IDAHOBiT marked in US, around the world

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Politicians and activists in the U.S. and around the world on Friday commemorated the annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a statement shortly before the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights laws, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Watch: Michelle Obama tells Ellen how she tried to escape the White House to celebrate same-sex marriage

By : Melanie Ararat
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Michelle Obama promoted her new autobiographical memoir “Becoming” on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Nov. 15. During the interview, the former first lady recalled a story from her book about the night she tried to escape the White House with her daughter Malia to celebrate the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

The night of June 26, 2015, the White House was lit with the colors of the LGBTQ Pride flag and people were gathered outside the White House to celebrate, which Mrs. Obama was notified of and tried to take part in.

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Activists gather at White House to protest Trump anti-trans proposal

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Upwards of 200 people gathered outside the White House on Monday to protest against the Trump administration’s proposal to define sex in federal policy as biological gender.

National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling and Casa Ruby CEO Ruby Corado are among those who spoke at the #WontBeErased rally. Keisling, Corado, National LGBTQ Task Force Rea Carey, Freedom for All Americans CEO Masen Davis and others spoke at the Human Rights Campaign before they marched to the White House.

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Dems urge delay on contentious first day of Kavanaugh hearings

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, W.A. (AP) | Senate Democrats sought to put the brakes on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court Monday as they called for a delay in proceedings on a contentious first day of his confirmation hearings.

The partisan breakdown on the Senate Judiciary Committee was clear as Democrats decried the absence of available material — an estimated 100,000 pages — from when Kavanaugh was staff secretary at the George W. Bush White House and Republicans insisted the nominee’s 12-year record as a judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in D.C. offered enough insight about his judicial temperament.

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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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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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