gay couple in Texas

By : wire report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) | Police say they have charged four men with aggravated assault after a gay couple was beaten in Texas.

Frank Macias, his brother Miguel Macias, Quinn O’Connor and Kolby Monell were in jail Feb. 13 in Travis County. They each were charged Feb. 12 with two counts of aggravated assault, a second-degree felony, for the Jan. 19 attack in Austin. Their bonds were set at $150,000. Jail records list no attorneys for them.

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Google Play faces backlash for gay conversion therapy app

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Google is facing criticism for having an app promoting gay conversion therapy available in its Google Play store.

The Christian group Living Home Ministries, which is based in Texas, produces the app. LGBT rights organization Truth Wins Out started a Change.org petition to have the app removed. The petition says the app “repeatedly belittles transgender people as suffering from ‘gender confusion.’ The group refers to gay men as ‘sexually broken guys’ who can ‘walk out of false identities’ and claims, without evidence, that the ‘gay lifestyle’ is ‘spiritually and physically harmful.’”

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USF alum Steven Reigns brings ‘The Gay Rub’ to Tampa

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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University of South Florida (USF) graduate Steven Reigns, now West Hollywood’s first Poet Laureate, says he’s motivated by a sense of love for the LGBTQ community. “Some of the most beautiful and brilliant people I know are a part of it,” the educator says. “We’re complex and complicated.”

It’s that love which led to his touring art exhibit “The Gay Rub,” opening Oct. 15 at his alma mater’s Centre Gallery. The collaborative project, which Reigns created in 2010 and continues to organize, showcases a growing collection of over 350 important markers in LGBTQ history.

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Lesbian sheriff wins Dem nomination in Texas gubernatorial race

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez won the Democratic nomination to become governor of Texas. (Photo courtesy Valdez campaign)

Former Dallas County Sheriff and out lesbian Lupe Valdez won the Democratic nomination Tuesday night to take on anti-LGBT 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.

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

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

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Kansas, Oklahoma approve religious veto on LGBTQ adoptions

By : wire report
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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — State lawmakers in Kansas and Oklahoma have approved legislation to grant legal protections to faith-based adoption agencies that cite their religious beliefs for not placing children in LGBTQ homes.

Supporters of such measures argued that the core issue is protecting a group’s right to live out its religious faith, while critics saw them as attacks on LGBTQ rights. Both Kansas and Oklahoma have GOP-controlled legislatures and governors, but in Kansas, the proposal split Republicans.

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Transgender Texas mayor loses election bid for full term

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NEW HOPE, Texas (AP) — The mayor of a small Texas town who came out as transgender after being appointed to the job has lost her election bid for a full two-year term.

The Dallas Morning News reports that New Hope Mayor Jess Herbst was running to become the first openly transgender elected official in Texas. Election results show she finished third Saturday in the four-person race, with 53 votes. The winner received 95.

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