California is banning state-funded travel to four states that passed laws this year prohibiting transgender women and girls from competing in school sports according to their gender identities, The Sacramento Bee reported. State agencies will no longer pay for travel to Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana or Utah, according to an announcement by California Attorney General Rob Bonta. The bans begin when each of the state laws takes effect, between July 1 and Sept. 28. The new bans mean California won't pay for travel to 22 states, most of which are controlled by Republicans.
HBCUBuzz reported a list of the top LGBTQ+-friendly HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities), as compiled by BestColleges.com . Howard University, in D.C., topped the list, followed by schools such as North Carolina Central University, Delaware State University, North Carolina A&T State University and Georgia's Albany State University, while a few others include Alabama's Tuskegee University; Virginia's Norfolk State and Hampton universities; and Atlanta's Spelman College. The full list is at hbcubuzz.com/2022/06/best-hbcus-for-lgbtq-students/ .
DJ Lady Bunny and DJ Lina headlined a "Dance for Memorial" silent-disco event at the New York City AIDS Memorial on June 29, Gay City News noted. Participants wore headphones and danced away in the area surrounding the memorial at West 12th Street and Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich Village. The memorial opened on World AIDS Day in 2016 as a space dedicated to honoring the lives lost to AIDS and celebrating those who have served as caretakers and activists in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Justice Horn, a Missouri activist running for the Jackson County legislature, said that one of his campaign banners had been defaced with a homophobic slur, The Advocate noted. Horn, an openly gay former NCAA wrestler, found the banner spray-painted with "fag" in capital letters. In a press release, LGBTQ Victory Fund President & CEO Mayor Annise Parker said, "Hateful acts like this make it abundantly clear that progress is not linear and should never be taken for granted. This is a reminder for the LGBTQ community and our allies that the fight for equality is far from over and that we must enter this election with urgency and strength. The stakes could not be higher."
A mural in front of a Kansas City, Missouri, church with a message of open doors for all was repainted after someone defaced it with a homophobic slur on July 7, KMBC reported. Community members showed up at the Kansas City United Church in the Brookside neighborhood with paint brushes in hand to erase the message scrawled on the mural. The installation, made of six different doors all painted in colors of the rainbow, features a message that reads, "God's doors are open to all."
During President Joe Biden's presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 17 recipients, honoree Megan Rapinoe paid homage to Brittney Griner with her outfit, Sports Illustrated noted. On the lapel of Rapinoe's jacket, "BG" was threaded with a flower. Rapinoe wrote "the most important part of today" and "BG We Love You" on her story. The WNBA star is due back in court on July 14 after pleading guilty to drug-related charges in a Russian court, and she will remain in custody throughout the duration of the trial.
In Iowa, a divided Linn County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance to ban the practice of conversion therapy in unincorporated areas of the countya move one local official hopes changes the conversation on LGBTQ youth policies in Iowa, the Des Moines Register reported. The ordinance bans anyone in the rural parts of the state's second-most populous county from offering conversion or reparative therapy. The measure passed the three-member board 2-1, with Vice Chair Louie Zumbach voting no.
Last month, Alaska Airlines gave passengers on a "Pride" plane flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles a free trip to anywhere the company flies, according to Must Read Alaska. Last year, Alaska painted one of its planes with a "Fly with Pride" theme, with the jet's body covered with painted rainbow plane decorations. This year, passengers could watch LGBTQ-themed movies and TV shows such as RuPaul's Drag Race, Love Simon, and The Birdcage. Also, flight attendants wore pronoun pins.
Several LGBTQ+ organizationsincluding the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Lambda Legal and the Transgender Law Centerhave called for reforms of the U.S. Supreme Court. Among the proposed reforms are adding additional seats to equal the number of federal judicial circuits and adopting an enforceable ethics code for Supreme Court justices.
The U.S. State Department said it is "very concerned" about the well-being of a transgender woman in Cuba who is serving a 14-year prison sentence after she participated in an anti-government protest last July, The Washington Blade noted. Tremenda Nota, the Washington Blade's media partner in Cuba, reported that Brenda Díaz was arrested in Guira de Melena in Artemisa province on July 11, 2021. In prison, Diaz has had her head shaved and fingernails removed before being placed with male prisoners and forced her to wear men's clothes; Tremenda Nota also noted prison officials refer to García by her dead name. Reports indicate a Havana court earlier this year sentenced García to 14 years in prison, which she is appealing.
Out Leadership will hold the 2022 OutNEXT global LGBTQ+ Leadership Development Summit, hosted by Citi and sponsored by RBC, Capital Markets, IBM, and Capital One on July 11-15 in NYC, a press release noted. Some of this year's notable participants will include U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, pop artist/trans activist Mila Jam, Color of Change President Rashad Robinson, attorney/Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson and Olympic medalist Gus Kenworthy. Visit outleadership.com .
In Arizona, a right-wing extremist who threatened to "hunt" LGBTQ supporters "across Phoenix" was recently arrested on a separate case, The New York Daily News reported. Ethan Schmidt was taken into custody during the March for our Lives demonstration at the Arizona State Capitol for reportedly failing to comply with a court order stemming from a case back in January, local television station KSAZ-TV reported. The anti-mask activist made headlines in May after appearing in a video shared on social media saying that he would expose "satanic Pride shrines" at Target stores across the country, and would "find and expose all the LGBT supporters and all the employees that support it."
A retired three-star general has been suspended from a $92-an-hour contract consulting the Army and is under investigation after posting a tweet that appeared to mock First Lady Jill Biden, according to Yahoo! News. Retired Lt. Gen. Gary Voleskythe Army's former top spokesman and recipient of the Silver Star for gallantry in Iraqtweeted, "Glad to see you finally know what a woman is" after Biden condemned the overturning of Roe v. Wade, posting, "For nearly 50 years, women have had the right to make our own decisions about our bodies. Today, that right was stolen."
In South Bend, Indiana, a Pride Month children's Rainbow Story Hour event at the St. Joseph County Public Library's Virginia M. Tutt Branch was disrupted after the far-right anti-LGBTQ+ group the Proud Boys walked in and began loudly arguing with staff and library patrons, The Los Angeles Blade reported. The eventa partnership between the library and TREES, a Michiana organization that provides resources for the local transgender community and operates the Tree House Gender Resource center in downtown South Bendhad to be canceled. This incident followed Proud Boys targeting LGBTQ+ Pride month eventsespecially Drag Queen Story Hour eventsin Nevada, North Carolina, California and Idaho.
A teenage student in southwest Washington could face criminal charges related to weapons and violence in schools for the fourth time in a month, OPB News reported. In mid-June, the Kalama Police Department arrested a 15-year-old Kalama High School freshman who reportedly told a classmate he wanted to aim an "automatic machine gun" at a demonstration on campus supporting the LGBTQ community. Fellow students staged the demonstrationa walkoutafter a transgender classmate was reportedly assaulted by another classmate the previous week.
Michigan authorities launched an investigation after a camera recorded a man setting a Pride flag display on fire, The Advocate noted. In the early morning of June 28, Lansing Police Department officers said a man wearing a baseball cap poured the flags with a liquid and then set the display aflameand almost set himself on fire, according to local TV station WILX. It's the sixth time the Pride display has been vandalized, according to LGBTQ Nation.