Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Democratic state lawmakers joined members of the LGBTQ community to reintroduce the Fairness Act, which is meant to extend non-discrimination provisions in the commonwealth, WFMZ.com reported. "It's going to be good for our economy," said Wolf. "It's going to be good for our citizens. It's going to be good for everybody." He added, "It remains an embarrassment for Pennsylvania that we stand out among our neighboring states for failing to provide basic civil rights protections for Pennsylvanians."
A transgender man was murdered in Lynchburg, Virginia, on June 14, The Washington Blade noted, citing The News and Advance. EJ Boykin, who was also known as Novaa Watson, was shot outside a Family Dollar store. A spokesperson for the Lynchburg Police Department told the News and Advance the shooting may have been the result of a domestic dispute; authorities added there is no evidence to currently suggest the shooting was a hate crime based on Boykin's gender identity.
Late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel lampooned trans Republican gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner after she appeared on The View, Page Six noted. Referring to her as "Caitlyn Jenner Car-crashian," the host declared that the interview was "nonsense" before comparing her to fellow republican, former President Trump. In part, Kimmel said, "Are we sure that isn't Donald Trump in a Caitlyn Jenner wig? Because, I mean, look at this, the resemblance is uncanny." Later, Jenner accused Kimmel of being transphobic, tweeting, "He obviously believes that trans women are simply men with wigs on. Where is the outrage from the left or LGBT community? Being WOKE must be optional if you are a Democrat."
And speaking of Jenner, Angus Mitchell, the son of celebrity hairstylist Paul Mitchell, is one of her top donors, giving the maximum amount allowed to her gubernatorial campaign, Queerty noted. Queerty questioned Angus about his reasons for backing Jenner, but had yet to hear back. Angus says he's an advisor for his company's Equity and Opportunity Council, which is dedicated to "fostering a culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging," and he calls himself "an advocate for human rights" in his official bio.
Anti-LGBTQ Fox News host Tomi Lahren actually faced backlash from her conservative fans for not attacking trans people enough, LGBTQ Nation noted. On Twitter, Lahren referred to California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner with "she" pronouns and used Jenner's first name in promoting an upcoming interview. Lahren got slammed, with comments saying that she should not refer to Jenner with she/her pronouns.
A Colorado baker who won a partial victory at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple violated the state's anti-discrimination law by refusing to make a birthday cake for a trans woman, NPR reported. Attorney Autumn Scardina was denied a cake to celebrate her gender transition on her birthday. While Jack Phillips said he could not make the cake because of its message, Denver District Judge A. Bruce Jones said the case was about a refusal to sell a product, not compelled speechresulting in Phillips being fined $500. The group representing Phillips, Alliance Defending Freedom, said it would appeal the ruling, according to CBS Denver.
Family members of Walmart founder Sam Walton launched a $1-million fund for groups assisting LGBTQ people in the retail giant's home state of Arkansas, which has enacted measures restricting transgender people's rights, according to a MyJournalCourier.com item. The new fund is being established with support from the Alice L. Walton Foundation and from Olivia and Tom Walton through the Walton Family Foundation. The fund will distribute grants of $25,000 and more for groups that offer legal, health, education and advocacy services, along with other high-demand needs.
In South Carolina, the capital of Columbia banned the practice of licensed therapy and counseling that seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors, citing its opposition by many in the medical community as ineffective and harmful, PostAndCourier.com reported. While 20 states and numerous local governments throughout the country have banned the practice, Columbia is believed to have been the first city in South Carolina with such a measure, and the state has no similar law on the books. In a press release, SC United for Justice & Equalitya coalition of more than 30 organizations committed to LGBTQ equality in South Carolinapraised the passage of this local ordinance.
Nellie's Sports Bara gay bar in Washington, D.C.'s U Street commercial districtdismissed a security company whose employee was captured on video dragging a Black woman down a flight of stairs inside the bar during the city's Capital Pride celebration, The Washington Blade reported. The video of the male security employee dragging Nellie's customer Keisha Young down the staircase and the brawl that erupted when other customers intervened has triggered expressions of concern by city officials and LGBTQ activists, including the local Black Lives Matter group that organized a protest outside Nellie's the day after the incident. Brandon Burrell, an attorney representing Young, told D.C.'s Fox 5 News that Nellie's had yet to apologize directly to Young.
A North Kansas City councilman apologized to the city's mayor, fellow council members and the city for his poor choice of words during a city council meeting, KSHB.com reported. During a debate of whether to adopt NKCUniteda pledge to recognize LGBTQIA residents in the communityWard 1 Councilman Wes Graves used what he later said was a poor choice of words to describe his opposition to the pledge. "This is extremely Orwellian to me," Graves said during the meeting; as he continued to debate the issue, however, some interpreted his remarks as connecting sexual orientation and pedophilia. The pledge passed seven to one.
LGBTQ Victory Fundthe only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public officeendorsed 10 more LGBTQ candidates for the 2022 election cycle, raising its total number of 2022 endorsed candidates to 14, a press release announced. Some of the general-candidate and incumbent endorsements involve Rick Zbur (running for the California State Assembly, District 50), Sharice Davids (incumbent U.S. representative in Kansas) and Ritchie Torres (incumbent U.S. representative in New York), among others.
As part of a discussion during the annual gathering of the College Theology Society, held virtually, Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, apologized to Margie Winters, a lesbian, according to the National Catholic Reporter. After eight years serving as the director of religious education at a Catholic school in Pennsylvania, Winters was fired in 2015 because of her marriage to another woman. Stowe (who has become one of the most vocal U.S. bishops in support of LGBTQ Catholics) said, in part, "You tell a story that has happened to you and so many others ... to be betrayed by an institution that you love. As part of [the] male hierarchy, I apologize for the pain it has caused you."
Father James Martin and his mission of LGBTQ+ inclusivity are explored in Building a Bridge, a new Martin Scorsese-produced documentary that debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival, Rolling Stone noted. Talking with the Washington Post, Martin said a shift in "leadership is already happening. [LGBTQ religious leaders are] in almost every level of church leadership, even if they're not named or out. … I'm not challenging any church teachings. Priests and bishops speaking about their identity isn't challenging anything, because they're agreeing to celibacy. I don't think it's going to happen more without the tacit approval of bishops. When it does happen, parishes will be more welcoming."
The FBI and Department of Justice charged 22-year-old Joshua Hall with wire fraud and identity theft, accusing him of impersonating Trump family members on Twitterand even tricking former President Donald Trump into believing one account was realin raising more than $7,000 for a fake organization through the alleged scheme, Forbes noted. According to the New York Times, the fictitious political organization named in the complaint was known as "Gay Voices for Trump," which advertised itself on GoFundMe as a "a grass-roots coalition of LGBT Americans," which Hall admitted to the Times did not actually exist.
In Alcoa, Tennessee, Jasmine Martinez and Carmen McClain were painting a bridge known for displaying community art in honor of Pride Month when a woman verbally harassed them, PinkNews noted. The two teens had originally painted the rainbow, pansexual, transgender and bisexual flags on the bridge, according to local news outlet WBIR-TV. An unidentified woman drove by and told them to "stop" and that they "were doing terrible things to the bridge." The woman then returned on foot and launched into a homophobic and racist tirade that was posted to social media. According to The Daily Times, Martinez said her family is Hispanic, and McClain said she is Italian and Indigenous American.
A geography teacher and assistant high school football coach in Texas reportedly liked tweets that criticized Pride Nights at Major League Baseball parks across the country, out.com noted. OutSports editor and co-founder Cyd Zeigler said he woke up recently to find a slew of anti-LGBTQ+ tweets directed at him in response to a report from the Dallas Morning News about the refusal of the Texas Rangers to ever host a Pride Night. Zeigler later saw that Seminole High School teacher/coach Cody Reeves liked a series of some of the explicitly anti-LGBTQ+ comments posted in response to that story. Zeigler reached out to the Seminole School District and was assured of either a phone call or email from District Superintendent Kyle Lynch within the next day (in addition to being told that Reeves' comments were made as a private citizen and did not reflect the views of the school district); Zeigler said he received no response.
In Tennessee, Knoxville's LGBTQ community will have a new place of belonging when Knox Pride opens a community and outreach center this summer, Knox News reported. Without a physical location, Knox Pride has struggled to provide resources to Knoxville's LGBTQ communities outside of its yearly Knoxville Pridefest event, according to John Camp, president of Knox Pride's executive board. The new community center will allow Knox Pride to offer classes, host panels and fundraising events and provide a space for small businesses and organizations to host meetings.
The U.S. Senate approved the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the federal appeals court in the District of Columbia, confirming President Biden's first nominee to the U.S. appellate courts, CBS News reported. Jackson received bipartisan backing from the upper chamber in a 53 to 44 vote. Three RepublicansSusan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Lisa Murkowski of Alaskajoined Democrats in confirming Jackson, a judge on the federal district court in D.C. She will fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Jared Kushner signed a deal to write a memoir about his time as a senior White House adviser to his father-in-law, former President Donald Trump, HuffPost reported. The book will supposedly "be the definitive, thorough recounting of the administrationand the truth about what happened behind closed doors," Broadside publishing announced. Kushner, credited with brokering a peace deal between Israel and other regional powers, left his own troubling legacy as well. He was dogged by conflict-of-interest accusations and his leading role in the administration's disastrous COVID-19 response, AP noted.