California law enforcement officials conduct body searches on Black and transgender people more often than on white and cisgender people, according to a new report from California's Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory (RIPA) Board, LGBTQ Nation reported. The report analyzed stops conducted by 18 law enforcement agencies on 2.9 million people in 2020. The report found that transgender women were 2.4 times more likely to be searched compared to women who appear to be cisgender. Similarly, the report also found that Black people were 2.4 times more likely than white people to be searched by legal authorities. The full report is at https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/media/ripa-board-report-2022.pdf.
The San Francisco AIDS Foundation announced a new CEOonly the second in the organization's 40-year history who is HIV-positive, according to The Bay Area Reporter. Tyler TerMeer, Ph.D., will also be the first non-white leader of the nonprofit health services provider. TerMeer, who is Black, starts Feb. 14. He told the publication he has a lot to learn about San Francisco and is eager to do so as he takes the helm of the city's largest provider of HIV/AIDS and other health services. TerMeer succeeds Joe Hollendoner, a gay man who stepped down in May to lead the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
Recently, 100 LGBTQ+ artists and allies convened in person at The Whitney Museum while many more joined online for Queer|Art's biggest event of the year: The Queer|Art Annual Party, a press release noted. The 2021 Queer|Art Annual Party was a hybrid event that was hosted by poet/performer Candystore and activist/drag artist Junior Mintt. The Black Queer|Art|Mentorship Award, which offers a $10,000 prize, went to Queer|Art|Mentorship mentor Pamela Sneed; also, the 2021 Queer|Art|Prize honored the photographer/activist Lola Flash along with writer/arts worker Anais Duplan with $10,000 prizes. In addition, Queer|Art|Mentorship fellows graduated.
California state Sen. Scott Wiener withdrew a bill that would have banned some medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex children until they are old enough to participate in the decision, TimesHeraldOnline.com noted. Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, has tried for three years to ban some types of surgeries on young children born with intersex characteristics. The nations of Germany, Colombia and Malta all restrict certain surgeries on intersex children. Two U.S. children's hospitalsone in Chicago and one in Bostonalso limit these types of surgeries on children, but no state has limited the operations.
A South Carolina man who was forced to register as a sex offender because of a 2001 conviction for consensual sex with another man filed a lawsuit in federal court, out.com reported. The law has existed since 1712, when North and South Carolina split in twoeven though sodomy laws banning same-sex relations were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 (in Lawrence v. Texas). The unnamed man received a full pardon in 2006, but was still required to register as a sex offender.
Atlanta City Councilmember Matt Westmoreland came out as gay just before being sworn in for his second term in office, The Georgia Voice reported. "Tomorrow afternoon, I'll swear an oath for the third time to serve the City of Atlanta and all her residents," he tweeted Jan. 2. "And I'll do it as a proud member of our LGBTQ+ community." With his coming out, there are now four openly LGBTQ members of the Atlanta City Council: Westmoreland, Liliana Bakhtiari, Alex Wan and Keisha Sen Waites.
In New York state, LGBTQ symbols were destroyed at Pearl River High School for the third time this academic year, the Rockland/Westchester Journal News reported. The most recent act, which was discovered the day school resumed after winter recess, occurred in a teacher's classroom. Items that displayed LGBTQ supportive symbols, including two flags and a pencil, were damaged. Pearl River Superintendent Marco Pochintesta said the incident violates the district's code of conduct.
In a historic first, NASCAR is partnering with a prominent LGBTQ chamber of commerce as part of the auto racing league's increasing commitment to foster more inclusion in the sport, Outsports reported. NASCAR plans to partner with the Carolinas LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, becoming the organization's diversity, equity and inclusion partner for 2022. The partnership will benefit the LGBTQ group's training and education programs focused on equity and inclusion throughout the majority of the Carolinas.
Pittsburgh's first-ever Pride on the Shore concert is scheduled for June 3 at Stage AE, CBS Pittsburgh noted. The event will kick off Pride Month. A portion of the proceeds will benefit a local LGBTQ charity that has not yet been named.
The U.S. Congress dealt with an unprecedented rise in COVID-19 cases, with the seven-day positivity rate at a congressional test site surging to 13%from just 1% in late November, Reuters reported. Most coronavirus infections on Capitol Hill have been occurring among the vaccinated, with the Omicron variant representing about 61% and the Delta variant 38%, based on a limited sample as of Dec. 15.
The LGBT Meeting Professionals Association (LGBT MPA), a professional MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) organization based in Philadelphia, announced its newly elected 2022 board of directors, per a press release. Led by Jim Clapes, director of meetings at M3 Meet, the organization's nominating committee convened virtually in October to determine the slate of the 2022 board officers and directors for open positions. For more on the board, see https://lgbtmpa.com/board.php.
Twitter banned the personal account of Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for tweets that repeatedly violated the social media's misinformation policy on COVID-19, Reuters reported. The congresswoman from Georgia is the first member of Congress to ever have a Twitter account permanently suspended. Last June, she apologized after comparing COVID-19 mask requirements and vaccinations to the Holocaust that killed 6 million Jews. Recently, she called Kwanzaa "a fake religion created by a psychopath," The Hill noted.
Anti-gay U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn and his wife are divorcing after eight months because of irreconcilable differences, the North Carolina Republican announced in a statement, according to NBC News. Cawthorn said they were engaged before he was in Congress, and that after he took office their lives changed and they tried "balancing the enormity of such a transition in life." Cawthorn, the youngest member of Congress at 26, is a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and an ally of former President Donald Trump.
While Urban Meyer was coach of the Ohio State University football team, a staffer used a photo of Trayvon Martin to amplify a team rule that players couldn't wear hoodies in the football building, USA Today noted, citing The Columbus Dispatch. Martin, a Black teen from Florida, was 17 when he was fatally shot by George Zimmerman in 2012. Meyer told The Dispatch he was unaware the Martin photo had appeared during a freshman orientation meeting outlining program rules until he learned of it from a former player that same day. However, he initially told journalist Jeff Snook the photo incident "never happened."
A West Hollywood gym reminded patrons that sex is off-limits at the facility, out.com noted. According to a report in The Sword, Twitter user @rossiferrrr shared a picture of a sign he discovered at Crunch with the caption, "Tell me you work at a gay gym without telling me you work at a gym." "Attention Members," the sign announced boldly at the top of the flyer. "Please DO NOT HAVE SEX in the Men's Locker Room! You can have sex *literally* anywhere else, just not at Crunch Fitness." Reddit users found humor in the situation, with one person commenting, "It's official. I am joining Crunch Fitness."