Trump’s transgender military ban now in effect

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Pentagon initiated April 12 the transgender military ban in accordance with Trump administration plans for the policy, returning the U.S. military to restrictions on LGBT service that harken to the days of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Transgender service members — who had been able to serve openly and obtain transition-related health care since the final year of the Obama administration in 2016 — will now face significant impediments on their service and an outright ban for many of them seeking to enlist.

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Carson: HUD won’t issue LGBT guidance because ‘you would dislike’ it

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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More than two years after the Trump administration withdrew federal guidance on rules barring anti-LGBT discrimination in homeless shelters, Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Ben Carson said April 2 his department won’t reissue the documents because LGBT rights supporters “would probably dislike” what it says.

Carson made the remarks April 2 before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Housing under questioning from Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.).

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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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New State Department diplomatic visa policy takes effect

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A new State Department policy that requires partners of foreign mission personnel and employees of international organizations to be married in order to qualify for a diplomatic visa took effect on Oct. 1.

A State Department letter the Washington Blade obtained last month states, “consistent with internal Department of State policy changes, partners accompanying officers and employees of international organizations or seeking to join the same must be married in order to be eligible for a derivative G-4 nonimmigrant visa or to seek a change into such status beginning October 1, 2018.” The letter also says the State Department “will only accept the accreditation of spouses of newly arrived officers and employees of international organizations, both same-sex and opposite-sex, as members of the family of the respective international organization.”

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New Trump administration memo on Obama order alarms LGBT advocates

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the Trump administration has issued new guidance that seeks to uphold “religious freedom” in the implementation of former President Obama’s executive order against anti-LGBT workplace discrimination among federal contractors — a move troubling to LGBT rights supporters.

The Aug. 10 guidance from the Labor Department purports to “incorporate recent developments in the law regarding religion-exercising organizations and individuals” with the enforcement of the executive order, taking note of the narrow ruling in decision of Colorado baker Jack Phillips as well as other recent rulings in favor of religious freedom, such as the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case.

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‘I Care March’ on Washington planned for Sept. 15

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A Facebook page and website surfaced last month to organize and promote an “I Care March” on Washington scheduled for Sept. 15 that organizers say is aimed at challenging the Trump administration by showcasing a wide range of progressive causes.

Organizers say LGBT rights will be an important part of the message projected by the event, which, among other things, will include a rally on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

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‘Fierce warriors’ rally against Trump plan to undo trans health rule

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Transgender advocates rallied in opposition to a Trump administration plan to undo a transgender health care rule. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Transgender rights advocates rallied Tuesday night in defiance of Trump administration plans to roll back a rule under Obamacare barring health care providers from denying treatment to transgender people, including gender reassignment surgery.

The attendees congregated at the headquarters of the AFL-CIO near the White House as the Trump administration considers reversing the Obama-era rule interpreting Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which bars sex discrimination in health care, to apply to transgender people.

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Chad Griffin participates in UnidosUS conference forum

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin on July 9, 2018, was among those who took part in a forum at UnidosUS’ annual conference that focused on civil rights during the Trump administration. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin participated in a forum on civil rights under the Trump administration that took place during UnidosUS’ annual conference in D.C. on Monday.

“The LGBTQ community is as diverse as the fabric of our nation,” said Griffin during the forum that UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía moderated. “We are women. We are Muslim and we are Jewish. We are black, white, Latinx, Asian, and Native American. We are immigrants and we are people with disabilities.”

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Cuomo issues order against anti-trans discrimination in health care

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an order against anti-trans discrimination in health care. Washington Blade file photo by Michael K. Lavers.

As New York celebrated Pride, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday announced a series of actions to assure transgender people in the state have access to health care, including transition-related care such as gender reassignment surgery.

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LGBTQ groups condemn Supreme Court travel ban ruling

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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LGBTQ advocacy groups on Tuesday condemned the U.S. Supreme Court for upholding the Trump administration’s policy that effectively bans the citizens of five Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

Lambda Legal Executive Director Rachel B. Tiven in a statement said the ruling is “as shameful as the internment of Japanese Americans and the doors slammed shut to Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany.”

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US withdraws from UN Human Rights Council

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. on Tuesday announced it has withdrawn from the U.N. Human Rights Council.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told reporters during a press conference at the State Department that Cuba, Venezuela, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries “with unambiguous and abhorrent human rights records” are members of the council. She also accused the council of having a “chronic bias against” Israel.

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Trump’s HHS secretary dodges question on trans health care

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar dodged a question Friday on whether the Trump administration would repeal an Obamacare rule barring medical practitioners from denying health care to transgender people, including gender reassignment surgery.

During the White House daily briefing, which Azar attended to flesh out President Trump’s plan to lower drug prices that he announced moments earlier in the Rose Garden, the health secretary professed he was unaware of the issue in response to a question from the Washington Blade.

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