In northern Idaho, two groups with different agendas plan to hold events on the same day (June 11) at Coeur d'Alene City Parkand both organizations have issued statements, according to the Bonner County Daily Bee. The Panhandle Patriots said, in part, "Our community came together, peacefully, to take a stand against left-wing extremism because of the Christian values we hold dear to us here in North Idaho. … As Christians, parents, and members of one of the most conservative communities in the nation, we believe that our community needs to take a stand against this LGBT grooming agenda because that is not who we are as Idahoans." By contrast, the North Idaho Pride Alliance stated, in part, that the group "will not be intimidated or deterred from organizing community events [such as Pride in the Park]. … Our leadership strongly encourages the public NOT to engage with protestors they may encounter outside events or online."
Former American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken again came up shortthis time, in the May 17 primary race to represent North Carolina's 4th Congressional District, The Carolina Journal reported. With 157 of 162 precincts reporting, state Sen. Valerie Foushee won with 47% of the vote compared to Nida Allam (37%) and Aiken (7%). Foushee will face Republican Courtney Geels in the general election. Aiken first ran for office in 2014.
Radio Milwaukee has partnered with the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project on a six-episode podcast called "Be Seen" that documents the state's LGBTQ+ history, a press release noted. Radio Milwaukee Director of Content Nate Imig and curator for the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project Michail Takach will host the podcast, which will discuss issues like the state's first LGBTQ+ uprising, legal history, first women's bar, first drag show, longest-running gay bar and response to HIV/AIDS. The first episode of "Be Seen" will be released Monday, May 23; a new episode will be released every Monday through June 27. Episodes of "Be Seen" will be available for listening on all major podcast platforms, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts, in addition to RadioMilwaukee.org .
A Christian school in Louisville is facing backlash on social media after screenshots of an assignment centered around homosexuality were leaked, WLKY reported. A man named JP Davis shared screenshots of the assignment on various social-media platforms, and WLKY then confirmed that the assignmentwhich instructs students to persuade a gay friend to reject homosexualitywas recently given out by the Christian Academy of Louisville. In part, the school stated, "This hypothetical friend conversation was for our students to review the class discussions and their perspectives on the subject. Moving forward, we will review this assignment to ensure there is clarity in its purpose and language."
Pro-LGBTQ+ Catholic organization DignityUSA issued a press release that it believes Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has the right to receive Communionrejecting a ban imposed by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke said, "Communion is a gift to help us grow in grace, not a reward for compliance. It is wrong for Speaker Pelosi to be denied Communion for striving to serve the people of this diverse nation." The archbishop said Pelosi may not receive Communion until she publicly repudiates her support for access to abortion.
In Washington state, there is controversy growing in a North Sound school district after a local school board began taking steps to require a parent's prior approval to allow children to join all non-curriculum and co-curricular student clubs, FOX 13 News reported. Critics say it is the language that is missing from proposed policy changes that could target LGBTQ+ youth. The proposals have some parents and district staffers condemning the district.
The Maine Department of Education removed from its website a video containing an LGBTQ+ lesson plan for kindergarten students that was the subject of a Republican ad targeting Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, per the Bangor Daily News. The ad, which first aired Wednesday, accused the governor of spending $2.8 million to create "radical school lessons" aimed at the youngest children in public schools. The video was produced for an online resource hub created early in the pandemic to allow teachers to share lesson plans.
On May 10, Arizona State University held its Rainbow Convocation, according to the school's website. Participating attendees received the official rainbow cord and tassel, and heard from a variety of speakers, including the keynote faculty address from School of Community Resources and Development Lecturer Anne Kotleba. After the event, Kotleba said she wants every LGBTQ+ student to know that there is a large community of people at ASU who support and love them.
In New Jersey, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. announced the creation of the Essex County Office of LGBTQ Affairs and introduced Newark resident Reginald Bledsoe as its first director, the Essex News Daily reported. The Essex County Office of LGBTQ Affairs will support the LGBTQ+ community and provide a platform to address issues, advocate for reforms and raise awareness.
In Florida, Wynwood Pride announced this year's events, with the Music Festival set for June 10-11 at RC Cola Plant and activations during the Neighborhood Takeover on June 12both in Miami, a press release noted. The Music Festival (benefitting Equality Florida) will include headliners such as MARINA, RuPaul's Drag Race alumni Violet Chachki and Gottmik, controversial rapper Azealia Banks, Miss Toto and rapper Cupcakke, among others.
Central Alabama Pride's (CAP's) board of directors announced the 44th Annual Pridefest and Pride Week series of events, per a press release. This June, with the support of Mayor Randall Woodfin, The Birmingham City Council, and corporate and individual investors, CAP will present a 12-day celebration of Pride in The Magic City that begins June 1 and culminates with the annual day long Pridefest celebration on June 12. See https://www.centralalabamapride.org/community-events.
After his surprising defeat in North Carolina's primary election, GOP U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn took to Instagram to post a message promising a "Dark MAGA" comeback, per The Daily Beast. After criticizing a campaign to unseat him following a long series of scandals, Cawthorn credited those he called his true allies, specifically naming figures like former President Donald Trump, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia), Steve Bannon and Tucker Carlson. GOP state Sen. Chuck Edwards defeated Cawthorn by 1.5 percentage points in the primary election, and the 26-year-old incumbent may serve his term until January 2023.