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House approves amendment to restore trans military service

Bernie Sanders highlights his vote against DOMA in new campaign video. Screen capture via YouTube

Sanders invokes vote against DOMA in new video On the anniversary of his 1996 vote against the Defense of Marriage Act, Bernie Sanders through his 2020 presidential campaign issued a video in which LGBT supporters in New Hampshire highlight his record. The three-minute video, titled “Even When It was Hard,” shows images of Bernie Sanders with LGBT supporters, including a march through a Pride parade. The video includes clips from New Hampshire Constituency Director Mo Baxley, who led the fight for marriage equality in Freedom to Marry, New Hampshire for Bernie steering committee member David Holt and New Hampshire deputy state director Carli Stevenson. “Thirty to forty years ago, there weren’t people standing up to support the LGBT community,” Baxley says. “Bernie Sanders was one of the very few, and it meant all the world to us.” Among the featured newspaper clips in the video is an article from 1996 in “Out in the Mountains” on DOMA, which says, “Both of Vermont’s Senators, Leahy and Jeffords, voted in favor of DOMA, while Congressman Bernie Sanders voted against the act.” The Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited federal recognition of same-sex marriage, came for a vote on July 12, 1996. The vote was 342-67. Sanders was one of the lawmakers in the minority against DOMA. Current presidential candidates Sanders and Joseph Biden  were on opposite sides  of DOMA. When the bill came up for a vote in the Senate on Sept. 10, 1996 Biden voted for the bill. CHRIS JOHNSON

The U.S. House approved last week an amendment as part of major defense policy legislation that would not only restore only transgender military service, but prohibit the U.S. armed forces from discriminating against LGBT service members. The House approved the measure, introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), by a party-line vote of 242-187 as part of the fiscal year 2020 defense authorization bill. Speier said in a statement the House vote on the amendment is “a watershed moment in the fight to celebrate and protect open transgender military service,” which the Defense Department banned in April following a directive from President Trump. “Courageous transgender servicemembers continue to fight for our country despite the president’s hateful ban and deserve to know we stand with them,” Speier said. “Our country has a shameful history of preventing people from serving based on bias, ignorance and malice. This is the first time Congress has voted to ensure that no discriminatory standard based on race, religion, national origin or sex can prevent qualified individuals from serving their country. Our military is strongest when it embodies our nation’s values.” Joining the united Democratic caucus in voting in favor of the bill were 10 Republicans: Reps. Susan Brooks (Ind.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Trey Hollingsworth (Ind.), William Hurd (Texas), John Katko (N.Y.), Tom Reed (N.Y.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Steve Stivers (Ohio), Fred Upton (Mich.) and Greg Walden (Ore.). When the vote was initially being tallied, a total of 11 Republicans, not 10, were shown as having voted in favor of the amendment. A Democratic aide said the number went down because Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) changed his vote from “yes” to “no” at the last second. The Blade has placed a request in with Waltz’s office seeking comment why on the lawmaker changed his vote. Known as the “Harry Truman” amendment, the measure is modeled after the 1948 executive order President Truman signed desegregating the military. The amendment states the military must consider applicants based on gender-neutral occupational standards and military occupational specialty, but “may not include any criteria relating to the race, color, national origin, religion, or sex (including gender identity or sexual orientation) of an individual.” CHRIS JOHNSON

‘Pose’ scores history-making 6 Emmy noms “Pose” landed six Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series and a Best Actor nomination for Billy Porter, marking a historic milestone for the television series to feature the largest cast of LGBTQ actors. Porter, who portrays Pray Tell on “Pose” is the first openly gay black man to be nominated for an Emmy. “I just haven’t been breathing for the past day,” Porter told Deadline about his nomination. “So today, I was able to breathe — that was my first reaction!” Other LGBTQ nominations include “RuPaul’s Drag Race” for Outstanding Competition Program and “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked” for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program. RuPaul also was nominated for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program up against Ellen DeGeneres for “Ellen’s Game of Games.” Laverne Cox is nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for “Orange is the New Black” and Jane Lynch is nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Kate McKinnon was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for “Saturday Night Live” and Ben Whishaw is nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for “A Very English Scandal.” “Schitt’s Creek,” which stars out actor Dan Levy, was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series. “Queer Eye” was also nominated for Outstanding Structured Reality Program. Outstanding Short Form Variety Series is full of gay nominees including “Billy on the Street,” “Gay of Thrones” and “The Randy Rainbow Show.” “Game of Thrones” also made history with a total of 32 nominations, the most nominations received by a television series in one year. The Emmys air on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. on FOX. MARIAH COOPER

Profile for Los Angeles Blade, Volume 3, Issue 29, July 19, 2019, Volume 3, Issue 29, July 19, 2019, Volume 3, Issue 29, July 19, 2019, Volume 3, Issue 29, July 19, 2019