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NATIONAL Electoral items, #BiHealthMonth, Disney, NYC mayor, jury award
by Windy City Times staff
2022-03-06

This article shared 751 times since Sun Mar 6, 2022
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More than 100 openly LGBTQ+ people announced Congressional bids this year—the most in U.S. history, The Hill noted. Sixteen of those candidates are running in competitive districts that will determine control of the House, and three are running Senate races in key swing states, the Victory Fund said. In Congress' 232-year history, only 17 out LGBTQ+ people have won U.S. House seats and just two have been elected to the Senate.

Equality California, the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ+-rights organization, announced endorsements for 33 incumbent members of Congress running for re-election in 2022, per a press release. Some of them include Jared Huffman (District 2), Doris Matsui (7), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (11), Barbara Lee (12), Eric Swalwell (14), Ro Khanna (17), Adam Schiff (30), Grace Napolitano (31), Mark Takano (39), Maxine Waters (43) and Juan Vargas (52); Takano is openly gay. For a full list of Equality California's 2022 endorsements to date, visit eqca.org/elections.

The Human Rights Campaign PAC (HRC PAC) announced its endorsement of Beto O'Rourke for Texas governor. O'Rourke—who has a strong track record of supporting LGBTQ+ rights as a candidate and public official—is running against incumbent Greg Abbott, who recently issued an anti-trans directive. "Beto O'Rourke is a proven champion of equality and will defend the rights of all Texans, including LGBTQ+ families who bear the painful brunt of attacks from their government at this very moment," said Human Rights Campaign Texas State Director Rebecca Marques. "Now more than ever, it is crucial to have elected leaders in Texas who will fight for the rights of all families. Transgender children and LGBTQ+ families have been under relentless assault from state officials."

More than 40 LGBTQ leaders in Pennsylvania—including Milford Borough Mayor Sean Strub and transgender activist Tyler Titus—announced at a March 3 press conference that they are endorsing one of two opponents of gay state Rep. Brian Sims for lieutenant governor in the state's May 17 Democratic primary, The Washington Blade reported. The LGBTQ leaders said they were backing state Rep. Austin Davis in the lieutenant governor's race because he is a strong and committed supporter of LGBTQ rights and has the best chance of winning in the general election in November. The move is a stunning rebuke of Sims, who has previously been endorsed by national LGBTQ groups, including the Human Rights Campaign and the LGBTQ Victory Fund.

The Bisexual Resource Center (BRC), the country's oldest national bisexual organization, will celebrate the 9th annual Bisexual+ Health Awareness Month (#BiHealthMonth) social-media campaign throughout March, per a press release. This year's #BiHealthMonth theme is "Connection." This theme has been chosen to highlight the importance of connecting bisexual+ people to each other, to supportive communities and to healthcare resources that are affirming of their identities. More about #BiHealthMonth is at bihealthmonth.org/ .

The Walt Disney Co. claims to be supportive of the LGBTQ+ community—but it has donated to the politicians behind Florida's infamous "don't say gay" bill and apparently will continue to do so, The Advocate reported. Meanwhile, a member of the Disney family, film producer/documentarian Abigail Disney, called out the company for backing anti-LGBTQ+ politicians. She recently tweeted, "It's pretty fundamental. As Einstein said, you can't stand still on a moving train. When laws are being passed that are this hateful and dripping with prejudice, there is no neutrality. Not saying anything is saying a lot. @WaltDisneyCo[,] get a spine."

New York City Mayor Eric Adams heard concerns from LGBTQ leaders in a private City Hall meeting days after being criticized for appointing three people (Fernando Cabrera, Erick Salgado and Gilford Monrose) who've espoused anti-gay views in the past, per The New York Daily News. But, according to three people who attended the meeting, the mayor made no commitments to the gay community aside from maintaining a continued dialogue. Councilman Chi Osse, a member of the Council's LGBTQ caucus, stressed that Adams didn't make any firm commitments in the meeting despite a long list of demands.

A federal jury awarded a Black transgender woman from Atlanta $1.5 million after she spent six months in jail after being arrested on fake cocaine charges, WSB-TV reported. In October 2015, Ju'Zema Goldring was walking with friends when two City of Atlanta police officers stopped and questioned the group; the officers accused Goldring of jaywalking—a crime she said she did not commit—and arrested her. She was then arrested for possessing cocaine, although a drug test reportedly came out negative—and was subjected to an anti-trans slur during the arrest.

A defunct ban on same-sex marriage will stay in the Virginia Constitution after Republicans rejected a push to remove it, WRIC.com reported. A House Privileges and Elections subcommittee voted along party lines to kill the proposal. The constitutional amendment passed with bipartisan support last year but it needed to garner the General Assembly's approval again this session before going on the ballot this fall.

Republican Oregon gubernatorial candidate Marc Thielman resigned as superintendent of the Alsea School District during an emergency board meeting after members of the school board voted to hire a third-party investigator to look into formal complaints filed against Thielman, KGW8 noted, citing a report in the Corvallis Gazette-Times. Among the complaints were that Thielman allegedly made "derogatory, anti-LGBTQ comments. In resigning, Thielman accused "progressive activists and agencies of the press" of launching attacks against him "using slander and libel."

In Missouri, after 10 delays and one mistrial, a bench trial for Steven Endsley began in Camden County, KY3.com reported. Prosecutors argue Endsley killed Danielle Smith because she was lesbian and that he then killed Smith's mother Teresa Jackson and burned their home. Endsley could face life in prison for the deaths. He is facing two counts of murder, one count of arson, and three other felony charges for his alleged actions on Aug. 29, per Lake Expo.

Merrill Irving Jr., the president of Minnesota's Hennepin Technical College, stepped down amid pressure from employees and state lawmakers to resign, Inside Higher Ed noted. Irving faced criticism after the Star Tribune reported that an investigation by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System into bullying and sexual harassment allegations against Irving found that he failed to follow respectful workplace procedures but did not violate the system's harassment policy. GOP state Rep. Marion O'Neill, among others, co-signed a letter that read, in part, "This is a long time coming that I stand up for the women, men, LGBTQ, disabled and all the others that you reportedly harassed and humiliated using your power and authority to create a hostile work environment for all [your] employees, to officially demand your resignation, effective immediately."

In New York, Bayport resident Robert Fehring admitted to sending death threats to LGBTQ+ affiliated individuals, organizations and businesses, including the Sag Harbor office of the Long Island LGBT Network, for nearly a decade, Gay City News reported. Fehring, who was arrested Dec. 6, pled guilty Feb. 23 in Central Islip federal court to mailing more than 20 letters threatening to assault, shoot and bomb advocates and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Fehring, 74, faces up to five years in jail when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert.

Three House Republicans voted against an anti-lynching bill that passed overwhelmingly, 422-3, per Mediaite. H.R. 55, an amendment to section 249 of the U.S. code, also called the "Emmett Till Antilynching Act," was passed Feb. 28. Those who voted against the amendment were Reps. Andrew Clyde (R-Georgia), Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) and Chip Roy (R-Texas); Massie, a libertarian-leaning Republican, tweeted that making lynching a federal crime is unconstitutional. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) called on the Senate to "take immediate action and send this bill to the President's desk."

In California, Ferndale pastor Tyrel Bramwell—who placed anti-gay rhetoric on the sign in front of his church last summer—recently decried the Black Lives Matter movement for spreading "sexual immorality," "racism," and endorsing "illegal immigration" during a radio broadcast, the East Bay Times reported. Bramwell, of St. Mark's Lutheran Church, reportedly appeared to be confusing the decentralized Black Lives Matter movement with the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc.—a charity organization based in Delaware. Bramwell, while on radio station KINS 106.3 FM, expressed explicitly anti-gay sentiment woven into his scripture-invoking criticisms of Black Lives Matter.

The SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) Action Fund has joined many pro-LGBTQ+ groups in condemning Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who recently issued a directive to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate gender-affirming care—such as hormone therapy, puberty blockers and surgery—as child abuse under state law. In a press release, SPLC Action Fund Interim Deputy Legal Director Scott McCoy said, in part, "Texas has plenty of legitimate issues for Gov. Abbott to address. Attempting to brand gender affirmation as child abuse is certainly not one of them. The SPLC Action Fund rejects the invasive, transphobic directives recommended by the Abbott administration and will continue working to ensure that transgender youth, their families, and supporters be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve."

California's first Pride event of the year, the 6th annual Cathedral City LGBT Days, will happen March 25—27, per a press release. Friday, March 25, features the official Pride flag raising and lighting of City Hall, followed by a T dance in Town Square Park; a comedy performance by actor, playwright and activist Del Shores at the CV Repertory Theatre; and a bar crawl presented by the Cathedral City Gay Business Association (CCBGA) and participating local bars. There will also be a pool party the following day with Lance Bass slated to host. The night's festivities kick off with co-host/emcee "The Queen of the Party" Mayhem Miller and DJ Alex D, followed by live performances with multiplatinum recording artists O-Town, Ryan Cabrera and LFO, and a closing set featuring Bass.

In the wake of San Francisco Pride Executive Director Fred Lopez stepping down, Interim Executive Director Suzanne Ford issued a statement. "We owe much to Fred[,] who steered the organization through one of the most difficult periods in our history. … My job is to ensure that we have a safe Parade and Celebration on the last weekend in June (Saturday, June 25-Sunday, June [26]). The staff is working diligently on our plans for that event, as well as the many other exciting activities we have for our community throughout the year."

The Entomological Society of America announced a new common name for the Lymantria dispar moth, per a press release. The invasive moth most familiar in its voracious, leaf-eating caterpillar stage will now be known as "spongy moth" instead of "gypsy moth." The old name was removed from this list in July 2021 because it contained a derogatory term for Romani people.


This article shared 751 times since Sun Mar 6, 2022
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