GOP lawmakers in Indiana have said that a proposal to restrict discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in schoolsmodeled after Florida's "Don't Say Gay" billwill be drafted in the new year, according to INTO. The news came out of a legislative conference. Rep. Bob Behning, chair of the House education committee, gave a preview of his educational priorities for the coming General Assembly meeting in January. He went on to say that he does not know whether the bill will be handled by his committee or whether he would support it. Chris Paulsen, CEO of LGBTQ+ nonprofit Indiana Youth Group, called the bill a "gut punch."
Children were turned away from a popular all-ages Christmas drag show after a Missouri town noted local legislation made it illegal for kids to attend, The New York Post noted. Hours before Chesterfield venue The Factor held "A Drag Queen Christmas"featuring performers from the reality show RuPaul's Drag Raceit announced ticket-holders had to be at least 18. Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation upped the age requirement, citing a local ordinance and concerns over what's acceptable for minors, according to Fox 2 News.
All eligible Citi debit customers now have the ability to use their chosen first names on their debit cards without requiring a legal name change, per a press release. Customers who choose to update their debit cards can do so by calling the number on the back of their Citi debit cards or visiting their local Citi branches. Golden Globe- and GLAAD Media Award-winning actress Michaela Jae Rodriguez (Pose) has joined forces with Citi and Mastercard in their "Chosen Name" campaign as an ambassador, GLAAD noted. See citi.com/updatemyname.
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) included several new LGBTQ+ entries (including "LGBTQ" itself) in 2022, according to LGBTQ Nation. Some of the other terms included "anti-gay" and "anti-homosexual," and the Australian Aboriginal terms "brotherboy" and "sistergirl" as well as "gender-affirming," "multisexual," the Zapotec identity "muxe," "TERF" and "pangender."
In Minnesota, archivist Jean-Nickolaus Tretter passed away at age 76 in St. Paul, The StarTribune reported. His LGBTQ+ collection eventually grew so large that it was donated to the University of Minnesota's Andersen Library and is now one of the largest LGBTQ+ collections in the country. Tretter Collection Curator Aiden Bettine said fear and pride drove Tretter to collect this history; Tretter worried no one would care to preserve the materials, and knew there were few who would take it on alone, he said.
Felicia Ann Fontaineone of Alabama's best-known and respected gay advocatesrecently died at her Huntsville home at age 68, AL.com reported. Fontaine and her longtime spouse, Barbara "Barb" Collins, moved to Huntsville in 1982; Fontaine later became a statewide leader in the movement for equal rights for gay people. She was an ordained minister in the Metropolitan Community Church and a licensed counselor.
Gov.-elect Maura Healey and Lt. Gov-elect Kim Driscoll will be sworn into office at the Massachusetts State House on Jan. 5, MassLive reported. The incoming leaders will celebrate their inauguration at their "Moving the Ball Forward" party at TD Garden in Boston later in the day; the basketball-themed event honors Healey and Driscoll's basketball roots, while also acknowledging their barrier-breaking election victory. Healey is the first woman and openly gay person elected governor of Massachusetts; she and Driscoll, the mayor of Salem, will make history as the first all-women ticket sworn in to helm a state, their campaign said.
With his upset win to the Public Service Commission, Davante Lewis recently became the first openly LGBTQ+ person ever elected to a state-level office in Louisiana, the Louisiana Illuminator noted. The McNeese State University graduate is also the first openly LGBTQ+ Black person elected in state history. Lewis defeated three-term incumbent Lambert Boissiere III, a Black Democrat from New Orleans.
The Biden administration did not appeal a recent court loss in Texas regarding federal LGBTQ+ protectionsa decision Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton is celebrating as a win, The Dallas Morning News reported. On Oct. 1, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk declared unlawful two pieces of federal guidance: one that said the Affordable Care Act protects transgender patients' access to gender-affirming care; and another that said employment protections for gay and transgender workers extend to policies like dress code, as well as what pronouns and bathrooms they use. Kacsmaryk said a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling protecting gay and transgender workers narrowly dealt with hiring and firing practices, and rejected the argument that sex is "inextricably intertwined" with certain workplace "conduct."
Police arrested another person in the aftermath of a Dec. 19 anti-LGBTQ+ attack at the home of Manhattan Councilmember Erik Bottcherthis time for an alleged assault on the city lawmaker's neighbor, Gay City News reported. The arrest came just more than a week after anti-LGBTQ+ individuals swarmed Bottcher's office and home after he facilitated a drag-story hour event; Anna Morgan, 27, and Erica Sanchez, 44, were initially arrested for vandalizing the lawmaker's home and office. David Nieves, 33, was arrested on Dec. 27 and charged with assault and harassment for slapping another man in the face and then shoving him into a vehicle on Dec. 19. The person Nieves allegedly attacked resides in Bottcher's building, according to the Daily Beast, which first reported on the arrest.
The Education Department is invoking Title IX in an investigation into a North Texas school district after its superintendent was secretly recorded telling librarians to remove any LGBTQ+-themed library books from the shelves, The Gazette noted. The civil-rights enforcement arm of the department is looking into actions at Granbury Independent School District due to both a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas in July and a report from NBC News, ProPublica and the Texas Tribune published in March. Legal and education experts told NBC News that this is the first case directly tied to the nationwide movement seeking to ban books with topics on sexuality and gender.
A Catholic parish and a group of families filed a lawsuit against Michigan over concerns that a state civil-rights law will be used to force the parish's school to violate its religious views on marriage and biological sex, per The Christian Post. Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish of Grand Rapids, along with three pairs of parents who have children enrolled at its school, filed the complaint in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Southern Division. At issue is the state government's implementation of the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act, which involves interpreting the law's ban on sex discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Police Commissioner Keechat Sewell announced the arrest of a man who allegedly carried out multiple druggings and robberies, Gay City News reported. According to Bragg's office, 33-year-old Kenwood Allen was charged with two counts of second-degree murder, three counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, one count of second-degree robbery and two counts of second-degree assault for causing fatal overdoses of two people Allen robbed on the Lower East Side. The announcement came after the NYPD made several other similar arrests amid a crime spree that has also included victims in the city's LGBTQ+ community.
In San Francisco, LGBTQ+ asylum and refugee organizations have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to launch new initiatives to increase efforts to help queer and gender-nonconforming asylum seekers and refugees, The Bay Area Reporter noted. The LGBT Asylum Project and El/La Para TransLatinas received a two-year, $125,000 grant from the city and county of San Francisco. It is the organizations' first joint initiative they have launched although the agencies have had ties since 2021. Also, New York's Immigration Equality received a five-year, $500,000 grant as seed money for a new program, Build Out, to aid the resettlement of LGBTQ+ refugees.
Texas author/researcher Edward Sebesta recently accused the Dallas City Council of hosting anti-LGBTQ+ invocation speakers, according to The Dallas Observer. Sebesta told the council, in part, "There are those who claim to be defenders of the LGBT, but in reality, in the defense against homophobia, are the Uvalde police [referring to the law officers in Uvalde who were slow to act to stop a gunman who killed 19 students and two teachers an elementary school]." Five of eight invocation speakers chosen in that time came from churches, institutions and organizations that Sebesta called "the mortal enemies of gay people." Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said he would look into what Sebesta said (in September); however, the writer said he hasn't gotten a response yet from anyone on City Council about the invocation speakers.
A church elder attending an event at the University of Wyoming (UW) displayed a sign that read, "God created male and female and [student's name redacted] is a male"and a university staffer immediately asked the elder to change the sign, Cowboy State Daily noted. Todd Schmidt, an elder of the Laramie Faith Community Church, claimed that he displayed the sign"to tell the truth and bring people to God." UW leadership said its efforts in the matter are geared toward honoring "a wide variety of perspectives in our community AND [engaging one another] regarding those different perspectives with respect and integrity."
A Nebraska man was arrested on charges of making terroristic threats against the LGBTQ+ community, The Advocate noted, citing the Lincoln Journal Star. Michael Nicewondera twice-convicted sex offenderallegedly made a bomb threat against Lincoln LGBTQ+ bar Das Haus in December 2021 and threatened two Pride events in Lincoln and Kearney in May 2022.
An Arizona judge rejected Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake's lawsuit attempting to overturn her defeatconcluding that there wasn't clear or convincing evidence of misconductand affirming the victory of Democratic Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs, CNN noted. Lake, a Donald Trump-endorsed candidate who lost to Hobbs by about 17,000 votes in November, sued in an effort to overturn the election. In a tweet after the ruling, Lake, who sat in the courtroom during the trial but did not testify, said she would appeal the decision "for the sake of restoring faith and honesty in our elections."
A Chick-fil-A in North Carolina was fined $6,450 for paying workers with meals instead of money and violating child-labor laws, NPR reported. A Department of Labor investigation found that at a Chick-fil-A in Hendersonville, North Carolina, three employees under 18 were assigned hazardous tasks, such as operating, loading and unloading the trash compactor; in addition, seven employees are owed $235 in back wages, the department said. In August, a Tampa, Florida, location was fined $12,478 after the agency found that 17 workers between ages 14 and 15 were working past 7 p.m. and more than three hours on school days.