HISTORIC: Sec. John Kerry Issues Formal Apology To LGBT State Department Staffers For Past Discrimination


Politico reports: Secretary of State John Kerry is formally apologizing to gay, lesbian and other employees of the State Department who faced past discrimination because of their sexual orientation. The apparently unprecedented apology, issued in a statement Monday, is the latest step that the Obama administration has taken to promote inclusion of the LGBT community in its ranks. It comes ...

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Kim Burrell Dropped From Gospel Honors Events


The Associated Press reports: The performing rights organization BMI is the latest group to distance itself from gospel singer Kim Burrell after video surfaced of her referring to gays and lesbians as perverted. A statement from BMI released Friday said Burrell will no longer be honored and she was pulled from their annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music event scheduled ...

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CALIFORNIA: Legislature’s Ban On Taxpayer-Funded Travel To States With Anti-LGBT Laws Goes Into Effect


From the Bay Area Reporter: California has banned most taxpayer-funded travel to four states that have adopted anti-LGBT laws. In addition to the three Southern states that the state attorney general’s office had identified in November for inclusion on the list – Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee – Kansas was also named to the official list posted online January 1. ...

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BREAKING: Texas GOP Introduces “Bathroom Bill”


The Associated Press reports: Texas lawmakers will decide whether to embrace an issue that caused a national uproar in North Carolina – banning transgendered people from using the bathroom of their choice. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a top social conservative voice in the state, unveiled the proposed law Thursday at a news conference. Patrick says the “Privacy Protection Act” is ...

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Pharrell Talks About Kim Burrell To Ellen: There’s No Room For Any Kind Of Prejudice In 2017 [VIDEO]


From the Hollywood Reporter: Pharrell Williams and Ellen DeGeneres discussed the absence of gospel singer and pastor Kim Burrell and her remarks against the LGBT community during Thursday’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Burrell and Williams had planned on singing “I See Victory” from the Hidden Figures soundtrack. “She said some very not nice things to say about homosexuals so I ...

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Fort Lauderdale Becomes “World’s First” Destination To Use Transgender Models In Mainstream Advertising


Via press release: The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau will launch a new global marketing and advertising campaign on January 9th featuring three transgender models, and will become the world’s first destination to use transgender models in mainstream destination advertising. Greater Fort Lauderdale’s campaign, which also features straight, gay and lesbian models, follows the destination’s long and storied ...

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HOUSTON: Radio Station Dumps Kim Burrell’s Show After Homophobic Rant, TV Show Possibly Canceled Too


The Houston Chronicle reports: The fallout over Houston gospel star Kim Burrell’s anti-gay comments is showing no signs of letting up anytime soon. A day after Ellen DeGeneres tweeted that Burrell will not be appearing on the talk-show host’s popular daytime show this week, KTRK reported on Wednesday that Texas Southern University has pulled the plug on Burrell’s radio show. ...

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VIRGINIA: Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe Signs LGBT Rights Executive Order, Vows To Veto “Bathroom Bill”


The Washington Blade reports: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Thursday signed an executive order that bans anti-LGBT discrimination among state employees, contractors and subcontractors. “Today’s executive order is a huge leap forward in our goal toward becoming a state that is a safe, welcoming and equal place for all Virginians,” said Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish in a press ...

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ANCHORAGE: Anti-LGBT Christian Group Files Ballot Measure To Gut Hard-Won LGBT Rights Ordinance


As longtime readers may recall, in 2014 Anchorage finally enacted an LGBT rights ordinance after many years of a very ugly battle. Anchorage’s NBC affiliate reports on the latest development: A group of concerned citizens is petitioning to have religious and other exemptions added into Anchorage’s anti-discrimination ordinance passed in 2015. Just before close of business Tuesday afternoon, the paperwork ...

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FLORIDA: Feds Drop “Weak Case” Against Gay Man Accused Of Making Terror Threat Against Gay Bars


The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports: Federal prosecutors are dropping the criminal case against a man accused of issuing a Facebook threat to “exterminate” gay people in South Florida, according to a court document filed Tuesday. The decision to drop the case against Craig Jungwirth comes about six weeks after prosecutors publicly acknowledged in court that the evidence against him was ...

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Ellen DeGeneres Disinvites Homophobic Gospel Singer


Deadline reports: Ellen DeGeneres announced via Twitter that she has uninvited gospel singer Kim Burrell from performing on her daytime talk show after video began circulating online of an anti-gay sermon Burrell delivered at a Houston TX church. Burrell had been scheduled to sing the soundtrack song “I See A Victory” with Pharrell Williams, on DeGeneres show this Thursday; Williams ...

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Pulse Victims Honored With Rose Parade Float [VIDEO]


The Advocate reports: Survivors of the Pulse massacre took center stage at the 128th Rose Parade. Victor Baez Febo and Isaiah Henderson waved to the cheering crowd Monday at the annual New Years Day celebration in Pasadena, Calif. They rode on a float commissioned by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Impulse Group United, which honored the 49 victims and dozens ...

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NORTH CAROLINA: Roy Cooper Sworn In As McCrory Blames Media And HB2 For His Loss [VIDEO]


The Associated Press reports: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper took his oath of office minutes after midnight Sunday morning, getting an early start on his duties amid bitter partisan politics in the state but saying he believed there is a way forward. Joined by a small group of family, friends and colleagues, the Democrat was sworn inside the old House ...

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BREAKING: Federal Judge Blocks Obamacare’s Trans And Abortion-Related Protections Nationwide


Chris Geidner reports at Buzzfeed: A federal judge in Texas on Saturday issued a nationwide injunction halting enforcement of Obama administration protections for transgender and abortion-related healthcare services just one day before they were due to go into effect. The lawsuit — brought by Texas, a handful of other states, and some religiously affiliated nonprofit medical groups — challenges a ...

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Matt Baume: There Was SOME Good News This Year


This morning activist Matt Baume reminds us that there actually was some good news this year. From his clip description: “Do we have to do a year in review for 2016? This was a rough one, but what if I told you there were some really great milestones for LGBTs this year? It’s true! Amidst all the bad news, 2016 ...

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SAN DIEGO: Gay Man Who Lost Federal Lawsuit Over Pride “Nudity” Arrest Found Dead In Apparent Suicide


The San Diego Union-Tribune reports: A man who unsuccessfully sued San Diego police over his public nudity arrest at a gay pride festival was found dead Wednesday night at his Hillcrest apartment in an apparent suicide, authorities said. The death of Will X. Walters comes about two weeks after a federal jury delivered the verdict in favor of police. Walters’ ...

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Bear Couple Mosaic To Grace NYC Subway Station


I learned about this installation a couple of weeks ago and planned on reporting on it once I could take my own photos when the new subway line officially opens on Sunday. But some of you have prodded me not to wait. From the Associated Press: The sight of two men holding hands is far from uncommon, but a mural ...

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Boy Scouts Ban Trans Boy From Cub Scouts [VIDEO]


CBS News reports: The Boy Scouts of America is facing tough questions after banning a child over his gender identity. Joe Maldonado, 8, who was born a girl and now identifies as a boy, was removed from his New Jersey Cub Scout troop. Joe’s family says parents of other children had complained. Joe’s mother, Kristie Maldonado, says the organization already ...

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TAIWAN: Marriage Passes First Of Three Legislative Readings As Christian Protesters Scream [VIDEO]


The Nikkei Asian Review reports: The first draft of a bill on same-sex marriage won approval from the parliament’s judiciary committee on Monday, opening up the possibility of Taiwan becoming the first in the Asia-Pacific region to let gay couples wed. Following its successful first reading, the bill will undergo cross-party negotiations. But it has also drawn protests, and whether ...

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SHORT FILM: Kodak Promotes Gay Acceptance


JMG reader Rob tips us to this lovely three-minute clip from Kodak. From the YouTube description: “Director Terry Rayment’s 35mm film “Understanding” poignantly depicts the transformational power of love and happiness. Cinematographer Kate Arizmendi captured all of the emotions beautifully on KODAK VISION3 500T 5219.” 

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