Check out the latest news from around the nation!

 

In New Interview, Pence Stands By LGBT Protections

(EDGE) Vice President Mike Pence recently gave an interview with ABC News' "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos and said he agreed with President Donald Trump's decision to keep Obama's order that protects LGBT federal workers from discrimination. 

Pence told Stephanopoulos that "discrimination would have no place in our administration." 

"I think throughout the campaign, President Trump made it clear that discrimination would have no place in our administration," Pence said. "He was the very first Republican nominee to mention the LGBTQ community at our Republican National Convention and was applauded for it. And I was there applauding with him."

"I think the generosity of his spirit, recognizing that in the patriot's heart, there's no room for prejudice, is part of who this president is," the vice president added.

Pence then discussed Trump's plan on nixing the Johnson Amendment, which prevents churches and other tax-exempt institutions from supporting or opposing political candidates.

Pence's comments come as a surprise given his own anti-LGBT track record that included his signing of Indiana's 2015 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

 

Thousands Pack NYC's West Village to Protest Trump Administration

(AP) Thousands of LGBT Americans have raged against President Donald Trump outside the New York City bar where the gay rights movement was born. They're demanding that the president suspend his immigrant ban.

The activists gathered outside the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village on a chilly Saturday afternoon, chanting "Resist, resist!"

The president issued an executive order a week ago barring travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. A judge temporarily blocked the ban on Friday.

Activist Cathy Renna says LGBT Americans have been deeply affected by what she calls "the horrible things Trump has been doing" because their community includes gay Muslim men, immigrants and women hurt by rollbacks on reproductive rights.

In 1969, Stonewall Inn was raided by police, sparking riots.

 

Texas 'Bathroom Bill' May Pose Big Test for Sports Leagues

(AP) Texas knows how to throw a party, and for the Super Bowl in Houston, a new 29-story luxury hotel with a rooftop pool shaped like a meandering "lazy river" is the kind of glitzy welcome mat that keeps big events coming back. But that status may soon be put to the test.

Undaunted by the NCAA and NBA punishing North Carolina over bathroom laws that target transgender persons, powerful Texas Republican lawmakers are pushing to pass similar measures by June, and in doing so are daring leagues to boycott some of the biggest cities and stadiums in the U.S.

The stakes are bigger than Texas: other GOP-controlled states that watched the economic fallout in North Carolina could grow newly emboldened if sports executives decide that Texas is essentially too big to bail. Conservatives lawmakers have filed measures in almost a dozen states that would require people to use bathrooms or facilities that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate. LGBT advocates condemn the measures as discriminatory.

As the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons settled in Houston this week, the NFL issued a statement embracing "tolerance and inclusiveness" without comment on Texas' bill or whether it could jeopardize future Super Bowls in Texas. The NCAA, which has 14 championship events booked in the state between now and 2019, declined comment.

"Texas wins an outsize number of these events. These really are good facilities. It's a location that's fairly centralized," said Daniel Rascher, president of California-based SportsEconomics, which performs impact studies and financial analyses surrounding major sporting events. "If a determined organization wanted to go elsewhere they would do it, but it is the state that would be the most difficult to avoid."

 

'Lock Them Up!' LCR President Blasts Protest of Gay Breitbart Editor

(EDGE) Log Cabin Republicans president Gregory T. Angelo is calling for the incarceration of protestors involved in Wednesday night's violent demonstration against the appearance of gay Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopoulos, labeled a white nationalist by critics, hosted by Berkeley College Republicans at the University of California Berkley.

"Tolerance is as tolerance does, and the left seems willing to tolerate those who agree with them - and only those," Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory T. Angelo said in a statement release by LCR Thursday. 

Angelo then went on to praise President Trump, who, in response to the Berkeley demonstrations, tweet-threatened to pull federal funds from the school. 

"Log Cabin Republicans condemns the Berkeley protesters engaging in violence and attacks on police under the guise of freedom of speech, and applauds President Trump for speaking out against this flagrant bastardization of the First Amendment." 

"As an organization with a chapter and constituency on the school's campus, these outrageous actions directly endangering the safety of our members hit especially close to home. Lock. Them. Up!" Angelo concluded.

 

Two Hungarian Men Found Guilty in Running 'Gay Sex Slave Ring' in Miami, NY

(EDGE) A Miami-Dade jury found two men from Hungary guilty Wednesday of luring young gay men to the United States and putting them in a sex slave ring, the Miami Herald reports.

Gabor Acs and Viktor Berki were both convicted of human trafficking, conspiracy and racketeering. The victims were gay men forced into a prostitution ring for several months in New York and Miami. 

It took jurors four hours to hand over their verdict, the newspaper reports.

The men will be sentenced at an upcoming date and face more than 200 years in prison if they receive the maximum punishment. 

Three victims, all in their early 20s, testified in the case and were the same men who testified against Andras Janos Vass, another Hungarian man found guilty of running the sex ring in 2015.

Investigators said Berki and Acs met two victims in Hungry via a website called GayRomeo.com. Acs met another victim, who was reportedly "living with gypsies," via Facebook, the Miami Herald reports.

The newspaper writes the victims were "forced to live in cramped conditions while performing sex acts around the clock, sometimes with johns, other times on live web cameras, prosecutors said. The three were given little food and threatened with violence if they left, the state told jurors."

"These victims were no match for these defendants. They were 20-year-olds who didn't have enough education, who were desperate for money, who came over here without speaking the language, barely any U.S. money to their name" prosecutor Brenda Mezick said in her closing arguments, according to the Miami Herald. "Human trafficking, modern-day slavery, is not tolerated for anyone, and all are protected."

In New Interview, Pence Stands By LGBT Protections

(EDGE) Vice President Mike Pencerecently gave an interviewwith ABC News' "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos and said he agreed with President Donald Trump's decision to keep Obama's order that protects LGBT federal workers from discrimination.

Pence told Stephanopoulos that "discrimination would have no place in our administration."

"I think throughout the campaign, President Trump made it clear that discrimination would have no place in our administration," Pence said. "He was the very first Republican nominee to mention the LGBTQ community at our Republican National Convention and was applauded for it. And I was there applauding with him."

"I think the generosity of his spirit, recognizing that in the patriot's heart, there's no room for prejudice, is part of who this president is,"the vice president added.

Pence then discussed Trump's plan on nixing the Johnson Amendment, which prevents churches and other tax-exempt institutions from supporting or opposing political candidates.

Pence's comments come as a surprise given his own anti-LGBT track record that included his signing of Indiana's 2015 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.


Thousands Pack NYC's West Village to Protest Trump Administration

(AP) Thousands of LGBT Americans have raged against President Donald Trump outside the New York City bar where the gay rights movement was born. They're demanding that the president suspend his immigrant ban.

The activists gathered outside the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village on a chilly Saturday afternoon, chanting "Resist, resist!"

The president issued an executive order a week ago barring travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. A judge temporarily blocked the ban on Friday.

Activist Cathy Renna says LGBT Americans have been deeply affected by what she calls "the horrible things Trump has been doing" because their community includes gay Muslim men, immigrants and women hurt by rollbacks on reproductive rights.

In 1969, Stonewall Inn was raided by police, sparking riots.




Texas 'Bathroom Bill' May Pose Big Test for Sports Leagues

(AP) Texas knows how to throw a party, and for the Super Bowl in Houston, a new 29-story luxury hotel with a rooftop pool shaped like a meandering "lazy river" is the kind of glitzy welcome mat that keeps big events coming back. But that status may soon be put to the test.

Undaunted by the NCAA and NBA punishing North Carolina over bathroom laws that target transgender persons, powerful Texas Republican lawmakers are pushing to pass similar measures by June, and in doing so are daring leagues to boycott some of the biggest cities and stadiums in the U.S.

The stakes are bigger than Texas: other GOP-controlled states that watched the economic fallout in North Carolina could grow newly emboldened if sports executives decide that Texas is essentially too big to bail. Conservatives lawmakers have filed measures in almost a dozen states that would require people to use bathrooms or facilities that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate. LGBT advocates condemn the measures as discriminatory.

As the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons settled in Houston this week, the NFL issued a statement embracing "tolerance and inclusiveness" without comment on Texas' bill or whether it could jeopardize future Super Bowls in Texas. The NCAA, which has 14 championship events booked in the state between now and 2019, declined comment.

"Texas wins an outsize number of these events. These really are good facilities. It's a location that's fairly centralized," said Daniel Rascher, president of California-based SportsEconomics, which performs impact studies and financial analyses surrounding major sporting events. "If a determined organization wanted to go elsewhere they would do it, but it is the state that would be the most difficult to avoid."

'Lock Them Up!' LCR President Blasts Protest of Gay Breitbart Editor

(EDGE) Log Cabin Republicans president Gregory T. Angelo is calling for the incarceration of protestors involved in Wednesday night's violent demonstration against the appearance of gay Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopoulos, labeled a white nationalist by critics, hosted by Berkeley College Republicans at the University of California Berkley.

"Tolerance is as tolerance does, and the left seems willing to tolerate those who agree with them - and only those," Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory T. Angelo said in a statement release by LCR Thursday.

Angelo then went on to praise President Trump, who, in response to the Berkeley demonstrations, tweet-threatened to pull federal funds from the school.

"Log Cabin Republicans condemns the Berkeley protesters engaging in violence and attacks on police under the guise of freedom of speech, and applauds President Trump for speaking out against this flagrant bastardization of the First Amendment."

"As an organization with a chapter and constituency on the school's campus, these outrageous actions directly endangering the safety of our members hit especially close to home. Lock. Them. Up!" Angelo concluded.


Two Hungarian Men Found Guilty in Running 'Gay Sex Slave Ring' in Miami, NY

(EDGE) A Miami-Dade jury found two men from Hungary guilty Wednesday of luring young gay men to the United States and putting them in a sex slave ring,the Miami Herald reports.

Gabor Acs and Viktor Berki were both convicted of human trafficking, conspiracy and racketeering. The victims were gay men forced into a prostitution ring for several months in New York and Miami.

It took jurors four hours to hand over their verdict,the newspaper reports.

The men will be sentenced at an upcoming date and face more than 200 years in prison if they receive the maximum punishment.

Three victims, all in their early 20s, testified in the case and were the same men whotestified against Andras Janos Vass, another Hungarian man found guilty of running the sex ring in 2015.

Investigators said Berki and Acs met two victims in Hungry via a website called GayRomeo.com. Acs met another victim, who was reportedly "living with gypsies," via Facebook,the Miami Herald reports.

The newspaper writesthe victims were "forced to live in cramped conditions while performing sex acts around the clock, sometimes with johns, other times on live web cameras, prosecutors said. The three were given little food and threatened with violence if they left, the state told jurors."

"These victims were no match for these defendants. They were 20-year-olds who didn't have enough education, who were desperate for money, who came over here without speaking the language, barely any U.S. money to their name" prosecutor Brenda Mezick said in her closing arguments,according to the Miami Herald."Human trafficking, modern-day slavery, is not tolerated for anyone, and all are protected."


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