LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, announced Sean Meloy's return as vice president of political programsa role he held for more than four years until announcing his run for Congress last fall, a press release stated. Marty Rouse, who led the political team during Meloy's campaign, has been named senior director of outreach and engagement. "Sean and Marty are natural leaders with tremendous political acumen that has helped countless LGBTQ candidates win. Their continued leadership and experience will be instrumental as Victory Fund continues to expand its impact," said LGBTQ Victory Fund President & CEO Mayor Annise Parker.
Recently, Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed three bills that allow for insurance coverage in gender-affirming treatment, jury participation and the establishment of a state LGBTQ+ commission, South Florida Gay News reported. "My hope is that we send a strong message across the nation that while some states are looking backward, Hawaii will continue to move forward," said state Rep. Adrian Tam (D-Waikiki), the state's only openly gay legislator. Tam won his election by defeating the leader of Hawaii's Proud Boys chapter.
Despite the fact that the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas outlawed laws banning sodomy, there are still 14 states with anti-sodomy laws in their books, according to Out Magazine. For example, Florida's "unnatural and lascivious act" ban is still on the books and makes non-reproductive sex acts a second-degree misdemeanor. Some of the other states with such laws include Kansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas.
Jonathan Mitchellthe former Texas solicitor general who helped write Senate Bill 8, the restrictive abortion lawis now targeting PrEP access, among other things, The Advocate reported. Mitchell (who has a one-person law firm in Austin) now has set his sights on Descovy and Truvadatwo medications that help prevent HIV transmission when taken as PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxisbecause those medications enable same-sex behavior, a suit states. In the case Kelley v. the United States of America, filed in federal court in 2020, Mitchell represents several clients who object to the Affordable Care Act's mandate that insurance providers cover, among other things, preventive medications specifically for PrEP.
The National Black Justice Coalition commemorated International Non-Binary People's Day through a press release. Executive Director Dr. David J. Johns said, "Non-binary people have existed throughout human history. The cultural boom of they, them, and their pronouns is just one indication that the tides are finally turning against a pervasive and polarizing society where oppression is buttressed by myths that there have always been only two genders. Perpetuating a rigid and oppressive gender dichotomy has not stopped the emergence of the genderqueer revolution, nor will it. Gender is a construct. Its significance changes from nation to nation, state to state, and town to town. The more we force people to fit into constrictive stereotypes regarding 'manhood' and 'womanhood,' the more non-binary people and our allies will highlight how these constructs are designed to oppress and marginalize members of our beautifully diverse community."
A law professor called out Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) for his "transphobic line of questioning" during a hearing over abortion rights, PinkNews noted. An exchange between University of California-Berkeley law professor Khiara Bridges, who was a witness, and Hawley caught the attention of many people as Bridges accused Hawley of excluding transgender people from the conversation of abortion rights. "Many cis women have the capacity for pregnancy, many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy," Bridges explained at one point. "There are also trans men who are capable of pregnancy as well as non-binary people who are capable of pregnancy."
The man in Florida facing up to 100 years in prison for allegedly distributing more than $230 million worth of adulterated and misbranded HIV medication was released on bail just in time to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Plus Magazine noted. Lazaro Hernandez, 51, of Miami, was arrested in June and charged with the illegal acquisition of "large quantities of HIV medication" which he and his alleged co-conspirators then repackaged to appear authentic. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman, who is overseeing the case, agreed with Seitles and granted the $1.4-million bond; Hernandez was released June 30.
The NIH Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO) will host the annual Sexual & Gender Minority Research Investigator Awards Program on Sept. 15, 1-3 p.m. ET, via WebEx Events, a press release noted. Dr. Ilan H. Meyer will receive the Distinguished Investigator Award, while Dr. Ana María del Río-Gonzalez and Dr. Jessica Fish will receive the Early-Stage Investigator Awards. This event is free and open to the public, and registration is required to attend. See https://dpcpsi.nih.gov/sgmro/SGM-investigator-awards-program.
A proposed logo for the Montana State Library was rejected (by a vote of four to three) because several members of the commission that oversees the library thought that it resembled a Pride symbol, LGBTQ Nation noted. Advertising agency Hoffman York, which created the logo, said it was worried that people would think the logo is a Pride symbol so colors were muted "to avoid the suggestion of it being some sort of Pride mark." Also, the logo only has four stripes, whereas the rainbow flag has more.
During a recent appearance onstage at an event in Nevada at Harveys Lake Tahoe Hotel, former NBA superstar Charles Barkley told a gathered crowd that he loved gay and transgender people and what to tell them if anybody gave them a problem, according to AL.com . "I want to say this. If you're gay or transgender, I love you. And if anyone gives you any s—-, tell 'em Charles says f—- you," Barkley said, which earned him cheers and applause. Barkley made the remarks at the hotel while he was in town for the 2022 American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament.
In Connecticut, a group of mothersincluding a "Christian taxpayer"was upset over the town library's Pride book display and demanded the materials be burned, according to LGBTQ Nation. Booth & Dimock Memorial Library Director Margaret Khan said the incident happened June 22, when one of the mothers removed the books from the display and the group carried them to the front desk to complain. While police were not called during the incident, Town Manager John Elsesser said if something similar happens again, library staff should do so.
Philadelphia city officials want the public to contribute to the theme of a permanent Harriet Tubman statue; however, they're being called out for not relying enough on the opinions of Black artists and historians ahead of its commissioning, according to The Grio. Philly residents were asked to respond to a public opinion survey by July 13, but according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, some area artists feel cheated since Wesley Wofford was given the project outright without city officials requesting sketches or ideas from other creators. Wofford sculpted a mobile statue, "Harriet Tubman: The Journey to Freedom," that was previously on display at Philadelphia City Hill.
Ivana Trump, the first wife of former President Donald Trump, died after falling down the stairs inside her New York City home, per Page Six, confirming her autopsy was completed and that her death was ruled accidental. The fall caused "blunt impact injuries" to her torso, the New York City Medical Examiner's Office said. Donald was Ivana's second of four husbands, whom she divorced in 1992 amid news of the businessman's affair with Marla Maples.