A Texas regulatory board reinstated protections that bar social workers from refusing services to LGBTQ people and people with disabilities, NBC News reported. The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council, or BHEC, on Tuesday unanimously reversed an Oct. 12 decision made by the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners, which had stripped language from its code of conduct that protected clients from being turned away on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott had recommended that the board remove the nondiscrimination language, suggesting that it went beyond the state's current policy.
In honor of Intersex Awareness Day (Oct. 26), the National Institutes of Health released a new Snapshot of the NIH FY 2018 SGM (Sexual and Gender Minority) Portfolio Analysis Snapshot Series: DSD & Intersex Research Portfolio, a press release announced. This Snapshot Series was developed to provide additional analyses of the NIH FY 2018 SGM Research Portfolio specific to certain SGM subpopulations. The SGM analysis is at https://dpcpsi.nih.gov/sites/default/files/SGMRO_SnapshotDSD-Intersex_508.pdf.
The Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights issued a press release noting the 11th anniversary of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The release stated that the act, "signed by President Barack Obama 11 years ago this month, was a milestone hate crime law [that] increased the jurisdiction of the FBI and Department of Justice to investigate bias-motivated violence targeting vulnerable individuals, and added gender and gender-identity based violence to the list of hate crimes." "Every October, in addition to mourning the loss of Matt, we are also grateful and hopeful to mark the passage of the federal hate crime law named for him and for Mr. Byrd," said Judy Shepard, Matthew's mother as well as board chair and co-founder of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
Leanza Cornettwho was Miss America in 1993 and later a TV hostdied at 49 from injuries sustained from a fall at her Florida home, ABC News reported. Cornett was the first Miss America to make AIDS awareness her platform, the Florida Times-Union reported. She had been Miss Florida in 1992. AID Atlanta tweeted, "We mourn the loss of @LeanzaCornett, 1971-2020. As @MissAmerica 1993, she was the first to adopt #AIDS awareness and prevention as her platform. Early on, she emceed @aidswalkatlanta5k & remained an advocate. May her memory be a blessing."
Angel Haynes, a Black trans woman and Tennessee resident, took an overnight trip to Memphisand became at least the 32nd transgender or gender non-conforming person to be murdered or die violently in this calendar year, LGBTQ Nation reported. A mix of one-night guests and temporary residents at the hotel took notice of a commotion that night, with one guest describing their experience to WREG, the local CBS affiliate, with the outlet saying, "Another guest … described seeing the victim's lifeless body, moments before emergency crews arrived. He went on to say this was something he will not soon forget." Friend Shinese Weddle suspects that Haynes' trans identity might be part of it, and that it's likely that someone could harm her "just because she was the way she was."
The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) announced it will host its The Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS: VIRTUAL broadcast on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, a press release noted. The one-hour broadcast event will be filled with friends of Elizabeth Taylor and her namesake foundation with messages to remember her courage, and to celebrate the accomplishments in the care for people living with or at risk for HIV. Supermodel-turned-mogul Kathy Ireland, ETAF ambassador and one of Taylor's dearest friends, will host the broadcast; Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Cookie Johnson will present the inaugural Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award to Gilead Sciences, Inc. The Host Committee includes former President Bill Clinton, Dr. Gabriel Chiu and Christine Chiu, Colin Farrell, Aileen Getty, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Kathy Ireland, Sir Elton John and David Furnish, the Johnson, Elizabeth Segerstrom and Barbra Streisand.
A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds differences between LGB Republicans and Democrats in how they view their sexual identity and how they connect to the LGBT community, according to a press release from the school. Compared to LGB Democrats, fewer LGB Republicans say they feel a part of the LGBT community and view participation in the community as a positive thing. In addition, more LGB Republicans than Democrats say they would want to be completely heterosexual (41% vs. 17%, respectively) and being LGB is a personal shortcoming (38% vs. 16%, respectively). The full brief is at williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/publications/lgb-party-affiliation/ .
An out gay lawmaker fled his home with his husband after receiving threatening and homophobic phone messages, LGBTQ Nation reported. "I have no idea how I can keep my family safe right now other than leave," New Mexico state Sen. Jacob Candelaria (D) told the Washington Post. "They do not have the right to make death threats like this and have it go unaccountable." Candelaria started receiving messages when he made statements in favor of COVID-19 precautions taken by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D).
In Missouri, LGBTQ couples flocked to St. Louis City Hall to get married before far-right Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed, LGBTQ Nation reported. Fear has spread through the queer community about what Coney Barrett's perch on the Court will mean for LGBTQ rights, but Lot's Wife Pastor Tori Jameson struggled with how to respond. Jameson decided to offer free wedding ceremonies to any lovebirds who wanted to take them up on the offer "while we still have the chance."
Tenacious D teamed with former Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren for a version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show number "Time Warp" that encourages voters to make a "jump to the left," LGBTQ Nation noted. George Takei, John Waters, Susan Sarandon, Sarah Silverman, Jamie Lee Curtis and other celebrities also join in the fun. The video was part of the Rock The Vote effort that encourages young people to participate in elections.
In the District of Columbia, the election campaign signs for two lesbians running for Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) seats in the Logan Circle area and a gay man running for a Dupont Circle area ANC seat were repeatedly pulled down or damagedwhile signs for other candidates in the same locations were left alone, The Washington Blade reported. Alexandra Bailey, who's running for the Logan Circle ANC seat 2F08; Rehana Mohammed, who's running for the seat in nearby ANC 2F07; and Kyle Mulhall, a candidate for the Dupont Circle area ANC 2B09 each said their respective campaign signs were pulled down and sometimes ripped into shreds.
NBC News ran a profile of openly gay Republican state House member Dan Zwonitzer, who has successfully orchestrated efforts to defeat at least six anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in the Wyoming legislaturemany of which would have set limits on same-sex marriages. In fact, Wyoming, considered one of the most conservative states, has not passed any anti-LGBTQ legislation since a statute against same-sex marriage in 1977, according to fellow Rep. Sara Burlingame, a Democrat, who is the executive director of Wyoming Equality, a statewide LGBTQ advocacy group. Zwonitzerwhose district includes parts of Laramie County and the capital, Cheyennebecame the youngest person in state history to join the legislature when he ousted incumbent Edward R. Prosser, a Republican, in 2005.