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NATIONAL Lambda Legal, N.J. politicians, funding, monkeypox
by Andrew Davis
2022-07-03

This article shared 1653 times since Sun Jul 3, 2022
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Lambda Legal issued a statement about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of a former football coach for a high school in western Washington who lost his job after praying on the 50-yard-line after games. Lambda Legal Acting Chief Legal Officer Jennifer C. Pizer said the court "has done yet more damage to the U.S Constitution, and the cherished freedoms OF religion—and FROM religion—which are written as equally important protections in the First Amendment. This decision sidelines decades of thoughtful, settled precedent recognizing that explicitly sectarian demonstrations of religion by public school teachers and officials are by their very nature coercive and unavoidably convey illegal governmental endorsement."

Also, Lambda Legal announced the establishment of the F. Curt Kirschner Senior Counsel and Senior Strategist position, funded by a $1 million grant to Lambda Legal from the Jones Day Foundation to honor retiring Jones Day Labor and Employment partner F. Curt Kirschner, Jr., a press release noted. "Lambda Legal does such tremendously important work in support of LGBTQ rights and all those living with HIV," Kirschner said. "I've been proud to serve on their Executive Board and National Leadership Council, where we help create policy and financial strategies to support these civil rights and advocacy efforts. I am so honored that the Jones Day Foundation has funded this position."

Insider NJ released its Insider Out 100: LGBTQ Power List that showcases the 100 most powerful LGBTQ+ figures in New Jersey politics. Among those listed are Union County Commissioner Rebecca Williams (who tops the list), Assemblyman Don Guardian, Environment Commissioner Shawn Latourette, Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora and Garden State Equality Director Christian Fuscarino. The full list is at www.insidernj.com/2022-insider-out-100-lgbtq/ .

Funders for LGBTQ Issues releases the 2019-2020 Resource Tracking Report: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Grantmaking by U.S. Foundations (2022), per a press release. The report explores the scope and character of U.S. foundation funding for LGBTQ communities and issues in calendar years 2019-2020. This research finds that foundation funding for LGBTQ communities and issues has fallen since its record high in 2018, totaling $193 million in 2019 and $201 million in 2020. One eye-popping stat was that for every $100 awarded by U.S. foundations in 2020, only 23 cents specifically supported LGBTQ+ communities and issues.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is recommending new populations get vaccinated against monkeypox in order to stop the spread of the virus in the U.S. The plan also includes the distribution of monkeypox vaccines, per LGBTQ Nation. The CDC now recommends that men who have had sex with multiple men in the last fourteen days in cities where cases of monkeypox have been confirmed get vaccinated against the virus, as well as people who have had sexual contact with someone with a confirmed case of the disease. Monkeypox is endemic in the Congo Basin and West Africa but the most recent outbreak has seen over 5,000 cases of the disease worldwide, with more than 300 reported in the United States so far since May (although no deaths have yet occurred).

The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund issued a response to the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling that the Biden/Harris Administration can overturn the Trump Administration's "Remain in Mexico" policy. Deputy Executive Director Mayra Hidalgo Salazar said, "The Supreme Court ruling clears the way for President Biden to end a shameful Trump-era program that exposed LGBTQ+ asylum seekers to deplorable conditions in makeshift camps. TheŻNational LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund encourages the administration to act boldly and swiftly on this matter, to end Title 42, and to undo the horrors of [the] 2016-2020 immigration policy. We need this administration's leadership on immigration reform, so that people who live in this country and came here as immigrants may have a pathway to citizenship."

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) said he would back a law banning the act of sodomy if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overrule a case deeming it unconstitutional, The Hill noted, citing an interview he gave with NewsNation. Paxton he would defend the law banning sodomy because the Supreme Court, in the past, has "stepped into issues that I don't think there was any constitutional provision dealing with." The Supreme Court ruled a Texas law banning two persons of the same sex from having sexual intercourse was unconstitutional in Lawrence v. Texas (2003); that ruling overturned Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), which allowed a similar Georgia statute banning sodomy to stay in effect.

In Austin, Texas, The Historic Landmark Commission indefinitely postponed a decision about the historic status of the sites housing three queer-centric nightclubs in the Warehouse District, the Austin American-Statesman reported. A proposed demolition project at West Fourth and Colorado streets would displace those bars to make room for a mixed-use tower to be developed by Houston-based Hanover Co. The parcels in question are home to Coconut Club, Neon Grotto and Oilcan Harry's—the oldest operating LGBTQ bar in town.

A longtime deputy director at San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights has embarked on a new job leading Legal Services for Children, per The Bay Area Reporter. That nonprofit, known as LSC, is also headquartered in San Francisco. Cathy Sakimura, a queer woman, began serving as its executive director June 20. Sakimura said she believes America's legal system "has a long way to go before families and children really have the respect and dignity and legal protections that they need to live their lives safely and to stay together as families."

East Coast health-care network ChristianaCare has opened what is being called a gender-wellness program to provide psychotherapy and support services for individuals age 13 and older who are exploring their gender identity or experiencing gender dysphoria, according to ChristianaCare News. The program also provides treatment for any behavioral health condition the individual may be struggling with, such as anxiety and depression. People who identify as transgender have higher rates of suicide attempts than individuals who do not identify as transgender, according to the National Institutes of Health. For more on ChristianaCare's LGBTQ+ health initiatives, people can visit christianacare.org/services/lgbtqhealth/ .

Jonathan Burns was arrested for felony vandalism for allegedly spray-painting the Pride section of a Target store in Knoxville, Tennessee, in June, LGBTQ Nation noted. He was arrested over a week later on June 22 at his home in Knox County after Knoxville Police posted screenshots of surveillance video to social media. Class D felony vandalism in Tennessee comes with a sentence of two to 12 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

At Oregon's James John Elementary School, a mural that depicted a raised fist and a rainbow flag was defaced, Willamette Week reported. A brown clay-like substance (originally suspected to be animal or human waste) was found smeared across the mural. Parent Laura Streib filed a police report.

The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce completed its first entrepreneurship boot camp June 23 with a graduation ceremony for its 17 participants at Harley-Davidson Inc.'s Milwaukee headquarters, The Business Journals reported. The chamber teamed with Harley-Davidson's supplier-diversity program to start the inaugural boot camp in late April, which included Wednesday evening sessions for eight weeks covering legal structure, market research, business financials, start-up financing and supplier diversity.


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