September, 2017 News (82 Articles with 158,165 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for September, 2017 On July 31, Erie County HIV Task Force hosted its first HIV Awareness Walk. The event was attended by about 30 people and stepped off from the parking lot of the Erie Bayfront Convention Center, 2 Sassafras Pier, Erie PA, to the Bicentennial Tower at the foot of Dobbins Landing and back. The event included kids and people with their dogs. Everyone had a great time for a good cause. Photo: Michael Mahler.

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Calendar & Upcoming Events

Calendar of Local GLBT Events

Up to date listing of events and meetings.

Entertainment and Travel

Caitlin Coleman stars in "Sons and Lovers," the new comedy by Donna Hoke at Buffalo United Artists Sep 15-30

Sons & Lovers is a brand new comedy by Donna Hoke and will run at Buffalo United Artists' Main Street Cabaret at Alleyway Theatre, 1 Curtain Up Alley, Buffalo NY Setpember 15-30. The play is directed by Todd Fuller, and stars Caitlin Baeumler Coleman, Steve Brachmann, A. Peter Snodgrass and Dave Granville. As long as Ellen doesn't openly acknowledge that husband Butch is a cheater or son Bill is gay, they're just... not. As long as Bill doesn't introduce Marq to his mother, he can avoid commitment. It takes fantasy, farce, and one fabulous makeover before the truth flies free, and mother and son discover just how much they have in common. BUA Members receive 2-4-1 on September 16, 22, and 23. No discounts or specials on September 15 Curtain Up! performance. Tickets are $25.00 general admission - $23.00 for seniors, $20.00 for members - $15.00 for students.Reserve by e-mail to BuffaloBUA@gmail.com
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VH1 Greenlights "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars" Season 3 & Brings Back "Untucked" Aftershow

NEW YORK, NY – August 21, 2017 – Responding to fan demand, and following a head-spinning seven Emmy®  Award nominations for "RuPaul's Drag Race" season nine, VH1 today announced "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars" will return for a third season, serving viewers another taste of some of the series' fiercest queens. The returning court will battle it out on the runway in all new and unforgettable challenges as they compete for the crown and position in the "Drag Race Hall of Fame" alongside past "All Stars" winners Chad Michaels and Alaska. The network also greenlit the popular behind-the-scenes after show, "RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked," which is also nominated this year for an Emmy® Award in the Unstructured Reality Program category.
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Logo and ACLU Partner for the Premiere of Logo Documentary Films' "Forbidden: Undocumented & Queer in Rural America"

New York, NY, August 17, 2017 – The Emmy® Award-Winning Logo Documentary Films and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) today announced a partnership to promote the broadcast premiere of Forbidden: Undocumented & Queer in Rural America.  The documentary, which follows Moises Serrano, an undocumented immigrant and gay man born in Mexico and raised in North Carolina, fighting for the American dream, will premiere Friday, September 1 at 8PM ET/PT.
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Local and Regional News

Daily Beast Does feature on Tyler Titus

Daily Beast Does feature on Tyler Titus
National news and opinion site Daily Beast did a feature article on Tyler Titus, entitled "How Tyler Titus Became a Transgender Hero," published on August 15, 2017. Tyler would be the first openly transgender elected offical in the Commonwelath of Pennsylvania if he is successful in his run for Erie City School Board this fall. Tyler is a native of Titusville, PA and currently is a licensed professional counselor in Erie PA.
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Pride Alliance Contingent in Edinboro Homecoming Parade info

Please note that NW PA Pride Alliance will have a walking contingent in Edinboro University 's Homecoming Parade on Saturday, October 14. This year's theme is "Superheroes." If you would like to march with us, please get in touch with Michael Mahler at mmahler@nwpapride.org.
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GEAE Intersections of Equality Symposium on Oct 12-13

The Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) will host the 2017 Intersections of Equality professional development Symposium: Increasing LGBT Competency in Care for Seniors, on Thursday and Friday October 12-13. The event will bring together health professionals and allies whose work seeks to improve the lives of older adults in our communities. Through the professional development portion of the symposium on Friday from 8am-5pm, GEAE will educate professionals on the unique perspectives needed when working with older adults with diverse gender identities and sexual orientations as they approach retirement, enjoy their golden years, and prepare for estate planning, long-term care, and end of life decisions. The Thursday evening segment of the symposium will be a community-orientated event that will include a screening of the documentary Major! and a panel discussion of area professionals. Both days are priced separately. The symposium will be held at the Manufacturers Association Conference Center 2171 W 38th St, Erie, PA. GEAE will regularly update our page with meeting times and activity schedules. Tickets will be available at the end of August at greatereriealliance.com
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Sneakers reopens after fire

Sneakers reopens after fire
Sneakers, a longtime gay bar in Jamestown NY, reopened on August 15, a month after a fire inside the bar. The owner believes that this was NOT a hate crime. The fire was contained on the first floor, and did not affect the apartments on the second floor. Sneakers is at 100 Harrison Street, Jamestown NY. (716) 484-8816
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Zone Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend Oct 13-15

Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend will take place October 13-15 at The Zone, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA. Baked goods and and action Friday, Saturday, and early Sunday before the show! Times TBA
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Regional GSA set to begin this school year

Thanks to two generous grants from Erie Insurance and Erie Community Foundation, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) is set to start a new program for LGBTQ youth. Students from area high schools and colleges are invited to participate in the Regional GSA Project hosted by GEAE and area professionals.
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NW PA Pride Alliance has LGBT info table at Blues and Jazz Fest

NW PA Pride Alliance once again had an LGBT info table at the Erie Art Museum's Blues and Jazz Fest, which was held August 4-6, 2017,in Frontier Park, Erie PA. This year was the 25th for the popular festival, which draws thousands. NW PA Pride Allliance board members and volunteers had a great time talking with people stopping by.
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Erie County Suicide Prevention Task Force (ECSPTF) Annual Prevention Conference on September 6

Erie County Suicide Prevention Task Force (ECSPTF) Annual Prevention Conference on September 6
Do you know someone who is depressed, having thoughts of suicide? Have you lost a family member, colleague, friend, client or student to suicide? Have you always wanted to learn more about the topic? Erie County Suicide Prevention Task Force ECSPTF is proud to announce our 4th annual Erie County Suicide Prevention Conference with a focus on LGBTQ and youth suicide. The event is on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at the Ambassador Hotel & Conference Center, 7794 Peach Street, Erie, PA 16509. You can register to attend the event by filling out and returning the form here by September 1. If you would like to sponsor or vend at the event, fill out the form here. The morning begins with our plenary speaker - -Michaila Devore -  a 17 year old student at Saegertown High School. She holds the title of Miss Moraine State Outstanding Teen 2016 and Miss Laurel Highlands 2016. Michaila will explain her program "Powerless to Powerful" where she talks openly about bullying and its connection to suicide among teens and youth.
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Transgender to the Table: Setting the Tone for Change Community Discussion at PACA Aug 23

The ACLU of Pennsylvania is looking to learn more about the issues facing members of the trans community. You are invited to brainstorm with us at Transgender to the Table: Setting the Tone for Change Community Discussion on Wednesday, August 23 from 6 to 8 PM at PACA, 1505 State St, Erie PA about what policy changes could make a real difference for trans people in Pennsylvania in 2017 and how we can work together to make these changes happen. Dinner provided for all attendees. Gift cards for the first 10 people who join us! Please RSVP to https://action.aclu.org/transgender-table-erie-pennsylvania
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Deadline for September 2017 print edition (issue # 262) of Erie Gay News is Monday, August 14

Deadline for September 2017 print edition (issue # 262) of Erie Gay News is Monday, August 14
For the next print edition of Erie Gay News (issue # 262, cover dated for September 2017), please send in calendar events, news items, and other info for late August 2017 and beyond by Monday, August 14. We expect that the next print edition will come out on Tuesday, August 22PLEASE NOTE! This issue will be on display at the 25th Annual Pride Picnic at the Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle State Park on Saturday, August 26.
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Erie County HIV Task Force hosts HIV Awareness Walk

On Monday, July 31, 2017, Erie County HIV Task Force hosted an HIV Awareness Walk. The event was attended by about 30 people and stepped off from the parking lot of the Erie Bayfront Convention Center, 2 Sassafras Pier, Erie PA, to the Bicentennial Tower at the foot of Dobbins Landing and back. The event included kids and people with their dogs. Everyone had a great time!
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PFLAG Butler Holds Annual Rainbow Community Picnic

On Sunday, July 30, PFLAG Butler held their annual Rainbow Community Picnic at Alameda Park Pavilion #3, Butler PA, Friends enjoyed a delicious potluck buffe, great times, a pinata for the kids, and wonderful friends. The chapter meets the second Thursday of the month at Butler Area Public Library from 5 to 7 PM.
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TransFamily of NW PA Celebrates Five Years with Picnic at Erie Zoo

On Saturday, July 29, 2017, TransFamily of NW PA celebrated their five year anniversary with a picnic at the Erie Zoo, 423 W 38th St, Erie PA. The event featured a potluck picnic and great times with members and allies. Local TV News stopped out to cover the event.
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Date for Common Ground Changed to Sep 23

Date for Common Ground Changed to Sep 23
Whispering Lake Grove, ADF invites you to join us September 23rd at St. Nick’s Grove, 5131 Old French Rd, Erie PA in Erie, PA for "Common Groundquot;. We are celebrating our religious diversity while honoring our community. We will feature workshops, presentations of ritual, food, vendors, music, and more! Gates open at 10:00am and continue until 9:00pm. Any donations made through our auctions will benefit local organizations such as Orphan Angels Cat Sanctuary and Adoption Center. Check us out online at www.wlg-adf.org or contact us at grollwynn72@hotmail.com.
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Political, Activism and Legal

New Report Provides First Look At School Experiences Of LGBTQ Youth In Puerto Rico

NEW YORK (August 23, 2017) – In response to growing local interest for Puerto Rico-specific data on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth in middle and high schools, today GLSEN released their new report The Puerto Rico School Climate Survey (glsen.org/pr). This report provides the first-ever empirical data from LGBTQ youth on their school experiences in Puerto Rico.
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GLAD, NCLR File New Motion for Urgent, Immediate Halt to President Trump's Transgender Military Ban

(WASHINGTON, DC, August 31, 2017)-Today, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) filed the first motion for preliminary injunction to put an immediate halt to Trump's transgender military ban. At the same time, NCLR and GLAD amended their initial complaint to include two new named plaintiffs: Regan Kibby and Dylan Kohere, respectively a midshipman from the U.S. Naval Academy and a student enrolled in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). Powerful declarations in support of the motion for preliminary injunction from these new plaintiffs and from top military officials from the Army, Navy, and Air Force outline why leaving this ban in place would irreparably harm transgender servicemembers and their families and undermine national security.
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Civil and Human Rights Groups Urge Senate to Reject Dreiband as Head of Justice Department's Civil Rights Division

WASHINGTON - August 31, 2017- Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, along with 77 civil and human rights groups, sent a letter to senators urging them to oppose the confirmation of Eric Dreiband to be the Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. The Senate Judiciary Committee has announced that Dreiband will have his confirmation hearing on September 6.
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Palm Center Reaction To New Military Panel On Transgender Service

San Francisco, CA - August 30, 2017 -- Palm Center director Aaron Belkin released the following statement in reaction to yesterday's announcement that Defense Secretary James Mattis will form a panel of experts to provide advice on the implementation of the President's direction to ban transgender service members from the military. "While Secretary Mattis may be trying to inject additional evidence into the process, that doesn't change the fact that the President has ordered him to ban a group of honorably serving Americans. Transgender military service has already been studied in-depth, and every study has found the same thing, that inclusive policy promotes readiness. If the Secretary conducts a comprehensive, fair study, he will once again find the same conclusion: that inclusive policy promotes readiness, lethality, and cost savings -- much more than discharges and closeted service do."
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Report Finds Arabic Media is Perpetuating Homophobia and Transphobia in the Region

August 30, 2017 - Today, OutRight Action International launches a new report titled, 'Arab Mass Media: A Monitoring Report Looking at Sexuality and Gender Identity in Arabic Media from 2014 to 2017.' The report is available in both English and Arabic.
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The Leadership Conference Opposes the Confirmation of Amy C. Barrett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit

August 29, 2017 - Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights sent a letter to the Senate urging opposition to the confirmation of Amy C. Barrett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Professor Barrett's statements and writings reveal a strong bias against reproductive freedom and LGBT rights.  Her record demonstrates a dangerous lack of deference to long-standing precedent and judicial restraint. The full text of the letter is below, and it is also available at: http://civilrights.org/oppose-confirmation-amy-barrett/
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Equality California Commends Rocklin School for Supporting Transgender Student

Rocklin, Calif. - August 29, 2017 - Equality California has sent a letter to Rocklin Academy officials applauding the school for its support of a transgender kindergarten student following the reading of a book geared toward that age group by transgender teen and reality TV star Jazz Jennings. As a result of activities by right-wing advocacy groups, a number of parents complained after a transgender student brought the book "I am Jazz" to share with students in her kindergarten class. The book discusses Jennings' childhood, what it is to be transgender and a message of respect and inclusion for everyone.
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Civil Rights Groups Ask Comprehensive Review of Law Enforcement Efforts on Hate Crimes

Sacramento - August 29, 2017 -Citing escalating hate crimes by both organized hate groups and individuals, Equality California joined eight other major civil rights organizations to call on the California Legislature to order a comprehensive evaluation of law enforcement agencies' efforts to protect Californians from hate crimes.
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Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN Sue President Trump to Reverse Transgender Military Service Ban

(SEATTLE, August 28, 2017) – Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN today filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Trump administration's ban on military service by transgender individuals. The lawsuit-brought in response to President Trump's formal issuance of directions to military authorities late Friday-was filed on behalf of two individuals who seek to join the military; one current service member who seeks appointment as an officer; the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT advocacy organization; and Gender Justice League, a gender and sexuality civil and human rights organization, headquartered in Seattle.
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ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Trump's Transgender Service Member Ban

MARYLAND - August 28, 2017 - The American Civil Liberties Union and Covington & Burling LLP today filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration challenging the president's directive banning transgender service members from continuing to serve in the military or receiving medically necessary health care, and banning men and women who are transgender from enlisting.
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Military Professors Analyze Trump's Transgender Ban

San Francisco, CA - Auigust 28, 2017 -- A group of current and former military professors have released a Palm Center policy memo explaining President Trump's transgender ban and clarifying misconceptions about the new policy. 
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Victory Institute Statement on Trump's Directive on Transgender Service Members

Washington, DC - August 25, 2017 - Today Victory Institute released the following statement regarding Donald Trump's directive on transgender people serving in the U.S. military: "It's disgusting, and an absolute disgrace, that a man who dodged service for his country is now ordering the Pentagon to denigrate those who are already serving it. We have a president who is committed to white supremacist ideology and with each policy action declaring war on equality for all Americans – defending the KKK, blocking Muslim immigrants and visitors, and now banning transgender people from serving their country and pardoning a convicted racist. The time for words and debate has ended. In order to save our democracy from the clutches of bigotry and hatred we must unite and fight back – and fight back hard. LGBTQ people exist in all communities and an attack on us is an attack on everyone. We will not go silently into the night. We will not learn our place and be forced back into the closet. We will march. We will train. We will run for office and reclaim our democracy one election at a time. 2018 is months away and we will remember those that stood silent in the face of abject discrimination. LGBTQ people are fired up and training to run for office so that we can replace those who have turned their backs on our community."
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Civil and Human Rights Coalition Condemns Trump's Barring of Transgender Military Service

WASHINGTON - August 25, 2017 – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement after President Donald Trump issued a memorandum to effectively ban transgender people from serving in the United States Armed Forces: "Just days after President Trump addressed our troops at Fort Myer about the strength of our force, this announcement only seeks to undermine military readiness.  He has yet again attacked those brave, patriotic individuals who are serving, and seek to serve, in our military, simply because they are transgender. There is no reason for this move beyond bigotry and politics.
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Equality California: Purge of Transgender Service Members Has No Place in Democratic America

Los Angeles - August 25, 2017 – In response to a memo issued today by the White House on the expulsion of transgender service members from the U.S. military, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "This purge of heroic servicemembers by a man who himself avoided military service is unfair, cruel and un-American. The proposed expulsions violate the very values that make us American, including equal opportunity and protection under the law and the ability of each of us to rise to the levels of our own talents. Trump has joined the ranks of Tayyip Recep Erdogan, Kim Jong-un and other modern autocrats who resort to purges and targeting of vulnerable communities to distract the public and to maintain their hold on power. He also has sent a clear message to LGBTQ people that his government does not consider our community to be worthy of equal treatment under the law but instead to be second class citizens. The guidance issued by the White House, if implemented, would represent a significant step backwards in the movement for LGBTQ civil rights which Equality California will fight with all its resources.
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Trump Signs Discriminatory Anti-Transgender Military Directive

August 25, 2017 - Today President Trump signed an unnecessary and divisive directive that bans the military from recruiting transgender service members. At press time, it is unclear if currently serving members will be able to continue since The White House has left questions unanswered.
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Trump Levels Unprecedented Attack Against Transgender Troops

SAN FRANCISCO, CA  - August 25, 2017 - Palm Center director Aaron Belkin issued the following statement in response to a White House memorandum reinstating a ban on all transgender military personnel. "Instead of working to keep the American people safe, our Commander in Chief has taken aim at his own capably serving troops, contradicting the conclusions of the American Legion, former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, dozens of retired Generals and Admirals, 18 foreign militaries, and years of research conducted by the military itself and outside scholars. A billion-dollar witch hunt targeting thousands of current service members will not save the taxpayers money or strengthen the military but will cause disruptions and undermine military readiness, just as the failed 'don't ask, don't tell' policy did."
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President Trump Orders Pentagon to Implement His Transgender Military Ban

WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 25, 2017 - Today, the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation's largest organization of LGBT military spouses and their families, responded to news that the White House has issued a directive in order to carry out President Trump's transgender military ban. The outrageous and unprecedented policy indefinitely extends the ban on qualified transgender recruits from entering the military and rips away at least some medically necessary, transition-related health care from currently serving transgender troops.
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White House Issues Transgender Military Guidance

(WASHINGTON, DC, August 25, 2017) -Attorneys from the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) representing five servicemembers who recently filed a federal lawsuit challenging President Trump's transgender military ban issued the following statement in response to White House guidance provided to the Pentagon today.
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OutServe-SLDN Condemns White House Purge of Trans Service Members

(WASHINGTON) August 25, 2017– Breaking faith with top generals and admirals, President Trump's White House has issued guidance to the Department of Defense, which would effectively purge anyone found to be transgender from the armed services. This policy would purge thousands of currently serving transgender troops over the coming months and years by denying them reenlistment; threatening to cut off their healthcare; and would make permanent a ban on recruiting transgender troops that was set to expire later this year.
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School district targets trans student victory, asks Supreme Court to review

August 25, 2017 - This morning, the Kenosha Unified School District filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States in Whitaker v. Kenosha Unified School District, a lawsuit challenging KUSD's discriminatory treatment of Ash Whitaker, a transgender boy. The petition asks the Court to review the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals' recent ruling, which affirmed a preliminary injunction permitting Ash to use boys' restrooms at school during his senior year of high school. The case, which also alleges that KUSD singled out Ash for discriminatory treatment in other ways, is currently moving forward in the federal district court in Milwaukee.
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White House Transgender Military Ban Sacrifices National Security to Promote Baseless Discrimination

(WASHINGTON, DC, August 24, 2017)-Sources report that the White House is preparing to issue formal guidance to the Pentagon calling for implementation of the transgender military ban within six months. Shannon Minter, legal director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), which together with GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) filed a federal lawsuit challenging Trump's attempt to reinstate a transgender military ban, issued the following statement in response: "The President's willingness to attack his own troops is unprecedented and poses a serious threat to our nation's longstanding commitment to honor those who serve and to prioritize military readiness over politics.
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Reinstating Transgender Ban Would Disrupt Military Readiness

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - August 23, 2017 - Palm Center director Aaron Belkin made the following statement in response to reports that the White House is preparing to issue guidance clarifying the President's call for a military ban on transgender troops: "It is unconscionable that the Commander-in-Chief would take aim at his own, loyally serving troops for political reasons at a time when the military needs to focus on real threats."
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BREAKING: White House Sets Rules for Military Transgender Ban

WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 23, 2017 - Today, the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation's largest organization of LGBT military spouses and their families, strongly condemned new rules from the White House implementing President Donald Trump's vicious assault on transgender service members. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the new guidance will "allow Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to consider a service member's ability to deploy in deciding whether to kick them out of the military. The White House memo also directs the Pentagon to deny admittance to transgender individuals and to stop spending on medical treatment regimens for those currently serving, according to U.S. officials familiar with the document."
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Trevor Project and National Center for Transgender Equality Demand Documents on How Department of Education is Protectin

August 22, 2017 - The Trevor Project and National Center for Transgender Equality today sent a request under the Freedom of Information Act to the U.S. Department of Education to shine a light on its legal responsibility to protect the civil rights of transgender and other LGBTQ youth in schools across our nation.
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Equality California Calls for Pledge from Fresno School Superintendent Finalist to Protect LGBTQ Students

Fresno, Calif. - August 18, 2017 -Equality California has sent a letter to members of the Fresno Unified School District Board of Trustees urging them to obtain a pledge from interim Fresno Superintendent Bob Nelson, announced as the "finalist" in the district's search for a new superintendent, to participate in Equality California's Safe and Supportive Schools Index if confirmed for the position. The district hopes to announce its new leader next week. The Index is currently being developed by Equality California and its partners to provide an in-depth look at how well California schools are meeting their responsibility to protect LGBTQ students.
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U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Urges Trump to Reconsider Transgender Military Ban

(San Francisco, CA, August 18, 2017)-Today, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a statement publicly urging President Trump to reconsider his July 26 transgender military ban announcement, which stated his intransgender individuals from serving "in any capacity in the U.S. Military."
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U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Condemns Trump's Proposed Transgender Military Ban

WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 18, 2017 - Today, the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation's largest organization of LGBT military spouses and their families, praised the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights' condemnation of President Trump's proposed transgender military ban
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Civil and Human Rights Coalition Lauds Removal of Bannon; More Needs to Be Done

WASHINGTON - August 18, 2017 – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement on reports that Stephen Bannon has been removed from the White House: "Stephen Bannon's departure is the right result, but not for the right reason. The president, who continues to sow hate and division, clearly did not fire Bannon because of his white supremacist views and ties to the so-called 'alt-right.' Someone like Bannon should have never worked in the White House to begin with.
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Civil and Human Rights Coalition Calls for Confederate Statues to Be Removed from U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON - August 17, 2017 - Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement calling for the removal of Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol: "As a nation, we must learn from our past. We need not idolize figures who sought to divide our country and advanced racism. The halls of Congress should honor those who have advanced American values of justice, equality and opportunity. If our congressional leaders are serious about rejecting white supremacy, violent extremism, and racial bigotry, they should remove the Confederate statues from the Capitol.
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The Trevor Project Commends The Mormon Church For Calling For A Community Of Inclusion

August 16, 2017 - The Trevor Project, the nation's only crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization focused on LGBTQ youth and a LoveLOUD festival beneficiary, today thanked the Mormon Church for their support of the concert and for calling for a community of inclusion.
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The Trevor Project Celebrates Defeat of Anti-Transgender Bills in Texas

August 15, 2017 - The Trevor Project, the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, applauded the defeat on Tuesday night of dangerous anti-transgender bathroom bills in Texas.
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Civil and Human Rights Coalition Condemns Trump's Remarks

WASHINGTON - August 15, 2017 – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement following President Trump's remarks today: "President Trump has forfeited any claim to the moral leadership a president must command. His facts are wrong, his moral compass is missing, and his continued refusal to recognize and call out evil and hate is a disgrace to our nation. Now the rest of us must uphold America's ideals of fairness, justice and inclusion, because Donald Trump has proven he will not. Those who do not clearly, firmly and unequivocally choose to side against hatred, racial bigotry and intolerance are complicit."
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Equality California: Trump's Response to Charlottesville White Supremacist Violence "Tepid" and "Shameful"

Los Angeles - August 14, 2017 -In response to the weekend's ongoing violence at the hands of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia and today's statement by President Donald Trump, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: "Equality California joins people of good conscience across the country in expressing our shock and disbelief at this weekend's expression of raw hatred and bigotry on display in Charlottesville, and we extend our sincere sympathies to the families of the victims of violence at the hands of white supremacists.
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Civil and Human Rights Coalition: Trump Remarks Insufficient, More Needs to Be Done

WASHINGTON - August 14, 2017 – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement following President Trump's remarks today, two days after the fact, condemning the white supremacist-led violent extremism in Charlottesville on Saturday: "It is a sad state of affairs when it's a news story that the President of the United States condemns racism and white supremacy.
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TLC statement on Charlottesville white supremacist violence

(Oakland, CA - August 12, 2017) - Transgender Law Center executive director Kris Hayashi released the following statement about the white supremacist rally and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend: "We are chilled and heartbroken, though unfortunately not surprised, by the white supremacist violence taking place in Charlottesville. The hate driving these racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT acts is deeply embedded in this country and in the ongoing attacks and violence against trans communities, particularly trans women of color.
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Statement From The National LGBTQ Task Force On Violence In Charlottesville

WASHINGTON-DC - August 12, 2017: In response to the White Supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, the National LGBTQ Task Force has issued the following statement: The following can be attributed to Stacey Long Simmons, Esq., Director of the Advocacy and Action Department of the National LGBTQ Task Force: "The violence we are witnessing is horrifying, but is merely the latest manifestation of the growing racist, anti-immigration, anti-Semitic, sexist and anti-LGBTQ hate in our midst. The continuing escalation of hate and white nationalist sentiment we are experiencing during the Trump administration has come to this - targeted violence in the streets of Virginia led by the Klu Klux Klan and Neo-Nazi organizations. The National LGBTQ Task Force will not stand by and watch the very fabric of this nation torn apart by hate. We will stand with our immigrant, Muslim, African-American, Latino, AAPI, disabled and all marginalized people targeted by the hate and discrimination coming from all directions, from the White House to the streets of Charlottesville."
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ACLU Files Legal Action Moving Gavin Grimm Case Forward in District Court

GLOUCESTER COUNTY, Va. - August 11, 2017 - The American Civil Liberties Union today filed papers ending Gavin Grimm's request for an immediate halt to the Gloucester County School Board's policy prohibiting him and other transgender students from using the common restrooms at school. The new filings clear the way for the ACLU to proceed with litigating Grimm's case in district court.
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AMPA Responds to President Trump's Outrageous Comments on Transgender Service Members

WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 10, 2017 - Today, the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation's largest organization of LGBT military spouses and their families, responded to comments made by President Donald Trump regarding the service of transgender troops and his move to ban them from the military. Regarding his recent tweets announcing his ban, President Trump said, "As you know, it's been a very complicated issue for the military. It's been a very confusing issue for the military, and I think I'm doing the military a great favor."
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ACLU Sues DC Metro Over Rejection of First Amendment Ad

WASHINGTON - August 9, 2017 - The American Civil Liberties Union and its affiliates in the District of Columbia and Virginia today challenged the Washington area transit system's advertising restrictions as violations of the First Amendment. The free speech lawsuit follows the rejection of ads from four groups that hail from across the political spectrum, images of which are here.
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Trump's Transgender Ban Would Cost $960 Million, Say Navy Professors in New Report

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - August 9, 2017 - A new report co-authored by current and retired professors at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey has projected the cost of discharging the military's transgender troops at $960 million. The report was released in response to the recent announcement by President Trump, on Twitter, that the military would no longer "allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military," citing what the president called the "tremendous medical costs" of providing adequate care.
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GLAD and NCLR File Lawsuit Challenging Trump's Directive to Reinstate Ban on Transgender Military Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 9, 2017 -Today, lawyers from GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging President Trump's directive to reinstate a ban on transgender people serving in the military. The suit, Doe v. Trump, was filed on behalf of 5 transgender servicemembers with nearly 60 years of combined military service. 
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Ms. Foundation Condemns Trump Anti-LGBTQ War

New York, NY - August 7, 2017 -Statement from Ms. Foundation for Women Vice-President, External Affairs Angelique Roche "This weekend, behind closed doors, the Trump administration doubled down on an outrageous and blatantly discriminatory war on the LGBTQ community. Make no mistake, the President's plan to ban transgender people from the military - and kicking out the thousands of transgender people currently serving -- is a part of a larger effort to disenfranchise LGBTQ people of their basic rights as Americans.
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Oklahoma gay man files federal civil rights lawsuit after home is burned to the ground

Oklahoma gay man files federal civil rights lawsuit after home is burned to the ground
OKLAHOMA CITY - August 6, 2017 -This week, Randy Gamel-Medler, an Oklahoma gay man, filed a federal equal protection lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma against nine defendants from Blaine County, Oklahoma, including Mayor of Hitchcock Rick Edsall, Sheriff of Blaine County Tony Almaguer, and Undersheriff of Blaine County David Robertson. The lawsuit also includes state law claims for assault, battery, destruction of real and personal property, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The complaint details months of police and government inaction in response to racist and homophobic threats and harassment.
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Health

Planned Parenthood and Black AIDS Institute Announces Program to Expand Comprehensive HIV Prevention Services

NEW YORK, Aug. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Planned Parenthood announced a multi-phase pilot program to build and expand its comprehensive HIV prevention and education efforts. Gilead Sciences, Inc, a research-based biopharmaceutical company, awarded the $900,000 grant to support and expand efforts of HIV prevention and education, including the integration of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) awareness, at Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers across the country over the next 18 months. It is the first significant corporate grant of its kind awarded to Planned Parenthood, and will focus critical prevention efforts in communities hardest hit by the epidemic.
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AHF: Congenital Syphilis a Growing Crisis; CDC Must Act Aggressively on Prevention, Treatment

WASHINGTON (August 25, 2017)- In response to data revealing a growing crisis of congenital syphilis  across the U.S., advocates from AHF today call on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to act far more aggressively on prevention, education and treatment on the potentially deadly disease. AHF also today reiterates a separate call on the FDA to investigate an ongoing shortage of Pfizer's Bicillin L-A, the key syphilis drug used in the treatment of pregnant women.
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AHF: Condoms in Porn Victory! AHF Congratulates L.A. Board of Supervisors for Vote to Enforce Measure B

LOS ANGELES (August 22, 2017) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today congratulated the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for approving a resolution establishing new public health permit fees for adult film producers working in Los Angeles County. The unanimous vote (four votes 'Yes' with Supervisor Kuehl absent) took place earlier today and now puts in place public health permit fees that have been required since the passage of Measure B, also known as the 'Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act,' back in 2012, which L.A. County voters passed with overwhelming voter support-57% to 43% (1,617,866 votes in favor to 1,222,681 opposed).
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Condom Distribution Program (CDP) Marks One Year Anniversary

In Erie County, Pennsylvania, HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea rates continue to rise.  The Erie County Department of Health and the Erie County HIV Task Force responded to this problem by introducing the Condom Distribution Program (CDP) which was launched on August 22, 2016.  This initiative increases the accessibility and availability of free condoms with the goal of normalizing condom use and thereby decreasing HIV and STD transmission in the community.
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Hold Onto your Dreams

When I was a child, living on a farm, the nearest daily newspaper was the Elyria (Ohio) Chronicle/Telegram. I loved reading it every day and I had a dream that someday I would be published in that august periodical.
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

What did America do on its summer vacation?

It's the last week of August - or what are known as the lazy, hazy last days of summer. Soon schools will open and, as many of us will recall, many teachers will ask their assembled students, "What did you do with your summer vacation?"
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It's Time To Be Counted

It's Time To Be Counted
What we are witnessing in Charlottesville is nothing short of a brazen attempt to return America to an era of Jim Crow, separate and unequal for minorities and women, intimidating and threatening to those who aren't up to the "white enough" test of alt-right rabble rousers like David Duke, Richard Spencer, and their sickening minions. They are racists, homophobes, anti-Semites, haters of women, transgender people, Muslims, immigrants, and people who don't look like them, pure and simple. . ..no need for qualifiers any longer.
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The power of no

You might have noticed that this summer has been slightly different for me, but that comes after five years of constant motion. People keep saying they can't keep up with me and asking when I'm going to slow down. Well, that question has been answered this summer.
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The Amazon Trail: The Eclipse Is Coming! The Eclipse Is Coming!

In North America, the total eclipse of the sun starts here. It's Woodstock for everyone. Local and state governments are doing their best to avert chaos. Everyone in law enforcement and emergency services will be either on duty or on standby, many sleeping where they're stationed because it's projected that traffic will be at or near a standstill. The national park up the road, which might normally see 400 to 500 visitors at a time, is expecting 2,000 to 5,000 all at once. They'll be limiting the number of vehicles allowed in to protect the fragile natural treasure and its wildlife.
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Conversion therapy is child torture

To the entire LGBT community: Let's begin as a community to state the truth without putting lipstick on a pig. Personally, it sickens me when I see someone from GLAAD or HRC on television calling conversion therapy "praying the gay away." That is downright as truthful as a Donald Trump tweet, and might show how we attempt to soften our message for consumption by the mainstream. Or, it might hide something very sad: our own attempt to not accept what has been done to us as a collective community for years - and that, my friends, is torture.
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Contests

Enter to win "Your Song" remixes from Rita Ora!

Enter to win
Enter to win "Your Song" remixes from Rita Ora! "YOUR SONG", the hit single from international superstar, RITA ORA. Win special remix CDs with mixes by Disciples, Cheat Codes and more! Out Now: http://atlanti.cr/yoursong. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, September 26 and Tuesday, October 17.
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Enter to win 'Rainbow' from Kesha!

Enter to win 'Rainbow' from Kesha!
Enter to win 'Rainbow' from KeshaRAINBOW, the new album from pop superstar KESHA. Featuring "Praying," "Woman," "Learn to Let Go," and "Hymn". To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, September 22 and Friday, October 13.
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Win copies of the "Versace On The Floor (Bruno Mars Vs. David Guetta)" remix!

Win copies of the
Win copies of the "Versace On The Floor (Bruno Mars Vs. David Guetta)" remix! "Versace On The Floor (Bruno Mars Vs. David Guetta)", the official David Guetta remix of the smash hit song from global superstar Bruno Mars. Available Now: https://brunom.rs/bmvsdg. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, September 19 and Tuesday, October 10.
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Enter to win a Baywatch Blu-ray Combo Pack!

Enter to win a Baywatch Blu-ray Combo Pack!
Enter to win a Baywatch Blu-ray™ Combo Pack! Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron go beyond the call of duty in the outrageous, action-packed comedy Baywatch! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, September 15 and Friday, October 6.
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Win Fear of Water from Ariztical Entertainment!

Win Fear of Water from Ariztical Entertainment!
Win Fear of Water from Ariztical Entertainment. To enter the contest, fill out the form below between Tuesday, September 12 and Tuesday, October 3.
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Enter to win a digital copy of "Attention" Oliver Heldens Remix from Charlie Puth!

Enter to win a digital copy of
Enter to win a digital copy of "Attention" Oliver Heldens Remix from Charlie Puth! "ATTENTION" OLIVER HELDENS REMIX, the hot new remix of the smash hit single from CHARLIE PUTH. Out Now: https://atlantic.lnk.to/AttentionHeldensID. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, September 8 and Friday, September 29.
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Enter to win One of These Things First by Steven Gaines!

Enter to win One of These Things First by Steven Gaines!
Enter to win One of These Things First by Steven Gaines! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, September 5 and Tuesday, September 26.
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Enter to win a digital copy of "Sorry Not Sorry" from Demi Lovato!

Enter to win a digital copy of
Enter to win a digital copy of "Sorry Not Sorry" from Demi Lovato! "Sorry Not Sorry" The latest hit single from international superstar DEMI LOVATO. Out Now: https://islandrecs.lnk.to/SNS To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, September 1 and Friday, September 22.
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Win "No Promises" from Cheat Codes ft. Demi Lovato!

Win
Win "No Promises" from Cheat Codes ft. Demi Lovato! “NO PROMISES”, the infectious hit single from electronic/pop trio CHEAT CODES ft. DEMI LOVATO. Win special remix download cards with mixes from Hook N Sling, Ashworth and more! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, August 29 and Tuesday, September 19.
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Enter to win The Photographer's Assistant by Andrew Grey from Riverdale Ave Books!

Enter to win The Photographer's Assistant by Andrew Grey from Riverdale Ave Books!
Enter to win a digital download of The Photographer's Assistant by Andrew Grey from Riverdale Ave Books! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, August 25 and Friday, September 15.
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Miscellaneous

As New School Semester Starts, Point Foundation Celebrates Scholarships For 98 LGBTQ Students

LOS ANGELES, CA -  AUGUST 23, 2017 - As students across the country return to campus after a summer of political turmoil, Point Foundation (Point), the nation's most prominent scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students, is proud its 98 scholarship recipients are the largest and most diverse group of scholarship recipients in the organization's history.
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Things that May Turn Off Potential Buyers

Selling your home is a challenge, but there are some things about your house that can make selling it more difficult. You may not even realize that you have these things in your home. However, potential buyers will see them and, in many cases, won't be amused. While a really nice feature or bonus space may help convince buyers to make the purchase, one little negative thing can be all it takes to make a buyer cross a home off their list. Here are some of the latest things that can make an excited potential buyer turn around and walk out the door.
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