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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



NATIONAL Political results, communicable-disease law, Urvashi Vaid

This article shared 2422 times since Sun Nov 13, 2022
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Sharice Davids won the election for Kansas' 3rd Congressional District. In 2018, she made history when she became the first out LGBTQ+ person elected to Congress from Kansas and one of the first two Native American women ever elected to Congress, according to an LGBTQ Victory Fund press release. A record number of LGBTQ+ people ran for Congress this year. As of Nov. 9, there were currently just 11 out LGBTQ people serving in Congress.

In a historic moment, James Roesener became the first out trans man to win election to a state legislature in U.S. history, according to an NPR item that cited the LGBTQ Victory Fund. Roesener won the race for New Hampshire's 22nd state House District, Ward 8. The 26-year-old Democrat identifies as bisexual and lives in Concord with his wife.

LGBTQ Victory Fund candidates Christian Manuel-Hayes and Venton Jones won the elections for Texas state House Districts 22 and 100, respectively, the organization announced. Both Manuel-Hayes and Jones are now the first Black out LGBTQ+ men ever elected to the Texas state legislature. Also, Jolanda Jones was re-elected to represent Texas state House District 147. Jones made history earlier this year when she won the special election for the district and became the first Black out LGBTQ+ person ever elected to the state legislature.

LGBTQ+ Californians will see historic representation in Sacramento, when the state's new legislature is sworn in on Dec. 5, Equality California noted in a press release. With the re-election of four openly LGBTQ+ Assemblymembers and the election of at least four new out LGBTQ+ legislators, California will become the first state in the nation to achieve 10% LGBTQ+ representation in its state legislature. California's four out LGBTQ+ senators are all serving terms through 2024. "Representation is power,"said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang. "LGBTQ+ people belong in every room and deserve a seat at every table where decisions impacting our community and our lives are being made."

Openly gay Colorado Gov. Jared Polis easily won re-election to a second term on Nov. 8, Colorado Public Radio noted. Polis defeated Republican challenger Heidi Ganahl, a businesswoman and an elected regent with the University of Colorado who blamed Polis for recent increases in inflation and crime; she was also aligned with a "parents' rights" message that some saw as anti-LGBTQ+. In his victory speech, Polis said, "The fact is we did something simple. We focused on issues that really affect people's lives and we delivered real results.

Maryland Democrats, shut out of the governor's mansion the last eight years, have swept back into power—and broke the color barrier by electing the state's first ever Black chief executive, Politico reported. Wes Moore, an author with no previous political experience, becomes only the third Black elected governor in this nation's history, joining Douglas Wilder of Virginia and Deval Patrick of Massachusetts.

Kameron Nelson won the election for South Dakota's 10th state House District, LGBTQ Victory Fund noted in a press release. Nelson is the first out LGBTQ+ man ever elected to the South Dakota state legislature and is the first LGBTQ+ man elected to the state House. South Dakota was one of just four U.S. states with zero LGBTQ+ state lawmakers, according to the LGBTQ Victory Institute.

GLAAD responded to news that a majority of pro-equality senators will maintain control of the U.S. Senate. In a statement and tweet, President/CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said, "With the results of House control still undetermined, LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities can rest a little easier knowing that a pro-equality majority is projected to return to the U.S. Senate. This is especially critical for the next two years in order to ensure that pro-equality judicial nominees continue to be confirmed along with basic protections being passed for LGBTQ people, abortion rights and voting rights."

In New York, Sean Patrick Maloney—who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee—conceded to his Republican challenger, Mike Lawler, capping off a significant upset, according to Gay City News. Maloney has represented the 18th Congressional District, but set his sights on the 17th after redistricting. Out gay Congressmember Ritchie Torres of the Bronx grabbed about 75% of the vote en route to an easy victory over Republican Stylo Sapaskis in District 15. The state's other out gay member of Congress, Mondaire Jones, did not run in the general election after losing the primary in New York's 10th Congressional District.

Controversial, anti-LGBTQ+ Texas Gov. Greg Abbott defeated Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke in the Texas governor's race, earning a third term, The Dallas Morning News reported. Abbott grabbed an early lead as he and hundreds of supporters waited for votes to be counted at a hacienda-turned-bird sanctuary in McAllen. NPR noted that it was the most competitive race of Abbott's political career. The last Democrat to win a Texas gubernatorial race was Ann Richards, in 1990.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeated Republican candidate and former talk-show host Dr. Mehmet Oz, flipping the seat currently held by retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey into Democratic hands, according to Politico. Fetterman's campaign took a multipronged approach to trying to beat Oz, painting the wealthy celebrity doctor as out-of-touch and homing in on his longtime New Jersey residency, while also following national Democrats using the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade reversal to try to push Oz's position on abortion into the spotlight. the Democrat's campaign was thrown a curveball when Fetterman suffered a stroke in May, returning to the trail in August. Oz's campaign then issued statements about Fetterman's diet and accused him of being unable to debate.

Pennsylvania's Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed a law that makes it a felony to pass on a communicable disease when they "should have known" that they had it, according to an LGBTQ Nation item that cites the HIV Justice Network. Critics of the law worry it will be used to punish people with HIV or other STDs who unknowingly transmit it to sexual partners. Among other things the law, known as HB 103, punishes people with up to seven years in prison and $15,000 in fines for "expelling" saliva, blood or another bodily fluid onto a police officer. Such HIV-criminalization laws have disproportionately been used to target Black men and other men of color.

Hundreds of people—including advocates, friends, and loved ones—gathered Nov. 3 to remember the life of renowned LGBTQ+ Indian-American activist, attorney, leader and author Urvashi Vaid, who died earlier this year at age 63, Gay City News reported. The community met at B'nai Jeshurun in NYC for a special memorial ceremony dedicated to Vaid, who passed away on May 14. Vaid's partner, Kate Clinton, listed several of Vaid's positions and accomplishments over the years before sharing stories of the life the pair enjoyed together. Some of the other speakers/attendees included playwright Tony Kushner, feminist leader Gloria Steinem, former Congressman Barney Frank and Alok Vaid-Menon; Vaid was Alok's aunt.

Nevada voters approved what is widely considered the most comprehensive state version of the Equal Rights Amendment in the nation, the AP reported. Nevada's ERA amends the state Constitution to ensure equal rights for all, "regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, ancestry, or national origin." It is a more wide-ranging amendment than the federal ERA that Nevada adopted five years ago.

A Georgia county agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a man whose case was one of three that led to a 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said civil-rights law protects LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, according to an NBC News item. The Clayton County Board of Commissioners okayed an $825,000 settlement for Gerald Lynn Bostock. He had sued the county, saying he was fired in 2013 because he is gay.

A team of researchers at the University of Missouri discovered viral mutations that are behind this year's monkeypox/MPV outbreak, St. Louis Public Radio reported. Like the coronavirus, monkeypox evolves over time to become more hardy and infectious. Studying mutations and where they are located can help scientists make better monkeypox vaccines and treatments, professor Kamal Singh said. Two of the three drugs used to treat monkeypox bind close to that mutation.

Transgender woman influencer Nikita Dragun was arrested and held in a men's unit of Miami's Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, NPR reported. She's facing charges of misdemeanor disorderly conduct and felony battery of a law enforcement officer, court records show. After being jailed for at least a day, Dragun has since been released on her own recognizance. Dragun—who is set to appear in court again on Dec. 7—was arrested after allegedly causing a disturbance and walking around The Goodtime Hotel pool naked

In Michigan, the Patmos Library millage failed on the Nov. 8 ballot, the Detroit Free Press reported. In the August primary, the library lost 84% of its operating budget because its staff refused to remove its LGBTQ+ books. A GoFundMe for the library raised about $265,000, with the help of author Nora Roberts, but it won't be enough to sustain it long-term, the Patmos Library Board said in a plea to voters released just before the election.

Runner Jacob Caswell took first place in the non-binary division of the New York City Marathon—becoming the first non-binary winner to earn top prize money at the race, Queerty noted. This year, New York Road Runners, a non-profit whose mission is to inspire people through running, paid the winning athletes themselves. In total, the New York Road Runners awarded $15,000 to the top five non-binary runners, with $5,000 going to the first-place participant. The race added the division last year.

The New York City Gay Men's Chorus (NYCGMC) will hold its winter concert, "Twinkly Lights: Songs for a Gayer Winter" on Dec. 16-17 at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. The show—featuring a mix of winter and holiday music from John Legend, Madonna, Pentatonix, The Weather Girls, Rafael Hernandez, Tick Tick…Boom and more—will be performed by a chorus of more than 200 members (including 50 new members) and will be conducted by Artistic Director John J Atorino, accompanied by Aaron Dai.

The Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus (FTLGMC) will become one with the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida, effective Jan. 1, 2023, Broadway World noted. ''The time is right to unify our choral community which has an abundance of notable talent and dedication," said FTLGMC President Justin Knight. "The Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus has entertained for 36 years and is proud of its legacy under the direction of its founder, Gary Keating." In recent years, the two choruses have performed together several times.

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