LGBT

Nashville Nonprofit Offers Shelter for LGBT Youth

A Nashville nonprofit is offering shelter to homeless youth identifying as LGBT, WTVF reports. Launch Pad is a ‘street free sleep’ initiative that uses community members and allies to provide safe sleeping shelter for those in need. The article cites a recent study by the Williams Institute at UCLA Law that indicates 40 percent of homeless youth in the country identify as LGBT. You can learn more about the program, including how to get involved, on its website.

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ETSU Group Honors Transgender Persons Lost to Violence

Members of East Tennessee State University’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance held a vigil on Tuesday to recognize the Transgender Day of Remembrance, The Johnson City Press reports. The day honors victims who lost their lives because of anti-transgender violence. This is the second LGBT-focused event in the Tri-Cities in as many months. The area hosting its inaugural Pride Festival in September.

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Republican Lawmakers Ask Trump to Pull Out of Trade Deal Over LGBT Protections

40 House Republicans on Nov. 16 sent a letter to President Trump asking him to drop out of the latest trade proposal with Mexico and Canada because of a provision encouraging countries to adopt policies barring anti-LGBT discrimination in the workforce, The Washington Blade reports. The group, led by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), say they are “deeply concerned” by the proposed requirements and that “a trade agreement is no place for the adoption of social policy.” The lawmakers maintain that the proposal would undermine efforts currently underway in the U.S. government. 

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Several LGBT Couples in Migrant Caravan Wed Over Weekend

Several LGBT couples who traveled through Mexico with the migrant caravan participated in a joint wedding on Saturday, NBC News reports. The couples were married in Tijuana where same-sex marriage just recently became legal. There are about 80 LGBT individuals in the caravan fleeing Central America, where they face open discrimination and pointed violence. “This is an act of justice,” said officiant Hugo Córdoba. “The dream of marrying is an illusion for most of them. We are helping them make this a reality.” 
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MTSU Students Win International Award for Documentary on Transgender Couple

A short film produced by MTSU students and an arts professor recently won the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary short at the Perth International Queer Film Festival, MTSU Sidelines reports. The documentary titled 'Graham and Zeke' follows a Tennessee transgender couple, focusing on their struggles and challenges in day-to-day life. Kailee Morris, a director for the project, said she hopes the documentary will help the transgender community, making them “relatable and easier for people to understand how to help them or how to just properly treat them or listen to their story.”

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Some in African Country's LGBT Community 'Fearing for Their Lives'

Some LGBT persons in Tanzania are fearing for their lives after the regional governor of the African country’s largest city, Dar es Salaam, made threatening statements regarding its gay community, CNN reports. Paul Makonda told journalists last Monday that he intends to set up a task force to arrest people suspected of being gay, further stating "I am announcing this to every citizen of Dar es Salaam. If you know any gays, report them to me.” The Tanzanian government responded that "Mr. Makonda was only airing his personal opinion" and that the government will "continue to respect and uphold all human rights as provided for in the country's constitution.” The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning, telling U.S. citizens to remove any material on social media that could "run afoul" of Tanzania's anti-homosexuality laws. 

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New Jersey Congressman Faces Criticism Over Gay Adoption Remarks

A New Jersey congressman came under fire last week for remarks he made about adoptions by gay couples, NJ.com reports. Rep. Chris Smith, R– New Jersey, was asked a series of questions on adoptions by gay parents during a high school forum earlier this year. Critics maintain he suggested orphanages as an alternative, but Smith says that the comment was taken out of context and that his one objection was that religious groups that oppose same-sex marriage were no longer being allowed to handle adoptions. Read more and watch the video from the forum. 

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Tri-Cities Hosts Innaugural Pride Festival

Johnson City hosted the Tri-Cities’ first Pride Festival on Saturday, seeing attendance upwards of 7,000 to 10,000 people, WCYB reports. The festival included a parade, music, vendors, information about LGBT organizations and more. Though the event received threats from opposition groups, leading to added security measures, protests remained peaceful.

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LGBTQ Candidates Could Create a 'Rainbow Wave' in November

A historic number of LGBTQ candidates hope to add some additional color to the ‘blue wave’ some predict in November, NPR reports. According to data recently released by Victory Fund — an LGBTQ political empowerment group — 430 openly LGBTQ candidates this year have run for office at every level of government with at least 22 LGBTQ candidates vying for House seats this fall. There are currently only six LGBTQ House members who are out, and one lesbian senator.
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New Project Aims to Chronicle Queer History in the South

A new project seeks to preserve and share the history of LGBT life in the South, according to an article on NewNowNext.com. The Birmingham based Invisible Histories Project has collected information and items on gay life, systemic oppression and activism in Alabama, including listings of gay-friendly businesses from the 1960s, activist apparel, records from gay-rights groups and more. The project will expand to Mississippi and Georgia later this year, with organizers hoping to cover the entire Southeast within the next few years.

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