OAS chief: Countries in the Americas have obligation to expand LGBTI rights

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Above: (Photo by Polly Terzian/NYU Washington)

Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro on Wednesday said countries in the Americas have an obligation to extend rights to their LGBTI citizens.

“We expect that the violence in the whole continent against LGBTIQ people, the discrimination that they suffer is resolved,” he told the Washington Blade at New York University Washington’s Abramson Family Auditorium in downtown Washington. “We want every country to resolve this discrimination that LGBTIQ people suffer. We want every country to investigate and to resolve any matter of LGBTI peoples and communities … We want every country to provide solutions for how the basic principles of human rights can be made operative in order to resolve these issues.”

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Prosecutors drop prostitution charge against trans activist

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced at a D.C. Superior Court hearing on April 9 that they were dropping a charge of misdemeanor solicitation for prostitution against transgender activist Dee Curry.

Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Motley immediately approved the prosecutors’ request for a “Nolle Prosequi,” a legal term for stopping a prosecution, and dismissed the case.

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Don Cheadle shows support for transgender children during ‘Saturday Night Live’

By : Lauren Lee
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Oscar-nominated actor (and Marvel Avenger) Don Cheadle made a strong political statement without uttering a word during his hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live” Feb. 16.

While introducing the show’s musical act, Cheadle wore a black t-shirt with the words “PROTECT TRANS KIDS” emblazoned on the front.

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Md. school district, trans student reach settlement

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Talbot County, Md., Public Schools and attorneys representing a male transgender student reached a settlement on Monday in a 2016 lawsuit filed by the then 14-year-old student challenging his school’s refusal to allow him to use the boys locker room and bathrooms.

The settlement allows Max Brennan, who’s now 16, to freely use the boys’ restrooms and locker room at St. Michaels Middle High School in Talbot County, Md. His attorneys with the ACLU and the Maryland LGBT advocacy group Free State Justice consider the settlement a major victory for transgender rights.

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N.Y. trans rights bill killed in Senate committee

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Any hopes that New York would join other states this year and enact a law explicitly prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity were dashed Tuesday when a Republican-controlled Senate committee voted down a transgender rights measure.

The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA, was defeated in the New York Senate Investigations & Government Operations Committee by a 5-4 party-line vote. The measure would have amended the state human rights law to bar discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression and would have added transgender people to the state human rights law.

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Barbados police criticized for response to attack on trans activist

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A transgender rights activist in Barbados who says her ex-roommate attacked her claims the police mistreated her because of her gender identity.

Alexa Hoffmann told the Washington Blade last week during a WhatsApp interview that her ex-roommate attacked her with a meat cleaver near her home in the parish of Christ Church on Feb. 18 at around 12:15 a.m.

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Attempt to overturn school board’s transgender policy fails

By : Wire Report
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PALATINE, Ill. (AP)- Some Chicago suburban school board members who approved a policy allowing a transgender student to use the girl’s locker room survived an election challenge mounted by angry parents.

The Palatine Township High School District 211 policy allows transgender students to use the locker rooms and bathrooms of the gender with which they identify prompted three opponents to run for the school board. Unofficial results late Tuesday show two incumbents and a former member supporting the transgender policy were elected.

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As Obama accomplished policy goals, his party floundered

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) – In boasting about his tenure in the White House, President Barack Obama often cites numbers like these: 15 million new jobs, a 4.9 percent unemployment rate and 74 months of consecutive job growth.

There’s one number you will almost never hear: More than 1,030 seats.

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Sarah McBride is first transgender person to speak at major U.S. party convention

By : Chris Johnson, The Washington Blade
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PHILADELPHIA — History was made Thursday when an openly transgender person spoke for the first time ever at a major U.S. party convention and declared she was a “proud transgender American.”

Sarah McBride, a transgender activist now affiliated with the Human Rights Campaign, enjoyed the historic distinction on the final day of the Democratic National Convention.

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Transgender people in Thailand face discrimination, challenges

By : Wire Report
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Bangkok (AP) – The most dangerous place in high school for Jetsada Taesombat was the boys’ bathroom. Her makeup, her lipstick, her accessories became signals to fellow students who targeted her with cruel jokes, insults and physical abuse. But Jetsada refused to hide her transgender identity.

The visibility of transgender people, especially in Bangkok, might make Thailand appear more liberal than other countries regarding their identity. But the reality, they say, is that transgender Thais face deep discrimination, scorn and aggression. Often, it happens in bathrooms, where closed doors and expectations of privacy ensure secrecy for the perpetrators.

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Massachusetts House approves transgender non-discrimination bill, turns now to Senate

By : Wire Report
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Boston (AP) – A bill that would bar discrimination against transgender people in public accommodations and allow them to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with the gender they identify with won overwhelming approval in the Democratic-controlled Massachusetts House on June 1.

Its passage comes a day after Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said he would sign the House version, which includes language that targets false claims of gender identity, bill if it reaches his desk. The bill must now be reconciled with a Senate version, which does not include that language.

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Mississippi Board of Education denies transgender bathroom equality

By : Wire Report
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Clinton, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi’s Board of Education is falling in line with state Republican political leaders’ opposition to federal guidance on transgender students’ use of bathrooms and locker rooms. On May 24, the board voted 9-0 to “to support the position of the state leadership regarding the recent release of the federal guidance letter” after a two-hour-plus closed discussion.

The move came after state Superintendent Carey Wright came under sharp criticism for the Department of Education’s initial stance that Mississippi would follow the federal guidance calling for transgender students to be treated consistently with the gender they currently identify as. Officials cited a need for a “safe and caring school environment.” Days later, Wright retracted that statement, saying the department would take no action until discussion with board members.

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