We look back on 2018, a midterm year for a country that’s just living on a prayer

By : Jeremy Williams and Ryan Williams-Jent
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It’s been two years since we, as a country, entered into the reality that is the Trump Administration. The country feels more divided than ever and the phrases “fake news” and “it’s all a witch hunt” are commonplace.

The violence that seems to define who Americans are these days is also there, particularly in Florida, where there has been no justice for the five transgender women of color who were murdered and yet another mass shooting—this time at a high school in Parkland, Fla.—pulled the focus of the world to our state.

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Samira Obeid: Poet and Community Advocate

By : Hannah Willard
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Hannah Willard

As an advocate, poet and friend, Sam Obeid embodies a quintessential feminist manifesto: “the personal is political.”

Sam weaves together her work and her life into a seamless tapestry of social justice. She oversees the ANYTOWN program of Community Tampa Bay, a youth leadership and diversity residential program. She is a celebrated poet and has delivered acclaimed spoken word performances worldwide. Recently, Sam became an involuntary spokesperson for our country’s broken immigration system, as she was caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s bigotry and forced to leave the country.

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Trump admin turns to Supreme Court to ban trans people from military

By : CHRIS JOHNSON OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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With court orders in place from four judges barring the U.S. military from enacting President Trump’s transgender ban, the Trump administration is seeking recourse from the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the policy to go into effect.

U.S. Solicitor General Neil Francisco submitted petitions Nov. 23 for certiorari in three cases calling on the court to review the litigation and reverse the preliminary injunctions enjoining enforcement of Trump’s transgender ban.

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House GOP urges Trump to drop LGBT protections in NAFTA update

By : CHRIS JOHNSON OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A group of nearly 40 House Republicans are calling on President Trump to drop from the updated U.S. trade proposal with Mexico and Canada a provision encouraging countries to adopt policies barring anti-LGBT discrimination in the workforce, throwing ratification of the deal in question.

In a letter dated Nov. 16, lawmakers led by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) say they’re “deeply concerned” by the proposed LGBT requirements in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a renegotiation of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement initiated by President Trump. An article in Politico Nov. 16 highlighted the letter.

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Lesbian former MMA fighter Sharice Davids elected to Congress in Kansas

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A lesbian attorney in Kansas who formerly was a mixed martial arts fighter has won election to the U.S. House, setting her up to become one of the first female Native Americans to serve in Congress.

MSNBC declared Davids, a Democrat, won over her Republican incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas), a Trump ally, at 8 pm local time on Nov 6.

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Trump names openly gay judicial nominee — bringing total to 2

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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President Trump has nominated to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals an openly gay federal prosecutor tasked with enforcing organized crime and drug laws, doubling the number of his out judicial nominees.

The White House announced Trump’s nomination of Patrick Bumatay to the Ninth Circuit last week as part of a group of 18 nominees for judgeships as well as appointments as U.S. attorneys and U.S. marshals. Log Cabin Republicans confirmed to the Washington Blade on Oct. 15  Bumatay is openly gay.

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Swing state, swing district: House seat has huge field in NH

By : wire report
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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) | It’s been 16 years since there was an open seat in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District — and now more than 16 candidates are hoping to fill it.

Back when Republican Rep. John E. Sununu left to run for U.S. Senate in 2002, eight Republicans and two Democrats sought to replace him in what had long been a reliably red district. But after flipping in each of the last four cycles, it’s now a swing district in a swing state. The result? Eleven Democrats and six Republicans competing in Tuesday’s primaries.

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Kavanaugh hearings to begin Tuesday despite Trump scandals

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Despite objections to holding confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court amid the withholding of documents from his time at the Bush White House and mounting scandals facing President Trump, the Senate is nonetheless poised to begin its public questioning of the nominee next week.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is moving forward with hearings — scheduled from Tuesday to Friday — as Republican leaders push to have a floor vote on his confirmation before Election Day — after which control of Congress could change.

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Sessions announces the creation of a ‘religious liberty task force’

By : Wire and Staff Reports
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WASHINGTON (AP) | American culture has become “less hospitable to people of faith,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said July 30 in vowing that the Justice Department would protect people’s religious freedom and convictions.

Sessions spoke at a Justice Department summit on religious tolerance at a time when courts across the country have been asked how to balance anti-discrimination laws against the First Amendment’s religious freedom guarantees.

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Latest ruling could give Supreme Court crack at trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A federal appeals court has reaffirmed its decision to keep in place an injunction barring the Trump administration from enforcing its transgender military ban, setting the stage for an initial review of the policy at the U.S. Supreme Court before U.S. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy steps down.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied on Wednesday the U.S. Justice Department’s request to dissolve a preliminary injunction against the ban, which the administration made in the aftermath of Defense Secretary James Mattis’ report justifying President Trump’s policy

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Violence, discrimination prompts LGBTI Hondurans to migrate

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: A photo of Roxana Hernández, a transgender Honduran woman with HIV who died in ICE custody in May, hangs on a wall inside the offices of Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa, an LGBTI advocacy group in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on July 11, 2018. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras — Members of Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa, an LGBTI advocacy group in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula, on July 11 were sewing a transgender Pride flag for an upcoming march. On the wall behind them were the pictures of 19 local activists and community members who have been killed over the last decade.

“You can be killed at any moment in this extremely violent country,” a lesbian activist told the Washington Blade during an interview with three others affiliated with Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa who identify themselves as transsexual women.

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Trump supporter holds up homophobic sign in front of College Park man’s house

By : Colton Adkins
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ORLANDO | A Trump supporter laughed as local College Park resident Fernando Sosa recorded him sitting outside of Sosa’s home with a homophobic and racist sign July 9.

In the video, the man — identified as Matt Sherman — is holding up a sign that says, “A gay Asian with AIDS who hates America + fireworks lives here!” on one side and, “A butt hurt Trump hater lives here, who’s the keyboard warrior now?” on the other.

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