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NATIONAL Missouri lawmaker, Michigan controversy, gymnasts, Julius' Bar
by Andrew Davis
2022-04-24

This article shared 860 times since Sun Apr 24, 2022
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A lawmaker in Missouri delivered an intense condemnation of one of his Republican colleagues over an effort to keep transgender athletes out of youth sports, HuffPost reported. State Rep. Ian Mackey (D), who is gay, issued the emotionally charged message to state Rep. Chuck Basye (R) during a hearing about an amendment Basye proposed that would allow school districts to vote on transgender athletes bans. "Gentlemen, I'm not afraid of you anymore, because you're going to lose," Mackey told his colleagues who support the amendment, raising his voice. "You may win this today, but you're going to lose." Basye called Mackey a "loudmouth crybaby" and said the exchange "didn't [faze] me at all" in an email to HuffPost.

Michigan Democrats accused their Republican counterparts in the state Senate of blocking an appointment to the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees because the nominee is gay, Inside Higher Ed reported. Former state Rep. Jon Hoadley was appointed to the board in February and sworn in on March 17. However, recently, when it came time to approve his appointment, the GOP-led State Senate declined, with Republicans claiming the nominee's status as a graduate student is a conflict of interest. The Western Michigan chapter of the American Association of University Professors said in a statement that the Republican block of Hoadley's appointment "adds to a growing wave of noxious anti-LGBTQ backlash that threatens to take our country backward" and emphasized the importance of including "diverse views and perspectives in higher education leadership."

Top NCAA gymnasts are publicly opposing the flood of anti-LGBTQ bills being filed in state legislatures throughout the country, Outsports noted. Gymnasts competing in the NCAA championships used the hashtag #FlippingExhausted to voice their disagreements with the bigoted policies, many of which target transgender and nonbinary youth. For instance, Connor McCool—an All-American who competes for the University of Illinois—used the hashtag before his performance in the NCAA men's championships at the University of Oklahoma. Oklahoma's governor recently signed a bill banning transgender girls and women from competing on female sports teams.

Village Preservation; the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project; the owner of Julius' Bar, located at 159 West 10th Street; special guest and Broadway star John Cameron Mitchell; LGBT activist and 1966 "Sip-In" participant Randy Wicker; and others gathered for the unveiling of a plaque to acknowledge Julius' significance to LGBT activism and history, per a press release. On April 21, 1966, members of the Mattachine Society, an early gay-rights group, organized what became known as the "Sip-In" to challenge New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) regulations that were promulgated so that bars could not serve drinks to known or suspected gay men or lesbians—and one of the places they gathered was Julius' Bar. The bartender's refusal to serve them received publicity in the New York Times and the Village Voice, becoming the first time LGBTQ discrimination had been proactively documented in mainstream media.

Transgender community activist Deja Alvarez and LGBTQ+-rights and economic development advocate Jonathan Lovitz—both of whom have been involved in LGBTQ+ rights issues for many years—are running against each other and against two LGBTQ+-supportive straight men for a seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in Philadelphia's center city area, The Washington Blade noted. Alvarez, Lovitz, public-affairs consultant Ben Waxman and cafe owner/community activist Will Gross are running in the May 17 Democratic primary in the 182nd District. The seat has been held since 2013 by out gay Rep. Brian Sims, who is giving up the seat this year to run for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor; Sims, a close friend and current housemate of Alvarez, has endorsed her to succeed him as representative of the 182nd District.

In criminal court documents filed in Broward County Circuit Court, Florida prosecutors and the Broward County Sheriff Department investigators said hate-crime charges levied against a Ukrainian immigrant family of four are because they beat a 31-year-old victim in Pompano Beach on or about Aug. 6, 2021, solely because the victim is gay, per The Washington Blade. Prosecutors said the family discovered that the younger son, Oleh Makarenko, 21, was in a nine-month same-sex relationship with the victim. Charged with attempted first-degree murder, battery during the burglary of a dwelling, and kidnapping are Inna Makarenko, 45; Yevhen Makarenko, 44; Makarenko; and Vladyslav Makarenko, 26, who was transferred from Alabama to the Broward County jail system. The victim has been permanently blinded and sustained other serious injuries as a result of the incident.

A southern Ohio university agreed to a $400,000 settlement in a lawsuit brought forward by a professor who refused to use a trans student's correct pronouns, The Washington Blade reported. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed a district court's decision in March 2021, ruling Shawnee State University professor Nicholas Meriwether's First Amendment rights to free speech and religion were violated when the school disciplined him for misgendering a Trans student, according to a ruling. The three-judge panel—consisting of two Donald Trump appointees and a George W. Bush appointee—sent the case back to the district court. Meriwether told the unnamed trans student that using her correct pronouns would "violate his conscience and sincerely held religious beliefs," said court documents.

In response to the more than 1,500 books challenged to be removed from libraries in the last year, the New York Public Library has launched an app that makes some banned books available for everyone for free, NPR noted. The initiative is called Books for All and allows any reader aged 13 and older to access commonly banned books through the library's app until the end of May. "The recent instances of both attempted and successful book banning—primarily on titles that explore race, LGBTQ+ issues, religion, and history—are extremely disturbing and amount to an all-out attack on the very foundation of our democracy," said New York Public Library President Tony Marx.

The NYC's LGBT Community Center honored philanthropists Tim Gill and Scott Miller April 14 with its inaugural Edie Windsor Trailblazer Award in recognition of their contributions toward LGBTQ equality at the Stonewall Inn, a place many call home to the birthplace of some of the first gay and trans rights movements, The Villager noted. Since its launch in 1994, the Gill Foundation (with leaders Gill and Miller) has raised more than $500 million for LGBTQ+ causes and fight for equality. Among those in attendance were Judith Windsor, widow of marriage equality icon Edie Windsor; The Center Executive Director Glennda Testone; Stonewall Inn co-owners Stacy Lentz and Kurt Kelly; and Gill Foundation board members Mary Bonauto and Eliza Byard.

Members of Arizona's LGBTQ+ community want the National Football League (NFL) to pull the 2023 Super Bowl out of the state, ABC15.com reported. That call is in response to last month's passage of two bills. One prohibits transgender athletes from competing in girls' sports, while the other prohibits gender-altering surgery for anyone under 18. In February, religious leaders and voting-rights activists from across the country sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell calling on him to move the game in protest to what they say are restrictive voting laws adopted by the Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature.

A suspect is accused of "systematically" dousing the floor of a popular Brooklyn LGBTQ+ bar in Brooklyn before setting it on fire is in custody on federal charges, per NBC News. John Lhota, 24, of Brooklyn, was accused of intentionally and maliciously torching Rash Bar on April 3, according to a complaint filed in New York's Eastern District Court. Three days after allegedly committing the crime, Lhota was arrested at his apartment building after allegedly assaulting a woman. The woman viewed security video from Rash and helped identify him as the alleged arsonist, an affidavit stated. Lhota faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

A Public Religion Research Institute report showed that support among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for LGBTQ rights, including same-sex marriage, has increased noticeably since 2015, the Salt Lake Tribune noted. In general, nearly eight in 10 (79%) now favor nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ individuals; Latter-day Saints' backing for these same protections jumped by 12 percentage points during the same period to exceed the national average at 84%. This leap was one of the biggest of the 18 faiths included in the study, surpassed only by non-Hispanic Catholics of color, Hindus, Black Protestants and other Protestants of color.

During a Colorado Board of Education meeting, board members discussed recent feedback regarding a committee suggestion to revise social-studies standards by excluding LGBTQ references in the curriculum before students reach the 4th grade, Denver 7 Colorado News reported. While some board members said the suggestion is a threat to equity, others supported the suggestion and said teachers should not have to teach gender identity. Board member Karla Esser said, "I think it's very important for every kid to see themselves in curriculum. It has nothing to do with sexual education."

Denver Pride announced that the event's headliners will include RuPaul's Drag Race alums Yvie Oddly, Kylie Sonique Love and Silky Nutmeg Ganache; singer Betty Who; and singer/DJ Cazwell, a press release noted. On Saturday, June 25, there will be the Denver Pride 5K, Dyke March and Denver PrideFest; on Sunday, June 26, the Coors Light Denver Pride Parade will take place as well as the Pride Rally and the second day of the PrideFest. See DenverPride.org .

A spat has broken out between Piers Morgan and Donald Trump, with the British host (and former contestant on Trump's show The Apprentice) taunting the former president on the show Piers Morgan Uncensored for failing to show proof of the 2020 election being rigged—while the debacle has led trans conservative Caitlyn Jenner to pull out of the show, Deadline noted. Jenner tweeted that her management has canceled her appearance on Uncensored because of Morgan's "pathetic attempt to revive the career of a failed television host." Trump's statement slammed Morgan for being part of the "Fake News Media" and said he had "unlawfully and deceptively edited his long and tedious interview with me."

In the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, far-right website Infowars and two other companies owned by radio host Alex Jones have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in light of several defamation lawsuits, CBS News noted. (Chapter 11 bankruptcy procedures put a hold on pending civil litigation while letting a business keep running as it prepares a turnaround plan.) Infowars said in the filing that it has assets of $0 to $50,000 and liabilities of $1,000,001 to $10 million.

In yet another sign that things are returning to "normal," gay resort Fire Island Pines is gearing for its return to a fully active summer after two years of pandemic-related restrictions and delays, per a press release. Its boutique hotel is taking reservations, the Pines Gym has been upgraded with a new tent and equipment, Pines Bistro and The Canteen are revitalizing their menus, and the nightclub The Pavilion will be opening soon. See pinesfi.com .


This article shared 860 times since Sun Apr 24, 2022
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