June, 2015 News (86 Articles with 514,583 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for June, 2015 Transgender student Oliver Morgan. 15, was chosen prom king at Tidioute Community Charter School. The administration initially stripped Oliver of the title, but after they learned of his transgender status, they reinstated him, giving Oliver and his girlfriend, Hannah, a reason to celebrate and a night to remember.

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Local and Regional News

Plaintiffs of Pending Supreme Court Case to be featured in a Program at the Jackson Center

Plaintiffs of Pending Supreme Court Case to be featured in a Program at the Jackson Center
JAMESTOWN, N.Y.May 20, 2015- The Robert H. Jackson Center will host a program titled"A Discussion of Bourke, et al. v. Beshear: A Conversation with Paul Campion & Randell Johnson," plaintiffs in one of the pending U.S. Supreme Court cases on marriage" at 7 p.m. on Saturday June 13th.
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Stop The Violence Film Festival in Jamestown NY on May 30

As a community we not only have the ability, but also the responsibility to make a difference in the lives of our children and the well-being of students in our schools.  This can be achieved through education and inspiration, which is why we are proud to announce the following FREE community event; The "STOP THE VIOLENCE" Film Festival, hosted by the Jamestown Pride Society will be held at the Jamestown Community College Hamilton Collegiate Center (Student Union) on May 30, 2015 from noon to 9 PM.  The goal of the event is to educate on the continued issue of bullying within our schools and community and provide resources that exist to battle this problem.  As you read this, students in our country are currently being bullied and assaulted while others are contemplating suicide as a way out of the problem.  Its time that we stand up and address this by providing options and showing solutions.  Doing so will be achieved in the following ways.  Through the screening of four informative and inspiring award winning films including "Out in the Silence" which was filmed locally.  Through the screening of student films from Jamestown High School, through the educational words of guest speakers such as those who have lived through bullying locally and through the  presentations of organizations such as the Western New York Anti-Violence Project that has already made a difference and can do the same in our own community.  Infinity performing arts will be providing entertainment at the event! Many businesses and organizations have answered the call to "STAND UP AGAINST BULLYING" by agreeing to be present for this event where they will be selling crafts, gifts, refreshments or distributing information on their products or services. Popcorn is unlimited and free to all attendants. This is an all ages event!  The event runs from noon to 9pm. A full schedule of activities and more information can be found at jamestownpride.com.  As a community, it's important that we all stand up together to show that we are united in the fight to end bullying.
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GEAE event series honors local icons and allies


On April 15, 2015, the Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) held the first of four GEAE Celebrate Nights for 2015, honoring LGBT Icons and Allies of Erie, at Calamari's Squid Row, 1317 State St, Erie PA. At the inaugural Celebrate Night, Michael Mahler was honored for his many years of activism.
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Get Your Pride Shirts and more!


NW PA Pride Alliance is very excited to bring you this year's Pride shirts, as well as some new Pride merchandise! This helps make Pride possible. This year, we will again have V-neck shirts. V-neck shirts are sizes small to 3XL ($18 for sizes small to XL, $20 for t-shirts 2XL & 3XL), and tank tops are sizes small to 2XL ($19 for tank tops sizes small to XL, and $20 for tank tops size 2 XL.) On the back of the shirt are all of the sponsors helping to being Pride to you this year, and a listing of the great events happening in our community! Cash and credit/debit cards are accepted for payment. Shirts can also be ordered online at www.nwpapride.org.
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Transgender student chosen as Prom King in Tidioute

Transgender student chosen as Prom King in Tidioute
Transgender student Oliver Morgan. 15, was chosen prom king at Tidioute Community Charter School. The administration initially stripped Oliver of the title, but after they learned of his transgender status, they reinstated him, giving Oliver and his girlfriend, Hannah a reason to celebrate and a night to remember.
 Read more about this story on Daily KOS, Planet Transgender or check out the Allyvia for Prom King! Facebook group.
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Remembering Ben Heggy

Those of you who saw Erie's Perry 200 Parade or have been to the Millcreek 4th of July parade or the NWPA Pride Alliance's annual Pride Parade the last few years have probably noticed that we had a pretty good sized float rolling down the street behind a big, grey truck. What you may not know is that we had that float because NWPA Pride put out a call for trucks or trailers or pretty much anything that could be decorated and trotted out. The universe answered that call with a message from a man from Seven Springs, PA named Ben Heggy.
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Mandated Reporters Protect Our Youth

For too long, the responsibility to tell about child abuse has been on the children.  We teach kids they have the right to say NO, then GO and TELL a trusted adult—a very good lesson!  However, if we don't educate adults on what to do when those children come to them and disclose abuse, we as a community fail those kids. 
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23rd Annual Erie Pride Picnic

Join us for the 23rd Annual Erie Pride Picnic on Saturday, June 6 at the Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle (near Beach 7) from 1 to 6 PM. Enjoy a great day with friends—it's free! Please note that this year's picnic is the first weekend in June, rather than the second. Start your Pride off right, and then enjoy Pittsburgh Pride or Youngstown Pride the weekend following Erie Pride Picnic
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Entertainment and Travel

Daithi Sproule and Mambo to perform at Kate Buczek Memorial Concert


Daithi Sproule and Mambo to perform at Kate Buczek Memorial Concert

On Sunday, June 7, from 4 to 6 p.m., the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie, 7180 Perry Highway, Erie PA is hosting the 4th annual Kate Buczek Memorial Concert, featuring Irish musician Daithi Sproule and "Mambo."
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Angels in America at Dramashop June 12-27


Dramashop proudly presents Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches on stage in Erie for the first time, running June 12-27, as part of Dramashop's 2014-15 Mainstage Series
. Dramashop is located on the 2nd floor of the Renaissance Center at 10th and Sstate, Erie PA.
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Political, Activism and Legal

Matthew Morrison, Jon Stryker, Johnson & Johnson, Desiree Raught and Nixa High School Gay-Straight Alliance Honored at 2

NEW YORK (June 3, 2015) – GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students, honored Matthew Morrison, Jon Stryker, Johnson & Johnson, teacher Desiree Raught and the Nixa High School Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at the 12th Annual GLSEN Respect Awards – New York  on Monday, June 1 at Cipriani 42nd Street.
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Human Rights Campaign Calls Out Transphobic Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Column

WASHINGTON - June 5, 2015 – Today, in light of a national outcry about a deeply transphobic column published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on June 4th, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation's Director of Research and Public Education Jay Brown, himself a former Pittsburgh resident of 6 years and a transgender man, wrote to the paper's executive editor David Shribman and called for consequences for the column's author, Jennifer Graham:
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Bush-Appointed Judge Rules in Favor of the Freedom to Marry in Guam

New York - June 5, 2015 – Today, U.S. District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood ruled that denying marriage for same-sex couples in Guam is unconstitutional. This ruling comes after Guam's Governor Eddie Calvo put a hold on Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson's order for officials to begin licensing marriages to same-sex couples last April. Judge Tydingco-Gatewood was appointed to the federal bench by former President George W. Bush back in 2006.
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Air Force Takes Step Towards Open Transgender Service

WASHINGTON, DC - June 4, 2015 - Today, the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation's largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military families, responded to the news that the U.S. Air Force has officially made a policy change regarding dismissal of transgender service members. Removal of a transgender service member from the Air Force must now be "reviewed by the Secretary of the Air Force Personnel Council for recommendation, and then to the [Air Force Review Boards Agency] AFRBA director, for decision."
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DMV again settles with a transgender woman assaulted by an employee in the Bay Area

June 4, 2015 - A San Francisco transgender woman has settled her privacy and civil rights lawsuit with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the second lawsuit of its kind against the DMV in the Bay Area in the past four years. In March 2013, Jane Doe, who wishes to remain anonymous to protect her privacy, went to the DMV to change the gender marker on her ID to accurately reflect her gender identity. When she presented her paperwork to the clerk, the DMV employee was friendly until discovering that she was transgender. At that point he became visibly angry and began to loudly lecture her on the "sin" of being transgender, calling Ms. Doe the "devil," until she broke down crying. A manager later apologized and told Ms. Doe that the employee had "done this before."
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Some Suggestions for Rick Perry's Do-Over

WASHINGTON - June 4, 2015 – With another campaign launch today after his embarrassing flameout in 2012, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released a video highlighting presidential candidate Rick Perry, in his own words, using harmful rhetoric to oppose LGBT equality. Perry has consistently opposed LGBT equality, from marriage to non-discrimination protections.
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GLSEN and Target Team Up for 25th Anniversary Documentary Featuring Students, Educators, Volunteers Who Have Improved Sc

NEW YORK (June 2, 2015) – GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students, has partnered with Target to produce a mini-documentary highlighting the work of students, educators and volunteers who have improved school climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth across the country. The production is a part of GLSEN's 25th anniversary celebration and debuted last night at the GLSEN Respect Awards – New York.
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BREAKING: Pentagon to Add Non-Discrimination Protections For Gay & Lesbian Troops

WASHINGTON - May 29, 2015 - Today, Washington Blade broke the news that "the Pentagon is preparing to update its Military Equal Opportunity policy to include sexual orientation as a protected class and the change could be made final as soon as the end of next month." The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation's largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military families, praised the letter and urged Secretary Carter to take immediate action.
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Illinois Bill Protecting LGBT Youth from Conversion Therapy Moves to Governor

(Springfield, IL, May, 29, 2015)—Today, the Illinois State Senate voted 34-19 to pass House Bill 217, the Illinois Youth Mental Health Protection Act that will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth from the dangerous and discredited practices of conversion therapy. The bill was overwhelmingly approved 68-43 by the State House earlier this month and is heading to the desk of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.
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GLSEN Partners with Todo Mejora Foundation to Release Safe Space Kit in Chile

NEW YORK (May 28, 2015) – GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students, has teamed up with long-time partner, Todo Mejora Foundation in Chile, to adapt one of its most important educational resources into Spanish for educators in Latin America.
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As SCOTUS Marriage Decision Looms, New Report Maps LGBT Equality State by State

May 28, 2015 — If the United States Supreme Court grants same-sex couples the freedom to marry, the majority of those couples will still face significant legal discrimination. According to a new report released today by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), 61 percent of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population in the U.S. will continue to live in states with medium or low legal protections—or that have outright hostile laws.
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Rick Santorum's Tired Old Song: Turn Back the Clock on Marriage Equality

WASHINGTON - May 26, 2015 – Ahead of his expected campaign launch today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released a video highlighting presidential candidate Rick Santorum, in his own words, using harmful rhetoric to oppose LGBT equality. During his long history opposing same-sex marriage, Santorum has suggested he wants to"turn back the clock" on the gains made towards full marriage equality.
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BREAKING: Historic Victory for Marriage Equality in Ireland

WASHINGTON - May 23, 2015 - Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, hailed the historic victory for marriage equality in Ireland. Ireland is the first country in the world to pass marriage equality through a national referendum, and the 21st country to decide to afford same-sex couples full marriage rights.
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Ireland Becomes First Country to Bring the Freedom to Marry by Popular Vote

New York - May 23, 2015 – Adding to the global momentum for the freedom to marry, today a referendum made the Republic of Ireland the first country in the world to accord same-sex couples the freedom to marry by popular vote.
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Federal Court Orders Alabama Probate Judges to Allow Marriage Equality Statewide

MOBILE, Ala. - May 21, 2015 – A federal district court today ordered that all Alabama probate judges must comply with the U.S. Constitution and may not refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples after four leading civil rights organizations requested the court expand a lawsuit to cover all same-sex couples and probate judges statewide. The district court's order will take effect when the United States Supreme Court issues its decision in several pending cases seeking the freedom to marry in four states.  The Supreme Court marriage cases were argued in April, and a ruling is expected by the end of June.
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Oregon Becomes Fourth Jurisdiction to Protect LGBT Kids from Conversion Therapy

(Salem, OR, May 21, 2015)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Human Rights Campaign applaud Oregon Gov. Kate Brown for signing House Bill 2307 into law, making Oregon the fourth jurisdiction—behind California, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia—to protect LGBT youth from the dangers of conversion therapy.
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HRC Urges Boy Scouts of America to Take Full Step to Equality by Adopting National Policy of LGBT Inclusion

WASHINGTON - May 21, 2015 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today acknowledged the movement of the Boy Scouts of America and its president, Robert Gates, toward broader inclusion, but reiterated its call to make full LGBT equality a national policy.
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Senators Call on SecDef to Update Non-Discrimination Protections to Include Gay Troops

WASHINGTON - May 21, 2015 - Today, BuzzFeed News broke the news that numerous Senators have signed a bi-partisan letter strongly urging Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter to update the military "equal opportunity policies across the Department of Defense (DoD) and Military Services to prevent discrimination, harassment or intimidation of service members based on sexual orientation." The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation's largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military families, praised the letter and urged Secretary Carter to take immediate action.
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ACLU Lawsuit: Michigan ID Policy Exposes Transgender Men and Women to Risk of Harassment, Violence

DETROIT - May 21, 2015 -The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Michigan announced on Thursday that they have filed a federal lawsuit against the Michigan Secretary of State challenging a department policy that makes it impossible for many transgender individuals to correct the gender on their driver's licenses and other forms of identification.
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5 Actions the Obama Administration Can Take Immediately to Improve the Lives of LGBT Service Members & Veterans

WASHINGTON - May 21, 2015 – Today, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense strongly urging him to update equal opportunity policies across the Department of Defense"to prevent discrimination, harassment or intimidation of service members based on sexual orientation" – an important step the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization, has repeatedly called for. Today HRC thanked the Senators for their call to action and highlighted five steps the Obama Administration can take immediately in both the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to advance fairness and equality for our nation's LGBT service members and veterans who continue to face unique challenges and discrimination even after the successful repeal of"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT).
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GLSEN Touts Passage of Nevada LGBT-Inclusive Anti-Bullying Law

NEW YORK (May 20, 2015) – GLSEN's Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, applauded Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and the Nevada State Legislature for passing and signing into law an anti-bullying bill that specifically protects students on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Nevada joins 17 other states  and Washington, D.C., as having laws that specifically prohibit bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
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Congresswoman Suzan DelBene Supports First Federal Ban on Conversion Therapy

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene Supports First Federal Ban on Conversion Therapy
WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 19, 2015 – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today helped introduce the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, the first federal bill aimed at preventing so-called "conversion therapy."
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GLSEN Statement on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

NEW YORK (May 17, 2015) – GLSEN's Chief Research & Strategy Officer, Dr. Joe Kosciw, made the following statement in recognition of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, celebrated on May 17.
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Sen. Ted Cruz's Strange Obsession

WASHINGTON - May 20, 2015 — Sen. Ted Cruz – a consistent opponent of marriage equality at every turn – is now apparently lashing out at having to answer questions about why he has chosen to make anti-LGBT positions his political calling card. The Texas Tribune reported that when asked about marriage equality, Cruz accused progressives and the media of being"obsessed with sex."
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Another Desperate Cry for Attention From Governor Bobby Jindal

WASHINGTON - May 19, 2015 — Today, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's efforts to pass one of his top priorities, anti-LGBT HB 707, were dealt a major setback. By a bipartisan vote of 10-2 to"return to calendar without amendments," the bill was potentially killed for the session. Jindal, who has variously been named the nation's least popular governor in 2013, 2014, and who hit a new low in another state poll just days ago, now says that he will circumvent the legislature and issue an executive order that would enable discrimination against LGBT residents.
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GLSEN Applauds Oregon Legislature and Governor Brown for Protecting LGBT Youth by Banning Conversion Therapy for Minors

NEW YORK (May 14, 2015) – GLSEN's Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, thanked Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and the state's Legislature for passing and signing into law a ban on the use of conversion therapy on minors. Oregon joins California, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., as the only regions that ban conversion therapy, also known as"reparative therapy," and is the first state to do so since President Obama called for an end to the practice last month. 
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The Pennsylvania Youth Congress Established

HARRISBURG, Pa. May 18, 2015 — The Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC), Pennsylvania's first and only youth-led statewide LGBT advocacy organization, is announcing today that it is changing its name to the Pennsylvania Youth Congress (PYC) and refocusing its mission on statewide policy work:
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NCLR Applauds Introduction of Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act by Congressman Lieu

(Washington, DC, May 19, 2015)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) applauds U.S. Congressman Ted W. Lieu’s introduction of the Therapeutic Fraud Act, the first nationwide bill that would protect LGBT people from the dangers of conversion therapy. Lieu announced the bill this morning at a press conference attended by survivors of conversion therapy, members of the mental health and medical community, faith leaders, and representatives from NCLR, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Sothern Poverty Law Center.
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First Federal Bill to Prevent Dangerous Anti-LGBT Conversion Therapy Introduced in Congress

WASHINGTON - May 19, 2015 – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-CA) will introduce the"Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act" – the first federal legislation to prohibit the practice of providing"conversion therapy" to any person in exchange for monetary compensation or advertising such services. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, called for Congress to rally behind the important legislation in order to end this dangerous and discredited practice of discrimination against LGBT people.
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With LGBT Youth In Foster Care Facing Bias and Discrimination, HRC Issues Call to Action to Address Crisis

WASHINGTON - May 19, 2015- Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, in partnership with FosterClub, a national network for youth in foster care, released an issue brief detailing the hostile treatment experienced by many LGBT and questioning youth in foster care, and the shocking lack of laws and policies protecting them.
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IDAHOT: 'Best of times' but progress is not universal

To mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on Sunday, May 17, Jessica Stern, executive director, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, made the following comments:
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Out and Equal Workplace Advocates LGBT Equality Institute with Disney

May 13, 2015 -- Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is working with Disney to lead businesses toward creating workplaces that are welcoming and inclusive for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees. Disney and Out & Equal will host an LGBT Equality Institute workshop at the Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday, July 23, 2015.
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GLSEN Northern Virginia Statement on Family Life Education Curriculum Recommendations

McLEAN, Va. (May 13, 2015) – GLSEN Northern Virginia's Co-Chair, David Aponte, made the following statement on the Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee's recommendations to the Fairfax County School Board, updating the Family Life Education program for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) to include issues of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression for middle and high school students. These recommendations will be introduced as new business on May 21 and voted on at the school board's meeting on June 25.
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On International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia HRC Shows Solidarity with Global LGBT Movement

WASHINGTON - May 15, 2015 –– Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released a video celebrating the eleventh-annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT). This year's IDAHOT theme is"youth," celebrating LGBT youth and their contributions to their communities.  In the video, HRC's youth ambassadors - a group of young LGBT activists living in the United States who were chosen for their courage and commitment to speaking out on issues affecting LGBT youth - send a message of solidarity against homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, and all forms of hate facing LGBT people across the globe.
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Gambian President Jammeh's Vicious Threats and Anti-LGBT Human Rights Abuses Require Greater White House Action

WASHINGTON - May 15, 2015 – Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, joined the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) to urge the Obama Administration to take additional action against Gambian leaders as the regime continues to persecute LGBT citizens, calling on the White House to condemn the horrific human rights abuses taking place across The Gambia.
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Nevada Assembly Passes LGBT Inclusive Anti-Bullying Protections For Students

WASHINGTON - May 14, 2015 – Yesterday, by a vote of 36 to 6, the Nevada Assembly passed a sweeping anti-bullying initiative seeking to ensure the safety and well being of the state's youth. The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, praised the passage of the bill that includes protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Brian Sandoval who sponsored the bill.
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HRC and Gender Proud Launch Partnership to Raise Visibility of the Transgender Community and Their Rights in the Philipp

WASHINGTON - May 13, 2015 - Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and Gender Proud, a transgender advocacy and awareness organization, announced a three-city public education campaign to inform the public about, and destigmatize the lives of, transgender people in the Philippines.
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Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Governor Herbert Support WCF's Hate-a-Palooza

WASHINGTON - May 13, 2015 –– Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, strongly condemned the decision by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Utah Governor Gary Herbert, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for their support of and possible participation in the upcoming World Congress of Families (WCF) conference in Salt Lake City later this year.
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BREAKING: Eureka Springs Votes to Uphold Ordinance Protecting LGBT Residents

LITTLE ROCK May 12, 2015 - Despite the efforts of anti-LGBT activists in Arkansas, equality continues to prevail in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Residents voted (579-231) to uphold a comprehensive, city-wide non-discrimination ordinance that was originally passed by the Eureka Springs city council in February. The new legislation will ban discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations against people based on their race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic background, and a number of other important categories. While other ordinances that have recently passed in Arkansas cities like Little Rock and Hot Springs only protect city employees and city contractors, the ordinance in Eureka Springs applies to all citizens. Following tonight's result, HRC Arkansas State Director Kendra R. Johnson released the following statement:
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FDA Blood Donation Ban Change Still Unacceptable

WASHINGTON - May 12, 2015 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign, (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, responded to the release of draft guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a long-awaited change to the current scientifically unwarranted blood donation ban on gay and bisexual men.  The draft guidance outlines the implementation of a deferral based policy utilizing a one year period of abstinence from same-sex sexual activity for men.
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Oregon to Join California, New Jersey, & DC in Protecting LGBT Youth from Conversion Therapy

(Salem, Oregon, May 7, 2015)—Today, the Oregon State Senate passed HB 2307, a bill that will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. The bill was overwhelmingly approved by the State House on March 17 and is now heading to the desk of Governor Kate Brown who is expected to sign it into law.
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As Huckabee Puts Hate on Display in Hope, Hot Springs Presents a Brighter Vision for Arkansas' Future

LITTLE ROCK - May 6, 2015 - Last night, the city of Hot Springs took a tremendously important step forward in the fight for inclusiveness and equality under the law for all Arkansans. Its powerful actions stand in remarkable contrast to the vision for America that former Governor Mike Huckabee, who earlier that morning announced his presidential campaign up the road in Hope, offers the nation.
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Anti-LGBT Texas Lawmakers Bury Head in Sand, Ignore Warnings to Stop Virulently Extreme Legislation

WASHINGTON - May 8, 2015 – On Tuesday, the Texas House of Representatives is expected to vote on HB 4105, a last ditch effort to shamefully try to stop marriage equality in the state as the Supreme Court considers a case that could lead to nationwide marriage equality. Prohibiting state or local employees from recognizing, granting, or enforcing a same-sex marriage licence or any funds being used for an activity to license or support these marriages, the bill is among more than 20 pieces of anti-LGBT legislation being considered by the Texas legislature.
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Hawaii Legislature Passes Important Bill Impacting Transgender Hawaiians

WASHINGTON May 6, 2015 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, praised the passage by the Hawaii state legislature last night of a vital measure that will ensure transgender people are able to change their birth certificates to reflect their correct name and gender without unnecessarily expensive and invasive obstacles. Governor David Ige is expected to sign the legislation into law.
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Major Child Advocacy Groups Strongly Oppose Extreme Anti-LGBT Adoption Bill in Texas

WASHINGTON - May 6, 2015 — Today, major child advocacy groups joined the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, in opposing an extreme anti-LGBT adoption bill in Texas that is dangerously close to becoming law.
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U.S. Supreme Court Will not Hear Case Concerning Medical Care of Transgender Woman in Prison

May 4, 2015 - The U.S. Supreme Court declined today to hear an appeal on behalf of Michelle Kosilek, a transgender woman who has been denied essential health care while serving a prison sentence in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC). The denial marks the end of the road legally in Kosilek's lengthy struggle to receive appropriate care while in prison.
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Way Older Than Cell Phones: Even Expert Opposing Equality Conceded Same-Sex Unions Have Been Around for Millennia

WASHINGTON - April 30, 2015 – Two days after the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in the marriage equality case Obergefell v. Hodges, the Human Rights Campaign joined with the legal team from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher that challenged California's ban on marriage equality to highlight key testimony from Hollingsworth v. Perry which shows that marriage between same-sex couples has a lengthy history, stretching back thousands of years.
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NCLR Statement on Baltimore and Freddie Gray

(Washington, D.C., April 29, 2015)—The following can be attributed to National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.
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LGBTQ Advocates Call for a Movement Devoted to #MoreThanMarriage

WASHINGTON DC - April 29, 2015 -- Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on four marriage equality cases -- an important step in the movement toward winning full LGBTQ equality under the law. For many LGBTQ individuals, however, the day was complicated by the painful reminder of the ongoing fight to end police brutality and state-imposed violence as people took to the streets of Baltimore just 40 miles north of DC.
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Health

Two Emotions

Two Emotions
I recently experienced two incredible emotions that are vying for my attention. A good way I can get back to healthiness is to express these emotions with my best effort and not hold it inside anymore. I've chosen to explain it as follows:
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NW Alliance Erie Office Announces New Staff


NW Alliance Erie Office Announces New Staff

The Northwest Pennsylvania Rural AIDS Alliance (NW Alliance) has provided HIV services in the Erie community for over twenty years. Two new employees have recently joined the NW Alliance team and will be working in the Erie Office, Thanh Huynh and Sonny Concepcion. Thanh and Sonny will be providing and expanding the quality services of the NW Alliance.
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Am I Married to a Sex Addict?

My partner and I have been together for about 3 years now.  At the beginning the sex was great, now it's almost non-existent, but we still love each other very much. A while back we started having 3-ways with other guys, and that was cool.  But, in the last few months, he told me he's not into those anymore and he wants to have an open relationship where each of us does our own thing sexually.  This isn't my preference, but I went along with it (I'm not very assertive).  Now he's never home; when he's not at work, he's almost always out having sex. On weekends, he's on the computer for 3-4 hours a day looking to hook up. It feels like our relationship is falling apart.  Am I married to a sex addict?
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Regional Body Electric Seminar Coming to Cleveland, October 10-11

To release people to live the full range of being human is the goal of The Body Electric School. On October 10-11, Body Electric will offer its introductory course, Celebrating the Body Erotic, at a confidential location in downtown Cleveland.  This seminar will be men only. (In the future, the BE coordinating body hopes to bring the full range of courses for women only, couples and those in the trans spectrum.) This will be the only Body Electric introductory course to be offered in the region this year and is expected to draw men from 250-mile radius and beyond.
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With Nearly 50,000 HIV Diagnoses Each Year, New HRC Guide Provides Crucial Advice On Prevention, Treatment, and Sexual H

WASHINGTON - May 6, 2015- Today, just hours after Grammy Award-winning music legend Elton John urged Congress to bolster its fight against AIDS, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, in collaboration with AIDS United, released a guide on HIV prevention and care, as well as a unique online Q&A feature. This new resource is supported in part by a grant from the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
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Spirituality and Religion

Boy Scouts Should Lift Ban on Gay Scout Leaders, Affirm Transgender Inclusion

Washington, D.C., June 3, 2015 – Last week, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, sent the following letter to the National President of Boy Scouts of America (BSA), Secretary Robert M. Gates, expressing the Reform Movement's support for lifting the ban on gay scout leaders and calling on the BSA to affirm that transgender boys can participate in and lead BSA troops. The letter reflects the Reform Movement's longstanding work on behalf of LGBT equality and our respect for the important role the Boy Scouts of America can play in cultivating strong values of leadership among youth:
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MCC Announces Global Prayer Services and Actions Against Discrimination

May 20, 2015 - Leaders of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) announced the launch of a communion-wide effort to hold prayer services in local churches between today and the end of June to support global outreach to LGBTQ people living in hostile countries.
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The Table

The Table is a group of people who long for a community where we can belong, love and care for each other and the community around us, try to follow Jesus and grow spiritually without being caught in the politics and hurtful behaviors of the institutionalized church. We are not perfect. We still make mistakes and hurt each other. However, we are committed to working through our differences in love and gentleness, allowing the grace and mercy of a loving God to heal and reconcile us when we do make those mistakes. We hope that, by doing so, we can BE the church rather than attend or support a church. We welcome people of every age, race, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, educational level, socio-economic status and faith background. While we are unapologetically attempting to follow God in the way of Jesus, we are open to learning from and providing community for people of other faiths and for those who are questioning and exploring faith.
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National Faith Leaders Sign Letter Urging Lawmakers to Reject Anti-LGBT Discrimination Bills Cloaked Falsely in 'Religio

WASHINGTON - April 29, 2015 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, announced that 17 national religious leaders, from California to the nation's capital, added their names to a historic statement calling for an end to "religious refusal" bills that allow discrimination against LGBT people.
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

MARK MY WORDS: Bringing our youth home

From Philadelphia Gay News - Last week, my phone rang and the voice on the other end very apprehensively said their name and then, "I'm the one who has been in a 'conversion-therapy' camp." Then, they began to cry. Here's how this saga began:
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LETTER to the EDITOR on Paid Sick Leave in PA

As we know well in the LGBT community, our state legislature doesn't do anything quickly. We've been fighting for years to pass state wide non-discrimination protection for LGBT workers. Now instead of rushing to protect workers, legislators are in a race to take rights away. Right now some are trying to fast track a law that would take away sick days from 200,000 workers and strip the rights of local communities to create their own ordinances.
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The Amazon Trail: Aging Tomboy

My body is telling me to slow down, even while my mind says go, go, go.
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LGBT History must be preserved, not revised

From Philadelphia Gay News, April 30, 2015 - There is a national spotlight on the 50th anniversary of the first LGBT demonstrations in front of Independence Hall that took place every July 4 from 1965-69. While it was a pivotal change in the struggle for equality, some are revising our history out of context by stating it is the 50th anniversary of the LGBT movement. That simply is not true.
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Contests

Win The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell by William Klaber!

Win The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell by William Klaber!
Win The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell by William Klaber! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between June 19 and July 10.
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Enter to win The Original High from Adam Lambert!

Enter to win The Original High from Adam Lambert!
Enter to win The Original High from Adam Lambert! THE ORIGINAL HIGH, the new album from multi-platinum-selling artist ADAM LAMBERT. Featuring the hit single "Ghost Town". Out NOW: http://smarturl.it/adam.itunes. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between June 16 and July 7.
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Enter to win a digital copy of Finding Neverland: The Album!

Enter to win a digital copy of Finding Neverland: The Album!
Enter to win a digital copy of Finding Neverland: The AlbumFinding Neverland: The Album. Music's hottest artists reimagining the songs from Broadway's Finding Neverland! Available NOW: http://smarturl.it/FindingNevTheAlbum. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between June 12 and July 3.
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Win Willem of the Tafel e-book by Hans M. Hirschi!

Win Willem of the Tafel e-book by Hans M. Hirschi!
Win Willem of the Tafel e-book by Hans M. Hirschi! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between June 12 and July 3.
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Win Folsom Forever from Breaking Glass Pictures!

Win Folsom Forever from Breaking Glass Pictures!
Win Folsom Forever from Breaking Glass Pictures. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between June 9 and June 30.
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Win Beyond Love from Ariztical Entertainment!

Win Beyond Love from Ariztical Entertainment!
Win Beyond Love from Ariztical Entertainment. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between June 5 and June 26.
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Win Eat With Me DVD from Wolfe Video!

Win Eat With Me DVD from Wolfe Video!
Win Eat With Me DVD from Wolfe Video! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between June 2 and June 23.
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Enter to win a Spy Prize Pack!

Enter to win a Spy Prize Pack!
Enter to win a Spy Prize Pack! 20th Century Fox presents Spy. From writer and director Paul Feig. Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is an unassuming, deskbound CIA analyst, and the unsung hero behind the Agency's most dangerous missions. But when her partner (Jude Law) falls off the grid and another top agent (Jason Statham) is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global disaster. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between June 2 and June 23.
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Enter For A Chance To Win An Entourage Prize Pack!

Enter For A Chance To Win An Entourage Prize Pack!
Enter For A Chance To Win An Entourage Prize Pack! "Entourage, " the much-anticipated big-screen version of the award-winning hit HBO series, reunites the show’s original cast, led by Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven. "Entourage" opens in theaters nationwide June 3! Five lucky winners will receive an "Entourage" prize pack including 1 t-shirt, 1 hat, 1 bracelet, and 1 drink koozie! To enter, fill out the form here between May 29 and June 19.
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Enter to win BOYSTOWN by Jake Biondi

Enter to win BOYSTOWN by Jake Biondi
Enter to win BOYSTOWN by Jake Biondi. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between May 29 and June 19.
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Enter to win a digital copy of Forever from Alesso!

Enter to win a digital copy of Forever from Alesso!
Enter to win a digital copy of Forever from AlessoFOREVER, the debut album from internationally acclaimed producer, ALESSO. Featuring "Heroes," 'Tear The Roof Up" and "Cool". Available Now: http://ales.so/forever  To enter the contest, fill out the form here between May 26 and June 16.
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Enter to win Jackie from Ciara!

Enter to win Jackie from Ciara!
Enter to win Jackie from Ciara! JACKIE, the new album from international superstar and "Queen of Dance" CIARA. Including the emotional hit single "I Bet" and "Dance Like We’re Making Love" Available NOW: http://smarturl.it/CiaraJackie. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between May 26 and June 16.
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Enter to win Mariah Carey #1 To Infinity!

Enter to win Mariah Carey #1 To Infinity!
Enter to win Mariah Carey #1 To Infinity! Mariah Carey #1 To Infinity. A chronological collection of all 18 of international superstar Mariah Carey's #1 singles from "Vision of Love" to "Touch My Body" Also includes the brand new single "Infinity" Available Now: http://smarturl.it/MC_1ToInfinity. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between May 22 and June 12.
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Enter now for your chance to win a rental of Chocolate City!

Enter now for your chance to win a rental of Chocolate City!
Enter now for your chance to win a rental of Chocolate City!  To enter the contest. fill out the form here between May 19 and June 9. Chocolate City opens in select theaters and On Demand May 22. Check your local listings. Lucky winners will receive a free digital rental of Chocolate City to enjoy the film at home!
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