Bisexual Nebraska state Sen. Megan Hunt has filed a defamation lawsuit against far-right lobbying group the Nebraska Freedom Coalition, which accused her of being a "groomer," per LGBTQ Nation. "These malicious and false lies about Hunt had vicious consequences," the complaint stated, and made her fear for her and her 13-year-old trans son's physical safety. One tweet from the coalition described Hunt's "skills" as " grooming children, including her own." After the group's posts, "she was called a groomer on Twitter no fewer than 231 times," the complaint also stated.
Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards recently vetoed three anti-LGBTQ+ measures, per The Advocate. Edwards vetoed House Bill 648, a ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth; HB 466, a "don't say LGBTQ+" bill; and HB 81, a pronoun-restriction measure. The legislature's Republican supermajority, however, could override his vetoes. In a veto letter sent to House Speaker Clay Schexnayder and Senate President Patrick Cortez, Bel Edwards called HB 648 cruel and unnecessary.
Democrats in both houses of the U.S. Congress joined together to reintroduce the PrEP Access and Coverage Act of 2023 to improve the uptake of PrEP to prevent HIV, The Advocate reported. Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith and California Rep. Adam Schiff are leading the effort, which then-Sen. (and current Vice President) Kamala Harris initially introduced. The updated bills provide zero-cost sharing coverage of PrEP to private and public payers, and establish a national grant program that provides PrEP to the uninsured.
For Pride Month, Comcast highlighted its support of LGBTQ+ communities, hosting its "first-ever Pride summit" for employees and signing a strong statement against anti-LGBTQ+ state legislation written by Human Rights Campaignbut, since 2022, Comcast has also contributed more than $1 million to politicians supporting anti-LGBTQ+ bills, according to a report from Popular Information, The Philadelphia Inquirer noted. The contributions include $300,000 to the Republican Governors Association and $158,500 to the Republican State Leadership Committee, which supports politicians dismantling LGBTQ+ rights around the country. In 2022, more than 300 Comcast NBCUniversal employees signed a petition calling their employer's support of such politicians hypocritical and asking them to reconsider.
The D.C. State Board of Education voted unanimously in favor of new social-studies standards that will transform how the subject is taught in the city's public and charter schools, according to DCist. Officials aimed to write the standards to be "anti-racist," "promote civic engagement," and improve media literacyand, for the first time, D.C. teachers will be required to incorporate LGBTQ+ history in several different courses. There will also be greater attention to the histories of minority groups, including Asian Americans and Indigenous peoples. The new standards will go into effect in the 2024-25 school year.
Trans TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney said that Bud Light did not "stand by" her after she received intense transphobic backlash following a partnership with them, per PinkNews. In an Instagram video, Mulvaney talked in-depth about the campaign for the first time, saying that she had faced bullying and transphobia that made her "scared to leave my house." She also said, "For a company to hire a trans person, then not publicly stand by them is worse, in my opinion, than not hiring a trans person at all." In April, Brendan Whitworth, the chief executive of parent company Anheuser-Busch, said he "never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people"prompting five Chicago LGBTQ+ bars to stop serving Bud Light.
Lesbian poet/activist Minnie Bruce Pratt has died at age 76, per The Advocate. Prattthe longtime partner of trans activist Leslie Feinbergdied July 2 in Syracuse, New York,"surrounded by friends and family," reported AL.com . Her sons, Ben and Ransom Weaver, posted on Pratt's website in June that she had been "diagnosed with a severe health problem" and was receiving palliative care at her home in Syracuse. Pratt, a native of Alabama, published eight collections of poetry, including Crime Against Nature.
LGBTQ+ Victory Fund endorsed Mondaire Jones for Congress (New York-17th District) following Jones' campaign launch, per a press release. Jones previously made history in 2020 when he and U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres became the nation's first Black out LGBTQ+ members of Congress. The country must elect 21 more LGBTQ+ U.S. representatives for equitable representation, according to the LGBTQ+ Victory Institute.
A transgender woman and former inmate who was held in solitary confinement for six years is suing the Missouri Department of Corrections (MODOC) for its alleged "unconstitutional and discriminatory policy against people living with HIV," The Advocate reported. "No person should be subjected to the inhumane and devastating effects of long-term solitary confinement, conditions that Ms. [Jane] Roe faced every day for more than six years," Lambda Legal senior attorney Richard Saenz said in a statement. The lawsuit, Roe v. Precythe, et. al., was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri; it claims "MODOC's policy on incarcerated people living with HIV lacks any consideration of modern medicine and does not engage in individualized assessments."
Yasmin Benoita model who served as the first asexual (or ace) grand marshal at New York City Pridereceived backlash for her comments about her sexual identity, according to Newsweek. Benoit went viral when tweeting from the London Pride parade, where she marched with LGBTQ+ rights organization Stonewall UK. She posted, "Asexual people deserve equal rights. We deserve legal recognition. We deserve protection." While some praised Benoit, others dissented, with one person saying, "Hello! I am a progressive. Can you help me understand what legal rights asexual people don't have? I would love to stand with you, but I need to understand the problem."
Grand Rapids, Michigan station WOOD TV8 terminated four employeestwo members of news leadership and two producersafter a leaked internal memo ordered scaled-back Pride month coverage, The Advocate noted. "We should not cover every Pride event that we learn about," the memo reportedly read. "If we are covering Pride events, we need to consider how to make the story balanced and get both sides of the issue." The executive producers (Luke Stier and Madeline Odle) were fired after WOOD TV's corporate parent, Nexstar Media Group, accused them of leaking the memo to news outlets.
The LGBTQ+ group Log Cabin Republicans criticized GOP Florida Gov./presidential candidate Ron DeSantis over an ad released by his presidential campaign that the organization called "homophobic," The Hill noted. "Conservatives understand that we need to protect our kids, preserve women's sports, safeguard women's spaces and strengthen parental rights, but Ron DeSantis' extreme rhetoric has just ventured into homophobic territory," the group said. The DeSantis campaign attacked former President Donald Trump for pro-LGBTQ+ statements he has made; the post accompanying the video stated that Trump "did more than any other Republican to celebrate" Pride.
A fashion workshop held at the University of Colorado-Boulder called "Slay the Runway" recently gave queer teens the opportunity to learn, design and walk the runway in outfits they created, The Advocate noted. The program, an initiative organized by the Firehouse Art Center specifically for LGBTQ+ teenagers, gave participants the opportunity to learn the fashion design fundamentals of sewing, shape and color. According to Firehouse's website, "Slay the Runway's goal is to create an affirming and accessible space where creativity, expression and positive self-image are celebrated."
The D.C. Center for the LGBT Community and the Capital Pride Alliance hosted a ceremonial "groundbreaking" to showcase the yet unfinished almost-7,000-square-foot space on the first floor of a five-story building in the city's Shaw neighborhood, where the center plans to move later this year, The Washington Blade reported. Nearly 100 local LGBTQ+-rights activists and community supporters turned up for the event, and were given a tour of the sprawling space located in The Adora, a partially renovated warehouse building. The building is steps away from the Howard Theatre and a little more than a block from the Shaw-Howard University Metro station.
Artist Rami George, the gay newspaper Au Courant archive's first artist-in-residence, combed through the collection to assemble an unofficial history of Philadelphia gay life. Their exhibition, "And Into The Streets," is in partnership with the Wilcox archive and Mural Arts Philadelphiaand is in one of the only public outdoor spaces in the city's Gayborhood, per WHYY. "Streets" will be in Louis Kahn Park through Aug. 31; for more, see www.muralarts.org/artworks/and-into-the-streets/ .