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

By : wire report
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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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Man who used dating app to assault, rob gay men gets prison

By : wire report
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DALLAS (AP) — One of four Texas men accused of using a dating app to assault and rob gay men has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors say 21-year-old Nigel Garrett and three other Dallas-area men were charged with hate crimes, kidnappings, carjackings and using firearms to commit violent crimes.

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Mississippi gay marriage law affects college baseball

By : wire report
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Photo from State University of New York Stony Brook athletics web site

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — College baseball is affected by a Mississippi law that lets government clerks or private business people cite their own religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples.

The Sun Herald reports the University of Southern Mississippi was supposed to play three games in Hattiesburg in late February against Stony Brook University. The games were canceled because New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned all non-essential state travel to Mississippi after Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the law in 2016.

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Supreme Court won’t review Texas decision against same-sex benefits

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up review of a Texas Supreme Court decision casting doubt on whether the 2015 ruling for LGBTQ nationwide requires municipalities to offer same-sex spousal benefits to employees.

The Supreme Court announced it has denied certiorari, or refused to take up the petition seeking review of the decision, in an order list Monday reflecting decisions justices made during a conference last week Friday. It takes a vote of four justices to take up a case, but the vote on petitions isn’t made public.

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Trump nominee said transgender children show ‘Satan’s plan’

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – President Donald Trump’s nominee for a federal judgeship in Texas – and the No. 2 in the state attorney general’s office – previously described transgender children as evidence of “Satan’s plan” and suggested that same-sex marriage could lead to polygamy and bestiality.

First Texas Assistant Attorney General Jeff Mateer’s comments came during a 2015 speech. They were first reported by CNN Sept. 20.

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3rd Texas man admits hate-crime assaults on a gay men

By : Wire Report
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Chancler Encalade

PLANO, Texas (AP) – A third Texas man has pleaded guilty to hate-crime assaults on men because the victims were gay.

Chancler Encalade pleaded guilty Monday in Plano to assaulting men because they were gay. Previously, Nigel Garrett and Cameron Ajiduah entered similar pleas to crimes under the federal hate-crimes statute.

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AIDS conference organizers create $1 million hurricane relief fund

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Members of the audience affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were asked to join singer Frenchie Davis on the main stage at the opening plenary of the U.S. Conference on AIDS in D.C. on Sept. 7, 2017. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Organizers of the U.S. Conference on AIDS on Thursday announced the creation of a $1 million fund to help HIV/AIDS service organizations in areas impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

AIDS United’s Southern HIV Impact Fund will distribute the funds, which Gilead Sciences has donated.

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Texas anti-transgender bathroom bill dies

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Texas House of Representatives adjourned on Tuesday without voting a bill that would limit transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.

Senate Bill 3 would have prohibited schools from allowing trans students from using bathrooms and locker rooms that are consistent with their gender identity. Critics also pointed out SB 3 would have undermined trans-inclusive nondiscrimination measures as they relate to access to bathrooms, locker rooms and athletic activities.

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