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Transgender Military Ban

i Jul 29th No Comments by

Trump’s recent tweets threatening to ban transgender people from serving the US military is another reminder of the betrayal his administration has been to LGBTQ+ people. Don’t despair, though, according to this article in the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/27/donald-trump-transgender-ban-troops-pentagon-us-military) the military has not received an official order from the Commander-in-Chief and General Joseph Duford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the military, has issued a statement saying no changes are yet in effect.

Even after orders are given, it looks as though the Trump administration may have some difficulty instituting a policy without a valid justification. This Politico article (http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/26/why-trumps-ban-on-transgender-servicepeople-is-flatly-unconstitutional-215423) argues that the animus demonstrated by the broad and baseless ban announced by Trump on Twitter is likely to fail in court as a valid reason for this hateful and bigoted decision.

Trump’s snap decision was largely in response to the failure of the Hartzler amendment to the defense authorization bill, which would have prevented funding of gender affirmation surgeries and other treatments for transgender members of the armed forces. According to Time (http://time.com/4857812/gender-reassignment-surgery-bill-defense-amendment-vicky-hartzler/) of her Republican colleagues joined Democrats to defeat the amendment. Frustrated by the slowdown in authorizing a standard, non-partisan bill, Trump lashed out with his ill-conceived ban tweets.

Local activists in Tallahassee will be protesting the ban at the Florida Capitol on Sunday, July 30, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

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What Defines A Queer Icon Today?

To be queer is to be an underdog. To be queer is to be an outsider at perpetual odds with the world and its normativity, binaries, and boxes. To be queer is to seek out comfort and validation from observing, admiring, and empathizing with individual stories of personal triumph from fiercely confident, well-known personalities because they’re a reminder that life gets better. To be queer is to hold those histories in high regard, idolizing them and making sure they never go untold. To be queer is to celebrate the underdog who became top dog but never lost touch with that original feeling.

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Here’s A Bunch Of Pics Of Justin Trudeau Marching At Toronto Pride Because… Swoon

Justin Trudeau seemed firmly committed to be the dreamiest ― and queer-friendliest ― public leader in the north-western hemisphere on Sunday. 


The Canadian Prime Minster began the day at a “Faith And Pride” ceremony at Toronto’s Metropolitan Community Church.






He then marched in the Toronto Pride Parade, along with his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and their children Xavier and Ella-Grace.


Trudeau, who was decked out in Ramadan-themed socks which read “Eid Mubarak” and wore a rainbow maple leaf on his cheek, spoke to reporters before the parade began about his presence at the annual event.


“We celebrate the multiple layers of identities that make Canada extraordinary and strong and today we celebrate with the entire LGBTQ community,” he said.






Trudeau also tweeted out photos from the parade with the caption “Love is love”:






Earlier this month Trudeau celebrated Pride in Canada with a ceremony that included raising the rainbow flag and transgender flag above the country’s parliament building. He also promised to introduce legislation later this year that would “acknowledge and apologise for the historical discrimination" LGBTQ Canadians have faced in the past.


“I believe that it’s essential to make amends for past wrongs, and not to simply gloss over them,” Trudeau said. “Our government believes in equality and equal treatment for all Canadians. We will passionately defend the rights of all our citizens regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”


Trudeau’s American counterpart, President Donald Trump, on the other hand, neglected to offer an official proclamation designating June as Pride Month in the United States. This is the first time in eight years that no such proclamation has been offered. Trump did offer six other proclamations for June, including “National Homeownership Month” and ”National Ocean Month.” 


This month also marks the first time in over two decades that the White House did not host an iftar dinner, the meal Muslims eat to break their daily fast during Ramadan.


Below, check out more photos of Trudeau looking adorable and affirming at Toronto Pride.























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Bill Cosby’s Reps Now Say Town Halls Won’t Be About Sexual Assault


Five days ago, Bill Cosby’s spokespeople announced that town halls featuring the disgraced comedian were in the works, because “anything at this point can be considered sexual assault and it’s a good thing to be educated about the law.” Now they are backtracking on the idea that these town halls have anything to do with sexual assault. Instead, these town halls will reportedly focus on restoring Cosby’s legacy.


Andrew Wyatt and Ebonee Benson appeared on “Good Day Alabama” on June 21 to discuss the mistrial that was declared the weekend prior in the sexual assault case against Cosby. During the interview, they also said that they were in the process of planning town halls around the country.


“We are now planning town halls and we’re gonna be coming to this city sometime in July,” Wyatt said. “To talk to young people because this is bigger than Bill Cosby. This issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today. And they need to know what they’re facing when they’re hanging out and partying, when they’re doing certain things that they shouldn’t be doing — and it also affects married men.”


Ebonee added: “Laws are changing. The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended. So, this is why people need to be educated on a brush against the shoulder, you know anything at this point can be considered sexual assault and it’s a good thing to be educated about the laws.”


Hmmm.... that sure sounds like a discussion of sexual assault and sexual assault legislation to us! 


On June 22, Wyatt expanded on the purpose of these town halls in a statement to HuffPost. He wrote that he and Benson had “received hundreds of calls from civic organizations and churches requesting for Mr. Cosby to speak to young men and women about the judicial system.”


He further explained: “These groups would like for Mr. Cosby to share that people in the judicial system can use their powers to annul deals for personal agenda and political ambitions.”


But on CNN New Day Weekend on Sunday, Benson told Christi Paul a very different story.


“I just want to be clear. The town hall meetings are not about sexual assault. I will repeat. These town hall meetings are not about sexual assault,” she said.






Benson then blamed the media for “sensationalizing” the initial story.


“When we initially talked about the town hall meetings it was about restoration of legacy. Much to what Mrs. Cosby spoke on in her statement is the sensationalism brought on by the media,” Benson said. “This is another example of that. To take something that was meant to talk about the restoration of this man’s legacy that was destroyed by the media before he even had a chance to step into the courtroom. That’s what this is about.”


It remains to be seen what of Cosby’s legacy these town hall speeches will be attempting to restore. The comedian has not been acquitted of the sexual assault charges brought by Andrea Constand, and Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele has said that he intends to retry the case.


In total, Cosby has been publicly accused of sexually assaulting or harassing nearly 60 women.


H/T Jezebel

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Supreme Court Overturns State Ruling Blocking Birth Certificates For Same-Sex Couples

WASHINGTON, June 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday overturned a statecourt ruling that allowed Arkansas to refuse to list both same-sex spouses on birth certificates, a decision that helps clarify the scope of protections provided by the high court’s landmark 2015 decision legalizing gay marriage.


The justices ruled in favor of lesbian couples by throwing out a December ruling by the Arkansas Supreme Court that upheld state officials’ refusal to name the wives of the birth mothers as parents on birth certificates.


The Arkansas court said state officials do not have to list both same-sex spouses as named parents on birth certificates, even though state law allows a birth mother’s opposite-sex husband to be listed when the baby is not biologically related to him. Both couples received the birth certificates they wanted when they won in trial court.


Conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented, saying the lower court decision should not have been reversed.


(Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham)

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Supreme Court Overturns State Ruling Blocking Birth Certificates For Same-Sex Couples

WASHINGTON, June 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday overturned a statecourt ruling that allowed Arkansas to refuse to list both same-sex spouses on birth certificates, a decision that helps clarify the scope of protections provided by the high court’s landmark 2015 decision legalizing gay marriage.


The justices ruled in favor of lesbian couples by throwing out a December ruling by the Arkansas Supreme Court that upheld state officials’ refusal to name the wives of the birth mothers as parents on birth certificates.


The Arkansas court said state officials do not have to list both same-sex spouses as named parents on birth certificates, even though state law allows a birth mother’s opposite-sex husband to be listed when the baby is not biologically related to him. Both couples received the birth certificates they wanted when they won in trial court.


Conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented, saying the lower court decision should not have been reversed.


(Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham)

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Supreme Court To Decide Whether Businesses Can Deny Service To Gay Couples

The Supreme Court will tackle a case about a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in Colorado on religious grounds, it announced Monday.


A same-sex couple visited Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, in 2012 asking for a rainbow-colored wedding cake. The owner told them he couldn’t contribute to a same-sex marriage.  


The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, has come before the court several times before with no action. Most recently, the court put off any decision in March.


This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Supreme Court To Decide Whether Businesses Can Deny Service To Gay Couples

The Supreme Court will tackle a case about a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in Colorado on religious grounds, it announced Monday.


A same-sex couple visited Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, in 2012 asking for a rainbow-colored wedding cake. The owner told them he couldn’t contribute to a same-sex marriage.  


The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, has come before the court several times before with no action. Most recently, the court put off any decision in March.


This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

33 Fierce Signs Of Resistance From Pride Marches Across The U.S.






LGBTQ Pride marches ensued across the U.S. this weekend and the signs did not disappoint.


Thousands of people hoisted colorful signs of resistance above their heads as they flooded the streets of New York, Minneapolis, San Francisco and other cities during the annual demonstration.


Many signs carried traditional Pride messages of love and unity while celebrating the LGBTQ community and their push for equal rights throughout history.


Other signs took aim at President Donald Trump, whose administration and policies have been largely condemned by LGBTQ community members. Last week, six top experts resigned from Trump’s advisory council on HIV and AIDS, a major issue affecting the LGBTQ community, over the president’s lack of policies to combat the HIV epidemic.


Other signs demanded justice for those disproportionately affected by police brutality, including people of color and those in the LGBTQ community.


Black Lives Matter activists carrying banners that read “No Justice No Pride” delayed the Pride march in Minneapolis. The demonstrators claimed the event was furthering “white supremacy” by ignoring the verdict that found a policeman not guilty in the shooting death of Philando Castile in a suburb of St. Paul last year.


New York City began its 48th Pride March this year with what some interpreted as a sign from Mother Nature ― a rainbow shining over the city skyline.






Check out the roundup below for some of the most powerful signs from this year’s NYC Pride march and other LGBTQ pride events across the country. Prepare to be Babashook!


Warning: Some of these signs and images could be considered NSFW.



I ❤️ this mom! #pridemonth #lovewins #chicagopride #transgender #pride2017

A post shared by Jason Proper (@jproper3) on





GAY PRIDE PARADE ️‍ #prideparade #pride2017 #pridemonth #minnesota #minneapolis #pride #me

A post shared by Manuel Cárdenas (@manuel_ae) on





Flowers not guns. #gag #gaysagainstguns #pride2017 #pride #nyc #resist

A post shared by brettdavi (@brettdavi) on








#pride2017

A post shared by nava (@xanuelnava) on





⠀ s a s h a y ⠀ *snap snap* ⠀ #pride2017 #beVISIBLE #bitchBYE ______________________________________ ⠀

A post shared by Gerri-Michelle (@ms.pascual) on





#sfpride #prideparade #sfprideparade #pride #pride2017 #stayawake

A post shared by Atefeh Taheri (@atefeh_t) on









San Fransisco Pride Parade #pride2017 #sanfransiscopride #lovetrumpshate

A post shared by Johan & Josefine (@dansktband) on







I was feeling sad @thejinkx wasnt at nyc pride, so i decided to bring her in spirit #pride #babashook

A post shared by duck the dick (@theducko) on









Messages to some Ohio pride attendees fill #pride2017 with solidarity #blacklivesmatter @tko.creative

A post shared by Working Families Party (@workingfamilies) on









The sign pretty much says it all. # #prideparade #pride #RealLove #RealMagic #ThePeopleWhoKeepMeGoing

A post shared by Calibre Grace Resua ☼ (@calibregrace) on





#pride #nycpride #lgbtq #

A post shared by ACLU (@aclu_nationwide) on





NYC subway poster ! #mta #nysubway

A post shared by Graham Marks (@acugraham) on



















Igualdad ️‍ #pussypower #loveislove #pride #condado #sanjuan #pr #equality #igualdad #lgbt #lgbtq

A post shared by Brianna Saranchock (@bsaranchock) on




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Anti-Semitism Again Rises In LGBTQ Chicago


Yesterday, 1,500 people participated in the Dyke March Chicago, and, once again in Chicago, anti-Semitism reared its ugly head.


From the Windy City Times:



However, also asked to leave by Collective members of the Dyke march were three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).


According to one of those individuals—A Wider Bridge Midwest Manager Laurel Grauer—she and her friends were approached a number of times in the park because they were holding the flag.


“It was a flag from my congregation which celebrates my queer, Jewish identity which I have done for over a decade marching in the Dyke March with the same flag,” she told Windy City Times.


She added that she lost count of the number of people who harassed her.


One Dyke March collective member asked by Windy City Times for a response, said the women were told to leave because the flags “made people feel unsafe,” that the march was “anti-Zionist” and “pro-Palestinian.”


“They were telling me to leave because my flag was a trigger to people that they found offensive,” Grauer said. “Prior to this [march] I had never been harassed or asked to leave and I had always carried the flag with me.”



Laurie Grauer, Midwest Manager for A Wider Bridge, shared the following with me:



What is Inclusion? What is Safe Space? What is Intersectionality?


“You have to leave because you are making people feel unsafe. You are putting them in danger by being here.” I was told this by Dyke Collective organizers, volunteers, and even other marchers. Why? Because I was carrying a rainbow flag with a single Jewish star.


For over ten years, I have marched in Dyke March, carrying this same flag, without incident. This flag, I received from my congregation, Congregation Or Chadash, which was founded over 42 years ago when the Jewish community still closed its doors to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews. While there is always work to be done as far as including and empowering LGBTQ Jews within Jewish spaces, the community as a whole has come a long, long way. In part, by carrying this flag, it has allowed me to show the pride I carry for me and my identities, as well as my communities. “That may be what the flag means to you, but other people find it offensive. This march is a private event and you are offending the organizers of this event.”


Dyke March has taken place for over 20 years. It was done to raise awareness and empower those who identify as female, and others who felt marginalized and/or felt invisible at Chicago’s Pride Parade among the onslaught of commercial and political candidate floats. To drive this mission even further, ten years or so after its founding, the Dyke March itself was taken out of Andersonville, an affluent, mostly Queer friendly neighborhood on Chicago’s Northside, and transformed into a rotating march that kicked off in a different Chicago neighborhood every few years. This was done as a sign that not all LGBTQ people reside in Chicago’s Northside and that they have a right to be visible and included as well. This was a brilliant move that made it possible for more people of diverse color, ages, gender expression, citizenship status, and economic status, to be visible and empowered. I was tremendously proud of this initiative and showed my support by continuing to take part in Dyke March event after it moved.


In every year that I marched, I carried the flag from my congregation unhindered. Several people even took pictures either with me, or holding my flag, because they were so happy to see it and proudly proclaimed their Jewish Pride and/or solidarity on the spot. This year, there was some of that, but it was attached to a much more disturbing message. “Thank you for marching,” said more than one Jewish marcher. “I’ve felt unsafe in the past.” They were there because, like me, felt a strong connection with Dyke March Chicago, yet felt they had to hide their Judaism. Furthermore, as this continues to pour out in social media, other Queer Jewish activists are sharing stories of have been excluded, or how they decided to avoid the march for this reason. How can this be called a Chicago Dyke March if local Dykes are made to feel unwelcomed and unsafe, be they at the march or in spirit?


To be fair, Jewish members of the Dyke Collective, or those who were Jewish and said they were speaking on behalf of the March organizers, said I had to leave because even if I saw this a Jewish Pride flag, “this is seen as an Israeli Pride Flag and offensive to others.”


Besides the Star of David being a symbol of the Jewish people, I think of what this flag means to Jewish people around the world. This flag is carried by gay Jews and Jewish supporters across America, around the world, and, yes, in Israel. But while this flag may be welcomed in Tel Aviv, people I know who marched in World Pride in 2006 from Chicago (my Rabbi being one them), were publically ridiculed and shunned for carrying this exact same flag. In 2010 and 2015 marchers in Jerusalem Pride were violently attacked and in 2015 one, Shira Banki, was killed. How is this an Israeli Pride Flag? How does use by one city, or even one country, erase what this flag means for an entire world-wide community?


“Are you a Zionist?” “This march is pro-Palestine and explicitly an anti-Zionist.” Just as I did not hide my flag, I did not hide when asked point-blank, that, yes, I care about the State of Israel. Yes, I believe it does exist and that it should continue to exist. I also believe that it should continue to be held accountable and challenged by the amazing Israeli Queer LGBTQ activists I proudly call my colleagues, who struggle every day to make Israel more pluralistic, accepting and accountable not only to Queer Israelis, but everyone, including Queer/non-Queer Palestinians. In many ways, their work mirrors those of the LGBTQ activists I work with here in Chicago, both on a personal level, and within my role at A Wider Bridge.


In the same breath, I stated that I believe there should be a free and independent Palestine. I was shut down. “You cannot be Zionist and believe in a Palestinian country, Zionism is inherently racism.”


And so again, because of one belief I have that I shared when asked, because of the one symbol I carried, I was asked to leave.


“Are you asking anyone else to leave?”


“Yes, one other girl who was carrying a similar flag.”


“So you are asking the two people who are carrying Jewish Pride Flags to leave, and no one else?”


“Just you, the other girl, and the religious protestors.”


“So you are asking the two people carrying Pride flags with Jewish stars on them and the “God hates fags” contingent?”


“Yes.”



Is this what the LBGTQ community has become? There are too many such incidents which are being allowed and, at times, encouraged to happen, and all it does is play into the hands of the Nazis and anti-Semites among us, including those in the White House. Putin, once again, is smiling.


It’s time for the national LGBTQ leadership to take a public and powerful stand.


Dayeinu. Enough.

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