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NATIONAL Okla. schools, Tenn. lawsuit, political items, Mich. library
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by Andrew Davis
2022-08-07

This article shared 1044 times since Sun Aug 7, 2022
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Oklahoma public schools have started requiring students from kindergarten to college to complete "biological sex affidavits" if they want to compete in school sports, in accordance with a state law that took effect earlier this year, NBC News reported. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill in March that prohibits trans student-athletes in public elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges from competing on the sports teams of their gender identity, as opposed to their sex assigned at birth.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, joined by the law firm of Linklaters, filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the Williamson County Board of Education and the Tennessee Department of Education in the District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee challenging a law that denies transgender students, faculty and staff access to the bathroom, locker rooms and other sex-segregated facilities consistent with their gender identity, a press release noted. In 2021, Tennessee enacted five anti-transgender laws after its legislative session and one of those statutes, the "Business Bathroom Bill," has already been preliminarily enjoined by a federal court.

The Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City announced political endorsements for primary races in the state Senate and Congress, Gay City News reported. In New York's redrawn 10th Congressional District, the club opted for Councilmember Carlina Rivera of Manhattan; the race features multiple out LGBTQ candidates, including incumbent Congressmember Mondaire Jones of Rockland and Westchester County, and Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou of Manhattan. Primary election day is Aug. 23, but early voting begins Aug. 13. For the other endorsements for the congressional and state Senate primaries, visit sdnyc.org/ .

A new poll of LGBTQ and ally voters in Florida showed high motivation to vote in the upcoming midterm elections, with deep concern about elected officials stripping human rights for LGBTQ people and women, per a GLAAD/Equality Florida press release. Equality Florida, the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's LGBTQ community, and GLAAD are also releasing video of LGBTQ Floridians and families speaking out about the impact of new laws and policies on their lives. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu2Ie5MlamI.

A record number of openly LGBTQ+ candidates are running for Minnesota Legislature in this year's midterm elections, according to Axios. At least 11 candidates who identify as LGBTQ+ will appear on ballots for the Aug. 9 primary, according to a list compiled by state Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis). Dibble, who is gay, said the high interest from Minnesota candidates is "absolutely a response to [a] national coordinated effort to attack LGBTQ people and trans youth."

What started as a fight over an LGBTQ-themed graphic novel may end with the closure of a west Michigan public library, according to Bridge Michigan. Voters in Jamestown Township, a politically conservative community in Ottawa County, rejected the renewal of a millage (a rate, as in taxation, expressed in mills per dollar) that would support the Patmos Library. Parents have raised concerns about the graphic novel Gender Queer: A Memoir and other LGBTQ+ books; after the Patmos staff and elected board of directors declined to remove the books from the library's collection, some upset residents organized an effort to defeat the library's millage renewal.

Students, faculty and campus members at the University of Alabama can now put their preferred names on mobile Action Cards (the official campus ID cards) for free, The Washington Blade noted. The Action Card office actually announced this change on May 19. It updated the policy in partnership with UA Safe Zone, a resource center for LGBTQIA+ individuals and their allies on campus.

ONE Archives Foundation announced "Hand in Hand," an Aug. 17 online event featuring readings from authors traci kato-kiriyama and Imani Tolliver, co-presented with Queer Biennial, per a press release. This event is a public program associated with the 2022 Queer Biennial, dedicated to the memory of bell hooks. Queer Biennial is a Los Angeles-based, international survey focusing on the current moments in LGBTQ art and culture that showcases emerging, mid-career, and established artists. Registration information can be found at https://onearchives.org/handinhand.

On MyTransgenderDate.com, Maki Gingoyon penned an article wondering if Facebook harbors anti-trans biases. Gingoyon wrote that things went smoothly until last September, when the social-media giant reportedly asked "for a RIDICULOUS and IRRELEVANT amount of information about our company. They even went as far as threatening us with an ultimatum: provide what we ask for within 14 days, or we disable your app." Gingoyon said the company complied, but complications developed—and now expects the Facebook login to stop working Aug. 28.

A D.C. Superior Court judge approved the first of a two-part motion filed by the Office of the D.C. Attorney General seeking a temporary restraining order to freeze all bank accounts and PayPal accounts of Casa Ruby, the D.C. LGBTQ+ community services center that shut down its operations last month, The Washington Blade reported. The judge said she saw in the motion that the office had unsuccessfully attempted to reach Casa Ruby's former executive director, Ruby Corado, who the motion alleges retains full control of Casa Ruby's finances.

Key West, Florida, is hosting its annual Womenfest celebration on Sept. 7-11, per a press release. The merriment's official kickoff is a poolside welcome party featuring DJ Citizen Jane set for 6-8 p.m. on Wed., Sept. 7. The women-only fun takes place at the festival's host hotel, the Silver Palms Inn, 830 Truman Ave. Some of the other events will include the second annual Ultimate Beach Bash and Cornhole Tournament, at Lagerheads Beach Bar; a "Drunken Drag Brunch" at Mangoes Restaurant; and a clothing-optional sandbar snorkel trip aboard the catamaran Blu Q. More information is at gaykeywestfl.com/womenfest/ .

North Carolina Courage defender Jaelene Daniels missed her team's National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) 3-3 draw against the Washington Spirit on July 29 after refusing to wear a Pride jersey, according to ESPN. Daniels previously refused a U.S. women's national team call-up in 2017 over rainbow-themed Pride jerseys. The Courage were criticized last December when they re-signed Daniels, who retired last year after playing seven seasons in the NWSL.

Airbnb publicly apologized after it allowed a property owner to list an "1830s slave cabin" for rent in Greenville, Mississippi, The Guardian noted. In a TikTok video that went viral, New-Orleans civil rights and entertainment lawyer Wynton Yates criticized the listing, saying: "The history of slavery in this country is constantly denied and now it's being mocked by being turned into a luxurious vacation spot." Yates went on to show screenshots of the listing, which featured a four-poster bed, sunlit and tiled bathrooms, large wooden dressers and folded towels. The property owner, Brad Hauser, told the Washington Post it was the "previous owner's decision to market the building as the place where slaves once slept," noting the building had also been a doctor's office.

Openly gay pro-Trump social-media influencer Brandon Straka—who was convicted of disorderly and disruptive conduct on the Capitol's grounds for his actions Jan. 6, 2021—is upset over the release of court filings that were supposed to be sealed and detail the assistance he provided to federal authorities investigating the siege, per NBC News. After details of Straka's cooperation began spreading on social media and a report about it ran on WUSA-9, Straka (a self-described former liberal who founded the #WalkAway movement in support of Republicans) took to the right-leaning social media platform GETTR and posted a two-page letter expressing outrage at what he described as a "leak." Straka was sentenced to three months of home detention and a total of three years of probation in January.

In a new campaign ad for his daughter Rep. Liz Cheney, former Vice President Dick Cheney calls former President Donald Trump a "coward" and a "threat to our republic," according to Yahoo! News. Polls in Wyoming show Liz Cheney trailing attorney Harriet Hageman in the GOP primary race to decide which Republican will be nominated for the general election in the deep-red state. Liz Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for "incitement of insurrection" regarding his role in the Capitol riot. Wyoming's Republican Party then censured her for that vote, and she was stripped of her leadership role in the party by her fellow Republicans in Congress.



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