August, 2017 News (79 Articles with 149,371 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for August, 2017 RECORD ATTENDANCE AT PRIDEFST Organizers at Erie Pride Fest estimate attendance at 750, making it the largest local Pride event to date. Photo: Andrea Shaffer

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Calendar & Upcoming Events

Calendar of Local GLBT Events

Up to date listing of events and meetings.

Entertainment and Travel

Groovalicious Carousel-Inspired Music Making Second Sunday, August 13, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

July 31, 2017, Erie, PA- The Erie Art Museum offers the educational program, Second Sundays, every month. This free program features art on display in the Museum, a tour in the gallery, and a hands-on craft. The next program will take place on Sunday, August 13 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Participants will look carefully at the Museum's large folk art carousel. Then everyone is invited to make a bagpipe, a bassoon, (very effective yet simple using tubes and balloons) or a can-jo (a twanging instrument made from fishing line and a can). Then participants will work together to create short compositions which will be recorded by hip hop producer and beatmeister Naji Adamson. Adamson will work with participants to loop and layer their compositions to create a 21st century carousel soundtrack.  This program is must for anyone who loves deep grooves, wacky instruments, and steampunk flair!
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Pairing Similarities: D.W. Martin Now on View at Erie Art Museum

July 21, 2017, Erie, PA- The Erie Art Museum is thrilled to present a new Holstein Gallery exhibition, Pairing Similarities: D.W. Martin. The show will run from June 30, 2017 through October 21, 2017. An artist reception will be held on Friday, July 28 during Gallery Night.
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Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead at Ashtabula Arts Center Aug 11-13

Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead at Ashtabula Arts Center Aug 11-13
Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead By Bert V. Royal will be presented at Ashtabula Arts Center, 2928 West 13th Street, Ashtabula OH 44004 www.ashtabulaartscenter.org August 11 and 12 at 7:30 PM and August 13 at 2:30 PM. The play is a "Rescued from the Mess" production, and is directed by Douglas Eric Anderson.
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Bob the Drag Queen: Suspiciously Large Woman Televised Premiere on Logo This Sunday

Drag Superstar Bob the Drag Queen arrives purse first and ready to take prisoners in her debut comedy special, Suspiciously Large Woman. Fresh off the world premiere at Outfest in Los Angeles, Suspiciously Large Woman is making its televised premiere on Logo on Sunday, July 16, 2017. No one is safe when the winner of RuPaul's Drag Race season 8 returns to her hometown of Atlanta after touring the world to hilariously tackle topics such as sex, white people, New York, and the one and only Beyonce.
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Local and Regional News

Support Pride in Erie on Erie Gives Day, August 8

The NWPA Pride Alliance, Inc. is committed to providing public events to increase visibility, awareness and a sense of community to the LGBTQIA population of the Erie, PA area. We're hoping you'll help us continue to bring you free and low cost events by supporting us on Erie Gives Day. August 8, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Eriegives.org.
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NW PA Pride Alliance 4th Annual Pride Night at the Erie Seawolves

On Monday, July 17 2017, NW PA Pride Alliance held their 4th Annual Pride Night at the Erie Seawolves at UPMC Park (formerly known as Jerry Uht Park) 110 E 10th St, Erie PA.
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Fire at Jamestown gay bar

Fire at Jamestown gay bar
A fire set in the early morning hours of July 13 has temporarily closed Sneakers, located at 100 Harrison Street in Jamestown NY. The fire was confined to the first floor and did not affect the apartments on the second floor. The fire is still under investigation. At the present time it is not being treated as a hate crime by the Jamestown Police Department. The bar's owner, Mary Green, also made it clear that she doesn't think it is a hate crime. "I have never stated I thought it was a hate crime," she wrote on her Facebook account . "I stated it is more likely to be someone who knows me/Sneakers because of their knowledge in gaining entry."
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PFLAG Meadville is now Crawford Area LGBT+

We have finalized the decision to not pursue becoming an official PFLAG charter and have instead decided to remain a local independent group. With that decision made, we also have changed the name of the group to 'Crawford Area LGBT+'. We will continue to meet on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7pm. New location: Unitarian Universalist Church Universalist Church of Meadville, 346 Chestnut. Find on Facebook: Crawford Area LGBT+
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NW PA Pride Alliance hosts Painting with Pride at The Zone Dance Club

On Monday, July 10, 2017, NW PA Pride Alliance held another Painting with Pride fundraiser. The venue was The Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA. Participants led by instructor Angela Howell had a great time painting a beach scene.
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Erie Native Rear Admiral Receives Third Star

Erie Native Rear Admiral Receives Third Star
(SUFFOLK, Va.) – Rear Adm. Matthew J. Kohler, currently assigned as Commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) in Suffolk, Va., was promoted to the rank of vice admiral on July 6.
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Deadline for August 2017 print edition (issue # 261) of Erie Gay News is Saturday, July 15

Deadline for August 2017 print edition (issue # 261) of Erie Gay News is Saturday, July 15
For the next print edition of Erie Gay News (issue # 261, cover dated for August 2017), please send in calendar events, news items, and other info for late July 2017 and beyond by Saturday, July 15. We expect that the next print edition will come out on Tuesday, July 25
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Pride March & Fest Record Turnout

On June 24, 2017, Erie celebrated 25 years of Pride events with the 2017 Erie Pride March and Fest. It is estimated that about 750 people attended the festivities. Both local TV crews as well as the Erie Times News covered the event. MIC.com was back again this year to cover Erie Pride as part of the "Small City, Big Pride" series for Google.
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Miss Erie Pageant

On Sunday, June 25, The Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA hosted the Miss Erie Pageant. Brionna Brooks was crowned Miss Erie 2017, with Britney Shea as runner up. Performers at the pageant included former Miss Erie title holders Misty Michaels Kall (2011), Michelle Michaels (2002), Mistress Vanitay (2009), Veronica Lace (2014), Buffy Lynne Hayes (2010), Danyel Vasquez (2016 - the outgoing title holder), Valerie Valentino (2015), Angelica Redd (2003) and Rhiannon Angelina (2008). Judges were Rhiannon Angelina, Thomas J, and Ashley Lauria
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25th Annual Pride Picnic on August 26

This event is free and open to the public, so bring your buns down to the beach and see what's cooking! NW PA Pride Alliance would like to invite you to join us for the 25th Annual Erie Pride Picnic on Saturday, August 26th at the Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle (near Beach 7) from 1 to 6 PM. Please note that this year's picnic is in August rather than in June.
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Local Faces and Photos

Erie Native Sailor Serves in Bay of Bengal Aboard USS Nimitz

Erie Native Sailor Serves in Bay of Bengal Aboard USS Nimitz
BAY OF BENGAL (July 14, 2017) U.S. Navy Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class Ryan Hillard, from Erie, Pa., directs aircraft aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), July 14, 2017, in the Bay of Bengal. Malabar 2017 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises between the Indian navy, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and U.S. Navy that has grown in scope and complexity over the years to address the variety of shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ian Kinkead)
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Political, Activism and Legal

Equality Texas' Statement Regarding Spike in Calls to Suicide Hotline

Equality Texas' Statement Regarding Spike in Calls to Suicide Hotline
Texas – August 3, 2017 – Late last night, the Trevor Project – the nation's largest LGBTQ youth crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization – issued a press statement about the amount of incoming calls, text messages and online chats they've received from transgender youth. The influx of communications to the suicide prevention organization corresponded most notably after President Trump's tweet regarding transgender military service members, and the local to national news coverage of proposed "bathroom bill" in the Texas legislature.
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LGBTQ Suicide Hotline Calls from Transgender Youth More than Double Following Trump's Trans Military Ban Tweet

August 2, 2017 (West Hollywood, CA) – Today, the Trevor Project – the nation's largest LGBTQ youth crisis intervention & suicide prevention organization – reported a dramatic spike in calls, text messages and online chats overall, and most specifically from transgender youth following President Trump's tweet regarding transgender military service members and the announcement of the "bathroom bill" in the Texas legislature.
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Lambda Legal Blasts Trump and the DOJ Over Plans to Undermine and Sabotage Affirmative Action Policies

Washington, DC - August 2, 2017 – Today, Lambda Legal CEO Rachel B. Tiven blasted the Trump administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions over new reports revealing plans to undermine and attack affirmative action policies. A report from The New York Times this week affirmed the effort will dedicate resources from the DOJ's Civil Rights Division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants. The effort continues adding to a laundry list of civil rights offenses by the Trump administration, the most recent of which came last week when the administration levied a series of assaults on LGBT rights and policies.
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LGBTQ Women Candidates Win at Higher Rates than Men, New Analysis of Victory Fund Election Data Finds

Washington, DC- August 1, 2017 – LGBTQ women running for office win their elections at a significantly higher rate than LGBTQ men, according to a new Victory Institute analysis of Victory Fund election data with more than 1,160 LGBTQ candidates. Over the past decade, Victory Fund-endorsed LGBTQ women won their races 70.3 percent of the time, compared to 60.9 percent for Victory Fund-endorsed LGBTQ men, a statistically significant difference. The disparity is notable given studies show women and men as a whole win elections at approximately the same rate.
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56 Retired Generals & Admirals Warn That Trump's Anti-Transgender Tweets, If Implemented, Would Degrade Readiness

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - August 1, 2017- Fifty-six retired General and Flag Officers provided the following statement to the Palm Center today "The Commander in Chief has tweeted a total ban of honorably serving transgender troops. This proposed ban, if implemented, would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy. As a result, the proposed ban would degrade readiness even more than the failed 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. Patriotic transgender Americans who are serving-and who want to serve-must not be dismissed, deprived of medically necessary health care, or forced to compromise their integrity or hide their identity.
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Transgender Law Center Launches Expanded Transform Tech Initiative

(San Francisco, CA - July 31, 2017 )- Today, as part of an ongoing partnership with Slack Technologies, Inc., Transgender Law Center (TLC) is excited to announce the next phase of Transform Tech, an initiative which launched in April with a summit for transgender people working in the technology sector and leaders in the field to connect and discuss challenges. This second phase will focus on the creation of a comprehensive set of curriculum for use across the technology sector to better assure the inclusion and retention of transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) employees, potential talent, and clients.
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ACLU of Montana Challenges Legal Sufficiency of Anti-LGBTQ Ballot Initiative

HELENA, Mont. - JJuly 31, 2017 - The ACLU of Montana today challenged in the Montana Supreme Court the legal sufficiency of a proposed anti-LGBTQ ballot initiative, I-183. The petition argues that the ballot and fiscal impact statements fail to adequately explain the initiative's discriminatory impacts on transgender individuals and state and local budgets.
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Equality California: Healthcare Repeal Bill's Defeat Saves LGBTQ Lives

Washington, D.C. - July 28, 2017 – In response to the dramatic Senate vote which ended attempts by Republican leadership to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Repeated efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act collapsed late last night thanks to the hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ and other Americans who attended town hall meetings and rallies, made phone calls to their elected officials, sent emails, wrote letters and kept the pressure on senators. Passage of the bill would have cost thousands of LGBTQ lives and we're profoundly grateful to all who took a courageous stand.
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SPLC: Trump Administration Attempting to Roll Back Civil Rights of LGBT Community

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - July 27, 2017 – The following statement, regarding a brief filed by the Department of Justice Wednesday night claiming that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect LGBT people from employment discrimination, is by David Dinielli, deputy legal director at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC): "A majority of Americans believe that LGBT people should be protected from discrimination in the workplace. But last night, President Trump's Justice Department filed a brief arguing the opposite – that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act provides no such protections, despite the growing consensus that discrimination 'on the basis of sex' encompasses discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
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DOJ Seeks To Undermine Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Protections

WASHINGTON-DC - July 27, 2017: Last night, the Department of Justice filed an amicus brief in Zarda v. Altitude Express arguing that sexual orientation is not covered under Title VII's non-discrimination protections. 
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ACLU of Kansas Statement on Potential Brownback Nomination

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - July 26, 2017 - In response to President Trump's anticipated nomination of Gov. Sam Brownback as Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, ACLU of Kansas Executive Director Micah Kubic made the following statement: "Today has been a dark day for the core American value of equality under the law. On the heels of President Trump's shameful attack on the military service of transgender Americans, it has been announced that Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will be nominated by the president as the Ambassador for International Religious Freedom. Given Gov. Brownback's record of steadfast opposition to equal rights for LGBT Americans - and his wrong-headed insistence that discrimination is justified by religious belief - the nomination should be considered a further indication of the Trump Administration's approach to equality.
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Civil and Human Rights Coalition Condemns Sessions' Justice Department Course Alteration on LGBT Rights

WASHINGTON - July 26, 2017 - Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement following the filing of an amicus brief today by the Sessions Justice Department arguing that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation: "In the second Trump administration attack on LGBT rights today, the Sessions Justice Department filed a legal brief arguing that our landmark federal employment discrimination law, Title VII, does not protect against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The Trump administration's court filing contravenes recent court decisions and guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that recognizes such protection. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights proudly stands with LGBT Americans and their allies who seek relief from discrimination in our judicial system."
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ACLU Comment on Justice Department Position on Civil Rights Act and LGBT Protections

NEW YORK - July 26, 2017 - The Justice Department filed a brief today arguing that LGBT people are not protected from discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
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Palm Center Statement on President Trump's Transgender Military Service Comments

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - July 26, 2017- Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, offered the following comment in response to President Trump's tweets about transgender military service. "The President is creating a worse version of 'don't ask, don't tell.' As we know from the sad history of that discredited policy, discrimination harms military readiness. This is a shocking and ignorant attack on our military and on transgender troops who have been serving honorably and effectively for the past year. As former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen stated yesterday, their service must be respected. The Rand Corporation has estimated that the cost of medical care for transgender troops is approximately one one-hundredth of one percent of the military annual health care budget, or at most, $8.4 million per year. To claim otherwise is to lie about the data."
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OutServe-SLDN Comments on Trump Tweets Regarding Transgender Service Members

(WASHINGTON) July 26, 2017 – OutServe-SLDN issued the following statement today, in response to Donald Trump's tweetstorm on open military service by transgender individuals.: "In his latest example of pseudo-policy-by-twitter, Donald Trump has shown blatant disregard for transgender service members who have been serving openly since October 2016. The disruptive burden to the military comes from indecision in a White House which itself is not focused on victory if it's targeting service members. The readiness, effectiveness, and lethality of the Armed Services comes from the commitment of our troops – not the vagaries and bigotry of exclusionary policies.
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Victory Fund Endorses Ten LGBTQ Candidates including Tyler Titus for Erie City School Board

Washington, DC – Today Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, endorsed ten candidates in local races. Victory Fund is working to increase the number of LGBTQ elected officials in state and local governments – particularly in states with low levels of equality and little LGBTQ representation.
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Pennsylvania Equality Project Rally Against Conversion Therapy

On Sunday, July 9 2017, Pennsylvania Equality Project held a rally on the Erie County Courthouse steps to call for a ban on "conversion therapy." Video of the event on the organization's Facebook page. Photos by Deb Spilko.
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ACLU and Lambda Legal Challenge Fake Repeal of North Carolina's Discriminatory HB 2

RALEIGH - July 21, 2017– Today, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina, and Lambda Legal announced they have taken steps to expand the federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina's sweeping anti-LGBT law HB 2 to include a challenge to its discriminatory replacement, HB 142, which left many of the harms caused by HB 2 in place.  The advocacy groups also added two LGBT North Carolinians to the case.  
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Congresswoman Seeking to Create 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' for Transgender Troops Promotes False Data

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - July 20, 2017 -Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) is again promoting false data about health care costs and military readiness as she renews her push to create a "don't ask, don't tell" policy for transgender troops.
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Allentown, PA Becomes Latest Municipality to Protect Youth from 'Conversion Therapy'

WASHINGTON - July 20, 2017 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, and Equality Pennsylvania, the statewide organization working to advance LGBTQ equality, praised the Allentown, Pennsylvania City Council for unanimously passing and Mayor Ed Pawlowski for signing a measure protecting LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of "conversion therapy." The ordinance prohibits licensed mental health professionals from engaging in conversion therapy with minors within the city and imposes potential business license revocation for violations.. Allentown is the third Pennsylvania city to pass such a measure, following Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
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Lambda Legal Condemns Confirmation of John K. Bush to Federal Bench

Washington, DC - July 20, 2017 – Today, the United States Senate confirmed John Kenneth Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in a 51 to 47 vote, along party lines. Bush's writings and statements throughout his career in regards to fundamental rights have illustrated contempt for the rights of LGBT Americans, women, and all people living with HIV.  As noted by numerous Senators who spoke out in opposition to this nomination, Bush's offensive public statements and anonymous blog posts were rife with homophobic and misogynistic language unlike anything in recent memory. By passing along "birther" conspiracy theories about President Obama and comparing abortion to slavery, John Bush represents a new low in terms of Congressional rubber-stamping of the extremist agenda of the Trump/Pence administration. 
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ACLU Files Lawsuit Demanding Documents on Plans to Implement Trump Religious Exemptions Executive Order

NEW YORK - July 20, 2017 - The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against four federal agencies demanding documents from the Trump administration that provide clarity on how the administration plans to implement its 'religious freedom' executive order.
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LGBTQ Advocates Relieved Senate Fails to Pass TrumpCare Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. July 19, 2017 -U.S. Senators Moran and Lee have refused to vote on the so-called Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), erasing the Republican party's hope of gaining 50 votes in favor, and effectively ending the third attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If passed, the bill would have destabilized the insurance market, gutted Medicaid spending, defunded Planned Parenthood, stripped essential health benefits and undermined care for people with pre-existing conditions, and overall increased the cost of insurance.
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Singapore Voids Marriage of Trans Woman And Her Wife

As The Straits Times has reported on July 18th, the Registry of Marriages ("the Registry") has voided the marriage of a transgender woman and her partner in an unprecedented case in Singapore condemned by OutRight Action International. Known as FK and BS, the couple were married in October 2015 while FK was still designated as male under Singaporean law. When applying for subsidised housing available only to married couples, Singapore's Housing and Development Board (HDB) questioned the couple's marriage because, by then, they were each legally registered as female. The marriage was then voided by the Registry and later the couple was denied marital housing.
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Palm Center Response to Gen. Selva's Transgender Service Claims During Armed Services Committee Hearing

GLSEN Responds As Sec. DeVos Stonewalls on Transparency About OCR Policy Changes on LGBTQ Students

(New York, NY) - July 18, 2017 - In a July 11 letter to Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos claimed that the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, under President Obama, had overly broadened the scope of investigations into discrimination against students, leading to an inability to adequately investigate individual complaints. In the letter, DeVos also claimed that she saw herself as "returning the OCR to its role as a neutral, impartial investigative agency," alleging, without elaboration, that the agency had previously "value[d] one type of violation over another [and] one class of complainant over another."  In a July 14 response, Sen. Murray reiterated previous demands for full documentation of policy changes made by the OCR, including: lists of complaints made by transgender students and victims of sexual harassment, and their current status; the complete investigative manual currently being used by the OCR; and more. To date, Sen. Murray has not received a response.
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Lambda Legal Brings Together LGBT Groups Urging the Senate to Oppose the Confirmations of John Bush and Damien Schiff

Washington, DC - July 17, 2017 – Today, Lambda Legal and 26 other national LGBT groups urged the Senate to oppose the confirmations of John K. Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and Damien Schiff to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, citing public statements and writings from both nominees and their repeated demonstration of "contempt for the rights of LGBT Americans, people living with HIV, women, and other vulnerable populations." In a letter sent https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/us_20170717_lgbt-groups-opposition-letter to the full Senate – just days after Bush and Schiff were approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on party-line votes – LGBT groups opposed to the confirmations cite not only homophobic epithets and other anti-LGBT and misogynistic remarks made by nominees in their public speeches and writings, but also records that clearly illustrate their "views on civil rights issues are fundamentally at odds with the notion that LGBT people are entitled to equality, liberty, justice and dignity under the law."
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The Eliminate Hate Campaign: News outlets that properly label hate groups should never apologize

In response to attacks on news outlets for properly identifying the Alliance Defending Freedom as an anti-LGBTQ hate group, The Eliminate Hate Campaign released the following statement: "The Eliminate Hate Campaign stands by all media outlets doing their part to properly identify anti-LGBTQ hate and extremism. Alliance Defending Freedom has been labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for their efforts to criminalize the LGBTQ community -- media outlets should never apologize for holding hate groups accountable for their actions."
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Pride Fund Endorses Elizabeth Guzman, Kathy Tran, and Zack Wittkamp in Virginia HD-31, HD-42, and HD-94

Pride Fund Endorses Elizabeth Guzman, Kathy Tran, and Zack Wittkamp in Virginia HD-31, HD-42, and HD-94
Washington, D.C, July 13, 2017Pride Fund to End Gun Violence PAC – America's only national LGBTQ political organization solely focused on gun violence prevention – today announced its endorsement of Elizabeth Guzman for Virginia's HD-31, Kathy Tran in HD-42, and Zack Wittkamp in HD-94 House of Delegates election.
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US House of REps Votes Down Amendment Ripping Away Critical Health Care for Trans Service Members & Military Famil

WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 13, 2017 - Today, OutServe-SLDN and the American Military Partner Association (AMPA) praised a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives voting down a vicious amendment that would have ripped away medically necessary health care for transgender service members and military dependents. Proposed by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), the amendment would have barred access to transition-related health care - including critically important care such as hormone therapy - for service members and military family members. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 214 to 209.
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Lambda Legal: Today US Senate Committee Did More Harm While House Democratic Leaders Introduced Do No Harm Act

Washington, DC - July 13, 2017 – Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee (in a 11-9 vote along party lines), voted in favor of the nominations of John Bush and Damien Schiff for positions on the federal bench. Bush, who has been nominated for the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and Schiff, nominated for the US Court of Federal Claims, have virulent anti-civil rights records replete with anti-LGBT, misogynistic and racist rhetoric. Lambda Legal and 15 other national LGBT groups opposed their nominations, and will now take their message to the full Senate, which will vote on these nominees in the coming weeks. 
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Consumer fraud lawsuit filed against Berkeley therapist for charging over $70K for discredited conversion therapy

(San Francisco, CA, July 13, 2017)-Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP filed a complaint on behalf of Katherine McCobb, against California-licensed marriage and family therapist Lloyd Willey. Willey told McCobb that being a lesbian is unnatural and pathological and that her sexual orientation could be changed using therapy. The practice of so-called "conversion therapy" has been discredited by the American Psychological Association and other professional counseling organizations as ineffective, unethical, and dangerous. McCobb paid Willey more than $70,000 for eight years of therapy based on fraudulent, harmful lies.
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HRC: New Senate Proposal Jeopardizes Health Coverage for Millions of Americans

WASHINGTON - July 13, 2017 -- Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, responded to the latest draft of their so-called "health care" bill. While the Congressional Budget Office has yet to score this version of the legislation, a previous projection estimated the legislation will result in 22 million Americans losing their health insurance by 2026 -- with 15 million losing their insurance by the end of next year.
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ACLU Statement on Reintroduction of Do No Harm Act

WASHINGTON - July 13, 2017- Reps. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.), with the full support of the American Civil Liberties Union, reintroduced the Do No Harm Act in Congress today to ensure that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) continues to protect religious freedom without being used to discriminate against  women, the LGBT community, and others.
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LGBTQ Advocates Convene in Alexandria to Build Power of Movement

Leaders of state-based equality organizations-from Equality California to Equality Maine-and key national partners, will convene at Equality Federation's 20th annual Leadership Conference in Alexandria, Virginia July 26-29.
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BREAKING: House Rules Committee Voting on Radical Anti-Transgender NDAA Amendment

WASHINGTON, D.C. July 12, 2017 - Tonight, OutServe-SLDN and the American Military Partner Association (AMPA) issued the following statements in response to Rep. Vicky Hartzler's (R-MO) attempts to add an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would rip away medically necessary health care for transgender service members and military dependents. After failing to amend the bill to ban transgender service members during markup before the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Hartzler has proposed a new amendment to the NDAA which would bar access to transition-related health care for military service members and their families. The House Rules Committee is allowing a vote on the amendment tonight.
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Conservatives Launch Full-Scale Campaign to Reinstate 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' for Transgender Troops

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - July 11, 2017 - A broad coalition of conservative activists, think tanks, pollsters, advocacy groups, politicians, and media outlets has launched an attack campaign to reinstate "don't ask, don't tell" for transgender service members. According to Palm Center director Aaron Belkin, "This is a full-scale effort to inflame the culture wars on the backs of loyal transgender troops."

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Human Rights Campaign Announces Largest Grassroots Expansion in its History, Opens New Offensive Against Trump-Pence Age

Washington, D.C. - July 11, 2017 -- The Human Rights Campaign today announced a bold, proactive grassroots expansion with the launch of HRC Rising, a campaign to accelerate progress in states from coast-to-coast, resist the politics of hate, fight anti-LGBTQ legislation, and fuel pro-equality candidates and initiatives. In June, HRC partnered on dozens of nationwide marches -- from the Los Angeles #ResistMarch to the National Equality March in Washington, D.C. and cities in between. HRC is harnessing that momentum to begin organizing for the 2018 elections earlier than ever before, with its biggest strategic investment in the organization's 37-year history.
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Equality California: Nomination of Eric Dreiband to Key Civil Rights Post a 'Terrible Signal'

Los Angeles – July 7, 2017  Equality California today expressed its opposition to President Donald Trump's nomination of Eric Dreiband, a lawyer who recently represented the University of North Carolina in its decision to implement provisions of that state's odious "bathroom bill", to serve as the Department of Justice's head of Civil Rights Enforcement.
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Rep. Gutierrez Responds to Puerto Rican Statehood Party Senate President's LGBT Slur

Washington, DC - July 5, 2017 – Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) responded to Thomas Rivera Schatz, Puerto Rican Senate President and a leader of the Statehood Party, who used the masculine pronoun "senor" repeatedly to describe Ana Matosantos, the only female member of Puerto Rico's Financial Oversight and Management Board (known locally as the Junta de Supervision Fiscal or simply the Junta).  It occurred during a radio interview with Carmen Jovet on AM 610 NotiUno radio (link) and was widely regarded as a homophobic slur from a politician and party with a record of hostility towards the LGBT community.
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NCAVP mourns the homicide of Ebony Morgan, a Black transgender woman killed in Lynchburg, VA

July 5, 2017 - The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) mourns the homicide of Ebony Morgan, a black transgender woman, killed in Lynchburg, Virginia on July 2nd, 2017. According to the Virginia Anti-Violence Project (VAVP), she was shot and died early Sunday morning at Lynchburg General Hospital. Local media originally misnamed and misgendered Ebony.
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Health

More people with HIV have the virus under control

Of the estimated 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States, 85 percent were diagnosed and knew they had HIV, and 49 percent had the virus under control through HIV treatment, according to new CDC estimates based on the most recent national data from 2014. CDC previously estimated that in 2010, 28 percent of people living with HIV in America had the virus under control.
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Summer Body Shame? You're Not Alone

My queer clients have it; my straight male clients have it; my older (and you'd hope wiser) clients have it. Even I have it. A good friend of mine wants to start yoga, but, told me, "I went to the class and everyone was so skinny. I felt enormous (she's not), like my body was screaming to the world: 'I eat unhealthy food and don't work out'. I can't go back until I lose some weight."
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TheBody.com Launches New Trans Resource Center

TheBody.com Launches New Trans Resource Center
(NEW YORK, NEW YORK) July 20, 2017….. This month, TheBody.com unveiled a new Resource Center for Trans People and HIV -- among the first dedicated online platforms serving as a one-stop resource on all aspects of HIV for people of transgender experience. The Resource Center for Trans People and HIV aims to connect, empower and educate those impacted by misinformation about the health and life experiences of trans people. It achieves this goal by providing a wide range of reliable, high-quality original content, including reference materials, personal stories, news analyses, and interviews and perspectives from leading medical professionals and HIV advocates.
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National LGBTQ Task Force Launches Transgender Mental Health Survey

WASHINGTON-DC - July 20, 2017 : The National LGBTQ Task Force has partnered with Trans Lifeline to launch the nation's first transgender mental health survey. The first-of-its-kind research is intended to provide a deep insight into the mental healthcare experiences of transgender people in order to improve advocacy efforts. All people over the age of 18 living in the United States that identify as transgender are encouraged to take the survey. The survey is conducted exclusively online and can be filled out here: www.transmentalhealthsurvey.org.
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United Nations Must Address the Health and Well-Being of LGBTI People

July 5, 2017 - A new report released today by the Global Forum on MSM and HIV (MSMGF) and OutRight Action International in collaboration with the Global Platform to Fast Track the Human Rights and HIV Responses with Gay and Bisexual Men argues for a global health and development approach that is inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people. Released ahead of this year's United Nations (UN) High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, the paper calls on countries to recognize and address the impact of stigma, discrimination, violence, and criminalization on health.
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Spirituality and Religion

Nearly 200,000 People of Faith Take Pledge to End Suicide and Homelessness Among LGBT Children and Youth

Hickory, N.C. - July 10, 2017  – In the lead up to and immediately following Faith in America's effort to engage the Southern Baptist Convention around the harm LGBT children and youth experience every day from being raised in highly rejecting households and churches, nearly 200,000 people of faith – conservatives and progressives alike – have united in signing FIA's pledge to Save yOur Kids! in less than three weeks.
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

Amazon Trail: You Know You're Not a Femme

You know you're not a femme when all you do before you leave the house is change your shoes, grab your vest and give the dog a treat. Okay, maybe you put on your baseball cap, but you already know whether it's an Ace Hardware or Yankees or Xena hat day.
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Wedding Wisdom

From Philadelphia Gay News: I'm writing this column on Jason's and my third wedding anniversary. Since marriage is something new for our community, and us, I thought I'd share what has been a learning process.
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Will the UN 'leave no one behind' and improve LGBTI health and well-being?

While there has been progress in researching the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people and responding to certain emerging health threats in high-income countries - elsewhere in the world such research is inadequate and incomplete. A new report published by OutRight Action International, the Global Forum on MSM and HIV highlights that wherever research has been conducted,  LGBTI people's health is shown to be consistently poorer than the general population. 
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Contests

Enter to win Kept Boy DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures!

Enter to win Kept Boy DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures!
Enter to win Kept Boy DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, August 22 and Tuesday, September 12.
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Enter to win Alaska remixes from Maggie Rogers!

Enter to win Alaska remixes from Maggie Rogers!
Enter to win Alaska remixes from Maggie RogersALASKA, the hit song from singer-songwriter MAGGIE ROGERS. Win special remix CDs With mixes by SOHN, Toby Green, Tycho, Sofi, and Kolsch! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, August 18 and Friday, September 8.
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Enter to win a 'Patti Cake$' Prize Pack!

Enter to win a 'Patti Cake$' Prize Pack!
Enter to win a 'Patti Cake$' Prize Pack! Be a Bo$$ Bitch! Fox Searchlight Pictures presents Patti Cake$. Enter to win a Patti Cake$ Prize Pack including a Patti Cake$ nameplate necklace, iPhone 6/7 cellphone case, t-shirt, and a digital download of select tracks from the Patti Cake$ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, August 15 and Tuesday, September 5.
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Enter to win Future Friends - Part One from Superfruit!

Enter to win Future Friends - Part One from Superfruit!
Enter to win Future Friends - Part One from SuperfruitFuture Friends - Part One, the first half of the two-part debut studio album from Superfruit. The pop duo is comprised of Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying, both founding and current members of the 3x Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum a cappella group Pentatonix. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, August 15 and Tuesday, September 5.
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Enter to Win Take One Thing Off Pop Comedy Album by Scout Durwood!

Enter to Win Take One Thing Off Pop Comedy Album by Scout Durwood!
Enter to Win Take One Thing Off Pop Comedy Album by Scout Durwood! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, August 11 and Friday, September 1.
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Enter to win Seriously...What Am I Doing Here? The Adventures of a Wondering and Wandering Gay Jew

Enter to win Seriously...What Am I Doing Here? The Adventures of a Wondering and Wandering Gay Jew
Enter to win Seriously...What Am I Doing Here? The Adventures of a Wondering and Wandering Gay Jew by Ken Schneck. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, August 8 and Tuesday, August 29.
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Enter for a chance to win Mascara, Mirth & Mayhem: Independence Day on Fire Island!

Enter for a chance to win Mascara, Mirth & Mayhem: Independence Day on Fire Island!
Enter for a chance to win Mascara, Mirth & Mayhem: Independence Day on Fire Island! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, August 4 and Friday, August 25.
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Enter for a chance to win Elle Casazza's Proof!

Enter for a chance to win Elle Casazza's Proof!
Enter for a chance to win Elle Casazza's Proof! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, August 1 and Tuesday, August 22.
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Enter for a chance to win Break A Little download from Kirstin Maldonado!

Enter for a chance to win Break A Little download from Kirstin Maldonado!
Enter for a chance to win Break A Little download from Kirstin Maldonado! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, July 28 and Friday, August 18.
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Enter to win reissued versions of 'Nightlife,' 'Release,' and 'Fundamental' from Pet Shop Boys!

Enter to win reissued versions of 'Nightlife,' 'Release,' and 'Fundamental' from Pet Shop Boys!
Enter to win reissued versions of Nightlife, Release, and Fundamental - the first three releases from the Pet Shop BoysCATALOGUE: 1985-2012 - a landmark series of remastered Parlophone studio albums packaged with "Further Listening" albums of additional and previously unreleased material!  There will be 3 winners for this contest; each winner will receive 1 of the album reissues. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, July 25 and Tuesday, August 15.
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Enter for a chance to win Ashley J's Trapped digital download!

Enter for a chance to win Ashley J's Trapped digital download!
Enter for a chance to win Ashley J's Trapped digital download! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, July 25 and Tuesday, August 15.
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Enter for a chance to win Raph Solo's Love Lives download!

Enter for a chance to win Raph Solo's Love Lives download!
Enter for a chance to win Raph Solo's Love Lives download! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, July 18 and Tuesday, July 8.
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Miscellaneous

Community Marketing & Insights (CMI) has released its 11th Annual LGBT Community Survey report

Community Marketing & Insights (CMI) has released its 11th Annual LGBT Community Survey report
July 11, 2017, San Francisco CA - Over 41,000 respondents from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities in 131 countries participated in the 11th annual Community Marketing & Insights (CMI) survey. 180+ LGBT media, events and organizations worldwide partnered with CMI in this year's study, helping to gain wide representation from across the community.  
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Things to Do Before Listing Your Home

Are you preparing to sell your home? If so, you probably have a dollar amount that you need to get in order to pay off your current mortgage or to purchase your next home. Ideally, though, you'll get more than that. In order to get your asking price or more, you need to make certain your house is in the best condition possible. Before you list your home, here are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting your asking price.
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