Gorsuch emerges as possible LGBT ally in Supreme Court arguments

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on LGBT inclusion under Title VII. (Washington Blade photo photo by Michael Key)

When the dust cleared Oct. 8 after two hours of arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court on whether anti-LGBT discrimination is prohibited under federal civil rights law, U.S. Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch emerged as a potential ally for LGBT people.

Gorsuch, a Trump-appointed justice who considers himself a textualist, asked many questions suggesting he’s at least considering the idea that anti-LGBT discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, thus prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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LGBTQ youth who are making a difference: Kristian “Kris” Aponto

By : Jeremy Williams
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19 | Transgender Male | He/Him/His

Kris has known two truths about himself since a very young age — that he wanted to join the Navy when he was older and that he was transgender.

“I was 14 when I came out,” Kris says. “My parents sat me down and asked if I was transgender.”

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Trump nominates third gay ambassador

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: President Trump nominated gay U.S. Foreign Service officer Robert S. Gilchrist to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania.

In a little-noticed development, the White House released a statement on Monday announcing President Donald Trump has nominated gay longtime U.S. Foreign Service officer Robert S. Gilchrist to be the next U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Lithuania.

Gilchrist is a former president of Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies, or GLIFAA, according to a statement on the group’s website. GLIFAA is an officially recognized organization representing LGBT employees at the State Department and its Foreign Service arm as well as other federal agencies and entities working in foreign affairs.

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Rhode Island baseball team criticized for Sean Spicer throwing out pitch, offering free Chick-fil-A on Pride Night

By : Wire Report
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PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) | A decision to have President Trump’s former communications director Sean Spicer throw out the first pitch at a Rhode Island minor league baseball game on “Pride Night at the Ballpark” is getting pushback.

Some fans said on Twitter they felt Spicer’s appearance at the Pawtucket Red Sox game July 19 was an insult to the LGBTQ community, given Trump’s policies.

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Trump defense pick rebuked for ‘misleading’ testimony on trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Trump’s defense nominee Mark Esper is being criticized for “misleading” comments on the trans military ban. (Image public domain)

President Trump’s choice to become the next secretary of defense Mark Esper was rebuked July 16 during his confirmation hearing for “misleading” testimony in which he asserted transgender people who “can meet the standards with special accommodations” can serve in the military.

Esper made the comments, which largely defer to the Trump administration’s anti-trans report on transgender people in the military, in response to written responses to advance policy questions made public the day he testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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House to vote on amendment to defund Trump trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.), on left, and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), second from right, join transgender service members in the Capitol Rotunda before the State of the Union Address on Feb. 5, 2019. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The U.S. House is set to vote on a measure that would prohibit use of U.S. funds to implement President Trump’s transgender military ban.

The House Rules Committee this week approved for debate as part of defense appropriations legislation an amendment introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) that would bar the use of funds to implement the anti-trans policy.

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World Health Organization to no longer classify transgender people as mentally ill

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The World Health Organization on May 25 voted to declassify transgender people as mentally ill.

Human Rights Watch in a press release notes the World Health Assembly, the WHO governing body that represents the 194 countries that are members of the U.N. health organization, approved the removal of Gender Identity Disorder from its diagnostic manual. Human Rights Watch LGBT Rights Director Graeme Reid said the change “will have a liberating effect on transgender people worldwide.”

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Center Global to hold annual reception at Room and Board

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Above: Center Global on May 9, 2019, will hold its annual reception at Room and Board in Northwest D.C. The organization has helped more than 200 LGBT asylum seekers since 2012. (Photo by Ted Eytan; courtesy Flickr)

Center Global will hold its annual reception at Room and Board on 14th Street on May 9.

Rayceen Pendarvis will emcee the event during which Human Rights Campaign Global Director Ty Cobb and Gleb Latnik, an LGBT activist from Russia who now lives in D.C. with his husband, will be honored.

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LGBTI marches in Cuba cancelled

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The organizer of Cuba’s annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia marches on Monday announced they have been cancelled.

The marches were to have taken place in Havana on May 11 and the city of Camagüey on May 17.

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Bill would prompt State Department to review ‘lavender scare’ firings

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced a bill that would prompt the State Department to review the termination of personal during the so-called “lavender scare.”

A press release that Menendez’s office released on May 1 notes the bill, known as the Lavender Offense Victim Exoneration (LOVE) Act, would direct the State Department “to review all employee terminations since 1950” and “identify all those who were wrongfully terminated because of their sexual orientation.” The measure would also require the State Department to establish boards “to hear their stories and correct their official records” and address anti-gay discrimination against diplomats and their families.

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Planned Parenthood: States should oppose Trump ‘gag rule’

By : wire report
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) | It’s time for states with leaders who support abortion rights to go on the offensive against Trump administration attempts to restrict abortion that would reduce access to health care, the president of Planned Parenthood said April 23.

“States are a critical backstop at a time when we have the Trump-Pence administration stripping away women’s health and rights and when we cannot depend on the Supreme Court,” said Dr. Leana Wen.

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The Wonderful World of Wanzie: Welcome Spring!

By : Michael Wanzie
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We are now living in a time when we, as citizens and indeed the elected leaders of the United States of America, seem to be constantly at odds with another. Not merely over policies or how best to solve a problem, overcome adversity or deal with a crisis; rather over whether or not the policy was ever really a policy to begin with and whether or not the problem, adversity or crisis actually exists or ever existed.

It is impossible to make any real progress debating solutions when our time is instead spent debating what is fact and what is fiction; what is news and what is fantasy. Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such a crippling of the ability of our government, indeed the ability of our nation as a whole, to achieve consensus on any matter because we the people can’t even agree on the validity or truthfulness of said matter. This my friends will go down in history as the most significant and most harmful blow to our democracy brought about by the election of Donald J. tRump as president.

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