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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



NATIONAL North Carolina, 'Pride Heroes,' school news, gay publication folds, Iowa
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by Andrew Davis

This article shared 4692 times since Fri Jun 2, 2023
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The Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) and Campus Pride released a report focused on the life, school, and health experiences of LGBTQ+ people in North Carolina. The report's release comes as the North Carolina General Assembly is considering a slate of anti-LGBTQ+ bills that would impact the ability of LGBTQ+ youth to access medical care, be safe at school, and participate in school sports. The breakout is a supplement to "Coming of Age as an LGBTQ Southerner: Family, Faith, Education & Health," and relies on data from the 2021 Survey of Southern LGBTQ Experiences, a survey of 4,186 LGBTQ people who live in the South, including 539 from North Carolina. The new report is at

Better Brothers Los Angeles (BBLA) announced that, as part of this year's celebration of Pride Month, it will highlight Pride Heroes whose lives and accomplishments are testaments to the many contributions made by the Black LGBTQ+ community, per a press release. Each day in June, BBLA will showcase a Pride Hero on all its social-media platforms. The featured individuals include Angelica Ross, Keith Boykin, Raven-Symone, Jewel Thais-Williams, Marsha Warfield, Bishop Yvette Flunder, Phill Wilson, Dr. David Malebranche, Ts Madison and Colman Domingo, among many others.

A culture war has brewed at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Dover, New Hampshire, according to the National Catholic Reporter. Four well-respected teachers—three with 20-plus years at St. Thomas—were told May 3 by School President Paul Marquis that the school would not renew their contracts. Alumni, parents, teachers and students say the educators were targeted because they support or belong to the LGBTQ+ community, although school and diocesan leaders refuted the claims in letters sent to parents just before Memorial Day weekend. Dismissing four Catholic school teachers at the same time allegedly due to LGBTQ-related reasons would be unusual, said Robert Shine, associate director of New Ways Ministry, a Maryland-based group that advocates for LGBTQ+ Catholics.

California authorities are investigating a possible hate crime after a Pride flag was burned at an elementary school in the North Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, per The Advocate. Before being burned, the flag was displayed in a planter outside a Saticoy Elementary School classroom.

Also in California, students at Carlsbad High School walked out of class to protest recent actions by their vice principal and the Carlsbad Unified School District, KPBS reported. Vice Principal Ethan Williams spoke at Mission Church and urged the audience to attend meetings about the district's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging plan, saying, "We want no sexual-identity or gender-ideology curriculum, groups or celebrations on public school campuses." Student Ash Bering said the second hit to the LGBTQ+ community was when the Carlsbad Unified School Board decided to postpone its vote on raising the Pride flag.

After more than a decade of service to the LGBTQ+ community, the South Florida Gay News (SFGN) has folded, noted. SFGN Publisher Jason Parsley, Justin Wyse and the SFGN team announced that it was no longer "feasible" to continue running the publication. A group of SFGN journalists plans to continue serving the community with OUTSFL in June. Attorney Norm Kent, the co-founder of SFGN, died on April 13 of complications from pancreatic cancer—and left the publication with massive debt, according to the South Florida SunSentinel.

OneIowa Executive Director Courtney Reyes called Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds' decision to sign the anti-LGBTQ+ education law behind closed doors an act of "cowardice," The Los Angeles Blade noted. Senate File 496—which Reynolds signed in a private event—will, among other things, ban school books with descriptions or depictions of sex acts; prohibit instruction on gender identity or sexual orientation before seventh grade; and require schools to notify parents if a student requests to use new pronouns, the Des Moines Register reported. The Iowa State Democrats tweeted, "Reynolds is trying to hide some of her worst legislation by signing it into law on the Friday of a holiday weekend thinking that Iowans will forget about it. We won't."

Also regarding Iowa, 83 churches in the state agreed to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church—one of the largest Methodist denominations, with nearly 30,000 congregations across the world—over LGBTQ+ issues, The Gazette reported. Last year, the United Methodist Church directed churches and pastors to "follow their conscience" as it pertains to the Book of Discipline, text that outlines beliefs, standards and canon laws for the religion.

GLAAD issued a press release praising North Face. The statement read, "In the wake of Target abandoning its values on LGBTQ inclusion this Pride Month, we wanted to make sure you saw the strong showing from The North Face, a brand targeted by a handful of extremists." After North Face's ad featured drag artist Pattie Gonia, conservatives such as U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted anti-LGBTQ+ statements, PinkNews noted. North Face then responded in a statement to Newsweek, "We recognize the opportunity our brand has to shape the future of the outdoors and we want that future to be a more accepting and loving place."

And speaking of Target, police looked into bomb threats made against Target stores in three states—Utah, Ohio and Pennsylvania—after being alerted by local media outlets that received emails referencing the retail chain's decision to remove or relocate LGBTQ+ collections celebrating Pride Month, USA Today reported. Salt Lake City police communications director Brent Weisberg told the media outlet that officers worked with Target and determined there was no credible threat to the two Target stores in Salt Lake City. In Utah, Layton Police Sgt. John Ottesen said the threat was three sentences long and came from a "bogus email address."

Bud Light and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce announced that they will expand their existing partnership with Bud Light donating $200,000 to the chamber's Communities of Color Initiative, The Advocate noted. The funds will go toward the LGBT Chamber of Commerce's first-ever CoCi Biz Pitch. The competition will allow the winning minority LGBTQ+ business owner to receive $5,000 and a chance to compete at the LGBT Biz Pitch competition at the chamber's 2023 conference. Anheuser-Busch's announcement comes weeks after the company was caught up in controversy after conservative commentators attacked the company for a brand partnership with trans influencer/model Dylan Mulvaney

Also, Kohl's has become the latest brand to face right-wing outrage over Pride Month products, PinkNews noted. The department-store chain—with more than 1,000 branches across the United States—has a range of products on sale in honor of Pride Month and the LGBTQ+ community. One Twitter user posted, "Kohl's is pushing LGBTQ Pride for babies. Please boycott them."

A new study of people engaged in sex work in Los Angeles County from the Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center and the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that 80% of respondents were unaware of California Senate Bill 233, which ensures that the possession of condoms or HIV prophylactics cannot be used as evidence to arrest or prosecute a person for sex work, per a press release. In addition, about 80% carried condoms while working despite the perceived risk of criminalization. The full report is at .

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) marked the first day of Pride Month 2023 with a video message that centers the crisis facing the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender and non-binary people, and emphasizes the importance of activism during Pride, per a press release. HRC President Kelley Robinson said, "This Pride month is about centering our defiant joy. Despite those who are trying to silence us, to push us back into the closet, to erase us under the law, we march and dance in the streets in celebration of one another and of our community."

Five leading national organizations that advocate for LGBTQ+ families joined forces on a new report, "Relationships at Risk: Why We Need to Update State Parentage Laws to Protect Children and Families"—Movement Advancement Project (MAP), COLAGE, Family Equality, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and NCLR, a press release announced. The report details how the current patchwork of parentage laws across the country leaves LGBTQ+ parents and their children vulnerable. Nearly one in three LGBTQ+ adults raise children under the age of 18—many of them in states that still have outdated laws.

Transgender activist Qween Jean was among several people arrested for disorderly conduct during a "Trans Revolution" rally in Greenwich Village's Washington Square Park, Gay City News noted. Jean (who organized the event) told the crowd she was "outraged" by the crisis the trans community was facing and that "they were sadly mistaken" if they believed the anti-trans wave of laws only affected transgender people in Florida, Texas or the Midwest, where most of these statutes have been passed.

Organizers of this year's Gay Days—an annual LGBTQ+ pride event that includes trips to Walt Disney World and other Orlando attractions—said that recently passed legislation in Florida has raised concerns among potential attendees of the events, which began May 31, per Deadline. Gay Days is taking place just weeks after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a series of bills targeting the LGBTQ+ community.

U.S. Defense Department leaders stopped a drag show scheduled for June 1 at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, according to NBC News. Air Force leaders approved the event; however, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley told the Air Force it is not Pentagon policy to fund drag shows on bases and the show should be canceled or moved off base. At a House Armed Services Committee hearing on March 29, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., angrily questioned Austin and Milley about drag-queen story hours on bases around the world.

Three Arkansas parents—Samantha Rowlett, Rebecka Virden and Nina Prater—are suing the Crawford County judge, quorum court, library board and interim library director over the alleged illegal censorship of children's books about LGBTQ+ topics, The Advocate reported. A lawsuit claims that certain books have been stigmatized by placing color labels on them and separating them from other books in each library.

In Idaho, the families of two transgender teenagers are challenging a state law (House Bill 71) that criminalizes gender-affirming health care for minors in federal court, The Hill reported. "HB 71 overrides medical decisions made by parents in consultation with their children's doctors, about the care of their children," according to the lawsuit. "Where the adolescent patient, their parents, and their doctor all agree that gender-affirming medical care is medically necessary, the law strips families of the ability to access such care. Simply put, the law preempts Idaho parents' (and doctors') judgment about what is best for their own children."

A so-called "pronoun provision" in California's bill of rights for LGBTQ+ senior living and other long-term care residents is in the hands of the state supreme court after an appellate court found that it violated facility employees' free-speech rights, according to a McKnights Senior Living item. A case pending before the California Supreme Court is challenging a provision of the state's LGBTQ+ bill of rights that protects residents from a community's or facility's refusal to use their preferred name and pronouns. The provision makes it illegal for workers to "willfully and repeatedly fail to use a resident's preferred name or pronouns after being clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns."

Transgender Army veteran Jessica Watkins—who helped recruit people for the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol Insurrection and organize the attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential elections—was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison, LGBTQ Nation noted. "Your role that day was more aggressive, more assaultive, more purposeful than perhaps others'. And you led others to fulfill your purposes," Judge Amit Mehta told Watkins, a member of the far-right militia Oath Keepers. "I was just another idiot running around the hallway," Watkins said before sentencing. "But idiots are responsible, and today you are going to hold this idiot responsible."

And on the heels of news that the Proud Boys are planning disruptive protests during the Pride month of June, counter-extremist expert Samantha Kutner warned that the alt-right group is specifically targeting Juneteenth celebrations as well, per LGBTQ Nation. In an attempt to appropriate the federal holiday celebrating the end of slavery, the Proud Boys are purportedly organizing their own event on June 17.

In Connecticut, hundreds came out to support the first known formal LGBTQ+ Pride event hosted on the Guilford Green in the town of Guilford, Vermont Public noted. The event was organized by Sarah Celotto, who founded a nonprofit called ALEX, Inc. that raises funds to organize LGBTQ+ events in Guilford and the surrounding area. Celotto started the nonprofit after her son, Cameron Celotto, came out as transgender.

In Michigan, the second annual Muskegon Pride Festival— an all-day, family-friendly event celebrating Pride Month—was slated to take place June 3, per the event's website. Live music, drag performances, poetry and children's activities were to take place at the corner of Second Street and Western Avenue throughout the day. Also, more than 100 vendors will fill Western Avenue from Jefferson to 4th Street.

In Florida, a sign with a homophobic slur outside of a Tallahassee business is causing controversy, per the Tallahassee Democrat. On U.S. Highway 90, in front of Rick's Repair Shop, a sign reads: "Veterans get a day f—- and child molesters get a month why." (Pride Month, which celebrates LGBTQ+ equality, is celebrated in June across the United States.) The shop's sign is known for displaying attention-grabbing and sometimes controversial messages.

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, 95, has been diagnosed with dementia, according to Politico. "She continues to live happily at home with her husband, enjoying spring in Plains and visits with loved ones," the Carter Center said in a statement, referring to the Carters' home in Georgia. The Center announced in February that former President Jimmy Carter had been receiving hospice care following a series of hospitalizations.

Indiana's medical-licensing board reprimanded and fined obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an Indianapolis doctor who publicly revealed she provided abortion services to a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim last year, CNN reported. The board found Bernard liable on three counts of violating patient privacy laws after Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita filed a complaint against the doctor in November. However, the board dismissed two other allegations in the complaint, determining she did not violate laws requiring physicians to immediately report suspected child abuse and keep abreast of mandatory reporting and patient privacy laws.

The American Medical Association (AMA), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and Race Forward called for a system-wide approach to health equity, formally announcing the launch of Rise to Health: A National Coalition for Equity in Health Care. A first-of-its-kind initiative co-led by the two organizations and supported by numerous collaborators including Race Forward, the Rise to Health Coalition is centered around the vision of creating a transformed health care ecosystem where everyone has the power, circumstances and resources to achieve optimal health.

ONE Archives Foundation announced "My Own Private Rodeo, by Coyote Park," an exhibition of new works by 2Spirit, Indigenous (Yurok), Korean-American transgender multimedia performing artist Coyote Park, a press release noted. A collaboration with the City of West Hollywood and HIT, the exhibition will be featured as a part of the WeHo Pride Arts Festival. "Rodeo" can be seen through June 30 at ONE Gallery in West Hollywood.

This article shared 4692 times since Fri Jun 2, 2023
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