lgbtq

"I'm beyond horrified to hear his story," Kevin Spacey says of fellow actor Anthony Rapp, who accused Spacey of making a physical sexual advance toward him when Rapp was 14 years old.

Spacey has apologized; he also says he can't remember the incident. Spacey is also being criticized for using his statement of contrition as a platform for coming out as a gay man.

After an outcry from advisers to the U.S. Census Bureau, the federal agency is no longer considering a proposal to remove a question about sexual orientation from a marketing survey for the 2020 Census.

Bedecked in fondant and flowers, modern wedding cakes are the centerpiece of the marriage feast — an edible form of art. But are they also an expression of free speech?

That is the question the Supreme Court will consider this fall when it hears the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a custom wedding cake for a gay couple because he said it would violate his religious beliefs.

"You'd think cake would be apolitical, and yet here we are," muses baker Catherine George of Catherine George Cakes.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Earlier this year, Octavia Yearwood was talking with her good friend Najja Moon about how hard it is to meet other lesbian women in South Florida.

“I was sitting on a stool, she was sitting on a swing chair and we were like,  'Yo, for real, where are all the lesbians in Miami?' "

Moon didn’t quite have the answer, but she wanted to explore how to make those connections. Together, the women launched Lunchbox Miami, a monthly meet-up for lesbian, bisexual and queer women.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is leaving an Obama-era policy on transgender military service members largely intact, saying he needs input from an expert panel to determine the best way to implement President Trump's ban that would keep transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.

Trump barred transgender would-be recruits from signing up, but he gave Mattis discretion to decide the status of transgender people who are already serving.

Updated at 7:25 p.m.

President Trump has signed a memo implementing his new policy on transgender people serving in the armed forces.

A senior White House official told reporters that no transgender individuals will be allowed to join the armed services unless and until the secretary of defense and secretary of homeland security recommend otherwise.

The leading Democrats running for Florida governor met with gay and lesbian party members Saturday in an event that at times was touching and personal, and served as a reminder that Florida is a place where people can still be discriminated against because of who they love.

When 49 people were killed at a gay nightclub in Florida in 2016, Gov. Rick Scott publicly offered his sympathy to the victims' families and the LGBT community.

Five openly transgender members of the U.S. military are suing President Trump and other leaders of the U.S. government over Trump's declaration, over Twitter, that trans people will no longer be allowed to serve in the U.S. military. The suit alleges that Trump's directive is "arbitrary and capricious," unconstitutionally depriving the service members of due process.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

About 20 people gathered on the steps of Key West City Hall Thursday afternoon to protest President Donald Trump's declaration that transgender people would no longer be allowed to serve in the military.

Mark Ebenhoch organized the protest. He spent 23 years in the Marines and he said local elected officials should take a public stand.

"You need to speak out and say, 'It's wrong.' Whether or not you voted for Trump makes no difference," Ebenhoch said. "It is wrong, period, and you need to say so. Because silence basically is condonement."

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

The nation's highest-ranking military officer said Thursday that the Defense Department was making "no modifications" to current policy regarding transgender service members until President Trump gives more direction.

Updated: 9:27 a.m.

President Trump's announcement that he wants to ban transgender people from serving in the military could mean a historic reversal in the Pentagon's long-term trend of lowering barriers to service.

Or it could be a speed bump on a course the Defense Department was already following.

The question in Washington following Trump's post on Twitter Wednesday morning was: Which will it be?

Almost no one other than Trump himself had any idea what he intended when he wrote this:

In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump announced that transgender individuals will no longer be allowed to serve in the military.

In his tweets, Trump wrote the military would be burdened with high medical costs and that transgender people would be a disruption.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Heidy Rodriguez, 17, created an LGBTQ support group at her Miami-Dade high school when she realized that like her, many of her friends needed a place to share their struggles and successes.

 

“My main concern was seeing kids who don’t have a safe space,” she said.

But Rodriguez said in addition to support, LGBTQ youth and adults need stronger laws and policies that support their needs.

Douglas Hanks / WLRN News

Therapists in the Miami-Dade suburbs would be banned from trying to change a child’s sexual orientation under a proposed county law that passed a committee vote on Wednesday.

“Just the gall of people thinking you can just change someone because you do not agree with their choices or what happens in their life. When it is not a choice. It is a way of life,” Commissioner Barbara Jordan said before casting one of three Yes votes for the proposal. “I didn’t choose to be born. I was born.”

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