‘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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June passes with no Pride Month recognition from White House

By : Jeremy Brener
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Pride Month came and went, and Donald Trump stayed silent for his second June in office.

While this did not come as a surprise to many LGBTQ leaders, it adds to the frustration the community has felt toward a President who has failed to acknowledge LGBTQ people since taking office even after making promises to stand for the community during his campaign.

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White House won’t say if Kennedy successor will uphold LGBTQ rights

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The White House affirmed on Thursday President Trump has started the process for nominating a successor to U.S. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, but won’t say if that choice will uphold his legacy on LGBTQ rights.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters dodged a question Thursday on whether LGBTQ rights would inform Trump’s pick from a reporter during a press gaggle on Air Force One en route to Wisconsin for a Trump rally.

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White House hails Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling as religious liberty win

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders hailed Tuesday as a win for religious freedom the narrow ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to serve a custom-made wedding cake to a same-sex couple.

“When it comes to the bakers, we were pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision,” Sanders said. “The First Amendment prohibits government discriminating on the basis of religious beliefs, and the Supreme Court rightly concluded that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission failed to show tolerance and respect for his religious beliefs.”

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127 House Dems urge White House to keep rule for trans health care

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A group of 127 House Democrats led by Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.) is calling on the White House to keep intact an Obama-era rule barring medical providers from denying health care to transgender patients, including gender reassignment surgery.

The letter, dated May 23 and sent to Office of Management & Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, points to reports a rule change is pending before the White House and calls on Mulvaney “to reject a proposed rule that undermines these important protections.”

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Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy skip Olympic athletes visit to the White House

By : wire report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump welcomed Team USA Olympic athletes to the White House on Friday, congratulating them on representing the U.S. at the 2018 winter games.

“You made us very proud,” Trump said to the rows of young men and women standing on the White House’s north portico in matching windbreakers. “You overcame setbacks, you powered through obstacles. And I will tell you this, because of your hard work and your sacrifice, you were given the greatest honor in sports: to represent the United States as an Olympic athlete.”

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Senate Dems object to removal of LGBTQ health data from gov’t websites

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

A group of 17 Senate Democrats led by Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) have expressed “serious concerns” with the Trump administration about the removal of LGBTQ health data from government websites and are calling for the restoration of the information.

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Joint chiefs not briefed before Trump went public with trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. Photo public domain.

The joint military service chiefs were not briefed on the recommendations by Defense Secretary James Mattis against the transgender military ban or the Trump memo seeking to implement them before the White House went public with them last Friday, according to two sources familiar with the process.

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Trump fires all members of HIV/AIDS council without explanation

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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With no explanation, the White House has terminated members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS amid widespread discontent with President Trump’s approach to the epidemic.
After six members of PACHA resigned in June, the White House on Wednesday terminated the remaining 16 members without explanation via a letter from FedEx.

Scott Schoettes, a Chicago-based HIV/AIDS activist and senior attorney for Lambda Legal, was one of the six who resigned in June over Trump’s inaction on HIV/AIDS and said on Twitter the remaining members were fired.

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12.28.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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New Year’s Eve is upon us. This day has changed for me over the past few years. Usually I’d spend the evening getting drunk and complaining about how awful the year was. At midnight my friends and I would hug each other in the hopes for a better new year.

December 31, 2014 would be much of the same. In the early morning hours of that day my father passed away, pretty much sealing the deal on making 2014 an awful year. Later that evening my family joined me at my favorite watering hole before we all retreated back to my place where I drank the year away. That was the last New Year’s Eve I would spend drunk.

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Washington Blade, April Ryan excluded from White House’s Christmas party guest list

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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For the first time in years, the White House has excluded notable black and LGBT reporters from its Christmas party guest list.

Chris Johnson, chief political and White House reporter for the Washington Blade, received numerous invites under the Obama administration and was an attendee to the annual event for the last seven years. Johnson told Politico he contacted the White House to ask about this year’s invitation but his query went unanswered.

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Gays under consideration for presidential AIDS advisory panel

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Gay Republicans knowledgeable on AIDS issues and LGBT people involved in AIDS work have been among those contacted by a Trump administration official for a possible appointment to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS known as PACHA, according sources familiar with the advisory body.

The outreach to potential LGBT appointees began shortly after President Trump issued an executive order on Sept. 29 extending the life of PACHA and 31 other presidential advisory committees for at least one more year.

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