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NATIONAL Stonewall march, lawsuits, electoral items
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 697 times since Mon Nov 9, 2020
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A peaceful "We Choose Freedom" march that started at the Stonewall Inn descended into violence as police arrested marchers for a second consecutive night on Nov. 5, reported. Multiple videos of the scuffles with police were broadcast live on social media, capturing the heightened tensions between the two groups. According to the New York Daily News, police arrested 19 protesters, including 13 men and six women, during the clashes.

Blaire McIntyre—a transgender woman who served in the Army and currently is in the Michigan National Guard—is suing Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan National Guard Adjutant General Paul Rogers, and the Michigan director of Military and Veteran Affairs regarding discharge for her gender identification, CBS Detroit reported, citing The Detroit Free Press. According to the Free Press, for her to keep her civilian job, she must keep her status with the Michigan National Guard. McIntyre filed the lawsuit in a Federal Court in Grand Rapids, claiming the policy that forces transgender service members to be discharged from the U.S. military is unconstitutional. This case is being reported as being significant as it challenges a policy change by President Donald Trump.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), along with co-counsel Cooley LLP and Osborn Maledon, P.A., filed a lawsuit challenging Arizona's requirement that transgender people undergo surgery before the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) will correct the sex listed on their birth certificate, an NCLR press release announced. That requirement excludes transgender youth from correcting their birth certificates, and the lawsuit alleges that Arizona's surgical requirement violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

LGBT+ candidates scored a series of historic wins in the U.S. elections, including Sarah McBride becoming the first openly transgender person to win a State Senate seat, Reuters reported. At least 117 of a record 574 LGBT+ candidates on the ballot had won at the time of publication, nine of them trans, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which backs LGBT+ candidates. Michele Rayner became the first Black openly LGBT+ woman to be elected to Florida's state legislature, while Shevrin Jones became the state's first Black LGBT+ state senator. Georgia got its first openly LGBT+ state legislator, Kim Jackson, who is a vicar at the Episcopal Church of the Common Ground, according to her campaign website.

San Diego voters elected the first LGBTQ mayor of one of the Golden State's largest cities after the commanding finish by gay Democratic state Assemblyman Todd Gloria in the Nov. 3 mayoral runoff race, according to the Bay Area Reporter. He will also become the first person of color elected to lead the Southern California city. In recent months, Gloria was met with a barrage of false accusations involving a purchase of a building for city offices that he voted for as well as his support of a state bill ending homophobic treatment of LGBTQ young adults faced with having to register as sex offenders.

Also, four out candidates in Puerto Rico won their races, South Florida Gay News reported. The winners were Ana Irma Rivera Lassen, Jorge Baez Pagan, Miguel "Ricky" Mendez and Edgardo Cruz Velez. Velez—a retired soldier who is also openly gay—won his write-in campaign for mayor of Guanica, a municipality on Puerto Rico's southwest coast; Lassen, a lesbian woman of African descent, was elected to the Puerto Rico Senate.

The LGBTQ non-profit organization Qweerty Gamers announced that Chloe Spencer and the development team of 'Drag Her!' are the first-ever recipients of its Victoria Kennedy Grant Program, a press release stated. The grant program, which was announced Sept. 14, provides monetary assistance to individuals who dedicate or would like to dedicate their time to video game production and remove short-term obstacles that may hinder their dedication (such as software fees and electricity bills). This grant program is dedicated to Victoria Anne Kennedy, group president Raymond Lancione's late mother who dedicated her life to the empowerment of children via an early start in education and who was a huge supporter of the LGBTQ community.

A group of transgender military aspirants and campaign groups insisted that one of President-Elect Joe Biden's first priorities must be to overturn a ban on new transgender personnel serving in the U.S. military, Reuters reported. Former President Barack Obama, in 2016, allowed trans people to serve openly and receive medical care to transition; however, in April 2019, Trump froze the recruitment of trans soldiers, although serving personnel could remain.

Nevada became the first state in the country to protect marriage equality in its constitution, reported. With the passage of Question 2 in this week's general election, the state amended a section of their constitution that had previously defined marriage as existing only between a man and a woman. A federal appeals court eventually found the state's ban on marriage equality was unconstitutional, but the offending language remained on the books until Nov. 3.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has thrown its weight behind a campaign seeking the U.S. Postal Service to issue stamps honoring three deceased drag icons who have become heroic figures within the LGBTQ community—becoming the first elected body to officially endorse the postage effort, The Bay Area Reporter noted. At its Oct. 27 meeting, the board unanimously adopted a resolution authored by gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman in support of seeing stamps featuring Jose Julio Sarria, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. They would be the first such stamps issued in honor of drag performers.

A new advertisement from Etsy features a Black gay couple named Brandon and David, Instinct Magazine noted. In preparation for the holiday season, the e-commerce company Etsy has released a new campaign called "Gift Like You Mean It." The campaign celebrates love, family acceptance and, of course, presents.

In Pennsylvania, a pro-LGBTQ ordinance has moved forward, Gettysburg Connection reported. In late October, after discussing issues related to wording of gender-related categories in the anti-discrimination ordinance they have been working on for several months, the council moved it forward for publication with the expectation of a vote at a December meeting of the council. Assuming the council passes the ordinance, it will likely become effective that day.

Beyonce officially declared her support for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Instagram a day before the 2020 election, Page Six noted. The pop star posted a Boomerang clip of herself in a head-to-toe Balmain ensemble with a Biden and Harris mask and "I voted" sticker — which she placed atop her hat."Come thru, Texas! #vote," wrote the singer, who has 155 million followers.

Anderson Cooper apologized for calling President Trump "an obese turtle," The New York Post noted. After Trump gave an angry speech claiming that non-evidenced election fraud was behind his lacking in electoral votes, Cooper said (while live on CNN), "That is the president of the United States. That is the most powerful person in the world. And we see him like an obese turtle on his back flailing in the hot sun, realizing his time is over." On Nov. 7, after Joe Biden had been declared the winner of the presidential race, Cooper apologized for the remarks during an interview with Andrew Yang.

Lady Gaga's dad tweeted his support of Donald Trump—two days after the president slammed his daughter for supporting Joe Biden, Page Six revealed. The superstar's father, Joe Germanotta, voiced his support on Election Day, tersely tweeting "@realDonaldTrump." About an hour later, Germanotta tweeted, cryptically, "You may have noticed my political and spiritual beliefs are different. liberty and freedom of choice would not be political."

One thing was immediately clear after Election Day: Kanye West did not emerge the winner after entering the presidential race late in the game, Extra noted. People Magazine reported the rapper did garner about 60,000 votes in the 12 states where he did appear on the ballot. West hinted he will run again, dropping a "KANYE 2024" tweet.

Twitter permanently suspended an account belonging to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon after he suggested that Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded, reported. His comments were made in a video posted to his Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts. Bannon falsely claimed President Trump had won reelection, despite several key states still being too close to call, and said that he should fire both Fauci and Wray.

This article shared 697 times since Mon Nov 9, 2020
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