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NATIONAL Panic defense, subway attack, N.J. items, Pride rallies
by Windy City Times staff
2021-07-04

This article shared 1136 times since Sun Jul 4, 2021
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A bill that bans the so-called LGBTQ panic defense in Virginia took effect July 1, according to The Washington Blade. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam on March 31 signed the measure that transgender state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) introduced. A bill that bans the LGBTQ panic defense in D.C. took effect last month. An identical measure will become law in Maryland on Oct. 1—without Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's signature.

A man was stabbed in the chest and torso in an anti-LGBTQ attack on a Manhattan subway platform just hours after Pride Sunday in New York City, Gay City News reported. The 29-year-old victim was traveling on a train on June 28 when an unidentified man allegedly began yelling anti-LGBTQ messages in a subway car, authorities said. Shortly after, the suspect lashed out at the victim, saying, "Yo big ass want to sit down with your legs crossed, f****t." Later, the two individuals had a verbal dispute that spilled onto the subway platform at Penn Station The suspect then stabbed the victim with an unknown object during the attack and fled the scene. This attack is the latest in a flurry of anti-LGBTQ incidents in New York City.

A first-of-its-kind housing project broke ground in New Jersey on June 29, a press release noted. The new building, in Newark, is The LGBT RAIN Foundation's first affordable and inclusive LGBTQ housing development of this scale. The building will house 11 homeless individuals who identify as LGBTQ and may have a disability, and the project is being consulted by Monarch Housing, a non-profit pioneer in housing development for marginalized communities; this is its first project related to LGBTQ young adults.

Also in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that Andrew Bruck would be appointed acting attorney general for the remainder of Murphy's term, according to WHYY.org . Bruck will be the first openly gay attorney general in state history. Bruck, who is first assistant attorney general, has been part of the office's executive leadership since outgoing Attorney General Gurbir Grewal was confirmed in January 2018.

LGBTQ Catholic New Yorkers rallied outside St. Patrick's Cathedral on Pride Sunday—continuing a tradition that goes back to 1984, when members of DIGNITY NY eventually won a legal right to be present at St Patrick's Cathedral each Pride Sunday, a press release noted. "We are here in prayer, pride and protest giving witness for love and justice," said rally organizer Brendan Fay. "We honor the love of same-sex couples and our families. We have 'come out' of the closet and seek to live more honestly and openly. We call for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people not just in civil society, but within our Catholic church."

In New York City, thousands turned out June 26 for the Dyke March for Black Dyke Power, which stepped off at Bryant Park and concluded at Washington Square Park, Gay City News reported. Marchers held signs delivering a series of messages—including reminders of the march's ban on corporations. Other signs read messages such as "Pride is an act of resistance," Dyke power" and "trans love." The non-permitted march came two years after the 2019 WorldPride Dyke March, which was the biggest one ever.

In Florida, members of the Wilton Manors community remembered the life that was lost in a recent accident prior to a Pride parade, local10.com reported. The accident claimed the life of 75-year-old James Fahy, a member of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus. Fahy would volunteer at the Poverello Center in Wilton Manors, spending 20 hours a week there. The chorus rented the truck that was driven by 77-year-old Fred Johnson. Police said Johnson's foot reportedly slipped and got stuck under the brake pushing down to accelerate. He fatally struck Fahy and injured another member, 67-year-old Jerry Vroegh, just moments before the parade was set to begin.

In a video shared on Twitter, the National Football League (NFL) declared, "Football is gay," NBC News reported. In white letters on a black background, the word "gay" was then replaced with words including "lesbian," "beautiful," "queer," "transgender," "power" and "life, concluding with "Football is for everyone." The NFL released the video in response to Las Vegas Raiders player Carl Nassib coming out last week, league spokesperson Samantha Roth told Outsports. Nassib is the first active NFL player to come out as gay.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that the state would be adding five more states to the state travel ban due to their new laws that restrict LGBT and transgender rights, California Globe reported. Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia now join 12 other states—including Idaho, Texas and Tennessee—to have banned travel under AB 1887.

LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances that passed earlier this year have now taken effect in four different North Carolina cities—Asheville, Buncombe County, Durham and Greensboro—according to a joint press release from Campaign for Southern Equality and Equality NC. In total, nine communities in North Carolina have passed LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances in the past six months. In addition to the four taking effect today, ordinances have been adopted by municipal governments in Apex, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and Orange County. Polling shows that 67% of people in North Carolina support protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination.

While on The Late Night with Stephen Colbert, out Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg spoke out forcefully against the nationwide attacks on transgender youth, as well as progress made for LGBTQ people working in the U.S. government, LGBTQ Nation noted. "These kids have the courage to be who they are, and they just want to be accepted and go to the bathroom like everybody else, and play sports like everybody else and be—live," Buttigieg said regarding trans youth. He worried that anti-trans legislation conveys the message that trans people shouldn't exist—something trans kids may believe.

Kataluna Enriquez made history when she was crowned Miss Nevada 2021 and, with the win, qualified for the Miss USA contest—becoming the first transgender woman to accomplish either feat, out.com noted. The 2021 Advocate Champion of Pride took home the Miss Nevada 2021 title wearing a rainbow-themed gown of her own design in honor of Pride Month, and she now moves on to compete in the Miss USA contest in November. An accomplished designer with her own Kataluna Kouture line of gowns (@katalunakouture), Enriquez regularly designs the pieces she takes to competitions.

Recently, the Michigan House unanimously passed legislation that would allow patients with HIV to donate organs to other HIV-positive patients, HIVPlusMag.com noted. The bill now heads to the state Senate for further approval. It would bring the state in line with the federal Organ Policy Equity Act, or HOPE Act, of 2013. The HOPE Act lifted the ban on using organs of those with HIV in transplants.

Oklahomans recently gathered in downtown Tulsa for the state's longest-running LGBT Pride festival, NewsOn6.com reported. The Dennis R. Neill Equality Center said this year's festival is the biggest it has ever held. Activities over June 25-27 included Oklahomans for Equality holding a picnic in the park at Guthrie Green, and a concert featuring Big Freedia.

Columbia University School of Nursing announced the launch of the Center for Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research, Contemporary Clinic noted. The program plans to use innovative methods to study "health among sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations across the lifespan with an emphasis on resilience." Further, the program will support nursing and interdisciplinary scholarly work focused on social justice and health equity with the objective to eliminate SGM-related health disparities, according to a press release from Columbia.

Philadelphia's Mazzoni Center is making changes after receiving news about grants, a prerelease noted. The center learned that two significant grants that fund a large portion of our Prevention Services would not be renewed for fiscal year 2022 (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022); in addition, it received notice that a third Prevention grant was awarded, but at an amount less than Mazzoni Center had requested, also as of July 1, 2021. Therefore, the leadership team Mazzoni Center has decided to conduct layoffs within the Prevention team effective July 18. These layoffs will unfortunately affect both members of the bargaining unit and members of management.

In Florida, the state attorney's office will review the case of Alexander Jerich—a man accused of burning two 15-foot-long skid marks into the new LGBTQ Pride intersection and crosswalk in Delray Beach—to determine if he will face an enhanced charge of a hate crime, The Palm Beach Post reported. The enhanced charge could be prosecuted as a second- or third-degree felony.

D.C. drag queen Kabuki Bukkake was arrested for "unwanted sexual assault" after she fell on top of an audience member during a Pride drag brunch, LGBTQ Nation noted. The performer was taken to jail in full drag and held for 38 hours before being released after prosecutors declined to file charges. The queen had pulled a woman on stage during the performance when the accident occurred and her costume got caught on the woman's top.

The student government association president at the University of North Alabama apologized for a social-media post that offended members of the LGBTQ community, AL.com reported. Jake Statom, who was elected in February, apologized for an Instagram story on his personal account that showed a photo of a rainbow T-shirt printed with the words, "Born this way? You must be born again." The post, coming during Pride month, prompted a petition calling on him to resign.

NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists and The Curve Foundation announced the recipients of the inaugural Curve Award for Emerging Journalists, a press release noted. The recipients are Katie Barnes, Giulia Heyward, Shar Jossell, Yvonne Marquez and Helen Santoro. The award, sponsored by the Curve Foundation, provides financial support to emerging journalists whose work fosters fair and accurate coverage as well as elevates the voices of LGBTQ women.

The American Humanist Association (AHA) announced that Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., is its 2021 Humanist of the Year, according to a press release. The statement said that "Fauci helped lead the nation through the COVID-19 pandemic as a champion of science and reason during a time when we needed it most." Fauci will accept the award and speak to humanists at the AHA's virtual 80th Annual Conference on July 25.

East West Players (EWP)—the nation's largest producer of Asian American theatrical works—along with EWP Producing Artistic Director Snehal Desai, were honored by city leaders at a LA CityView Channel 35 program broadcast live as part of the virtual celebrations for Pride Month in the City of Los Angeles, a press release noted. Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, one of the city's three openly gay elected officials, organized this year's programming. He joined Mayor Eric Garcetti, Controller Ron Galperin, City Council President Nury Martinez and Councilmember Mike Bonin.

A twitch streamer and trans ally raised $15,000 for the Transgender Law Center by playing The Sims 4, according to LGBTQ Nation. Kayla Sims, who goes by the username lilsimsie, decided to host a charity stream for her 443,000 followers. Her goal was to raise $10,000. The Transgender Law Center is the largest trans-led organization in the United States and fights for equitable laws and policies for the transgender community.

At Napa Valley College (NVC), for the first time ever, two students earned associate of science degrees in LGBT education, the Napa Valley Register noted. Although the LGBT Studies certificate program has been in place at NVC since 2012, when NVC was the second college in California to offer it, the AS degree first became available in August 2020. In California, San Francisco State University, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis all currently offer either certificates or four-year degrees in this field. However, there are still relatively few programs available at the community-college level.

Only two House Republicans—Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois—voted to create a select committee to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol, CNN.com noted. Both GOP lawmakers, who are frequent critics of former President Donald Trump, were among the 35 House Republicans who voted to establish an independent commission that was blocked by Senate Republicans. House Republicans ousted Cheney from her leadership post as conference chair in May after she repeatedly called out Trump's "Big Lie" that the 2020 election was stolen.


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