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U.S. Justice Department under Jeff Sessions says anti-bias law does not protect gay workers In The News 

U.S. Justice Department under Jeff Sessions says anti-bias law does not protect gay workers

Reuters – The Trump administration told a U.S. appeals court that federal law does not ban discrimination against gay employees, a sharp reversal of the position former President Barack Obama took on a key civil rights issue. The U.S. Department of Justice, in a friend of the court brief, told the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Wednesday that Congress never intended Title VII, which bans sex discrimination in the workplace, to apply to gay workers. The department also said the court owed no deference to the…

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In first, U.S. pro teams unite to bolster LGBT inclusion In The News 

In first, U.S. pro teams unite to bolster LGBT inclusion

Reuters – Five big Seattle professional sports teams were poised to kick off a mass offensive against LGBT discrimination in sports, a first initiative of its kind in the United States. Seattle’s Mariners, Seahawks, Sounders FC, Storm and Reign said they had coordinated back-to-back matches and other activities this week to mark LGBT Pride Month, a celebration of LGBT people. The first pride match will pit the Sounders, a soccer club that competes in the top men’s soccer league in the United States and Canada, against Orlando City SC. Other…

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Judge refuses to block Mississippi anti-LGBT law In The News 

Judge refuses to block Mississippi anti-LGBT law

(Reuters) – A federal judge in Mississippi has allowed to stand a new state law that permits people to deny wedding services to same-sex couples based on religious objections. U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves argued in his four-page order that since none of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs would be harmed by the law in the immediate future, a preliminary injunction would be inappropriate. “Here, none of the plaintiffs are at imminent risk of injury,” Reeves wrote. The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi said the measure unconstitutionally discriminates against lesbian, gay,…

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Florida LGBT rights push reflects changing times In The News 

Florida LGBT rights push reflects changing times

Reuters – A Republican, a Democrat and a lobbyist for leading businesses in Florida huddled this spring at the state Capitol, mapping out the next move in a campaign to enact the first statewide LGBT anti-discrimination law in the U.S. South. A record number of Republican lawmakers had thrown their support behind proposed protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and hundreds of companies backed the cause. While the bill has so far fallen short with time running out on the legislative session, its lead backers were heartened by…

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Trump: no transgender people will serve in U.S. military – Twitter In The News 

Trump: no transgender people will serve in U.S. military – Twitter

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said he would not allow transgender individuals to serve in the U.S. military in any capacity. “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump wrote in a series of Twitter posts. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,”…

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INTernational News: Germany’s Merkel voted against gay marriage In The News International News 

INTernational News: Germany’s Merkel voted against gay marriage

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she voted against legalizing gay marriage given her personal view that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but she hoped parliament’s approval of the measure would lead to more social cohesion. “For me, marriage in the Basic Law is marriage between a man and a woman and that is why I did not vote in favor of this bill today,” she told reporters moments after the 393-266 vote in favor of an amendment that will legalize same-sex marriage. “I…

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International News: Tanzania threatens crackdown on LGBT advocates In The News International News 

International News: Tanzania threatens crackdown on LGBT advocates

DAR ES SALAAM,(Reuters) – Tanzania has threatened to arrest and expel activists, as well as deregister all non-governmental organizations that campaign for gay rights. Homosexuality is a criminal offense in the East African nation, where the law states that suspects convicted of having “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” could face up to 30 years in jail. At a rally, Tanzania’s Home Affairs Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said both domestic and foreign campaigners for gay rights would now face punitive measures in the country. “Those who want…

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Dutch men hold hands in protest against anti-gay violence In The News 

Dutch men hold hands in protest against anti-gay violence

REUTERS LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Dutch men around the world are holding hands to campaign against homophobic violence, days after a married gay couple was beaten up in the Netherlands for walking together hand-in-hand. Using the Twitter hashtag #allmenhandinhand, Dutch men from Britain, Cuba and Australia posted photos and videos of themselves on social media holding hands with other men to condemn violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Dutch politicians Alexander Pechtold of the D66 party and colleague Wouter Koolmees were the first public figures…

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Nigeria ‘gay wedding’ bust leads to charges In The News 

Nigeria ‘gay wedding’ bust leads to charges

BBC News Prosecutors in the northern Nigeria state of Kaduna have charged a group of 53 people with conspiring to celebrate a gay wedding. The accused, arrested last Saturday, have denied the allegations, with their lawyers saying they were illegally detained. The court released the group on bail and the case was remanded to 8 May. Homosexual acts are banned in socially conservative Nigeria and are punishable by up to 14 years in jail. During a court appearance in Chediya-Zaria, the group pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, unlawful…

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Chechen police ‘kidnap and torture gay men’ In The News 

Chechen police ‘kidnap and torture gay men’

-BBC newS   Gay men are fleeing brutal persecution in Chechnya, where police are holding more than 100 people and torturing some of them in an anti-gay crackdown, Russian activists say. Natalia Poplevskaya of the Russian LGBT Network said “we are working to evacuate people”. A government spokesman called the reports “lies” and said homosexual people “simply don’t exist in the republic”. Homophobia is widespread in Chechnya. The mainly Muslim region is run by Ramzan Kadyrov, an authoritarian leader with a notorious private militia, fiercely loyal to Russian President Vladimir…

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Gilbert Baker, Creator of Iconic Gay Pride Rainbow Flag, Has Died at 65 In The News 

Gilbert Baker, Creator of Iconic Gay Pride Rainbow Flag, Has Died at 65

PEOPLE The man who tie-dyed and hand-stitched the rainbow flag that has become the worldwide symbol for gay pride and the LGBTQ community has died. He was 65. Gilbert Baker, who described himself as a “gay Betsy Ross,” was found dead on Friday in his New York City home, the New York Times reports. “Gilbert Baker was a pioneer in the gay rights movement,” LGBT Network CEO Dr. David Kilmnick said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “It is a great loss to the LGBT community and all Americans and…

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Texas ordered to pay $600,000 to same-sex couples who defeated state ban In The News 

Texas ordered to pay $600,000 to same-sex couples who defeated state ban

REUTERS   A federal appeals court ordered Texas on Wednesday to pay about $600,000 to cover the legal fees for two same-sex couples who defeated the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in a protracted court battle.   The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit awarded $585,470 in attorneys’ fees and about $20,000 in costs arising from the challenge to the plaintiffs in the case, Cleopatra DeLeon, Nicole Dimetman, Victor Holmes and Mark Phariss.   “We’re thrilled. Our lawyers did an outstanding job,” Phariss said in an interview.  …

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More gay, bi men with HIV receiving care, disparities remain In The News 

More gay, bi men with HIV receiving care, disparities remain

REUTERS Gay and bisexual men in the United States who are diagnosed with HIV are promptly receiving the necessary treatments more often than in the past, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).   Still, black gay and bisexual men are less likely than their white counterparts to receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) to keep the human immunodeficiency virus in check, the researchers found.   They write in the Journal of Infectious Diseases that one goal of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy was to get…

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U.S. court rules 1964 civil rights law protects LGBT workers from bias In The News 

U.S. court rules 1964 civil rights law protects LGBT workers from bias

REUTERS A U.S. appeals court, for the first time ever, on Tuesday ruled that federal civil rights law protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees from discrimination in the workplace.   The ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago represents a major legal victory for the gay rights movement.   In its 8-3 decision, the court bucked decades of rulings that gay people are not protected by the milestone civil rights law, because they are not specifically mentioned in it.   “For many years, the courts…

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Federal judge rules fair housing law protects Colorado LGBT couple In The News 

Federal judge rules fair housing law protects Colorado LGBT couple

REUTERS   A U.S. district judge ruled on Wednesday that a Colorado landlord’s refusal to rent a townhouse to a lesbian couple, one of whom is transgender, violates federal housing law, marking the second legal victory for LGBT people in as many days.   The ruling by Denver federal Judge Raymond Moore is the first in which a court has extended protections to people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity under the federal Fair Housing Act, lawyers for the couple said. The act bars housing discrimination because of…

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