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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



NATIONAL Mayor's honor, sexuality oath, Big Freedia, TikTok COO, AIDS Quilt
by Windy City Times staff

This article shared 1736 times since Sat Feb 11, 2023
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Openly gay San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria recently became the latest recipient of the Latino Leaders Network's Antonio Villaraigosa Leadership Award during the organization's Tribute to Mayors, the Los Angeles Blade reported. The biannual event, held at the St. Regis hotel in Washington, D.C., was attended by more than 80 mayors—including NYC's Eric Adams and Miami's Francis Suarez, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Among other things, Gloria expressed gratitude for the "open door policy" with which the Biden-Harris administration has welcomed input from the nation's mayors, particularly with respect to issues concerning immigration.

A Florida church is demanding its members sign an oath expressing opposition to transgender identity and same-sex marriage, Metro Weekly noted. Jacksonville's First Baptist Church in Jacksonville has given its members a deadline of March 19, at which time they must have signed a "Biblical Sexuality Agreement" oath or must immediately resign their membership in the church. Senior Pastor Heath Lambert—an outspoken proponent of "traditional" family values—has defended the oath, saying that "real Christians" should not have a problem with signing it.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center hosted "The Future is Black: Renaissance," honoring Grammy-winning musician Big Freedia. The cultural event included an award presented to Big Freedia by youth from the Center, panel discussions hosted by Tre'vell Anderson and jarrett hill of the podcast FANTI, an interactive portrait studio and a "mini-ball" after-party. The newly minted Grammy winner for Best Dance Recording, Big Freedia was on hand to accept the Center's Bayard Rustin Award for her fearless advocacy of the LGBTQ+ community; she sat down with content creator and activist AmbersCloset (Amber Whittington) for a conversation that included her role in Beyonce's newest album, Renaissance.

TikTok COO V(anessa) Pappas has come out as non-binary, sharing their updated name and pronouns, according to PinkNews. Pappas announced the news on Feb. 6 in a post after updating their pronouns to include they/them alongside she/her. Pappas explained that they came to understand their gender identity after discussions with their two children.

Starting Feb. 7 (National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day), sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt honoring Black and Brown lives lost to HIV/AIDS were sent to Louisiana as part of Change the Pattern—a national campaign to end HIV in Black, Brown and LGBTQ+ communities across the southern United States, a press release noted. On Feb. 7 -11, the National AIDS Memorial, Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC) and Gilead Sciences showcased two major displays of the AIDS Quilt at two HBCU campuses: New Orleans' Dillard University and Baton Rouge's Southern University and A&M College. Among the 200 Quilt panels displayed at Dillard were several made by actress Sheryl Lee Ralph that she created for her friends and celebrities lost to AIDS; at Southern, nearly 175 panels were displayed, including one sewn by civil-rights icon Rosa Parks.

The parents of Jaxon Sales—a 20-year-old gay Korean/Filipino man who was found naked and dead in March 2020 in the San Francisco apartment of a man who he did not know—demanded that California Attorney General Rob Bonta, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, City Attorney David Chiu and Police Chief William Scott compel the San Francisco medical examiner to fully investigate the circumstances of their son's death, according to a media report. The parents made the request through their attorney, Glenn D. Magpantay, pursuant to a provision of California law involving inquests. The parents demanded that an inquest must be without LGBTQ+ bias to determine if Sales' "death was caused by the criminal act of another," as required by the inquest law.

The South Dakota Senate passed HB 1080, which bans doctors from prescribing puberty blockers or performing gender-transitioning surgery on minors in the state, Dakota News Now reported. State Sen. Tim Reed (D) proposed an amendment to allow for puberty blockers; however, state Sen. John Wiik (R) said most people will grow out of their gender dysmorphia as they age. In a statement, state Rep. Kameron Nelson—the only LGBTQ+ state lawmaker in South Dakota—said, "This is a devastating day for South Dakota's trans community. Gender-affirming care is lifesaving and this ban, if signed by Governor Noem, will have dire consequences. I am appalled that a legislature with zero trans lawmakers would make such a short-sighted, consequential decision. This is yet another step to erase queer people from South Dakota."

In California, for what is believed to be the first time in Riverside County's 129-year history, its board of supervisors has an openly LGBTQ+ member, The Press-Enterprise reported. Yxstian Gutierrez also is the county's second-youngest supervisor to take office, the first born in Latin America and the third to be born on foreign soil. Largely composed of white men throughout its history, the five-member board now consists of Kevin Jeffries, who is white; two Latinos in Gutierrez and V. Manuel Perez; Karen Spiegel, who is white; and Chuck Washington, who is Black. The county includes cities such as Palm Springs and county seat Riverside.

Also in California, Huntington Beach is moving forward with a plan that would ban the city from flying the Pride flag, as well as others, at City Hall, according to NBC Los Angeles. In a four-to-three vote along party lines, the City Council voted to advance Republican Councilmember Pat Burns' proposal; only the American, POW/MIA, State of California, Huntington Beach and Orange County flags, as well as those of the six branches of the U.S. military, would fly. Criticizing the move, Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Joe Hollendoner said in a press release, "For a city that prides itself on exercising its rights, it's abhorrently inexcusable to infringe upon the First Amendment rights of the LGBTQ tax-payers; they're sending us a clear message of hate and shamelessly putting young, queer lives at stake."

The LGBTQ+ nonprofit It Gets Better Project has opened its grant program that will award $10,000 grants to 50 schools in the United States, as well as additional grants to schools in Canada, to help support LGBTQ+ youth, according to THE Journal. The deadline is March 15; the program is funded by retailer American Eagle Outfitters through customer donations. See .

In Missouri, a bill being compared to Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill is being considered by the state senate, KMOV reported. The measure, formerly called the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, prohibits any employee or contractor for a Missouri public or charter school from discussing sexual orientation or gender ideology. The only exception is if the school employee is a licensed mental health provider that also has parental permission. Shira Berkowitz—senior policy and advocacy director at PROMO, an LGBTQ public policy and advocacy organization—said of the bill, "It is significantly harmful. We see an uptick in mental health crises just when these bills are talked about, let alone when they go into effect."

Before President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union address on Feb. 7, Republican U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah told embattled GOP Rep. George Santos of New York, "You don't belong here," according to CNN. Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, made the remarks as he walked into the chamber. After the speech, Romney told CNN he criticized Santos for standing in the front aisle "trying to shake hands" with the president and senators "given the fact that he's under ethics investigation." Santos later said, "It's not the first time in history that I've been told to shut up and go to the back of the room, especially by people who come from a privileged background," CBS News noted.

The National LGBTQ Task Force issued a response to Biden's State of the Union address. Executive Director Kierra Johnson said, "It was vital—and appreciated—that President Biden mentioned the urgent need to pass the Equality Act and actions taken to secure marriage equality. What many people may not realize is that LGBTQ people are at the center of all the issues President Biden spoke about throughout his address. … The National LGBTQ Task Force is committed to the ideals and ideas expressed tonight. I could not agree more that we do not need more billionaires. We need accountability. We need better healthcare. We need to combat hate in all its forms. We need protection from injustice. We need solutions to catch the millions of people falling through the cracks. LGBTQ+ people deserve a democracy that works for us. We all do."

In Maine, the Hancock County School District will reconsider a January decision to restrict student access to two LGBTQ+ books at its middle and high school in Sullivan, Fox 23 Maine reported. Initially, the district's materials review committee decided that the two books — Queer: The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide for Teens, by Kathy Belge and Mark Bieschke; and Gender Queer: A Memoir, by Maia Kobabe—should be removed from the library of the Charles M. Sumner Learning Campus and kept instead in the guidance counselor's office. At a Feb. 7 meeting, the public was divided, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Houston could soon be the largest city in the country without LGBTQ+ representation on its city council, because of term limits, Houston Public Media noted. Houston has had LGBTQ+ representation in city government continuously since 1998 when Annise Parker (now the president/CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund) first took a seat on city council. "Every major city in America has had out members of their city council, as has Houston, but if we don't replace the one term-limited member current council member, Robert Gallegos, then Houston could lose representation," Parker said.

Denver Rescue Mission could get $9 million more from the city to operate shelters for people experiencing homelessness, bringing its total contract to around $22.7 million, and extending the partnership through the end of 2023, Denverite noted. The expanded contract comes a little more than two months after Denverite first reported about discriminatory language in the mission's employee handbook that banned workers from "acting on same-sex attraction" and rejecting their "biological sex." The religious nonprofit said it would remove that language.

A man charged with premeditated first-degree murder while armed for the Jan. 6, 2019, murder of gay corporate manager Vongell Lugo pled guilty in D.C. Superior Court to second-degree murder while armed as part of a plea bargain deal offered by prosecutors, The Washington Blade reported. Under D.C. law, second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; Collin J. Potter has a sentencing hearing on April 14.

Ken Maley—a gay member of an advisory body for San Francisco's recreation and park department—wants the agency to rename a public playground named after the late Mayor George Christopher due to his support of police raids on gay bars in the city during his administration in the late 1950s, according to the Bay Area Reporter. "I have begun to investigate with the rec and park department about renaming that park," said Maley, who has lived in San Francisco since 1964. "I think it is a shame to have a park, particularly any park in the city and particularly in District 8, that is named after George Christopher."

Surfing pro Bethany Hamilton said she'll boycott the World Surf League (WSL) over its adoption of the International Surfing Association's transgender policy, Yahoo! Sports noted. Hamilton—who rose to prominence as a teenager when a shark bit off her left arm—does not support trans women being eligible to compete on the WSL's women's circuits. The WSL explained that its rules are intended to align with those in Olympic competition.

The NHL team the New York Rangers advertised Pride Night at Madison Square Garden (Jan. 27) by announcing that the team would wear special Pride-themed jerseys and use rainbow-taped sticks during pre-game warm-ups—but none of that happened, Gay City News noted. A statement sent to the media outlet was indirect about what didn't happen: "Our organization respects the LGBTQ+ community and we are proud to bring attention to important local community organizations as part of another great Pride Night. In keeping with our organization's core values, we support everyone's individual right to respectfully express their beliefs." Pro-LGBTQ+ sports organizations You Can Play and Athlete Ally criticized the Rangers.

The podcast "If These Ovaries Could Talk" has been rebranded as "The Queer Family Podcast, with Jaimie Kelton and Friends," a media release noted. Originally co-hosted by Kelton and Robin Hopkins when the podcast launched in 2017, the show was an audience success and stood out in a field with little to no content for queer families. After Robin's departure, E~ Bradshaw—a non-binary, Black parent—joined as co-host for one season.

This article shared 1736 times since Sat Feb 11, 2023
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