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Deaf, genderqueer actor and model Chella Man has been cast as Jericho in DC Universe’s series “Titans.”

Jericho is the son of villain Deathstroke, played by Esai Morales in the series. After Jericho’s vocal chords are severed during his kidnapping, he now communicates through sign language and can control people’s bodies and voices through eye contact.

Man’s previous acting credits include “NYPD Blue,” “How To Get Away With Murder” and “Ozark.”

He announced the role on Instagram writing; “As a trans, Deaf, Jewish person of color, I have always reminded myself of the power in my differences. It is a dream come true, now, as I will be able to showcase this power on the Titans. HUGE thank you to all who have supported me throughout this process!”

Story courtesy of the Washington Blade. 

The post Deaf, Genderqueer Actor Chella Man Lands Role on DC’s ‘Titans’ appeared first on Georgia Voice - Gay & LGBT Atlanta News.

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Fast-food chicken chain Chick-fil-A is still directing donations to organizations with anti-LGBTQ ideals, according to Gay Star News.

In 2012, Equality Matters reported the company donated nearly $2 million to anti-gay groups two years before. Chick-fil-A’s COO, Dan Cathy, said the company was against marriage equality and upholds “biblical principles.”

Now, the company’s 2017 tax filings, that were released on Wednesday (March 20), reveal that things don’t seem to have changed.

According to their taxes, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, the company’s charitable arm, donated $1.65 million to Fellowship of Christian Athletes, $150,000 to the Salvation Army, and a small amount to the Paul Anderson Youth Home. These donations were slightly higher than they were the previous year.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes once said in a blog post that homosexuality was the result of “prior physical and emotional wounds” including “abuse, neglect, [and] molestation.” The company also bans its employees from performing “homosexual acts.”

The Salvation Army has a long history of anti-LGBTQ activity, including refusing to shelter a transgender woman with other women in 2008 because of her genitalia, resulting in her freezing to death. The organization also stated it believed that gay men were “deserving of death.”

The Paul Anderson Youth Home is a Christian home for troubled youth. It teaches the youth their house that homosexuality is “rage against Jesus Christ and His values.”

A Chick-fil-A spokesperson told Gay Star News that the company gave $9.9 million to “communities across America.”

“The sole focus of our donations was to support causes focused on youth and education. We are proud of the positive impact we are making in communities across American and have been transparent about our giving on our web site,” they said. “To suggest our giving was done to support a political or non-inclusive agenda is inaccurate and misleading.”

The post Chick-fil-A Foundation Donated to Organizations with Anti-LGBTQ Beliefs appeared first on Georgia Voice - Gay & LGBT Atlanta News.

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The United States was not one of thirty-two countries to advocate for the investigation into the ongoing LGBTQ crisis in Chechnya, according to Gay Star News.

These countries signed a joint letter addressed to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council which explained their “deep concern about recent reports concerning the renewed persecution of LGBTQ persons in Chechnya.” The letter refers to the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Program of Action, which declares human rights universal and calls on states to take action when they are violated.

“Today, we call on the Russian authorities to take urgent action in response to these renewed reports of violations of the human rights of LGBTQ persons in Chechnya,” says the letter. “All persons who remain in detention based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity must be released immediately. There must also be a swift, thorough, and impartial investigation into the alleged persecution, arrest, and torture of LGBTQ persons, and any deaths that have resulted. Those who have directed and carried out these acts must be held responsible.”

The Trump administration didn’t join these countries, which included Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, and Spain, in signing.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) condemned the U.S. for not signing the letter.

“The Trump-Pence administration has once again shamefully chosen to not speak out against the barbaric, anti-LGBTQ attacks occurring in Chechnya,” HRC Global Director Ty Cobb said in a press release. “It’s unconscionable that the United States is not joining with these more than 30 nations in publicly condemning these Chechen anti-LGBTQ crimes against humanity and calling for those responsible to be held accountable. The absolute failure of human rights leadership from this White House is staggering.”

However, an official from the State Department told the Washington Blade that the HRC’s characterization of their actions was “inaccurate” and that the U.S. “did not ‘refuse’ to sign this statement.”

Because the U.S. withdrew from the U.N. Human Rights Council, it “no longer participates in its sessions.”

“Under our withdrawal policy, the United States did not consider joining this or any other joint statement during the current session of the Council,” the official said.

An HRC staffer responded to the State Department’s comments.

“There were other nations not on the council who signed it,” the staffer said. “And it speaks volumes that they are saying the U.S. was not asked to sign it. It’s yet another sign that the U.S. has turned its back on human rights to such a degree that the global leaders like the U.K. don’t even ask the U.S. to join in on important efforts like this.”

Neither President Donald Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence has spoken publicly about Chechnya.

The post U.S. Not One of 32 Countries to Sign Letter Condemning LGBTQ Crisis in Chechnya appeared first on Georgia Voice - Gay & LGBT Atlanta News.

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Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló on Tuesday said he will issue an executive order that will ban so-called conversion therapy for minors in the U.S. commonwealth.

It remains unclear when Rosselló will issue the order, but he told reporters during a press conference that conversion therapy has “zero scientific basis and causes significant damage.”

“As a father, as a scientist and as the governor for everyone in Puerto Rico, I firmly believe that the idea that there are people in our society who need treatment because of their gender identity or whom they love is not only absurd, it is harmful to so many children and young adults who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” said Rosselló in a press release that his office released on Wednesday.

Members of the New Progressive Party, a pro-statehood party that Rosselló chairs, on Monday blocked a vote in the Puerto Rico House of Representatives on a bill that would have banned conversion therapy for minors on the island. Latino Rebels reported two Puerto Rican lawmakers — Reps. Jorge Navarro and Juan Oscar Morales — told a local newspaper they support conversion therapy.

“Conversion therapies are inhumane and intend to strip the human being of their dignity,” tweeted San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz on Wednesday. “Love is love. It is a simple concept. Our countrymen from the LGBTT community love, period. And love will always, always win over hate: Always.”

Las terapias de conversión son inhumanas y pretenden despojar al ser humano de su dignidad. Amor es amor. Es un concepto sencillo. Los compatriotas de la comunidad LGBTT aman punto. Y el amor siempre siempre le gana al odio:SIEMPRE.

— Carmen Yulín Cruz (@CarmenYulinCruz) March 20, 2019

Maryland and D.C. are among the jurisdictions in the mainland U.S. that ban conversion therapy for minors.

Homophobia, transphobia and conservative social and religious attitudes persist in Puerto Rico, even though the island’s nondiscrimination and hate crimes law includes sexual orientation and gender identity. Activists with whom the Washington Blade has spoken say LGBTI Puerto Ricans and people with HIV/AIDS are even more vulnerable to discrimination and violence after Hurricane Maria devastated the island on Sept. 20, 2017.

Story courtesy of the Washington Blade. 

The post Puerto Rico Governor to Issue Executive Order Banning Conversion Therapy for Minors appeared first on Georgia Voice - Gay & LGBT Atlanta News.

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Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued a decision on Tuesday (March 19) saying that the Trump administration was wrong to claim it could begin to implement a transgender military ban, reported BuzzFeed News.

Last week, the administration released a memo saying it planned to enact the ban by April 12 after the Justice Department said in a court filing that “there is no longer any impediment” keeping them from doing so.

The Justice Department argued that the vacation of the injunction by the D.C. Court of Appeals in January meant it ceased to exist and the Pentagon was free to instate the ban. LGBTQ advocacy lawyers argued the appellate court still hadn’t issued a mandate to lift the injunction, however the Trump administration issued the memo anyways.

Now, Kollar-Kotelly has rebuked these officials for insisting a court order that has blocked the ban since 2017 has been lifted.

“Defendants were incorrect in claiming that there was no longer an impediment,” says Kollar-Kotelly’s notice. “Defendants remain bound by this Court’s preliminary injunction to maintain the status quo.”

“On October 30, 2017, this Court ordered Defendants to maintain the status quo as it relates to the accession and retention of transgender individuals in the military,” her decision said. “That preliminary injunction remains in place until the D.C. Circuit issues its mandate vacating the preliminary injunction.”

According to her decision, the Pentagon may not yet ban transgender troops, despite the claims made by the Justice Department that it was free of any blockade on enacting the new policy.

“We are grateful for the district court’s clarity in stating, unequivocally, that the injunction against the transgender military ban remains in place,” Jennifer Levi, an attorney for GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders – a group that represents the challengers of the ban – told BuzzFeed News. “Plaintiffs will continue to challenge the government’s efforts to reinstate an unfair and discriminatory policy against transgender people. And, for now, the military cannot take any adverse action against the transgender troops or recruits who meet all current standards of service.”

The plaintiffs in the D.C. court have until March 29 to request a rehearing before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to possibly extend the timeline for the injunction to remain in place.

The post Judge Rules that Transgender Military Ban Can’t Yet Take Effect appeared first on Georgia Voice - Gay & LGBT Atlanta News.

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For the first time in over ten years, Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls will be invited to a forum to discuss LGBTQ policies, reported the Washington Post.

The candidates will discuss issues around LGBTQ hate crimes, bullying, and transgender rights at the forum hosted by the Human Rights Campaign and the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, scheduled on the eve of National Coming Out Day, October 10.

“If any LGBTQ person were to take a cross-country drive from HRC headquarters in Washington, D.C., to UCLA’s campus, their rights and protections under the law would change dozens of times at every city line and state border,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “Millions of LGBTQ people will have their rights on the ballot in 2020 – but today we are also a powerful voting bloc that will help determine the outcome. We’re excited to partner with UCLA Luskin and create an opportunity to hear candidates’ agendas for moving equality forward.”

Since the last presidential LGBTQ forum, held in 2008, public opinion on the LGBTQ community has shifted favorably. According to Gallup, only 55 percent of Americans believed gay and lesbian relationships between consenting adults should be legal in 2008. Ten years later, in May 2018, that number raised to 75 percent.

To be one of the many Democratic presidential hopefuls to be invited to the forum, you must have either had received donations from 65,000 people over 20 different state or received 1 percent or higher support in three national polls.

Pete Buttigieg, a mayor from Indiana and the first openly gay politician to run for president, has reportedly met the donation requirement and will likely attend.

The post First LGBTQ Forum Since 2008 to be Held for Democratic Presidential Candidates appeared first on Georgia Voice - Gay & LGBT Atlanta News.

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Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker said Sunday evening he’d reverse President Trump’s transgender military ban “right away” if elected to the White House in 2020.

Speaking to a crowd of more than 300 voters, Booker made the remarks in response to a question from transgender woman who asked him what he’d do to protect LGBT rights as president, according to the Associated Press.

“When I am president of the United States, right away I will end this ridiculous, insulting, un-American ban on transgender Americans serving in the military,” Booker is quoted as saying, reportedly to cheers from the crowd.

The Trump administration last week unveiled its plan to initiate its transgender ban on April 12 in the aftermath of courts lifting four orders that previously barred the U.S. military from enforcing the policy.

Other Democratic contenders, including Booker himself, have condemned Trump’s ban on transgender service, but the New Jersey Democrat now stands out for pledging to reverse the policy “right away” upon election to the White House.

Aaron Belkin, director of the San Francisco-based Palm Center, commended Booker in a statement called on other presidential candidates to make similar commitments.

“Sen. Cory Booker has listened to the considered judgment of all five military service chiefs and has taken a strong stand on the need to rid our military of discrimination on day one of his tenure if elected,” Belkin said. “This is the kind of leadership needed to ensure that politics doesn’t stand in the way of military readiness. We look forward to hearing where other candidates stand on this key issue of immediate reversal.”

Story courtesy of the Washington Blade. 

The post Booker Pledges to Reverse Trans Military Ban ‘Right Away’ if Elected President appeared first on Georgia Voice - Gay & LGBT Atlanta News.

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Former Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory Angelo has publicly opposed the Equality Act, the proposed bill which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

In an op-ed written for the Washington Examiner, Angelo says the bill “would compromise American civil rights and religious liberty as we know it. All reasonable Americans, especially gay Americans who support pluralism and tolerance, should oppose it.”

Angelo warns that the bill would cause the demise of small businesses and religious charities.

“Passage of the ‘Equality Act’ would make liars out of the lot of us. It would put the nonprofit status of religious charities at risk; it would force mom-and-pop businesses to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies; and it would flout bedrock principles that have served as the foundation of the American experience for centuries,” he writes.

Angelo also adds that the need for this type of legislation is dated. He says that since businesses have added their own policies to protect LGBTQ employees there isn’t a need for federal legislation.

“In 1975, when it was first introduced in Congress, this legislation was certainly more needed and relevant. At the time, gay Americans faced prejudice at a far more pervasive rate than they do today,” Angelo writes. “In the 44 years since, without any federal legislative coercion, corporate America has taken the lead, developing organic policies that respect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees. This is the free market at work in all its glory, and it offers a far more promising path than this flawed legislation.”

Story courtesy of the Washington Blade. 

The post Former Log Cabin Leader Opposes Equality Act appeared first on Georgia Voice - Gay & LGBT Atlanta News.

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President Donald Trump is set to meet historically anti-LGBTQ Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, known as the “Trump of the Tropics,” today (March 19) at the White House, according to ABC News.

As part of his three-day visit, Bolsonaro will meet privately and press conference with Trump to strengthen economic ties between the countries. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the leaders will discuss “opportunities for defense cooperation, pro-growth trade policies, combatting transnational crime, and restoring democracy in Venezuela.”

“For the first time in a while, a pro-American Brazilian president arrives in D.C.,” Bolsonaro tweeted when he arrived in when he arrived in Washington on Sunday (March 17). “It’s the beginning of a partnership focused on liberty and prosperity – something that all of us Brazilians have long wished for.”

Bolsonaro has a long history of attacking the LGBTQ community. He has repeatedly said he’d prefer his son to die in an accident than be gay. He also claimed that LGBTQ rights activists wanted to recruit children for sex, bragged he would “beat up” two men who were kissing on the street, and supported a father who beat his 8-year-old son to death for having effeminate traits.

“Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is a tyrant who has condoned violence against LGBTQ people, even if it means death,” Sarah Kate Ellis, the President and CEO of GLAAD, said in a statement. “Americans should be disturbed that the President of the United States is holding meetings with Bolsonaro and choosing to set a dangerous precedent by normalizing an anti-LGBTQ tyrant.”

GLAAD claimed in a statement that the “toxic” rhetoric surrounding the LGBTQ community of Bolsonaro is similar to that of President Trump, who has issued 97 attacks on the LGBTQ community during his presidency.

The post Donald Trump to Meet Anti-LGBTQ Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro appeared first on Georgia Voice - Gay & LGBT Atlanta News.

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Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is the only one of the 45 senate Democrats who has not backed the Equality Act, reported WDTV.

Manchin released a statement on his reasoning for not supporting the anti-discrimination legislation, citing worries about local implementation.

“After speaking with local education officials in West Virginia, I am not convinced that the Equality Act as written provides sufficient guidance to the local officials who will be responsible for implementing it, particularly with respect to students transitioning between genders in public schools,” he said. “I will continue working with the sponsors of the bill to build broad bipartisan support and find a viable path forward for these critical protections so that I can vote in support of this bill.”

In response, GLAAD has launched a digital campaign that asks West Virginians to demand Manchin support the Equality Act.

“While it’s easy to understand Senator Joe Manchin’s concerns about the federal government’s power over local authorities, 58,000 LGBTQ West Virginians cannot have their safety remain on the line as they wait for their state government to defend them,’ Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, said in a statement. “The Equality Act presents an opportunity to protect LGBTQ people from harassment at schools, at work, or even in their homes in his home state of West Virginia – and that’s about as local as it gets.”

Manchin has a long history of not supporting the LGBTQ community through legislation. He was the only Democratic Senator to oppose marriage equality and to not vote to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and he supported the Defense of Marriage Act.

The post West Virginia Senator Only Democrat Not to Support Equality Act appeared first on Georgia Voice - Gay & LGBT Atlanta News.

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