Lambda Legal filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society, Inc. on behalf of a former employee who was fired after they and other Dallas Arboretum employees began including their pronouns in their email signatures and wearing pins using their pronouns, a press release noted. Lambda Legal also filed a human relations discrimination complaint with the City of Dallas under its "Unlawful Discriminatory Practices" ordinance that bans discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The full EEOC complaint is at https://www.lambdalegal.org/sites/default/files/legal-docs/downloads/file_stamped_eeoc_charge_-_redacted_12.15.2021_redacted.pdf.
Three months after Chambersburg became the 70th and most recent Pennsylvania municipality to specifically prohibit discrimination against gender and sexual minorities, the municipality is preparing to repeal its new anti-discrimination ordinance, ABC27.com reported. The move comes after a dramatic change in the composition of the borough's council following November's election, from a veto-proof Democratic majority (which, sure enough, overrode a mayoral veto of the ordinance) to a Republican majority of seven to three.
A married lesbian coupletwo of the three Texas suspects accused of killing a Seattle womanare allegedly on the run after slipping out of their GPS ankle monitors on Christmas Day, oxygen.com noted. Nina Marano, 50, and her 58-year-old wife Lisa Dykes (as well as Charles Anthony Beltran, 32) were arrested in June for the murder of Marisela Botello-Valadez, 23. Marano and Dykes had posted $500,000 bonds for their release, and they were required to wear ankle monitors at all times. (Beltran was still in custody.) It wasn't until Jan. 4 that officials learned they removed the devices on Christmas Day and fled, local outlet WFAA reported.
The Princeton, New Jersey-based Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice (BRCSJ)a community activist center, educational bridge and dedicated safe spacewelcomed Emilio Delgado to its board of directors, per a press release. A longtime activist, Delgado, 81, played Luis the Fix-It Man on Sesame Street during 1971-2016. Delgado said, "I am so very inspired by the mission and community-building of the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice [as well as] how the diversity and cooperation that Sesame Street built is now being carried forth into the future by the good works of the BRCSJ."
With her confirmation to the state's 3rd District Court of Appeal, Justice Laurie M. Earl is now the fifth LGBTQ person serving on one of California's six appellate courts and the first on the 3rd District bench, according to The Bay Area Reporter. She was unanimously confirmed to the appellate bench and took her oath of office during a virtual hearing Jan. 6. According to Gov. Gavin Newsom's website, Earl was senior assistant inspector general at the Sacramento County Office of Inspector General from 2004 to 2005 and a deputy district attorney at the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office from 1995 to 2004. The compensation for this position is $256,138.
Penn's Lia Thomas and Yale's Iszac Henig recently made waves in the pool, as the two trans swimmers competed head to heada rarity in the NCAAwith each earning points for their team, Outsports noted. Thomas put together wins in the 200-yard freestyle (1:48.73) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:57.20). However, Heniga trans man competing on the women's swimming team at Yalewas dynamic in the freestyle sprint events; his time in the 50-yard freestyle, 22.76 seconds, broke a record for Sheerr Pool that has stood since 1990, according to Yale. Also, Henig won the 100-yard freestyle, defeating Thomas.
South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem released a national advertisement promoting legislation that targets transgender youths, NBC News reported. Without saying the word "transgender" or "trans," the ad promotes a bill Noem introduced last month. Major sports organizations, including the NCAA and the International Olympic Committee, allow transgender and non-binary athletes to compete on teams that correspond to their gender identity under certain conditions.
In South Carolina, a Republican-backed Statehouse bill opposed by LGBTQ advocates for allowing doctors to refuse non-lifesaving services is stalled over concerns it could backfire on COVID-mandate opponents who won't get vaccinated, The Post & Courier reported. The bill aims to protect doctors and other medical professionals from being fired, demoted or sued if they refuse to provide non-emergency services to which they morally object. It would also undo a Columbia ordinance passed last June banning so-called conversion therapy of youth questioning their sexual orientation or gender. A Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee took up the bill Jan. 12 but postponed a vote to advance it, with its chairman saying the legislation needs work. South Carolina Equality Director Jeff Ayers applauded the delay.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) teen daughter, Caroline, has reportedly come out on social media as bisexual while criticizing her father's far-right political views, LGBTQ Nation noted. In a video posted to TikTok, she also accuses her parents of digitally altering a photo for the family Christmas card to make her clothing look more conservative. Even inside his own party, Cruz is one of the most hated members of the Senate, spurring former Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) to describe him as a "wacko bird." However, Meghan McCainJohn's daughter and a former co-host on The Viewtweeted, "Ted Cruz's daughter is 13 years old. This is exploitation of a minor and disgusting ethical malpractice on the part of the media. Stop this. Leave her alone."
After a quarter-century, Belle's Basixan iconic Cedar Rapids bar and one of only a handful of LGBTQ night spots in eastern Iowamay soon close for good, Little Village magazine noted. "Unless someone buys the business, the bar will be permanently closed on Feb. 1st," owner Andrew Harrison (also known as retired drag queen Pretty Belle) wrote on Facebook. Belle's Basix has been the target of eggings, BB gun pellets and slurs shouted by homophobes driving by the spot.
In New Jersey, the Bloomfield Township mayor and a gay councilman are asking the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to reconsider putting a Chick-Fil-A at the Brookdale South rest stop on the Garden State Parkway, NorthJersey.com reported. Mayor Michael Venezia and Councilman Rich Rockwell released statements urging the turnpike authority to rethink the decision, which Venezia called "incredibly disappointing." Rockwell said the fast-food company has used its "financial success" to support and influence discriminatory policies against the LGBTQ community.
According to a new Indiana University (IU) study, at least one area still seriously lacks representation of Black and Brown people: sex education, a press release noted. With support from IU's Racial Justice Research Fund, IU researchers Yael R. Rosenstock Gonzalez, Deana Williams and Debby Herbenick investigated skin color and skin tone diversity in anatomical diagrams within contemporary human sexuality textbooks. The research team found that only 1.1% of diagrams represented dark skin tones, while 83.5% represented light skin tones. Their findings are based on analysis of skin tone and skin color diversity in 182 anatomical diagrams and images from eight contemporary, college-level human sexuality textbooks.
Apple TV+ announced a new four-part documentary series Lincoln's Dilemmaa new exploration of President Abraham Lincoln and the complex journey to end slavery, a press release noted. Narrated by Jeffrey Wright and featuring the voices of Bill Camp as Abraham Lincoln as well as Leslie Odom Jr. as Frederick Douglass, the series is a 21st-century examination of the people and events that shaped Lincoln's evolving stance on slavery. All four parts of Lincoln's Dilemma will premiere globally Friday, Feb. 18, on Apple TV+.
Utah's Brigham Young University announced that university-owned portions of the famed Y Mountain are now officially off-limits for student protests and demonstrations, out.com noted. Last year, a group of LGBTQ+ BYU students lit the "Y" in rainbow colors to call for greater acceptance on campus and calling out church teachings and rules regulating student behavior on campus. The new updated demonstration policy bans such protests on Y Mountain in the future.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom rejected parole for Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's killer, Sirhan Sirhan, saying the senator's death "changed the course of this nation," per The Fresno Bee. Sirhan was convicted of first-degree murder for fatally shooting Kennedythe brother of President John F. Kennedyand wounding five others after a campaign event in 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Kennedy, 42, led the field of Democrats campaigning for the presidential nomination when he died; he was shot just after claiming victory in California's primary.
Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a Republican, dismissed former President Donald Trump, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and even Fox host Tucker Carlson as leaders, saying, "It's time to move on," Yahoo! News reported. "We're either gonna placate and play populism one on one and try to live 10 seconds at a time, or we're gonna put genuine leadership on display," Duncan, who describes himself as a lifelong conservative, said. Duncan, the state's 12th lieutenant governor, catapulted himself into the national spotlight over the last 14 months after going toe-to-toe with Trump over the former president's unfounded claims of election fraud.
A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of nearly a dozen pre-teen and teenage social media influencers seeking millions of dollars in damages against their former manager, the mother of a noted YouTube figure, alleging sexual battery and failure to fully pay them for their contributions, per Deadline. The Los Angeles Superior Court complaint names as defendants Tiffany Rockelle Smith, the mother of a 14-year old YouTube personality; their business; and Hunter Hill, identified in the suit as the 25-year-old live-in boyfriend of the 40- year-old Smith and the primary director, editor and cinematographer of the teen's content for her YouTube channel.