In Kentucky, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council voted unanimously to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors, LEX18.com reported. The vote made Lexington the third city in Kentucky, along with Louisville and Covington, to ban the controversial practice that aims to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity. Kentucky lawmakers co-sponsored statewide conversion therapy bans earlier this year. While that legislation received a historic discussion in Frankfort last summer during an interim joint committee meeting of the Kentucky General Assembly, it received no consideration during the 2021 legislative session.
A Puerto Rico Senate committee killed a bill that would have banned so-called conversion therapy on the island, The Washington Blade reported. Members of the Senate Community Initiatives, Mental Health and Addiction Committee voted against Senate Bill 184 by an eight-to-seven vote margin; three senators abstained. Amarilis Pagan Jimeneza spokesperson for Comite Amplio para la Busqueda de la Equidad, a coalition of Puerto Rican human-rights groupssharply criticized the senators who opposed the measure.
The National AIDS Memorial, in San Francisco, will hold a national observance and commemoration on June 5the date 40 years ago when the U.S. government reported the first cases of AIDS, a press release noted. The 6,000th Block of the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be unveiled and unfolded during the ceremony, underscoring the fact that quilt panels continue to be made today, honoring those who have died, then and now. The public will be invited to watch the ceremony online through a special streaming at www.aidsmemorial.org .
More than 80 Asian and LGBTQ organizations signed a letter opposing the federal COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, stating that bringing more police into communities of color would contribute to deadly violence, Gay City News reported. The U.S. House has yet to take up the COVID-19 Hate Crime Act, but last month the Senate passed it 94-1, with only Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) voting against it. However, some groups say the measure lacks a public-health response to the bias-fueled attacks against Asian-Americans, which have surged dramatically in New York City and nationally during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette recently ran a profile on gay Republican U.S. Senate candidate Michael Deel. Deel, 38, of Fort Smith, said he was officially announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat held by John Boozman, a Republican from Rogers who is running for re-election. "I am a Republican, but on social issues, I lean left," Deel said. "I want to protect everyone. I want to help everyone. But I will not go with this rhetoric about the election being stolen. I won't stand for it." Deel joins two others who have announced intentions to run in the May 24, 2022, Republican primary election: gun-range owner Jan Morgan and Baptist minister Heath Loftis.
UNO & nonprofit It Gets Better Project (IGB) revealed their partnership to create a brand-new deck called UNO Play with Pride, a press release noted. Additionally, Mattel has donated $50,000 to the It Gets Better Project in support of its initiatives supporting LGBTQ+ youth and will be a partner of the It Gets Better Project digital pride festival in late June. The deck is available for $5.99 exclusively at Target.com and Target retailers nationwide. Mattel already has hundreds of themed packs, including ones themed around superheroes, video games and sports teams, AdWeek noted.
The CEO of an organization that provides support to undocumented LGBTQ immigrants says the Biden administration has given many of his clients a renewed sense of hope, The Washington Blade reported. "People definitely feel much more relaxed," Survivors Pathway CEO Francesco Duberli told the Blade during an interview at his Miami office. "There's much hope. You can tell … the conversation's shifted." Duberlia gay man from Colombia who received asylum in the U.S. because of anti-gay persecution he suffered in his homelandfounded Survivors Pathway in 2011.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed House Bill 1775a bill that prohibits mandatory diversity training for students in Oklahoma's public universities regarding gender identity, sexual orientation, race stereotyping and sex stereotyping for studentsinto law, according to a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) statement. HRC President Alphonso David. "This billdeveloped without any legitimate basisis just another example of Oklahoma lawmakers advancing and signing discriminatory bills instead of focusing on legitimate issues impacting residents in Oklahoma."
The Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn (LID) pulled its endorsement of mayoral candidate Scott Stringer and backed Dianne Morales, an Afro-Latinx former non-profit executive who has received two LGBTQ club endorsements in a matter of days, Gay City News reported. Last month, Jean Kim, a former colleague who served on Stringer's campaign for Public Advocate in 2001, accused him of groping her and pursuing a sexual relationshipclaims Stringer has denied. Just one day before LID's meeting, the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City upheld its endorsement of Stringer, prompting several members to quit. The 2021 New York City mayoral primaries will take place June 22.
After years of criticism, Heritage of Pride, the organizers behind New York City Pride, is banning participation in Pride events by police groups for the next four years, according to out.com . The move will come alongside other steps to reduce police presence at the annual events. The decision comes after advice from organizations like the Anti-Violence Project, National Black Justice Coalition, DapperQ and Compass Strategies Consulting, as well as advocate Devin Norelle.
Writer Kate Browne is donating all royalties for the book The Golden Girls this pride season to the Bea Arthur Fund at the Ali Forney Center, a press release noted. The Bea Arthur Fund was established through an estate gift and has allowed the Ali Forney Center to purchase a building that would become an 18-bed long-term housing facility for homeless LGBT youth in NYC. According to the Wayne State University Press website, Brownedrawing on feminist literary studies and television studiesmakes a case for The Golden Girls as a TV milestone, for various reasons.
The University of Oklahoma's homecoming court went gender-neutral this year, according to Out.com . First reported by KOKH, the student body and faculty selected Justin Norris and Reece Henry as their homecoming royalty, ditching the traditional binary-based titles of king and queen. Henry is straight, while Norris identifies as gay. While Norman and Henry were only recently elected as homecoming royalty, they will have to wait a few months before presiding over the homecoming football game, as the school's homecoming events don't take place until Oct. 11-16.
New York City's Reclaim Pride Coalition's third annual Queer Liberation March will take place June 27, kicking off at Bryant Park and concluding with a rally at Washington Square Park, Gay City News reported. The annual marchwhich does not allow police, politicians or corporate floatswill be live-streamed. It is the third consecutive year of a march that formed in response to the corporate and police presence at Heritage of Pride's (HOP's) annual march. Because of the pandemic, HOP did not have an in-person march last year, but tens of thousands of people participated in Reclaim Pride's Queer Liberation March for Black Lives and Against Police Brutality.
California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner said she didn't even vote last year because she was golfing that daybut records from L.A. County, where her Malibu home is located, show that she actually did cast a ballot last year, LGBTQ Nation noted. "I didn't even vote," Jenner initially told CNN's Dana Bash Now her campaign is refusing to discuss the discrepancy. "I just wound up going to play golf and I said, 'Eh, I'm not doing that.'" Serious questions have been raised about Jenner's competence in politics as well as her past support for Donald Trump as she mounts her campaign to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in a recall election.
In Indiana, Episcopalians recently opened Trinity Haventhe state's first residential facility for LGBTQ youth and young adults who are at risk of homelessness, according to the Episcopal News Service. Trinity Haven's road from idea to reality was a long one, beginning in 2016. Trinity Haven offers a transitional living program at the Trinity Haven house, which provides up to 24 months of housing, stabilization assistance, support services, independent living skills, case management, and care coordination for residents of ages 16-21; and a host homes program that provides an average of six months of housing with a host family and intensive case management for people 16-24.
NBCUniversal announced that it came to an agreement with openly gay news personality Steve Kornacki to keep him employed through 2025, paying him in the "multi-million dollar" range, LGBTQ Nation noted. The new deal firmly puts Kornacki on the NBCUniversal team for each election night from now until the 2024 presidential election. The company also will dramatically increase Kornacki to coverage duties outside of political events, such as the Olympics and other sports events. Kornacki (and his khakis) became a household name during the week-long coverage of the 2020 elections.
Kansas City's newly established LGBTQ Commission held its first meeting recentlybut things didn't go entirely smoothly, FOX4KC.com reported. Eight of the 13 commissioners met in person, while the rest appeared via Zoom. However, Zoom bombers disrupted the meeting during a discussion about how to deal with dissension peacefully. The commission was created with input from 60 LGBTQ organizations.
Candita Clayton Gallery will hold its "Emerging Collectors Series" to mark Pride, a press release noted. In celebration of Pride, KJ Shows has donated a piece that will be sold as a part of the series while a portion of funds from sales will be directly donated to QUEER/ART. In 2008, Shows (a queer woman herself) began her "Shoe Portraits" series and sent out handwritten letters asking friends, artists and colleagues to donate a pair of their favorite footwear for portrayal. The Pride Shoes print (20 inches x 26 inches) by KJ Shows will be available for purchase through the gallery's Instagram and website starting June 1 and will cost $350; for each print sold, $50 will be donated to QUEER/ART. See KJ Shows' art at http://fearnoart.net/.
Fox Corporation chief executive Lachlan Murdoch dismissed the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL's) demand that the company fire host Tucker Carlson, telling the organization in a letter that his company saw no problem with comments Carlson made about the racist "great replacement" theory, CNN.com noted. Murdoch said, in part, "A full review of the guest interview indicates that Mr. Carlson decried and rejected replacement theory. As Mr. Carlson himself stated during the guest interview: 'White replacement theory? No, no, this is a voting rights question.'" ADL Chief Executive Jonathan Greenblatt said Carlson's "attempt to at first dismiss" the replacement theory "while in the very next breath endorsing it under cover of 'a voting rights question' does not give him free license to invoke a white supremacist trope."
Tiffany & Co. announced the debut of its first-ever men's engagement ring, as it looks to tap into a new market for its high-end jewelry amid a rise in same-sex marriages globally and gender-fluid fashion trends, CNBC.com reported. The retailer, now owned by the luxury products group LVMH, has named the new line after the company's founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany. The rings feature round-brilliant and emerald-cut diamonds that measure up to five carats.