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In defeat for Trump, judge blocks transgender military  ban In The News 

In defeat for Trump, judge blocks transgender military ban

(Reuters) A federal judge in Washington on Monday blocked President Donald Trump from banning transgender people from serving in the U.S. military, handing a victory to transgender service members who accused the president of violating their constitutional rights. The transgender service members sued in August to try to block the ban, which had not yet gone into effect, and U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly granted them an injunction halting enforcement of it until their case is resolved. The service members asserted that Trump’s policy violated their rights to due process…

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Actor Kevin Spacey declares he lives life as a gay man In The News 

Actor Kevin Spacey declares he lives life as a gay man

(Reuters) After years of refusing to address rumors about his sexuality, Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey said on Sunday he has chosen to live his life as a gay man. Spacey, 58, who won Oscars for “The Usual Suspects” and “American Beauty,” made the declaration in a post on Twitter. He apologized to fellow actor Anthony Rapp in the same post for an incident Rapp said occurred in 1986. Rapp, who went on to star in the Broadway musical “Rent,” was 14 at the time and starting his career. Spacey said…

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Transgender candidates rack up  wins in first U.S. elections of  Trump presidency In The News 

Transgender candidates rack up wins in first U.S. elections of Trump presidency

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) Transgender political candidates scored wins in the first U.S. elections since Donald Trump became president, a sign of their growing acceptance in parts of the country, experts said on Wednesday. Five transgender candidates were victorious, among them a woman who won a heated race for state legislature in Virginia, the highest elected office ever for a transgender candidate, experts said. The results came in the first nationwide elections since Trump, a Republican, was elected last year. The election results show the risk of “moving too…

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LGBT characters on  U.S. TV at record highs In The News 

LGBT characters on U.S. TV at record highs

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) The number of lesbian, gay and transgender characters on U.S. television shows have reached record highs, and campaign group GLAAD said on Thursday that their stories were more important than ever given moves in the United States to roll back LGBT acceptance. In its annual report on diversity on the small screen, GLAAD found 329 regular and recurring LGBTQ characters across all broadcast, cable and streaming TV platforms, including the first asexual and non-binary characters. GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis said TV was a critical place for…

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Sex scandals highlight need to have more LGBTQ, women in power: campaigners In The News 

Sex scandals highlight need to have more LGBTQ, women in power: campaigners

LISBON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) Sexual harassment scandals sweeping from Hollywood to other industries globally highlight the need to have more women, gay and black people in power at a time when minority rights are being rolled back, LGBTQ campaigners said on Tuesday. U.S. filmmaker Dustin Lance Black, an lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) activist who won an Oscar for the screenplay for the 2008 movie Milk, said sexual abuse had been ignored for too long in Hollywood. “We’ve heard about the casting couch in Hollywood forever but I think…

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Egyptian lawmaker to propose anti-gay bill as  part of crackdown In The News International News 

Egyptian lawmaker to propose anti-gay bill as part of crackdown

CAIRO (Reuters) An Egyptian lawmaker is introducing a draft bill that would imprison those engaging in or promoting same-sex relations, a copy of the draft seen by Reuters on Thursday showed. Amnesty International said the bill is “another nail in the coffin for sexual rights in Egypt” and should be scrapped. It would introduce sentences of to up to 10 years in prison for people engaging in or promoting same-sex relations. The law is part of a wider crackdown against homosexuality that started in September when a group of people…

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Hong Kong to host 2022 Gay Games as LGBT acceptance grows in parts of Asia In The News International News 

Hong Kong to host 2022 Gay Games as LGBT acceptance grows in parts of Asia

HONG KONG (Reuters) Hong Kong will host the 2022 Gay Games, fighting off bids from cities in the United States and Mexico to become the first Asian city to stage the sports and cultural event. The games are expected to attract more than 15,000 participants and provide a HK$1-billion ($128-million) boost to the economy, the Hong Kong bid team said in a statement. Bid supporters called the decision a victory for the status of the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. “This is a big step forward for Hong…

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Uruguay’s first transgender senator vows to bolster LGBT rights In The News International News 

Uruguay’s first transgender senator vows to bolster LGBT rights

BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) Michelle Suarez, Uruguay’s first transgender senator, is already considered elderly. She has made it to 34 – a rarity in a country where transgender people tend to die young. A veteran trailblazer for LGBT rights, she helped draft a bill that legalized same-sex marriage in 2013 and became the first transgender person to go to university in Uruguay. Suarez has broken many barriers, yet it is perhaps her age that is the most salient part of her fight. Most transgender women in Uruguay, a small South…

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Elite London gentleman’s club In The News International News 

Elite London gentleman’s club

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) An exclusive London gentlemen’s club has defied its 150-year-old tradition as a male-only bastion by allowing a woman to join – but only because she was born a man. The Savile Club in swanky Mayfair in central London has never accepted women since it opened in 1868, but bent its rules after one of its existing members transitioned into a female. The club, which has seen the likes of novelists Robert Louis Stevenson and Rudyard Kipling walk through its doors, declined to comment on their decision….

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Greek church bells ring funeral toll over sex change law In The News International News 

Greek church bells ring funeral toll over sex change law

ATHENS (Reuters) Churches in a western Greek region will ring funeral bells to protest a new law that makes it easier for people to change their legally recognized gender. Greece’s parliament passed a law which allows people over 15 to change their gender on official documents with a court ruling, without requiring medical tests or sterilization as was the case until now. The bill laid bare divisions within the left-right coalition government and led to debates between the ruling leftist party and the conservative opposition. It has also angered the…

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Indonesia considers ban on “destructive” LGBT-related TV In The News International News 

Indonesia considers ban on “destructive” LGBT-related TV

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Days after a long-running Indonesian television comedy aired, its producers got a letter from the broadcast commission warning that a male character in the show was “dressed and behaving like a woman” and could violate broadcasting standards. “We evaluated the show…we immediately reminded our staff to be careful because we are minimizing LGBT content on our network,” said Anita Wulandari Prasojo, head of marketing and public relations at Trans7, the private television station that aired the show “Opera van Java” last month. She may have to do…

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Rainbow raids: Egypt launches its widest anti-gay crackdown yet In The News International News 

Rainbow raids: Egypt launches its widest anti-gay crackdown yet

CAIRO (Reuters) Sarah Hegazy has been jailed, beaten by inmates, and could face a life sentence in an Egyptian prison if found guilty of “promoting sexual deviancy” and other charges tied to her alleged crime: waving a rainbow flag at a concert. The 28-year-old denies waving the flag but is one of 57 people arrested so far in Egypt’s widest anti-gay crackdown yet, a swift zero-tolerance response to a rare show of public support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in the conservative Muslim country. The crackdown comes…

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Indonesia police detain 51 men in Jakarta “gay spa” raid In The News International News 

Indonesia police detain 51 men in Jakarta “gay spa” raid

JAKARTA (Reuters) Indonesian police detained 51 men including several foreigners in a raid on what authorities described as a “gay spa” in Jakarta, and some could face up to six years in prison under pornography and prostitution laws. The arrests are the latest in a spate of high-profile police actions against gay clubs and parties in Indonesia this year that have called the country’s reputation for tolerance into question. With the exception of the ultra-conservative Aceh province in northern Sumatra, where Islamic law is enforced and two men were publicly…

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Activists celebrate Botswana’s transgender court victory In The News International News 

Activists celebrate Botswana’s transgender court victory

GABARONE (Thomson Reuters Foundation) A Botswana transgender man has won a 10-year battle to be legally recognized as male in a landmark ruling that could boost minority rights in the conservative nation. Botswana High Court last week ordered the government to change the gender marker on the man’s identity card from female to male to respect his constitutional rights. “This is an immense relief,” the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said in a statement. “I am hopeful that other persons who find themselves in a similar situation…

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At Values Voter Summit, Trump Boasts of Homophobic, Sexist Victories In The News 

At Values Voter Summit, Trump Boasts of Homophobic, Sexist Victories

(Advocate) Donald Trump told his religious right supporters what they wanted to hear today at the Values Voter Summit — that he’s protecting religious freedom and bringing Judeo-Christian values back to America. The first sitting president to address the gathering, he took the stage at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., to applause and chants of “USA!” and then praised Tony Perkins, president of the event’s sponsor, the Family Research Council, as a “tremendous guy.” Trump noted the frequent invocations of God by the nation’s founders, then said, “How times have…

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