January, 2016 News (80 Articles with 327,009 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for January, 2016 Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) held an End of Year Celebration Dec. 14, 2015 at the Hemingway Ballroom at the Ambassador Conference Center to thank their partners, supporters and board. Photos by Mike Mahler

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Calendar & Upcoming Events

Calendar of Local GLBT Events

Up to date listing of events and meetings.

Local and Regional News

'Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents' Blog Marks Ten Year Anniversary

PITTSBURGH - December 30 marks the tenth anniversary of the longest running LGBTQ blog in Pennsylvania. 'Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents' celebrates this rare achievement by posting the 100th post in the new #AMPLIFY series focusing on the lived experiences of LGBTQ neighbors throughout Western Pennsylvania.
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Behrend community responds to hate speech


Behrend community responds to hate speech

Eric W. Corty, Ph.D wrote a "Guest Voice" column for the Erie Times-News, "How Behrend responded to hate speech" (December 11, 2015).) You can read the article here. Dr. Corty-a professor at Penn State Behrend-explained with much admiration the manner in which the Behrend community responded when a homophobic message was placed next to his friend's office door on November 10. A custodial staffperson informed his supervisor, and the campus police were called. An officer explained the situation to the friend ("with much care," wrote Corty) and an investigation had begun. The interim chancellor asked all faculty and staff to work toward maintaining an inclusive community. 
Corty organized an effort to wear rainbow ribbons and buttons in solidarity with the targeted person and in support of inclusiveness.
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Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) End of Year Celebration

Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) held an End of Year Celebration on December 14, 2015 at the Hemingway Ballroom at the Ambassador Conference Center, 7794 Peach St, Erie PA, to thank their partners, supporters and board. GEAE President Will Koehler spoke of the organization's accomplishments and events for 2015, and also the plans for the future, including raising Erie PA's Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Municipal Equality Index (MEI) from its present and first time rating of 57 to 100 by the year 2020.
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PFLAG Meadville forms


On Tuesday, December 15, members of Meadville PA's community decided to form a local PFLAG chapter. There have been support meetings at Stone United Methodist Church, 956 S Main St. in Meadville for a little over a year. The group will continue to meet at Stone United Methodist Church. Meetings will be held the third Tuesday of the month at 7 PM, so the next meeting will be January 19.
 Randy Herbert-Weed is the chapter president, Sarah Roncolato is secretary, and Mariana Silva is treasurer.
 For information contact Sarah at meadvillepflag@gmail.com or (814) 724-6736, Find PFLAG Meadville on Facebook: PFLAG Meadville
. PFLAG Erie/Crawford County voted to dissolve in July due to low attendance, so PFLAG Meadville will now be the only chapter in northwestern Pennsylvania.
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Update on 2016 Pride Logo Design Contest - Win $100!


As mentioned previously, NW PA Pride Alliance will be accepting design entries through February 29 for the 2016 Pride logo.The theme for 2016 Pride is "Invite. Unite. Ignite!" We hope that your design will include the official Pride theme. 
There is no limit to the number of entries per person that can be submitted, nor is there an age limit. Please also note that the shirt fabric has alternated between black and ash gray from year to year. If your design requires a specific color for an element, please be sure to include that color in your design. That is, elements that should be/are intended to be white should not be transparent in your design. The design we select will receive a free shirt and a $100 Visa gift card. The template for the logo design, as well as our organization's logo is on NW PA Pride Alliance's web site at www.nwpapride.org. The preferred format is an Adobe Illustrator Vector File (or something we can convert to that format), 300 dpi, with the canvas size being a maximum of 9 1/2" wide by 15" tall.
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Entertainment and Travel

AHF 2016 Rose Parade Float Celebrates ... 'A Girl's World of Adventure'

LOS ANGELES (December 18, 2015) For the fifth year in a row, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, will take part in the Tournament of Roses' iconic 2016 Rose Parade®on Friday, January 1st. This year, AHF's float, 'A Girl's World of Adventure,' celebrates and seeks to empower young girls the world over as it poignantly captures the Tournament of Roses' official 2016 parade theme: 'Find Your Adventur
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'The Fluidity of Gender: Sculpture by Linda Stein' at Allegheny

'The Fluidity of Gender: Sculpture by Linda Stein' at Allegheny
"The Fluidity of Gender" exhibit is open Jan. 26 to Mar.13 at the art galleries of Allegheny College, Meadville PA. The exhibition explores the continuum between masculinity and femininity, while inspiring the compassion, empathy and bravery it takes to become an upstander rather than a bystander. Stein asks people to re-invent and visualize bravery for themselves, to look at the armor they wear, the safety they seek. The exhibition has traveled to more than 24 museums and universities around the country. Visit allegheny.edu
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Local Faces and Photos

Video Galleries for 2015

Video Galleries for 2015
Videos for local and national news for 2015 show what a great year this has been for the Erie, PA region and LGBT community! You can see them all here
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Photo Galleries for 2015

Photo Galleries for 2015
Check out all of our photo galleries for 2015. The Erie PA region saw many terrific, important and historical events! You can see them all here.
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Political, Activism and Legal

Coalition of National Groups File Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court Challenge to TX Abortion Restrictions

(Washington, D.C., January 5, 2016)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and a coalition of 13 other LGBT, racial justice, and health equity organizations have filed an amicus brief in Whole Woman's Health v. Cole asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down draconian restrictions on abortion providers enacted by the State of Texas in 2013 which, if upheld, would lead to the closing of most abortion clinics in the state. The brief urges the Court to carefully scrutinize the state's asserted justification for the law, just as the Court has done with other laws that infringe upon fundamental freedoms. The State of Texas has argued that the law protects the health of women seeking abortion, but the evidence at trial showed just the opposite. In fact, medical organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association, and the American Public Health Association have warned that the restrictions imposed by the new law are medically unnecessary and endanger women's health.
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Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration Statement on News Report ISIS Executes 15 Year-Old Gay Teen

San Francisco, CA – Over the New Year's holiday weekend, ARA News, an independent Syrian media outlet, reported that ISIS had executed a15 year-old teen boy on charges of homosexuality by throwing him from the top of a building in central Deir ez-Zor.
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Federal Court, FedEx and Widow's Pension Benefits Lawsuit

(San Francisco, January 4, 2016)—Today, U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton denied FedEx's attempt to throw out a lawsuit filed by Stacey Schuett, a widow of a longtime FedEx employee who has been denied the survivor pension benefits her same-sex spouse earned during her long career with the company.
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6 Candidates Make Anti-LGBT Pledge

December 23, 2015 - Equality Federation is disappointed to learn that six candidates for president signed a pledge supporting the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). FADA is an unnecessary piece of legislation that would enshrine discrimination into law, prohibiting the federal government from stepping in when people or businesses discriminate because they believe "marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman" or that "sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage." Freedom of religion is important; it's part of what makes America great. That's why it's already protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. The rule of law is also important, and we can't just create sweeping religious exemptions for people to pick and choose how to follow our laws. Exemptions like this could result in unintended consequences:
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ACLU Responds to Governor Matt Bevin's Executive Order Removing Clerks' Names from Marriage Licenses

LOUISVILLE - December 22, 2015 ­– Governor Matt Bevin issued an executive order today removing county clerks' names from marriage licenses.
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Congressional Challenger Brian Sims Endorsed By National Progressive Organization

Philadelphia - December 22, 2015 – Brian Sims' campaign to represent the 2nd Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives has received the endorsement of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, the nation's largest resource for LGBT candidates.
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United Nations Enlists OutRight in Effort to Measure LGBTI Inclusion Worldwide

(New York - December 21, 2015) -- How can we measure the degree to which lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people are included – and, as likely, excluded – from the lifeblood of societies around the world?
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Victory! Transgender Man Wins Health Insurance Coverage for Gender Transition

New York, NY - December 21, 2015 - The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) has secured insurance coverage for a transgender man's medically necessary care after his union-sponsored health insurance plan refused to cover it. Adrian Sealy works in a Rochester, NY hospital as a cleaning and sanitation specialist. He is a member of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the nation's largest union for health care workers. The union is self-insured for its workers' health care.
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OutRight Action International Releases Free Download of Graphic Novel Yousef and Farhad

(New York) –Following the Facebook serialization of a love story Yousef and Farhad about a gay couple in Iran, OutRight Action International, the global human rights organization, on Monday releases the full 20-page graphic novel to download for free.
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With Shkreli Gone, Will Turing Pharmaceuticals Restore Life-Saving Drug to Original Price?

WASHINGTON - December 18, 2015 -- Following news today that Martin Shkreli has resigned as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, called on the drug maker's interim CEO Ron Tilles to immediately reduce the cost of the life-saving drug Daraprim to its original price.
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HRC Calls on Department of Education to Take Action Following Anti-LGBT Religious Exemption Requests by Dozens of Colleg

WASHINGTON - December 18, 2015 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, called on the Department of Education to take action in light of a disturbing trend by religious colleges and universities to request exemptions from existing civil rights law in order to discriminate against LGBT students. In a comprehensive new report, HRC details the growing trend and calls on the Department of Education to publicly document for students and Congress which colleges are claiming their ability to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and to require each institution to make publicly available the exemptions they request and obtain so that students know their rights.
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NCLR Statement on Hillary Clinton's Landmark LGBT Policy Brief

(San Francisco, CA, December 17, 2015)—Today Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton unveiled a landmark policy paper addressing issues that affect the LGBT community. Clinton's policy proposal is the first and most specific issued by any presidential candidate currently in the 2016 race.
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Massachusetts Court Rules against Catholic High School that Rescinded Job Offer to Married Gay Man

In a first-of-its-kind decision, a Massachusetts Superior Court judge has ruled that Fontbonne Academy, a Catholic girls' high school, discriminated against Matthew Barrett on the basis of sexual orientation and sex when it rescinded its offer of the job of food services manager to him because he is married to another man.  The court ruled that Fontbonne had clearly and directly violated the Massachusetts nondiscrimination law; was not exempt from the law; and had no constitutional defenses against its discriminatory conduct.  The decision can be read here.
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Broad Range File Briefs with U.S. Supreme Court in Support of Lesbian Mother from Alabama

(Washington, D.C., December 17, 2015)—A broad range of leading adoption advocates and constitutional and family law scholars and experts filed friends of the court briefs today in support of a lesbian mother in Alabama who is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review an Alabama Supreme Court order refusing to recognize her adoption of her three children.
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U.S. Supreme Court Urged to Protect Stability of Families of Same-Sex Couples

December 17, 2015 - Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and Foley Hoag LLP today filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging the Court to grant review in the Alabama second-parent adoption case, V.L. v. E.L., No. 15-648.
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ACLU Challenges Minnesota's Ban on Medicaid Coverage of Transition-Related Surgery

ST. PAUL, Minn. - December 17, 2015- The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Minnesota filed a lawsuit today in Minnesota State Court to challenge the coverage ban on transition-related surgery for transgender people on Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare, the state's public insurance programs for low-income residents.
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HRC Releases 2015 Municipal Equality Index with Record Number of Perfect Scores

WASHINGTON - December 17, 2015 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation announced that a record number of U.S. cities have achieved perfect scores on its 2015 Municipal Equality Indexby establishing fully-inclusive local protections for LGBT people. The most notable trend in the annual report is the rapidly growing number of cities and towns across the nation stepping up to ensure that all people are treated equally, even in states where fully-inclusive LGBT laws and policies remain elusive.
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State of LGBT Equality in Eight Pennsylvania Cities Detailed in HRC's New Municipal Equality Index

WASHINGTON - December 17, 2015 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today released its fourth annual report assessing LGBT equality in 408 cities across the nation, including eight in Pennsylvania.
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8 Principles That Will Stop Police Practices that Harm Women and LGBT People

The numbers are startling. Two in three domestic violence survivors surveyed recently by the National Domestic Violence Hotline said that they were somewhat or extremely afraid to call the police again in the future, with many saying that they thought police would not believe them or would make things worse. One in four who had previously contacted police said they would not seek their assistance again for domestic violence. Advocates who work with survivors reported a similar lack of trust and confidence in police to the ACLU and its partners.
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Department of Justice Issues New Guidance Addressing Gender Bias In Domestic Violence Policing

WASHINGTON - December 15, 2015 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization responded to new guidance issued by the Department of Justice "designed to help law enforcement agencies prevent gender bias in their response to sexual assault and domestic violence, highlighting the need for clear policies, robust training and responsive accountability systems."
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US Supreme Court Grants Lesbian Mom's Request for Emergency Stay of AL Sup Court Order Denying Recognition of Adoption

(Washington, D.C., December 14, 2015)—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted an Alabama lesbian mother's request for an emergency stay of an Alabama Supreme Court order refusing to recognize her adoption of her three children. The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling today suspends the Alabama Supreme Court decision so that she will be able to have visitation pending the Court's consideration of her case.
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Equality PA Hosts Inaugural PA Society Awards Reception

New York, NY – As part of the Pennsylvania Society celebrations, Equality PA hosted an awards reception to present the Bayard Rustin Award & the Pioneering Advocacy award. The reception was hosted at the residence of author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt.
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Court Hears Argument on Transgender Exclusion in Americans with Disabilities Act

December 11, 2015 - The federal district court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania heard argument yesterday in Blatt v. Cabela's Retail, a case that challenges the transgender exclusion written into the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).The hearing marked the first opportunity for the constitutional arguments for striking the exclusion to be fully laid out in court.
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HRC Announces Endorsement of Angie Craig for Congress

WASHINGTON - December 11, 2015 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, announced its endorsement of Angie Craig for election to the U.S. House of Representatives in Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District. Craig, who is an out and proud married lesbian, is the first candidate HRC has endorsed for Congress this cycle.
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HRC Statement on the Passing of LGBT Advocate George Zander

WASHINGTON - December 10, 2015 – Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, responded to the tragic news of the passing of legendary LGBT advocate George Zander.
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Human Rights Day at the United Nations to Focus on the Economic Cost of LGBT Exclusion

(New York - December 10, 2015)—On Human Rights Day, OutRight Action International is releasing the final video in its "Cost of Exclusion" LGBTIQ Africa series (https://youtu.be/Dw5UTTnZQXY)- a theme that will be highlighted on a global basis during a special United Nations Human Rights Day event on Thursday.
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The Recollectors: Remembering Parents Lost to AIDS

The Recollectors is a digital community and storytelling forum dedicated to remembering parents lost to AIDS and supporting the children they left behind.  
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Survivors cannot trust justice system mocking sexism, racism

ENOLA - December 9, 2015 -The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape embraces a set of core values to guide our work to end sexual violence and advocate for the rights and needs of victims of sexual assault. It appears that officials within PA's courts and justice system would benefit from a similar guide.
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Anti-LGBT Activist Bob Vander Plaats Endorses Ted Cruz

WASHINGTON - December 10, 2015 – Today, Bob Vander Plaats and leaders of Iowa's worst anti-LGBT group, the Family Leader, endorsed Ted Cruz in the 2016 presidential election. Cruz and Vander Plaats share a long and repugnant history of anti-LGBT rhetoric and activism, and today's endorsement puts Cruz even farther outside the American mainstream in a state that's had marriage equality for six years.
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Same-Sex Couples Ask Fed Court to Order FL to List Both Parents on Birth Certificates

(Tallahassee, FL, December 9, 2015)—Today, the married same-sex couples suing the State of Florida asked a federal court to order state officials to list both parents on their children's birth certificates as Florida already does for children born to married different-sex couples.
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GLAD Statement on Fisher v. UT Austin

December 9, 2015 - Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) joins a broad coalition of progressive allies in supporting the University of Texas-Austin today as it once again defends before the U.S. Supreme Court its holistic review of admissions candidates that allows for race-consciousness, among numerous other factors.
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HHS Partners with LGBT Organizations to Promote Open Enrollment Activities during LGBT Week of Action

HHS Partners with LGBT Organizations to Promote Open Enrollment Activities during LGBT Week of Action
December 8, 2015 - With the December 15 deadline for coverage starting in January 2016 fast approaching, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced partnerships with key national organizations to support LGBT outreach and enrollment efforts during 2016 Open Enrollment. As part of LGBT Week of Action from Dec. 7 – 11, Out2Enroll and other organizations will hold enrollment activities and provide in-person assistance across the country. Additionally, partners will leverage social media campaigns to ask their members and affiliates to sign up for an affordable health plan for 2016 through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
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OutServe-SLDN calls out Ben Carson for Abysmal Comments about LGBT Service Members

(Washington, D.C. - Decmber 6, 2015) - Statement by Matt Thorn, Interim Executive Director, concerning Ben Carson's recent remarks about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members. Ben Carson is a candidate for the Republican Party's Presidential nomination:
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OutServe-SLDN Blasts Ted Cruz for Hateful Comments about LGBT Service Members

(Washington, DC - December 4, 2015) - Statement by Matt Thorn, Interim Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN on recent remarks about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people serving in the United States Military by Senator Ted Cruz:
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DelBene Resolution Designates June 26 as 'LGBT Equality Day'

DelBene Resolution Designates June 26 as 'LGBT Equality Day'
WASHINGTON, D.C.  - December 3, 2015 – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today introduced a resolution (H.Res. 549) to designate June 26, as "LGBT Equality Day," honoring the anniversary of three significant victories won at the Supreme Court for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans.
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NCLR Statement Supporting Planned Parenthood

(San Francisco, CA, December 3, 2015)–The U.S. Senate will vote today on a budget reconciliation bill that includes a measure to defund Planned Parenthood and prevent low-income patients-including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender—from getting basic preventive health care at Planned Parenthood health centers across the country. It would also repeal essential aspects of the Affordable Care Act. This is only the latest in a series of attacks on Planned Parenthood by radical anti-abortion operatives and extremist politicians.
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NCLR Joins Coalition Urging U.S. Supreme Court to Protect President's Executive Actions on Immigration

(San Francisco, CA, December 2, 2015)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) has joined a coalition of 224 immigration, civil rights, labor, and social service groups in an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review Texas v. U.S., the case that has temporarily blocked some of President Obama's executive actions on immigration. The filing of the amicus brief comes less than a month after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction put in place by a Texas federal district court that blocked implementation of protections for millions of immigrants and their families across the country. The brief was filed just days after the formal request, known as a petition for writ of certiorari, from the U.S. Department of Justice to the Supreme Court to review the case.
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A New Threat in Global Fight against HIV/AIDS: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Deal

Washington - December 1, 2015 - Every year on World AIDS Day, we stop to reflect on those we've lost to the fight against HIV/AIDS. While we have made important progress in treatment and advances toward a cure, this year the struggle to end the pandemic is facing a new challenge: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
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Immigration and Customs Enforcement Confirms Transgender Immigrants Will Not Be Housed at Adelanto Detention Facility

New York, NY - December 1, 2015 - Today Immigration Equality, the nation's leading organization representing and advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) and HIV-affected immigrants, celebrated news from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that it would no longer pursue using Adelanto Detention Facility in California as a center for detaining transgender immigrants. The news comes after a months long campaign by the National LGBTQ Immigration Working Group headed by Immigration Equality, which included sending an open letter to President Obama from the group's more than 100 LGBTQ, immigration, and civil rights organizations, including CIVIC, National Center for Transgender Equality, and United We Dream.
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After Turing Pharmaceuticals' Outrageous Price Hike on Life-Saving Drug, Low-Cost Alternative Emerges

WASHINGTON - December 1, 2015 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization issued the following statement on news that Express Scripts will partner with Imprimis Pharmaceuticals to offer a low-cost alternative to Daraprim, a lifesaving treatment for people living with HIV. Two months ago, Turing Pharmaceuticals' CEO Martin Shkreli bought the rights to Daraprim and hiked the price of this crucial drug by 5,000 percent overnight.
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New TV ad brings global pressure on Malcolm Turnbull for marriage equality

Canberra - 3 December 2015 - Married same-sex couples from around the world have called for Malcolm Turnbull to stop blocking marriage equality in Australia, in a new crowdfunded TV advert which launched today on Sky News. The couples are all members of All Out, a global group fighting for the rights of lesbian, gay, bi, and trans people, and submitted their wedding photos to push for Australians to be granted the same rights as other gay and lesbian couples around the world.
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Health

Blood Ban Fix Continues to Falls Far Short of Acceptable Solution

WASHINGTON - December 21, 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 final 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 guidance released today 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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CDC Statement on Syringe Services Programs

Congress has given states and local communities, under limited circumstances, the opportunity to use federal funds to support certain components of syringe services programs. These programs provide sterile injection equipment and may also link individuals to services including HIV and hepatitis C testing and care for those infected, substance abuse treatment, and overdose prevention.
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When Things Fall Apart

Maybe bad news does come in threes. Recently a friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer, another friend had an emergency C-section and the baby didn't survive, and another friend is struggling with crystal meth.
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First Findings from 2014 Global Men's Health and Rights Survey Now Available!

MSMGF has partnered with LINKAGES and FHI360 to publish, Rights in Action: Access to HIV Services among Men Who Have Sex with Men, the first of a series of technical briefs highlighting the main findings from MSMGF's 2014 Global Men's Health and Rights (GMHR) Survey.  Each brief will focus on specific challenges and opportunities that impact efforts to scale up coverage and quality of services for men who have sex with men (MSM) across diverse regional contexts.
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'PrEP: The Revolution That Didn't Happen' Declares New AHF Advocacy Ad

LOS ANGELES (December 17, 2015)  A new advocacy ad by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) takes aim at the failure of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the use of Gilead Sciences' AIDS treatment Truvada to prevent HIV transmission in uninfected individuals, to catch on despite the fact that the powerful AIDS treatment medication has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as PrEP since July 2012 and that Gilead has spent millions to promote the drug directly to community groups and physicians. 
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Holidays Are Kids Play

Holidays Are Kids Play
The holidays are a great time to experience for anyone. Now imagine once again seeing this wonderful time of the year through the eyes of a kid.
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'No More Tears for J and J Greed!'

LOS ANGELES (December 11, 2015) — Advocates for reducing skyrocketing specialty drug prices unveiled a new marketing and public awareness campaign this week in New Brunswick, NJ, the global headquarters of Johnson & Johnson, Inc., admonishing the pharmaceutical giant for contributing $5.8 million dollars to oppose a California ballot initiative that would lower drug prices across the state. Drawing upon the company's signature branding for its best-selling baby shampoo, a mobile billboard with the message "No More Tears for Greed" will circulate in the vicinity of the Johnson & Johnson campus.  In a shocking decision that underscores Johnson & Johnson's heavyweight influence in the local region and beyond, the move to launch a mobile billboard campaign was made in response to an outdoor advertising company rejecting the drug pricing advocates' efforts to run paid billboards near the company's headquarters.  The ads will also appear in nearby transit stations.
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New findings from CDC survey suggest too few schools teach prevention of HIV, STDs, pregnancy

December 9, 2015 - In most of the United States, fewer than half of high schools and only a fifth of middle schools teach all 16 topics recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as essential components of sexual health education.
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New CDC Efforts Offer Individuals Vital Information to Reduce Personal HIV Risk

December 7, 2015 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today unveiled two awareness and education efforts designed to reduce new HIV infections by helping people take charge of their health – a new national HIV testing campaign and the beta version of an online tool to help individuals assess and reduce their risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV. The announcements came at the 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, the only major conference in the United States to focus exclusively on HIV prevention.
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Southern states trail rest of nation in HIV treatment, testing

December 6, 2015 - Death rates among people living with HIV in some Southern states are three times higher than those living in other parts of the country, according to a new state-by-state analysis on progress in HIV prevention and care released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2015/nhpc.html#RegionalGraphics).
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HIV diagnoses decline almost 20 percent, but progress is uneven

December 6, 2015 - Annual HIV diagnoses in the United States fell by 19 percent from 2005 to 2014, driven by dramatic and continuing declines over the decade among several populations including heterosexuals, people who inject drugs, and African Americans – with the steepest declines among black women. However, the same level of success was not seen among all gay and bisexual men.
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Spirituality and Religion

Major religions that sanction same-sex marriage


Major religions that sanction same-sex marriage

Several faith traditions support marriage quality. Check them out here!
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

Mark My Words: New Year's

From Philadelphia Gay News: What a year, and what a ride. As we all do, I'm beginning to look back at my year. And for me, it certainly was a special year, one in which I learned a lot. Let me share with you some of the lessons I took from 2015.
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Will the legislature get anything done next year? Let's hope.

The budget isn't the only thing that the legislature didn't get done this year.  Because of the never-ending budget impasse, almost every other issue that Pennsylvanians care about was not addressed. One of those key issues is discrimination. Most Pennsylvanian's are shocked to learn that it is still legal in the commonwealth to be fired from your job, turned away from a business, or denied an apartment just for being gay or transgender.
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The Amazon Trail: Festive Flamingos

We always have something, perhaps just one thing, in common with others. That thought struck me as one of our neighbors invited us to stop by and see his Christmas flamingos. Who would have guessed that this perfectly straight guy, married to a woman, always puttering in his workroom, not only collected flamingo paraphernalia, but had a collection extensive enough to sort  seasonally. He'd seen the neon flamingo in our window, though, and our three front yard flamingos (two pink, one brown), and maybe the flamingo crossing sign hanging in our garage. In any case, and unexpectedly, we have the amazing pink birds in common.
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MARK MY WORDS: TRUMP and mob Mentality

Let me ask you, readers, if you feel I'm going a little far when I suggest that I'm frightened that some people running for the highest office in the land are encouraging mob action like it has not be seen since 1938 Europe?
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Contests

Win Gym Boys: Gay Erotic Stories from Cleis Press!

Win Gym Boys: Gay Erotic Stories from Cleis Press!
Win Gym Boys: Gay Erotic Stories from Cleis Press! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between January 22 and February 12.
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Win the complete set of Eating Out films on DVD from Ariztical Entertainment!

Win the complete set of Eating Out films on DVD from Ariztical Entertainment!
Win the complete set of Eating Out films on DVD from Ariztical Entertainment! The complete collection of the hit film series Eating Out includes the original Eating Out, Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds, Eating Out: All You Can Eat, Eating Out: Drama Camp and Eating Out: The Open Weekend. To enter the contest, fill out the form below between January 19 and February 9.
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Win The Twilight Zone FAQ from Applause Books!

Win The Twilight Zone FAQ from Applause Books!
Win The Twilight Zone FAQ by Dave Thompson from Applause Books! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between January 15 and February 5.
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Win David Goes Home by Grant Spradling!

Win David Goes Home by Grant Spradling!
Win David Goes Home by Grant Spradling!! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between January 12 and February 2.
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Win Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine!

Win Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine!
Win Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between January 8 and January 29.
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Win Empire: Original Soundtrack, Season 2 Volume 1!

Win Empire: Original Soundtrack, Season 2 Volume 1!
Win Empire: Original Soundtrack, Season 2 Volume 1! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between January 5 and January 26.
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Win Best Gay Erotica of the Year autographed paperback by Rob Rosen!

Win Best Gay Erotica of the Year autographed paperback by Rob Rosen!
Win Best Gay Erotica of the Year autographed paperback by Rob Rosen! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between January 1 and January 22.
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Win The Up Stairs Lounge Arson by Clayton Delery-Edwards

Win The Up Stairs Lounge Arson by Clayton Delery-Edwards
Win The Up Stairs Lounge Arson by Clayton Delery-Edwards! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between December 29 and January 19.
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Win Anything for Amelia by Andrew Branham

Win Anything for Amelia by Andrew Branham
Win Anything for Amelia by Andrew Branham! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between December 25 and January 15.
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Enter to win Return of the Tender Lover from Babyface!

Enter to win Return of the Tender Lover from Babyface!
Enter to win Return of the Tender Lover from Babyface! RETURN OF THE TENDER LOVER, the new album from multi-platinum icon BABYFACE. Featuring the hit single “We’ve Got Love" Out NOW: http://smarturl.it/ReturnTenderLover. Check out www.babyfacemusic.com for U.S. tour dates. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between December 22 and January 12.
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Win Brave in Ribbons by Holly Maholm

Win Brave in Ribbons by Holly Maholm
Win Brave in Ribbons by Holly Maholm! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between December 22 and January 12.
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Enter to win a Nathan Sykes Over And Over Again prize pack!

Enter to win a Nathan Sykes Over And Over Again prize pack!
Enter to win a Nathan Sykes Over And Over Again prize pack! “OVER AND OVER AGAIN", the new ballad from  NATHAN SYKES. Featuring remixes from Cahill, Jump Smokers and Elephante! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between December 18 and January 8.
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History

A Look Back at 2015


A Look Back at 2015

Erie Gay News looks back at 2015 for our region's happenings and news for the year, as well as a look back in photos and videos. We also will have an updated LGBT history page for our region, which covers events from the 1960's up to the end of 2015. 
After the server crash in October, 2014, the history page had to be rebuilt and work on reconstructing area LGBT history is now complete!
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Congressman Nadler, Senators Gillibrand and Schumer Introduce Legislation to Create National Park Site Honoring America'

Congressman Nadler, Senators Gillibrand and Schumer Introduce Legislation to Create National Park Site Honoring America'
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced legislation on December 10th to create the Stonewall National Historic Site. This site would be the nation's first national park site dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history.
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