The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) recognized the 51st anniversary of Title IXthe groundbreaking 1972 law passed to protect individuals from discrimination in education on the basis of their sex. In a statement, HRC President Kelley Robinson said, "For those feeling listless under the weight of the continued fight for justice, now is not the time to lose momentum, but to sound the rally cry louder than ever. The sea change that this law created for millions of American womenincluding LGBTQ+ womencannot be overstated. Title IX was and remains a groundbreaking step forward to ensure equal opportunity in education, but its legacy and its spirit are under attack."
On the 51st anniversary of the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) and partner organizations submitted a letter to President Biden expressing disappointment in the recent announcement that the release of the Department of Education's finalized Title IX regulations has been delayed from May to October, per a media release. They urge Biden's administration to finalize its Title IX rule before the 2023-24 school year so that students are not denied equal access to education any longer.
A federal judge in Orlando temporarily blocked a Florida anti-drag law, The Advocate reported. That was the second major loss in court for Gov. Ron DeSantis in a week, coming days after another judge struck down the state's ban on Medicaid coverage of gender-affirming care. U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell ruled against the drag ban after owners of restaurant Hamburger Mary's sued the state; the restaurant, which has locations around Florida, said the law regarding live entertainment threatened a weekly event featuring drag queens.
Several organizationsLGBTQ+ Victory Fund, Human Rights Campaign PAC, Equality PAC, LPAC and National Center for Transgender Equality Action Fundannounced their day-one endorsement of Delaware state Sen. Sarah McBride for Delaware's At-Large Congressional seat, according to a Victory Fund press release. McBride previously made history in 2020, when the former LGBTQ+ Victory Fund intern became the nation's first out trans state senator. McBride would be the first trans member of the U.S. Congress in history.
Thousands of marchers with signs and artistic banners assembled at NYC's Foley Square on June 25 for the Reclaim Pride Coalition's rally and Queer Liberation March through the streets of lower Manhattan, Gay City News reported. The Queer Liberation March launched in 2019 as an alternative, grassroots-driven event that sought to disavow the corporate and police presence at the march. Qween Jeana prominent activist who has spearheaded many trans-rights demonstrations around the citywas one of the leaders of this year's Queer Liberation March.
On the heels of National HIV Testing Day, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation announced the expansion of the first-ever nationwide HIV self-testing initiative, Wellness in Action, per a press release. CVS Health will support the initiative by helping fund and distribute 3,000 self-testing kits1 to specific community-based partners over the year, centered around reaching communities disproportionately impacted by HIV.
Google backed away from a company-promoted Pride Month drag performance after a group of a few hundred employees claimed it was anti-Christian, USA Today noted. The employees signed a petition accusing the company of religious discrimination for promoting a "Pride and Drag Show" featuring performer Peaches Christ' at San Francisco LGBTQ+ bar Beaux. Googleone of the corporate sponsors of Pride events in San Francisco each yearremoved the performance from an internal events page and encouraged employees to attend a social gathering in the office instead.
Alabama resident Sabronte Rhodes was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murdering Johnny Soekhies, who he met on a gay dating app, per The Advocate. Soekhies' body was found in a ditch in a partially developed subdivision in Mobilewith a gunshot wound to the headon Oct. 25, 2019. Rhodes used Grindr to arrange a date with Soekhies in order to rob him but killed him instead. Rhodes faces more charges, including allegations that he stabbed an inmate while in custody.
Republican Ohio state Rep. Scott Wiggam will not face charges after being accused of assaulting an LGBTQ+ protester, The Advocate reported. Wiggam was caught on video June 14 shoving a protester who was lawfully demonstrating in favor of LGBTQ+ rights. Christopher Conomy could be seen hitting a drum with the transgender flag while standing on a public sidewalk, leaving space for pedestrians, as Ohio lawmakers debated the anti-trans House Bill 68.
The North Carolina Senate passed a bill that would ban the initiation of all gender-affirming medical care for transgender people under the age of 18, including puberty blockers, gender-affirming hormone therapy and surgery, according to a joint release from Equality NC and the Campaign for Southern Equality. Campaign for Southern Equality Impact Coordinator Lore Lane (they/them) said, "As someone who relies on gender-affirming care, my heart is breaking and quite frankly, full of righteous anger, watching the NCGA ram through legislation that would block transgender youth from being able to access this care. … I hope lawmakers know that passing HB808 won't stop families from doing what they need to do. It won't stop trans youth from being trans. And it won't change the fact that our bodies are our own." The bill now returns to the NC House.
First Lady Jill Biden attended at least two Pride events last weekend. According to WPLN, she showed up at Nashville Pride, arriving at Bicentennial Mall for a brief talk from the Equality Main Stage at the festival while Mayor John Cooper accompanied her. And in Minnesota, Biden made a quick stop at Twin Cities Pride Festival to check out the festivities and show support, taking the stage with U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, per CBS News.
San Diego County Superior Court Judge David Rubin was confirmed and sworn in as an associate justice of the state's Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One, per The Bay Area Reporter. Rubin, who obtained his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law, has served on his Superior Court bench since 2007. Before he became a judge, he was a deputy district attorney at the San Diego County district attorney's office.
Boston gay activist Prescott Townsend is being recognized with a National Park Service tour of his neighborhood, The Advocate noted. Townsend spent most of his life in Boston's Beacon Hill area; he lived from 1894 to 1973 and attended New York City's first Pride parade in 1970. He came out as a teenager, and his parents were accepting but told him to be cautious, park ranger Meaghan Michel said on the tour, according to Boston public-radio station GBH. Although the first Townsend tour recently took place, a schedule hasn't been solidified for future tours.
Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis asked a federal court to dismiss The Walt Disney Co.'s lawsuit against him, claiming it's illegal retaliation over a political dispute, according to ABC News. "Neither the Governor nor the Secretary [of Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity] enforce any of the laws at issue, so Disney lacks standing to sue them," DeSantis' attorneys wrote. DeSantis and Disney have been at odds since 2022, after the company publicly criticized the Parental Rights in Education Law (aka the "Don't Say Gay" statute), which restricts content concerning sexual orientation and gender identity in some K-12 classrooms.
Dr. Anthony Fauci was among those delivering remarks at a June 26 memorial for Larry Kramer at the Lucille Lortel Theater, where friends and loved ones gathered to remember the late AIDS-rights activist, playwright and author, according to Gay City News. "Despite his confrontationalism, he had a pure, unselfish goal," Fauci saidalerting people to "the seriousness of the epidemic." A few of the others who spoke included playwright Tony Kushner; actress Tonya Pinkins; actor/playwright/singer John Cameron Mitchell; activists Peter Staley, Ann Northrop and Eric Sawyer; and Kramer's husband, David Webster.
Former CNN journalist Don Lemon talked with Rudy Williams of Memphis' ABC affiliate about his ex-employer, among other things, The Advocate noted. "In order to fulfill the promise of the Constitution [journalists] have to stand up for what is right, we have to stand up for the truth," Lemon told Williams. "I don't believe in platforming liars and bigots and, you know, insurrectionists and election deniers and putting them on the same footing as people who are telling the truth." (Now-fired CNN boss Chris Licht tried to entice Republicans to watch the network by highlighting more conservative voices and opinions.) Lemon was in town to speak at an NAACP event.
A decade after coming out, coach Anthony Nicodemo is urging activists to "push back" against the current tidal wave of anti-LGBTQ laws and "stay engaged" in politics, Gay City News noted. In 2013, Nicodemo, who was a boys' basketball coach at Saunders Trades and Technical High School in Yonkers, came out as gay in an exclusive interview in Outsports, saying then-NBA star Jason Collins doing the same inspired him, in part. Nicodemo has been the athletic director and boys' basketball coach at the Greenburgh-North Castle School District since 2019and it is believed he remains the first openly gay boys' high school basketball coach in the New York City metropolitan area.
Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi will headline a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego, who is running for the Senate seat currently held by bisexual Independent U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, The Advocate noted, citing NBC News. Sinema has not announced if she is running for re-election in 2024.
The Advocate reported that flyers with the name and phone numbers of the KKK group that participated in the 2017 Unite the Right were found in neighborhoods in Charlottesville, Virginia. The flyerssporting offensive and anti-LGBTQ+ languageprotested an unauthorized video showing a Pride celebration at the local Johnson Elementary School, where students could be seen reading from the Louis Stowell book ABC Pride. The documents are reportedly the work of a North Carolina KKK group known as the Loyal White Knights of the KKK; the group participated in the 2017 Unite the Right rally.
Trans Republican Caitlyn Jenner and disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong are launching a podcast on the "fairness" of trans athletes competing in sports, according to PinkNews. The former professional cyclist announced the start of the series,The Forward, in a string of tweets and a video. Since coming out as trans in 2015, Jennerwho works as a contributor for Fox Newshas repeatedly attacked the trans community.
Recently, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) badgered the Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson at a Senate hearing focused on LGBTQ+ rights, according to LGBTQ Nation. The verbal sparring happened at the Senate's "Protecting Pride: Defending the Civil Rights of LGBTQ+ Americans" hearing and was directed atRobinson, among other LGBTQ+ advocates and individuals. "Is there a difference between women and men?" Cruz repeatedly askedbut Robinson refused to answer.
Minnesota state Sen. Eric Lucero made the bizarre claim on Twitter that the world will be destroyed by fire as divine retribution for Pride Month, per The Advocate. "Our Creator hates PRIDE and each of us as the creation will be held to account for our choices, eventually," Lucero posted. "The 7-color natural rainbow is a reminder of His promise to never again enact worldwide judgment by WATER. The next worldwide judgment will be by FIRE." Lucero received a lot of blowback for his comments, with one person writing, "Hell hath no fury like the angel of mercy when presented with a bigot who masquerades as a Christian."
Jesse Watters has succeeded Tucker Carlson on Fox Newsbut the newcomer has his own history of racism and transphobia, per The Advocate. For example, last year, Watters "railed against trans athletes," according to the Los Angeles Blade, and then hosted South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, congratulating her on signing a bill that banned trans students from playing sports. Also, during his "Watters World" segments on Bill O'Reilly's show, Watters attended Pride events and asked attendees if he could have a "straight Pride" and queried people on the street if certain individuals "dressed gay."
Buffalo Bills safety Jordan Poyer canceled his annual golf charity event at the Blue Monster at Trump National in Doral, Florida, next month, USA Today noted. Poyer cited that the event had to be rescheduled until next year because teams and sponsors pulled out of the event due to its location.