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NATIONAL Calif. bill, lawsuits, Billy Porter, 'Southern LGBTQ Experiences'
by Windy City Times staff
2021-09-05

This article shared 1406 times since Sun Sep 5, 2021
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The California legislature okayed a bill that would launch a pilot program to better track the gender identity and sexual orientation of victims of fatal violence, Gay City News noted. Under AB 1094, or the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data Collection Pilot Project, the California Department of Public Health is launching a three-year pilot program that would teach coroners and medical examiners how to identify and compile information about a victim's sexual orientation and gender identity in cases of violent death, including suicides and homicides. The bill is heading toward California Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and 19 other Republican attorneys general are suing the federal government in an effort to overturn anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ and transgender people established under President Joe Biden, The Columbus Dispatch reported. The lawsuit, spearheaded by Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III, targets an executive order issued by Biden that instructed agencies to ensure their rules prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The move reversed action by former President Donald Trump, whose administration said LGBTQ students weren't protected by federal law.

The LGBTQ litigation group Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Virginia Department of Corrections on behalf of an imprisoned transgender man, saying he was illegally denied "medically necessary" care, including breast-removal surgery. The lawsuit charges that the denial of surgery for Jason Yoakam, 42—who has been assigned to the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Troy, Virginia, since 2004,—violates the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment."

Actor, activist and fashion icon Billy Porter will be honored at The Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS fundraising gala on Sept. 17, a press release announced. Porter will join previously announced honorees Dr. Anthony Fauci; amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research; and Sandra Thurman. All four will be honored with the Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award.

The Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) and Campus Pride announced the launch of the Survey of Southern LGBTQ Experiences—a new in-depth research project dedicated to understanding the experiences, needs and priorities of LGBTQ people living in the Southern United States, a press release stated. The survey, which any LGBTQ Southerner over 18 is eligible to take part in, covers a wide range of areas, including questions about LGBTQ-related policies, experiences with coming out and familial/community support, so-called "conversion therapy," violence, bullying, discrimination, health care, HIV, substance use, and more. See www.southernequality.org/2021Survey.

LGBTQ leaders and out state lawmakers are outlining their expectations for Kathy Hochul as she settles into her new position as New York's 57th governor—and much of the focus is on queer youth, Gay City News reported. Hochul—the first woman to serve as the state's governor—sought to swiftly mark the dawn of a new era after she took office Aug. 24 following the resignation of disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo. She vowed to stand up for individuals in the workplace, from women to "members of the LGBTQ community who often feel they've been preyed upon by others." Out gay State Assemblymember Daniel O'Donnell, of Manhattan, said he expects Hochul to address "an explosion of suicide among LGBTQ youth" and ramp up funding for The Dignity for All Students Act.

Activist groups and victims say transgender people are targets of violence from both Puerto Rican citizens and from local police for expressing their gender identity, and that police are often dismissive of crime victims who are transgender, CBS News reported. Of the 44 transgender or gender non-conforming people who were fatally shot or killed by violent means in 2020 in the United States., six were killed on the island, accounting for 14% of the deaths—more than any state or territory, according to tracking by the Human Rights Campaign. At least one trans person was killed earlier this year, the organization said.

A man allegedly assaulted and hurled anti-LGBTQ slurs at a man on the subway in Brooklyn last month, Gay City News reported. A 23-year-old man was traveling on a J train on Aug. 26 when he said he was accosted by an individual spewing homophobic rhetoric. Moments later, the man repeatedly punched the victim in the head, according to the NYPD; the victim sustained a bruised lip but refused medical attention. This incident comes amid a spate of anti-LGBTQ attacks on New York City subways in recent months.

The Virginia Supreme Court upheld the reinstatement of Loudoun County gym teacher Tanner Cross, who had been suspended after he spoke against a policy that protects transgender students, The Washington Blade reported. In August, the Loudoun County School Board approved Policy 8040, which allows trans students to use their preferred names and pronouns and school facilities that align with their gender identity. The Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBTQ legal group, sued the board on Cross' behalf.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced that he and his husband, Chasten, have officially become parents of two children, NBC News noted. Buttigieg shared a black-and-white photo of him and his husband holding their daughter, Penelope Rose, and son, Joseph August, on Twitter. The couple first announced that they were on their way to become parents a few weeks ago, when the former presidential candidate expressed his wishes "to grow our family."

PrideLife—which calls itself the world's first LGBT-certified registrar, offering domain name sales and services, marketing for diverse domains and initiatives that connect diverse communities—unveiled a PSA-like campaign urging people to "buy LGBTQ," a press release noted. PrideLife initiated a more diverse domain name eco-system on the internet through .LGBT and .GAY registrations.

Sept. 1 marked the beginning of Born This Way Foundation's #BeKind21—and Garrison recently released "Be Kind 1000 Piece Panoramic Puzzle," as an invitation for customers to join Born This Way Foundation's #BeKind21 initiative, according to a press release. The initiative calls on the public to practice an act of kindness for themselves and others each day through Sept. 21 to build kinder, connected communities that foster mental wellness. The puzzle is available on Amazon and galison.com .

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson issued a formal proclamation during the City Council briefing on Sept. 1, declaring September to be LGBTQ Business Month in the city, The Dallas Voice reported. Mayor Pro Tem— and North Texas Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Chamber of Commerce member—Chad West read the proclamation aloud at the meeting. Tony Vedda, the chamber's president and CEO, explained that the chamber had asked for the proclamation to help highlight the economic contributions made by LGBTQ-owned businesses and garner support for those companies.

In a video making its way around social media, a Brigham Young University (BYU) student defaced a mural featuring messages of support and empathy for the LGBTQ community, Instinct Magazine noted. At the end of the short clip, the student (identified on social media as Connor Murray, who reportedly attends the university) says, "Fa—-ts go to hell." This happened just a short time after Jeffrey Holland, an elder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, addressed faculty and staff at BYU criticizing folks for not strenuously defending the church's position on same-sex marriage.

In Williamsburg, Virginia, officials with the College of William & Mary held a ceremony dedicating one of its academic buildings that it renamed the John E. Boswell Hall—after the gay historian, Yale University professor, and widely recognized scholar and advocate for LGBTQ rights, The Washington Blade reported. Among other accomplishments, Boswell, a William & Mary alumnus, became widely known as the author of his landmark 1980 book Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality.

The New Jersey NJ LGBTQ Democratic Caucus will host its annual awards dinner Friday, Oct. 1, at the Jumping Brook Country Club in Neptune, New Jersey, InsiderNJ.com noted. The organization will honor Flemington Mayor Betsy Driver; former Assemblyman Dr. Tim Eustace; Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora; Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle; educator/youth advocate Kate Okeson; and political consultant David Parano, principal of Parano and Associates.

The Baylor University women's basketball program is dropping the "Lady" from its nickname and will be known as just the Bears—like the rest of the school's athletic teams, ESPN.com reported. "Baylor women's basketball has solidified itself as one of Baylor's most remarkable and celebrated programs," the school (which has produced athletes such as WNBA players Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims) said in a statement. "This evolution is unique in that it creates consistency among Baylor teams while also highlighting the individual sport and contributions of its athletes and coaches."

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed President Joe Biden's selection of Rahm Emanuel as ambassador to Japan, citing the former Chicago mayor's handling of the 2014 police murder of Laquan McDonald, The Chicago Tribune noted. Emanuel repeatedly has insisted that neither he nor his administration covered up the McDonald shooting, saying the city followed protocol at the time not to release police video of a shooting under investigation.

The National Geographic documentary Fauci will be going into theatrical release Sept. 10 in select cities (specifically only those with appropriate mandates and guidelines for theaters), and then debut in October on Disney+, Deadline noted. The film is a portrait of Dr. Anthony Fauci—the public servant, scientist, physician, husband and father whose career spans seven presidents and is bookended by two pandemics: HIV/AIDS and COVID-19.

Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF) announced three new members to its board of directors: R. Ayite Okyne, Graylin Thornton and Gary Keener, a press release noted. Thornton and Keener reside and work in San Francisco, while Okyne lives in Los Angeles. For more than three and a half decades, ToFF has created a safe haven for erotic artists—particularly queer and trans artists—by protecting, preserving and promoting erotic art.

Tinder-owned Match Group and rival dating platform Bumble plan to start relief funds for people affected by a Texas law that bans abortion from as early as six weeks into pregnancy, CNN.com noted. Bumble, based in the state capital of Austin and led by CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd, said it has created a fund "supporting the reproductive rights of women and people across the gender spectrum who seek abortions in Texas."

On a related note, singer/actress Bette Midler called for women to refuse to have sex to protest Texas' recently enacted abortion law and suggested that Congress should guarantee abortion rights for women, The Hill reported. "I suggest that all women refuse to have sex with men until they are guaranteed the right to choose by Congress," Midler tweeted. President Biden said he would ask the Gender Policy Council and White House counsel to launch a "whole-of-government effort" to respond to the law.

Former Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean—who became infamous in 2009 with an oddly worded statement against marriage equality—is back in the news as an opponent of face masks during the COVID pandemic, The Advocate noted. The onetime beauty queen, now Carrie Prejean Boller, went on an anti-mask rant at a recent meeting of the Encinitas, California, school board; at one point, she said, "The pandemic is over." (Editor's note: This statement is not true.) She has been a major supporter of Donald Trump, claimed he actually won re-election as president last year and praised him as a champion of so-called traditional values.

A New Jersey woman who went by the handle @AntiVaxMomma on Instagram has been charged with helping to run a business to distribute fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, Rolling Stone noted. According to a press release from the New York state district attorney's office, Jasmine Clifford, 31—a self-described entrepreneur from Lyndhurst, New Jersey—is accused of selling approximately 250 fake COVID-19 vaccination cards on Instagram, charging $200 per card. She's also charged with falsely entering at least 10 people into New York state's vaccine database for an additional $250, data which was transferred to New York state's official Excelsior pass system.


This article shared 1406 times since Sun Sep 5, 2021
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