A poll showed that Delaware Democrat Sarah McBridewho is bidding to become the nation's first openly transgender member of Congressleads her primary opponents by a wide margin, The Hill reported. In a survey of likely Democratic primary voters in Delaware conducted by Change Research and commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign Equality Votes PAC, 44% of voters said they would vote for McBride if the primary election were held that day; her central opponent, Delaware State Housing Authority Director Eugene Young, had 23% of the vote. The primary is in September 2024.
The TIME100 list is out, and several LGBTQ+ people are included. Oscar winner Ariana DeBose is included in the Artists category, while Apple CEO Tim Cook and soccer icon Megan Rapinoe are part of the Titans group. U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is among the Leaders, and WNBA star Candace Parker and Transgender Education Network of Texas Executive Director Emmett Schilling are two of the Pioneers. Also, performer/actor Alex Newell, chef Kristen Kish, Montana state Rep. Zooey Zephyr and actor Stephanie Hsu are among those recognized on the TIME100 NEXT list that features rising leaders. See the full lists at time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2022/ and time.com/collection/time100-next-2023/ .
In Kentucky, a jury decided that infamous former Rowan County clerk Kim Davis should pay gay couple David Ermold and David Moore $100,000 after a federal judge ruled their constitutional rights were violated, LEX 18 reported. In 2015, Ermold and Moore tried to get a marriage license when Davis was clerk at the time, but Davis said she wouldn't do it because it was a violation of her religious rights. Davis may also have to pay all the couple's attorney fees for the past eight years. However, James Yates and Will Smitha gay couple similarly denied a marriage license by Davisreceived nothing by a separate jury hearing the case, The Advocate noted.
In Orlando, police arrested a suspect in connection with vandalism at two LGBTQ+ community centers (Zebra Youth and the LGBT+ Center of Orlando), The Advocate noted. Officers arrested Matthew Michael Robinson, 34, the police department announced on X (formerly Twitter); he is charged with three counts of criminal mischief. The investigation is continuing, and police asked that anyone with information should call 800-423-8477.
And, in NYC, two more suspects were arrested for their alleged role in damaging rainbow flags near the Stonewall Inn during the height of Pride Month, per Gay City News. Jackson Randall, a Boston resident, and Charles Hyde, who resides in Manhattan, were arrested on Sept. 13 and charged with criminal mischief and criminal mischief as a hate crime for allegedly damaging the Pride Flags at the Stonewall National Monument in Christopher Park. Weeks earlier, Denver resident (and co-suspect) Patrick Murphy received identical charges for the same incident.
Maryland resident Adam Michael Nettina pled guilty to threatening an LGBTQ+-advocacy group in the days following a March mass shooting at a school in Tennessee, The Advocate reported. Nettina also admitted to sending other threatening messages to pro-trans state delegates from Maryland and Virginia. Nettina made the threats in the aftermath of the March 27 shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville that left six people dead, including three 9-year-old students. U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III has scheduled sentencing for Nov. 3; Nettina could receive up to five years in a federal prison.
Democratic Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb criticized new LGBTQ+ guidance that the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland implemented for its schools, The Hill noted, citing News 5 Cleveland. The diocese put out new policies for its 84 private religious schools that ban LGBTQ+ expression, restrict certain clothing, and ban the use of pronouns or bathrooms that don't match a student's sex on official paperwork. "As a Christian, the new Catholic Diocese of Cleveland anti-LGBTQ+ policy is a shocking betrayal of the Church teachings that have shaped who I am today," Bibb said on Instagram.
And on a related note, the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland has started a petition on change.org to reverse the diocese's policy regarding gender identity, News 5 Cleveland noted. Due to this new policy, more than 80 schools in Northeast Ohio will have to follow "God's Intentional Design." The diocese said the creation of this policy is in response to "societal trends."
In California, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez temporarily blocked the Escondido Union School District from enforcing a policy meant to ensure transgender students' privacythe latest development in a statewide conflict pitting people advocating for LGBTQ+ student rights against people advocating for parental rights, per The San Diego Union-Tribune. Benitez's order prevents the district from enforcing its policy while litigation continues in a lawsuit filed by two Escondido middle-school teachers in April. The district's policy says that school staff must keep students' transgender or gender-nonconforming identity private, including to their parents, unless the student gives written consent or unless disclosure is otherwise required by law or necessary to protect the student.
U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant recently ruled in favor of transgender woman Veronica-May Clark, stating that three Connecticut Corrections healthcare providers violated Clark's Eighth Amendment right to be free of "cruel or unusual punishment" by their "deliberate indifference" to her serious condition of gender dysphoria, Gay City News reported. The court gave the parties 35 days to submit a plan of action to deal with Clark's gender dysphoria. Clark was convicted of murder, assault, burglary with a deadly weapon and violation of a protective order; she was sentenced to 75 years without possibility of parole and remanded to the custody of the Connecticut Department of Correction (DOC) in 2007. At that time, she informed prison officials of her gender identity.
NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists has revealed its brand-new logo, per a press release. It is described as "a symbol of unity and inclusivity that pays homage to the association's history, mission and dedication to fostering a home for all LGBTQ+ journalists and allies." The image was unveiled during the association's 2023 National Convention in Philadelphia.
In California, the City of West Hollywood celebrated Bi+ Visibility Week on Sept. 16-23, a release announced. Among other things, the city's lanterns over Santa Monica Boulevard were lit in pink, purple and bluethe colors of the Bi+ Pride flag; Bi+ Pride flags were flown on the city's medians where flags are currently displayed and Bi+ Pride flags were displayed on the rooftop of City Hall and at Plummer Park. More than 40 % of residents in West Hollywood identify as LGBTQ+ and four of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council are members of the community.
Two Kansas librarians are suing after being fired when conservative officials in their town mistook a multi-colored autism display as something pro-LGBTQ+, per The Advocate, citing The Washington Post. In June, Sterling Free Public Library employees Kari Wheeler and Brandy Lancaster created two displays celebrating and raising awareness about autism and neurodiversity. However, according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for Kansas, the displays were misconstrued by a board member as promoting an "LGBTQ agenda," leading to Wheeler and Lancaster's termination.
Out gay NYC Assemblymember Daniel O'Donnellthe brother of actress/comic Rosie O'Donnellwas ordered to undergo retraining after an investigation by the Ethics Committee concluded that he violated the lower chamber's policy against harassment, discrimination and retaliation, Gay City News reported. The committee said O'Donnell admitted that he made "crude" remarks when he was under stress. Spectrum News reported that O'Donnell told Assemblymember Catalina Cruz to "grow a pair, honey" following an Assembly Codes Committee meeting in Mayalthough it's not known if that was the comment in question.
Republican anti-LGBTQ+ Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was acquitted in the GOP-controlled state Senate on all 16 articles of impeachment, which included counts of bribery, dereliction of duty and disregard of official duties, CBS News noted. Paxton, who has been suspended since May, has been reinstated. Although more than 60 Republicans in the Texas House crossed party lines in May to impeach Paxton, his hold on the state Senate remained solid.
A U.S. Justice Department lawsuit against the American Samoa Government (ASG) over allegations that the ASG discriminated against a transgender now-former employee has been settled, per The Advocate, citing a Department of Justice press release. In a consent decree approved by the court, ASG agreed to pay Simeonica Tuiteleleapaga $125,000 as compensation for the harassment. The consent decree also requires the ASG to adopt new policies and procedures to handle sex-based discrimination complaints and to provide its employees training on said policies.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center will commemorate Latinx History Month with its new cornerstone celebration "Queerceanera," per a press release. Hosted by RuPaul's Drag Race alum Salina EsTitties, the event will take over the Center's Hollywood event space on Friday, Sept. 29. RuPaul's Drag Race México host Valentina will be honored at the event, kicking off a year-long ambassadorship with the Center to uplift and support outreach within the Latinx community, including community programs and health services.
The board of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) announced that Richard Burns will join the organization as interim executive director, per a press release. Current Executive Director Janson Wu will step down Oct. 6 to become senior director of state advocacy and government affairs with the Trevor Project. Burns is described as "a seasoned organizational leader and nonprofit management consultant with strong roots in the LGBTQ+ legal-advocacy movement."
Lesbian transgender conservative Caitlyn Jenner weighed in on a controversy involving a Texas restaurant that used photos of her, pre- and post-transition, as signs for its male and female restrooms, respectively, according to LGBTQ Nation. Dodie's Place Cajun Bar & Grill in Allen, Texas put the images on its restroom doors around 2017. Recently, Twitter user @brixwe reposted an image showing the restroom doors. The user wrote, "Is this funny?" Jennerwho plans to support the 2024 presidential campaign of Donald Trumpresponded, "Funny as hell."
Out gay celebrity real-estate agent Fredrik Eklund (Million Dollar Listing: New York), along with his business partner John Gomes, debuted Mayaan AI real-estate expert, per The Hollywood Reporter. Eklund and Gomes joked that they are Maya's two dads as they give a demonstration of the interface, which is built on ChatGPT. Maya successfully answered most questions but struggled when asked what the biggest celebrity sale of 2023 was (Beyonce and Jay-Z's $200-million purchase of a Malibu spread).
Right-wing political commentator Candace Owens was reportedly suspended from YouTube following previous punishments for anti-LGBTQ+ comments, per PinkNews. In a video posted on The Daily Wire's YouTube channel, fellow podcast host Michael Knowles explained that he would be delivering the segment alone due to Owens' suspension. Knowles did not explain how long the suspension would last, or the exact reason for her being removed from the platform.
And Fox News contributor and retired wrestler George "Tyrus" Murdoch threatened to assault trans kids who swim in the same pool as his daughters, according to PinkNews. He made the comment on the Fox News' Gutfeld! that featured Riley Gaines, a former competitive swimmer and anti-trans activist who campaigns against the participation of trans women in women's sports. Murdoch then called trans athletes "just creepy men who can't compete," saying they "use the feelings of the left to support them because they want to win."
In Texas, Shaun J. Kellya former assistant director of the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airportfiled a lawsuit against the city of Brownsville, alleging he was fired for being gay, The Brownsville Herald noted. Kelly, who was suspended without pay on Oct. 25 and terminated on Nov. 15 following discussions with then-airport director Bryant Walker, "believes and will rebut" the city's stated reason for suspending him without pay and firing him as "false" and in violation of the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, according to the suit. In a statement, the city said it "did not treat Mr. Kelly any differently than any other similarly situated employee" and that "further, the city had legitimate, non-discriminatory, and non-retaliatory grounds for its actions against Mr. Kelly."
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg competed in the Ironman 70.3 triathlonand he received a lot of positive feedback on social media for achieving the feat, LGBTQ Nation noted. The endurance competition, a longtime goal for Buttigieg, involves a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run, for a total of 70.3 miles. "Pete for Pres, fittest candidate (mentally & physically) ever!" one TikTok user posted.
As Republican candidates look for their party's 2024 presidential nomination, GOP candidate Tim Scott's love life has come under scrutiny, per The Advocate. Scott appeared on Fox News and claimed the attention he's getting for not disclosing any relationships since taking office is because he's doing well in the polls. However, activist Keith Boykin said in a video on X (formerly Twitter), "The reason why top Republican donors are pushing you for details about your bachelor status is because they think you might be gay. They know a gay man can't win the Republican presidential nomination, and they want you to prove that you're not."
Baylor University settled a years-long federal lawsuit brought by 15 women who alleged they were sexually assaulted at the nation's biggest Baptist school, ESPN noted. The lawsuit, first filed in 2016, was one of several that were filed that alleged staff and administrators ignored or stifled reports from women who said they were assaulted on or near campus. The situation led to the removal of university president Ken Starrthe former prosecutor who led the investigation of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandaland football coach Art Briles.