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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



NATIONAL Gun control, San Francisco, trans-rights bill, Portland police, Roxane Gay
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 2751 times since Fri May 5, 2023
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Openly gay Colorado Gov. Jared Polis recently signed four gun-control measures into law, per the Colorado Newsline. The new laws raise the minimum age to buy a gun to 21, impose a three-day waiting period for gun purchases, expand the state's Extreme Risk Protection Order law and make it easier for gun violence survivors to sue the gun industry. Another firearm bill that would have banned semi-automatic weapons in the state died in its first committee hearing.

San Francisco's board of supervisors voted seven to four to repeal a ban on city-funded travel to 30 states that it says restrict abortion, voting and LGBTQ+ rights after determining the cons of the boycott outweigh the pros, NPR reported. Mayor London Breed is expected to sign the measure. California is considering the repeal of a similar law.

Democratic Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signed a bill that requires the state's Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming treatment, per The Washington Blade. The Trans Health Equity Act—slated to take effect on Jan. 1, 2024—was one of the more than 100 measures that Moore signed during a May 3 ceremony that took place at the State Capitol. Some of the other bills focused on issues such as marijuana and reproductive rights.

Unidentified Portland police officers left derogatory remarks on an anonymous survey about online training (from the bureau's Equity and Inclusion Office) regarding how to refer to and interact with people in the LGBTQ+ community, The Oregonian reported. City-hired consultants said the statements revealed "racism, ableism and white supremacy'' as well as the need for more and better equity instruction. Last year, all officers were required to complete online training called "2022 Vocabulary in the LGBTQIA2S+ /Queer Community" as the bureau adopted a new directive titled "Interacting with Members of the LGBTQIA2S+/Queer Community."

"WxW: For Women. By Women"— the Los Angeles LGBT Center's free community event for LBTQ+ women, gender-expansive folks and their allies—will return to the Anita May Rosenstein Campus and The Village at Ed Gould Plaza on Saturday, May 20. The event will feature a keynote address by New York Times best-selling author Roxane Gay and will be hosted by Calypso Jete Balmain, the winner of the first season of HBO's Legendary. This year's event will support the Audre Lorde Health Program, which provides medical and mental health services, social programming and advocacy for all who have identified as women or girls at any point in their lives.

GLSEN announced that non-binary Broadway singer, actor and artist Justin David Sullivan will receive GLSEN's Trailblazer Award at the GLSEN Respect Awards on May 15 in New York City, per a press release. Singer, activist, actress and drag personality Shangela will receive the Changemaker Award while Daniel Hadi will be honored with the Student Advocate of the Year Award. Honorary co-chairs include Chasten Buttigieg, Dominique Jackson, Billy Porter and Lena Waithe.

Actors Ke Huy Quan, Shay Mitchell, KJ Apa, Charles Melton and Stephanie Hsu; queer actor/comedian Joel Kim Booster; interior designer Joanna Gaines; fashion designer Anna Sui; singer Saweetie; pro tennis player Jessica Pegula; U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy; Starbucks CEO Laxman Narassimhan; and YouTube CEO Neal Mohan were among those honored on Gold House's 2023 Most Impactful Asians A100 list, Variety noted. The A100 List honors trailblazers across the industry who are at the forefront of what the organization calls the "new gold age." The second annual Gold Gala took place May 6—during AAPI month—in downtown Los Angeles.

Some of the nation's top Black reporters, policymakers and celebrities packed into the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture for the "Byron Allen Presents The Washington, DC Gala," The Hill noted. The invitation-only event featured a special performance by Diana Ross, and CBS News' Gayle King received the Journalist Icon Award. King is also a recipient of the 39th Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and a member of the 2018 Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame class.

As part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Month, the publication Yale Alumni featured 1993 graduate Quentin Lee on May 2. The multimedia creator, director and Producer's Guild of America member is a queer, non-binary, Chinese American single parent who also is the festival director for Yale in Hollywood Fest. As for advice for current or future Yale University students, Lee said, "Be unapologetically who you are and always pursue your passion."

Seven Florida parents who are currently challenging state boards of medicine and osteopathic medicine rules banning established medical care for their children and other trans adolescents will also ask a federal court to block provisions in Senate Bill 254, per a joint press release from the Human Rights Campaign, Southern Legal Counsel Inc., GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). The bill, which the Florida legislature passed, would codify into state law the current boards of medicine bans and create additional barriers for families with transgender adolescents.

The ACLU of Kentucky, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP filed a lawsuit seeking to block the part of Senate Bill 150 that bans medically necessary health care for trans youth in Kentucky, a press release noted. "Parents, not the government, should make medical decisions for their children," said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter. "This is a dangerous law that intrudes on family privacy and prevents doctors from doing their job. We are honored to represent the families bringing this lawsuit in order to protect their children and ensure that other children and families are not harmed."

After facing backlash for her recent brand partnership with Bud Light, transgender actor/TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney posted a message to her Instagram followers, USA Today noted. Mulvaney shared her experience growing up with a conservative family and the importance of her faith, which she said she is "really trying to hold on to right now." Mulvaney added that she is interested in getting back to making people laugh and wants to continue learning; she also wants to share parts of herself online that have nothing to do with her identity going forward.

In Iowa, Cedar Falls Mayor Rob Green said his Christian beliefs prevent him from backing a request from the city's Human Rights Commission to designate June as LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, The Courier reported. If a proclamation is adopted, Green said he'd eliminate any reference to his office from the declaration, and wouldn't sign it, asking instead that a councilmember perform the honor.

On May 2, Democratic lawmakers in the Texas state House successfully delayed debate on a gender bill after LGBTQ+-rights protesters disrupted the proceedings from the House gallery, The Gazette reported. Proceedings on Senate Bill 14 were disrupted after protesters against the bill broke out in chants, leading to Texas GOP House Speaker Dade Phelan clearing the House gallery after Democrats introduced a point of order to kill the bill on a technicality. The bill, which would ban certain medical procedures for trans minors, was sent back to the House Public Health Committee to be fixed and then was quickly voted back to the House floor later that day to be considered later in the week.

San Diego will open a 45-bed shelter for homeless LGBTQ+ youth run by the local LGBT Community Center, according to LGBTQ Nation. The commission has allocated $1.5 million for the shelter as part of its overall plan to address local homelessness. The San Diego LGBT Community Center is now seeking out a permanent location for sheltering queer and non-queer youth aged 18 and 24. While the permanent location is expected to open later this year, the center will soon open two interim 21-bed shelters inside the neighborhoods of Clairemont and Point Loma, per The San Diego Tribune.

Campus Pride has shared the release of The Rising Tide: LGBTQ+ in 2023, a 15-minute documentary by student filmmaker Beth Starling, a press release noted. The film focuses on the current tidal wave of anti-LGBTQ+ bills and the impact they are having on LGBTQ+ lives. Among other people, Starling interviewed Whisper Moore, the engagement and resource manager for Campaign for Southern Equality; Moore talked about the risks for trans and non-binary young people of color and for Black trans women, who are disproportionately targeted. The Rising Tide is available online at

It turns out that, in February, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed in 2015 by gay former D.C. police officer Christopher Lilly accusing fellow officers and supervisors of subjecting him to discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on his sexual orientation, per The Washington Blade. In a 65-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan explained why he approved a motion filed by the District of Columbia requesting a summary judgement decision dismissing the case. Lilly alleged in his 2015 lawsuit that between 2011 and 2013 he was subjected, among other things, to repeated anti-gay name-calling and other forms of harassment—such as the placement of more than a dozen AIDS-awareness stickers on his locker at the Fourth Police District, where he was stationed.

In Michigan, Church Militant—a conservative organization that operates a news website—is demanding that the Ferndale City Council allow a religious flag to be flown outside Ferndale City Hall during June, which is Pride Month, per PrideSource. The group is accusing the Council of anti-Catholic discrimination even though it is not affiliated with the local Catholic archdiocese or any other.

A month after the FBI arrested Sebewaing, Michigan resident Randall R. Berka II—who allegedly posted threats against LGBTQ+ people, President Joe Biden and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer—a federal grand jury indicted him on two gun charges, MLive reported. The felonies are punishable by up to 15 and 10 years in prison, respectively, followed by at least three years of supervised release. Several posts featured anger directed toward LGBTQ+ people, with their author saying they should be "genocided" and that he's going to kill "lgbt freaks and same America."

The woman who was arrested for setting fire to a "Make America Gay Again" flag outside of a restaurant in NYC's Soho district was found mentally unfit for trial, ABC 7 NY reported. Angelina Cando was arrested in February and charged with arson, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment (with all categorized as hate crimes). The owners of the Little Prince restaurant replaced the flag with another five times the original banner's size.

Police on Manhattan's Upper West Side asked for the public's help in finding a man who spread his own feces on Pride flags in April, amNY reported. According to law enforcement sources, the suspect entered the location, came across the Pride flag and proceeded to defecate on it. He then grabbed hold of a second Pride flag nearby and wiped himself with it. Through March 31, the NYPD reported four hate crimes targeting people for their sexual orientation—a decrease from the nine reported through March 31, 2022.

On May 3-7, more than 200 pieces of the National AIDS Memorial Quilt were displayed at The MAG, located in Houston, as a part of the Art of Black Pride: Black Like Me exhibit and May 4-5 at the Black Queer AF Music Festival, per a press release. The free exhibits were available in Spanish and English, and included quilting workshops and educational forums.

White Indiana county councilman Ryan Webb remained defiant against calls to step down after publishing a Facebook post that announced his identity as a lesbian Native American woman, The Federalist reported. "It is with great relief that I announce to everyone that I identify as a woman and not just any woman but as a woman of color as well," Webb, a Republican Delaware County councilman, wrote on Facebook, according to Yahoo! "I guess this would make me gay/lesbian as well, since I am attracted to women." Residents accused Webb of demeaning several demographic groups with his comments.

Trans cyclist Austin Killips won the Tour of the Gila women's race recently—but faced backlash from anti-trans individuals, PinkNews noted. The Chicago rider, who only took up competitive cycling in 2019, finished 89 seconds ahead of Italian Marcela Prieto and also took home the Queen of the Mountain jersey. Outraged transphobes quickly criticized the win as "cycling's Lia Thomas moment"—a reference to the first openly transgender athlete (a swimmer) to win an NCAA Division I national championship.

A state commission charged with advocating for LGBTQ youth called on Massachusetts lawmakers to support various measures aimed at ensuring access to gender-affirming care as well as curbing discrimination and harassment, among other things, according to WBUR. In its new nearly 300-page annual report, the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth urged Gov. Maura Healey and the state legislature—plus about 20 state agencies and departments—to enact the new policies and training opportunities to protect the growing community. About 22% of Massachusetts youth identified as LGBTQ+ in 2021, compared to 12.6% in 2015, according to the report.

A Louisiana Senate panel advanced Senate Bill 7—which aims to restrict minors' access to materials deemed "sexually explicit"—without allowing anyone opposing the legislation to testify at the hearing, the Daily Advertiser reported. Two people who support the measure were allowed to testify before the committee voted to end debate although the bill's sponsor, Republican Heather Cloud, seemed uncomfortable with the move, saying, "I know individuals have driven from all over Louisiana to share their support or opposition." The bill would not explicitly ban any books or material from libraries.

Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene told National Federation of Teachers President Randy Weingarten she is "not a mother" during a hearing by the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Georgia Voice noted. The congresswoman also repeated unsubstantiated claims that she made during a previous committee hearing with Weingarten on March 28, asserting that virtual learning had caused an increase in the number of youth in the U.S. who identify as transgender.

The Ohio State University recently held its second annual Gaypril Gala, according to The Lantern. The Center for Belonging and Social change hosted the free semi-formal event (similar to a prom), held at the Fawcett Center.

Miami of Ohio women's basketball coach DeUnna Hendrix resigned after intimate text messages revealed she and a player were in a relationship, per Yahoo! Sports, citing The Athletic. The university initially suspended Hendrix on April 20, according to a statement provided to The Athletic—and that was the day after the school reportedly discovered 180 texts between Hendrix and an unnamed player over an 11-day period. The university reportedly did not disclose Hendrix's reason for resigning because it said it wanted "to protect their rights to confidentiality under FERPA," The Athletic noted.

This article shared 2751 times since Fri May 5, 2023
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