March, 2016 News (83 Articles with 198,016 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for March, 2016 PA activists meet in Pittsburgh: On Saturday, January 30, 2016, activists representing LGBTQ organizations from across Pennsylvania met at Project Silk in Pittsburgh to begin a dialog about working together. Photo: Vanessa Davis

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Entertainment and Travel

Logo's All-New Gay for Play Game Show Starring RuPaul Premieres April 11

NEW YORK, NY – March XX, 2016 – You don't need to be gay to play, but it sure does help! "Gay for Play Game Show Starring RuPaul," the all-new, over-the-top game show hosted by RuPaul premieres Monday, April 11 at 10PM ET/PT on Logo. Shot in front of a live studio audience, contestants' entertainment IQs are put to the test when host RuPaul quizzes them on the hottest pop culture moments. As they answer hysterical trivia questions, contestants have to decide whether to trust their own instincts or to turn to the "Gay for Play" celebrity panel for help. Then as the competition heats up, contestants pair up with one celebrity panelist and have 69 seconds to answer as many trivia questions as possible for a chance to win big cash and prizes.
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Erie Art Museum Gallery Night scheduled for March 11, 2016

March 2, 2016, Erie, PA - The Erie Art Museum is organizing the next Gallery Night, scheduled for Friday, March 11 from 7 until 10 p.m. A city-wide art gallery crawl through local, independent galleries and the Museum, participating Gallery Night venues will open their doors after-hours for visitors to get up close and personal with art and artists in a unique way. Each gallery offers a different experience, from artist meet & greets to wine samplings to live music, and visual art, featuring local, regional, and national artists. Admission is free to the public.
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Panic! at the Disco to Perform at Penn State Behrend

Panic! at the Disco to Perform at Penn State Behrend
ERIE, Pa. – February 17, 2016 – Pop-rock band Panic! at the Disco will headline the spring concert at Penn State Behrend on Friday, April 22. Public tickets, which cost $35, will be available starting March 22.
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RuPaul's Drag Race Announces Judges and Gives First Look

NEW YORK, NY – February 18, 2016 – "RuPaul's Drag Race" is celebrating all things 100! The mega-hit competition series returns to Logo with a Queen-sized 90-minute premiere on Monday, March 7th at 9:00 PM ET/PT that also marks the 100th episode and 100th Queen to sashay into the workroom. To celebrate the milestone, Logo will air a 'Runway to 100' marathon of the full series beginning on Thursday, March 3rd at 7:00 PM ET/PT.  Throughout the marathon, viewers will be treated to all-new interviews with previous contestants who will spill all of the behind-the-scenes T on their seasons.
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Local and Regional News

Deadline for April 2016 print edition (issue # 245) of Erie Gay News is Monday, March 14

Deadline for April 2016 print edition (issue # 245) of Erie Gay News is Monday, March 14
For the next print edition of Erie Gay News (issue # 245, cover dated for April, 2016), please send in calendar events, news items, and other info for late March 2016 and beyond by Monday, March 14. We expect that the next print edition will come out on Tuesday, March 22.
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Penn State Behrend Program to Examine Nation's Racial Climate

Penn State Behrend Program to Examine Nation's Racial Climate
ERIE, Pa. – Feb. 24, 2016 – In June 1964, three civil rights workers - James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner - were abducted and murdered in Mississippi. It would take 41 years for anyone to be charged with the crimes.
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LGBTQ Pennsylvania Steering Committee Meeting


On Saturday, January 30, 2016, groups from across the state met at Project Silk in Pittsburgh for the inaugural LGBTQ PA Steering Committee. The event was convened by Jason Goodman of PA Youth Congress and moderated by Shaashawn Dial-Snowden of LGBT Center of Central Pennsylvania (Harrisburg) and Voycetress Media.
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Cleveland's Gay People's Chronicle ceases publication, now up for sale

Cleveland's Gay People's Chronicle ceases publication, now up for sale
Gay People's Chronicle (GPC), based in Cleveland, Ohio, has ceased publication. Its last issue was volume 31, issue 13, dated December 25, 2015.
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Candidate Forum and Voters Guide in next issue


Candidate Forum and Voters Guide in next issue

Erie Gay News is proud to continue informing our readers about where candidates stand on issues affecting the LGBTQ community. In the next issue, cover dated for April 2016 (# 245) to be released the night of Tuesday, March 22, we will be including our Voters Guide. We will be sending questionnaires to candidates for US Senate, US Congress, PA State Senate and PA State Assembly for districts that include Erie County.
 In addition, on Thursday, March 24 at 6:30 PM, Erie Gay News and Mental Health Association of NW PA (MHA) will be presenting a candidate forum. Light refreshments will be provided and admission is free! This will be a moderated forum, and there will also be time for questions from the audience.
 Pennsylvania's primary election is on Tuesday, April 26, and the deadline to register to vote or update your registration is Monday, March 28.
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Erie Sisters & Brothers Cabin Fever Weekend

Erie Sisters & Brothers is having Cabin Fever Weekend this month! Time: February 26-28, 2016. February 25, 2016 is an optional evening for those who want to get there early!
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GEAE Otters Night Feb 27

Join Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) for an evening of hockey, good food, and time with friends at Erie Insurance Arena, 809 French St, Erie, PA. Buffet and cash bar is open at 6:30 PM. Game begins at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $40 and include a seat in the heated club area and the buffet. The menu includes Garden Salad, Ranch & Balsamic Vinaigrette, Fried Chicken, Homestyle Mac n Cheese, Smothered Green Beans, Biscuits and Dessert. (866) 229-1974. GEAEinfo@gmail.com. greatereriealliance.com
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NW PA Pride Alliance and Dramashop Unite For Joint Fundraiser

NWPA Pride Alliance, Inc. and Dramashop team up to present a joint fundraiser, Painting With Pride. The event, hosted by instructor Angela Howell, will be held on Wednesday March 9, 2016 at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30 PM) at Dramashop (Renaissance Center – 1001 State St – Second Floor). This event is "bring your own drinks and snacks" (a limited selection of non-alcoholic drinks will be available for purchase). Tickets are $45 (plus service charge), which includes all painting supplies, are available here and MUST be purchased prior to 12:01am on March 8th. Put an end to your ordinary day and sip your way to a masterpiece.
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Local Faces and Photos

G2H2 at Bourbon Barrel

G2H2 at Bourbon Barrel
G2H2 (Gay Guy/Girl Happy Hour) takes place the first Friday of each month from 6 to 8 PM. For this winter (and including the next time, Fri, March 4), the group has been meeting at The Bourbon Barrel, 1213 State St. These photos by Mike Mahler were taken on Friday, February 5, 2016.
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Political, Activism and Legal

LGBT Groups Denounce TSA Rule Codifying Body Scanners

Washington, D.C. - March 3, 2016 – The National Center for Transgender Equality, Lambda Legal, and the American Civil Liberties Union's LGBT & HIV Project, denounce the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)'s decision to codify its use of full body scanners in a final rule. Ordered to review the program by a federal appeals court five years ago, TSA said yesterday that it will make no changes in airport security and denied there is any impact on travelers' privacy.
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South Dakota Governor Vetoes Discriminatory Anti-Transgender Bill

PIERRE, S.D. - March 1, 2016 – South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard this afternoon vetoed the nation's first discriminatory anti-transgender bathroom bill to pass a state legislature.
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NCLR Responds to South Dakota Governorís Rejection of Anti-Transgender Bill

San Francisco, CA, March 1, 2016)-The National Center for Lesbian Rights applauds South Dakota Governor Dennis Dauggard for vetoing House Bill 1008, which would have required South Dakota public schools to invade the privacy of all students and deny transgender students the ability to be treated the same as other students.
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South Dakota Gov. Vetoes Anti-Transgender Bill

March 1, 2016 - Today Governor Daugaard of South Dakota vetoed discriminatory legislation that would have prevented transgender students from using the facilities that match the gender they live every day.
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Transgender Law Center thanks South Dakota governor for rejecting law targeting transgender youth

March 1, 2016 - Today, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed legislation targeting transgender students and prohibiting their use of school restrooms and locker rooms that align with the gender they live as every day. HB 1008 drew bipartisan censure following its passage from the South Dakota Senate, including statements from local and national business leaders, medical associations, and newspapers urging Governor Daugaard to veto the bill.
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NCTE Applauds South Dakota Governor Daugaard for Veto of HB 1008

Washington, D.C. - March 1, 2016 – The National Center for Transgender Equality thanks South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard for his veto of HB 1008, which would have completely disrupted the school lives of hundreds of transgender students. By taking this action, Gov. Daugaard has shown that discrimination against transgender people is not a South Dakota value.
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PCAR calls for the removal of the statute of limitations in Sexual Assault cases

ENOLA— The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape is calling for the removal of the statute of limitations for sexual assault cases.
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Equality California and Transgender Law Center Commend California Democratic Party for Supporting Transgender California

San Jose - February 29, 2016 - Equality California (EQCA) and the Transgender Law Center (TLC) applaud the California Democratic Party for its vote to incorporate a plank in the party platform affirming the rights and dignity of transgender people.
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All Eyes On South Dakota As Governor Daugaard Weighs Dangerous Legislation Attacking Trans Children Ahead of Tuesday Dea

WASHINGTON - February 29, 2016 - With a little more than 24 hours to go until a proposal attacking transgender youth automatically becomes law in South Dakota, the Human Rights Campaign – the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – renewed its call on South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard to listen to the broad chorus of organizations urging him to veto the legislation.
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Reality: While Trump, Frontrunners Double Down on Religious-based Discrimination, Americans Don't Agree

WASHINGTON - February 25, 2016 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released the following statement after Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio suggested they would require their appointments to the Supreme Court pass a "religious liberty" litmus test.
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'License to Discriminate' Passes KY Senate Committee

(Frankfort, KY - Febrary 25, 2016) A "License to Discriminate" bill that would sanction discrimination against LGBT Kentuckians passed out of the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee this morning. Senate Bill 180, introduced by Senator Albert Robinson of London, seeks to gut local LGBT Fairness Ordinances passed by eight Kentucky cities. Those cities include Covington, Danville, the State Capital Frankfort, Lexington, Louisville, Midway, Morehead, and the small Appalachian town of Vicco.
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Equality PA Mourns the Loss of Maya Young

This past weekend, another transgender woman was murdered in Philadelphia. Her name was Maya Young. Maya was 25 years old. She grew up in Vineland, NJ and lived in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. Maya is the third transgender woman in Philadelphia murdered within a year.
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Kansas Woman Sues State for Denying Her an Accurate Birth Certificate

Transgender Law Center, along with co-counsel Irigonegaray and Associates and Caldwell Leslie & Proctor, PC, is representing Stephanie Mott in a lawsuit challenging the state of Kansas's policy of refusing to update the gender markers on the birth certificates of transgender people.
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National Organizations Target 'Conversion Therapy' Quacks with Historic Federal Consumer Fraud Complaint

WASHINGTON - February 24, 2016 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a federal consumer fraud complaint against People Can Change, an organization that preys on vulnerable LGBT people and families by using damaging and discredited claims that it can change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.
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HRC Statement on Donald Trump's Win in Nevada

WASHINGTON - February 24, 2016 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released the following statement regarding Donald Trump's latest win in Nevada last night:
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TLC Reaches Settlement in Case of Trailblazing Transgender Prisoner, Michelle Norsworthy

February 23, 2016 - Michelle Norsworthy, a transgender woman who won a groundbreaking preliminary injunction from a federal district court in April 2015 ordering the state to provide her with gender-confirmation surgery, settled today with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Through today's settlement, the state has dropped its request that the court vacate its April ruling and has agreed to provide almost half a million dollars to cover attorney's fees and costs. That means that the ruling will continue to stand as significant legal precedent that other courts across the country will look to when considering cases involving transgender people and health care.
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GLAD is Now GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), the precedent-setting legal organization that has fought for LGBTQ and HIV rights for nearly 40 years, is announcing a new name: GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).
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80,000 Reasons to Veto: South Dakota Gov. Daugaard Must Block Vile Legislation Attacking Transgender Children

WASHINGTON - February 23, 2016 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality organization, joined with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU of South Dakota, Believe Out Loud and Reconciling Ministries, Freedom for All Americans, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and the Transgender Law Center to deliver over 80,000 petition signatures to South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard urging him to veto HB 1008– legislation that would prevent transgender students in public schools from using restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity. This outrageous legislation would make South Dakota the first state in the nation to pass a law attacking transgender children, and has earned widespread criticism from leading children's medical and advocacy organizations.
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Broken Criminal Justice System Disproportionately Targets and Harms LGBT People

Washington, D.C. — From Senate Republicans to Hillary Clinton, there is a rare and growing consensus across the political spectrum that, with the highest incarceration rate in the world, the United States' criminal justice system in need of reform. However, one population has been largely absent from the discussion: lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.
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Charlotte City Council Approves Landmark Non-Discrimination Ordinance Establishing Local Protections for LGBT Residents

CHARLOTTE - February 22, 2016 - Tonight, TurnOut! Charlotte, a partnership of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Equality North Carolina, and MeckPAC, hailed the leadership and vision of the Charlotte City Council for voting to advance city-wide non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, in public accommodations, vehicles for hire, and in government contracting. The ordinance passed by a vote of 7 to 4 with the strong support of newly-elected Mayor Jennifer Roberts, who has been a leading voice for the ordinance in her campaign and since she's taken office.
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March 2016 Designated As Bisexual Health Awareness Month

Boston, MA – With a focus on the unique needs and experiences of bisexual+ youth, the Bisexual Resource Center (BRC) proudly proclaims March as Bisexual Health Awareness Month (BHAM) for the third year in a row.  
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Gov Cuomo's executive action against youth conversion therapy

ALBANY— New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Feb. 6, 2016 his executive actions to protect New York's LGBT youth from the discredited and harmful practice known as conversion therapy.
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HRC Statement on Donald Trump's Win in South Carolina

WASHINGTON - February 20, 2016 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released the following statement regarding Donald Trump's win in South Carolina tonight:
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Victory for #FreeChristina - Transgender Detainee Granted Bond

February 19, 2016 – In a major victory, Christina Lopez, the undocumented transgender woman at the center of Not1More Deportation's #freeChristina campaign, was granted a $10,000 bond with conditions yesterday after being held for over a year and a half in immigration detention. Christina's case is particularly urgent because she has Hepatitis C, and the Santa Ana detention center where she is being held has refused to provide her with the medical treatment she needs.
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'License to Discriminate' Bill Advances in Georgia Senate

February 19, 2016 - Today, after its passage in the Georgia Senate, Equality Federation called upon the House to reject taking action on HB 757, a wide-reaching and harmful piece of legislation which demolishes the time-honored separation of Church and State and allows faith-based organizations that receive taxpayer funding to deny critical services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, single mothers, and others; if they feel certain people conflict with their religious belief of marriage as between one man and one woman. The bill's language is so broad that it could extend the license to discriminate to-profit entities that cite a religious belief as marriage between one man and one woman as central to its mission.
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Major Child Advocacy Groups Urge Nation's Governors to Reject Attacks on Transgender Children by State Legislatures

WASHINGTON - February19, 2016 – As South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard faces a decision on whether to veto HB 1008 – outrageous legislation that would prevent transgender students in public schools from using restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity – seven national health, education, and child advocacy groups joined the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in calling on Daugaard and other governors across the nation to reject the alarming and discriminatory bills being promoted in state legislatures targeting transgender children and their fundamental rights. The news comes as dozens of governors from across the country travel to Washington, DC, this weekend for the annual winter meeting of the National Governors Association.
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Outrageous 'Religious Liberty Accommodations Act' Advances in Mississippi

JACKSON - February 18, 2016 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Mississippi, decried the decision by Mississippi lawmakers to move forward with H.B. 1523. Dubbed the "Religious Liberty Accommodations Act, " this horrific legislation would allow individuals, religious organizations and private associations to use religion to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Mississippians, in some of the most important aspect of their lives, including at work, at schools, in their family life and more. Lawmakers in the House Judiciary B advanced the bill by a 14 - 3 vote earlier today.
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A Strong Majority of Americans in all 50 States Support the Equality Act, New Nonpartisan Polling Shows

WASHINGTON - February 18, 2016 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released the following statement after new polling shows that a majority of Americans in all 50 states support a bill like the bipartisan Equality Act, which was introduced last year with an unprecedented number of original co-sponsors and would extend existing civil rights protections to LGBT people.
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Equality California Sponsors Two Bills Combating Anti-LGBT Discrimination

Sacramento - February 17, 2016 - Equality California is sponsoring two bills authored by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) that would prohibit the use of state funds to support entities that allow discrimination by creating exemptions based on religious beliefs.
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GLSEN Calls on South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard to Veto Harmful HB 1008

NEW YORK (February 17, 2015) – GLSEN is calling on South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard to veto HB 1008 in order to prevent the discriminatory bill from becoming law. The bill would require transgender and gender nonconforming students to use the restroom and locker rooms that correspond with their sex assigned at birth instead of their gender identity and would restrict the ability of schools to work with students to devise solutions that best serve them. GLSEN's Director of Public Policy, Nathan Smith, said:
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BREAKING: South Dakota Governor to Meet With Trans Kids Ahead of Decision on Signing Discriminatory Bill

WASHINGTON - February 17, 2016 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization responded to the news that South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard will meet with transgender students before making his decision on whether to sign HB 1008 - outrageous legislation that would prevent trans students in public schools from using restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity.
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Tennessee Lawmakers Shamefully Advance Symbolic Anti-Marriage Equality Resolution

WASHINGTON - February 17, 2016 -  Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and Tennessee Equality Project (TEP), the statewide organization working to advance the values of equality and inclusion for LGBT people, decried a resolution advancing in the Tennessee State Legislature. Without debate in an entirely symbolic voice vote yesterday, the House Civil Justice Committee advanced House Joint Resolution (HJR) 529, a resolution that allows lawmakers to express their animosity for the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of nationwide marriage equality last June.
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BREAKING: South Dakota Legislature Unleashes SECOND Attack On Trans Kids In Just Two Days

WASHINGTON - February 17, 2016 - As the nation waits to see if Governor Dennis Daugaard will veto the vile piece of legislation targeting transgender children that the South Dakota Senate passed yesterday, today the state's House State Affairs Committee voted 8 to 4 to advance yet another shameful attack on trans kids. HB 1209, which is wholly different from the bill that passed yesterday, focuses in on birth certificates in a veiled attempt to block transgender kids from participating in sports programs and other activities in a manner that's consistent with their gender identity. The bill would have a broad array of unintended consequences for all South Dakotans because it would require any public body to accept as valid all information on a person's birth certificate - even if that information is outdated and incorrect. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and the ACLU of South Dakota condemned the vote and demanded the South Dakota Legislature stop the attacks.
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HRC to Honor Hit Television Series 'Empire' and 'The Hunger Games' Producer Nina Jacobson at the 2016 HRC Los Angeles Ga

WASHINGTON - February 16, 2016 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, announced that the critically acclaimed television series "Empire" will be honored at the 2016 HRC Los Angeles Gala Dinner. HRC also announced that producer Nina Jacobson, whose work includes the blockbuster hit "The Hunger Games"  and FX's "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" will be honored with the HRC Visibility Award. Jacobson will be presented with the award by Ryan Murphy, creator of Glee and American Horror Story.
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NCTE Urges South Dakota Gov. Daugaard to Veto Bill Targeting Trans Students

Washington, D.C. - February 16, 2016 – Today, South Dakota's State Senate passed a bill that will force transgender students to either use restrooms that do not match their genders or to be segregated to single-user restrooms. This worsens the harm that transgender students already face on a daily basis. The bill had previously passed the State House of Representatives.
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South Dakota Legislates Discrimination, Passes Shameful Transgender Bathroom Panic Bill

Pierre, S.D. - February 16, 2016 – Today the South Dakota Senate voted to pass HB 1008, a bill that would single out and stigmatize South Dakota transgender students and force them to choose between isolated accommodations or those that do not correspond to their gender identity. The bill now heads to Governor Daugaard for veto consideration.
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Transgender Law Center condemns South Dakota bill targeting transgender youth

February 16, 2016- Today, the South Dakota Senate voted 20-15 to pass HB 1008, a dangerous bill that singles out transgender students and prohibits them from using restrooms and locker rooms consistent with who they are. The bill already passed the House and now goes to the governor's office.
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Shameful Attack Against Transgender Kids in South Dakota Heads to Governor's Desk

WASHINGTON - February 16, 2016 - Today, the South Dakota Senate passed extreme and dangerous legislation that attacks the rights of transgender children in public schools, and prevents them from using restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity. After repeatedly calling on lawmakers to stop the legislation, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and the ACLU of South Dakota, condemned the vote and called on Governor Dennis Daugaard to veto the offensive and deeply discriminatory legislation.  If signed by the Governor, South Dakota would be in direct conflict with the U.S. Department of Education and non-discrimination protections under Title IX of the United States Education Amendments of 1972.
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NCTE Applauds Appointment of HHS White House Liaison Jaan Williams

Washington, DC - February 16, 2016 - The National Center for Transgender Equality congratulates Jaan Williams on his appointment to the position of White House Liaison at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, Williams will recruit, support and develop appointees for HHS in partnership with the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. NCTE commends HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell for appointing Williams to this position as the first out transgender person to serve as a White House Liaison for any government agency.
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Settlement Reached in Pivotal SPLC Federal Lawsuit for Transgender Woman Denied Proper Medical Care in Georgia Prison

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - February 12, 2016 – The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) announced today that a settlement agreement has been reached in a federal lawsuit filed against Georgia Department of Corrections officials on behalf of a transgender woman who was denied medically necessary treatment and sexually assaulted by other prisoners while she was held at a men's prison.
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Anti-LGBT Bills Defeated, But South Dakota, Others Show Love Has Not Won

February 11, 2016 - From ACLU: It's official: We're seeing a pattern of extremes emerge in the first legislative session following the national recognition of marriage equality.
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SPLC Report: State 'Religious Liberty' Laws Pushed by National Groups that Have Long Sought to Deny LGBT Rights

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - February 11, 2016 – A new Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) report profiles the top Christian Right groups on the frontlines of the campaign to enact state "religious freedom" laws, demonstrating that the movement is merely the latest strategy to deny equality to the LGBT community.
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WARNING: Vile Legislation Attacking Transgender Children On the Verge of Becoming Law in South Dakota

WASHINGTON - Febuary 11, 2016 – Today, by a vote of 4 to 2 in Senate Education Committee, South Dakota moved dangerously closer to being the first state in the nation to pass a law specifically attacking transgender children. H.B. 1008 would prevent transgender youth in public schools from using restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity and would put state law in direct conflict with the U.S. Department of Education and Title IX non-discrimination protections. Already passed through the House of Representatives, the discriminatory legislation now heads to the full Senate for consideration.
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RED ALERT: South Dakota on the Verge of Becoming 1st State in Nation to Pass a Law Attacking Transgender Children

WASHINGTON - February 10, 2016  – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and the ACLU of South Dakota, gave South Dakota lawmakers a dire warning to stop a vehemently discriminatory bill that would make the state the first in the nation to pass a law attacking transgender children. Threatening the state's reputation and economic future, H.B. 1008 is dangerously close to becoming law and could lead to a national outcry against the Mount Rushmore State. Already passed through the House of Representatives, the extreme legislation is scheduled for a hearing tomorrow morning in the Senate Education Committee.
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HRC's Conference for Educators & Youth-Serving Professionals Highlights Safety, Inclusion & Well-Being of LGBTQ Youth

WASHINGTON- February 10, 2016 - 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 the National Education Association and the American Counseling Association, is hosting its third annual Time to THRIVE conference Feb. 12-14 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas.
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PA's Budget Crisis Threatens Services for Victims of Rape and Domestic Violence

HARRISBURG - February 9, 2016 - The leaders of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence today implored the General Assembly and Gov. Tom Wolf to resolve their differences over the nearly $ 2 billion structural deficit in the state budget before the June 30 deadline without abandoning the citizens of the commonwealth who have been raped, beaten, stalked, manipulated and abused.
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South Dakota House of Representatives Passes ANOTHER Extreme Bill Attacking Transgender Youth

WASHINGTON - February 9, 2016 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization blasted a vote by the South Dakota House of Representatives in favor of yet another piece of discriminatory legislation attacking transgender youth in the Mount Rushmore State. Passed by a vote of 45 to 23, HB 1112 could ban transgender students from participating in athletic activities consistent with their gender identity. The bill is the third anti-LGBT piece of legislation passed by the chamber this year.
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SD House of Reps Passes Extreme Bill Authorizing Taxpayer-Funded Discrimination Against LGBT People & Single Mothers

WASHINGTON - February 9, 2016 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, condemned a vote last night by the South Dakota House of Representatives on yet another extreme measure attacking LGBT South Dakotans. By a vote of 46 to 10, the chamber passed HB 1107 – legislation that would explicitly authorize recipients of taxpayer funds or other state recognition to discriminate against same-sex couples, transgender people, and single mothers.
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Shocking: South Dakota State Senator Says Transgender People are 'Twisted' and Suggests They Be Subjected to Psychologic

WASHINGTON - February 8, 2016  – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and the ACLU of South Dakota strongly denounced outrageous comments made by South Dakota Republican State Senator David Omdahl this weekend. In an attempt to justify why he will vote in favor of an extreme bill attacking transgender students in public schools, HB 1008, the vehemently anti-equality lawmaker said transgender people are "twisted" and should be subjected to psychological treatment to change their gender identity. Such barbaric practices of so-called "conversion therapy" have been banned in numerous jurisdictions and are tantamount to nothing more than psychological abuse.
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Health

New CDC study: 185,000 HIV infections could be prevented in U.S. by 2020

Reaching the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) targets for HIV testing and treatment and expanding the use of daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) could prevent an estimated 185,000 new HIV infections in the United States by 2020 – a 70 percent reduction in new infections, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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CDC Releases Alarming New Data on Spread of HIV

WASHINGTON - February 23, 2016 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, responded to the  latest statistics on the spread of HIV released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Though the CDC reported a decrease in the lifetime risk of HIV overall, the situation facing communities hit hardest by HIV continues to be dire. These statistics suggest that one half of  black gay and bisexual men, and one quarter of latino gay and bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. Furthermore, the communities not studied, in particular transgender women of color, continue to be underserved and extremely vulnerable to this epidemic. 
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Half of black gay men and a quarter of Latino gay men projected to be diagnosed within their lifetime

If current HIV diagnoses rates persist, about 1 in 2 black men who have sex with men (MSM) and 1 in 4 Latino MSM in the United States will be diagnosed with HIV during their lifetime, according to a new analysis by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study, presented today at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston, provides the first-ever comprehensive national estimates of the lifetime risk of an HIV diagnosis for several key populations at risk and in every state.
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When Things Fall Apart

From Life Beyond Therapy: 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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Wellness and the Oscar Buzz

Wellness and the Oscar Buzz
The Oscar season is here and it's show time for your health and fitness. The red carpet has been vacuumed. The haute couture is in full effect. The paparazzi are flashing their cameras. I've introduced all of this year's best picture nominations (in a unique way) and had lots of fun mixing it in with a wellness theme. Enjoy it!
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Lifting of Federal Ban and $2.6 Million in Private Investments in Syringe Exchange Programs Reduces Risk of Future HIV O

Washington, D.C. – February 16, 2016 – Scott County became the epicenter of the largest outbreak of HIV in Indiana's history when more than 188 people became newly infected early last year. This unprecedented injection-drug related HIV outbreak devastated the region and captivated the nation's attention. The CDC estimates lifetime treatment costs associated with the epidemic may exceed $100 million. Sadly, with sound policy and appropriate resources the outbreak was preventable.
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#AskTheHIVDoc = All About PrEP!

This latest installment of the popular Greater Than AIDS YouTube series #AskTheHIVDoc is "All about PrEP!" Because HIV should never stand in the way of LOVE!
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

The Republican SCOTUS gift

From Philadelphia Gay News: OK liberals, the Republicans, in their "wisdom" have said they won't consider President Obama's nominee to replace Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. By taking such an approach, the GOP has handed liberals a golden opportunity - and shown their absolute stupidity, as they trip all over each other to enter the clown car and be the first to utter their obstructionism.
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The Amazon Trail: Airing the Lesbian Laundry

My sweetheart and I don't pay much attention to roles in our marriage. For one thing, she's the more able-bodied spouse and taller. It's not likely to be me at the top of our six foot ladder, heaving storage boxes onto the garage rafters. And when U.P.S. brings the "some assembly required" contraptions to our door? I usually hand my sweetheart the box cutter and the screwdriver and, when she finishes, the oohs and ahs.
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Words from Mark - Iowa: What it means

From Philadelphia Gay News: Finally, the Iowa caucuses have come and gone and with them come the pundits and candidates with their spin. But what about the LGBT spin? Let's look at what those races meant and maybe do a little crystal-ball predicting.
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Contests

Enter to win Truth, Justice, and the American Whore by Siouxsie Q!

Enter to win Truth, Justice, and the American Whore by Siouxsie Q!
Enter to win Truth, Justice, and the American Whore by Siouxsie Q! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between April 1 and April 23.
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Enter to win a Sayonara remix EP from Rebecca and Fiona!

Enter to win a Sayonara remix EP from Rebecca and Fiona!
nter to win a Sayonara remix EP from Rebecca and Fiona! “SAYONARA”, the new single from Swedish superstars REBECCA & FIONA. Featuring remixes by Speaker Of The House, Uberjak’d and more! Available Now: https://lnk.to/SayonaraRemixesFP. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between March 11 and April 1.
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Win QueerBashing by Tim Morrison!

Win QueerBashing by Tim Morrison!
Win QueerBashing by Tim Morrison! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between March 8 and March 29.
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Enter to win a Pair of Divas of Drag tickets for Cleveland on March 31!

Enter to win a Pair of Divas of Drag tickets for Cleveland on March 31!
Enter to win a Pair of Divas of Drag tickets for Cleveland on March 31! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between March 5 and March 23. Please only enter this contest if you can be in Cleveland on Thursday, March 31! The venue is House Of Blues Cleveland, 308 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114.
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Win Juliet Takes a Breath from Riverdale Ave Books!

Win Juliet Takes a Breath from Riverdale Ave Books!
Win Juliet Takes a Breath from Riverdale Ave Books! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between March 4 and March 25.
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Win Visit From a Stranger from Kevin Winters!

Win Visit From a Stranger from Kevin Winters!
Win Visit From a Stranger from Kevin Winters! The first place winner will receive all 3 Kevin Winters novels and 3 runners up will receive Visit From a Stranger. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between March 1 and March 22.
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Win Super Bowl Smut - A Collection of Erotic Football Stories from Riverdale Ave Books!

Win Super Bowl Smut - A Collection of Erotic Football Stories from Riverdale Ave Books!
Win Super Bowl Smut - A Collection of Erotic Football Stories from Riverdale Ave Books! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between February 26 and March 18.
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Win And Then There Were Three: 67 Letters to Sasha by Julia Fox

Win And Then There Were Three: 67 Letters to Sasha by Julia Fox
Win And Then There Were Three: 67 Letters to Sasha by Julia Fox! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between February 23 and March 15.
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'Queer': Word du jour?

From Philadelphia Gay News: There seems to be yet another controversy in our community this week. The issue du jour is over HuffPost changing its dedicated LGBT site's name from 'GayVoices' to 'QueerVoices.' While there are strong opinions on both sides of this issue, when I heard about it, it brought a smile to my face.
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Miscellaneous

Colombia: international adoption now legal for LGBT couples

In November of 2015, the Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled to lift the country's existing restriction on gay and lesbian couples' right to adopt. This landmark ruling will not only allow same-sex adoption within Colombia, but will extend internationally, thus granting same-sex individuals and couples in other countries the ability to adopt Colombian children-a huge victory in the continuing battle for equality.
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New Pennsylvania State Gay Rodeo Association

New Pennsylvania State Gay Rodeo Association
Harrisburg - 2/11/2016 - Pennsylvania has a new LGBT organization, one that is very unique, the Keystone State Gay Rodeo Association.  Started in September 2015, KSGRA has over 30 members and is growing.  KSGRA is very excited to announce that they have many activities and fundraisers planned for 2016 and are planning to host their own first gay rodeo in June 2017 in the central Pennsylvania area.  KSGRA is a member association of the International Rodeo Association.
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