Category Archives: National News

Tyler Titus wins seat to become first transgender person elected in Pennsylvania

Tyler Titus, a candidate for Erie School Board, on Tuesday became the first openly transgender person elected to office in Pennsylvania.

The 33-year-old father of two boys successfully campaigned for one of four open seats on the board. Titus is a licensed professional counselor who works in public and private schools throughout Erie. Continue reading Tyler Titus wins seat to become first transgender person elected in Pennsylvania

Trans Woman Andrea Jenkins Elected to Minneapolis City Council

Andrea Jenkins is the first transgender person elected to a major city’s governing body and the first trans person of color elected to any office in the U.S.

Andrea Jenkins has won election to the Minneapolis City Council, making her the first trans person elected to a major city’s governing body and one of the first out trans people of color elected to any office in the United States.

Jenkins won in the city’s Eighth Ward, where she had been a policy aide to departing Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden. The Minneapolis Star Tribune had endorsed her, saying she was highly qualified and well prepared for the office. She bested three other candidates. Jenkins is a Democrat; the race is officially nonpartisan, but candidates can identify with a party label. She had the endorsement of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, as the Democratic Party is known in Minnesota, and of Victory Fund. She won more than 70 percent of the vote in her ward, according to the Star Tribune.

Continue reading Trans Woman Andrea Jenkins Elected to Minneapolis City Council

INBA Statement on Trump’s Ban on Transgender Service Members

August 1, 2017

A Statement from the INBA Board of Directors:

Last week, Donald Trump announced via Twitter that transgender Americans will no longer be allowed to serve in any capacity in the military, citing that the U.S. military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail”.  This reversal of the 2016 decision to allow transgender troops to serve openly, receive medical care, and change their gender identity in the Pentagon’s personnel system has understandably outraged members of the LGBT community and their allies. Continue reading INBA Statement on Trump’s Ban on Transgender Service Members

Trump Announces Ban on Transgender Service Members

Taking to Twitter early Wednesday morning, Trump announced that Transgender individuals will no longer be accepted for service in the United States Military. This decision comes after a decade of sweeping reforms under the Obama administration that removed bias against LGBT individuals serving in the military.

Inland Northwest Business Alliance has not yet released a formal statement on the matter, as we are still gathering information about the ban, which has not been enacted as official policy.

The Spokesman-Review published a front page article on 7/27, quoting multiple INBA members on their personal reactions. The following are excerpts from the full article:

Robbi Anthony, vice president of the Inland Northwest Business Alliance that supports LGBT-friendly firms in the region, said Trump’s announcement continued a trend pushing back on hard-fought victories for the community.

“Right after the election, there was a lot of fear about how this community could be impacted,” said Anthony, a local tech business owner and transgender woman. “This is the manifestation of one of those fears.”

Marvin Reguindin, general manager of the Inland Northwest Business Alliance, questioned where such a policy could end.

“We don’t feel that this is moving forward in any way,” said Reguindin, who’s been with the organization for two decades. “Gays and lesbians could be next on the list, as well as bisexuals, saying they should not serve in the military because of one thing or another. Will they roll back the role of women in the military?”


From CNN.com:

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump said in a series of tweets Wednesday morning. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”


According to the New York Times, the announcement came amid a debate on Capitol Hill over the Obama-era practice of requiring the Pentagon to pay for medical treatment related to gender transition. The dispute has unfolded as Congress considers a nearly $700 billion spending bill to fund the Pentagon. Representative Vicky Hartzler, Republican of Missouri, has proposed an amendment that would bar the Pentagon from spending money on transition surgery or related hormone therapy, and other Republicans have pressed for similar provisions.

Estimates have placed the cost of gender-transition-related medical services for military personnel at .004% to .017% of all Department of Defense medical expenses. For clarification, that is only the percentage of the DoD medical expenses, not  the entire Department of Defense budget,  totaling $598 Billion in FY 2015. That places the cost of transgender service members’ medical costs at around  .000014% of all military spending.

MultiCare finalizes purchase of local hospitals, and INBA Chamber Partner Rockwood Clinic

MultiCare Health System wrapped up the $425 million purchase of Deaconess and Valley hospitals and Rockwood Clinic on July 1, 2017, ushering in a new era for health care in the Spokane area. Rockwood Health Systems, which employs more than 3,600 people across all three of the included healthcare centers, has been an INBA Chamber Partner since 2015.

The deal returns the two local hospitals to ownership by a nonprofit organization with Washington roots. Community leaders have enthusiastically supported the sale, which was approved by the state Department of Health in June. Continue reading MultiCare finalizes purchase of local hospitals, and INBA Chamber Partner Rockwood Clinic

IBM Steps Up Fight Against Texas Bathroom Bill

IBM, in a show of force against what it calls “discriminatory legislation,” is taking out full page ads in the upcoming Sunday editions of The Dallas Morning News, San Antonio Express-News and Austin American-Statesmanprotesting the proposal, which would limit which restrooms transgender people can use.

In addition, the company is sending 20 employees, including senior vice president for human resources Diane Gherson and chief diversity officer Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, to the state capitol Tuesday to oppose the bill in person.

“As one of the largest technology employers in Texas, IBM firmly opposes any measure that would harm the state’s LGBT+ community and make it difficult for businesses to attract and retain talented Texans,” The Dallas Morning Newsquotes the ads as reading.

The bathroom bill didn’t make it through the state legislature earlier this year, but Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this month said he planned to call legislators back for a special session to address a number of issues, including the controversial bill.

IBM is just one of several tech giants who have opposed the bill. GoogleAppleand Facebook have all pushed against the bill, as well as other issues that targeted transgender people. The company was equally vocal in its opposition of North Carolina’s similar bill last year.

Pride Across Washington

Seattle Pride gets the most attention in the Northwest, and Spokane’s Pride claims the prize for largest in the Inland Northwest, but it’s the smaller pride celebrations that deserve the most praise. In traditionally conservative areas, with a smaller population and fewer resources to organise and execute Pride celebrations, cities like Yakima, Coeur d’Alene, Tri-Cites, and Vancouver, WA are making sure the voices of their LGBTQA community are speaking out. Many from Spokane make plans to visit Seattle pride 2 weeks after Spokane’s, and we encourage everyone to visit the smaller Pride celebrations, to make the most of Pride Month.

Shout out to the city of Yakima for declaring their first ever official Pride Week! Continue reading Pride Across Washington

LGBTQ Films that Rocked the World

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June is LGBT Pride Month, and traditionally it’s been both a time for reflection on gay history and struggles (originally created to commemorate the Stonewall riots of June 1969), along with a colorful, pride-ful celebration of many important achievements and milestones. Since Independent Lens is naturally a film-centric space, we decided to honor the occasion by reaching out to a few filmmakers who’ve made documentaries for Independent Lens, asking them to contribute their own picks for the gay-themed films (features or documentaries) that affected them most profoundly. While one important film deservedly gets mentioned twice, it’s an appropriately diverse list. [updated 2016; originally posted 2014]

Click through to pbs.org for the full list and trailers.

Check out Danny Devito’s short film, featuring two grumpy old gay men

Danny DeVito’s latest short film, Curmudgeons, hopes to dispel some of the myths surrounding love, age and sexuality. It’s hilarious, heartbreaking and only 15 minutes long.

The film was directed by DeVito, and played at the Tribeca Film Festival, introducing audiences to two grumpy old gay men, who just happen to be head-over-heels in love.

Just a heads-up: copious amounts of cursing ahead!

Curmudgeons from Jersey 2nd Avenue on Vimeo.

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Same-Sex Adoption Across State Lines

NPR.org – March 2016 – The U.S. Supreme Court, without hearing oral argument, has unanimously reversed an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that denied parental rights to a lesbian adoptive mother who had split with her partner. The decision is a direct repudiation of an Alabama Supreme Court decision that refused to recognize a Georgia adoption. Continue reading U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Same-Sex Adoption Across State Lines