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'Will & Grace' At The Smithsonian: VIDEO

Will

Last month, we told you that the Smithsonian Institute was expanding its collection of artifacts pertaining to LGBT history. Included in that expansion were props and memorabilia from the seminal sitcom, Will & Grace. Said Katherine Ott, Curator at The National Museum of American History, "We thought [Will & Grace] would be a great show to collect from. The topics that came up in the shows and the characters were far more complicated and really grounded in the culture of that time."

Speaking as to why it's important to preserve these artifacts, Franklin Robinson Jr., Archives Specialist at The National Museum of American History, remarked, "

Years ago nobody would have bothered with this material. But that was just a reflection of society. So 50 years from now when LGBT civil rights will be something that we don't even think about, people will ask, 'well, what was the big deal?' And you can say, 'here it is.' This is the primary materials from which history will be written. And if you don't save it now then it's gone. 

Take a tour of the LGBT artifacts at the Smithsonian, via MSNBC, AFTER THE JUMP...

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LGBT Immigrants Hold Reform Rally in Front of White House: VIDEO

PROTEST

A group of LGBT immigrants rallied in D.C. Tuesday to protest the federal government's immigration policies in light of news that President Obama will not make a move on immigration reform until after Election Day, The Washington Blade reports.

Protestors wore red shirts that read "Immigration is an LGBTQ Issue," encouraging people to consider the intersections between these two political issues. 

A 28-year-old gay man, "Oliver" (pseudonym), shared his story of fleeing Nigeria to escape homophobia. In light of recent laws in Nigeria, he cannot return to his country, so "Oliver" spoke on the importance of maintaining America's asylum system.

Two pseudonymous speakers shared horror stories of being placed in America's detention centers, a man "Jose" and a transwoman "Fernanda."

"Jose" originally fled El Salvador for being sexually abused an harassed based on his sexuality. Of the detention center, he said:

I felt scared...One of the detainees openly said that he was gay, and he was literally insulated from everyone. No one wanted to talk to him; no one wanted to be with him. That made me feel threatened. That made me feel scared of saying something. Day by day, being in that horrible place, in that detention center, I was living my nightmare again.

"Fernanda" is 36, and fled violence she faced in her home country of Honduras. At the protest, she described her experience in a detention center, where she was placed with mentally ill people.

It is time for this country to turn our attention to understand the stories of trans woman in detention who are mistreated psychologically, verbally, who are repeatedly assaulted and attacked for being who they are.

Check out video of the rally, AFTER THE JUMP...

(Photo via Twitter)

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Barack Obama Must Raise LGBT Discrimination At U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit: READ

Human and gay rights activists are urging Barack Obama to discuss anti-gay discrimination at next week’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit with 50 African leaders, reports ABC News.

2_obamaThe Human Rights Campaign and Human Rights First issued a statement saying that the summit, with the theme “Investing in the Next Generation,” is a "once-in-a-generation moment" to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Africans.

According to the two advocacy groups, 37 African countries have laws criminalizing LGBT relationships. Leaders of 32 of those countries - including Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, who signed harsh anti-gay laws earlier this year - have been invited to the summit.

In response to anti-gay laws, the U.S.government last month announced sanctions against Uganda including loss of funding and a ban on Ugandan citizens involved in human rights abuses entering the United States.

Shawn Gaylord, Human Rights First's advocacy counsel for LGBT rights said:

"We believe the U.S. can do more in both Nigeria and Uganda to ensure that U.S. funding is not being given to any institution or group that is abusing human rights, including actively discriminating against the LGBT community. We recognize that this is a difficult process with competing interests, made more difficult by the rhetoric espoused by some leaders that the movement for the rights of LGBT people is something invented in the West and being imposed upon African societies. "

Indicating that gay rights will be raised at the summit, Ned Price, a spokesman for the White House's National Security Council, said:

"The Obama Administration has long spoken out — including with our African partners — in support of universal human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. We expect the summit will provide an opportunity to continue these conversations."

Read Human Rights Campaign's report The State Of Human Rights For LGBT People In Africa, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Wiki Loves Pride Edit-A-Thons Improve LGBT Content On Wikipedia

Wikimedia lgbt

Last month, Wikipedia launched a series of Wiki Loves Pride edit-a-thons to improve LGBT-related content on various Wikimedia projects.

The edit-a-thons aim to increase “the number of people and perspectives contributing to LGBT information on the site, as well as encouraging institutions to add their authority information, research and images to the public domain.”

Edit-a-thons have already taken place in Philadelphia, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon.  Future edit-a-thons are planned for Atlanta and Houston and for Bangalore and Delhi, India.


Tony Perkins Outraged That U.S. Military Color Guard Marched at D.C. Pride: LISTEN

T_perkinsFamily Research Council president Tony Perkins has spoken out against the U.S. Military Color Guard's decision to march in the Washington, D.C., Pride Parade, Right Wing Watch reports.

On his radio bulletin today, Perkins argued that the Color Guard's decision discriminates against Christians because soldiers did not take part in the March For Life.

Perkins claimed that the march included "half-naked people and drag queens" and stated that "while the Pentagon may be willing to bend the rules for this cause, you can bet Christian soldiers wouldn't enjoy the same 'exemption' if they wore their uniforms to the March for Life."

Listen and read the full bulletin, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Lambda Legal Files Discrimination Complaint Against Restaurant for 'Gay Bitches' Receipt

Lambda Legal has filed a discrimination complaint against a Washington, DC hookah bar for leaving a transgender woman a bar receipt reading "gay bitches".

GaybitchesAmira Gray, whom Lambda is representing, says she went to Bistro 18 in August of 2013 with some friends and, after receiving terrible service from the wait staff, says she was "extremely hurt, embarrassed and upset" at then having received the receipt with the message. 

Said Gray to Lambda:

When my friends and I saw the receipt, we were humiliated and embarrassed. We went in planning to enjoy Bistro 18 just like everyone else in the hookah bar that evening, but it turned into a disturbing experience. I am standing up for my friends and me because I don't think anyone should have to go through that.

Gray added that a friend of hers brought the receipt to the manager who "snatched" it and brought back a new one with no anti-gay slur. 

In the complaint, Gray said, "I believe I was denied the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages and accommodations of Bistro 18 based on my gender identity (transgender woman), gender expression, perceived sexual orientation, and personal appearance, as well as my association with friends of mine who are gay or may have been perceived as lesbian or gay, in violation of D.C. code 2–1401.31."

Dru Levasseur, Lambda Legal Transgender Rights Project Director, said:

Discrimination against LGBT customers is a widespread problem that often goes unaddressed in businesses across the country. That this happened in Washington, D.C., where LGBT people have strong protections from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and personal appearance, points out the importance of ensuring existing laws are enforced. By standing up for herself and her friends, Amira is taking a stand for all LGBT people who are targeted by businesses for unequal treatment because of who they are.


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