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NATIONAL amfAR gala, VAWA, censorship bill, gay polo, Living Out Palm Springs
by Andrew Davis
2022-03-13

This article shared 1052 times since Sun Mar 13, 2022
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On March 5, Amy and John Phelan opened the doors of their 16,958-square-foot home to celebrate the inaugural Palm Beach edition of the amfAR Gala, Vogue noted. Sylvester Stallone talked about Tommy Hilfiger's philanthropic work before presenting the designer as the evening's honoree. Performers included Christina Aguilera, who sang a medley of her hits; and Parson James. (Attendees included Jay Ellis, Phill Wilson and Karolina Kurkova.) Among the auctioned items was a triple canvas work by Harland Miller with the words "amour, amour, and more amour" that went for a cool $500,000; 100% of the proceeds—which amounted to $5.3 million, according to a press release—from the entire night will go directly to amfAR.

National LGBTQ Task Force Policy Director Liz Seaton responded to President Joe Biden signing the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). In a press release, Seaton said, "From 2013 to 2019 when VAWA expired, it has prohibited discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation and gender identity by those providing help to victims. While it does so much more, this Act creates the first grant program dedicated to expanding and developing initiatives specifically for LGBTQ domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. … We must note that the omnibus package includes the unjust Hyde Amendment. It bars federal funding to cover most abortions, undermining reproductive justice and the bodily integrity of women and LGBTQ folx. This is especially true for especially Black and Brown people, people dependent for their health and survival on federal monies, and people living in poverty."

The South Dakota Senate passed House Bill 1012, a curriculum censorship bill that was authored and submitted to the legislature by South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, per a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) press release. The bill now heads to Noem's desk for signature. HRC State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley said, "HB 1012 sanitizes information and truth in school curriculums and does not equip students with the critical thinking skills needed to succeed. The bill forces self-censorship with educators and is an effort to erase and marginalize Indigenous history, LGBTQ+ education, and other oppressed voices in and outside of the classroom."

The International Gay Polo Tournament will return to The International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida, on April 6-10, per Passport Magazine. Founded in 2006 by Chip McKenney, the event has grown in popularity, creativity and impact, with nearly 3,000 players, attendees and merrymakers from around the world attending the event annually. The 2022 event will benefit OnePULSE Foundation, an organization born after the tragic events that unfolded at Pulse Nightclub, where 49 people lost their lives in 2016.

Living Out Palm Springs—an adult community for LGBTQ+ seniors and their allies 55+—is slated to open in spring 2023, a press release noted. Similar LGBTQ+ senior developments will soon be available across the United States. Reservations for leasing have just become available; visit livingout.com/reservation-request/ .

Fort Lauderdale's first gay police chief has been fired after six months on the job, per out.com . Larry Scirotto was sacked by City Manager Chris Lagerbloom; Scirotto had been under investigation following complaints that he hired and promoted individuals by what the station called an "improper minority-first approach." "Many believed that Chief Scirotto made clear his intention to promote, based on race, gender or sexual orientation," Lagerbloom told WTVJ. The former police chief told CNN that the complaint filed against him was "vague on the facts," saying he had promoted 15 people from August to November—and six of them were ethnic or gender minorities.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and 60+ businesses released a sign-on letter, published as a full page add in the Dallas Morning News, calling on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and public leaders across the country to abandon anti-LGBTQ+ efforts to write discrimination into law and policy, an organizational press release noted. Apple, Capital One, Google, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Meta, Microsoft, Salesforce and Unilever were among the businesses that signed the open letter condemning hateful attacks from Texas elected leaders and led by Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton. Recently, Abbott and Paxton "took unprecedented steps to prevent transgender youth from accessing best-practice, age-appropriate, medically-necessary, gender-affirming care," HRC stated.

Apple Chief Executive Office Tim Cook raised concern over LGBTQ laws in the United States—mainly those focused on young people that opponents refer to as "don't say gay" legislation, Reuters noted. "As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, I am deeply concerned about laws being enacted across the country, particularly those focused on our vulnerable youth," Cook tweeted.

The New Jersey Supreme Court declined an appeal by Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) and its founders Arthur Goldberg and Elaine Berk—the conversion therapy providers who were barred from promoting and making referrals for fraudulent conversion therapy services in 2015, an SPLC press release noted. SPLC Interim Deputy Legal Director of LGBTQ Rights & Special Litigation Scott McCoy said, "We applaud the New Jersey Supreme Court for reaffirming Superior Court Judge Peter F. Bariso Jr.'s order enforcing the permanent injunction and settlement agreement. We are pleased that this decision will continue to help protect vulnerable people and families against those who look to push the harmful and ineffective so-called gay-to-straight conversion therapy sham."

One of New York's largest LGBTQ non-profits has lost $10 million in state funding after an investigation, first revealed by The New York Post, found it was mishandling the millions in taxpayer dollars it received each year. The LGBT Network of Long Island, helmed by prominent gay activist David Kilmnick, lost seven contracts with the state Department of Health following an investigation that began in 2019. In response, Kilmnick denied the non-profit is losing $10 million in funding and said the amount is only $1 million.

The principal at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia, announced that the school's cybersecurity team shut down an Instagram account created by one of the school's students who used it to "harass and bully" LGBTQ students at the school, The Washington Blade noted. Principal Daniel W. Smith's announcement came hours after the Pride Liberation Project, an LGBTQ group operated by students in the Fairfax County Public Schools, issued a press release reporting that the Instagram site appeared one day earlier, on March 7.

Emilio Delgado, an actor who appeared on Sesame Street for more than 40 years, has died at 81 after battling cancer, per The Hollywood Reporter. Delgado, an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, had recently joined the board of directors of the Princeton, New Jersey-based Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice (BRCSJ)—a community activist center, educational bridge and dedicated safe space named after the late gay Black advocate—a press release noted. Delgado had said, "I am so very inspired by the mission and community-building of the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice [as well as] how the diversity and cooperation that Sesame Street built is now being carried forth into the future by the good works of the BRCSJ."

Cindy Parlow Cone won re-election as U.S. Soccer Federation president, fending off a challenge from predecessor Carlos Cordeiro, ESPN noted. Cone won 52.9% of the weighted vote from the USSF's National Council, and will now serve a new, four-year term that will expire in 2026—just a few months before the U.S. will co-host that year's World Cup with Canada and Mexico. The recent vote was the closest final ballot in U.S. Soccer history.

Kelcy Warren, the Dallas pipeline tycoon and top donor to anti-LGBTQ Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, is suing Abbott's Democratic challenger, Beto O'Rourke, over his criticism of the windfall profits that Warren's company made after the 2021 winter storm, The Texas Tribune reported. O'Rourke said Warren is alleging defamation and trying to "use his billions of dollars to try to shut me down and shut us up from telling the story of what happened to the people of Texas." "We are not backing down," O'Rourke responded, calling the lawsuit "frivolous."

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-North Carolina, called Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky a "thug" at a campaign event, Yahoo! News noted. "Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and is incredibly evil and has been pushing woke ideologies," Cawthorne added. Cawthorn's statement is a deviation from mainstream Republican support of Zelensky and the Ukrainian people as they defend themselves against the Russian invasion, but it echoes comments made at the first impeachment trial of then-President Donald Trump.

Speaking of Trump, the former president described how he likes to play the Village People's song "YMCA" during parties at his Mar—a-Lago resort, as what he called the "gay national anthem" always proves to be a hit, per Newsweek. "'YMCA,' the gay national anthem. Did you ever hear that? They call it the gay national anthem," he said. "But 'YMCA' gets people up and it gets them moving." Trump added that his choice of song to follow the 1978 disco hit is "maybe" Sam & Dave's 1966 track "Hold On, I'm Comin.'"


This article shared 1052 times since Sun Mar 13, 2022
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