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NATIONAL Office vandalized, George Santos, HRC official dies at 24, law students
by Windy City Times staff
2022-12-24

This article shared 3892 times since Sat Dec 24, 2022
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Protestors vandalized an openly gay New York City Council member's office and entered his apartment building, The Advocate reported. Erik Bottcher—whose district includes Greenwich Village, Chelse and Hell's Kitchen, among other areas—tweeted that several people showed up to his office and defaced it, writing "Bitcher." "Today people who call themselves "gays against groomers" vandalized the hallway outside our district office. We will not be cowed. We will not be silenced. We will continue to stand up against hate," he wrote, adding, "Tonight the Drag Story Hour protesters came to my apartment building and gained entry. My super called the cops and two of them were arrested for trespassing."

George Santos—who, in November, became the first gay Republican elected to Congress as a non-incumbent—allegedly fabricated parts of his resume and biography, according to a Metro Weekly item that cited The New York Times. Citigroup and Goldman Sachs could not confirm that the Long Island congressman ever worked there, even though he has said he had worked at those companies. Additionally, officials at Baruch College, which Santos said he graduated from with a bachelor's degree in economics and finance in 2010, said they couldn't find his record of anyone matching his name and date of birth who graduated that year. The Times also claims to have found records in Brazil that claim Santos was charged with—although never convicted of—a crime. His lawyer, Joe Murray, said that it was "no surprise that Congressman-elect Santos has enemies at The New York Times who are attempting to smear his good name with these defamatory allegations." Democrat Robert Zimmerman, who lost to Santos, has called on him to resign.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) issued a release honoring the life of Deputy Press Secretary of Politics Henry Berg-Brousseau, who died by suicide, the organization noted. Berg-Brousseau was the son of Kentucky state Sen. Karen Berg and Bob Brousseau. In part, HRC said, "In honor of Henry's life, we must come together and speak out against injustice. We must fight for our transgender family. We must celebrate his light, and honor him by continuing to fight for full equality for all." Berg-Brousseau was only 24, with Berg saying her son Henry Berg-Brousseau "long struggled with mental illness—not because he was trans but born from his difficulty finding acceptance," CBS News noted. People can call The Trevor Project's 24-hour crisis hotline for youth at 1-866-488-7386; trans people of any age can call the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860.

New data from the American Bar Association show that this year's crop of new law-school students is the most diverse on record by a significant margin, Reuters noted. Nearly 37% of U.S. first-year law students are racial or ethnic minorities, up from 28% a decade ago, according to an analysis of the ABA data by the Law School Admission Council. Also, 0.6% of the 2022 matriculant class self-identified as transgender, gender non-binary, or genderqueer/gender fluid, and about 14% of the 2022 matriculants identified as LGBQ+ (i.e., not straight/heterosexual), according to the council. However, the total number of first-year law students declined nearly 11%, after surging 12% in 2021.

The Vatican defrocked anti-abortion U.S. priest Frank Pavone for what it said were "blasphemous communications on social media" as well as "persistent disobedience" of his bishop, The Guardian reported. A letter to U.S. bishops from the Vatican ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, said the decision against Pavone, who heads the anti-abortion group Priests for Life, had been taken and that there was no chance for an appeal. Pavone had been investigated by his then diocese of Amarillo, Texas, for having placed an aborted fetus on an altar and posting a video of it on two social-media sites in 2016. The video was accompanied by a post saying that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party would allow abortions to continue, and that Donald Trump and the Republicans wanted to protect unborn children.

Longtime D.C. trans-rights advocate and community activist Earline Budd was honored at a ceremony officially unveiling a large mural depicting Budd as the first transgender person to be included in D.C.'s citywide wall mural program, The Washington Blade reported. The mural depicting Budd is in an alley next to the Atlas Performing Arts Center that has been named an "Allery" to which the Budd mural now joins multiple other murals.

Members of the Virginia Joint Commission on Administrative Rules voted to formally object Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin's proposed revisions to guidelines for transgender and non-binary students—voting five to four along party lines, according to The Washington Blade. All of the committee's Democratic members voted to object to Youngkin's proposed revisions, the GOP committee members opted to support them. The commission will now send an objection letter to the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Registrar of Regulations.

A four-judge panel of the Manhattan-based New York Appellate Division, First Department, unanimously ruled against Yeshiva University's appeal of an order that favored the school's YU Pride Alliance, Gay City News reported. The school was ordered to extend official recognition to YU Pride Alliance, an undergraduate LGBTQ student club "immediately." Yeshiva is likely to petition the Court of Appeals for leave to appeal this Dec. 15 ruling; if it can't win a reversal there, will likely seek U.S. Supreme Court review. Yeshiva has long recognized LGBTQ student groups at its graduate schools, but recognizing such a group at the undergraduate college has been the sticking point for the university.

In Pennsylvania, the Delaware County Workforce Development Board and the Montgomery County Workforce Development Board (MontcoWorks), in partnership with Educational Data Systems, Inc. (EDSI), received a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, Bureau of Workforce Development to create a more inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ job seekers within the two-county area, a press release noted. The grant will fund a "LGBTQIA+ Career Navigator" to help job seekers connect to PA CareerLink Centers and additional resources, among other things.

In the wake of multiple shootings at gay bars over the years (including the recent Club Q mass shooting in Colorado), bar owners and employees in San Francisco's Castro District attended an active-shooter workshop to prepare for New Year's Eve, SFist reported. Castro Community on Patrol urged all bars to have safety plans, and to make their security efforts as visible as possible at the door.

Former Ohio middle school teacher Vivian Geraghty said she was forced to resign after she told her boss that she would not address students by their preferred pronouns because it violates her religious beliefs—and now she's suing Jackson Memorial Middle School's principal, the Board of Education and two district employees, NBC News noted. Jackson Local Schools responded to the lawsuit with a statement: "This district always will strive to provide a safe, comfortable environment for all of our nearly 6,000 students in which to learn. We have engaged legal counsel and we will have no further comment on pending litigation."

The Stanford University marching band mocked the Mormon-run Brigham Young University's anti-LGBTQ+ policies during a recent football game between the two schools, LGBTQ Nation noted. As part of its performance, the band performed a skit entitled "gay chicken" that culminated in two women getting married. BYU fans reportedly booed throughout the antics of the band, which has long been known for trolling audiences with controversial performances.

Norm Kent—co-founder and publisher of Wilton Manors, Florida-based South Florida Gay News (SFGN)—announced in September that he was stepping down, according to Press Pass Q. Jason Parsley, who was the newspaper's executive editor, was named the new publisher. Kent's decision followed more than a year of medical issues, including a stroke, cancer, COVID-19 and a brain tumor. "My trip into the sunset will include establishing the SFGN Foundation, crafted to support young LGBTQ journalism in their schools," Kent wrote in SFGN.

Seattle Gay News (SGN), the weekly LGBTQ newspaper serving the Seattle metropolitan area for nearly 50 years, is up for sale, according to Press Pass Q. Current publisher Angela Cragin took over the paper following the death of her father, George Bakan, on June 7, 2020, at age 78; he held the positions of owner, publisher and editor in chief for 37 years.

The word of the year, according to Dictionary.com, is "woman," Out noted. Defined as "an adult female person," the choice "reflects how the intersection of gender, identity, and language dominates the current cultural conversation and shapes much of our work as a dictionary," according to a trans-inclusive statement.

A Twitter poll created by Elon Musk asking if he should "step down as head of Twitter" ended with most respondents voting in the affirmative, CNN noted. Musk had said he would abide by the results of the poll, which concluded with 57% voting yes and 43% voting no. More than 17 million votes were cast in the informal referendum on his leadership of Twitter, which has been marked by mass layoffs, the re-platforming of suspended accounts that had violated Twitter's rules, and quick policy changes made and reversed in real time.

Brooklyn-based artist collective MSCHF is releasing its newest playful art piece: a giant, 930-calorie, $19.99 fruit loop, CNN noted. MSCHF is no stranger to headlines documenting its provocative releases. The group's previous projects have also played with modifications of "ready-made" items—like the unofficial Nike shoes they released in collaboration with Lil Nas X that triggered a lawsuit and recall.


This article shared 3892 times since Sat Dec 24, 2022
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