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Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival

The 17th annual Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival takes place in Bloomington, Indiana Friday February 1st & Saturday February 2nd at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. The LGBTQ focused film festival will present 21 films across two days including “Mapplethorpe” the highly anticipated biopic of the celebrated & controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (Matt Smith) whose relationship with Patti Smith & other icons of 1970s New York influenced his ambitious photos while he explored his emerging sexuality. The festival kicks off on February 1st at 7P with “Rafiki” a drama banned in its home country of Kenya mere days before premiering at the Cannes Film Festival for its positive depiction of a lesbian relationship. Janae Cummings, Chair of the Bloomington PRIDE Board of Directors stated, “We live in a time where the legal erasure of transgender people & the marginalization of queer black, indigenous & people of color, disabled persons, sex workers & immigrants worsens by the day. The film festival offers a brief respite from this harsh reality. It’s well known that media influences not only how others view us but how we view ourselves. Our shorts jury & features committee did an outstanding job selecting award-winning films from around the world. They are rich in truth, diversity & authenticity & we couldn’t be prouder to bring them to Bloomington.” The festival coincides with the Indiana University LGBTQ+ Alumni Association Celebration Weekend. The 11th annual fete honors & celebrates individuals working to improve the lives of queer people within the IU community with events taking place from 4P to 6P on both February 1st at the Indiana Memorial Union Tudor Room & February 2nd at the FAR Center for Contemporary Arts.
For Events & Tix: bloomingtonpride.org
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Global Feminism Now & Then

Boston OLOC (Old Lesbians Organizing For Change) will present a very special program addressing “Feminism is a Plural: The Many Faces of Women’s Movements in America & Abroad” which is a look at the impact of these movements on our lives over the decades on Sunday, February 3rd from 2P to 4P at the Brookline Senior Center at 93 Winchester Street in Brookline, Massachusetts. From liberal to radical to revolutionary feminism & beyond this fascinating program will include speakers Marsha Gerstein who will talks about Liberal Politics vs Radical Politics, Catherine Joseph on A Black Woman's View of American Feminism, Johanna Bischof addressing German Feminisms: East vs West, Kalyani Devajgoti on Feminism in the West Indies, Sarah Pearlman will talks about Sex & Spirituality & Sue Katz on Revolutionary Feminist Collectives & Communes who stated, “OLOC has assembled an incredible range of speakers about varied approaches to feminism in their upcoming event on Sunday, Feb 3rd, "Feminism is a Plural." We’ll talk about feminism in the West Indies, revolutionary collectives, a feminist notion of spirituality, a Black perspective on American feminism, a contrast between the feminisms of East & West Germany, starting with some basic definitions. We hope to see old friends & new. Women of all ages are welcome.” OLOC Boston programs & events are open to lesbians of all ages, including transgender lesbians. OLOC’s mission includes their commitment to creating communities of older lesbians & solidarity with allies for racial, economic & social justice. Following the event there will be an early dinner at Lemon Grass at 239 Harvard Street in Brookline, MA.
For More Info: spearlman@hartford.edu
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Gay Choruses Super Bowl Wager

With the New England Patriots & Los Angeles Rams squaring off in the Big Game on Sunday February 3rd the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (BGMC) & the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles have agreed on a challenge. If the Patriots defeat the Los Angeles Rams, the LA Chorus will perform “Please Come to Boston” by Dave Loggins. If the Rams are victorious BGMC will perform Randy Newman’s “I Love LA” & make it available online. The winner will also make a donation to GALA Choruses, the North American association serving the LGBTQ choral moving, for its work supporting emerging LGBTQ choruses. Craig Coogan BGMC Executive Director stated, “This is a friendly wager, but we take this Boston-L.A. rivalry very seriously. In their many championship games against the Los Angeles Lakers throughout the 1980s, the Boston Celtics showed us that it's always better to ‘Beat L.A.’.” Jonathan Weedman, Executive Director of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles added, “This will be a great series between two amazing teams. But we’re shipping the musical arrangement for “I Love LA” to Boston today because the Rams are going to win!” Both the Los Angeles Rams & the New England Patriots are among the National Football League’s most LGBTQ-friendly clubs. In 2014 the Rams drafted openly gay rookie prospect Michael Sam. Last year the Patriots publicly backed Question 3 on the Massachusetts ballot which protected the state’s 2016 transgender civil rights law from being overturned & contributed financially to the campaign. Go Pats!! 
For More Info: bgmc.org
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GLAAD Media Awards Nominees

Mj Rodriguez & Nico Santos announced the nominees for the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Sundance Film Festival. Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO stated, "The images & stories recognized by the GLAAD Media Awards over the past 30 years raised the bar for LGBTQ inclusion in the media industry & changed the hearts & minds of countless audience members around the world. This year's nominees are changing the game by showcasing diverse races, genders, religions, ages, geographies & genres in ways that challenge misconceptions & inspire LGBTQ acceptance. The 30th anniversary of the GLAAD Media Awards will honor these groundbreaking new LGBTQ stories while remembering the astounding positive cultural change that LGBTQ media representations have achieved." GLAAD announced 151 nominees in 27 categories including an inaugural category for Outstanding Video Game along with Kids & Family Programming, Comedy & Drama Series, Documentary, Reality Series, Music Artist, Comic Book, print, broadcast & online news & five Spanish-language categories. For the first time ever, the GLAAD Media Awards' Outstanding Film – Limited Release category expanded from five to ten nominees as a result of a welcome increase in fair, accurate & inclusive LGBTQ images in film. Special Honorees for the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards will be announced in coming weeks. The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies which fund GLAAD's work to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance will be held in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 28th at The Beverly Hilton & in New York on Saturday, May 4th at the Hilton Midtown.
For More Info: glaad.org
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Cornelius Wilson Jr. Honored

In collaboration with the National LGBTQ Task Force, SAGE CEO Michael Adams presented Cornelius Wilson Jr. with the Creating Change SAGE Advocacy Award for Excellence in Leadership on Aging Issues. Wilson is a remarkable Detroit LGBT community organizer & leader who spent decades working to advance LGBT rights & supporting LGBT communities. Cornelius stated, “SAGE is a big part of who I am & where I’m going in my life & I am honored & humbled to be acknowledged with this award. I love my community & I hope that through all I do & through those I assist, I show that. I think it’s important that my peers see that there is someone out there with a voice, who has lived a similar life & can help advocate for them. I’m a strong believer that actions speak louder than words. We can’t just talk about what we’d like to see changed. We have to act to make it happen.” Michael Adams SAGE CEO concluded, “It is an honor to recognize Cornelius with this SAGE Advocacy Award & we applaud his extraordinary efforts as a tireless LGBT activist, dating back to the AIDS crisis, when so many in our LGBT community were dying & in desperate need of resources and support. This year, on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, we are lifting up people like Cornelius, who have been the backbone of our modern LGBT movement since it began five decades ago.” The award was given during the annual Creating Change Conference that brings together thousands of visionary LGBTQ leaders from across the country. The event takes place now through January 27th in Detroit, Michigan.
For More Info: sageusa.org
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Foster Care Allowed To Discriminate

The Trump administration has announced that foster agencies in South Carolina do not have to comply with federal rules barring discrimination even if they receive federal funding. This decision was made after the state requested a waiver for Miracle Hill Ministries one of South Carolina’s largest foster care agencies which turned away a Jewish couple seeking to provide foster care & refuses to place children with families who are not Protestant, heterosexual married couples. Maggie Siddiqi, Director of the Faith & Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress stated, “This decision weaponizes our nation’s right to religious freedom in order to justify discrimination in the foster care system, depriving children of welcoming homes. It is wrong for the government to hand out taxpayer dollars to a foster agency & then sanction that agency’s discrimination against certain qualified prospective parents, whether they be Jewish, LGBTQ or a member of some other minority group. Such approval raises serious constitutional concerns & imposes one narrow religious viewpoint on others.” Christina Wilson Remlin Children’s Rights lead counsel concluded, “Let’s call this decision what it is: state-sanctioned & government-funded discrimination. By granting a waiver that allows agencies to accept federal & state dollars while turning away otherwise qualified families & individuals solely on the basis of religious belief, the Trump administration is sending the message that Jewish, LGBTQ, Muslim & other non-Christian individuals are less deserving of equal protection under the law. We disagree. Moreover, South Carolina is already facing a severe shortage of foster homes & inappropriately over uses group homes. Limiting the pool of prospective foster & adoptive parents based on their failure to pass a religious litmus test will deprive children of suitable, loving & stable homes.”
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SCOTUS Rules Against Diversity

Well we knew as the Trump administration loaded the US Supreme Court with homophobic, anti LGBTQ, anti choice judges it was just a matter of time that their hateful agenda would effect our LGBTQ community. Now it has happened with a vote of 5 to 4 SCOTUS has declined to hear any cases challenging the Trump-Pence Administration’s ban on transgender troops allowing the Trump administration to move forward with its discriminatory policy to begin kicking transgender troops out of the military & denying trans people the opportunity to enlist even though there are lawsuits pending. Jennifer Levi, Director of GLAD's Transgender Rights Project stated, "The Trump administration’s cruel obsession with ridding our military of dedicated & capable service members because they happen to be transgender defies reason & cannot survive legal review." When we spoke with trans author & activist Brynn Tannehill who also is a graduate from the Naval Academy stated, “If they can kick all the transgender people out of the military because they feel like it they can bring back ‘Don’t ask Don’t Tell’. If they can rule that my marriage isn’t valid they can rule that your marriage isn’t valid. If they can ban people from bathrooms because the idea of sharing a bathroom with a transgender person scares straight people guess what, during ‘Don’t ask Don’t Tell’ the primary argument was that sharing a bathroom or a shower or a locker room with a gay person scares straight people & we can go straight back that is verification to discriminate against lesbians & gays. This is a unified fight whether we like it or not. The only difference is that we will go down first because we are the primary target now & once we lose, if we lose, the same methods, tactics & impact litigation that took us down will be used to do the same thing to lesbians & gays in America. Make no mistake about it the anti LGBT hate groups haven’t forgotten about lesbians & gays. They’re just having to recognize that there is greater acceptance for lesbians & gays in our society & more protections of them and are going for the low hanging fruit first which is us.”
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LA Art Show Premiere Party Event

The LA Art Show has announced that actress Kate Beckinsale will be the official host of the 2019 Opening Night Premiere Gala that takes place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Wednesday January 23rd from 7P to 11P. Gavin Rossdale lead vocalist & songwriter from the band Bush has joined the roster as the evening’s Art Ambassador. Proceeds from the event will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for the fifth year in the row. At St. Jude thanks to generous donors families never receive a bill from for treatment, travel, housing or food. SABER will also be creating a new painting live over the course of the evening in partnership with 1849 Wines. It will be auctioned off at the end of the night with all proceeds going to St. Jude. Confirmed celebrity attendees will also include Jessica Szohr, Emma Roberts, Brigitte Nielsen, Kevin Zegers, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Ashley Tisdale, Barry Sloane, Erin Cummings, Poppy, Ian Bohen, Lance Bass, Denim Richards, Jorge R. Gutierrez, Shepard Fairey, Tristan Eaton, Kassandra Voyagis, Onch Movement, Titanic Sinclair, Danny Carey, Rynne Stump, Bruce Helford, Camille Rose Garcia, Brandi Milne Dosshaus, Sheila Silber, Lauren Willow White, Spencer & Nancy Hunt, Mark Sovel, Skip Heller & Mc¢. In addition to food, beverages, live music & art, gala attendees will be given a special sneak peek of the LA Art Show’s 200,000 sq. ft. of programming featuring over 100 galleries from 18 countries. They will have first dibs to try Marta Minujín’s “Rayuelarte” hopscotch installation, see special performances by Dorian Wood & Sarah & more.
For Info & Tix: laartshow.com
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America Stalled On MLK Day

Here we are celebrating Martin Luther King Day as the Trump administration continues its brat attack, refusing to reopen the government & placing thousands of federal workers on breadlines. Adding insult to injury Trump addressed the nation on Saturday not once mentioning the plight of what the shutdown has caused so many hardworking American families. Vanita Gupta, President & CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights stated, “Trump continued with his lies, stoking fear & pushing misinformation. He created this shutdown & every day it continues, federal workers, contractors, their families & their communities are left unpaid & are being harmed. Key civil rights enforcement actions are being ignored. Trump has the power to end these crises of his own making. He & Leader McConnell have no further excuses for blocking bipartisan bills that passed the Senate last month & the House this month to end this shutdown. We are deeply skeptical of Trump’s so-called offer on Dreamers & TPS holders, as those too are crises of his own making. Nothing he announced is a compromise or a deal, as evidenced by his lack of discussions with any leaders outside his own party. We also need to see if he changes his mind as he did a year ago when he told legislators to pass a ‘bill of love’ on immigration, but then proceeded to attack Dreamers, refugees & TPS holders & ripped children from the arms of their parents.”
For More Info: civilrights.org
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Trump’s LGBT Bias Continues

The Fenway Institute of Fenway Health in Boston, Massachusetts has released a policy brief demonstrating that in his second year in office Trump has continued to promote discrimination against our LGBT community & people living with HIV. In some cases these policies are built upon anti-LGBT measures begun in 2017 & in other cases the Trump administration has found new ways to negatively impact U.S. citizens & federal contractors as well as the family members of LGBT foreign diplomats. This administration has also engaged in practices that will increase anti-LGBT stigma & HIV stigma around the world. Sean Cahill, PhD, Director of Health Policy Research at The Fenway Institute stated, “In just two years, we have witnessed the rollback of rights & protections that took decades to win. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to estimate the full extent of harm now taking place. It is undeniable that LGBT people & people living with HIV are now much more vulnerable to discrimination in health care, social services, employment, education & access to basic government services.” Since 1971 Fenway Health has been working to make life healthier for the people in Boston neighborhoods, the LGBT community, people living with HIV/AIDS & the broader population. The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on national and international health issues. Fenway’s Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center cares for youth & young adults ages 12 to 29 who may not feel comfortable going anywhere else, including those who are LGBT or just figuring things out; homeless; struggling with substance use; or living with HIV/AIDS. In 2013, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts joined the Fenway Health family allowing both organizations to improve delivery of care & services across the state and beyond.
Read Policy Brief…
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New York Passes Trans Civil Rights

New York’s legislature passed GENDA the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act that will ensure New Yorkers  protections from discrimination on the basis of gender identity & expression in employment, housing & public accommodations. The legislature also passed a ban on the dangerous & discredited practice of conversion therapy. Mel King, Development and Operations Manager at Equality Federation stated, “As a transgender New Yorker, I couldn’t be more proud of my state. All of us, including transgender people & our families, should be able to get a job, rent an apartment & be in the world without the fear of discrimination.” Glennda Testone, Executive Director of The LGBT Community Center added, "This hard-fought victory is a result of more than a decade of dedicated activism, bravery & persistence, led by transgender, gender nonconforming & nonbinary advocates & allies across New York State & beyond. We applaud our legislature’s steadfast leadership & commitment to civil rights as we look forward to continuing our work to build a stronger, more inclusive New York State where all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & queer people are welcomed, affirmed and fully protected." Dina Marie, Executive Board of the New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG) concluded, “Transgender & non-binary people need to feel safe within their own communities where they live & work & are contributing & vibrant members. While Governor Cuomo affirmed his support for trans people with an executive order in 2015, today’s passage of GENDA is the final step to the reality that for the State of New York, human rights really do include everyone.” (Graphic by Richard Emmanuel)
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Deborah Cox At Sin City Sports Event

Grammy-nominated, multi award-winning singer & LGBTQ advocate Deborah Cox will perform at the Sin City Classic Sports Festival, the world’s largest annual LGBTQ sporting event that takes place January 17th to January 20th in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cox will perform during the Festival’s Toyota Sin City Classic Closing Party. Ken Scearce, Sin City Classic Tournament Director stated, “We are thrilled to have Deborah Cox performing at this year’s closing party during the Sin City Classic. She has been a strong ally for the LGBTQ community for decades & we can't wait to hear her dazzle the crowd with all our favorite songs on Sunday night at the Brooklyn Bowl.” The 2019 Sin City Classic presented by Toyota & hosted by The Greater Los Angeles Softball Association (GLASA) brings together LGBTQ sports associations from around the world in order for LGBTQ athletes, fans & allies to enjoy a weekend full of competition, companionship & fun. This year the festival has adopted a new initiative “Play You.” The tournament welcomes all athletes, regardless of sexual orientation & promotes an open environment for everyone to participate in sports through the “Play You” initiative. The Sin City Classic encourages athletes to attend, participate & live authentically. The Sin City Classic is proudly hosted at Flamingo Las Vegas & additional sponsors include the Los Angeles Dodgers, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Athalonz, Caesar’s Entertainment, Charlie’s Las Vegas, Cheers to Las Vegas, Compete, Human Rights Campaign, Piranha Nightclub, GayVN, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Topgolf & White Claw.
For Info & Tix: sincityclassic.org
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San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus Event

The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus is presenting Bobby Jo Valentine in a benefit concert also featuring SFGMC's two ensembles The Lollipop Guild & Homophonics with 100% of the proceeds go to the Campfire Relief Fund & the music programs of Paradise High School. The event takes place on Sunday January 27th at 170 Valencia Street in San Francisco at 5P. Bobby Jo Valentine stated, “I’m performing with the amazing San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus & their two chorales for an unforgettable evening of music raising money for the relief efforts after the Camp Fire last year, in the biggest fire in California history. Even if you’re not in the area, please consider buying tickets in advance to support – 100% goes towards helping the fire relief victims & sending a friend who is in the area.” Bobby Jo Valentine is a nationally touring singer/songwriter who grew up on the seaside of Northern California. His songs are both earthbound & mystical & speak of the gentle, everyday spiritual awakenings of an openhearted life. He’s given a Ted Talk, been awarded Song of the Year three times at the West Coast Songwriter’s Association & performed all over the globe. For 40 years, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus has served as an international standard bearer for a powerful mix of extraordinary musical excellence and mission-driven activism. Founded in 1978, SFGMC was the first choral organization to courageously proclaim its orientation in its name & is credited with helping start the LGBTQ choral movement that now spans the entire globe, galvanizing & changing the course of LGBT history.
For Info & Tix…
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Massachusetts LGBTQ Kids Unsafe

GLSEN has released state-level data from its benchmark National School Climate Survey which shows that Massachusetts schools are not safe for most LGBTQ middle & high school students. In addition many LGBTQ students in Massachusetts do not have access to important school resources such as an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum & were not protected by supportive & inclusive school policies. Trenda Loftin, Co-Chair GLSEN Massachusetts stated, “This research makes clear that many LGBTQ students in Massachusetts still face hostile school environments, many of which lack the resources to ensure their safety. In order to prioritize the safety & well-being of all students, leaders throughout the state of Massachusetts must support comprehensive policies & practices that are inclusive & affirming of LGBTQ students. ” Since 1999 GLSEN’s biennial National School Climate Survey has consistently demonstrated that specific school-based supports are related to a safer & more inclusive school climate, including supportive educators, LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum, comprehensive & affirming policies & student clubs, such as Gay-Straight Alliances or Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs). Data released shows the majority of LGBTQ students in Massachusetts regularly heard anti-LGBTQ remarks with 72% of LGBTQ students reported regularly hearing homophobic remarks in school & 64% reported regularly hearing negative remarks about transgender people. Some students also regularly heard school staff make homophobic remarks (10%) & many regularly heard school staff make negative remarks about someone’s gender expression (29%). Nearly half of students (45%) experienced at least one form of anti-LGBTQ discrimination at school during the past year.
For More Info: glsen.org
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The Dinah Heats Up Palm Springs

The Dinah, the largest & most iconic girl party music festival in the world takes place from Wednesday April 3rd through Sunday April 7th in Palm Springs, California. Tens of thousands of lesbian identifying women from around the world will make the annual pilgrimage to celebrate, unite, empower & live OutLoud at the 29th year of this infamous 5 day event. Mariah Hanson stated, “I'm so excited about The Dinah 2019. The line up is one of our best with some strong contenders for the next break out artist, including Kodie Shane, Leikeli47, Bri Steves, Dorian Electra & Kiana Lede, plus a performance by Grammy Award winning artist Daya. We've got a lot of YouTube influencers coming & tickets sales are through the roof. It's gonna be another great year.” Also appearing will be several world renowned DJs spinning at The Dinah’s legendary pool & world renowned dance parties. Returning this year will feature go-go dancers, red carpet events with celebrity guests & meet & greets with your favorite celebians & so much more making 2019 shaping into one of their hottest yet. Past Dinah performers have included Snow Tha Product, Jessie Reyes, Tegan & Sara, Katy Perry, Lady GaGa, Meghan Trainor, Iggy Azalea, Eve, Chaka Khan, Salt 'N Pepa, Christina Perri & Natasha Bedingfield just to name a few. New this year at the largest girl party music festival in the world is presenting a chance for an unsigned emerging artist to join the ranks of its illustrious history of musical performers. So there's a reason The Dinah is considered the largest lesbian event in the world because there’s something for everyone at what is expected to be the biggest event to date in 2019!
For More Info & Tix: thedinah.com
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States Advancing LGBTQ Equality

Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order banning discrimination against LGBTQ state employees & Wisconsin’s Governor Tony Evers signed an executive order expanding nondiscrimination protections to transgender state employees. Ian Palmquist, Senior Director of Programs & Equality Federation stated, “In the face of one of the most hostile administrations ever, change continues to be made at the state level, where Americans of every background continue to stand up for fairness & equality. We thank these governors for doing the right thing & applaud the leadership of Equality Michigan & Fair Wisconsin!” Erin Knott, Equality Michigan’s Interim Executive Director added, “Modernizing Michigan’s policies to make it clear that discrimination against LGBTQ people will not be tolerated is long overdue. We are proud to stand alongside Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as she does everything in her power to protect Michigan’s LGBTQ community from discrimination. This is a welcome solution to a problem that our community has faced for far too long, but it is not a substitute for a legislative expansion of the state’s civil rights protections to include the LGBTQ community.” Megin McDonell, Executive Director of Fair Wisconsin, concluded, “Governor Evers heard his constituents loud & clear & took action to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in the workplace. This Executive Order modernizes our state’s internal policies to make sure Wisconsin government employees are judged solely on their job performance, not who they are or who they love. Our state is at its strongest when we’re all free to work hard, earn a decent living & go about our lives without fear of discrimination. Discrimination has no place in our state & this Executive Order is an important step towards making sure our state is a safe place for everyone to live, work & play.”
For More Info: equalityfederation.org 
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Transgender Military Ban Drags On

While Trump continues to disrupt the country with his government shutdown for his ridiculous wall demands our trans community protecting our country in the military were served a blow from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that sided with Trump & overturned a lower court’s ruling that blocked his ban on transgender people serving in the military stating, “In light of the substantial constitutional arguments & the apparent showing that the policy accommodates at least some of plaintiffs’ interests, we think that the public interest weighs in favor of dissolving the injunction.” Aaron Belkin Palm Center Director stated, "The Mattis policy that the DC Circuit upheld is a full ban on transgender troops that would have the same impact as 'don't ask, don't tell,' undermining readiness by forcing troops to live a lie, stigmatizing them & prompting the discharge of honorably serving personnel. All five military Chiefs of Staff have testified that inclusive policy has been a success, with JCS Chairman-designate Mark Milley reporting 'precisely zero' problems. Retired military Surgeons General —the senior medical officers in their services— issued a 55-page report finding that the Trump/Mattis policy is 'wholly unpersuasive' & will harm military readiness. The American Medical Association & six former Surgeons General have confirmed that the Mattis policy is based on dishonest medical assertions. Whipsaws in military personnel policy are damaging to military readiness. This is particularly true at a moment when recruitment is down & the nation lacks a Senate-confirmed Defense Secretary. Acting Secretary Shanahan should confirm what the Chiefs have already stated: inclusive policy is a success & transgender service members continue to be a welcome & successful part of the US military.” For More Info: palmcenter.org
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Historic Diverse U.S. Congress

As Trump’s brat attack government shutdown continues 10 openly LGBTQ people are being sworn in to the 116th U.S. Congress today with Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) & Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to the U.S. Senate & eight to the U.S. House historically becoming the most LGBTQ people to ever serve in either chamber. Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute stated, “A historic number of LGBTQ people will serve in the new U.S. Congress & their influence will shape the debate on equality legislation & issues moving forward. In the U.S. Senate, those opposed to the Equality Act will now need to look two openly LGBTQ Senators in the eyes & tell them their lives are not worth protecting. In the U.S. House, Speaker Pelosi will have 8 LGBTQ Representatives to consult about how various healthcare or criminal justice reform policies uniquely affect our community. The relationships these LGBTQ lawmakers will build with their colleagues on Capitol Hill are transformative & with an unprecedented number of women & people of color also joining the 116th Congress, equality issues will finally receive the attention they deserve.” Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD concluded, “It is a welcome relief that fair-minded, pro-equality lawmakers have returned to the majority in the U.S. House & now it’s time for them to roll up their sleeves & get to work for all marginalized communities, including LGBTQ Americans. As the Trump Administration continues to rollback equality in an effort to erase LGBTQ Americans from the nation, we need allies like Speaker Pelosi fighting for us in Congress.” Let’s hope this new Congress will finally put an end to Trump’s Wall Fantasy & get the Equality Act passed.
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Medical & Legal Lesbian Event

Boston OLOC (Old Lesbians Organizing For Change) will present a very special program entitled “Need to Know: A Medical/Legal Perspective” with Physician Elizabeth Kass & Attorney Michelle LaPointe on Sunday January 6th from 2P to 4P at the Brookline Senior Center at 93 Winchester Street in Brookline, Massachusetts. Dr. Elizabeth Kass & Attorney Michelle LaPointe will be addressing Wills, Health Care Proxies, Power of Attorney, Senior Living Contracts, Long-Term Care Eligibility & more. Sarah Pearlman Founding Member of OLOC-Boston stated, "Let's learn how to protect ourselves. Dr. Elizabeth Kass & Attorney Michelle LaPointe will walk us through what we need to do to ensure that our health & financial wishes are respected & carried out." Elizabeth Kass, MD has been a physician at Fenway Health since 2009. She specializes in Internal Medicine, LGBT Health, Women’s Health & HIV/AIDS Care. She is board certified in Internal Medicine. Attorney Michelle LaPointe was named partner of Wade Horowitz LaPointe LLC in 2011 & is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. She’ll be talking about issues surrounding long-term care planning with a focus on special needs trusts. OLOC Boston programs & events are open to lesbians of all ages, including transgender lesbians. OLOC’s mission includes their commitment to creating communities of older lesbians & solidarity with allies for racial, economic & social justice. Following the event there will be an early dinner at Lemon Grass at 239 Harvard Street in Brookline, MA.
For More Info: spearlman@hartford.edu
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