Rita Addessaa civil-rights activist and the first executive director of the Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force (PLGTF, later the Pennsylvania Lesbian and Gay Task Force)passed away July 9 at Penn Hospice in Philadelphia at age 76, according to Philadelphia Gay News. A working-class Philadelphian with a disability, Addessa began doing local activism in her late teenage years, around the time she graduated from West Philadelphia Catholic Girls High in 1963. She started working part-time for PLGTF in 1978, the year it was founded, and spent 25 years as its executive director beginning in 1979. (The full article is at epgn.com/2022/07/21/rita-addessa-lesbian-civil-rights-activist-dies-at-76/ .)
An LGBTQ Victory Institute report states the LGBTQ+ community is "severely underrepresented" on school boards in the United States, Newsweek noted. Titled "Few & Under Fire: LGBTQ School Board Members in the U.S.," the report presents results from the first nationwide survey assessing the number of school board members who are openly part of the LGBTQ community. One result says there are only 28 states with at least one school board member who identifies as LGBTQand the majority of those states have just one such member. The full report is at https://victoryinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/2022SB-Report-070522.pdf.
Robin Roberts returned to Good Morning America on July 25 after celebrating the end of her partner Amber Laign's radiation treatment for breast cancer, People Magazine noted. Roberts started the morning with another post featuring her "Glam Fam" as she dropped some words of wisdom."One reason we get in a hurry and make bad decisions is that we think we're falling behind," she said. "We feel we're being left out and need to make things happen. Some people feel they have to compromise themselves to keep a relationship or get a position."
In a recent Spotify podcast episode, Joe Rogan, describing himself as "a bleeding heart liberal," directly addressed comments that he's a "secret conservative," The Washington Blade noted. He also defended same-sex marriage and claimed the conservative opposition against marriage equality is one reason he is not a conservative. In part, the former Fear Factor host also said, "It's so homophobic. Because you're saying there's something wrong with being homosexual by saying that you are opposed to gay marriage. You're saying you're opposed to gay people."
A Republican lawmaker attended his gay son's wedding just three days after joining the majority of his GOP colleagues in voting against a House bill that would codify federal protections for same-sex marriage, NBC News noted. The gay son of U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pennsylvania, confirmed to NBC News that he "married the love of [his] life" and that his "father was there." Thompson's press secretary, Maddison Stone, also confirmed the congressman was in attendance.
LGBTQ Victory Fundthe only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public officeendorsed 22 more out LGBTQ+ candidates, per a press release. Victory Fund has now endorsed 336 candidates running in the 2022 midterms. Just a few of the candidates include Rhode Island state rep candidate Giona Picheco, Alaska state rep candidates Jennie Armstrong and Andrew Gray, incumbent Connecticut state Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan and current Pennsylvania state rep. Malcolm Kenyatta.
In other Victory Fund-related news, former President Aisha Mills is among the candidates vying for the 18th Congressional District seat in New York, The Washington Blade noted. Mills, the former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, would be the first Black lesbian member of Congress if elected. Redistricting caused openly gay U.S. Rep. Sean Maloney to bid for the state's 17th Congressional District, where he now resides.
In response to a tweet sent by Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida about her appearance, Texas queer activist Olivia Julianna has raised more than $700,000 to support abortion care, The Advocate noted. The activist launched the fundraiser for the nonprofit organization Gen-Z for Change's abortion fund after being body-shamed by Gaetz on Twitter. The congressman mocked abortion-rights activists, calling them "disgusting," short and overweight; Julianna responded, "I'm actually 5'11. 6'4 in heels. I wear them so the small men like you are reminded of your place."
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis filed a complaint against Miami's R House after a video showed children at one of the restaurant's drag-brunch events, NBC News noted. DeSantis said at a news conference that the video, in which a child can be seen walking with a drag performer dressed in lingerie, led to an investigation by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, according to NBC Miami. The restaurant's ownership said in an emailed statement that it is aware of the complaint and that it is working with the department through its attorney to "rectify the situation."
An Indian transgender activist based in the Bay Area said she was attacked in downtown San Francisco, sparking an international wave of support on social media, according to SFGate. While crossing the street with her friend, trans woman Anjali Rimi said a motorcyclist "suddenly revved up as we got past half this crosswalk and came at us." She added, "It became very clear that I was the target and he came and hit me. I don't know what happened. But all I remember is that my right hand hurt like crazy, my bag had torn and things fell out of it on the street." A San Francisco police spokesperson confirmed that "an unknown suspect pulled up on a motorcycle and attempted to take her purse" unsuccessfully, but said "there is no indication that this was a prejudice-based incident."
GLAAD announced Lauren Sampson as the organization's new chief development officer and Thai Pham as the new deputy chief development officer, per a media release. Together, they will oversee development and fundraising efforts for the GLAAD Media Institute. Sampson previously was deputy chief development officer at the Innocence Project; Pham was the deputy director of development at Lambda Legal, the deputy director at Stonewall Community Foundation and the deputy director at Bolder Giving.
The state of New York is receiving 110,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine after the federal government approved nearly 800,000 shots to be distributed across the nation, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on July 28, Gay City News reported. Most of the doses allocated to New York State will be sent to New York City, which had 1,251 cases as of that date. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra told reporters that the United States expects to have received 7 million doses of the Jynneos vaccine by May 2023.
A Christian university has been accused of rescinding a student's offer of admission after discovering her sexuality via Instagram, PinkNews noted. Gianna Palmo took to TikTok to post a video featuring overlay text that read: "When ur Floridian college decides to not take [you] anymore [because you're] gay." She accused Florida's Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) of rejecting her because of her sexual orientationbut the school denied it. A spokesperson wrote, "PBA was informed that Gianna Palmo withdrew her deposit from the university. At no time did PBA rescind her admissioninstead, the university was making plans for her arrival."
Two Pittsburgh LGBTQ businesses received threats, but police said they found no immediate danger to the establishments after searching them, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. P Town Bar and Club Pittsburgh, a private club in the Strip District, received similar calls during a recent evening.
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita and more than 20 other Republican attorneys general filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden's administration over a Department of Agriculture school meal program that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, WTHR reported. Rokita said he's co-leading the 22-state lawsuit with Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery. The lawsuit claims that the federal government is attempting to force states and schools to follow anti-discrimination requirements that "misconstrue the law."
ABC News correspondent James Longman is officially married to his partner, Alex Brannan, People Magazine revealed. The British journalist, 36, and his former fiance tied the knot at the Old Marylebone Town Hall in London on Sunday after being engaged for a little over two years. The couple recently celebrated their fifth anniversary of being together in January.
Chris Cuomo will take his anchoring style to NewsNation, the still-nascent news outlet backed by large station owner Nexstar Media, Variety reported. The anchor was caught up in an investigation of sexual harassment claims against his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo,; in late 2021, New York State Attorney General Letitia James released documents showing the younger Cuomo took an active hand in helping his brother defend himselfwhich some saw as violating the ethical standards of journalism.