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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White House denies Trump joked Pence ‘wants to hang’ gays

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 is contesting a report President Trump made an highly criticized joke Vice President Mike Pence “wants to hang” all gay people.

The administration top’s spokesperson issued a statement to the Washington Blade and other media outlets denying Trump made the joke, which was reported in a New Yorker profile piece about Pence and his ties to the corporate right, including the Koch brothers.

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LGBT, HIV groups pan Trump’s executive order on health care

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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LGBT and HIV/AIDS groups are criticizing President Trump’s executive order on health care, asserting the measure endangers people with pre-existing conditions who could be left out in the cold.

Trump signed the executive order Thursday in the Oval Office in front of Vice President Pence, senior administration officials and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who opposes Obamacare, but has threatened to vote “no” on legislative replacement plans.

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Trump administration: Legal challenge to trans military ban ‘premature’

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Trump administration called a legal challenge to President Trump’s transgender military ban “premature several times over” in a brief filed late Wednesday seeking to block LGBT legal groups from putting the policy on hold as litigation against it moves forward.

In a 49-page filing, the U.S. Justice Department responds to a request for a preliminary injunction in Doe v. Trump, the lawsuit filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Advocates & Defenders pending before federal court in D.C. The lawsuit was assigned to U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a Clinton appointee.

The brief takes issue with the filing of the lawsuit, noting it was filed after Trump tweeted he’d ban transgender service members, but before he formally directed the Pentagon to take that action in a White House memo.

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White House: Vote against UN death penalty resolution not about gays

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Trump administration is pushing back against criticism over its vote at the United Nations against a resolution repudiating the death penalty, saying the move wasn’t about the application of the punishment to same-sex relationships.

A White House National Security Council spokesperson said Tuesday the vote against the measure is consistent with other U.S. votes at the United Nations against the death penalty resolution in previous administrations.

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White House invokes ‘religious freedom’ to defend anti-gay nominee

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 invoked “religious freedom” on Monday to defend one of President Trump’s judicial nominees who has faced criticism for her views, including opposition to same-sex marriage.

Sanders made the remarks in response to a question from The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, which asked if the White House is concerned about criticism in Congress and the media over Amy Barrett. Trump nominated her for a seat on the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

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White House distances Trump from Roy Moore’s anti-gay views

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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President Trump may have said on Twitter Roy Moore “sounds like a really great guy,” but White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was busy Thursday distancing Trump from the U.S. Senate candidate over his anti-gay views.

In response to questions from mainstream media outlets, Sanders said Trump, who has his own anti-LGBT record, doesn’t share the views of Moore, who’s said homosexual conduct should illegal and called on Alabama to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. On Tuesday, Moore won a Republican primary to run for an open seat representing Alabama in the U.S. Senate.

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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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