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NATIONAL Political news, gay adoptive father, judges, Houston bar
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-11-16

This article shared 370 times since Mon Nov 16, 2020
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Adrian Tam, a 28-year-old gay Asian American son of immigrants, defeated a leader of the Hawaii chapter of the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, to become the only openly LGBTQ person in Hawaii's legislature, NBC News reported. Tam, a first-time candidate, took 63 percent of the vote against Nicholas Ochs. Ochs told NBC News he faced harassing messages from Tam's supporters and that he was disappointed the two didn't get a chance to debate, adding that he is not racist.

After being re-elected to Maine's House of Representatives earlier this month, joining a sizable "rainbow wave" of LGBTQ+ candidates, Ryan Fecteau has now been nominated by the Democratic party to be the Speaker of the House, out.com noted. If elected by the full House in the general election next month, Fecteau will be the youngest-ever (at 28) as well as the first out gay politician to hold the role. The full House will vote Dec. 2.

A gay Ohio man, 29-year-old Robert Carter, made news for adopting five siblings to keep them together, out.com noted, citing People Magazine. "I can't even begin to try to put it into words what it means," Carter told People. "Just the fact that they're together, the fact that they have something that will help them remember their past... it's beautiful to watch them grow up together and make memories together." In October, he officially adopted all five in an emotional ceremony in Ohio; with him was his Kionta Gillan, his former partner. Despite their breakup three months ago, Gillan still helps take care of the five children, who lovingly refer to him as their "Papa."

California made history by confirming its first openly gay state Supreme Court justice, CBS News noted. Associate Justice Martin J. Jenkins, 66, is also the third-ever Black man to serve on the Golden State's highest court. Jenkins' appointment was approved by a unanimous vote in the Supreme Court courtroom in San Francisco, officials said.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito delivered an unusually inflammatory public speech recently, starkly warning about the threats he contends religious believers face from advocates for gay and abortion rights, as well as public officials responding to the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reported. Speaking to a virtual conference of conservative lawyers, the George W. Bush appointee made no direct comment on the recent election, the political crisis relating to President Donald Trump's refusal to acknowledge his defeat or litigation on the issue pending at the Supreme Court. Alito argued that some recent Supreme Court decisions, including the landmark ruling upholding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, fueled intolerance to those who believe marriage should be limited to unions between one man and one woman.

Buddy's Houston made history Nov. 3 by becoming the world's first-known presidential polling location inside an LGBTQ bar, The Hill noted, citing The Houston Chronicle. The local watering hole was transformed into a polling location with 14 voting booths and poll workers who spoke several different languages, including English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese and Indonesian. The Harris County Clerk's Office celebrated the news on Twitter, writing, "We're not a regular county, we're a *cool* county."

The Biden transition team has named several LGBTQ people to oversee and review various public agencies—and transgender veteran Shawn Skelly has been tapped as part of the group that will evaluate the Department of Defense, LGBTQ Nation reported. President Donald Trump banned transgender people from serving in the military; Joe Biden has pledged to immediately undo the ban. Skelly—a former special assistant to the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics who was the first trans veteran to get a presidential appointment—led the Office of the Executive Secretariat at the Department of Transportation under the Obama administration.

The Wall Las Memorias (TWLM) will commemorate World AIDS Day on Tuesday, Dec. 1, with its 27th Annual Noche de Las Memorias, a press release noted. This year's community event—dedicated to remembering the lives and memories of those who we have lost to the AIDS epidemic—will be virtual and will be broadcast to a national audience with live and taped elements emanating from The Wall Las Memorias AIDS Monument in Lincoln Park in Los Angeles. Actress Laura Ceron, actor Wilson Cruz, U.S. Congressman Jimmy Gomez, Justina Machado, Kenny Ortega and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors member Hilda Solis will all take part in the event, with musical performances by Juan Pablo Di Pace and Lena Marie.

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) announced two new senior-level hires: Victoria Kirby York, MPA (deputy executive director), and Dr. Kia Darling-Hammond (director of research and educational programs), a press release noted. Their leadership and experience will further drive the organization's mission to empower members of the LGBTQ/SGL community; combat racism, transphobia, homophobia and biphobia; end stigma and provide education around what it means to live with HIV; and address issues specific to people living at the intersection of being queer and Black.

Clemson University will open its first "living-learning community" for LGBTQ students next fall, WLTX.com reported. Lavender Place will open in fall 2021 in a group of rooms in Gressette Hall, meant to host up to 20 LGBTQ students of up to any age. University spokesperson Joe Galbraith says Clemson has made "great strides" in its support of LGBTQ students.

This GivingTuesday, Campus Pride plans to inspire generosity by raising critical funds to support LGBTQ college students who are facing unique challenges as a result of COVID-19, a press release noted. Campus Pride hopes to raise $20,000 in individual donations to help offset the more than $100,000 in losses we incurred during this past year due to cancelled in-person events and programming. GivingTuesday refers to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States; it is a global movement that unleashes the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.

A federal lawsuit challenging West Virginia's blanket exclusions of coverage for gender-confirming care in West Virginia's Medicaid and state employee health insurance plans was filed, a Lambda Legal press release noted. The class-action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on behalf of Christopher Fain, a Medicaid participant; and Zachary Martell and Brian McNemar, a dependent and state employee, respectively. The suit was filed by Lambda Legal, Nichols Kaster, PLLP, and the Employment Law Center, PLLC. More about the case, Fain v. Crouch, is at https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/fain-v-crouch.

An anti-gay televangelist who claimed LGBTQ people, non-virgin brides and anyone having sex outside of wedlock were exclusively to blame for COVID-19 has died from the virus, Queerty noted. Rev. Irvin Baxter Jr. was the founder of Endtime Ministries and host of the television program End of the Age, which reaches 100 million households in North America and millions more across the globe.

D.C. police arrested a 22-year-old transgender woman on a charge of destruction of property for allegedly smashing a large plate glass window near the entrance of the Casa Ruby LGBTQ community services center, The Washington Blade reported. The police report and an arrest affidavit state that the woman—identified as Skyler Collins, of no fixed address—became angry after being told she had to leave the premises at Casa Ruby and could not immediately return.

Funders for LGBTQ Issues released a statement about the 2020 election. The group said it "celebrates the historic election turnout made possible by intersectional movements who mobilized to defend democracy. We also celebrate the openly LGBTQ candidates elected to public office around the nation, including the first openly non-binary person elected to a state legislature, the first Black gay members of Congress, and the first transgender state senator." However, it also added, "Yet our joy is tempered by the reality that the COVID-19 pandemic has left more than 240,000 of our loved ones dead, created the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, and laid bare the stark inequalities that too often dictate which lives have value and which are deemed disposable."

Kim Ng, who served as a high-ranking executive in baseball for more than 30 years, made history when she was named general manager (GM) of the Miami Marlins—the first woman to ascend to the top post in a baseball operations department, USA Today noted. Ng served as an assistant GM or in similar roles with the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles and New York Yankees between 1990 and 2011. More recently, she has worked in Major League Baseball's central office as a senior vice president of baseball operations.

MaineStreet, one of the few designated LGBTQ dance clubs in Maine, is in danger of closing its doors for good, SeaCoastOnline.com reported. Eddie Gayhart, one of the bar's owners, said the establishment closed its doors after the weekend of Indigenous Peoples' Day this year for the first time in its 20-year existence. Even though MaineStreet's decks may have looked busy to passersby this past summer and fall, the bar was seating less than one-sixth of its usual capacity. MaineStreet has been a social hub in Ogunquit for the past 20 years.

Donald Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen made his OnlyFans debut recently—in a personalized video for NYC go-go boy/gay adult film star Matthew Camp, according to Queerty. The video was recorded via Cameo, the online platform where people can pay "celebrities" to make personalized videos for them. In September, racist, xenophobic, anti-gay former Maricopa County Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio recorded a similar video for the Arizona Furry Convention, welcoming the furries to his state; he later stated he had no idea what he was talking about when he made the video, which he though was for animal lovers.


This article shared 370 times since Mon Nov 16, 2020
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