Senators renew call to lift ban on gay blood donations amid coronavirus crisis

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A cadre of 17 senators — including six former presidential hopefuls and one current candidate — are calling on the Food & Drug Administration to take another look at the ban prohibiting gay and bisexual men from donating blood amid the coronavirus crisis.

In a letter dated March 26, the senators take note Trump administration health officials, including U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, have made urgent pleas for blood donations to address a shortage in the blood supply during the pandemic.

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Reggie Greer named LGBTQ liaison for Biden campaign

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Reggie Greer, photo via the Joe Biden campaign.

Reggie Greer, a D.C-based LGBTQ advocate who has worked as an Obama administration appointee and point person for LGBTQ elected officials, has been named LGBTQ vote director for Joseph Biden, the former vice president’s 2020 campaign announced Monday.

“It’s an honor of a lifetime to join this campaign as LGBTQ+ vote director and serve America on behalf of Vice President Biden,” Greer said in a statement. “As a young, black appointee in the Obama-Biden administration, I had the opportunity to see and learn firsthand from Vice President Biden’s dedication to LGBTQ+ advocacy, his willingness to ensure LGBTQ+ voices were at important decision-making tables and his lifelong commitment to elevating the most marginalized across various communities.”

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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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Biden unveils extensive LGBTQ plan, drawing on Obama-era achievements

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

Democratic presidential candidate Joseph Biden unveiled on Thursday a comprehensive plan to advance LGBTQ rights, pledging to support policies and legislation against anti-LGBTQ discrimination and to protect LGBTQ human rights advances across the globe.

“As president, Biden will stand with the LGBTQ+ community to ensure America finally lives up to the promise on which it was founded: equality for all,” the plan says. “He will provide the moral leadership to champion equal rights for all LGBTQ+ people, fight to ensure our laws and institutions protect and enforce their rights, and advance LGBTQ+ equality globally.”

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03.05.2020 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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One of the interesting things about my position as Tampa Bay Bureau Chief, a self-enforced rule more so than a mandated one, is that I work diligently to check many of my personal positions at the door.

It isn’t always easy when you’re writing a column. This space exists so that we’re able to connect with readers; so that to a certain extent you’re able to know us as we work to know you. I’m thankful to have this column for that reason, even if it’s the most self-scrutinized thing that I write, because I care deeply about our community.

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Buttigieg’s White House bid ensures place in LGBTQ history

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Pete Buttigieg, photo courtesy Buttigieg’s Facebook page.

NEW YORK (AP) | A divisive debate over same-sex marriage animated the 2004 presidential election as voters across the country approved constitutional amendments banning such unions. Sixteen years later, with those bans invalidated and his husband by his side, Pete Buttigieg became the first openly gay man to become, however briefly, a leading presidential candidate.

Buttigieg fell short of his goal to win the Democratic nomination and defeat Donald Trump. But his candidacy will likely be remembered as an example of the remarkable advances made by LGBTQ Americans in their quest for equality and acceptance.

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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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Jim Obergefell, lead plaintiff in marriage case, endorsed Joe Biden ahead of Super Tuesday

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Obergefell v. Hodges plaintiff Jim Obergefell has endorsed Biden for president. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit the led the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of same-sex marriage, nationwide has become the latest to throw his support behind former vice president Joseph Biden.

“I am proud and excited to endorse Joe Biden for president,” Obergefell said in a public Facebook post. “We have the opportunity to change our nation for the better in November, and I believe Joe is the candidate who can make that happen.”

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Buttigieg drops presidential campaign

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Husband Chasten (L) and Pete Buttigieg thank supporters. Photo via Buttigieg’s Facebook page.

Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, who had considerable success and made history as a gay presidential candidate, dropped on Sunday night his bid for the White House.

“Tonight, I am making the difficult to suspend my campaign for the presidency,” Buttigieg said in a speech in his hometown of South Bend. “I will no longer seek to be the Democratic nominee for president, but I will do everything in my power to ensure that we have a new Democratic president come January.”

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Orlando Sentinel endorses Pete Buttigieg in Florida’s presidential primary

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | With less than three weeks until Florida voters have their say in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, the Orlando Sentinel’s editorial board came out with their endorsement for Pete Buttigieg Feb. 28.

“The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has displayed the qualities of a president from the beginning of this campaign,” they write, beginning the official endorsement by saying Democrats want an adult in the White House and they “have just such an adult on the ballot” in Buttigieg.

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2020 hopefuls commit to equality ahead of Florida’s primary

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: “DEMZ” featuring Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden by Chad Mize.

It’s been more than three years since Donald Trump assumed the presidency of the United States, succeeding LGBTQ ally Barack Obama to become the nation’s 45th commander in chief. It’s been longer still since he became the first Republican to acknowledge the LGBTQ community from the podium of the Republican National Convention. On June 21, 2016, he vowed to protect LGBTQ citizens from “violence and oppression” while accepting his party’s nomination.

The promise drew the immediate ire of journalist Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter who was credited as the co-author of “The Art of the Deal,” Trump’s bestselling biography. Schwartz shadowed and studied the real estate developer for nearly two years to write the 1987 memoir for him, which he says today he would name “The Sociopath.”

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2020 Presidential Preference Primary Election Guide

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: “DEMZ” featuring Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden by Chad Mize.

Ahead of Florida’s presidential preference primary March 17, Watermark contacted each presidential campaign that will appear on the statewide ballot to ask nine yes (Y) or no (N) questions and one open-ended question pertaining to LGBTQ equality.

Below, you’ll find their abbreviated answers of the remaining candidates, compiled via each campaign’s direct response or the websites of Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

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