Trump admin comes out against amendment protecting trans troops

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Trump administration has come out against an amendment proposed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) that would undermine President Trump ban on transgender people in the U.S. armed forces.

A White House National Security Council spokesperson told the Washington Blade the administration opposes the amendment, which may be considered on the U.S. Senate floor this week as part of the fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill.

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No answers from White House on trans ban, ‘religious freedom’ EO

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Amid ongoing media reports about the White House plan to bar transgender people from the U.S. military, President Trump’s top spokesperson had no answers Thursday on the status of the proposal.

During her regular news conference, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dodged in response to a question about how close the administration is to finalizing the policy and the discretion the Defense Department will have in implementing it.

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White House gives Pentagon six months to create new trans military ban policy

By : Karen Ocamb of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: A U.S. Army sergeant flies the American flag from the back of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter over southern Kandahar province, Afghanistan. The pilots and crew chiefs fly American flags to present with certificates to service members as part of aviation tradition. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bryan Lewis)

White House guidance on the transgender military service ban President Trump ordered via tweet July 26 is headed to the Pentagon, as soon as Thursday afternoon or possibly Friday morning, a senior White House source told the Los Angeles Blade.

The Guidance has been boiled down to a 2½-page memo that directs Defense Sec. Mattis to come up with a policy in six months, stop spending money on transgender-related medical treatment for active duty trans servicemembers and gauges fitness for service based on “deployability”—whether the trans individual can ably serve in a war zone and engage in military exercises or function a ship for months, officials told the Wall Street Journal.

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Anti-LGBT groups on rise again with Trump in White House

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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(ABOVE: President Trump meets on July 10 for a prayer meeting with leaders from anti-LGBT groups. (Photo courtesy Facebook))

Social conservative advocates and groups seeking to undermine LGBT rights — once thought to be waning in influence — appear to have experienced a resurgence with President Trump in the White House.

The growing power of anti-LGBT groups, such as the Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom and the Heritage Foundation, can be seen in the policies enacted by Trump against the LGBT community as well as the close interaction between social conservatives and his administration.

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White House issues guidance on Trump’s trans military ban

By : Karen Ocamb of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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President Donald Trump may be on a 17- day vacation but his White House has been scrambling to hand him a “win” by the time he returns. Trump’s tweets last week announcing a ban on transgender individuals serving openly in the U.S. military was turned into a “guidance” policy for implementation that passed muster with the White House Counsel’s office Friday night.

Approved by Trump, the new policy is expected to be now delivered into the hands of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who has been quiet on the issue with approximately 15,000 trans service members under his command.

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Advocates protest transgender military ban outside White House

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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More than 100 people gathered outside the White House on Wednesday to protest President Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from the U.S. military.

Several trans servicemembers spoke alongside American Military Partner Association President Ashley Broadway-Mack and Diego Sánchez, a trans man who is PFLAG’s director of advocacy, policy and partnerships. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, a trans woman who is one of former President Obama’s LGBT liaisons, is among those who attended the protest.

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White House unsure if trans troops will get boot under Trump policy

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 expressed uncertainty on Wednesday when asked whether transgender people currently serving in the armed forces will be able to remain under President Trump’s new ban on their service.

Under questioning from ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, Sanders was unable to say whether the estimated 15,000 transgender troops currently in service will be thrown out of the military.

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76 lawmakers call for return of trans question in health survey

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A bipartisan group of 76 U.S. House members is calling on the White House to restore to a federal health survey for elders a question the Trump administration has struck out allowing them to identify as transgender.

In a letter dated July 21 and led by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), chair of the LGBT Aging Issues Task Force, lawmakers call on the White House Office of Management & Budget to reinstate the question in the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants, or NSOAAP.

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New Trump communications chief Scaramucci backs LGBT rights

By : Chris Johnson of the Washingston Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Marking an unusual shift for the Trump administration, the new White House communications chief has declared support for LGBT rights and professed to have donated to LGBT groups.

Anthony Scaramucci, a prominent New York financier, was named White House communications director on Friday, pledging during a news conference to work to reshape Trump’s image amid widespread disapproval of his administration.

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White House denies urging ‘no’ vote on Hartzler anti-trans amendment

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Despite assertions from a Republican lawmaker the White House privately urged Congress to vote “no” on a proposed amendment that would have banned transgender health care in the U.S. military, a top Trump administration official said Wednesday he’s “not familiar” with any such discouragement from the White House.

Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, made the comments during a guest appearance at the regular White House briefing Wednesday in response to a question from the Washington Blade.

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White House says it’s upset by Chechen leader’s anti-gay remarks

By : Wire Report
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MOSCOW (AP) – The White House says it was concerned at remarks by the leader of Chechnya who suggested any gay people in his Russian republic should be shipped to Canada.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has faced international criticism since a Russian newspaper reported this spring that his security forces had detained some 100 gay men, torturing or killing some of them. The Associated Press has spoken to some of the victims.

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Gays for Trump leader organizing ‘Free Speech’ Rally on Mall

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The president of the North Carolina-based group Gays for Trump is a lead organizer of a July 1 MAGA [Make America Great Again] Free Speech Rally on the National Mall near the White House.

Peter Boykin, who founded Gays for Trump during the 2016 presidential election campaign, said the July 1 rally on the Mall would be a non-partisan celebration of the Make America Great Again theme, which he said would help make the country a better place to live for “everyone, gay, straight, black, white – everyone.”

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