Gay City News reported that an individual who the NYPD said was fatally stabbed at a Bronx apartment building on July 26 was a Black transgender woman, according to Princess Janae Place, an organization that supports homeless LGBTQ adults in the Tri-state area. Tiffany Harris was found unconscious with stab wounds; she was subsequently transferred to Saint Barnabas hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. The NYPD initially reported it had discovered an "unconscious and unidentified female," but later identified that same person as a male. Asked to explain that discrepancy, a police spokesperson said only, "That's what we're going to go with now until we finish our investigation."
Also, Black trans woman Queasha D. Hardy, 24, was gunned down in broad daylight in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Out.com noted. She was found lying in the street suffering from multiple gunshot wounds; she died at the scene. The Advocatea Baton Rouge newspaper that is not related to the famed LGBTQ+ publicationinitially identified her as male, but several friends told reporters she was a trans woman.
In response to the murders of Brian "Egypt" Powers, a Black transgender man in Akron, Ohio; and Tiffany Harris, a Black transgender woman in the Bronx, National Black Justice Coalition Executive Director David J. Johns released a statement. In part, Johns said, "While the national focus on the effort to ensure #AllBlackLivesMatter shifts to the upcoming presidential election and the unrelenting pressures associated with COVID-19, Black trans people are still being murdered. There is not enough attention being paid to the damage that racism, anti-Blackness, and transphobia continue to have and this must end."
A GLAAD survey of attitudes toward HIV and people living with HIV has yielded mixed results, Out.com reported. While 88 percent of those surveyed noted that others were quick to judge people living with HIV, 59 percent also said it was "important to be careful around people living with HIV to avoid catching it." Barely half of those who responded felt knowledgeable about HIV. GLAAD said in a statement, "Despite making significant progress towards ending the epidemic, a majority of the public feels uncomfortable, uninformed, and concerned about HIV and people living with it." GLAAD conducted the State of HIV Stigma Study online November and December 2019, from a national sample of 2,506 U.S. adults, aged 18 and older.
A Trevor Project survey indicated that one in four LGBTQ+ youth uses pronouns other than he/him and she/her, PinkNews noted. The research found that almost two thirds of LGBT+ youth who use pronouns outside the binary use a combination of he/him, she/her and they/them. The Trevor Project surveyed 40,000 LGBT+ young people ages 13-24, asking them: "Which pronouns do you currently use? Please select all that apply."
The book Trans Care, by Hil Malatino, will be out in September courtesy of University of Minnesota Press, a press release noted. The 90-page guide is described as "a critical intervention in the ways that care labor and care ethics have heretofore been thought, arguing that dominant modes of conceiving and critiquing the politics and distribution of care entrench normative and cis-centric familial structures and gendered arrangements."
In San Francisco, a controversial Castro District gay bar that served patrons for decades has closed for good, Eater San Francisco noted, citing SFist.com. The 18th Street nightclub Badlands announced that it will not reopen when bars without food are allowed to do so. The bar, which began as a brunch and dinner spot in 1975, was transformed into a dance club in 2000 by new owner Les Natali, who, for decades, has faced allegations of racial intolerance and discrimination, the Bay Area Reporter reported.
Popular Harlem gay bar Alibi Lounge was broken into and robbed, ABC7NY.com reported. A 28-year-old man reported the incident to police after he received a notification of an alarm; he discovered damage to the front door of the bar and found $380 stolen from the register. Last year, the bar was the target of a hate crime in which two rainbow flags were set on fire outside the club ahead of Pride Month.
A fundraiser aiming to keep Club Feathers, New Jersey's oldest gay nightclub, from shutting its doors has reached $45,000but the club isn't out of the woods quite yet, NorthJersey.com reported. Club owner Paul Binetti said that in order to keep Club Feathers' doors open, the nightclub needs to reach $75,000 by mid-August. The amount raised so far covers back rent from when the nightclub was closed in March, before outdoor dining was permitted.
Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott announced that she has made a major gift to the National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) as part of her promise to give away a majority of her wealth through the Giving Pledge, a press release announced. The charitable donation to NCLRwhich was chosen because of "transformative work" she said the organization has done in the area of LGBTQ+ equitycomes in the form of an impact grant. Scott said that she had made major gifts to 116 organizations who are "driving change," covering a range of issues including racial, LGBTQ+ and gender equity, economic mobility, functional democracy, public health, global development and climate change. Scott was married to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and Blue Origin, from 1993 to 2019, Advocate.com noted.
The hearse carrying the late civil-rights legend U.S. Rep. John Lewis ( D-Georgia ) stopped by Atlanta's rainbow crosswalks ( at 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue ) in remembrance of his embrace of LGBTQ equality, LGBTQ Nation noted. A crowd had gathered at that intersection to applaud and honor the stalwartand earlysupporter of LGBTQ rights. In 1996, more than a decade before LGBTQ rights would get support from mainstream Democrats, Rep. Lewis gave an impassioned speech on the House floor opposing the Defense of Marriage Act ( DOMA ), which banned the federal government from recognizing marriage equality.
The Black AIDS Institute ( BAI ) welcomed Rev. Rob Newells as the organization's new director of national programs, a press release announced. The Oakland native and associate minister of the Imani Community Church is leaving his role as the executive director of AIDS Project of the East Bay to oversee BAI's national array of capacity building, policy, organizing and mobilization programs, including the Black Treatment Advocates Network ( BTAN ), with healthcare organizations, health departments, community-based organizations and relationships with elected officials and BAI partners. Newells will be based in Atlanta.
LGBTQ Victory Fund will honor David Mixner with its Lifetime Achievement Award on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at a virtual event to celebrate his legacy, a press release noted. Former Republican National Committee Chairman and LGBTQ rights advocate Ken Mehlman will present the award. Mixner is a founding board member of Victory Fund and one of its first board co-chairs, helping elect hundreds of openly LGBTQ candidates throughout his tenure.
A federal judge in Atlanta heard oral arguments in a case brought by Immigration Equality, Lambda Legal and pro bono counsel Morgan Lewis against the U.S. State Department for refusing to recognize the citizenship from birth of Simone Mize-Gregg, the 2-year-old daughter of U.S. citizens Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg, a press statement announced. According to the release, the State Department's policy treats the children of same-sex married couples as "born out of wedlock," and then denies they are citizens. The oral arguments focused on a motion to dismiss by the federal government given the grant of legal permanent residency to Simone Mize-Gregg. The lawsuit Mize-Gregg v. Pompeo was filed July 29, 2019, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Savannah, Georgia, adopted a sweeping ordinance that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination in private employment, housing and public accommodations while also mandating improved hate crimes reporting by law enforcement, Project Q Atlanta reported. The City Council actually passed the measure unanimously June 23, making Savannah the latest municipality in Georgia to extend protections to LGBTQ people and include them among 13 protected classes. The measure expands an ordinance passed in 2015 that protected the city's LGBTQ employees from discrimination.
Video began to circulate on social media of a trans femme protestor being pulled off of a street and thrown into an unmarked van by the New York Police Department, Out.com noted. The footage has drawn widespread condemnation and a GoFundMe has been started for Nicki Stone, the woman in the footage who is also experiencing homelessness. Stone, 18, was taking part in a peaceful protest against police brutality alongside a reported crowd of 200-300 people. Police grabbed the teen, yanking her off of her skateboard, dragged her into a minivan, and used pepper spray on other protestors who were watching.
A five-year-old rule in Arizona to make it harder for same-sex couples to adopt has been overturned by the new county attorney, LGBTQ Nation reported. In 2015, just after a court legalized marriage equality in Arizona, former Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery tried to block same-sex couples from getting free adoption legal services, which his office offers to opposite-sex couples. Montgomery was appointed to the state supreme court last year and was replaced by County Attorney Allister Adel ( R ), who reversed the rule. Adel told AZ Central that reversing Montgomery's policy will save the county $750,000 a year.
After months of working on the front lines treating patients with COVID-19, Dr. Joseph Costathe chief of the critical care division at Baltimore's Mercy Medical Centerdied of the virus as his husband held him, according to an Advocate.com item that cited The Baltimore Sun. "Those who cared for Joe were his best friends," said Costa's husband of 28 years, David Hart. "A housekeeper who knelt by his bed and shook with grief said, 'I'm now losing my best friend.'" Costa specialized in pulmonary and critical care, and was the chief of the critical care unit for 15 years.
Merritt Corriganthe deputy White House liaison at the U.S. Agency for International Developmentis leaving the agency after a short and tumultuous tenure marred by calls for her removal over controversial comments she had made on LGBT rights, Politico reported. In a statement, Human Rights Campaign Government Affairs Director David Stacy said, "Corrigan is a symptom of a larger problem. It's time to hold the Trump-Pence administration accountable at the ballot box and elect a leader this November who supports the fundamental humanity of LGBTQ people and appoints people who share that basic decency."
California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced new emergency regulations from the California Department of Public Health requiring healthcare providers and local health departments to collect and report voluntary data on the gender identity and sexual orientation of patients to understand how the LGBTQ+ community is being impacted by COVID-19, an Equality California press release announced. Equality California and state Sen. Scott Wiener ( D-San Francisco ) have advocated for the collection and reporting of LGBTQ+ COVID-19 data for months and introduced legislation ( SB 932 ) in May to require such data collection and reporting. The bill was recently amended to cover all reportable diseases.
A 19-year-old Detroit man was sentenced to three life terms in prison with no chance of parole for gunning down two gay men and a transgender woman who authorities believe were targeted because of their sexual orientation, NBC News reported. A Wayne County jury convicted Devon Kareem Robinson of first-degree premeditated murder in March in the May 2019 killings of 21-year-old Alunte Davis, and 20-year-olds Timothy Blancher and Paris Cameron.
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said a five-month review of the case showed that his office could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that former Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson committed murder or manslaughter under Missouri lawand, therefore, he would not re-litigate the case, Fox2Now.com reported. In response, Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said in a statement, "This decision reveals how woefully ill-prepared our justice system is for combating white supremacy. We must continue to protest, and we must continue to vote. My heart goes out to Michael Brown's family, who have been denied justice yet again."
Safeguarding American Values for Everyone's ( SAVE ) political committeea Miami-based organization that promotes LGBTQ rightsis endorsing former Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner in her bid for a seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission, FloridaPolitics.com noted. Lerner is battling in the District 7 contest against former school board member Raquel Regalado, Pets' Trust co-founder Michael Rosenberg and Miami Gardens police officer Ralph Suarez. The four candidates are running to replace Commissioner Xavier Suarez, who is running for Miami-Dade County Mayor.
On a related note, a group of 10 well-known and noted Miami-Dade LGBT leaders is at odds with two major LGBTQ-rights organizations in Florida over their endorsement for mayor of Miami-Dade County, SouthFloridaGayNews.com reported. SAVE and Equality Florida endorsed Daniella Levine Cava, while the group of 10 endorsed Alex Penelas. Members of the group of 10 include Damian Pardo; Steve Adkins; Francesco Duberli; Alexis "Marytrini" Fernandez; City of North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin; Miami-Dade Community Councilman-Elect Marco Giron; author Christian de la Huerta; political strategist Jorge Mursuli; and award-winning filmmakers Yvette Larralde and Susanna Taddei.
The U.S. House approved a proposal from Majority Whip James Clyburn ( D-South Carolina ) to rename legislation meant to restore a key provision of the Voting Rights Act after the late Rep. John Lewis ( D-Georgia ). The lower chamber passed the proposal to rename H.R. 4 the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act by unanimous consent. Lewis, who died at age 80 on July 17, played an critical role in the 1965 passage of the Voting Rights Act, which established greater protections for people registering to vote in the South.
Also, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Act ( S.2163/H.R. 1636 ) by a vote of 368 to one, a House Judiciary Democratic Press media release stated. The billintroduced by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson ( D-Florida ) and co-sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler ( D-New York )would establish a 19-member commission to examine the social disparities that disproportionately affect Black males in the United States. Nadler supported bringing the legislation, which was referred to the Judiciary Committee, directly to the House Floor for a vote.
Herman Cain, the Black former businessman who became an energetic but failed Republican presidential candidate in 2012, died at age 74 after battling COVID-19, The Chicago Tribune noted. Cain had been ill with the virus for several weeks. It's not clear when or where he was infected, but he was hospitalized less than two weeks after attending President Donald Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June.
Breweries across the country are taking part in a unique campaign called "Black Is Beautiful" that is dedicated to showing that the brewing community is an inclusive place that is open to anyone with a passion for creating great beer, NBC Chicago noted. The Texas founding brewery calls it "a collaborative effort to raise awareness for the injustices people of color face daily." In Illinois, 27 breweries are taking part, including six in the Chicago area ( such as Revolution Brewing and Midwest Coast Brewing ).
The founder of the Facebook page LGBTrump was arrested for a second time defacing the Black Lives Matter mural painted on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, LGBTQ Nation reported. Footage from the scene shows Mark Hutt on the pavement, spreading white paint over the words painted on the street. The art was commissioned after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police sparked worldwide protests. He has been charged with criminal mischief.
Twitter has permanently suspended former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke a man referred to as a neo-Nazi by the Southern Poverty Law Centerfrom its platform, Advocate.com noted. Duke repeatedly violated the social media site's rules on "hateful conduct," according to Twitter and first reported by the Associated Press. Twitter did not note specific tweets, but the company has been cracking down on messages that incite violence, promote hate, and spread lies.
Beauty brand Mary Kay said it cut ties with one of its most prolific Midwestern saleswomen after she was exposed as a racist, Queerty noted. Linda Bergerson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa ( and her husband, Tom ), were spotted getting out of their car and tearing down a Black Lives Matter sign in Grand Marais, Minnesota. The sign was on the private property of resort owner Andy DeLisi, who saw what was happening on his security camera and called the cops.
Douglas County, Nevada, Sheriff Dan Coverley had a message for his county's library: Don't bother calling 911 for help anymore and good luck dealing with lewd visitors and disturbances on your own, USA Today noted. His outburst, which he posted in an open letter on the sheriff's office website, follows an aborted plan by the Board of Library Trustees to consider a statement of diversity and inclusion at a public meeting. County spokeswoman Melissa Blosser said that despite Coverley's warning to the library not to call 911, sheriff's deputies will continue to respond.