Despite call to donate blood amid coronavirus crisis, FDA firm on gay ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Despite calls for increased blood donations amid the coronavirus crisis, the Food & Drug Administration is staying firm on its ban prohibiting gay men from donating blood.

“At this time, FDA’s recommendations regarding blood donor deferral for men who have sex with men have not changed, but we will continue to reevaluate the situation as the outbreak progresses,” a spokesperson told the Washington Blade Thursday.

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Groups say LGBTQ people more vulnerable to Coronavirus

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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More than 100 LGBTQ or LGBTQ supportive organizations on March 11 released a joint open letter to health care providers and media outlets urging them to be aware that LGBTQ people may be at greater risk for the Coronavirus than the general public.

D.C.’s Whitman-Walker Health is part of a coalition of six organizations that initiated the letter, according to a statement released by the groups.

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Bette Midler to present at GLAAD Media Awards in NYC

By : John Paul King of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Above: Bette Midler (Photo courtesy Midler)

Bette Midler, longtime icon and ally to the LGBTQ community, will make her first-ever appearance at the GLAAD Media Awards this Spring.

The world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization announced this week that the multi award-winning actress, singer, songwriter, and comedian will take the stage as a presenter at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York on March 19. She will introduce Ben Platt, her co-star on Netflix’ “The Politician, who is set to perform.

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Ben Platt to perform at GLAAD Media Awards

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Actor and singer Ben Platt will perform at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York City next month.

GLAAD announced on Wednesday that the Tony-winning “Dear Evan Hansen” actor and star of Netflix’s “The Politician” will be singing as part of the New York ceremony, which is the 31st annual presentation of the awards, taking place at the Hilton Midtown on Thursday, March 19.

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Anti-LGBTQ sermon delivered at church Pence attended for MLK Day

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Above: Vice President Mike Pence (Photo by Michael Key of the Washington Blade)

Vice President Mike Pence spent his Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend attending an anti-LGBTQ sermon at a church in Memphis, Tenn., where a minister said a “demonic spirit” was responsible for same-sex relationships.

Delivering the sermon on Sunday was Bishop Jerry Wayne Taylor, the pastor of the Holy City Church of God in Christ, whose remarks along with Pence’s address were live-streamed on the White House website.

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GLAAD to present Ryan Murphy with Vito Russo Award

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Ryan Murphy, photo via GLAAD’s Facebook page.

LGBTQ entertainment mastermind Ryan Murphy has been announced by GLAAD as the winner of one of its most prestigious honors, the LGBTQ media advocacy group revealed on Thursday.

Murphy, the award-winning screenwriter, producer, and director behind “Glee,” “American Horror Story,” “Feud,” and “Pose,” among a host of other LGBTQ fan-favorite projects across various media, will be honored as part of the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in the Spring. The GLAAD Media Awards honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues, this year with over 175 previously-announced nominees competing in 30 categories.

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Julian Castro drops 2020 presidential bid

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Julian Castro, Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

Faced with continued difficulties in getting his campaign off the ground, Democratic candidate Julian Castro, the only Hispanic contender in the 2020 crowd, announced Thursday he has suspended his presidential bid.

“It’s with profound gratitude to all of our supporters that I suspend my campaign for president today,” Castro wrote on Twitter.  “I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. I’m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone counts — I hope you’ll join me in that fight.”

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One Million Moms pushes back against Hallmark reversal

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Zola’s ad featuring a lesbian bridal couple, screenshot via YouTube.

One Million Moms doubled down on its homophobic agenda on Monday after the Hallmark Channel’s weekend announcement that it would be reinstating ads it had previously pulled in response to protests from the anti-LGBTQ group.

The ads, which were for wedding planning website Zola, featured a lesbian bridal couple kissing at the altar. They had been taken off the air late last week by Hallmark, after One Million Moms created a petition calling for its removal, but outcry from pro-LGBTQ voices, led by GLAAD, quickly convinced the family-friendly pay network to reconsider their decision, leading to Sunday’s announcement.

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Hallmark Channel pulls, then reinstates ads featuring kiss between lesbian brides

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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At the end of a tumultuous week for The Hallmark Channel, the pay television network has announced it would reverse its decision to pull several ads featuring a same-sex kiss.

The controversial commercials were among a series of six ads for Zola, a wedding planning website, which had been airing on the Hallmark Channel since Dec. 2. In all of the ads, couples standing at the altar for their wedding wonder if guests might have arrived on time and bought them better gifts if they had used Zola to create a custom wedding website. Most of the ads include a same-sex couple; while only one focused specifically on the lesbian brides, the two women were shown kissing in several of them.

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Facebook pressed to drop ads claiming PrEP is unsafe

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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More than 50 LGBTQ, AIDS and public health organizations released a joint letter on Monday addressed to Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg urging him to immediately remove “dangerous and misleading” ads currently running on Facebook and Instagram suggesting the HIV prevention drug PrEP is unsafe.

“As organizations attached to this letter – leaders in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) advocacy, public health, and HIV/AIDS prevention – we are urgently reaching out to Facebook and Instagram regarding factually inaccurate advertisements which suggest negative health effects of Truvada PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis),” the letter states.

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Golden Globe nods recognize queer content, performers

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Billy Porter in “Pose.” Image via FX.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced the nominations for its 77th annual Golden Globe Awards, and once again the list of nominees includes nods for several LGBTQ-inclusive films, actors and characters.

The honorees were announced in a Los Angeles presentation Monday morning by Tim Allen, Dakota Fanning and Susan Kelechi Watson. They were joined by Golden Globe Ambassadors Dylan and Paris Brosnan, HFPA President Lorenzo Soria, and Dick Clark Productions Executive Producer and Executive VP of television Barry Adelman.

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Pantene releases new trans-inclusive holiday ad

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In partnership with GLAAD and the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, Pantene is launching a new ad campaign this season in hope of promoting awareness of the challenges facing many LGBTQ+ people during the holidays.

As reported by People, the ad features TCLA’s performing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and hopes to spread some love during a time of the year that can often be difficult for those whose gender identity or sexual orientation aren’t accepted by their families. Intercut with the chorus singing are scenes of individual members as they prepare for their own holiday homecomings.

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