Taylor Swift’s new single tells LGBTQ haters to ‘calm down’

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Taylor Swift during her 1989 tour in Glasgow in June 2015. (Image by marcen27, from Flickr)

Taylor Swift released her latest single and it is a full-fledged Pride anthem!

The song, titled “You Need To Calm Down,” is the second single off Swift’s upcoming seventh studio album, “Lover.”

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In Tel Aviv, Neil Patrick Harris says he’s no gay icon

By : Wire Report
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TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) | This year’s official international ambassador to Tel Aviv’s Gay Pride Parade says he has no interest in being a gay icon.

TV star Neil Patrick Harris arrived in Israel June 12 along with his husband, the chef and actor David Burtka, to headline Tel Aviv’s annual celebration of its famous gay-friendly scene.

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‘My Little Pony’ introduces lesbian couple

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: “My Little Pony.” (Photo via Twitter)

“My Little Pony” will introduce characters Aunt Holiday and Aunt Loft as a lesbian couple on an upcoming episode airing on Discovery Family Channel on June 15.

Aunt Holiday and Aunt Lofty also appear as a lesbian couple in the book series but have yet to appear on the show until show. Writer Michael Vogel confirmed they would appear as a same-sex couple on Twitter when a fan posted a photo of the ponies.

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Tennessee prosecutor responds to detective supporting LGBTQ executions

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Grayson Fritts, preaching at the All Scripture Baptist Church in Tennessee. (Screenshot from church Facebook video)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) | A Tennessee district attorney is reviewing all pending cases investigated by a detective who has said the government should execute gay people.

Knox County District Attorney Charme Allen announced the action June 12 in a statement after news outlets reported that detective Grayson Fritts made the remarks in his role as pastor of the All Scripture Baptist Church.

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17 Senate Dems demand answers from State Dept. on Pride flag ban

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A group of 17 Senate Democrats — including six presidential candidates — are demanding answers from the State Department on its commitment to LGBT human rights in the aftermath of its decision to bar the flying of Pride flags at U.S. embassies.

In a letter dated June 13 to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Senate Democrats led by Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) asserts that barring the Pride flag from the official flagpole at U.S. embassies “is sending a powerfully negative message to the rest of the world about the U.S. commitment to LGBTI human rights.”

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Ecuador’s highest court approves same-sex marriage

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Ecuador’s capital Quito.

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) | Ecuador’s highest court authorized same-sex marriage June 12 in a landmark case seeking to expand LGBT rights in the small South American nation.

The decision by the Constitutional Court came after a lengthy legal battle waged by several couples and gay rights advocates.

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‘Larger than ever’ crowds turn out for Capital Pride

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Organizers said last weekend’s Pride celebration brought out record crowds. (Washington Blade photo by Adam Hall)

Organizers and participants in D.C.’s Capital Pride parade and festival last weekend said the two annual events appear to have drawn more than the expected 400,000 people despite rainy weather during the festival on Sunday.

Observers who have participated in the Capital Pride parade and festival in past years said they have never seen crowds as large as those that lined the 1.5-mile Capital Pride Parade route on Saturday, June 8.

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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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Samoa bans ‘Rocketman’ over gay sex scenes

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“Rocketman,” the fantasy musical biopic about Elton John, has been banned in Samoa by the country’s censor Leiataua Niuapu Faaui over its depiction of homosexuality.

Faaui told newspaper Samoa Observer that the film conflicted with Samoa’s “culture and our Christian beliefs” and that it is “not good for public viewing and violates laws against same-sex marriage.”

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Broadway showcase to benefit Project No Labels

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Tampa Mayor Jane Castor will provide opening remarks June 22 during the 13th production of Life Amplified Connections, a Broadway-themed showcase benefiting Project No Labels (PNL) at Stageworks Theatre.

Life Amplified has tackled issues like human trafficking, bullying, PTSD and sexual violence to raise funds for nonprofits since 2013. The gathering is produced by the philanthropic side of marketing company WriteOne Creative Services and will feature 21 performers from throughout Tampa Bay. A number of community partners will showcase their services ahead of the event.

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Orlando bans single-use plastics, foam on city properties

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Former Orange County Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor and environmental activist Eric Rollings says he was beside himself with joy when the Orlando City Commission voted unanimously to ban plastic straws, plastic bags and polystyrene single-use containers in the city of Orlando on all its properties.

“I was just one giant goosebump seeing it actually happen,” Rollings says with a smile.

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Dining Out for Life 2019 raises over $47K for EPIC

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA BAY| Dining Out for Life (DOFL) raised over $47,000 for Empath Partners in Care (EPIC) in the organization’s fight against HIV/AIDS during its 14th annual outing in April, the organizations have shared.

Founded in 1991, DOFL is an annual dining event that raises money for community-based organizations serving those impacted by HIV. To raise the funds, establishments donate a portion of their sales on a specific date to local organizations like EPIC. 

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