National News

The Trump administration’s ban on transgender people serving openly in the military is set to start on April 12, unless the president has a change of heart. The only thing left is the wait, preparation and anxiety among service members who will be affected.

On March 26, a three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court lifted the last of four injunctions that had stopped the ban.

Two days later, the House of Representatives passed a nonbinding resolution formally condemning the Trump administration’s transgender military ban. The vote was 238-185. Every Democrat backed the measure, but only five Republicans did. Bucks County Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was among them.

DOJ Pride, a group representing the Department of Justice’s LGBTQ employees and contractors, has delivered a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr about the “declining morale” of, and outright discrimination against, LGBTQ workers.

The group cited two main concerns: the lack of a DOJ-issued Equal Employment Opportunity statement, and the results of an October 2018 survey that showed only 31 percent of respondents felt the department valued its LGBTQ employees.

First. Black. Lesbian. Mayor. Of. A. Major. U.S. City.

It is difficult to overstate the historic nature of Lori Lightfoot’s landslide victory to become the next mayor of Chicago. In a runoff that pitted two black Democratic women progressives against each other, Lightfoot’s win puts her not only in one of the highest-profile positions for a black woman, but also makes her one of the highest-placed LGBTQ people in U.S. politics.

As the Equality Act fails to move forward in Congress yet again, a new Pew Research study and a new Gallup poll show that a majority of Americans don’t think LGBT people face discrimination. Among young adults, the demographic traditionally most supportive of LGBT rights, perceptions of discrimination against gay and lesbian people dropped by 16 points.

Justices reject B&B owner who denied room to gay couple

The Supreme Court is rejecting an appeal from a Hawaii bed and breakfast that wouldn’t rent a room to a lesbian couple, The Washington Post reported.

Chicago prosecutors dropped all charges on Tuesday in their case against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.

In a case that has had more plot twists than the “Empire” TV drama, an emergency court hearing was held in Chicago on March 26, after which Smollett’s attorneys announced that “his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him.”

Smollett reported being the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime attack on Jan. 29. On Feb. 21, he was charged with disorderly conduct and for lying to the police, who alleged he had lied about the assault. Smollett was charged on March 8 with 16 felony counts of lying to police, one count for each time he told his story. He was held on $100,000 bail, the amount usually set for manslaughter.

He’s being called the newest rising star in the ever-growing Democratic field of candidates.

But what makes Pete Buttigieg unique?

It’s not just that he is an Afghanistan war veteran, Rhodes Scholar or mayor of South Bend, Ind. Those are great things, but other people have done them.

Buttigieg, 37, is also the country’s first openly gay Democratic candidate for president.

Judge grants transgender teen’s name change

An Ohio judge has reversed his earlier denial of a transgender 15-year-old’s legal name change and is allowing that change, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Warren County Probate Judge Joseph Kirby ruled March 12 that the name change “is in the best interest of the child.”

President Donald Trump will soon be getting most, but not all, of what he wanted in the fight against transgender members serving in the United States Armed Forces.

After April 12, no one being treated for gender dysphoria will be able to enlist, and those serving can only continue if they don’t get trans-affirming medical care and serve in the gender they were assigned at birth.

A new study shows proposed changes by the Trump administration to Medicare Part D would have a significantly negative impact on people living with HIV and on the healthcare system, including 7,200 additional deaths, 6,750 new HIV infections and $1.08 billion more than is currently allocated.

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