On March 27, NBC Sports California presented the NBA team Sacramento Kings TV's first women and non-binary broadcast announcing and coverage team across all platforms, including pregame and postgame shows, the live-game telecast and social content, The Sacramento Bee reported. The broadcast featured Krista Blunk, Kayte Hunter, Laura Britt and Layshia Clarendon, with Morgan Ragan taking over NBC Sports California's Twitter account for the day. Clarendon (who also plays for the WNBA team the New York Liberty) identifies as trans and gender non-conforming or non-binary, using she/her/they/them/he/his pronouns interchangeably.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of HRC, announced a partnership between its Transgender Justice Initiative and Lyft to provide free transportation to transgender and non-binary individuals in need, a press release noted. This initiative was launched in an effort to help address the epidemic of violence against the Black and Brown transgender community. On a quarterly cycle in 2021, HRC and Lyft will provide $15,000 in ride credits each quarter to to a group of community-based organizations that support transgender and non-binary people, with special consideration given to groups that serve transgender communities of color. In the first quarter, four community-based organizations were selected: Black Transgender Advocacy Coalition; Trans Latin@ Coalition; the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project (Kansas City, Missouri); and GALAEI (Philadelphia).
Tegan and Saraaward-winning musicians as well as founders of the Tegan and Sara Foundationlaunched a healthcare survey to understand experiences with the COVID-19 vaccine within the LGBTQ+ community, a Warner Records press release noted. The survey was developed by the Tegan and Sara Foundation in collaboration with health communications firm Entree Health and reviewed by researchers at SurveyMonkey, with contributions from physicians and healthcare experts specializing in LGBTQ+ healthcare. People can respond at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MGX2C9Q.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation that bans the use of what's commonly known as the LGBTQ+ or trans "panic" defensewhich means that people accused of violent crimes will no longer be able to use the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity as a defense in court, DCist reported. Virginia is now the 12th state (including D.C.) to ban this kind of legal defense. In an interview with the Transition Virginia podcast, transgender Virginia Del. Danica Roem (D-Prince William) said she introduced the bill at the request of a 15-year-old LGBTQ+ constituent in Manassas Park.
And in Minnesota, state Sen. Sandra Pappas (DFL) has led 24 members of the Senate DFL caucus in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and state Sen. Warren Limmer, urging them to take up Senate File 1512, a bill to end the LGBTQ+ panic defense, CommunityReporter.org noted. In addition to the letter, Pappas released the following statement: "There should be no room in our legal system for anti-transgender discrimination. Yet, the LGBTQ+ panic defense is a legal strategy that allows for discrimination against transgender individuals who are victims of assault and other violent crimes. We must eliminate the use of this offensive criminal defense strategy so that members of the LGBTQ+ community are entitled to the same rights as all Minnesotans."
A hate-crimes bill in South Carolina no longer protects LGBT people after a Republican leader said including them would likely lead members of his party to withdraw their support, CBS News reported. A House subcommittee passed an amendment removing sexual orientation, creed, gender, age and ancestry from the bill. The measure now includes just six protected groups, all of which have long been included in federal lawrace, color, religion, sex, national origin and physical or mental disability. South Carolina is one of only three statesalong with Arkansas and Wyomingwithout a hate-crimes law.
Paul Feinmanthe first openly gay judge on New York state's highest courthas died at 61, shortly after retiring because of health issues, The New York Daily News reported. Feinman, who battled leukemia in recent years, retired the previous week from the Court of Appeals, although the cause of death wasn't immediately clear. In 2017, his appointment to the state's highest court came as a watershed moment for LGBTQ activistsand it arrived little more than a decade after a controversial ruling from the same court that New York's constitution did not guarantee the right of same-sex marriage.
Alvin H. Baum Jr.a philanthropist, activist and LGBTQ icondied March 28 at age 90 at home in San Francisco, according to The Jewish News of Northern California. As a philanthropist, Baum was donated to Jewish and LGBTQ causes, the arts, civil liberties, and a host of other causes and interests. In 2014, he was grand marshal of the San Francisco Pride Parade; in 2019, the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation awarded Baum its Robert Sinton Award for Distinguished Leadership. Baum grew up mostly in Highland Park, Illinois, which in the 1930s was emerging as one of Chicago's most prosperous Jewish-identified suburbs.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the State Department has officially disbanded a controversial human-rights advisory commission that LGBTQ activists sharply criticized, The Washington Blade reported. Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2019 announced the commissionchaired by Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard Law School professor and former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican known for her opposition to same-sex marriagewould stress "natural laws and natural rights." The Center for Global Equality and other groups challenged the commission in federal court.
Long-term care facilities in New Jersey cannot deny access to, discharge, evict or transfer LGBTQ and HIV-positive seniors based on their identity after Gov. Phil Murphy signed the LGBTQI+ Senior Bill of Rights into law, NorthJersey.com reported. The legislation bars long-term care facilities from discriminating against residents based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, intersex status or HIV status. It also requires staff training and ensures transgender residents continue to receive transition-related care.
Six months after his death, Jason Fox, 20, was honored at a celebration of life, KREM.com reported. "The truth is, Jason would still be here today if he wasn't flamboyantly LGBTQ+ in rural America," Dustin Jolly, Fox's friend, said. "That's truly what resorted to unfortunate events that ended his life." Support for #JusticeForJasonFox has come from all 50 states, Washington D.C. and tribal territories; internationally, supporters from Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand and other countries are going viral online. So far, five men have been arrested in connection with Jason's murder.; their trial is slated to start May 3.
Although Brandon Woodruff's appeals so far have failed, the Innocence Project of Texas is looking into the case of the gay man convicted in March 2009 of the October 2005 murders of his parents, Dennis and Norma Woodruff, The Dallas Voice reported. A jury in Rockwall County convicted Brandon, even though there was no evidence pointing to the then-college student as the culprit. He has maintained his innocence all along, saying he believes that anti-gay bias played a major role in his conviction.
The Philadelphia district attorney's office is establishing an LGBTQ advisory committee to improve the city's law enforcement relationship with members of the community, particularly victims of crime, NBC Philadelphia reported. DA Larry Krasner and some members of his office's victim-services division announced the committee's formation. Recently, city leaders described attacks on transgender people in Philadelphia, particularly those of color, as an "epidemic of violence."
Lesbian soccer player Megan Rapinoe recently wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post in which she advocated for all transgender kids being able to play, according to the newspaper. Regarding anti-trans measures/laws that target children, Rapinoe wrote, "These bills are attempting to solve a problem that doesn't exist. Transgender kids want the opportunity to play sports for the same reasons other kids do: to be a part of a team where they feel like they belong. Proponents of these bills argue that they are protecting women. As a woman who has played sports my whole life, I know that the threats to women's and girls' sports are lack of funding, resources and media coverage; sexual harassment; and unequal pay."
Trans activist Robina Asti passed away March 12 at the age of 99and her grandson, Erik Hummel, is carrying on the work of her Cloud Dancers Foundation, out.com reported. Asti's final project was to celebrate her centennial birthday (which would've been April 7) with a $100,000 for 100 Years initiative, to raise money for LGBTQ elders. Those wishing to participate in the initiative can visit the Cloud Dancers' GoFundMeCharity page; visit https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/clouddancers.
The LGBTQ publication The Bay Area Reporterwhich has transformed from a bar mag to a newspaper covering issues in depthis marking its 50th anniversary. According to Michael Yamashita, a gay man who has been the paper's publisher since 2013, the paper has never missed an issue deadlinenot even when threatened by the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. The paper was headed by Bob Ross from its inception in 1971, when he'd founded it with Paul Bentley, until Ross' death in 2003.
Roxane Gay, the queer author of Bad Feminist, criticized the Catholic Church after it recently said God "cannot bless sin" after the Vatican banned priests from blessing same-sex unions, according to Yahoo! UK. "My marriage doesn't need or want the Vatican's blessing but I know today's decree is one more painful aggression against LGBT Catholics who do care," Gay tweeted, adding, "He doesn't believe in our right to live and love freely. He is only progressive in relation to previous Popes who were archaic. [The] decree is bulls**t. Also the sex abuse scandal. It's a corrupt and cruel institution."
Despite pleas from LGBTQ-rights advocates, a Florida House panel approved a controversial proposal that would ban transgender girls and women from competing in women's high school and college sports, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The move by the House Secondary Education & Career Development Subcommittee added Florida to at least two dozen other Republican-dominated state legislatures that have considered or approved measures requiring student athletes to compete according to their sex assigned at birth. Bill sponsor Kaylee Tuck, R-Lake Placid, said the transgender athletic ban is necessary to establish parity for biologically female athletes.
GLAAD announced that CHIKA, Rebecca Black and Niecy Nash's wife Jessica Betts will perform during the 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards, a press release noted. GLAAD is partnering with Google to exclusively premiere the ceremony on GLAAD's YouTube on Thursday, April 8 at 8 p.m. ET. Sabrina Carpenter will also appear for an exclusive performance only available on Hulu. The event will stream on Hulu on April 8 starting at 10 p.m. ET, and will be available to stream on-demand on Hulu until the end of June. Nash will host the virtual ceremony.
Nevada state Assemblywoman Sarah Peters used the floor of the Nevada state House to announce she is pansexual, out.com noted. Petersa Democrat who has represented Reno and the state's District 24 since 2018had come out as bisexual to her family years before, but this was the first time she had spoken publicly about her pansexuality.
The largest single protest by Catholics against the Vatican's ban on blessing same-gender unions has been published online with more than 3,000 people participating, including more than 100 theologians, according to a New Ways Ministry press release. New Ways produced the statement, "We Will Bless Same-Gender Unions," in response to a March 15 statement from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) that said that Catholics could not perform blessings for couples in same-gender unions. The statement is at https://www.newwaysministry.org/blessing/.
Campus Pridethe national nonprofit dedicated to building future leaders and creating safer communities for LGBTQ college studentsannounced that registration is now open for the 15th Annual Camp Pride Summer Leadership Academy, to be held online July 16-18, according to a press release. Traditionally an in-person summer camp with about 50-75 LGBTQ and ally young people and advisors, this year's digital camp will be conducted online over three days with more than a hundred participants from across the country. See https://www.campuspride.org/camppride.
Janelle Crossley received the inaugural Keira Kristine DeSantis Award for Transgender Advocacy in Pennsylvania, which is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Human Services, the Pennsylvania LGBTQIA Health Conference, the Health Promotion Council, Adagio Health, the Northwestern Pennsylvania Tobacco Control Program and the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, The Shippensburg News-Chronicle reported. According to the award nomination information, "Keira announced herself to the world as a transgender woman in spring of 2017 after years of internal struggle, and quickly found her voice as an advocate for the transgender community in her hometown of Erie."
The podcast Call Me Mother focuses on LGBTQ elders, Financial Times noted. As presenter Shon Fayea trans writer, broadcaster, comedian and campaignernotes at the start: "Our identity, our sexuality and our queerness isn't something that stops when we reach a certain age." Among her interviewees is Kate Bornstein, a 73-year-old trans author and performance artist whose life-long quest to get to grips with "my gender quandary" led to her living with Amish and Baha'i communities before joining the Church of Scientology.
Out author John J. Tivenan has published Letting Color In: A Memoir of Eroding Faith & Expanding Gratitude, according to a press statement. On what was once taken for granted and on what seemed unalterable elements of his identity, Tivenan concludes that, like everything else in life, they were all transitory. In this memoir, having experienced and embraced personal erosion of faith, he draws upon his life experience, priestly vocation and literary skills to tell his truth. Tivenan says that the book can help readers who are struggling with Christian dogma that no longer makes sense to them.
Duke University is investigating how a printout of George Floyd's toxicology reportwith comments insinuating his death was related to drugsended up pinned to a Black History Month bulletin board display on campus, The New York Post reported. Originally, the Hennepin County (Minnesota) medical examiner announced Floyd had "recent methamphetamine use" and "fentanyl intoxication," as well as hypertension and coronary artery disease, and said they were possible contributing factors to his death. However, two doctors who conducted an independent autopsy of Floyd said he had no underlying health issues that could have contributed to his death and the cause was asphyxiation (caused by the knee of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin).
Tyler Perry is speaking out against Georgia's new election reform law that's gaining national attention as many are calling it a form of voter suppression, 11Alive.com reported. Perry, who owns one of the largest film studios in the country, told 11Alive that the new law is "unconstitutional" and one that "harkens to the Jim Crow era." In a related development, Major League Baseball announced that it is moving the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta in response to the law.
In an item The New York Times originally reported, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., is under investigation by the Department of Justice for a sexual relationship he allegedly had with a 17-year-old girl, according to Yahoo! News. The investigation was started in the final months of the Trump administration under then-Attorney General William Barr. The agency is looking into whether Gaetz, a close ally of the former president, violated federal sex-trafficking laws by paying for the young woman to travel with him outside of Florida.
A top state physician who was tasked with solving coronavirus-testing issues at New York nursing homes reportedly made several hours-long visits to CNN host Chris Cuomo's Hamptons house to test him for the virus, The New York Post stated. Around the same time, Kenneth Colethe fashion designer who is married to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's sisterallegedly received preferential coronavirus testing at a state-run facility. Those stories were among a number of new details revealed by the Washington Post about the VIP treatment for coronavirus testing overseen by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
G. Gordon Liddythe Republican adviser convicted for his role in the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixondied at age 90, NPR reported. Liddy was convicted in 1973 and sentenced to 20 years in jail for conspiracy, burglary and illegally wiretapping the Democratic Party's headquarters at the Watergate office complex; he served as Nixon's general counsel on his re-election committee at the time. President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, commuted Liddy's sentence, and he was released after serving 52 months in prison.
Forbes noted that lifeguards make a fortune in Los Angeles County. Seven lifeguards made more than $300,000 and 82 lifeguards had total earnings that exceed $200,000 in 2019, the latest year available. Fernando Boiteux was the most highly paid and earned $391,971. As the "acting chief lifeguard," he out-earned 1,000 of his peers: salary ($205,619), perks ($60,452) and benefits ($125,900).