Angie's List Stops Major Project in Indianapolis Over New Anti-LGBT Discrimination Law

WASHINGTON - March 28, 2015 – Today over concerns of Indiana's new anti-LGBT law, Angie's List announced it was stopping its campus expansion project in Indianapolis. The so-called "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" -- signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence despite protests from corporations and civil rights leaders -- has been widely condemned over concerns that it will allow individuals to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against LGBT people and other minorities.
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HRC: Senate Under Harry Reid Fundamentally Changed the Lives of LGBT Americans

March 27, 2015 - The following is a statement from HRC's President Chad Griffin upon news that Senator Harry Reid will retire from the U.S. Senate after the completion of his current term. As leader of the Democratic Caucus since 2005, Reid has played a key role in ensuring legislation critical to the LGBT community passed the Senate, from new Hate Crimes protections, to ENDA, to the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, to an updated Violence Against Women Act, the first federal sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination statute. 
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AHF: FL Insurance Commissioner McCarty Announces Improved Nationwide Access to HIV Medications

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - March 27, 2015 – Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin M. McCarty announced this week that Aetna, Inc. and Coventry Health Care of Florida, Inc. are revising their HIV/AIDS drug formularies for individual health plan members. The new change means a majority of HIV drugs currently labeled as specialty drugs in the highest cost tier of the drug formulary are being reclassified as either generic or non-preferred brand drugs and moved into the lower cost tiers.
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American Civil Rights Leader Dr. Julian Bond Expresses Outrage at Dangerous Anti-LGBT Legislation in Arkansas

WASHINGTON - March 26, 2015 – Today, Dr. Julian Bond, a major leader in the American civil rights movement, expressed outrage at discriminatory anti-LGBT legislation in Arkansas -- H.B. 1228 -- that if passed into law will allow individuals to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against LGBT people and other minorities.
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April 2-3: Sexuality and Gender Studies Conference at Penn State

April 2-3: Sexuality and Gender Studies Conference at Penn State
Faculty, staff and students will gather together for "Telling Our Stories."at the Reed Union Building at Penn State Behrend begining Thursday, April 2 at 10 AM to Friday, April 3 at 5 PM. Panels and workshops are free and open to the public. Anyone is warmly welcomed to attend!
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GLSEN Statement on Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's Signing of Religious Freedom Restoration Act

NEW YORK (March 26, 2015) – GLSEN Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, expressed outrage over Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's decision to sign the Religious Freedom Restoration Act after it was passed by the state legislature earlier this week.
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Max Levchin, Cofounder of Paypal, CEO of Affirm, and Chairman of Yelp Reacts to Anti-LGBT Indiana Law

WASHINGTON - March 26, 2015 – The fallout over Governor Pence ignoring the warnings of corporations and civil rights advocates continued today after the Governor signed in to law a sweeping bill allowing individuals to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against LGBT people and other minorities.
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HHS launches innovative digital storytelling project to support federal HIV response

HHS launches innovative digital storytelling project to support federal HIV response
March 26, 2015 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today released Positive Spin, a comprehensive digital educational tool that uses personal storytelling to promote the importance of getting people with HIV into treatment. The project, which was developed by AIDS.gov with input from federal agencies, health care professionals, persons living with HIV and community-based HIV organizations, is available at https://positivespin.hiv.gov.
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Opposition Mounting Against Georgia's Anti-Gay Religious Exemption Bill

March 26, 2015 - Georgia lawmakers are considering the passage of a so-called "religious freedom" bill that would overturn all existing state and local civil rights ordinances protecting gay and transgender people. However, SB 129 stands to harm Georgians of all backgrounds. A police officer could refuse to work an event for a cause with which he does not agree. A paramedic could deny care to the child of a same-sex couple. A landlord could evict a hardworking single mother. A high school counselor could turn away a teenager struggling to come to terms with his sexuality.
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Veterans Spouses Equal Treatment Act Reintroduced To Extend Equal Veterans Benefits for LGBT Veterans And Their Families

WASHINGTON - March 25, 2015 – The American Military Partner Association (AMPA) released the following statement today following the reintroduction of the Veterans Spouses Equal Treatment Act by Representative Dina Titus (D-NV) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bipartisan legislation would change discriminatory language in Title 38 that prevents the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from granting full access to earned veterans benefits to legally married same-sex couples living in non-marriage equality states.
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TX Military Forces Takes Positive Steps to Address Issues of Processing Same-Sex Military Spouses for Federal Benefits

WASHINGTON - March 25, 2015 – On Friday, March 13, 2015, three same-sex military couples were denied assistance by the federal military identification card enrollment center at Camp Mabry, the headquarters of the Texas Military Forces (TMF), near Austin, Texas. All three couples were told by the center's employee that they would not be provided service because their marriages were not recognized by the state of Texas, regardless of the fact they were seeking federal military benefits.
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OutServe-SLDN announces support for the Veteran Spouses Equal Treatment Act

(WASHINGTON - March 25, 2015) – Statement by Matt Thorn, Interim Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN on the reintroduction of the Veteran Spouses Equal Treatment Act in the U.S. House of Representatives this morning by Representative Dina Titus (1st District NV):
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Senator Inhofe Throws Red Meat At Anti-LGBT Base

WASHINGTON - March 24, 2015 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, condemned an amendment introduced in the Senate as a last ditch effort to undermine marriage equality. Introduced by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the anti-LGBT amendment would endorse the idea that businesses and organizations should be allowed to use taxpayer funds to discriminate against married same-sex couples.  
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Int'l LGBT Human Rights: Response to Russia's Proposal at 5C

March 24, 2015 - Jessica Stern, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, gave the following response today to the U.N. General Assembly 5th Committee vote to uphold U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's "personal status bulletin" of June 2014 interpreting partnership benefits of U.N. Secretariat employees to include marriages performed outside of the country of the employee's citizenship. The vote on the Russian proposal failed 80 to 43 with 37 abstaining.
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Persad Center Art for Change Benefit on April 27

Great art can transform the way people see the world. Join Persad Center on April 27 fron 6 to 11 PM at Wyndham Grand Downtown Pittsburgh, 600 Commonwealth Pl, Pittssburgh PA for Art for Change 2015 and experience the power of positive change. PERSAD CENTER’s signature fundraising event will feature verbal and silent auctions of paintings, photography, sculpture, furniture and jewelry. Over 1,000 art lovers gather to bid, mingle and enjoy food from some of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants. One hundred percent of the proceeds benefit PERSAD CENTER’S Free Care Fund, serving the LGBTQ community and people living with HIV. Tickets are on sale now at persadartforchange.com or for more information please contact Yas Hatcher at (412)441-9786 x226 or [email protected]
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Pair of Harmful Bills Impede Adoption of Children in Need of Loving Homes

MONTGOMERY - March 24, 2015 - Today, HRC Alabama criticized the introduction of two bills, S.B. 261 and H.B. 296, which empower adoption agencies to discriminate against eligible parents and guardians-legislation which, if passed, will deny countless children from accessing loving, caring homes. Though written in the guise of allowing private agencies to cite religious reasons for turning down applications, the bills have a host of unintended consequences. Many of Alabama’s private adoption agencies maintain large public contracts, and the new bill would allow otherwise eligible interfaith couples, same-sex couples, and couples where one individual was previously divorced the opportunity to care for a child in need. Essentially, taxpayers will be funding adoption agencies who are allowed to discriminate.
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HRC Hails Attorney General Harris' Efforts to Stop 'Sodomite Suppression Act' from Advancing

WASHINGTON - March 25, 2015 --Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, hailed California Attorney General Kamala Harris for seeking to stop an abhorrent and unconstitutional proposed ballot initiative that would seek to criminalize same-sex relationships and potentially threaten those convicted with death.
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Federal Judge Blocks Legally Married Same-Sex Couples From Accessing FMLA Benefits

WASHINGTON - March 26, 2015 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, criticized a ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor that blocked a recent rule change to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) from the Department of Labor (DOL). Judge O'Connor's decision prevents legally married same-sex couples in Texas from exercising their FMLA rights.
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Apple CEO Tim Cook Calls on Arkansas Governor to Veto Anti-LGBT Discriminatory Bill

WASHINGTON - March 27, 2015 – Today, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, decried Indiana's new anti-LGBT law allowing individuals to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against LGBT people and other minorities while calling on Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to veto a similar bill being sent to his desk.
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Indiana's Religious Freedom Law is an Affront to the Values of Organized Labor

WASHINGTON, DC - March 27, 2015- Yesterday, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana signed that state's version of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bill, which would allow businesses, governments, and even first responders to discriminate against LGBT people and other minority groups on religious grounds. Versions of these laws are being pushed by legislators in many states in the wake of recent progress for LGBT marriage equality. Pride at Work opposes these bills and Executive Director Jerame Davis, an Indiana native, reacted strongly to the enactment of this law in Indiana:
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Arkansas Senate Passes Indiana-Style H.B. 1228,Governor Hutchinson Must Veto Discriminatory Bill

LITTLE ROCK - March 27, 2015 — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and HRC Arkansas condemned the Arkansas senate's passage of H.B. 1228, an Indiana-style bill that will open the door to discrimination against LGBT people, people of color, religious minorities, women and other minority groups across the state. After a formal procedural hurdle, the bill will be on its way to Governor Asa Hutchinson's desk. HRC has repeatedly called on the governor to veto this legislation, including at a press conference featuring HRC president Chad Griffin yesterday.
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Anti-LGBT Georgia Bill Moves Forward, Threatening to Undermine State's Economic Growth

ATLANTA - March 26, 2015 - Yesterday, a subcommittee of the Georgia House Judiciary Committee moved an anti-LGBT bill forward that could allow people to use their religion as an excuse to challenge or opt out of various laws - including local laws in Atlanta and other cities - that protect LGBT people and other minorities from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Major local conferences have already threatened to move out of the state if the bill becomes law.
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ACLU Comment on Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Signing Discriminatory 'Religious Freedom' Bill into Law

INDIANAPOLIS - March 26, 2015 – Gov. Mike Pence today signed a bill into law that would allow anyone to use their religious beliefs to claim that they have a right to refuse to follow anti-discrimination protections and other laws.
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HRC Condemns Governor Mike Pence for Signing Dangerous Anti-LGBT Legislation

WASHINGTON - March 26, 2015 – In spite of overwhelming opposition by corporations and civil rights advocates, the Governor of the "Crossroads of America", Mike Pence, today signed in to law a sweeping bill allowing individuals to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against LGBT people and other minorities. The CEO of one major local employer, Salesforce, has already noted they are now forced to dramatically reduce investment in the state because of outrage from employees and customers over the new law.
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Veto SB 101 Campaign Calls on IN Governor to Veto License to Discriminate Bill

Indianapolis, IN - March 23, 2015 – Moments ago, the Indiana legislature passed their so-called "religious freedom" legislation, Senate Bill 101. This law is the latest in a national effort by religious extremists to chip away at gains made by the LGBT community by codifying a license to discriminate into law.   
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HRC Calls on Former Gov. Jeb Bush to Explain Support for Anti-LGBT 'Religious Freedom' Legislation

WASHINGTON - March 23, 2015  – Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, called on former Governor Jeb Bush to clarify recent comments supporting new so-called "religious freedom" protections in states across the country that would put LGBT Americans and other minority groups at risk of discrimination.
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GLSEN Statement on the Retirement of Steve Nash

NEW YORK (March 21, 2015) – Statement from Dr. Eliza Byard, Executive Director of GLSEN:"Congratulations to NBA star Steve Nash on a truly fantastic career. His legendary leadership and MVP contributions on the court were memorable, as has been his impact off the court. Steve was a pioneering ally to LGBT youth. He was instrumental in GLSEN's Think Before You Speak campaign, a partnership with the Ad Council that helped reduce the amount of homophobic language used in our schools. We thank him for his partnership and wish him all the best in this new phase of his life."
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Mindfulness: How to Rewire Your Brain

Mindfulness is in the news lately: celebrities tout it, Oprah loves it. But, what exactly is it? And is it worth your time? Let's check it out:
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Presbyterians approve marriage equality


Presbyterians on March 17 approved marriages for same-sex couples in the first-ever nationwide, grassroots vote on marriage equality by a faith tradition. The Presbyterian Church, USA now holds that marriage is between "two persons" rather than "a man and a woman."
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Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry Responds to Republican National Committee Growth and Opportunity Memo

New York- March 20, 2015 – This week the Republican National Committee released a memo outlining the strides they have made since the 2012 elections. The memo is an update on the progress of the recommendations of the Growth and Opportunity Project, which showed younger voters were troubled by the tone and messaging used by some in the GOP.
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RuPaul's Drag Race Gets Eighth Season Renewal

NEW YORK, NYMarch 20, 2015 – Hot off the heels of the seventh season premiere of "RuPaul's Drag Race," Logo today announced the greenlight for an eighth season. The recent season premiere saw a ratings spike of nearly 20% from last season's kickoff among P18-49 and now ranks as one of the most watched debuts in the show's history. Continuing the upward trajectory, the second episode of the season outpaced the premiere by double digits. Production on the new season kicks off today with a nationwide casting call to seek out the fiercest queens across the land to compete in this genre-defining, battle royale of drag.
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Puerto Rican Government Will No Longer Defend Island's Marriage Ban

New York - March 20, 2015 – Today the Puerto Rican government announced that it will no longer defend the territory's law barring same-sex couples from sharing in the freedom to marry. A federal case out of Puerto Rico is currently before the First Circuit Court of Appeals.
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New Catholic Group Joins Fight for LGBT Acceptance

With Pope Francis slated to visit the U.S. this fall, many Catholics are hoping for the pontiff to meet with LGBT people or address LGBT issues, and a new group has joined those pushing for this.
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Ignoring Opposition by Corporations, Indiana Set to Pass Religious Discrimination Bill

WASHINGTON - March 20, 2015 – In spite of corporations' and civil rights advocates' outcry of opposition, the Indiana House of Representatives is expected to pass a sweeping bill early next week allowing individuals to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against LGBT people and other minorities. Astonishingly, the Governor is expected to sign the bill into law.
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Anti-LGBT Legislation in Nevada Threatens Jobs, Economy & Minorities While Concealed in 'Religious Freedom'

WASHINGTON - March 19, 2015 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization sounded the alarm on anti-LGBT legislation in Nevada - SB272 in the Senate and AB277 in the Assembly - that threatens jobs, the state economy, and undermines the state's civil rights laws. The legislation would allow people to use their religion to challenge or opt out of various laws, including state and local laws, that protect LGBT people and other minorities from discrimination.
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RiseUP Georgia and GetEQUAL Georgia Welcome Heterosexuals to Atlanta Airport

ATLANTA, GA - March 19, 2015--  As the Georgia General Assembly moves forward with Senate Bill 129, members of GetEQUAL and Rise Up Georgia took to the Delta terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to welcome heterosexual tourists to the state of Georgia. These two bills would allow the state government, corporations, and privately-owned businesses to discriminate on the basis of their "strongly held religious beliefs." GetEQUAL and Rise Up Georgia members recognize that these bills would make travel to the state of Georgia unadvisable for LGBTQ people, and took to the airport to welcome the heterosexual tourists that the state of Georgia has clearly indicated it would prefer.
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Campus Pride and GLSEN Host Hundreds of Students and 50 Colleges for Inaugural LGBTQ-Friendly Online College Fair, Prese

NEW YORK (March 19, 2015) – Hundreds of students will meet with representatives from 50 colleges today during the first-ever online college fair specifically focused on helping lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ) and ally students find colleges and universities that are inclusive and supportive.
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Presbyterian Church (USA), America's Largest Presbyterian Denomination, Votes to Approve Marriage Equality

WASHINGTON - March 18, 2015 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, commended the Presbyterian Church (USA) for its vote Tuesday to embrace marriage equality in the church's constitution.
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History returns to Independence Hall, and in a patriotic and musical way

From Philadelphia Gay News: Something happened a few weeks ago that literally made me stop and take note of how far we have come in our struggle for equality.
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VICTORY! Texas Military Forces Spokesperson Says Refusal To Process Same-Sex Military Spouses Was 'Mistake' And Will Be

WASHINGTON - March 17, 2015 - After intervention today by representatives of the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the Texas Military Forces clarified that three same-sex couples should not have been denied assistance at the federal military identification card enrollment center at Camp Mabry, the headquarters of the Texas Military Forces, near Austin, Texas. All three couples had been turned away on March 13th after being told that they would not be provided service because their marriages were not recognized by the state of Texas. One of the couples was contacted today and given a priority appointment to enroll for their benefits and ID card.
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Legal Teams Submit Proposal to U.S. Supreme Court Regarding Oral Argument in Marriage Cases

(Washington D.C. March 17, 2015) — Today counsel representing all plaintiffs from the Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee marriage lawsuits submitted a proposal to the U.S. Supreme Court requesting that argument time be divided equally among the cases from the four states.
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Legal Teams Submit Proposal to U.S. Supreme Court Regarding Oral Argument in Marriage Cases

WASHINGTON - March 17, 2015 –Counsel representing all plaintiffs from the Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee marriage lawsuits today submitted a proposal to the U.S. Supreme Court requesting that argument time be divided equally among the cases from the four states.
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HRC Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Federal LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill

WASHINGTON - March 17, 2015 – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today released new polling data showing strong support for a federal non-discrimination law protecting LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing, access to public places and other areas.
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Anti-LGBT Bills Defeated in West Virginia, Fairness and Equality Prevail

CHARLESTON - March 16, 2015 - On Saturday in West Virginia, the legislative session came to an end at midnight, in effect killing extreme anti-LGBT bills which had failed to move forward - including a bill to abolish local liberty (HB 2881) and two so-called "religious freedom" bills (HB 2508 and SB 487). Fairness West Virginia, the statewide civil rights advocacy organization dedicated to fair treatment and civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) West Virginians, and the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization, claimed victory in stopping these extreme anti-LGBT bills from moving forward and vowed to continue the fight for fairness and equality in the state.
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Drenched Fur's 11th Year Approaches

Drenched Fur is celebrating its 11th year with a fun filled 'Pop Goes the 80s' theme weekend for the broader bear community from Erie, PA and beyond. Over 200 bears, cubs, and admirers will be attending Drenched Fur 11 the weekend of April 9th-12th. We invite you to join us for some rad times!
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Candidate Forum on April 16

NW PA Pride Alliance Inc and the Mental Health Association of Northwestern PA will be co-sponsoring a Spring candidate forum at the Mental Health Association at 1101 Peach St, Erie PA 16501 on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 6:30 pm. Doors open at 5:30 and parking is available on street and in the Toni & Guy parking lot. Candidates for Erie City and Erie County councils will be invited. Candidates will be asked questions by a moderator and attendees are encouraged to provide questions for the moderator. The event provides constituents the opportunity to meet local politicians and hear their views on topics concerning the LGBTQ, mental health and Erie City & County communities as a whole.
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Become a 2015 Pride Donor!

As the Northwest PA (NW PA) Pride Alliance begins its fifth year, we are delighted to see how much we have grown. The support of individuals and organizations in our community has been the catalyst for furthering the Alliance's mission: Improving the visibility of the LGBTQIA community and facilitating communication and collaboration between groups and individuals. We are asking for your support in 2015.
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Equality Texas, HRC, and NCLR Applaud Introduction of Bill to Protect Kids from Conversion 'Therapy' in Texas

AUSTIN - March 13, 2015 —Today, Texas State Representative Celia Israel introduced a bill that would protect youth and their families from the discredited practice of conversion therapy. The bill— HB 3495 —reflects the unanimous view of medical, mental health, and child welfare experts that attempts by therapists to change a young person's sexual orientation or gender identity are ineffective and unsafe, putting youth at risk of lifelong damage, including depression, substance abuse, isolation, and even suicide.
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Anti-herpes drug may help control HIV, NIH study finds

March 13, 2015 - Valacyclovir, a drug commonly used to control the virus that causes genital herpes, appears to reduce the levels of HIV in patients who do not have genital herpes, according to a study by researchers from the National Institutes of Health, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Emory University, Atlanta and Lima, Peru.
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The Amazon Trail: Helicopter Wife

My sweetheart called herself a helicopter wife and I laughed. Not long ago we couldn't even marry. Now we get to legally hover.
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PERSAD CENTER is Moving to a New Home in Lawrenceville!

PERSAD CENTER is delighted to announce an exciting new chapter for the agency as we move to our new home at 5301 Butler Street in Lawrenceville. We're celebrating with an Open House for the community on Saturday, March 28 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Join us for a tour of our new facility and learn about how our expansion will enhance our service to the LGBTQ community and people living with HIV. "It's an important moment for PERSAD CENTER. Our new home is a visible symbol of support and inclusion for the communities we serve and gives us the space to expand our services with senior, youth, training and medical programs", says Executive Director, Betty Hill.
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Organizations at Forefront of Fight Against HIV Given New Flexibility to Provide Treatment Services

WASHINGTON, D.C - March 12, 2015 — AIDS United welcomes the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau's new Policy Clarification Notice (#15-01) which revises an overly-restrictive interpretation of the Ryan White Program's 10% administrative cap.
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Crime Victim Center 3rd Annual Speaker Series Featuring NHL Star Theo Fleury

On April 23, 2015, Crime Victim Center of Erie County will host our third annual speaker series featuring former NHL Star Theo Fleury as the keynote speaker at the Bayfront Convention Center, 1 Sassafras Pier, Erie PA 16507 at 6:30 p.m. This event will allow Mr. Fleury to share his story of overcoming child abuse to become a hockey superstar and will help us educate the public on the services we provide to our community. Awareness and prevention education are the focus this year and we hope the public will walk away with a grasp of the impact that prevention can have in our community.
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Oklahoma Pro-Conversion 'Therapy' Bill Dies on State House Floor

Oklahoma City - March 12, 2015 —This afternoon, a bill introduced to the Oklahoma State House by Representative Sally Kern that would legalize anti-LGBT therapy died without coming to a vote. The defeat follows months of extensive grassroots organizing by national and state organizations working in coalition to educate parents and families about the ineffective and harmful practices of conversion therapy on LGBT youth.
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Navy's Top Enlisted Sailor Supports Open Service by Transgender Troops

WASHINGTON, DC March 12, 2015 - Today, the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation's largest organization of LGBT military families, responded to the report by the Navy Times that the senior enlisted sailor of the U.S. Navy - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens - would support open and honest service by transgender troops if the ban caused by outdated regulations were lifted.
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After GOP Legislature Passes S.B. 296, Governor to Sign Key Protections for LGBT Utahns

WASHINGTON - March 12, 2015 – After a marathon evening session, the Utah legislature gave final approval to S.B. 296, a non-discrimination bill extending existing employment and housing protections in Utah law to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill was introduced last week, the result of a milestone compromise between LGBT advocates in Utah and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The LDS Church continued to support the legislation as it made its way through both chambers.
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LGBT Women Are Among Most at Risk of Poverty in America

Washington, D.C. March 12, 2015 — According to a new report released today by a broad coalition of research and advocacy organizations, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) women are among the most at risk of poverty in America. Due to discriminatory laws, America's 5.1 million LGBT women face lower pay, frequent harassment, compromised access to health care, and heightened violence. Anti-LGBT laws, together with inequitable and outdated policies, mean that LGBT women's economic security is compromised by reduced incomes and added costs ranging from healthcare to housing.
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ACLU of Utah and Equality Utah Celebrate SB 296, Reject the Harmful Provisions of HB 322

SALT LAKE CITY - March 12, 2015 – After seven years of consideration, last night Utah lawmakers passed SB 296, which modifies the Utah Antidiscrimination Act and the Utah Fair Housing Act to address discrimination and religious freedoms by including sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited bases for unequal treatment.
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Dreams of Hope Presents multiMEdia A sQool workshop and event series

sQool at Dreams of Hope presents multiMEdia, a four-part workshop series surrounding intersectionality and art, led by program manger Cavanaugh Quick and featuring local artist Katie Kaplan (pennysmasher.tumblr.com). The workshop is hosted at Winchester Thurston Upper School in conjunction with their student Gay-Straight Alliance and will culminate in a free and public youth reception on Friday, April 10, at the Winchester Thurston Upper School, 555 Morewood Avenue, in Pittsburgh's Shadyside neighborhood. Over the course of four sessions, students will work with Dreams of Hope teaching artists to engage in critical analysis of art across a range of mediums, including music, prose, and visual pieces. This workshop will focus on the intersection of queerness with other social identities, in an examination of multidimensional systems of privilege and oppression.  Students will work together to create a mixed-media paneled mural in response to their analyses, to be unveiled at the youth reception. For more information about the youth reception, please email [email protected].
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Washington Post Ad Showcases Broad Business Support for the Freedom to Marry Nationwide

New York - March 10, 2015 – Freedom to Marry today ran a full-page ad in the Washington Post highlighting the nearly 400 businesses that submitted a friend-of-the-court-brief on Friday in support of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Of the 379 businesses on the brief, more than half – 196 – had not previously signed onto friend-of-the-court briefs supporting marriage.
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Social Security Sued for Discriminating Against SSI Recipients Married to a Same Sex Spouse and Demanding Refunds of Ben

March 10, 2015 - Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Justice in Aging, and Foley Hoag LLP today filed a class action lawsuit, Held v. Colvin, against the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients married to someone of the same sex in or before June 2013. The suit charges that SSA discriminated against these individuals for months, and in some cases more than a year, after that discrimination was held unlawful by the Supreme Court when it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in June 2013.
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Upcoming Egyptian Economic Conference Opportunity For Business Leaders to Champion LGBT Equality

WASHINGTON - March 10, 2015 –– Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, sent letters to prominent business leaders who are scheduled to speak at the upcoming Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC). HRC urged these high-level private sector speakers, many representing companies that have already demonstrated a deep-seated commitment to LGBT equality, to raise the issue of Egyptian human rights abuses in the context of foreign investment.
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Casey, 211 Members of Congress File Supreme Court Brief in Support of Marriage Equality

Washington, DC - March 10, 2015 - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has joined 211 members of Congress in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of marriage equality as the court considers the issue during this term. The four cases from Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky challenge state laws that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying and deny recognition to lawful marriages performed by other states.  The Supreme Court will decide whether the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the freedom to marry and to have their marriages respected nationwide. 
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Senator Silk, Unplugged

WASHINGTON - March 9, 2015 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) highlighted new comments from Oklahoma state Senator Joseph Silk, who has quickly attracted national infamy for his commitment to passing laws targeting his LGBT fellow Oklahomans.
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Army Makes a Big Change in Discharge Policy for Transgender Soldiers

WASHINGTON, DC - March 6, 2015 - Today, the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation's largest organization of LGBT military families, responded to the news that the Army has officially made a policy change regarding dismissal of transgender service members, who are still prohibited from serving openly. Removal of a transgender service member from the Army must now be approved by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, rather than by local unit commanders.
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More Ocular Syphilis Cases in West Coast Gay Men Prompt Health Warnings

LOS ANGELES (March 6, 2015) Since December 2014, as many as 15 cases of ocular syphilis—a sexually transmitted disease which has led to blindness in several of the individuals—have been reported in men who have sex with men on the West Coast. Confirmed cases in Washington State, San Francisco as well as two suspected cases found in Los Angeles that are currently under investigation are raising alarm among public health officials, community care providers and prevention specialists.
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U.S. Army Takes Historic Step on Transgender Troops

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - March 6, 2015 – Today, the U.S. Army took an official and historic step by elevating responsibility for approving discharges of transgender Soldiers to an Assistant Secretary of the Army. The action follows a February 16 USA Today story quoting Aaron Belkin of the Palm Center about a draft version of the policy that became official today.
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Human Rights Campaign and Plaintiff James Obergefell Deliver People's Brief With Over 200,000 Signatures for Marriage Eq

Washington, D.C. - March 6, 2015 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, delivered its historic "People's Brief" – with 207,551 signatories calling for full nationwide marriage equality – to the U.S. Supreme Court. HRC was joined by James Obergefell, the named plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges, the consolidated marriage equality cases set to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on April 28th and decided by late June.
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Civil Rights Organizations Ask Federal Court In Alabama To Order Freedom To Marry Statewide

(Mobile, AL, March 6, 2015)—A group of leading national civil rights organizations today filed a motion requesting a federal district court to expand a lawsuit challenging Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage and to order all county probate judges in the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
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In Utah, S.B. 297 is a Poison Pill that Targets Religious Minorities, Racial Minorities, and LGBT People for Discriminat

WASHINGTON - March 6, 2015 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) reacted to new, dangerous and harmful legislation (S.B. 297) introduced days after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and LGBT rights organizations reached a key compromise on a non-discrimination bill (S.B. 296) in the state.
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Buffalo United Artists Takes Ten: GLBT Short Plays 2015

Buffalo United Artists will present the third annual BUA Takes Ten: GLBT Short Plays. From among 300 submissions from all over the country, co-curators Matthew Crehan Higgins Donna Hoke, and Jessica K. Rasp chose nine plays that reflect diverse aspects of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender life on March 27-April 11, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM.
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Bisexual Resource Center Designates March as Bisexual Health Awareness Month

Boston, MA – Recognizing that the bisexual community remains marginalized and underserved, the Bisexual Resource Center (BRC) proudly proclaims March once more as Bisexual Health Awareness Month (BHAM).
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The Amazon Trail: Santa Dyke 1998

How should a dyke or a gay man celebrate the winter holidays? 'm pretty spiritual, but I'm nowhere near religious. What if I don't observe any of the holy days this time of year, but celebrate the spirit of all of them? I've had Christmas trees with Solstice lights and a menorah burning on the mantle. I've wrapped speculums in aluminum foil and hung them from a collective Solstice tree. I spent one Christmas Day crying into my Crystal Geyser over a break up, fearing the season had been ruined forever.
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