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The Baltimore Sun | April 29, 2014
The 2014 Maryland Film Festival takes place May 7-11 around the Station North Arts District and other Baltimore area locations. The festival traditionally highlights international features, topical documentaries, local works and several shorts programs, among other special screenings.  The most high profile LGBT-themed film on the schedule this year is "The Case Against 8," which premiered at Sundance. The documentary, by Ben Cotner and Ryan White (who directed " Good Ol' Freda ")
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By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2014
The summer may have ended, but pride season in Baltimore has not. The city's annual Baltimore Black Pride events kick off next week, including nights out on the town, parties for youth and cultural events. The week culminates on Sunday, Oct. 12 with a Fall Festival at Club Bunns on W. Lexington Avenue at 4 p.m. This year's events are the first to be thrown by The Center for Black Equity - Baltimore, the new name taken up this year by Baltimore Black Pride, Inc. The change brings the organization, which has been working in Baltimore for more than a decade, under the umbrella of the national Center for Black Equity.
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By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | September 11, 2014
A Harford County judge who helped lead this week's Maryland Judiciary summit on care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in the state's foster care system said the event was a success and could lead to substantive improvements in the future. "It went very well. We had excellent speakers," said Judge William O. Carr, a Harford County Circuit Court administrative judge and chair of the outreach and programming subcommittee of the state Foster Care Court Improvement Project.
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By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
The U.S. Supreme Court is meeting on Monday for the first time since June, and could make a decision to hear a new same-sex marriage case. On the justices' agenda for the closed-door conference are appeals to cases in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, won by gay couples that favor a Supreme Court decision on their lower court victories. Four out of nine justices would have to vote to take up any particular case , and they are under no obligation to do so and could hold off on deciding whether to consider one of the cases until a later conference.
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By Michael Gold and The Baltimore Sun | October 10, 2013
Just when you thought Betty White couldn't possibly do more to endear herself to the LGBT community, the "Golden Girls" alumna took part in a promotional video for Spirit Day , GLAAD's anti-bullying initiative that asks people to wear purple to show support for LGBT youth. Doing her best mugging while reading copy that makes NBC's The More You Know campaign look Pulitzer-worthy, White jokes about changing her name on Oct. 17 to "Betty Purple" as a way to stand up for LGBT teens and young adults.
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By Michael Gold and The Baltimore Sun | June 6, 2013
Former Ravens linebacker and outspoken same-sex marriage advocate Brendon Ayanbadejo is turning his attention from playing time to publishing. Weeks after being released by the Super Bowl champions, Ayanbadejo announced today that he will serve as the guest editor of a sports-themed issue of LGBT newspaper The Washington Blade. "I'm extremely honored to be able to work with the Blade," Ayanbadejo said at a press conference. "I think through sports is the easiest way to reach a lot of people in a demographic that typically wouldn't hear about equality and why it is so near and dear to us. " Since his playing days ended -- for now, at least -- Ayanbadejo has continued advocating for the LGBT community, has made several media appearances and took part in the NFL's inaugural sports journalism boot camp.
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By Michael Gold, The Baltimore Sun | November 12, 2013
Starting in December, gay, bisexual and transgender Marylanders recovering from substance abuse will be able to receive LGBT-focused resources and services at Baltimore's LGBT community center. Through a partnership with Maryland RecoveryNet, a federally-funded initiative meant to increase access to support services for those recovering from drug addiction, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (GLCCB) will begin providing LGBT-focused recovery support services.
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By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2014
Old photographs, newspapers and other miscellaneous "gay pride ephemera" from the last half-century of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history in Baltimore will be added on Tuesday to one of the nation's most esteemed museum collections. Officials at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History will accept the archival materials from the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore (GLCCB), and add them to its growing collection of items documenting LGBT history.
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By Michael Gold and The Baltimore Sun | March 18, 2014
More than half of the members of Maryland's congressional delegation signed a letter dated March 18 to President Barack Obama asking him to issue an executive order to prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin and U.S. Reps. Steny Hoyer, John Sarbanes, John Delaney and Chris Van Hollen were among the 195 Democrats to urge Obama to issue protections for LGBT employees. "This executive order would provide LGBT people with another avenue in the federal government they could turn to if they were the victim of employment discrimination by a federal contractor," the letter, which was signed by 47 senators and 148 members of the House, reads.
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by Annie Linskey | October 12, 2012
Ballot committee reports due today will show that the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force received "support" from Penn National Gaming to send out a mailing over the summer opposing the special session. "I still think it was worth a try," said Darlene Nipper, the Deputy Executive Director of the task force. who confirmed the Penn donation. "We are trying to get marriage across the finish line in Maryland. " Nipper said the reports filed today with Maryland State Board of Elections will show that her group spent about $350,000 on the mailing.
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By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | September 18, 2014
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants the American public to understand that HIV-positive people who receive treatment live longer and healthier lives compared to those who don't receive treatment, and has launched a new nationwide campaign to get the word out. The "HIV Treatment Works" campaign, announced Wednesday, is the CDC's "first communication campaign focused exclusively on encouraging treatment and care for people living with...
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By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | September 11, 2014
A Harford County judge who helped lead this week's Maryland Judiciary summit on care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in the state's foster care system said the event was a success and could lead to substantive improvements in the future. "It went very well. We had excellent speakers," said Judge William O. Carr, a Harford County Circuit Court administrative judge and chair of the outreach and programming subcommittee of the state Foster Care Court Improvement Project.
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By Kevin Rector and The Baltimore Sun | August 28, 2014
Looks like Baltimore's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community could have a big, flashy, deep-pocketed new ally in town in Horseshoe Casino on Russell Street, which opened Tuesday. These days it's not uncommon for major corporations to tout their support for the LGBT community, but not all are as effusive in that support as Horseshoe's parent company, Caesars Entertainment. If you scroll to the bottom of the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore's website, there is a list of 13 links for business and corporate information about the casino's slots and table games, hotels and local "things to do," and investor relations.
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By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | August 28, 2014
Carrie Evans, the executive director of Equality Maryland, was arrested at an immigration reform rally in Washington on Thursday afternoon, the state's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organization said. The arrest wasn't surprising , as Evans had announced earlier this week that she planned to participate in a collective act of civil disobedience in front of the White House with marchers from Casa de Maryland and other social justice organizations. The event Thursday, which began in front of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in Washington, was dubbed the #FightforFamilies march.
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By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | August 21, 2014
Free State Legal, which provides legal services to low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents in the Baltimore area, is seeking a "passionate and visionary" new leader following the announced departure of its executive director. Aaron Merki, who helped co-found the nonprofit organization in 2007, has been in the role for the last two years, overseeing several victories. Last month, the group announced it had helped win coverage of transition-related care for transgender state employees under their state health plans.
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By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2014
Old photographs, newspapers and other miscellaneous "gay pride ephemera" from the last half-century of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history in Baltimore will be added on Tuesday to one of the nation's most esteemed museum collections. Officials at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History will accept the archival materials from the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore (GLCCB), and add them to its growing collection of items documenting LGBT history.
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By Michael Gold and The Baltimore Sun | August 6, 2013
Mixed news for Maryland's LGBT high schoolers looking to attend one of the nation's most LGBT-friendly colleges: They'll have to head out of state. As part of its annual rankings book, Princeton Review rated the 20 most LGBT-friendly colleges and universities, and no Maryland schools made the cut. On the flipside, no Maryland schools appeared on Princeton Review's "LGBT-Unfriendly" list (though Catholic University in neighboring D.C. did). So it's not as if the state's public and private institutions aren't accepting of LGBT students.
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By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | November 19, 2013
Baltimore was among just 25 cities in the country to receive top marks for LGBT equality in a new study of municipalities released by the Human Rights Campaign on Tuesday. The study, known as the Municipality Equality Index, rated 291 cities across the country on a range of issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, including whether they had same-sex marriage laws, offer employment protections and track hate crimes. The study found that "cities across the country, including in Maryland, continued to prove that municipalities will act to support equality for LGBT people, even where states and the federal government have failed to do so," according to the HRC, the country's largest LGBT rights organization.
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By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | August 14, 2014
His eccentricity, boundary-pushing bravado and brilliant knack for flamboyance could have all made it so on their own, but it was perhaps Robin Williams' way of taking up queer characters with just the right balance of warmth and pitch-perfect irreverence that made us love him most. Yes, Williams -- gay cabaret owner in "The Birdcage" and the one-and-only dad-in-drag "Mrs. Doubtfire," among other favorites -- was an icon for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community just as much as he was a cherished persona for anyone in the world who loves comedy and could tell a genius of the form when they saw one. Williams' death by suicide this week was no doubt more cutting for many in the LGBT community because of the support he'd shown for them and theirs , decades before many of their own family and friends would do the same.
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By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | August 13, 2014
Americans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender are less likely to be religious than their non-LGBT peers, according to a new Gallup poll . While about half of the 3,242 LGBT adults included in the poll found religion important in their daily lives, that is well below the 66 percent of their non-LGBT peers who reported the same. The LGBT respondents were also less likely to attend religious services and more likely to describe themselves as nonreligious. The disparity, Gallup reported, could be driven by a number of factors.
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