The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) issued a press release criticizing Louisiana legislators for advancing three discriminatory bills targeting LGBTQ+ youth. The Senate passed a Gender Affirming Care Ban (HB 648), "Don't Say LGBTQ+" Bill (HB 466) and Pronoun Restriction Bill (HB 81), which will be sent to Gov. John Bel Edwards for signature or veto. Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley said, "These bills are a desperate and cruel effort by radical politicians in Louisiana to marginalize and erase the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender youth. The Human Rights Campaign strongly condemns these discriminatory bills and calls on Gov. Bel Edwards to veto them."
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights LGBTQ Institute, in conjunction with Emory University, released the results of an online survey conducted between June 2021 and March 2022 involving LGBTQ Southerners, The Georgia Voice reported. The survey covered various topics, such as an individual's experiences in school and work, the discrimination they have faced, their political leanings and voting behavior, and activities individuals do with their free time outside school and work, such as travel and leisure. All individuals who participated in the survey were at least 18 years of age and lived in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia or West Virginia. The survey is at tinyurl.com/bdfyuyf2 .
Missouri police are working with the FBI in investigating an alleged pellet-gun shooting of a person outside Kansas City LGBTQ+ club Fountain Haus, The Advocate noted. The Kansas City Police Department confirmed to the Kansas City Star that it is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime in cooperation with the FBI. It was unclear if there are additional victims and no info was provided about potential suspects, but KCMO LGBTQ Commission Chair Justice Horn told local NBC affiliate KSHB he believes the target and timing of the alleged shooting was intentional.
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is expanding her podcast empire with Rachel Maddow Presents: Deja Newsa new show set to debut Monday, June 12, per The Hollywood Reporter. It will be a six-episode limited series in which Maddow and longtime Rachel Maddow Show producer Isaac-Davy Aronson explore news stories from the past that have notable parallels with the present. Maddowwho still hosts MSNBC's 9 p.m. hour on Monday evenings and during major news eventsstepped back from her nightly show a year ago to focus on a number of other ventures at NBCUniversal.
Former CNN anchor Don Lemon will celebrate Pride Month by hosting Emil Wilbekin's 7th annual Native Son Awards at Barry Diller's IAC building in New York on June 16, Page Six revealed. Lemon was one of the first to be honored by the awards, which aim to highlight "the achievements of Black gay and queer men who are leaders in their respective industries," at its first gala in 2016. The organization stood in solidarity with Lemon when he was ousted from CNN in April, posting, "As one chapter closes, a new one will open. We thank you Don Lemon for speaking truth to power."
Grindr CEO George Arison said he sees room for the app to be more vocal in advocating for LGBTQ+ rights at a time many corporationswhich have supported Pride events in years pasthave shied away from defending those rights as their companies come under attack, according to Fortune. Arison, a tech industry veteran and gay father of two who became Grindr's CEO soon after it went public in November, said, "Companies might say a lot of wonderful things about their brand being pro-LGBTQ, but they don't put the dollars where they should." Also, Arison, born in Soviet Georgia, sees a role for Grindr in pushing for LGBTQ+ rights abroad because of the app's community-building aspect, and not just among people seeking sex or dating opportunities.
A Gallup Poll released June 5 showed that support for same-sex marriage is still high, per the Los Angeles Blade. Seventy-one percent of Americans think it should be legal, matching the previous year's figure. Gallup noted that public support for legally recognizing gay marriages has been consistently above 50% since the early 2010s.
And on a related note, Kris Perry and Sandy Stierthe original plaintiffs in the lawsuit that overturned California's Proposition 8 that banned marriage equalitycelebrated the 10th anniversary of their historic wedding by renewing their vows onboard an Air Tahiti Nui Dreamliner airplane en route to a second honeymoon in Tahiti and Bora Bora, The Advocate noted. Perry and Stier first married in 2013 after the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling finding the 2008 proposition unconstitutional in the pair's landmark Perry vs. Hollingsworth case.
After several gay men were drugged and murdered in New York City's nightlife scene, Mayor Eric Adams' administration unveiled a new plan to allow individuals to ask the police to re-evaluate unsolved casesincluding decades-old cold casesinvolving LGBTQ+ victims, Gay City News reported. Among recent attacks, the two most notable attacks targeted Julio Ramirez and John Umberger, who both died last year. In total, there were allegedly 17 similar incidents between March 2021 and July 2022, according to police.
San Francisco's drag-nun icon Sister Roma was honored in a ceremony on the floor of the state senate and the assembly in Sacramento as Christian and Catholic groups protested, ABC 7 News noted. Roma was one of 15 people recognized in both the state senate and the state assembly as part of Pride Month celebrations. Roma is a member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgencea group of queer and trans drag-nun activists who devote themselves to community service. The organization was in the news recently after the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball rescinded an invitation to the team's Pride Night (although the squad later changed its mind and re-invited the group).
In North Carolina, a group of drag performers said an event they had planned to have was canceled by a department store, in what they believe may be a case of a corporation caving to backlash from other groups over LGBTQ+ issues, according to Fox 8. The performer known as Nova Stella said that the Pride Month Showcase eventset to take place around the MAC counter at the Belk at Charlotte's Northlake Mallwas initially approved. Belk recently had to deal with backlash over LGBTQ+ apparel for children.
Portland organizations are working to get more people involved in the foster-care system as parents, after experts said LGBTQ+ youth are vastly overrepresented in foster-care homes, KGW8 reported. Basic Rights Oregon Communications Manager Blair Stenvick said unsupportive environments lead many LGBTQ+ youth to leave their homes voluntarily or to be ousted by family members. A 2023 Trevor Project survey revealed that only 38% of LGBTQ+ teens believe their homes are LGBTQ+-affirming.
On June 16-17, the Los Angeles LGBT Center will once again host Trans Pride LA (TPLA), an annual celebration that celebrates the trans and non-binary community that women's soccer team Angel City FC is presenting, per a press release. The festivities, including the inaugural Trans Town Hall, will take place at the Center's Village at Ed Gould Plaza and Anita May Rosenstein Campus in Hollywood. Admission is free all weekend. For a full schedule of events or to RSVP, visit https://lalgbtcenter.org/transpride23.
Elon Musk (who is estranged from his own trans child) started Pride Month with transphobic tweets that constitute his most extreme attacks against the community to date, The Washington Blade noted. They included a pledge that he will be "actively lobbying to criminalize" healthcare interventions for transgender youth. Musk also responded "totally agree" to a tweet from a trans-exclusionary LGB account that said, "LGB don't even want Pride month anymore. We just want to be separated from the TQ+." Last year, Musk's 18-year-old trans daughter reportedly filed papers in a California court to legally change her first and last name and request a new birth certificate, The Washington Blade noted.
Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang issued a response to a joint letter from Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta and state Superintendent Tony Thurmond cautioning against book bans. In a press release, Hoang said, "At a time when over a dozen states have already passed laws banning books and censoring school curriculum, we applaud this clear and forceful guidance from the highest offices in our state unequivocally demonstrating their commitment to providing unfettered access to an inclusive and accurate education for all students. … Nearly two in three LGBTQ+ young people said that hearing about potential state or local laws banning people from discussing LGBTQ+ people at school made their mental health worse."
In Pennsylvania, Dr. Ken Ho, of Squirrel Hill, was named the recipient of the 2023 Kerry Stoner Award, which is bestowed annually by Allies for Health + Wellbeing (formerly the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force) to someone who has shown commitment to the legacy and vision of the task force co-founder, who died of complications of AIDS in 1993 at age 39. Ho received the award from Allies' CEO Sean DeYoung at the Allies' annual benefit gala on May 26 at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. Ho, a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, is the medical director of the Pitt Men's Studya confidential research study of the natural history of HIV/AIDS funded by the National Institutes of Health that has been ongoing in Pittsburgh since 1984. He works with the clinical trials unit at the University of Pittsburgh and teaches at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health.
In New Jersey, the Manville School District is being sued by Danielle Warshefskithe mother of 17-year-old trans student Myles Fitzpatrick, who died by suicide in November 2022, according to Out in Jersey. Some students bullied Fitzpatrick over his gender identity when Manville High School returned to in-person learning last year and it is alleged that the Manville School District neglected the child's daily transphobic abuse. Warshefski claims that the district failed to institute or implement the policies in place in accordance with New Jersey Law Against Discrimination Gender Identity and/or Expression Discrimination and Harassment.
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts announced a new five-year, $7.5-million commitment to the NYC-based Creative Capital Foundation "to continue its groundbreaking support for innovative artists and the defense of freedom of expression," per a press release. Often referred to as "the gold standard in artist support," Creative Capital was founded in 1999 following the National Endowment for the Arts' termination of its individual grants program.
A school district in Utah removed the Bible from elementary and middle schools for containing "vulgarity and violence," the BBC reported. The Davis School District north of Salt Lake City made the move after a complaint filed in December 2022. Utah's Republican government passed a law in 2022 banning "pornographic or indecent" books from schools.
A North Hollywood elementary school already dealing with parental protests over a Pride assembly faced more turmoil after a transgender teacher's Pride flag was burned by a campus intruder, The Los Angeles Times noted. In a statement, Los Angeles LGBT Center Chief Impact Officer Terra Russell-Slavin responded to the situation by saying, "I am beyond disappointed to read about the events unfolding at Saticoy Elementary Schooland not just from where I sit [from my organizational position]. To be completely frank, I am more ... concerned as a lesbian mother who's raising a child in Los Angeles County."
The warm welcome back that Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner received in her home state of Texas while playing the Dallas Wings came with something elsea pledge from Baylor women's basketball coach Nicki Collen that Griner's jersey will be retired at her alma mater, ESPN reported. "That's the goal," Collen said. "We're opening a new arena. There's no doubt that I want to see her jersey in the rafters." All of the current Bears were still kids when Griner led Baylor to a 40-0 national championship season in 2012. However, they've followed her in the WNBA, and Collen said her players were a little starstruck when meeting Griner before the game.
Byron Perkins, the first out gay football player in HBCU history, seemingly introduced his boyfriend to the public, per Queerty. The first picture of Perkins and James "JD" Dunn shows them at a restaurant, posing for the camera. The Pride flag is placed in the bottom left-hand corner. "Happy pride, love," the caption read. Perkins, who recently completed his junior season at Hampton University at defensive back, said he originally thought he was only coming out for himselfbut he said on The Tamron Hall Show that he underestimated the impact his move would have on others.
The Hawai'i LGBT Legacy Foundation announced that Randy Soriano would be the organization's first executive director, per an announcement in Honolulu Magazine. Before joining the foundation, Soriano spent nearly a decade leading the marketing department at Title Guaranty Hawai'i, the state's largest and oldest kama'aina (resident) title and escrow company. Soriano is also a board member at the Hawai'i Health and Harm Reduction Center and has been board secretary of the Hawai'i LGBT Legacy Foundation.
The Count Basie Center for the Arts and Bank of America announced the sixth of 12 area nonprofits to be recognized during The Giving Yeara yearlong initiative to recognize and reward organizations for their contributions to the regional community, New Jersey Stage noted. Asbury Park LGBTQ+ community center QSpot will receive $1 from every Count Basie Center ticket sold in June, along with tickets for the organization's clientele and volunteers.