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NATIONAL Democrats and trans issues, political wins, gay bars, HIV drug
by Windy City Times staff
2023-01-08

This article shared 1754 times since Sun Jan 8, 2023
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Republicans and Democrats differ widely in their views on gender identity and transgender issues—but there are notable differences among Democrats, too, especially by race and ethnicity, according to Pew Research. Overall, 60% of U.S. adults say that whether someone is a man or woman is determined by their sex at birth. Interestingly, approximately two-thirds of Black Democrats (66%) say that if someone is a man or woman is determined by that person's sex at birth—a result that is closer to what Republicans think. By contrast, 72% of White Democrats, 61% of Asian Democrats and 54% of Hispanic Democrats say that someone can be a man or woman even if that is different from their sex at birth. The full article is at www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2023/01/04/black-democrats-differ-from-other-democrats-in-their-views-on-gender-identity-transgender-issues/ .

Out lesbian Democrat Kris Mayes was declared the winner of Arizona's attorney general race following an automatic recount, narrowly edging her Republican opponent, Abe Hamadeh, by one-hundredth of a percentage point, Metro Weekly noted. An Arizona judge had ordered counties to keep the recount results confidential until a Dec. 29 hearing on the matter. Mayes ultimately defeated Hamadeh by just 280 votes, or 0.01%, out of more than 2.5 million ballots cast, although her margin of victory shrank from 511 votes following the state's canvass of votes in December 2022.

In New Jersey, Jennifer Williams, the first transgender resident to be elected to the Trenton City Council, will represent the city's North Ward following a run-off election last month—that she won by a single vote, New Jersey 101.5 reported. Williams, the city's Republican committee chairwoman who lost her 2019 bid for Assembly in the heavily Democratic 15th District, said that her gender identity never became an issue during the campaign, although some of her opponents tried to make it one.

In Texas, one of the first gay bars in San Marcos, Stonewall Warehouse, closed on New Year's Day—and employees said they did not get advance notice, KVUE reported. The GoFundMe created by former manager Lena Jacobs raised more than $5,000 in fewer than 24 hours, and drag queens from RuPaul's Drag Race helped promote it. Bar owner Jamie Frailicks appreciated the support but added that all employees were getting two weeks of pay while the manager received a "healthy amount of money."

Charles Miller, the founder of Fort Wayne's first gay bar, died at 83, The Journal Gazette reported. Also known as drag queen "Tula," Miller opened the region's first gay bar, Tulisa's, on April 29, 1971. On Facebook, local gay bar After Dark referred to Miller as Indiana's oldest working drag queen. Tulisa's was purchased by Miller's friend Leo Vodde in 1981, when the spot was known as Up the Street; Vodde renamed it After Dark.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved Gilead Sciences' HIV drug Sunlenca (lenacapavir), offering hope for heavily treatment-experienced individuals, a press release noted. Sunlenca, the first HIV capsid inhibitor, is meant for people who are unable to maintain an undetectable viral load on their current antiretroviral regimen due to resistance, intolerance or safety considerations. This group includes long-term survivors who may have used early HIV drugs one at a time or in suboptimal combinations.

The D.C.-based LGBTQ organization Empowering the Transgender Community, or ETC, had to suspend its operation of a temporary emergency housing facility for LGBTQ+ victims of violent crime, The Washington Blade reported. It had to because the D.C. Superior Court did not provide enough tenants to financially sustain the facility, ETC founder/Executive Director Earline Budd said. Budd said ETC was hopeful that it could reopen the facility under a revised memorandum of understanding with the Superior Court.

In a reversal from lower courts, the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit voted seven to four (along party lines) that denying a transgender boy access to the boys' restrooms at Florida's Nease High School did not violate his rights under either the Equal Protection Clause or Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Gay City News noted. The case could have been dismissed as moot if Florida US District Court Judge Timothy Corrigan had not awarded $1,000 in damages to Drew Adams, a trans boy, in 2018. Instead, the latest decision reversed Corrigan's ruling as well as two opinions by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson failed to grant clemency, resulting in Amber McLaughlin becoming the first openly transgender woman executed in the country, CBS News noted. She died by injection Jan. 3 at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Correctional Center for killing former girlfriend Beverly Guenther in 2003, which was before McLaughlin transitioned. A judge sentenced her to death in 2006 after being convicted in 2005. According to Gay City News, the transphobic language in Parson's press release—in which he deadnamed McLaughlin twice—suggested that the governor's refusal to grant clemency was a foregone conclusion regardless of efforts to halt the execution.

The South Carolina Supreme Court struck down a ban on abortion after six weeks, ruling the restriction violates a state constitutional right to privacy, Yahoo! News reported. The decision marked a significant victory for abortion rights' advocates forced to find safeguards at the state level after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last June. Planned Parenthood South Atlantic sued in July under the South Carolina constitution's right to privacy; restrictions in other states are also facing challenges, some as a matter of religious freedom.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young—the federal judge who struck down Indiana's ban on same-sex marriages in 2014, a year before the U.S. Supreme Court did so nationally—will step down from full-time status after 25 years, U.S. News & World Report noted. Young announced his decision with President Joe Biden's nomination of Magistrate Judge Matthew Brookman to succeed him in the federal courtroom based in Evansville. Young, who was nominated as a federal judge by President Bill Clinton in 1998, said in a statement that it was "time to slow down a bit."

LGBTQ+ members of Congress called on out Republican Congressmember-Elect George Santos after he admitted to repeatedly lying about his background during the time leading up to—and after—he won an open seat in New York's Third Congressional District, Gay City News reported. Santos has lied about topics including his religion, educational background and work history. Santos—who beat another openly gay candidate, Democrat Robert Zimmerman, in the November 2022 general election—has no plans on relinquishing his seat.

And in a related matter, The Federal Election Commission sent a letter to Santos' fundraising committee requesting clarification on certain donors, The Washington Blade noted. In the letter the commission flagged contributions accepted by Santos' political committee, which received three $25,000 contributions from Matthew Bruderman, Jeff Vacirca and Todd O'Connell and an additional $1,000 from Bruderman. Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, contributions are subject to limits.

A staffer for Herschel Walker's U.S. Senate campaign claimed to The Daily Beast that longtime Republican activist and American Conservative Union chair Matt Schlapp made "sustained and unwanted and unsolicited" sexual contact with him while the staffer was driving Schlapp back from an Atlanta bar this October. The staffer said Schlapp "groped" and "fondled" his crotch in his car against his will after buying him drinks at two different bars. Schlapp's attorney, Charlie Spies, called the allegations an "attack" and said Schlapp "denies any improper behavior."

Charles Moran—the president of Log Cabin Republicans (LCR), the country's oldest and largest conservative LGBTQ+ organization—told The Washington Blade the group had no knowledge of its chapter's involvement in a protest over a drag performance in San Antonio. Demonstrators, many of them armed, convened at the Aztec Theatre downtown during "A Drag Queen Christmas." Among the groups were representatives from the San Antonio chapter of LCR.

The Atlanta Pride Committee (APC) released its 2022 Impact Report, detailing the highlights and successes of this year's Pride festival that was held in October—becoming the first in-person festival in Atlanta in two years, The Georgia Voice noted. The report said that this year's event in Piedmont Park attracted 312 parade entries and 5,700 marchers, 364 vendors and 1,261 VIP ticket sales. (The 2023 event will be held Oct. 14-15 at the same site.) Along with the report, APC Executive Director Jamie Fergerson announced that she would be stepping down from the role this month.

GLAAD responded to the New York Times' recent announcement of their hiring of anti-LGBTQ+ attorney/writer David French as a columnist. In a statement, GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said, "It is appalling that The New York Times hired and is now boasting about bringing on David French, a writer and attorney with a deep history of anti-LGBTQ activism. After more than a year of inaccurate, misleading LGBTQ coverage in the Times opinion and news pages, the Times started 2023 by announcing a second anti-transgender opinion columnist, without a single known trans voice represented on staff. … The Times' opinion section continues to platform non-LGBTQ voices speaking up inaccurately and harmfully about LGBTQ people and issues. This is damaging to the paper's credibility."

New DNA testing may identify more of the victims of Indiana's most prolific serial killer, Metro Weekly reported. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Herb Baumeister is believed to have picked young men at gay bars and brought them back to his house, where he killed them. Baumeister died by suicide in 1996 before he could be arrested, according to ABC affiliate WRTV; in 1996, authorities singled out 11 separate DNA profiles among the bones of Baumeister's suspected victims, ultimately identifying eight victims. However, Jeff Jellison, who won the race to be Hamilton County's next coroner in November, said DNA technology could ID not only the remaining three unidentified victims, but potentially additional men who disappeared during that time.

Erick Adame—the Emmy-nominated TV weatherman fired last year by Spectrum News NY1 in New York after he appeared nude in a video—made a return to social media after a four-month absence, Queerty noted. Adame said he had been compulsively enjoying adult webcam chats with other men over a period of time; however, unbeknownst to him, some of these videos were recorded. In his new Instagram video, Adame talked about the dangers of the internet but also wished everyone a Happy New Year.

Former U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois)—an outcast from his own party and a member of the January 6th Committee—is joining CNN as a senior political commentator, Deadline noted. Kinzinger served six terms in the U.S. House. Kinzinger and another GOP member of the January 6th Committee, Liz Cheney, were censured by the Republican National Committee as they pressed for answers as to Donald Trump's responsibility for the Capitol attack.


This article shared 1754 times since Sun Jan 8, 2023
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