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No Justice No Pride protestors disrupt Capital Pride parade

Police inclusion in parade, lack of vetting of event sponsors among chief concerns

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D.C. Pride protest, gay news, Washington Blade

No Justice No Pride protesters in action on Saturday (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A group of No Justice No Pride protestors appeared at the Capital Pride parade in Washington Saturday in both a march of their own and a stand-off/blockade that resulted in the Capital Pride parade being re-routed and significantly delayed.

About 3:30 p.m., a couple hundred No Justice No Pride protestors were accompanied by pop hits by Beyonce, Lady Gaga, et. al. blasting from a loudspeaker as the marchers chanted anti-corporate slogans.

Later, another group of No Justice No Pride activists joined hands with a chain-like material on P Street between 15th and 16th streets, N.W., in the planned route of the Pride parade. Ten protestors were in the chain with several other activists surrounding them. On one end, a woman chained herself to a fence; on the other end of the chain, another activist chained herself to a parked vehicle. They chanted slogans and clashed vehemently with several bystanders. Police set up a boxed perimeter and informed members of the press and others to remain outside. Interactions came close to fisticuffs a few times but as far as the Blade reporters could tell, no violence ensued.

Protestors had several concerns, which they distributed on pink sheets and read from. Among them, they demanded that Capital Pride:

• honor the legacy that trans women of color played in the history of Pride by adding more transgender women of color in leadership positions
• more stringently vet which corporations serve as sponsors of Capital Pride
• prevent uniformed police officers, including the LGBT Liaison Unit of D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and military personnel from participating in the parade

See the attached photos for a full list of their demands, which are also available at nojusticenopride.org.

Capital Pride Executive Director Ryan Bos and Treasurer Ashley Smith consulted with police on the best way to proceed. The parade was re-routed and delayed by about 90 minutes.

Following a few more minutes of chanting and listing demands, the activists went down the street to conclude their protest with a rally. No arrests were made.

“We deserve to celebrate Pride without being forced alongside the Police who kill us,” said Angela Peoples, one of the participants, in a No Justice No Pride statement. “Pride should be a haven for the entire LGBTQ community. The Capital Pride Board has shown who it’s prioritizing. No Justice No Pride is for everyone who has previously been excluded and for a different vision of what this event could and should be.”

The Blade will have more later on this unfolding story.

No Justice No Pride’s list of demands of Capital Pride (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C. Pride protest, gay news, Washington Blade

Hundreds marched in a No Justice No Pride march that took place before the Capital Pride Parade (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

 

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107 Comments

107 Comments

  1. MS

    June 10, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    I could almost accept and even agree with their premise: that pride has become overly corporate and almost too big for itself. HOWEVER, their methods, are totally out of control. Their argument that Capital Pride is somehow responsible for, or sanctioning, police violence and racism, is flawed from the start. Pride wouldn’t happen with out the financial support of businesses and the cooperation of the police. I’m sorry there is still racism and issues with police–I don’t support these problems–but to expect that organizers of Pride can personally stop these things, is madness. And the idea that, until those problems are solved, that we can’t have a pride celebration for the accomplishments we have made, is ridiculous! What these selfish and short-sighted people decided to do was to ruin a celebration for thousands of people by aggressively forcing their agenda by disrupting a peaceful celebration. These demands are largely unreasonable. And those that are reasonable, are never going to be accepted by the people you just made enemies of.

    • Damien

      June 11, 2017 at 10:26 am

      Cooperation of the police and INVOLVEMENT of the police are two different things. They arent saying that the police shouldnt be there doing their job… they are saying that the police departments shouldnt be included in the march, which a small group of gay police are.

      • MS

        June 11, 2017 at 11:16 am

        No, that is wrong. Not all police officers are bad, and there are a lot of gay police officers who have done their jobs admirably, so we are supposed to punish them because of their occupation? I understand that a lot of people have been mistreated by police but they are going to have to learn that not all police are going to do that. I refuse to accept that we must tell police officers that they cannot be involved in our festivities, especially those who are doing their jobs with distinction and Valor. I am not about to support making police our enemies.

        • Damien

          June 11, 2017 at 11:55 am

          I dont think they (or I) are suggesting that all police are bad… But you, strangely enough, assume that all the cops involved are good… not just good but doing their jobs with distinction and valor.

          Isnt presuming all cops are good just as ill-informed as presuming they are all bad?

          • MS

            June 11, 2017 at 1:17 pm

            I made no such exclusionary statement, I am under no impression that all cops are good but they’re not all bad either. My point is that you should judge them on the basis of their record and character not on their occupation.

          • SWB

            June 12, 2017 at 10:40 am

            i will not foster the idea that we need to start with a premise that there are as many bad cops as good….which is really what it sounds like you are saying. I believe i live in a society where we can begin with a premise that the great majority of cops are motivated to do the right thing and, yes, have valor.

      • SWB

        June 11, 2017 at 11:23 am

        I have been around a very long time and personally watched the evolution of the relationship of Pride with the police – it has been hard fought and something to be celebrated. I CRIED the first time i saw military marching with us and the participation of the police was nothing short of revolutionary when it happened. There is always more work to be done but exclusion is anti-human.

        • Allan Radossevich

          June 11, 2017 at 2:18 pm

          I think people are not old enough to appreciate the history of the Pride parades. One of my early Prides was during the Anita Bryant’s anti gay trouble. I watched as churches, teachers, police, firefighters, military, lawyers, nurses, doctors, parents and all conceivable groups marched for equality. I have never been so moved and proud. Pride is a time for support and appreciation for our allies.

      • Culture Club Warrior

        June 12, 2017 at 5:00 pm

        So it’s not about people feeling “unsafe” around the police? Does that mean the demand is just being made out of spite?

    • DC Mike

      June 11, 2017 at 10:50 am

      SPOT ON!

    • BeccaIsNasty

      June 12, 2017 at 10:14 am

      “Pride wouldn’t happen with out the financial support of businesses and the cooperation of the police.”

      Yes it would. It would just take a different form and probably a better one.

      • MS

        June 12, 2017 at 10:25 am

        Not possible. Not even the smallest of small town prides happens without some kind of sponsorship. Permits are expensive. Advertising and crowd control are expensive. Capital Pride would CEASE TO EXIST, FULL STOP. If you think otherwise, you don’t have a grasp on reality.

  2. Mark Dobbins

    June 10, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    For a group that claims to have been working for years, why is their website so new – April of 2017? Sounds pretty fishy to me. Are they fronting for someone else? Does anyone know who they actually are?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1de67ddc0c1563d97c7f7886ca20d614bcec37722acd6327a7e7b18cd37bcaff.png For a

    • Gert

      June 11, 2017 at 2:50 am

      No Justice No Pride is being funded and run by an offshoot of the NAACP called The Advancement Project. See The Advancement Project’s Twitter feed from all day Saturday as they posted statements from No Justice No Pride. The spokesman of No Justice No Pride is also employed by the NAACP/The Advancement Project.

      • LesbianTippingHabits

        June 11, 2017 at 6:35 am

        And we can easily figure out who is being the funding.

        Not paying it [he never pays his bills], but a surrogate.

        • Damien

          June 11, 2017 at 6:56 am

          facepalm… the group is not funded by the Right AT ALL. Its an arm of the NAACP and they werent protesting that they disagreed with gays or pro-gay laws… they just protested that they wanted more trans gender women on the Board that plans the parade and that police shouldnt be allowed to march in the parade (because of the police’s perceived involvement in police shootings… hence the justice part.)

          Although they are protesting the march… they are protesting for changes within the LBGT board… they are NOT AGAINST the LBGT effort in general.

          • Am Beco

            June 11, 2017 at 9:31 am

            Right, so they destroy the moment, the moment each gay person waits for….Pride. Good job….there are other ways to get your message across.

          • Damien

            June 11, 2017 at 10:19 am

            lol right…. thats the point of a protest. Surely there are other ways to get their message across… how many of those would result in an article being written that describes their entire viewpoint? The fact that protests force their message on those attending is exactly why protests are used. What you said could be said of ANY protest.

          • MS

            June 11, 2017 at 11:20 am

            Unfortunately radical groups on either side of the aisle tend to insist on ideological Purity, and anybody who isn’t 100% aligned with their ideology they will suffer. Extremist conservatives and extremist liberals use the same tactics to get their way.

          • tj

            June 12, 2017 at 1:44 pm

            They didn’t destroy it, they disrupted but we completed the parade!

          • Am Beco

            June 13, 2017 at 4:38 pm

            So great that you’re okay with that!

          • MS

            June 11, 2017 at 11:19 am

            I can accept and support that there should be trans and people of color representation in the board and in the planning, and that we should work to make sure we are properly including trans and people of color and other minorities within our community. But I absolutely refuse to reject police involvement in our festivities. I understand the issue of police violence and I hate it, I want it to end, but unless a police officer involved in our festivities has abused somebody, they should not be excluded based on their occupation. What they are trying to do is marginalize LGBT police. I will not accept that.

          • Damien

            June 11, 2017 at 12:03 pm

            I do not disagree with this. I was merely explaining their POV.

          • Damien

            June 11, 2017 at 12:16 pm

            In fact, I believe all of the demands of NJNP are all faux demands to attempt to link themselves to the Pride march… their only REAL contention is the removal of police from marching in the parade because the NAACP has tried to, at some level, demonize the police.

            They cant get permits as Black Lives Matter so they have made up a bunch of fake protest groups so that they can continue Black Lives Matter protests without being associated, at least at first glance, with the group.

          • LesbianTippingHabits

            June 11, 2017 at 5:19 pm

            And who is funding that arm of the NAACP?

            At least the NAACP is doing something. Thank you.

          • Damien

            June 11, 2017 at 5:54 pm

            … the NAACP is funding them. YOu dont seem to get it… they arent doing ANYTHING in relation to gay issues… why would they care abotu gay issues? In essence, they dont… They want to push Black Lives Matter protests at every public event… but they cant get permits as Black Lives Matter for a Pride event (no relation)… so they have to make up some new political movement which has a very small relation to the event so they can get permits and then they just protest as Black Lives Matter always would.

          • LesbianTippingHabits

            June 15, 2017 at 6:56 pm

            Thank you. I’ve never suggested that the NAACP has ever done anything, or cared, about gay issues. But I’ve observed the NAACP as somewhat moribund for quite some time, hence the comment that, at least the NAACP is doing something. In noting that the NAACP is doing something, I did not say that I favored what the NAACP is doing. Thank you again.

          • Henson

            June 12, 2017 at 7:25 am

            Then they should allow other LGBT people to speak rather than aggressively shutting down our pride celebration.

      • Am Beco

        June 11, 2017 at 9:30 am

        If true, makes sense. Black people hate cops….

    • Will Kohler

      June 12, 2017 at 6:23 pm

      If you log onto Charity Navigator you can see the Advancement Projects 990’s http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/954/954835230/954835230_201512_990.pdf

  3. Steve Thornton

    June 11, 2017 at 12:24 am

    As a 45 year old member of the DC gay community, I’m extremely disappointed by your actions today, blocking the parade route that thousands of activists and LGBT community members of all sexual orientations, races, sexes, gender identity, and socio-economic status that were planning to march in the parade today.

    I am a gay veteran, who suffered under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and suffered in silence working first in the corporate sector and later in government. I survived two suicide attempts, addiction, and any number of issues that are a direct consequence of the historical oppression we have suffered as a community. I survived, came out, and became an activist to help end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, to win marriage equality, and to work towards a time now when many churches are welcoming LGBT people into their community.

    There was a time when you could not serve as a gay person in the military, attend a church as a gay person, or work in a corporation as an openly gay person. We have fought long and hard, through oppression, an HIV epidemic, and a drug epidemic that have plagued our community to get to a point where companies, government agencies, churches, and even youth groups march with us, lobby for us, and support us.

    Your actions today, protesting a few corporations, displayed a completely, inexcusable, disgusting lack of a historical understanding of the LGBT civil rights movement.

    I am an avid supporter of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. But I do not support your actions today – blocking the parade route of your own community. I wish you had been arrested for your actions.

    I saw people who waited for hours for a chance to march and protest, passing out because of the heat. I saw a young dance troupe, probably age 7 or 8, toward the back of the parade, who probably never got a chance to perform, even though I’m sure they’ve prepared for and looked forward to today for weeks. I saw people of all different races and gender identities waiting hours for a chance to march, as the spectators filed away, due to the extensive delays. All I could feel was sadness and disgust when I saw all of their faces, after learning of your actions and the justification for them today.

    I would strongly encourage you to learn your community’s history of struggle and work with them not against them for the change you seek. I could tell by the news reports, listening to your comments and seeing your faces in video, that you are young and ignorant of the history. It’s really disappointing.

  4. Don Davenport

    June 11, 2017 at 3:28 am

    I knew they would throw something about Muslim victimhood the mix. Are “two spirit communities” considered transreligious?

    • Damien

      June 11, 2017 at 7:00 am

      two spirit communities are simply gay communities on indian land. Being “Two spirit” means being gay in native american culture and it is referred to as such in their laws on the reservations.

    • MS

      June 11, 2017 at 11:21 am

      There is a lot of anti-muslim hatred in this country right now and I see no reason why we can’t be accepting and affirming of Muslims from the LGBT community, so I think your comment is hinting at a little bit of nastiness that has no place here.

      • EastCoastJ

        June 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm

        But it’s also time to wake up to the growing Muslim threat to the gay community. Actually…to gay life.

        • Damien

          June 11, 2017 at 1:20 pm

          I know right… at this rate, the Muslim threat to the gay community may just rise to the level of the christian threat to the gay community. lol

          • EastCoastJ

            June 11, 2017 at 2:47 pm

            The Muslims surpassed Christians already. And that’s what’s infuriating some gay activists. They wanted Christians to remain the biggest homophobic menace. So they hide from stuff like this : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vev-OzHQy94

          • Damien

            June 11, 2017 at 3:09 pm

            lol surpassed the christians…. you’re a joke. Do you actually believe the nonsense you spew?

          • EastCoastJ

            June 11, 2017 at 3:38 pm

            I guess you’re one of those activists I mentioned. So….you just keep pretending..

          • Damien

            June 11, 2017 at 4:18 pm

            lol again…. to claim that muslims have had ANYWHERE NEAR the impact on the gay community as the christians have had in america is blatantly retarded. You sir… must be retarded.

          • EastCoastJ

            June 11, 2017 at 4:38 pm

            Maybe not in the past. But they sure do now. Or…WILL do now if it’s not nipped in the bud. When such a miniscule part of the U.S. population has already attempted the mass murder of gays four times (with only the Pulse massacre being successful)…I’d say it’s not a good idea to increase the Muslim population in the U.S., unlike what so many self-hating gays seem to espouse. And aside from that, let’s hear of one Muslim-majority country or territory that doesn’t have severe punishments (some even capital punishment) for homosexual acts. Unlike Christian or Jewish majority countries.

          • Damien

            June 11, 2017 at 5:39 pm

            And again…. that is NOTHING compared to what christians have done to gays…. Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about. Should prob stop talking,.

            Btw… in the UK it was a capital offense to be gay from 1563 to 1861. In the US it was a capital offense to be gay up until 1873. Nearly half of US history has had being gay as an offense punishable by death. (Note it remained a felony, not punishable by death, but by a min 1 year in prison up until 2003… And even then the laws were only changed by the Supreme Court invalidating them (lawrence v texas)… so of the 240 years of the US, 227 of those years gays were CRIMINALLY PUNISHED.)

            “let’s hear of one Muslim-majority country or territory that doesn’t have severe punishments (some even capital punishment) for homosexual acts.” Quite simple… there are only 9 countries that currently have the death penalty for homosexuality. Note PEW has estimated there are over 50 countries in the world that are considered muslim countries…. You said name one…. in fact over 80% of muslim countries dont have that policy….

            Do you EVER fact check yourself? You should…. it makes you look like you dont know what youre talking about. ahem, it SHOWS that you dont know what youre talking about.

          • SkeeterVT

            June 11, 2017 at 6:13 pm

            I repeat . . . Tell that to ISIS!

          • Damien

            June 11, 2017 at 6:15 pm

            again tell what to them? tell them that america did the same thing for over a hundred years too, but for christians beliefs? lol…

          • EastCoastJ

            June 12, 2017 at 12:51 am

            But the Muslim countries that don’t have capital punishment for homosexual acts have public flogging and imprisonment. Sorry…but less and less people are going to be pretending along with you as Muslim homophobia becomes more and more open. And at this point you’re really just a collaborator with Islam and should be brought before the pulse victims’ familes or the parents of the Manchester victims to decide what should be done with you. (And Damien is a tired and pretentious name).

          • EastCoastJ

            June 12, 2017 at 12:57 am

            FOUR times Muslims tried to mass murder gays in the U.S. You’re not getting away from that fact. And the west coast one would have claimed far more victims than the Pulse massacre.

          • MS

            June 12, 2017 at 10:32 am

            Banning Muslims from our country and building walls WON’T STOP ISIS terrorism. It just won’t. in fact, it will help them recruit! They recruit using videos of American politicians demonizing Muslims! Your own racist hatred is what helps them recruit. Congratulations, you’re sponsoring terrorism!

          • EastCoastJ

            June 12, 2017 at 12:01 pm

            Who is talking about ISIS ? Mainstream moderate Muslims want gays dead too.

          • EastCoastJ

            June 12, 2017 at 12:13 pm

            And how am I “racist” ? I hate Muslims, and that’s not a race. I hate the white ones in Chechnya who are putting gay men in concentration camps and Asian ones in Indonesia who are publicly flogging gay men. Black ones and Middle Eastern ones are no better.

          • Mark Hatchett

            June 13, 2017 at 8:15 am

            Muslim is not a race.

          • EastCoastJ

            June 12, 2017 at 1:00 am

            And, of course, you’re also hiding from the new Dachau and Auschwitz set up by Muslims in Chechnya. For gay men.

          • Mark Hatchett

            June 13, 2017 at 8:14 am

            It must be quite time consuming to be a muslim apologist.

          • SkeeterVT

            June 11, 2017 at 6:12 pm

            Tell that to ISIS, who routinely EXECUTES anyone they suspect of being gay!

          • Damien

            June 11, 2017 at 6:14 pm

            And again… since you clearly didnt read…. that was the case in America as well for half of its history….

          • MS

            June 12, 2017 at 10:24 am

            Tell that to Timothy McVey who executed 189 men, women, and CHILDREN that he didn’t like, because of their parents’ occupation. Or the movie theater shooter, or the Newton and Virginia Tech shooters. The Fort Hood shooter…. the list goes on!

          • EastCoastJ

            June 12, 2017 at 11:58 am

            That wasn’t a homophobic attack.

          • EastCoastJ

            June 12, 2017 at 12:00 pm

            All you’re doing is listing mass murders that have nothing to do with anti-gay sentiments. IF you want me to list the non-gay-specific Muslim massacres in the U.S. I’ll be glad to go there too. Because those victims outnumber all of these too (AND from a much smaller group in the U.S.).

          • EastCoastJ

            June 12, 2017 at 12:08 pm

            The Fort Hood shooter was an American-born Muslim, just like with the Pulse massacre.

          • Culture Club Warrior

            June 12, 2017 at 11:00 pm

            Are you seriously arguing over which religion’s followers have killed fewer gay people?

          • EastCoastJ

            June 12, 2017 at 11:57 am

            How many gays did they kill ?

          • EastCoastJ

            June 12, 2017 at 12:04 pm

            9-11 alone beats the numbers of victims of every one of those put together.

        • LesbianTippingHabits

          June 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm

          I am certain that everyone agrees that there is Absolutely No Connection between Islam and Pulse June 12, 2016.

          • Damien

            June 11, 2017 at 6:22 pm

            Ummm… I think the consensus is that there was a very loose, if any, connection with ISIS. The shooting was clearly related to Islam, namely this particular believer’s hatred of the gay community which was fueled. The shooter spoke of islamic leaders, and islamic politics… namely the bombing of his country by the US.

            Not sure anyone with a brain cell in their brain can suggest the killings had NO CONNECTION to islam.

          • LesbianTippingHabits

            June 11, 2017 at 9:57 pm

            Then why is it politically incorrect to suggest a connection between Islam and Pulse?

          • Damien

            June 11, 2017 at 10:08 pm

            I think its politically incorrect to suggest that it was solely BECAUSE he was muslim or to suggest that somehow all muslims think and act like him…. Im not sure how it could be politically incorrect to suggest that islam, though not entirely driving what occurred, the attack and its motives is to some not insignificant extent related to islam.

        • MS

          June 12, 2017 at 10:22 am

          No. Bullshit. The real threat to our community, here in the United States, is domestic terrorism. Radical Christian White extremists. You are far more likely to be killed by one of them than you are by a Muslim. Stop with this ridiculous xenophobic paranoia! Just because I’m not fully on board with this group’s goals DOES NOT mean I will accept or agree with your disgusting far-right views! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bc7127428b7e86823877f8ed71cdde173d9580e6df0c9c084caf09cd6f5dacf4.jpg

          • EastCoastJ

            June 12, 2017 at 12:02 pm

            Which of those people attacked gays except for Rudolf ?

          • MS

            June 13, 2017 at 8:17 am

            I’m not going to fuel your prejudice.

          • EastCoastJ

            June 12, 2017 at 8:25 pm

            Actually, never mind. Eric Rudolph isn’t in that rogue’s gallery. So….NONE of those pictured were anti-gay attackers.

  5. EastCoastJ

    June 11, 2017 at 4:19 am

    Looks like you have to be a fat slob to be in the No Justice No Pride bunch. No wonder they’re bitter.

    • MS

      June 11, 2017 at 11:22 am

      I disagree with their tactics but come on are you really going to resort to body shaming people? That does not legitimize your point of you at all. That’s not right. That’s exactly the kind of nastiness we don’t need.

      • EastCoastJ

        June 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm

        I understand your point. But some people are SO ridiculous that’s the only response they merit.

  6. scooternva

    June 11, 2017 at 6:31 am

    NJNP are a pathetic gaggle of disrespectful, know-nothing punks. All that they were interested in was self-aggrandizement and rabble-rousing. SHAME.

  7. peteperry

    June 11, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Of course it was a cis white guy shouting shame. smh

    • MS

      June 11, 2017 at 11:24 am

      I observed a hefty amount of people of color and Latinos who were equally upset about this group, so I don’t find it particularly helpful that you’re trying to paint anyone who objects to their methods and tactics as a white racist.

      • NoMoreNeolibs

        June 11, 2017 at 12:32 pm

        Yeah, funny how they miss that when spoiling to use the new battle cry ‘CIS’.

  8. Justin

    June 11, 2017 at 8:22 am

    What a bunch of lazy idiots. If you want change, attend some of the open pride meetings throughout the year. Capital Pride puts a ton of work into this event. While you’re siting at home doing nothing. The world is a scary place right now. Thanks to the police, FBI and other agencies that kept us safe.

    • NoMoreNeolibs

      June 11, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      Correction: While they’re sitting home stirring each other up on Reddit trying to find a way to claw to the top of the victim heap and claim some activist cash.

      • LesbianTippingHabits

        June 11, 2017 at 5:15 pm

        Exactly. Follow the money (or aspirations for it). It’s that simple.

        Just like tipping generously for good service! Thank you.

      • Scott Green

        June 12, 2017 at 4:36 pm

        You know that NJNP is directly opposed to neoliberalism, right?

    • Scott Green

      June 12, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      They did go to the open meetings, and the cis, (mostly) white, well-to-do gays and lesbians didn’t want to have anything to do with inclusion for marginalized groups. They didn’t seem to see anything wrong with the participation of imperialist entities like the CIA and offense contractors, banks that fund private prisons and killer pipelines, and the police that maintain this whole damn system. They also seen to forget that Pride commemorates Stonewall, which was a riot vs. the police!
      Thus, it was time for Plan B.
      I’m closely allied to the folks composing NJNP, and they are the furthest thing from lazy.

      • Culture Club Warrior

        June 12, 2017 at 5:04 pm

        They went to multiple meetings, or just the most recent one?

      • Will Kohler

        June 12, 2017 at 6:20 pm

        Ever try to volunteer and help make change from within instead of demanding?

  9. Am Beco

    June 11, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Identitarian politics is the new racism…..what started out as a demand for sexual freedom and equality, is now some sort of political football. I am against bashing cops, because we all know, when you’re in trouble, who ya gonna call? Thats right, a cop….Support our local police, its a tough job

  10. DC Mike

    June 11, 2017 at 10:49 am

    This SMALL group, believes they OWN Pride Celebrations. They believe they’re somehow more “Prideful” then the rest of us, and therefore THIER DEMANDS should be met. They have ZERO interest in compromising or working with others. Sad really, because they have SOME valid concerns.

    • Culture Club Warrior

      June 12, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      Don’t you know that they started the whole Pride movement? Nobody thought to do it until just a few years ago.

      • Will Kohler

        June 12, 2017 at 5:40 pm

        Actually they didn’t. New York gay activist groups held their own pride parade, known as the Christopher Street Liberation Day, to recall the events of Stonewall one year earlier. On November 2, 1969, Craig Rodwell, his partner Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, and Linda Rhodes proposed the first gay pride parade to be held in New York City by way of a resolution at the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations (ERCHO) meeting in Philadelphia – Also there were hundreds of people involved in the Stonewall Riots of all colors and genderd and there were even straight people involved.

        • Culture Club Warrior

          June 12, 2017 at 10:51 pm

          I was being sarcastic. Quite badly, it would appear.

  11. Mark S. King

    June 11, 2017 at 11:29 am

    The comments make me weep for our community. The protesters were “lazy,” “fat,” and funded by a black national organization? We have met the enemy, and it is us. #StonewallWasARiot

    • Damien

      June 11, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      … they are in fact funded by the NAACP… lol

      • LesbianTippingHabits

        June 11, 2017 at 5:14 pm

        Well, at least the NAACP is doing something. Thank you.

        • Henson

          June 12, 2017 at 7:35 am

          Doing something? All I saw them doing was selfishly shutting down all speech but their own while demonizing the police, Lockheed Martin, and Wells Fargo employees at pride.

          Their sanctimony is unwarranted and unwelcome. They don’t speak out. They shut down speech with which they disagree. A bunch of kids who think protest is its own end, backed by greedy, selfish people pocketing donations. Not useful. Not effective. Not welcome. Not Pride.

    • EastCoastJ

      June 11, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      But….but…they’re fat !

    • Henson

      June 12, 2017 at 7:30 am

      I didn’t think they were fat. I thought they were unwelcome, as did my boyfriend. We intentionally turned our backs to them as they prevented gay people from celebrating pride because they’ve appointed themselves the purity police. I will never, ever give them money, time, or the attention they so crave. They made an enemy this weekend, and I’m not the only one.

  12. SWB

    June 11, 2017 at 11:29 am

    I was at the parade yesterday….and missed it. I waited with my disabled spouse, and my very elderly mother…we waited and waited and waited. Eventually, we went home. I have been around a very long time and personally watched the evolution of the relationship of Pride with the police – it has been hard fought and something to be celebrated. I CRIED the first time i saw military marching with us and the participation of the police was nothing short of revolutionary when it happened. There is always more work to be done but exclusion is anti-human.

  13. NoMoreNeolibs

    June 11, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Another bunch of opportunists trying to make names for themselves by attacking their own. The HRC is full of them. Follow the money. The right wing coverage: “The queers can’t even get along at their own parade, the Left is in a meltdown”. THE DEBATE OF CORPORAtiZATION OF PRIDE IS NOTHING NEW.

    • Damien

      June 11, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      NJNP dont care about the corporate sponsors of Pride… they have ONE concern, all the other demands are faux demands. They want to protest police involvement with ANY group because of their perceptions of the police as violent towards african americans.

      Black Lives Matter cant get permits to protest at events that have nothing to do with the police… so the NAACP has orchestrated lots of faux protest groups who push lame agenda items only to associate themselves somehow with the event to get a permit… Then they protest what they always protested… the police.

      • LesbianTippingHabits

        June 11, 2017 at 5:13 pm

        The real issue is, of course, respect.

        It’s easy enough for Capital Pride to show them some respect – by hiring their leaders as diversity consultants to help ensure successful community outreach. Thank you.

  14. brian_manDC

    June 11, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    NJNP’s presence at Pride yesterday profoundly influenced me. First, NJNP’s behavior substantiated the necessity of (and basically guaranteed indefinitely, into the future) the involvement, at Pride events, of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Second, despite NJNP’s overt lawbreaking disobedience, instigation and agitation, MPD reacted (as usual) with admirable professionalism and restraint. NJNP created a difficult environment Saturday that demonstrated and highlighted that the alleged police brutality about which NJNP protests was, as usual, nowhere to be found. Third, in the weeks leading up to Pride, I and others read with some ambivalence about NJNP’s indiscriminate criticisms of law enforcement and corporations. Now, having witnessed, first hand, their disruptive public tantrum at Capital Pride, NJNP brought me and numerous other Dupont/Logan residents to a clear realization: Capital Pride and MPD are very welcome in our neighborhood, whereas NJNP and its agenda are not.

  15. Addison

    June 11, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    They want to be victims. The fact is: if they want a different kind of Pride parade, then they should just go out and do it instead of interfering with the current one. They want to position themselves as powerless at the hands of the parade organizers. But why aren’t they joining the organization and working for change instead of whining and complaining?

  16. Victor T Cypert

    June 11, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    So instead of sharing concerns, “allies” decide to hijack a celebration that many use to commemorate those they lost to HIV/AIDS and gay-bashing? Um. No. No more. No. Say it first before you get your panties in a wad. A lot of people died to make Pride proud–respect that fact or get bent.

  17. Henson

    June 11, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    I was blocked on social media by GetEQUAL for disagreeing publicly with their protest action at DC Pride this year. They blocked me for criticizing their criticism of Pride, and then had shill accounts respond to my comment knowing I would be unable to respond. Take from that what you will.

    If you think that’s inexcusable behavior from an organization looking for allies, or one which pretends to work for the benefit of LGBT people, block them yourselves, unsubscribe from their emails, refuse to donate to their fundraising campaigns – and send them a nice email telling them exactly why.

  18. Cole Carter

    June 12, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Unhappy, self identified victim spewing their own brand of hatred. Another reason to avoid the “Pride Celebrations” I’m not proud, but not ashamed either. I really do feel as if I have nothing in common with these people.

  19. Am Beco

    June 13, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    The Left with protest anything….There’s nothing they wont protest, apparently!

  20. Julian Arias

    June 13, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Since gay marriage was legalized by SCOTUS, gay men have moved to the right on every kind social issue: race, immigration, economics, terrorism, foreign policy, but you should know that the Democratic party will never win election if African Americans and Latinos start staying at home alienated by the arrogance and the not so veiled racism of the social liberal and affluent white liberals. Why Do you all live in Cities that are liberal thanks to the votes of PoC who elect liberal politicians? When you are going to move back to such progressive paradises like The Dakotas, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Dixie? If the problems of the PoC are a nuisance to you, just get out of the D.C (a black majority city) and return to middle America, your natural place, where the brown plebs will never ruin and crash your parties.

  21. BruceMajors4DC

    June 18, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Obviously the only solution is to ban all white men from Pride. They should just have their own events at Rehoboth, or the Crew Club, or Hillwood Gardens.

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Top 10 Blade news stories by web traffic

COVID breakthroughs, Equality Act, and anti-trans attacks

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Elliot Page created excitement by posting his first photo in swim trunks back in May.

Each year our staff gathers in late December to review the highest trafficked stories of the year and there’s more than a little bit of competitive spirit as we review the results. Here are the top 10 stories by web traffic at  HYPERLINK “http://washingtonblade.com”washingtonblade.com for 2021.

#10: Mark Glaze, gun reform advocate, dies at 51

The sad, tragic story of Glaze’s death captivated readers in November. 

#9: COVID breakthrough infections strike summer tourists visiting Provincetown

This one went viral in July after a COVID outbreak was blamed on gay tourists.

#8: Thank you, Kordell Stewart, for thoughtful response to ‘the rumor’

This opinion piece thanked the former NFL quarterback for writing a personal essay addressing gay rumors. 

#7: Elliot Page tweets; trans bb’s first swim trunks #transjoy #transisbeautiful

The actor created excitement by posting his first photo in swim trunks back in May.

#6: Romney declares opposition to LGBTQ Equality Act

Mitt Romney disappointed activists with his announcement; the Equality Act passed the House but never saw a vote in the Senate.

#5: White House warns state legislatures that passing anti-trans bills is illegal

The year 2021 saw a disturbing trend of GOP-led legislatures attacking trans people.

#4: Lincoln Project’s avowed ignorance of Weaver texts undercut by leaked communications

The Lincoln Project’s leaders, amid a scandal of co-founder John Weaver soliciting sexual favors from young men, have asserted they were unaware of his indiscretions until the Blade obtained electronic communications that called that claim into question.

#3: FOX 5’s McCoy suspended over offensive Tweet

Blake McCoy tweeted that obese people shouldn’t get priority for the COVID vaccine. 

#2: Transgender USAF veteran trapped in Taliban takeover of Kabul

Among the Americans trapped in the suburban areas of Kabul under Taliban control was a transgender government contractor for the U.S. State Department and former U.S. Air Force Sergeant. She was later safely evacuated.

#1: Amid coup chaos, Trump quietly erases LGBTQ protections in adoption, health services

And our most popular story of 2021 was about the Trump administration nixing regulations barring federal grantees in the Department of Health & Human Services from discriminating against LGBTQ people, including in adoption services.

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CDC still falling short on LGBTQ data collection for COVID patients: expert

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COVID-19 vaccine, gay news, Washington Blade
The CDC is still not issuing guidance to states on LGBTQ data collection among COVID patients.

Despite requests since the start of the COVID pandemic for the U.S. government to enhance data collection for patients who are LGBTQ, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention is still falling short on issuing nationwide guidance to states on the issue, a leading expert health on the issue told the Blade.

With a renewed focus on COVID infections reaching new heights just before the start of the holidays amid the emergence of Omicron, the absence of any LGBTQ data collection — now across both the Trump and Biden administrations — remains a sore point for health experts who say that information could be used for public outreach.

Sean Cahill, director of Health Policy Research at the Boston-based Fenway Institute, said Wednesday major federal entities and hospitals have been collecting data on whether patients identify as LGBTQ for years — such as the National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey, which has been collecting sexual orientation data since the 1990s — but the CDC hasn’t duplicated that effort for COVID even though the pandemic has been underway for two years.

“It’s not like this is a new idea,” Cahill said. “But for some reason, the pandemic hit, and all of a sudden, we realize how little systematic data we were collecting in our health system. And it’s a real problem because we’re two years into the pandemic almost, and we still don’t know how it’s affecting this vulnerable population that experiences health disparities in other areas.”

The Blade was among the first outlets to report on the lack of efforts by the states to collect data on whether a COVID patient identifies as LGBTQ, reporting in April 2020 on the absence of data even in places with influential LGBTQ communities. The CDC hasn’t responded to the Blade’s requests for nearly two years on why it doesn’t instruct states to collect this data, nor did it respond this week to a request for comment on this article.

Cahill, who has published articles in the American Journal of Public Health on the importance of LGBTQ data collection and reporting in COVID-19 testing, care, and vaccination — said he’s been making the case to the CDC to issue guidance to states on whether COVID patients identify as LGBTQ since June 2020.

Among those efforts, he said, were to include two comments he delivered to the Biden COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force in spring 2021, a letter a coalition of groups sent to the Association of State & Territorial Health Officers asking for states to collect and report SOGI in COVID in December 2020 as well as letters to HHS leadership and congressional leadership in spring and summer 2020 asking for them to take steps to encourage or require SOGI data collection in COVID.

Asked what CDC officials had to say in response when he brought this issue to their attention, Cahill said, “They listen, but they don’t really tell me anything.”

“We’ve been making that case, and to date, as of December 22, 2021, they have not issued guidance, they have not changed the case report form. I hope that they’re in the process of doing that, and maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised in January, and they’ll come up with something…I really hope that’s true, but right now they’re not doing anything to promote SOGI data collection and reporting in surveillance data.”

Cahill, in an email to the Blade after the initial publication of this article, clarified CDC has indicated guidance on LGBTQ data collection for COVID patients may come in the near future.

“HHS leaders told us this fall that CDC is working on an initiative to expand SOGI data collection,” Cahill said. “We are hopeful that we will see guidance early in 2022. Key people at CDC, including Director Walensky, understand the importance of SOGI data collection given their long history of working on HIV prevention.”

In other issues related to LGBTQ data collection, there has been a history of states resisting federal mandates. The Trump administration, for example, rescinded guidance calling on states to collect information on whether foster youth identified as LGBTQ after complaints from states on the Obama-era process, much to the consternation of LGBTQ advocates who said the data was helpful.

The White House COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force has at least recognized the potential for enhancing LGBTQ data collection efforts. Last month, it published an implementation plan, calling for “an equity-centered approach to data collection, including sufficient funding to collect data for groups that are often left out of data collection (e.g….LGBTQIA+ people).”

The plan also calls for “fund[ing] activities to improve data collection…including tracking COVID-19 related outcomes for people of color and other underserved populations,” and specifically calls for the collection of LGBTQ data.

The importance of collecting LGBTQ data, Cahill said, is based on its potential use in public outreach, including efforts to recognize disparities in health population and to create messaging for outreach, including for populations that may be reluctant to take the vaccine.

“If we see a disparity, we can say: Why is that?” Cahill said. “We could do focus groups of the population — try to understand and then what kind of messages would reassure you and make you feel comfortable getting a vaccine, and we could push those messages out through public education campaigns led by state local health departments led by the federal government.”

The LGBTQ data, Cahill said, could be broken down further to determine if racial and ethnic disparities exist within the LGBTQ population, or whether LGBTQ people are likely to suffer from the disease in certain regions, such as the South.

“We have data showing that lesbian or bisexual women, and transgender people are less likely to be in preventive regular routine care for their health,” Cahill said. “And so if that’s true, there’s a good chance that they’re less likely to know where to get a vaccine, to have a medical professional they trust to talk to about it today.”

Among the leaders who are supportive, Cahill said, is Rachel Levine, assistant secretary for health and the first openly transgender person confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a presidential appointment. Cahill said he raised the issue with her along with other officials at the Department of Health & Human Services three times in the last year.

In her previous role as Pennsylvania secretary of health, Levine led the way and made her state the first in the nation to set up an LGBTQ data collection system for COVID patients.

“So she definitely gets it, and I know she’s supportive of it, but we really need the CDC to act,” Cahill said.

Although the federal government has remained intransigent in taking action, Cahill said the situation has improved among states and counted five states — California, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Nevada and Oregon — in addition to D.C. as among those that have elected to collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity of COVID patients.

However, Cahill said even those data collection efforts are falling short because those jurisdictions have merely been public about collecting the data, but haven’t reported back anything yet.

“Only California has reported data publicly, and the data that they’re reporting is really just the completeness of the data,” Cahill said. “They’re not reporting the data itself…And they’re also just asking people who tests positive. So, if somebody says positive COVID in California, a contact tracer follows up with that individual and asks them a battery of questions, and among the questions that are asked are SOGI questions.”

As a result of these efforts, Cahill said, California has data on the LGBTQ status of COVID patients, but the data is overwhelmingly more complete for the gender identity of these patients rather than their sexual orientation. As of May 2021, California reported that they had sexual orientation data for 9.5 percent of individuals who had died from COVID and 16 percent of people who tested positive, but for gender identity, the data were 99.5 percent.

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Equality Act, contorted as a danger by anti-LGBTQ forces, is all but dead

No political willpower to force vote or reach a compromise

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Despite having President Biden in the White House and Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress, efforts to update federal civil rights laws to strengthen the prohibition on discrimination against LGBTQ people by passing the Equality Act are all but dead as opponents of the measure have contorted it beyond recognition.

Political willpower is lacking to find a compromise that would be acceptable to enough Republican senators to end a filibuster on the bill — a tall order in any event — nor is there the willpower to force a vote on the Equality Act as opponents stoke fears about transgender kids in sports and not even unanimity in the Democratic caucus in favor of the bill is present, stakeholders who spoke to the Blade on condition of anonymity said.

In fact, there are no imminent plans to hold a vote on the legislation even though Pride month is days away, which would be an opportune time for Congress to demonstrate solidarity with the LGBTQ community by holding a vote on the legislation.

If the Equality Act were to come up for a Senate vote in the next month, it would not have the support to pass. Continued assurances that bipartisan talks are continuing on the legislation have yielded no evidence of additional support, let alone the 10 Republicans needed to end a filibuster.

“I haven’t really heard an update either way, which is usually not good,” one Democratic insider said. “My understanding is that our side was entrenched in a no-compromise mindset and with [Sen. Joe] Manchin saying he didn’t like the bill, it doomed it this Congress. And the bullying of hundreds of trans athletes derailed our message and our arguments of why it was broadly needed.”

The only thing keeping the final nail from being hammered into the Equality Act’s coffin is the unwillingness of its supporters to admit defeat. Other stakeholders who spoke to the Blade continued to assert bipartisan talks are ongoing, strongly pushing back on any conclusion the legislation is dead.

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said the Equality Act is “alive and well,” citing widespread public support he said includes “the majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents and a growing number of communities across the country engaging and mobilizing every day in support of the legislation.”

“They understand the urgent need to pass this bill and stand up for LGBTQ people across our country,” David added. “As we engage with elected officials, we have confidence that Congress will listen to the voices of their constituents and continue fighting for the Equality Act through the lengthy legislative process.  We will also continue our unprecedented campaign to grow the already-high public support for a popular bill that will save lives and make our country fairer and more equal for all. We will not stop until the Equality Act is passed.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), chief sponsor of the Equality Act in the Senate, also signaled through a spokesperson work continues on the legislation, refusing to give up on expectations the legislation would soon become law.

“Sen. Merkley and his staff are in active discussions with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to try to get this done,” McLennan said. “We definitely see it as a key priority that we expect to become law.”

A spokesperson Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who had promised to force a vote on the Equality Act in the Senate on the day the U.S. House approved it earlier this year, pointed to a March 25 “Dear Colleague” letter in which he identified the Equality Act as one of several bills he’d bring up for a vote.

Despite any assurances, the hold up on the bill is apparent. Although the U.S. House approved the legislation earlier this year, the Senate Judiciary Committee hasn’t even reported out the bill yet to the floor in the aftermath of the first-ever Senate hearing on the bill in March. A Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic aide, however, disputed that inaction as evidence the Equality Act is dead in its tracks: “Bipartisan efforts on a path forward are ongoing.”

Democrats are quick to blame Republicans for inaction on the Equality Act, but with Manchin withholding his support for the legislation they can’t even count on the entirety of their caucus to vote “yes” if it came to the floor. Progressives continue to advocate an end to the filibuster to advance legislation Biden has promised as part of his agenda, but even if they were to overcome headwinds and dismantle the institution needing 60 votes to advance legislation, the Equality Act would likely not have majority support to win approval in the Senate with a 50-50 party split.

The office of Manchin, who has previously said he couldn’t support the Equality Act over concerns about public schools having to implement the transgender protections applying to sports and bathrooms, hasn’t responded to multiple requests this year from the Blade on the legislation and didn’t respond to a request to comment for this article.

Meanwhile, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who declined to co-sponsor the Equality Act this year after having signed onto the legislation in the previous Congress, insisted through a spokesperson talks are still happening across the aisle despite the appearances the legislation is dead.

“There continues to be bipartisan support for passing a law that protects the civil rights of Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Annie Clark, a Collins spokesperson. “The Equality Act was a starting point for negotiations, and in its current form, it cannot pass. That’s why there are ongoing discussions among senators and stakeholders about a path forward.”

Let’s face it: Anti-LGBTQ forces have railroaded the debate by making the Equality Act about an end to women’s sports by allowing transgender athletes and danger to women in sex-segregated places like bathrooms and prisons. That doesn’t even get into resolving the issue on drawing the line between civil rights for LGBTQ people and religious freedom, which continues to be litigated in the courts as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected any day now to issue a ruling in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia to determine if foster care agencies can reject same-sex couples over religious objections.

For transgender Americans, who continue to report discrimination and violence at high rates, the absence of the Equality Act may be most keenly felt.

Mara Keisling, outgoing executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, disputed any notion the Equality Act is dead and insisted the legislation is “very much alive.”

“We remain optimistic despite misinformation from the opposition,” Keisling said. “NCTE and our movement partners are still working fruitfully on the Equality Act with senators. In fact, we are gaining momentum with all the field organizing we’re doing, like phone banking constituents to call their senators. Legislating takes time. Nothing ever gets through Congress quickly. We expect to see a vote during this Congress, and we are hopeful we can win.”

But one Democratic source said calls to members of Congress against the Equality Act, apparently coordinated by groups like the Heritage Foundation, have has outnumbered calls in favor of it by a substantial margin, with a particular emphasis on Manchin.

No stories are present in the media about same-sex couples being kicked out of a restaurant for holding hands or transgender people for using the restroom consistent with their gender identity, which would be perfectly legal in 25 states thanks to the patchwork of civil rights laws throughout the United States and inadequate protections under federal law.

Tyler Deaton, senior adviser for the American Unity Fund, which has bolstered the Republican-led Fairness for All Act as an alternative to the Equality Act, said he continues to believe the votes are present for a compromise form of the bill.

“I know for a fact there is a supermajority level of support in the Senate for a version of the Equality Act that is fully protective of both LGBTQ civil rights and religious freedom,” Deaton said. “There is interest on both sides of the aisle in getting something done this Congress.”

Deaton, however, didn’t respond to a follow-up inquiry on what evidence exists of agreeing on this compromise.

Biden has already missed the goal he campaigned on in the 2020 election to sign the Equality Act into law within his first 100 days in office. Although Biden renewed his call to pass the legislation in his speech to Congress last month, as things stand now that appears to be a goal he won’t realize for the remainder of this Congress.

Nor has the Biden administration made the Equality Act an issue for top officials within the administration as it pushes for an infrastructure package as a top priority. One Democratic insider said Louisa Terrell, legislative affairs director for the White House, delegated work on the Equality Act to a deputy as opposed to handling it herself.

To be sure, Biden has demonstrated support for the LGBTQ community through executive action at an unprecedented rate, signing an executive order on day one ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in Bostock v. Clayton County to the fullest extent possible and dismantling former President Trump’s transgender military ban. Biden also made historic LGBTQ appointments with the confirmation of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Rachel Levine as assistant secretary of health.

A White House spokesperson insisted Biden’s team across the board remains committed to the Equality Act, pointing to his remarks to Congress.

“President Biden has urged Congress to get the Equality Act to his desk so he can sign it into law and provide long overdue civil rights protections to LGBTQ+ Americans, and he remains committed to seeing this legislation passed as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said. “The White House and its entire legislative team remains in ongoing and close coordination with organizations, leaders, members of Congress, including the Equality Caucus, and staff to ensure we are working across the aisle to push the Equality Act forward.”

But at least in the near-term, that progress will fall short of fulfilling the promise of updating federal civil rights law with the Equality Act, which will mean LGBTQ people won’t be able to rely on those protections when faced with discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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