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NATIONAL Missouri measure, HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, judge, Texas schools
by Andrew Davis
2024-03-15

This article shared 7697 times since Fri Mar 15, 2024
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In Missouri, a newly proposed law could charge teachers and counselors with a felony and require them to register as sex offenders if they're found guilty of supporting transgender students who are socially transitioning, CNN noted. Republican state Rep. Jamie Gragg introduced the measure. Many medical associations—including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry—have said gender-affirming care, like social transitioning, is clinically appropriate for children and adults.

March 10 marked National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD)—and, in commemoration, National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) CEO Dr. David J. Johns issued a statement. In part, he said, "We must address the multifaceted challenges—poverty, racism and anti-Blackness, sexism and misogynoir—that Black women and girls, trans- and cis-gender, encounter in their battle against HIV/AIDS. Every woman and girl must have equitable access to essential information, resources, and culturally competent healthcare to ensure their health and well-being. Challenging and dismantling stigma-driven discrimination that undermines the dignity and rights of those affected by HIV/AIDS is critically important to ensuring equitable access to the services and supports required to thrive."

The U.S. Senate confirmed Melissa DuBose, who is Black and lesbian, to a federal judgeship in Rhode Island by a vote of 51-47—making her the first woman of color and first out LGBTQ+ person to serve on the U.S. District Court in the state, The Advocate noted. Rhode Island's two U.S. senators, Democrats Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, highly recommended her. "She's proven to be an exceptional jurist with a stellar record," Reed said on the Senate floor, adding, "She has dedicated her life to public service, and Rhode Island is fortunate that she has once again answered the call."

An LGBTQ+ student group asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency intervention so it can conduct an annual charity drag show—against the wishes of the university's Christian president, Courthouse News Service noted. Two lower courts denied Spectrum WT's request to block West Texas A&M University's ban on the performance. The group urged the justices to act where the lower courts had not, arguing the court had a responsibility to uphold free speech.

The faculty at Austin,Texas-based St. Edward's University might take a no-confidence vote of university president Montserrat Fuentes in the coming weeks, following the controversial removal of aPride flag from campus property, CBS Austin noted. The flag, which has been reinstalled, was removed from a campus coffee shop after a change in management several months ago. In February, a student-run Instagram account drew attention to the removal and called for its reinstallation, as well as organizing multiple on-campus demonstrations. In an email to university students, faculty and staff, Board of Trustees Chair Martin Rose praised the reinstallation of the pride flag but said a no-confidence vote "represents an extraordinary and uncalled for action with significant consequences for the University."

Arkansas has rolled back its policy of allowing drivers to use an "X" for their gender on driver's licenses, according to The Hill. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration said the changes are being made to "safeguard" state ID, adding that it will also make it more difficult for transgender people to change the gender listed on their IDs. Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement, "This policy is just common sense. Only women give birth, men shouldn't play women's sports, and there are only two genders."

LGBTQ+ candidates won big on Super Tuesday, March 5, per LGBTQ Nation. For example, Texas state Rep. Julie Johnson (D) won her primary race and will face off against the winner of a Republican runoff that will be held in May; she would be the first out LGBTQ+ person from a Southern state elected to Congress. Also, the LGBTQ Victory Fund noted separately that Lisa Middleton advanced in the primary election in California Senate District 28, putting her on track to become the first out transgender state legislator in California's history; and that Satana Deberry will be the first woman, first person of color and first LGBTQ+ person elected North Carolina attorney general. The full list of the Fund's candidates—including Illinois' Precious Brady-Davis, Kelly Cassidy and Marcelino Garcia—is at victoryfund.org/our-candidates/ .

Out gay San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria led a field of five candidates for the office he currently occupies with a margin of more than 50% of the vote—and he's seemingly headed for re-election, per the Los Angeles Blade. First elected to the office in November 2020, then-California Assemblymember Gloria became San Diego's first openly LGBTQ+ person and first BIPOC elected mayor. Lisa Keen reported that Gloria will face off in November against the second highest vote-getter, police officer Larry Turner, an independent who garnered 24.3% of the vote, according to unofficial results.

The man who fatally shot gay man John Walter Lay at a Tampa, Florida dog park in early February and claimed he did so in self-defense has been arrested and charged with murder, People confirmed. Gerald Declan Radford shot and killed Lay on Feb. 2 at the West Dog Park. Although Radford initially claimed self-defense in the shooting and was not arrested or immediately charged, friends of Lay previously told the outlet they believed Radford —who they allege harassed Lay for more than two years—targeted him, in part because of his sexuality. An Equality Florida press release stated, "Florida's Stand Your Ground law has been roundly criticized in several other high-profile public killings of unarmed Floridians. … Now, with more than 20 states following Florida's lead, it's time to fix these laws that allow people to shoot and kill in public, even if they can safely walk away from the situation."

In California, officials at the Coast Pride Center in Half Moon Bay reported alleged anti-LGBTQ+ vandalism after a Progress Pride flag was removed and a rock was thrown through a window of the office, per The Bay Area Reporter. "Thankfully, no person experienced physical harm or injury during or as a result of the incident," stated an email to supporters. "Two people cut and removed our Progress Pride flag, tore down our rainbow bunting, kicked and cut our 'No home for hate' lawn sign, smeared mud on our wooden trans heart, threw our painted rocks onto the sidewalk and street, and threw a rock into one of our front windows." Coast Pride opened its center in June 2021, and it aims to establish connections among coastal San Mateo County residents.

A suspect was arrested and charged with hate crimes in connection with a slashing aboard the subway in Manhattan in which he made anti-LGBTQ+ remarks toward the victim, NBC New York noted. Milton Hamlin allegedly went up to a 27-year-old man and made the comments, police said; he then took out a box cutter, cut the victim and stayed on the train. The victim is expected to recover. Hamlin, 46, faces hate-crime charges for assault and menacing.

Transgender musician Tara McGovern—arrested last fall after protesting a speaker on the University of Iowa campus—was acquitted of charges that they argued were related to the constitutional right to assemble, The Washington Post reported. McGovern (they/them) had been charged with two misdemeanors in connection with the event, as were six other protesters from a crowd of about 200 people. All of those arrested were transgender and all but two pleaded guilty. McGovern insisted they didn't break the law during the demonstration against Chloe Cole, a speaker who once identified as trans and now opposes gender-affirming care for minors. The defense said police body-camera video entered as evidence proved that point.

Don Lemon said that his partnership with Elon Musk suddenly imploded—hours after the former CNN anchor conducted a recent interview with the billionaire for the debut episode of Lemon's new independent web-based show, according to CNN. "Elon publicly encouraged me to join X with a new show, saying I would have his 'full support,'" Lemon said in a statement, adding that he believed Musk when he said he was "interested in working directly with diverse voices." While the interview is not yet public, a person familiar with the matter said Musk was upset when Lemon questioned him on his use of the drug ketamine, his government security clearance and the issue of antisemitism. In a statement, X said, "Like any enterprise, we reserve the right to make decisions about our business partnerships, and after careful consideration, X decided not to enter into a commercial partnership with the show."

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman filed a lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James to protect his transgender sports ban, LGBTQ Nation reported. On Feb. 22, Blakeman issued an executive order that immediately banned trans women from participating on women's sports teams; however, on March 1, James responded by stating that the executive order is discriminatory and illegal, and issued a cease-and-desist letter to Blakeman's office. In his suit, Blakeman cites the 14th Amendment and Title IX.

An exclusive report by Truth Wins Out revealed that, in May 2023, conversion therapist Floyd Godfrey—who once compared homosexuality to cannibalism—was forced to surrender his license to practice therapy in Arizona, per LGBTQ Nation. An investigation by the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners concluded that Godfrey had made "sexual advances" against two of his employees and included "an additional allegation that Respondent [Godfrey] asked to get naked in front of him." Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen said, in part, "Godfrey is a fraud who secured his income by claiming to cure LGBTQ people, but never changed his own sexual orientation."

OpenAI reinstated its out gay CEO, Sam Altman, to its board, the AP noted. In doing so, the board said it has "full confidence" in his leadership after the conclusion of an outside investigation into the company's turmoil. The ChatGPT maker asked the law firm WilmerHale to look into what led the company to abruptly fire Altman in November—only to rehire him days later after there were threats of an employee revolt. OpenAI also announced it has added three women to its board of directors: Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellman, a former CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Nicole Seligman, a former Sony general counsel; and Instacart CEO Fidji Simo.

The only out men's college basketball head coach will finish with a winning record this season, Outsports noted. Matt Lynch led the University of South Carolina Salkehatchie men's basketball team to a 17-13 record after ending the season with an 84-59 win over Denmark Tech. Lynch told Outsports, "We've clinched a spot in the conference tournament and are playing our best basketball in March. I am just thrilled to be able to do what I do and I am just so thankful that I get to coach these guys every day." The school—a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association—is seeded seventh in the Region 10 conference playoffs that started March 14.

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. confirmed that among his potential vice-presidential prospects is New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers—who privately shared conspiracy theories about the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting not being real, CNN revealed. CNN knows of two people with whom Rodgers has enthusiastically shared these stories, including with Pamela Brown, one of the journalists who wrote this article. (Rodgers later denied stating this.) Kennedy told CNN that he had recently met with Rodgers, as well as former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, about the possibility of joining his campaign. Kennedy will announce his pick on March 26.


This article shared 7697 times since Fri Mar 15, 2024
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