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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



NATIONAL Passings, governors' actions, document bans, mpox in Minnesota
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 4040 times since Fri Jul 14, 2023
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Lilli Vincenz, an activist in the LGBTQ+-rights movement since the early 1960s, died at age 85 of natural causes June 27 at a care facility in Oakton, Virginia, according to The Advocate, citing The Washington Blade. She became active in the movement after being outed as a lesbian in 1963, while she was serving in the Women's Army Corps—resulting in her being discharged. She soon joined the D.C. chapter of the Mattachine Society, becoming the first known lesbian in that gay-rights group, according to the Blade. In 1992, she and longtime partner Nancy Davis (who died in 2019) founded the Community for Creative Self-Development. Vincenz's life and activism were chronicled in a film—Gay and Proud: Lilli's Legacy—that can be seen on YouTube.

Outspoken lesbian physician/author Dr. Susan Love has passed away at age 75 after a recurrence of leukemia, The Advocate noted, citing The New York Times. Among other things, Love was skeptical about mastectomy as a cancer treatment, saying that surgeons should remove only the cancerous lump and follow up with radiation, when possible. "Wanting to keep your breast is not about vanity," she once said. "It's about being intact as a person." She also urged patients to take an active role in their treatment and not be afraid to question and challenge their doctors.

Afro-Latina transgender woman Chanell Perez Ortiz was fatally shot in Carolina, Puerto Rico, per The Advocate. Perez Ortiz worked as a cosmetologist and was keenly interested in fashion, often posting quotes from famed fashion designer Coco Chanel on social media. Police are looking into the possibility that her death was a hate crime motivated by her gender identity, as her loved ones have urged them to do.

The Rev. Steven Pieters, a longtime HIV survivor, died of complications from cancer at age 71, per PinkNews. The minister/activist was best known for his 1985 interview with Tammy Faye Bakker in which he addressed many of the fears surrounding HIV/AIDS. The historic interview was one of the very first national, long-form interviews conducted with an HIV-positive gay man. Actress Jessica Chastain—who played Faye Bakker in the 2021 film The Eyes of Tammy Faye—called Pieters an "inspiration and advocate for those living with HIV/AIDS" in a tweet.

In a first for the California LGBTQ+ community, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins signed three bills into law while serving as the state's acting governor, The Advocate noted. Atkins, who is lesbian, is "the first woman and first openly LGBTQ person serving as acting governor to sign bills into law while doing so" in California, according to The Bay Area Reporter. Atkins took the action when both Gov. Gavin Newsom and Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis were recently out of state. Atkins had served as acting governor for a few hours in 2014—making her the state's first LGBTQ+ person doing so—but she signed no bills then.

Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed three anti-LGBTQ+ bills—defying the veto-proof Republican majorities in the state legislature, The Advocate noted. Cooper announced he vetoed HB 574 (Fairness in Women's Sports Act), SB 49 (Parents' Bill of Rights) and HB 808 (Gender Transition/Minors). Cooper described SB 49 as a "Don't Say Gay" piece of legislation that "hampers the important and sometimes life-saving role of educators as trusted advisors when students have nowhere else to turn."

Recently, Virginia's Department of Health (under Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin) removed resources for LGBTQ+ kids seeking help after right-wing media outlet the Daily Wire inquired about two websites listed on the department's webpage that offered LGBTQ+ youth support, The Advocate reported. Internal agency emails indicated Youngkin removed the entire resources page in response, confusing agency employees. According to the emails, the Office of Family Health Services' webpages were audited for nine LGBTQ+-related terms.

On July 10, Shawnee County District Judge Teresa L. Watson issued an order that stops Kansas from allowing transgender drivers to change the sex listed on their driver's licenses, The Hill reported. The order came as part of a lawsuit filed by Republican Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, who sued two members of the Democratic administration for what he claimed were violations of a new law that took effect July 1. Watson's order will be in effect for two weeks, but she can then extend the order.

Also, transgender Tennessee residents can no longer change their identification documents to reflect their gender identity, The Advocate reported. Birth certificates, driver's licenses and other official documents in the state can only reflect a person's sex assigned at birth. For people who have already changed their documents, it's unclear what will happen when they renew their documents.

The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed eight cases of mpox in the state for the year 2023, CBS News Minnesota noted. Before June, there had been no cases reported in the state this year. In Minnesota, there were 234 cases of the disease included in MDH's tally last year, 10 of which resulted in hospitalization; however, there were no documented cases of mpox-related deaths.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Opill (norgestrel) tablet for nonprescription use to prevent pregnancy—the first daily oral contraceptive approved for use in the country without a prescription, per a media release. Approval of this progestin-only oral contraceptive pill provides an option for consumers to purchase oral contraceptive medicine without a prescription at drug stores, convenience stores and grocery stores, as well as online.

The Abbey, the historic gay bar in West Hollywood that spans almost 10,000 square feet, has been put up for sale, The Advocate noted. Purchase of the property includes both the Abbey Food and Bar and the Chapel at the Abbey, a 2016 add-on to the original business. The Abbey is listed online by a commercial real estate group as "a generational purchase opportunity to acquire one of the world's most iconic nightclubs and restaurants."

A formal sexual-harassment complaint against Florida state Rep. Fabian Basabe was filed with the House, Florida Politics reported. Two male staffers, Nicolas Frevola and Jacob Cutbirth, detailed many of the accusations already described in a lawsuit filed in Leon County. Those include accusations the Miami Beach Republican told both men he wanted to have anal sex with them, adding he wanted to be a "bottom" while they could be "tops." Basabe's attorney, Robert Fernandez, gave a statement to CBS News: "Representative Basabe will not be litigating this frivolous and meritless lawsuit in the media or giving it any more public attention than it deserves—which is none."

A conservative radio station owner in Tennessee has come under fire after he made a racist comment about White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, calling her "Buckwheat," The Advocate noted. During a segment on WKOM's "3 Dudes with a View" program, co-hosts Delk Kennedy, Jim York and Clayton Harris discussed a state law banning access to gender-affirming care. Kennedy (who also owns the station) twice called Jean-Pierre by the racially charged name. Kennedy claimed that because on the show The Little Rascals, the character Buckwheat was intelligent, he was actually praising Jean-Pierre, the first Black lesbian to hold the position of top spokesperson for the president of the United States.

A new HIV case has been connected to a 2018 "vampire facial" at a New Mexico spa, years after the business closed, per CBS News. The spa client tested positive in 2023, but Albuquerque's VIP Spa closed in September 2018 after state inspectors identified practices that could potentially spread blood-borne infections—like HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C—to clients. During a vampire facial, a patient's blood is drawn; then, components of the blood are injected back into the face using microneedles.

The Trevor Project has laid off a large portion of its staff, The Advocate noted. "The Trevor Project completed a reduction in force that impacted 12% of our staff," the organization tweeted. "This decision was not made lightly. It was a last resort measure taken to ensure the sustainability of our life-saving services." (The reduction in the workforce will not affect counseling services provided to LGBTQ+ youth..) The decision followed other cost-saving measures, such as freezing hiring and limiting non-urgent travel.

After an inquiry from the Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco street signage connected with former Polish President Lech Walesa was just removed and replaced with signs featuring Gay Games founder Dr. Tom Waddell. In 2014, city officials approved renaming an alley near City Hall as Dr. Tom Waddell Place instead of Lech Walesa Street due to Walesa's homophobic and transphobic comments. Under the city's rules regarding street name changes, the signs for the alleyway that runs between Van Ness Avenue and Polk Street had to contain both names for five years before Walesa's could be permanently removed. As for why those signs didn't drop Walesa's name since the five-year mark for doing so had long since expired, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency deputy spokesperson Stephen Chun said there needs to be a better record-keeping system.

In a show of solidarity with the transgender community, supporters of equality contributed $100,000 in just 48 hours to the Southern Trans Youth Emergency Project (STYEP), according to a press release. Operating across the South, STYEP is a project of the Campaign For Southern Equality; Florida partners include Equality Florida and Southern Legal Counsel. The project helps transgender people whose access to gender-affirming care has been disrupted by government policies by providing patient navigation support and emergency grants of $500. Contributions came from more than 360 people statewide and were bolstered by more than $50,000 matching gifts from Equality Florida, The Our Fund Foundation and The LGBTQ+ Equity Fund.

A Michigan hair salon is reportedly refusing to serve trans people, Newsweek noted. "If a human identifies as anything other than a man/woman, please seek services at a local pet groomer," Traverse City's Studio 8 Hair Lab's Christine Geiger stated in a now-deleted Facebook post, The Kansas City Star reported. "You are not welcome at this salon. Period." The post came shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Lorie Smith—a Colorado web designer who refused service to a same-sex couple—in the 303 Creative LLC vs. Elenis case. Jack Winn Pro, a hair-care products manufacturer with products that the salon sold, publicly distanced itself from Geiger's remarks.

In a poll, 38 percent of students at the Ivy League school Brown University said they're not straight, per The Advocate. (The spring 2023 poll was conducted by The Brown Daily Herald, the student newspaper.) Also, 3.1 percent of respondents identified as nonbinary and 1.8 percent as genderqueer. Nationwide, 7.2 percent of U.S. adults identify as LGBTQ+, according to Gallup polls.

In Maryland, Anne Arundel County Board of Education members rejected a proposed ban on non-government flags on school property, per The Washington Blade. The policy would have banned banners such as the Pride flag, Black Lives Matter flag and others from being hung or flown on school properties. The board voted four to three, with one abstaining, against the proposed policy.

Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham recently faced an onslaught of jeers and boos from Trump supporters during a MAGA rally in his home state of South Carolina, Yahoo! noted. The former president did little to defend the conservative lawmaker, aside from stating that Graham enlisted "liberal" support for Trump's re-election campaign. Trump also assured the crowd that he would get Graham "straight"—an apparent reference to allegations that Graham is gay. MSNBC's Morning Joe panelists poked fun at the situation, saying Graham endured "ritualistic humiliation" at the hands of ardent Trumpers.

CNN apologized for misgendering trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney in a segment touching on Mulvaney's role in a right-wing boycott against Bud Light and its parent company, Anheuser-Busch, The Hill noted. CNN national correspondent Ryan Young had used male pronouns to refer to Mulvaney, a transgender woman; CNN anchor Kate Bolduan later issued an on-air apology.

In Pennsylvania, a Popeyes franchise was fined almost $50,000 after a former employee said he was harassed and terminated because of his sexual orientation, The Advocate noted, citing a news release. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission ordered the restaurant to pay the employee, Kyle Rodin, $48,840 for failing to provide a workplace free from harassment and bias based on sexual orientation. The franchise, registered under the name Wilkes Barre Chicken LLC, ignored an initial complaint from the commission and did not send any representatives to a public hearing in April regarding the incident.

Matthew Rowlinson was arrested in Port Washington, New York after police said he threw a hot cup of coffee at another man and called him an anti-gay slur outside a Starbucks, Patch reported. He faces charges of third-degree assault as a hate crime and second-degree aggravated harassment as a hate crime. He is scheduled for arraignment at First District Court on July 20.

In Florida, Administrative Law Judge Brittany Finkbeiner ruled that The New Orleans House—a "clothing-optional" resort catering to gay men in Key West—cannot ban women from staying there or accessing the areas of the resort where guests typically disrobe, Metro Weekly reported. Finkbeiner recommended (in a non-binding decision) that the Florida Commission on Human Relations should find that the resort "engaged in unlawful discrimination" when it barred Amina Chaudhry—a cisgender woman who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community—from making a reservation in July 2022. Chaudhry appealed a February commission ruling that favored New Orleans House.

A fracture has erupted between two far-right groups quarreling at an OregonLGBTQ+ Pride event, with threats of violence against each other, per The Advocate, citing VICE News. Rose City Nationalists (an international network of fitness-oriented neo-Nazis affiliated with Active Club Network) and PDX Proud Boys protested the event—but also attacked each other. Around the world, neo-Nazi clubs are forming Active Clubs, networks of white racist men who train in fitness and combat sports; Germany has banned the group's events.

Anti-LGBTQ+ Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was booted from the pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus last month, Politico noted. A member said that Greene's fight with U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (another anti-LGBTQ+ Republican) was part of the group's reasoning. The vote ook place less than two days after Greene got into a verbal floor fight with Freedom Caucus member Boebert, during which Greene referred to the Colorado Republican as a "little bitch."

This article shared 4040 times since Fri Jul 14, 2023
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