Idaho governor quietly signs anti-trans bills amid coronavirus crisis

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Gov. Brad Little signs another measure into law March 13. Photo via Little’s Facebook page.

As the nation’s focus has become fixated on the coronavirus, Idaho Gov. Brad Little has signed into law Monday on the eve of the Transgender Day of Visibility two pieces of anti-trans legislation.

One measure, House Bill 500, is aimed at restricting transgender youth’s participation in sports. The other measure, House Bill 509, is aimed at banning transgender people from changing the gender marker on the their birth certificate.

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Biden has big comeback, routs opponents on Super Tuesday

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Former Vice President Joe Biden, photo via Biden’s Facebook page.

Coming back from disappointing results at the start of primary, former Vice President Joseph Biden won big on Super Tuesday by routing his competition for the Democratic presidential nomination in multiple states.

By early Wednesday, the Associated Press declared Biden had won or was leading in most of the 14 states up for grabs. In particular, Biden had a strong showing in the South, which has a heavy black electorate that turned out for him during the South Carolina primary and resurrected his campaign.

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First openly LGBTQ federal judge dies in New York

By : Wire Report
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Above: Deborah A. Batts (Photo by Sam Hollenshead)

NEW YORK (AP) | Deborah A. Batts, the nation’s first openly LGBTQ federal judge, has died. She was 72.

Batts was found dead on Feb. 3, three months before she was set to preside over a trial of California lawyer Michael Avenatti on charges that he cheated porn star Stormy Daniels, a former client, of proceeds of a book deal. No cause of death was immediately released.

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White House, LGBTQ groups clash over new religious freedom regs

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Donald Trump, photo public domain.

Following the release of new regulations from the Trump administration with the stated intent of protecting the religious freedom of federal grantees, LGBTQ groups and the White House locked in a dispute over whether they enable anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

Although the White House is denouncing the criticism as partisan bias, the LGBTQ advocacy groups are able to point to specific language in the regulations that would inhibit LGBTQ people from obtaining social services from religious-affiliated grantees.

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Bill to ban anti-LGBTQ discrimination in Va. introduced

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The Virginia State Capitol (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Virginia state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) has introduced a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s nondiscrimination law.

Senate Bill 868 — also known as the Virginia Values Act — would prohibit anti-LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and credit. The measure has been referred to the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee.

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FBI report shows increase in anti-LGBT hate crimes

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: ‘Bias-motivated crimes are a real, frightening problem in the United States,’ said HRC’s Alphonso David. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The number of hate crime incidents targeting gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in the United States in 2018 increased by nearly 6 percent over the previous year and the number of anti-transgender hate crime incidents increased by 41 percent during that same period, according to the FBI’s newly released annual Hate Crime Statistics Report.

The report, which covers 2018, the most recent year for which the FBI has released hate crimes data, shows that participating law enforcement agencies throughout the country reported to the FBI a total of 7,120 hate crime incidents for 2018, 55 fewer than the total reported for 2017.

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Black LGBTQ activists split over Harris, Buttigieg spat

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In the aftermath of Sen. Kamala Harris criticizing Mayor Pete Buttigieg for bringing up the gay experience when confronted with his issues with black voters, black gay activists living at the intersection of the two groups are split in their reactions.

The responses from black gay activists ranged from backing Harris, saying neither was right and rejecting the spat in a call for unity against President Trump.

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Orlando, St. Pete, Tampa receive perfect HRC scores

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced Nov. 19 that the cities of Orlando, St. Petersburg and Tampa each received a perfect score of 100 in the organization’s eighth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI).

The MEI examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies and services are for LGBTQ people who live and work in the 506 cities rated. The score is based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and the city leadership’s public position on equality.

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22 transgender murders of 2019 documented in new HRC report

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Days before the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, the nation’s leading LGBTQ group has issued a report detailing the murders of each of the 22 transgender and gender non-conforming people killed this year.

The report, produced by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and titled A National Epidemic: Fatal Anti-Transgender Violence in the United States in 2019, includes a short bio for each the 22 transgender and gender non-conforming people killed in 2019.

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Pence extols Trump’s anti-LGBTQ adoption rule as ‘decisive action’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Vice President Mike Pence extolled an anti-LGBTQ adoption rule proposed by the Trump administration. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Vice President Mike Pence, in a speech intended to honor National Adoption Month, extolled Nov. 12 a proposed Trump administration rule that would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse child placement in LGBTQ homes.

Pence made the comments at the Department of Health & Human Services in D.C., which was holding a celebration in promotion of adoption with top Trump administration officials, including Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar.

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Trans of Thought: Dying to be seen

By : Melody Maia Monet
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A few weeks ago, the very first National Trans Visibility March was held in Washington, D.C. As described in their call to action, the purpose of the march was to bring attention to “the social structures that have oppressed us and disenfranchised our communities.”

Thanks to the One Orlando Alliance and generous sponsors, about 50 transgender people, including myself and a few allies, made the road trip to our nation’s capital to participate. It was without a doubt a profound and inspiring experience for all of us who went, but perhaps not as successful in making our issues more “visible” to the cisgender, queer community.

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Data at forefront of congressional hearing on anti-LGBTQ bias in housing, credit

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: HRC President Alphonso David speaks at the House Financial Services Committee hearing Oct. 29. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

As LGBT rights advocates continue to press the Equality Act to ban anti-LGBT discrimination, data was at the forefront of a congressional hearing Tuesday as evidence that anti-LGBT discrimination in housing and credit continues to exist.

Among the key statistics that emerged in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee: About half of LGBT adults own their homes compared to 70 percent of the non-LGBT adult population; LGBT adults are twice as likely as non-LGBT people to report having been prevented by a landlord or owner from moving into a home; and same-sex couples experience about three to eight percent lower approval rates in acquiring a loan than different-sex couples.

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