March, 2017 News (73 Articles with 133,032 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for March, 2017 GEAE HOCKEY NIGHT: Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) held their annual GEAE Hockey Night  on February 18 at Erie Insurance Arena There was a yummy buffet and good times with friends and supporters. Photo: Mike Mahler

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Calendar of Local GLBT Events

Up to date listing of events and meetings.

Entertainment and Travel

Call for Entries - 94th Annual Spring Show at Erie Art Museum

February 14, 2017, Erie, Pennsylvania – The Erie Art Museum is pleased to announce the call for entries in the 94th Annual Spring Show. The deadline for entries is April 1st at 5 p.m. Detailed entry information and receiving dates are available on the Museum's website at  http://erieartmuseum.org/call-for-entries/
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Lecture at Erie Art Museum by 'Visual Activist' Susan Shie

February 21, 2017 On Thursday, March 16 at 7 PM, in the Special Events Toom at the the Erie Art Museum, 411 State St, Erie PA, Visual Activist Susan Shie will present a lecture. The lecure in free and open to the public. Susan Shie is a feminist painter, social commentator, and quilt artist, who cares deeply about social justice. Her work reflects everything from events in her personal life, to broad issues like human rights, climate change, and world politics.  She is warm, down-to-earth, and promises to deliver a talk full of stories, wisdom, and the artist's role in speaking truth to power. Based in Wooster, Ohio, Shie has exhibited, presented, and taught nationally and internationally since 1986. She is one of the artists featured in Earth Stories, a traveling exhibit now on view at the Erie Art Museum, which showcases works from 24 contemporary international fiber artists, each inspired by issues of environmental concern. 
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VisitErie Including LGBT section in Hello Erie App

VisitErie has added an LGBT section to our Hello Erie mobile app (available on Android and iTune)! It has the same content as the LGBT web page on VisitErie.com. VisitErie has over 21,000 downloads of this app and they promote it heavily throughout the year.
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Madonna's Dancers documentary Strike a Pose Airing on Logo on April 6

New York, NY – February 16, 2017 –   Hot off the heels of Logo's "RuPaul's Drag Race" Lady Gaga reveal, the network announced today the first of the Logo Documentary Films for this year will be "Strike a Pose," which will premiere on Logo on Thursday, April 6 at 9pm ET/PT.   The film catches up with seven young male dancers – 6 gay, one straight – on Madonna's controversial Blond Ambition tour and her subsequent "Truth or Dare" documentary, as they unwittingly become icons for gay rights and sexual freedom.  Twenty-five years later, the dancers reveal the truth about life during and after the tour and the significance of their courageous but harrowing journey to, as Madonna sings, "Express Yourself."  The critically acclaimed documentary, from filmmakers Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan and the Emmy Award-winning Logo Documentary Films, was an official selection at the 2016 Tribeca, Berlin and Hot Docs Film Festivals.
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Erie Art Museum Gallery Night scheduled for March 10, 2017

March 2, 2017, Erie, PA-Lots of fresh art, and an opportunity to meet dozens of artists at locations all around town, await the public at the Erie Art Museum's next Gallery Night-Friday, March 10 from 7 until 10 p.m. A city-wide gallery crawl through 12 local, independent art galleries and the Museum, which offers five new exhibitions, Gallery Night venues open their doors after-hours for visitors to get up close and personal with art and artists in a unique way. Each gallery offers a different experience, from artist meet & greets to wine samplings to live music, and visual art, featuring local, regional, and national artists. Admission is free to the public at all sites.
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National Geographic To Make Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric Available For Free, Beginning Valentine's Day

National Geographic To Make Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric Available For Free, Beginning Valentine's Day
(WASHINGTON, D.C. – FEB. 13, 2017) – National Geographic has announced it will make the two-hour documentary GENDER REVOLUTION: A JOURNEY WITH KATIE COURIC available to stream for free, beginning Tuesday, Feb. 14, for one week. The stream will be available on National Geographic's website, YouTube channel, Facebook page, Apple TV app and TV Everywhere mobile apps. Produced by Katie Couric Media with National Geographic Studios and World of Wonder Productions, network will also air a special encore of the documentary on Monday night, February 13 at 9/8c.
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Gary Cardot: Memories / Dreams Exhibition at Erie Art Museum

February 2, 2017, Erie, Pennsylvania – The Erie Art Museum is pleased to present a new Holstein Gallery exhibition, Memories / Dreams by Gary Cardot. The show will run from February 17, 2017 through June 24, 2017.
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Lady Gaga To Appear On Season Premiere Of RuPaul's Drag Race

NEW YORK, NY – February 7, 2017 – Fresh off a stunning Super Bowl halftime show performance, Lady Gaga is set to appear on the season premiere of Logo's Emmy® Award-winning competition series,  "RuPaul's Drag Race."  Logo today announced that the new season will kick off with "Mother Monster" and RuPaul this March.  
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Local and Regional News

Tables at Pride Fest on June 24

NW PA Pride Alliance invites you to participate as a table at this year's Pride Fest, to be held on Saturday, June 24 from 2 to 4 PM in Perry Square at W. 6th and State, Erie PA. Set-up will begin at noon. All tables are expected to remain set up until the end of the festival. Registering for tables for those who had a table at last year's Pride Fest began on February 1, and table registration for everyone else begins on March 1. The cost to participate is $15 per table and must be paid in full by Thursday, June 1. The cost includes one 8-foot table and two chairs. Checks should be made payable to: NW PA Pride Alliance and mailed to PO Box 11448, Erie PA 16514. The festival will be held outdoors and will take place rain or shine. You may bring a canopy up to 10 x 10 for shade. Electricity is unavailable to tables for this event.
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Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) Hockey Night on February 18

Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) held their annual GEAE Hockey Night on February 18 at Erie Insurance Arena There was a yummy buffet and good times with friends and supporters.
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Become a 2017 NW PA Pride Donor!

This year the Northwest Pennsylvania Pride Alliance Inc is already hard at work to make 2017 and the 25th year of Pride special for the entire community. We look forward to having our Pride Fest in June of 2017 during the traditional PRIDE month, and we have the Pride Picnic and other events planned throughout the summer and fall. 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 2017 as we celebrate 25 years of Pride in NWPA.
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Shiver with Antici....pation for Drenched Fur 13

Drenched Fur is about to host their 13th year here in Erie PA during the weekend of March 30th thru April 2nd, 2017. And this year, their theme inspiration is the cult classic film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show The weekend of activities for the bear community and its friends is nearly sold out for full weekend packages. BUT there are several individual events available for ala carte pricing/choices. For information about these events visit www.drenchedfur.com. Contact: Gary Snyder. (814) 446-2327. info@drenchedfur.com.
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Deadline for March 2017 print edition (issue # 256) of Erie Gay News is Monday, February 13

Deadline for March 2017 print edition (issue # 256) of Erie Gay News is Monday, February 13
For the next print edition of Erie Gay News (issue # 256, cover dated for March 2017), please send in calendar events, news items, and other info for late February 2017 and beyond by Monday, February 13. We expect that the next print edition will come out on Tuesday, February 21.
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Political, Activism and Legal

Equality California Announces 2017 Legislative Package

Sacramento - February 28, 2017 - Equality California today announced the initial 10 sponsored bills of its 2017 legislative package. "The LGBT community faces significant challenges in Washington and across the country with attempts to roll back LGBT civil rights along with programs that LGBT people depend on, such as the Affordable Care Act," said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. "At the same time, California must not just hold the line, but continue to make progress in our goal of achieving full equality and social justice for LGBT people. In the coming years, our state can serve as a beacon of hope for the rest of the nation. This year's legislative package is part of our continuing effort to address the disparities that LGBT people face as a result of longstanding discrimination and lack of acceptance."
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NCAVP mourns the homicide of Ciara McElveen, a Black transgender woman killed in New Orleans, Louisiana

February 28, 2017 - The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) mourns the death of Ciara McElveen, a Black transgender woman, killed in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 27th, 2017. According to media reports, Ciara was found stabbed to death in the 7th Ward. Local media reports originally misgendered Ciara but local advocates and those who knew Ciara worked to correct press accounts. Ciara's homicide comes only two days after another Black transgender woman, Chyna Gibson, was shot and killed in New Orleans on February 25, 2017. Local transgender activist Syria Sinclaire spoke out about these recent homicides saying "We should have the right to live our lives open and free and not be taunted and traumatized by the general public if they don't approve."
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NCAVP mourns the homicide of Chyna Gibson, a Black transgender woman killed in New Orleans, Louisiana

February 26, 2017 - The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) mourns the death of Chyna Gibson, also known by her performing name, Chyna Doll Dupree, a Black transgender woman, killed in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 25, 2017. According to media reports, Chyna, a New Orleans native, was visiting for Mardi Gras and to see her family when she was shot and killed outside of a shopping center. Chyna was a well known and loved performer who toured the country. Following her homicide, there was an outpouring of support and memories of Chyna online. One friend said of Chyna: "My heart breaks as this community must find a way to honor you in death and begin to move forward. The stage will never be the same!"
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NCAVP mourns the homicide of Keke Collier, a Black transgender woman killed in Chicago, IL

February 24, 2017 - The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) has learned of the homicide of Keke Collier, also known to friends as Tiara Richmond, a Black transgender woman, killed in Chicago, Illinois on February 22, 2017. She was shot to death while walking near her home. Keke's homicide is the 4rd reported killing of a transgender/gender nonconforming person NCAVP has responded to in 2017. All four homicide victims have been transgender women of color. Local media reports continue to misgender Tiara, but LGBTQ media sources correctly identified Tiara thanks to advocacy from her friends and local community activists.
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NCLR: Mass Deportation Program Dangerous and Illegal

(San Francisco, CA, February 23, 2017)- On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security released documents outlining plans for a program of mass deportation that effectively targets all undocumented people, putting millions of people at risk. The plans expand mandatory detention and so-called "Fast Track" deportations, which can be carried out without any hearing before a judge. The plans also call for hiring thousands of new Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, and forcing state and local law officials to enforce federal immigration laws.
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GLSEN and PFLAG National Relaunch #ClaimYourRights Campaign In Support of Transgender Students

WASHINGTON, DC (February 23, 2017)-In the wake of rescinding guidance on Title IX protections for transgender students, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos issued a statement that said, in part: "At my direction, the Department's Office for Civil Rights remains committed to investigating all claims of discrimination, bullying and harassment against those who are most vulnerable in our schools."
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Statement from Equality PA On Protecting Transgender Youth from Discrimination

Harrisburg - February 23, 2017 Equality Pennsylvania Executive Director, Ted Martin, spoke out against the Trump administration after the administration rescinded the guidance for the Department of Education that Title IX protections cover transgender students: "With the statement from the Justice Department, the Trump administration is sending a message to transgender kids that the President of the United States doesn't have their backs. Every student should be treated fairly and equally under the law, and protecting transgender students helps ensure that they have the same opportunity as their classmates to fully participate in school.
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Pennsylvania Youth Congress Condemns the Rescinding of Federal Transgender Student Guidance

HARRISBURG, Pa. - February 23, 2017 - The Pennsylvania Youth Congress condemns the actions of the US Departments of Education and Justice in rescinding their transgender student guidance. The May 2016 "Dear Colleague" was a crucial letter that provided a national declaration of inclusion and respect for vulnerable students. 
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Military Families Outraged & Fearful Over Trump Administration Decision to Rescind Transgender Student Guidance for Scho

WASHINGTON - February 22, 2017 -- Tonight, the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation's largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military families, expressed outrage over the Trump Administration's decision to rescind Obama administration guidance from the Department of Justice (DoJ) and Department of Education (DoE) that ensured transgender students are treated with dignity and respect. The original federal guidance clearly stated schools' obligations to protect transgender students under Title IX and ensure they have access to facilities consistent with their gender identity, among other protections.
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NCLR Condemns Lawless Shift in Federal Policy on Transgender Students

(San Francisco, CA, February 22, 2017)- Today, under pressure from the Department of Justice, the Department of Education announced that it will no longer enforce Title IX to protect transgender students equally in all school facilities, including restrooms. Title IX guarantees students the right to a safe and supportive learning environment regardless of gender and protects them from discrimination. From its inception, Title IX was intended to promote equity in education for all students.
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Civil and Human Rights Community Condemns Rescission of Title IX Guidance Clarifying Protections for Transgender Student

WASHINGTON - February 22, 2017 -; Today The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Center for Transgender Equality, GLSEN, the National Women's Law Center, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign, and MALDEF issued the following statement in response to the Trump administration's rescission of Title IX guidance, which clarifies protections for transgender students under the law: "The U.S. Department of Education has a critical and well-established role in clarifying and enforcing civil rights protections for all students. The department has an obligation to ensure that all students have equal educational opportunities, a mandate that applies regardless of a student's gender identity. Transgender students who face discrimination in schools have worse educational outcomes, and poorer psychological well-being than their cisgender peers.
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NEA reacts to Trump's plan to roll back protections of transgender students

WASHINGTON - February 22, 2017 -The Trump administration is planning to release a new plan to rescind federal guidance to protect transgender students from discrimination. The National Education Association, the nation's largest labor union, reiterated its pledge to double-down on protecting the civil rights of our LGBTQ students and members.
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OutServe-SLDN appalled at Trump Administration's withdrawal of guidance for transgender students

(WASHINGTON) February 22, 2017 – OutServe-SLDN issued the following statement in response to President Trump's Justice and Education Departments' action today, rescinding guidelines the Obama Administration implemented for transgender students. The statement may be attributed to OutServe-SLDN's Executive Director, Matt Thorn. "Rescission of the Obama Administration's guidelines and protections for transgender students is an appalling and devastating action by the Departments of Justice and Education. This administration, and this President, has vowed to be an ally of the LGBTQ community; yet this action is a direct contradiction to that declaration. The removal of this guidance strikes at the heart of our nation – a nation which should proudly provide an education system that is free of discrimination, protects all our students, and provides a healthy and sustainable environment to learn.
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GLSEN, Mother of Trans Student Lost to Suicide and Advocate for Title IX Guidance Release Statement

NEW YORK (February 22, 2017) – According to a draft letter obtained by the Washington Post, the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice plan to rescind the Title IX guidance issued by the Obama Administration for accommodating transgender students in K-12 schools. Recent media reports indicate that there is disagreement in the White House over the decision to rescind this guidance. Katharine Prescott, who lost her transgender son Kyler to suicide after he faced discrimination at his school, was a key advocate for the guidance issued by the Obama administration. She issued the following statement: "After losing my son, I was compelled to help prevent this from happening to any other parent in any way possible. I was gratified to work with the Obama administration to ensure that this life-saving guidance was issued to help schools do the right thing by transgender students. Kyler's story made a difference. Kyler was victimized daily by teachers, administrators, and peers who did not understand his gender identity and by a school that did not do what was needed to protect him. I pulled him out of the traditional classroom and put him in independent study. I could support and protect him at home, but not in school. I would welcome the chance to share my story with Secretary DeVos and Attorney General Sessions to help them understand the real-life implications of reversing the Title IX guidance for protecting transgender students."
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AFT Responds to Trump's Plan to Roll Back LGBTQ Protections

WASHINGTON - Febuary 22, 2017 -American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' plan to rescind Title IX guidance for transgender students: "By rescinding these protections, the Trump administration is compromising the safety and security of some of our most vulnerable children. Children, not ideology, should be the priority.
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Trump DOJ/DOE transgender move: Equality Ohio responds

February 22, 2017 - In response to the Department of Justice and Department of Education's move this evening, Grant Stancliff, communications director of Equality Ohio issued the following statement: The Trump administration rescinded best-practice advice informed by parents, transgender children, and years of study on health outcomes for transgender youth.
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GLSEN Statement on Reversal of Title IX Guidance on Accommodating Transgender Students

>NEW YORK (February 22, 2017) – Tonight, the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice rescinded the guidance issued by the Obama administration on accommodating transgender and gender nonconforming students under Title IX. GLSEN's Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, issued the following statement in response. "Supports for transgender students in K-12 schools change and save lives, and hurt no one. President Trump's reversal of federal guidance affirming Title IX protections in schools undermines the settled expectations and protections afforded by federal law, hurts transgender students and impedes the progress we have made creating safer and more inclusive learning environments for all.
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Transgender Youth & Families Respond to Trump's School Guidance Efforts

February 22, 2017 - Today the Trump Administration took a giant step back from their previously stated commitment to champion fairness and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. While the Administration has rescinded federal guidance to schools on protecting transgender students, it is important to know that legal protections remain in place and schools should continue to treat transgender students according to the gender they live everyday.
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ACLU Statement on Revoking of Title IX Guidance for Transgender Students & Impact on Gavin Grimm Supreme Court Case

NEW YORK - February 22, 2017 - The Trump administration today informed the Supreme Court that they are revoking guidance from the Departments of Education and Justice that clarified that transgender students are protected from sex discrimination by Title IX, the federal law that bars gender discrimination. The guidance, which was issued last May, reiterated the rights of transgender students to use restrooms and facilities consistent with their gender identity.
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Equality California: Rescinding of Federal Transgender Student Guidelines 'A Dangerous Message'

Los Angeles - February 22, 2017 - In response to an announcement expected from the Trump Adminstration that it plans to rescind Obama-era guidelines protecting the right of transgender students nationwide to use restrooms and other facilities corresponding to their gender identity, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "The guidelines in question protect the basic dignity and safety that transgender students not only deserve, but to which they are legally entitled. They were based on over a decade of case law and proven best practices from schools around the country. The nation's education leaders--including the leading associations of teachers, principals, pediatricians, and school counselors and psychologists--support treating all students equally and consistent with their gender identity. The Administration is sending a dangerous message to school administrators and to students themselves that the wellbeing and safety of transgender students is not worthy of protection.
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Equality California: Immigration Memos are 'Cruel and Draconian'

Washington, D.C. - February 22, 2017 -Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly issued dual memos on Tuesday detailing how his department will implement executive orders on immigration issued in the first week of Donald Trump's presidency. The memos outline an aggressive augmentation of the nation's immigration enforcement, including the hiring of 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and 5,000 Border Patrol agents to carry out deportations.
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Trump Administration set to rescind trans student guidance - will have no impact on law

February 22, 2017 - Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will reportedly issue a joint "Dear Colleague" letter to schools across the country rescinding guidance issued by the Obama administration to help schools understand their responsibility to protect transgender students under Title IX.
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The Ninth Annual Keystone Conference: A Celebration of Gender Diversity

TransCentralPA is proud to announce that the ninth Annual Keystone Conference is scheduled for March 22 -26 2017, at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey, at 4650 Lindle Road, Harrisburg PA. The conference exists to provide vital information to those that identify as transgender as well as an opportunity to connect them with health care and other service providers. Added this year are two new features, a Family and Youth Program and a program in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Medical Society to train health care professionals on the methods of opening a medical practice to transgender patients.
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Equality California Condemns Backdoor Effort to Strip Planned Parenthood of Federal Funding

Los Angeles - February 17, 2017 -In response to yesterday's vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to overturn an Obama-era rule prohibiting states from denying federal family planning funding to Planned Parenthood or other organizations because they also offer abortion care, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "While the House did not vote outright to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood, yesterday's vote is still an assault on vital health services for women and for hundreds of thousands of LGBT people across the country. Federal rules already prohibit federal funds from supporting abortion services. If also approved by the Senate, the vote would allow states to remove federal funding for basic healthcare services provided by Planned Parenthood if they choose to do so.
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NCLR Condemns ICE Arrest of Survivor of Domestic Violence

(San Francisco, CA, February 16, 2017)- Last week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested an undocumented survivor of abuse at a courthouse in El Paso, Texas. The woman was in court to attend a hearing on a restraining order she was seeking against her abuser. An El Paso County Attorney said that most likely ICE was acting on a tip from the abuser himself, who would have been the only other person who knew the time and location of the hearing.
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Advocates demand immediate release of undocumented transgender woman and survivor of domestic violence

NATIONAL - The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs and Transgender Law Center denounce the arrest by immigration authorities of an undocumented transgender woman who is a survivor of domestic violence, and call for her immediate release. She was detained last week in an El Paso, Texas courthouse immediately after she was granted a protective order against her abusive partner.
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Washington State Supreme Court Rules Florist Discriminated Against Same-Sex Couple by Refusing Wedding-Related Service

OLYMPIA, Wash - February 16, 2017 - The Washington Supreme Court today ruled that a florist in Richland violated the state's anti-discrimination law when she denied service to a same-sex couple for their wedding.
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GLSEN to DeVos: Protect Crucial LGBTQ Youth Protections from Department of Education Cuts

NEW YORK (February 16, 2017) - In a recent interview with a Michigan radio program, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos telegraphed her intentions to cut what she deems "unnecessary" Department of Education programs, saying "I can't tell you today what is being done [at the Department of Education] that's unnecessary. But I can guarantee that there are things that the department has been doing that are probably not necessary or important for a federal agency to do. We'll be looking at that."
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Victory! Puzder Withdrew Nomination for Labor Secretary

February 15, 2017 - Equality Federation is pleased that following weeks of pressure, Andrew Puzder withdrew from consideration for Labor Secretary today. Equality Federation, alongside labor groups, women's groups, and others, has been raising concerns about Puzder's deeply troubling record of undermining the dignity of his employees and his refusal to answer questions about his commitment to nondiscrimination protections.
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SPLC: Hate Groups Increase for Second Consecutive Year as Trump Electrifies Radical Right

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - February 15, 2017 – The number of hate groups in the United States rose for a second year in a row in 2016 as the radical right was energized by the candidacy of Donald Trump, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) annual census of hate groups and other extremist organizations, released today.
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NCLR, Ropes & Gray Challenge AR Decision Denying Rights of Same-Sex Couples to Both Be Listed on Children's Birth Certif

NCAVP mourns the homicide of JoJo Striker, a Black transgender woman killed in Toledo, OH

February 14, 2017 - The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) has learned of the homicide of JoJo Striker, a Black transgender woman, killed in Toledo, OH on February 8th, 2017; the 3rd reported killing of a transgender/gender nonconforming person NCAVP has responded to in 2017. All three homicide victims have been transgender women of color. Initial reports misgendered JoJo, but recent reports have used her correct pronouns, and though little information is available at the time, JoJo's mother believes the shooting was a hate crime. Many transgender activists and allies have spoken out in support of JoJo as the news of her death has emerged.
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EQCA Statement on DOJ Failure to Defend Transgender Student Guidelines

Los Angeles February 12, 2017 –In response to a Justice Department announcement that it is withdrawing its request for a stay of an injunction on enforcement of Obama-era guidelines protecting transgender students, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Two weeks after pulling back on an on-again, off-again executive order that would have allowed sweeping religious exemptions to requirements protecting LGBT people from discrimination, the Trump Administration has reminded us that rollbacks of LGBT civil rights do not have to be thunderous or accompanied by great fanfare. They can happen quietly, incrementally, while the nation is otherwise distracted.
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CA court issues nonbinary gender change to Transgender Law Center client

(San Diego, CA - February 10, 2017)-Today, a court granted a name and gender change to Transgender Law Center client a.t. furuya, making a.t. the second person in California and the third in the country to obtain "nonbinary" as their legally designated gender. 
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Equality Federation Statement on Jeff Sessions Confirmation as Attorney General

February 8, 2017 - Equality Federation stood in solidarity with the broad, diverse opposition to Senator Sessions for Attorney General due to his history of opposing fairness, freedom, and justice for all. He has a record of opposing LGBTQ equality, making racist statements, and acting as a barrier to progress for people of color, women, immigrants and other communities. We hope Mr. Sessions meets with the communities the Department of Justice is meant to protect so that he can hear how any rollback of civil rights or nondiscrimination protections will harm our families.
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Equality Federation Statement on Jeff Sessions Confirmation as Attorney General

February 8, 2017 - Equality Federation stood in solidarity with the broad, diverse opposition to Senator Sessions for Attorney General due to his history of opposing fairness, freedom, and justice for all. He has a record of opposing LGBTQ equality, making racist statements, and acting as a barrier to progress for people of color, women, immigrants and other communities. We hope Mr. Sessions meets with the communities the Department of Justice is meant to protect so that he can hear how any rollback of civil rights or nondiscrimination protections will harm our families.
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Equal Justice for All Americans Endangered by Confirmation of Sessions as Attorney General

February 8, 2017 - Statement by Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn: The principle of equal justice under the law is now undermined by the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. It is deeply troubling that the people's lawyer is now a person who has such a long history of fighting against the civil rights and voting rights of so many Americans whose skin color or sexual orientation are different than his own. This is 2017, and we need leaders in government who are committed to all people in our country.
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'Pastor Protection Act' Rushes Through Ohio Legislature

COLUMBUS - February 8, 2017 ––A day after legislators formally introduced the "Pastors Protection Act," it is already receiving sponsor and proponent hearings in the House Community and Family Advancement Committee, indicating it may be on the fast track. HB 36 is a solution in search for a problem. It claims to stop lawsuits from same-sex couples against clergy who wish to decline marrying the couples because it is against their faith.
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GLSEN Statement on Confirmation of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education

NEW YORK (February 8, 2017) – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Betsy DeVos' nomination for Secretary of Education, despite hundreds of thousands of calls, emails and letters from parents, students and advocates for inclusive public education asking Senators to vote no. GLSEN's Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, issued the following statement in response.
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Outserve-SLDN dismayed that White House VA listening session did not include veteran's advocates

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) February 2, 2017 – OutServe-SLDN issued the following statement today in response to the news, first reported by the MilitaryTimes, that President Trump held a listening session on the VA but did not include veteran's advocates. The statement may be attributed to OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Matt Thorn. "Outserve-SLDN was not aware of this meeting until it was mentioned in the press. We are, dismayed, concerned and perplexed that the administration would not invite a broad spectrum of veteran's advocates like OutServe-SLDN or the American Legion or Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, who work day in and day out with veterans, to discuss the concerns and issues with and related to the Veteran's Affairs Department. In order to fix the complicated system, that is the Veteran's Affairs Department, it is critical to have the experts and advocates who work in the space at the table. We will only be successful in caring for and providing vital services to the millions of veterans in this country if we work collaboratively and in tandem. It is also perplexing that this meeting would be held without the confirmed Secretary of Veteran's Affairs Dr. Richard Shulkin who will be tasked with managing and executing any reforms and implementations moving forward. We hope that future meetings are more inclusive and present a diversity of advocates who work with our nation's veterans each and every day."
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Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Gloria Announce Bill to Modernize Discriminatory HIV Criminalization Laws

San Francisco - February 6, 2017 –  Today, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) introduced a bill to modernize laws that criminalize and stigmatize people living with HIV. Assemblymember David Chiu is also a co-author of the bill. SB 239 would amend California's HIV criminalization laws, enacted in the 1980s and '90s at a time of fear and ignorance about HIV and its transmission, to make them consistent with laws involving other serious communicable diseases. The bill is cosponsored by the ACLU of California, APLA Health, Black AIDS Institute, Equality California, Lambda Legal and Positive Women's Network - USA. The organizations are part of Californians for HIV Criminalization Reform (CHCR), a broad coalition of people living with HIV, HIV and health service providers, civil rights organizations and public health professionals dedicated to ending the criminalization of HIV in California. San Francisco Supervisor Jeff Sheehy also attended the announcement.
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Health

Nominations now being accepted for 2017 Class of Real Men Wear Pink

The American Cancer Society is now accepting nominations for 2017 Real Men Wear Pink Campaign.  In its second year, The Real Men Wear Pink campaign supports the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Event in Erie PA.
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The 7 Kinds of Love (Plus One More)

Lots of people talk about love, sing about love and write about love, but haven't you ever wondered: what exactly is "love" anyway?
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Study Suggests STI Testing and Treatment as Part of PrEP Care may Reduce Bacterial STIs among Gay and Bisexual Men

February 15, 2017 - A joint modeling study by The Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that for gay and bisexual men, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention, along with testing for and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STI), can reduce not only HIV, but also some STIs, even in the presence of some reductions in condom usage.
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New HIV infections drop 18 percent in six years

February 14, 2017 - The number of annual HIV infections in the United States fell 18 percent between 2008 and 2014 - from an estimated 45,700 to 37,600 - according to new estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) presented today at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle. Progress, however, was not the same among all populations or areas of the country.
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MSMGF Endorses Consensus Statement on Sexual Risk of HIV and Undetectable Viral Load

February 13, 2017 – Oakland, California, USA - MSMGF (the Global Forum on MSM & HIV) endorses the Consensus Statement on Risk of Sexual Transmission of HIV from a Person Living with HIV Who Has an Undetectable Viral Load. That statement reads: People living with HIV on ART with an undetectable viral load in their blood have a negligible risk[1] of sexual transmission of HIV. Depending on the drugs employed (and the person's individual situation), it may take as long as six months for the viral load to become undetectable. Continued and reliable HIV suppression requires selection of appropriate agents and excellent adherence to treatment. HIV viral suppression should be monitored to assure both personal health and public health benefits.
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Pennsylvania LGBTQA Health Conference June 14-15, 2017 in Cranberry, PA

We would like to invite you to attend the free LGBTQA Health Conference June 14th and 15th in Cranberry Pennsylvania!  The Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine and  Dr. Scout, director of LGBT Healthlink, will serve as keynote speakers for the 2 day event.  We have limited space so please RSVP at the link below as soon as possible
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Spirituality and Religion

Queer Christians Organize #glitterashwednesday March 1, 2017, Making Visible LGBTQ Christians and Allies

Queer Christians Organize #glitterashwednesday March 1, 2017, Making Visible LGBTQ Christians and Allies
NEW YORK – Pro-LGBTQ Christians across the country will "come out" on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, as part of #GlitterAshWednesday, announced today by the Rev. Marian Edmonds Allen, executive director of Parity, one of the lead organizers of the new initiative.
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

Michael Dithers - 25 Years of Pride and more

Michael Dithers - 25 Years of Pride and more
Erie is celebrating 25 years of Pride in 2017. Also, Erie County HIV Task Force continues to distribute FREE condoms at 25 locations across Erie County. FREE HIV screenings at Drenched Fur on April 1 at the Bel Aire Clarion Hotel and Conference Center.
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The Amazon Trail: Love Song

The only one likely to get any treats this Valentine's Day is the cat. As my sweetheart said, now that we're getting old and fat, we need to think of new ways to celebrate loving occasions. So, we treated ourselves to an iRobot Roomba 650. More expensive than a red heart full of chocolates, but oh, so rewarding, so low calorie.
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Contests

Enter to win Code Noir by Carmen Lundy!

Enter to win Code Noir by Carmen Lundy!
Enter to win Code Noir by Carmen Lundy! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, March 17 and Friday, April 7.
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Enter to win Technically Single by Tayler Buono!

Enter to win Technically Single by Tayler Buono!
Enter to win Technically Single by Tayler Buono! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, March 14 and Tuesday, April 4.
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Enter to win Tunnelvision from Boys' Entrance!

Enter to win Tunnelvision from Boys' Entrance!
Enter to win Tunnelvision from Boys' Entrance! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, March 10 and Friday, March 31.
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Enter to win Hollywood Gays by Boze Hadleigh from Riverdale Ave Books!

Enter to win Hollywood Gays by Boze Hadleigh from Riverdale Ave Books!
Enter to win Hollywood Gays by Boze Hadleigh from Riverdale Ave Books! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, March 7 and Tuesday, March 28.
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Enter to win Art + Work = Love EP from James Patrick Morgan!

Enter to win Art + Work = Love EP from James Patrick Morgan!
Enter to win Art + Work = Love EP from James Patrick Morgan! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, March 3 and Friday, March 24.
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Enter to win Akron DVD from Wolfe Video!

Enter to win Akron DVD from Wolfe Video!
Enter to win Akron DVD from Wolfe Video! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, February 28 and Tuesday, March 21.
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Enter to win Hollywood Lesbians: From Garbo to Foster by Boze Hadleigh from Riverdale Ave Books!

Enter to win Hollywood Lesbians: From Garbo to Foster by Boze Hadleigh from Riverdale Ave Books!
Enter to win Hollywood Lesbians: From Garbo to Foster from Riverdale Ave Books! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, February 24 and Friday, March 17.
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Enter to win Premier from Jonathan Cavier!

Enter to win Premier from Jonathan Cavier!
Enter to win Premier from Jonathan Cavier! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, February 21 and Tuesday, March 14.
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Miscellaneous

U.S. Navy Engineer Wins 'STEM Oscar' at 2017 BEYA Awards Gala

U.S. Navy Engineer Wins 'STEM Oscar' at 2017 BEYA Awards Gala
WASHINGTON – The awards gala featured pomp and circumstance, as industry legends and rising stars accepted accolades and made inspirational speeches here, Feb. 11.
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LGBTQ Students Benefit from Point Foundation Scholarship; Applications Accepted Online Starting March 1

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly half of the nation's undergraduate students are enrolled at community colleges, which are an increasingly important springboard for advancing to a bachelor's degree. To help lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) students transfer to a four-year degree program, Point Foundation (Point) welcomes applications for its Community College Scholarship.
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