Following a lawsuit from ACLU, ACLU of West Virginia and the Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources' Vital Registration Office has introduced more accessible and safer policies for transgender people seeking to amend their birth certificates, according to an ACLU press release. The registration office had required transgender applicants seeking to amend the gender markers on their West Virginia birth certificates to produce a circuit court order directing the amendment; however, in 2020, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals stripped West Virginia circuit courts of the authority to order such amendments. Despite this ruling, the registration office continued its policy of requiring trans applicants to produce a court order to amend the gender markers on their birth certificates, effectively barring gender-marker amendments for transgender people.
The University of Florida Faculty Senate approved a no-confidence resolution on the selection process to appoint Republican U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse as the next president, CNN reported. The 67-15 vote comes after Sasse, who's from Nebraska, became the only person considered for the high-ranking position at one of Florida's largest universities. His candidacy sparked controversy on campus partially due to his 2015 comments on LGBTQ+ rights after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to guarantee same-sex marriage at the federal level. When pressed about the comments during an on-campus forum earlier this month, Sasse said the decision was "the law of the land," adding that it wasn't going to change in the near future, The Independent Florida Alligator reported.
Yeshiva University's legal fight against recognition of an LGBTQ+ club on campus took a new twist when the school announced it was starting a new queer club that would be an "approved traditional Orthodox alternative," drawing criticism from queer students, Gay City News reported. The YU Pride Alliancethe unofficial queer student group that has sought recognition by the university for more than a decadecalled the university's new LGBTQ+ organization (Kol Yisrael Areivim Club) a "desperate stunt" and a "sham" right after the university issued the announcement.
Alabama's Samford University recently disinvited representatives from at least three LGBTQ+-affirming campus ministry groups and churches to its annual ministry fair, according to Religion News Service. "[W]e've decided to limit Samford's formal ministry partnerships with churches and organizations that support Samford's traditional view of human sexuality and marriage," said Samford President Beck A. Taylor. Taylor added that Samford would not be excluding LGBTQ+ students or those (students and faculty) who belong to progressive denominations.
In Indiana, the Michiana Proud Boys, a local chapter of the white nationalist hate group, attempted to disrupt an all-ages drag show in South Bendbut the members were outnumbered by pro-LGBTQ+ advocates, The South Bend Tribune reported. H.R. Jung (executive director of the host organization, The LGBTQ Center) said the audience was protected by two dozen supporters who formed a barrier between the venue (The Well Coffee House) and a handful of anti-LGBTQ+ protesters. Jung said he's accustomed to monitoring conservative blogs and social-media pages for attempts to target LGBTQ+ events.
Presented by Glamazon L.A., Amazon's LGBTQ+ Affinity Group, the 30th-anniversary Models of Pride youth conference drew hundreds of LGBTQ+ young people and alliesand special award winner Trixie Mattelto Los Angeles City College, a press conference noted. Parents and professionals had opportunities to learn from one another, build community, and gain tools to support the LGBTQ+ young people in their lives. The day's highlights included Mattela drag queen, musician, entrepreneur and television figureaccepting the first-ever Model of Pride Leadership Award. The Rolf/Uribe Models of Pride Leadership Award, given annually to youth and adults who have been models of pride to the LGBTQ+ community, was awarded to youth activist Alex Flores and PFLAG Los Angeles Vice President Steve Krantz.
The number of out LGBTQ+ candidates for school boards has more than doubled since 2018 amid a growing number of anti-LGBTQ bills targeting education in the country, USA Today noted. The data, provided exclusively to USA TODAY by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, a political action committee dedicated to electing LGBTQ candidates, found the number of out school board candidates has more than doubledfrom 34 to 82in four years. Only 0.1% of the 90,000 current school board members are known to be LGBTQ+.
The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) announced the launch of a new Marriage Equality enforcement initiative to ensure that municipal governments across the state do not discriminate against or exclude LGBTQ+ people seeking to obtain marriage licenses, Out in Jersey reported. As part of the Marriage Equality enforcement initiative, DCR issued notices of violation to five New Jersey municipalities: Estell Manor, Fairview, Hanover, Linden and South Toms River. Those municipalities have published on their websites marriage licensing information that limits the availability of licenses to opposite-gender couples and excludes marriage license applicants with a non-binary gender identity.
Republican Maryland Congressman Andy Harris attacked transgender people during a debate against Democratic challenger Heather Mizeura member of the LGBTQ+ community, The Washington Blade reported. "This is not the Defense Department that I signed up for 1988," said Harris, a U.S. Navy veteran. "It's more interested in whether or not you fund transgender surgery than whether you fund a missile system to counter the Chinese hypersonic threat." Harriswho has represented Maryland's 1st Congressional District since 2011also attacked the use of preferred pronouns.
GLAAD released a statement regarding Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter. The organization said, "Despite his claim that he wanted to buy Twitter to 'help humanity,' Elon Musk has a record of posting and defending harmful anti-LGBTQ content as well as content that harms other marginalized communities. GLAAD remains deeply concerned about the safety of LGBTQ people on Twitter and we join other organizations that are now questioning Twitter's future policies and actions against extremist content." In July, GLAAD released its 2nd annual Social Media Safety Index, evaluating LGBTQ user safety experience across the social-media landscape; it's at https://sites.google.com/glaad.org/smsi/platform-scores?response_type=embed.
A joint committee of Florida's Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine advanced the development of a proposed rule to restrict gender-affirming care for transgender youth in Florida, according to an Equality Florida press release. The group voted to send the rulewhich would likely bar puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy and extremely rare surgical interventions as treatments for gender dysphoria in youthto the full boards for finalization and a vote. "It needs to be repeated without end: gender-affirming care is lifesaving care," said Transgender Equality Director Nikole Parker. "When we affirm young people, they are less likely to face depression, anxiety, and suicide."
In Florida, a father is suing the School District of Palm Beach County after he claimed his son's teacher put up two LGBTQ+ pride flags in her classroom, WPTV reported. Dr. Francisco Deliu filed a lawsuit on Oct. 12 against the school district, Palm Beach County School Board, Emerald Cove Middle School, principal Dr. Eugina Smith-Freeman and teacher Rachel Raos. According to the lawsuit, Deliu's son, on Sept. 16, said his computer science teacher put up two "'gay pride' [rainbow] flags" in her classroom, then used a search engine to find websites about homosexual lifestyles and 'proselytized to the students in class.'" The School District of Palm Beach County's public records department said the district does not have a policy on displaying flags in classrooms.
Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF) announced the winners of the 11th Tom of Finland Emerging Artist Competition, per a press release. First, second and third prizes are awarded to entrants in five categories: Single Figure, Dual Figure, Multiple Figure, Fantasy and Photography. The 2022 Tom of Finland Grand Prize and The Dean Cameron Multiple Figure Award were bestowed upon Lukasz Leja, a New York City-based artist originally from Poland who pursues figurative painting.
Mogul announced its 2022 programming for International ERG Day, its annual virtual conference that celebrates and honors Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), per a press release. The event will be held Thursday, Nov. 17, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. ET. It is free, online and open to the public. Speakers are slated to include DEI experts from Nike, TELUS International, GoDaddy and Amazon Wed Services. To register, visit InternationalERGday.com .