The Metropolitan New York Synod (MNYS), the regional body of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, announced Christopher Vergara as its newly elected vice president, according to a press release. Vergara is the first openly gay Latino to hold this office. Among other things, Vergara has made aiding and fighting for immigrants and immigrant children his priority through work he has accomplished in the organization as chair of the MNYS Sanctuary Ministry and the MNYS Advocacy Committee.
LGBTQ Victory Fund, which is dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, endorsed Danica Roem for the Virginia state Senate, per a press release. Roem recently announced her candidacy for state Senate and Victory Fund is her first endorsement. Roem currently serves in the Virginia House of Delegates. If elected, she would be the first out trans person ever elected to the Virginia state Senate and only the second out trans person ever elected to a state senate anywhere in the country. Room is seeking election to the newly drawn 30th District encompassing Manassas, Manassas Park and western Prince William County, according to Inside NoVa.
Lambda Legal, the Transgender Law Center (TLC) and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit filed by anti-transgender activists against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) challenging SB132, the law protecting transgender people incarcerated in California, per a press release. The three organizations, along with pro-bono co-counsel O'Melveny & Myers, represent the Transgender Gender-Variant & Intersex Justice Project (TGI Justice Project) and four individual plaintiffs currently incarcerated in California prisons.
Virginia Pride is celebrating the Richmond region's LGBTQ+ community in its "Endless Summer of Pride" campaign, according to NBC 12. Starting June 1 to the end of September, there will be a minimum of 20 events including Pride Month ceremonial events, family-friendly events and items for adults 21 and older. On June 1, Mayor Levar Stoney is slated to raise the Progress Pride flag and issue a Pride Month proclamation at City Hall. Also, not only is summer 2022 full of Pride events, but Virginia Pride's signature festival, Pridefest, is making its return to Brown's Island on Saturday, Sept. 24.
NYC Pride announced its grand marshals slated to lead the NYC Pride March on Sunday, June 26, a press release noted. Influencer/TV personality Ts Madison, comedian/writer Punkie Johnson, educator/author Schuyler Bailar, artist/activist Dominique Morgan and the ACLU's Chase Strangio will head this year's celebration, with actress Angelica Ross returning for a second year as co-host and featured performer of the broadcast special on ABC-7.
Pride on the Block returns to downtown West Palm Beach on Saturday, June 4, for its biggest event yet, per a media release. The annual block party, now in its third year, is the main fundraiser for local LGBTQ+ organization Transpire Help. This year's festivities are supported in part by The Stonewall Inn, made famous for the riot that kicked off the gay rights movement in 1969. Singer-songwriter Ryan Cassata will be among the performers.
A pride fair in the town of Keizer, Oregon, has been canceled due to safety concerns, OPB reported. This was going to be Keizer Pride Fair's second year of celebration, originally slated to run June 5-12. But the event was tinged by harassment from a small group of evangelical protestors known as the RV (Rogue Valley) Saltshakers; more recently, a right-wing extremist rally drew thousands of people to Keizer in April, the Salem Statesman Journal noted.
In Texas, three Austin-area cities will host LGBTQ Pride events this year for the first time ever, KVUE noted. Leander, Round Rock and Pflugerville are all scheduled to host inaugural Pride events. A grassroots group called Inclusion, Diversity and Equity for All Leander, or IDEAL, said that, at the city council meeting, that the City of Leander honored Leander Pride with a proclamation declaring May 14 as Leander Pride Day. Round Rock and Pflugerville will hold their events in June.
Dance-rock band DNCE will headline the Capital Pride Concert, which will be held on Sunday, June 12, on Pennsylvania Avenue at 3rd Street in D.C., The Washington Blade noted. RuPaul's Drag Race winners Symone (season 13) and Willow Pill (season 14) will also be featured at the free event. Following the Pride concert, the Capitol Sunset Dance Party will take place with Grammy-winning music producer/DJ Tracy Young.
On Sunday, May 22, Matt Doylea Broadway favorite and the 2022 Tony-nominated star of the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Companywill host PFLAG Parent Day, a special fundraiser for PFLAG National celebrating the parenting people who rise up in support of rights for LGBTQ+ loved ones and for their communities, a press release noted. The virtual star-studded event will start at 1 p.m. CT at PFLAG.org/ParentDay. There will be special guest appearances from musician Hayley Kiyoko, Tony-winning producer Jordan Roth and Richie Jackson, Peabody-winning and Emmy-nominated writer/director/producer Steven Canals (FX's Pose) and actor Torian Miller (Hulu's Fire Island).
Nashville LGBT Chamber CEO Joe Woolley was fired, according to the Nashville Scene. "After many months of unresolved personal and professional conflict with the board, and especially the executive committee about the operation and direction of the organization, it has become clear that we are not aligned and the Board has voted to dismiss me," Woolley emailed chamber members. Board leadership stated, in part, "Change is part of every organization, and we are making the changes we need to make our organization stronger, more impactful, and more inclusive for the work ahead."
Attorney and South Florida Gay News (SFGN) publisher Norm Kent underwent successful pancreatic cancer surgery in late April at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital, the outlet noted. Led by Dr. Alan Livingstone and the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Care Center, Kent tolerated a five-hour procedure to remove early-stage tumors that were previously described by oncologists as "survivable." Kent plans to be present on June 2 at the SFGN anniversary party that sales manager Justin Wyse is planning at Greico Ford, in Fort Lauderdale.
Actor Wilson Cruz will host the GLSEN Respect Awards taking place Monday, May 16, at NYC's Gotham Hall, a press release noted. Gamechanger Award recipient Leyna Bloom, Champion Award recipient Antoni Porowski and Corporate Ally Award recipient Nickelodeon will be honored.
A bill in South Carolina that will allow healthcare workers and institutions to deny care to residents based on the "practitioner's or entity's conscience" may soon become lawand LGBTQ+-rights advocates are questioning it, ABC 13 News (WLOS) reported. The bill will let doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others deny healthcare to individuals without facing criminal, civil or administrative penalties if their decisions are based on "religious, moral or ethical beliefs." SC United for Justice and Equalitya coalition of LGBTQ advocate groupssaid the bill could let medical providers refuse health services to LGBTQ people based on their religious beliefs.
Lambda Legal has named John E. Roane, Jr. as the organization's next chief operating officer, according to a press release. Roane served five years as the vice president and chief operating officer of AIDS United, an organization that advocates for people living with and vulnerable to HIV and the organizations that support them. Prior to that, he spent 17 years working at the executive level for the Association of American Medical Colleges, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.
A group of Senate Republicans is calling on the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board to help parents shield their children from LGBTQ characters and situations, The Hill reported. U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), one of the signatories to a new letter to Charles Rivkin, the chairman of the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, has identified to the Kansas City Star the Nickelodeon shows Danger Force and The Loud House as well as the Netflix show She-Ra and the Princesses of Power as causes for concern.
New York Attorney General Letitia Jameswho has long been outspoken about defending abortion rightspublicly disclosed that she had an abortion herself almost two decades ago, NBC News York reported. Pregnant as a newly elected New York City Council member, "I chose to have an abortion," James told protesters in Manhattan who were criticizing a U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized the constitutional right to an abortion nationwide. She has also called for a state constitutional amendment that would codify abortion.
Skittles will add a taste of the rainbow to its usual gray Pride Packs, according to Out Magazine. For the 2022 Skittles Pride Packs, Skittles has teamed with GLAAD and six LGBTQ+ artists (including Chi Nwosua Black, first-generation Nigerian American, non-binary artist based in Chicago) to design original packs to represent how they "see the rainbow" in their lives. While the candies themselves will still be gray, the packaging will be colored with art celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.
A unique sports bar dedicated exclusively to women's sports opened its doors to the public in Portland, Oregon, earlier this month, according to Upworthy. Owned by Jenny Nguyenan avid basketball player and fan with over 15 years of experience as a chefThe Sports Bra is believed to be the only bar for women's sports in the world.
The man who led former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle's charitable foundation was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for sexually molesting young girls with his wife and installing cameras in his home to film and photograph the victims without their knowledge, USA Today reported. Russell Taylor, 50, plead guilty last year to 30 child pornography and sexual exploitation crimes for his acts against nine children, aged 9 to 16 years old, at his home. Taylor's maximum sentence could have been life in prison, but U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt gave him a lesser sentence because he provided important information to federal law enforcement that helped them bring charges against his wife, Angela Baldwin, and Fogle.