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WINDYCITYMEDIAGROUP

NATIONAL Marriage support, GLSEN, LGBTQ voting campaigns
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-10-26


Seventy percent of Americans support same-sex marriage, according to the 11th annual American Values Survey—the highest percentage recorded by a major national poll, NBC News reported. The results found just 28 percent of respondents oppose the right of gay couples to wed. Approval spanned the political spectrum, with majorities of Democrats (80 percent) and independents (76 percent) supporting same-sex marriage, and 50 percent of Republicans, according to the poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) in partnership with the Brookings Institution.

GLSEN announced that its annual Los Angeles Respect Awards will be reimagined as "Respect Everywhere," a press release noted. The collaboration between LGBTQ+ talent and allies will showcase the stories of students from around the country—including a trans football player navigating the game, his activism and his identity; an immigrant student acclimating to their new country and their LGBTQ+ identity; and a young lesbian finding balance between her Christianity and her authentic self. The celebrity directors who will tell these stories in a series of short, compelling videos include Kalen Allen, Matt Bomer, Rob Hardy, Joe Mantello, Antoni Porowski and Octavia Spencer. The stories premiered Oct. 26 at GLSEN.org/respecteverywhere. The online event also marked the start of GLSEN's 30th-anniversary celebration.

GLAAD announced its election-season partnership with Demi Lovato, Halle Berry and Adam Rippon to send voice messages to LGBTQ voters and allies in battleground states of Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania about early voting, voting deadlines and the issues at stake in this election, a press release noted. (The celebrities have connections to the respective states.) GLAAD's recently released "State of LGBTQ Voters" poll found that LGBTQ voters are highly motivated and prepared to vote. GLAAD's poll, with Pathfinder Opinion Research, found that 76% of likely LGBTQ voters favor Biden over Trump, who received 17%.

Queer undocumented filmmaker Armando Ibanez is releasing the videos of nine undocumented LGTQ+ activists speaking on the importance of the 2020 elections to undocumented communities as part of the #VotaJota digital campaign launched by Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement (TQLM) and Mijente Support Committee, a press release stated. In collaboration with The Center for Cultural Power, these videos were created to engage LGBTQ+ Latinx voters during the most historic election of our lifetime and will have a big impact on LGTBQ+ rights, including marriage equality and anti-discrimination laws and immigration. Ibanez is the creator of the award-winning web series Undocumented Tales and part of the inaugural cohort of the Disruptors Fellowship for emerging television writers. The videos are at https:// Article Link Here .

Musician Big Freedia, writer Roxane Gay, actors Erika Alexander and Gabourey Sidibe, and other Black notables are teaming with Black Public Media (BPM) for the social-media campaign BE HEARD! to help engage the African American community around important issues for the upcoming election, a press release noted. Composed of video vignettes featuring conversations between Big Freedia and Gay (on policing), Alexander and comedian Brian Babylon (on voting), Sidibe and Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner (on reparations), and political commentators Jehmu Greene and Shermichael Singleton (on the importance of using political action to create change), the campaign is running on social media platforms Facebook, Tik Tok, Instagram and Twitter through Nov. 3. The full conversations can also be seen on the BPM website at BeHeard.blackpublicmedia.org.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a resolution authored by District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman to nominate the former home of pioneering LGBTQ- and civil-rights activists Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin for designation as a local historic landmark, a city press release noted. The resolution was prompted by the recent sale of the property where Martin and Lyon lived together and nurtured a movement from 1955 until Martin's death in 2008. "Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin were pioneers of the LGBTQ-rights movement," said Mandelman, who is the only LGBTQ member of the Board of Supervisors and represents the Noe Valley neighborhood where the home is located.

When it comes to presidential and vice-presidential debates, LGBTQ+-related questions have remained off the table for 12 years, according to Out.com. For the third and final presidential debate of 2020 between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, there were no LGBTQ+-specific questions. The last moderator to pose a question about LGBTQ+ issues in a debate for the country's highest offices was the late Gwen Iffel of the PBS Newshour, according to Media Matters; in 2008, Ifill raised the issue of marriage equality to then-Sen. Joe Biden and former Gov. Sarah Palin.

Anchorage, Alaska, has its first woman and openly gay person to serve as mayor or acting mayor of the state's largest city, TheHill.com reported. The Anchorage Assembly voted to appoint Austin Quinn-Davidson to serve as the Assembly's chair, which under city statute means she will serve as acting mayor during a vacancy. Mayor Ethan Berkowitz's (D) resignation is in effect and she will hold office for an unspecified time.

Cher joined John Legend, P!nk, Ben Platt, the Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Hudson, Billy Porter, Andra Day, Darren Criss and the Fab Five for an online benefit for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, LGBTQ Nation noted. The program, dubbed "I Will Vote," encouraged supporters and fans to get out to the polls. Cher tweaked the lyrics to "Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe," the Oscar-nominated song from the 1943 film Cabin in the Sky, to make the case for Biden.

A secret Log Cabin Republicans-organized "takeover" by supporters of President Donald Trump took place in West Hollywood, California, LGBTQ Nation noted. A few dozen people were in attendance, the accompanying "march" was limited to one block and there were no one wearing masks, based on footage or pictures—although there is currently a mandate by law to wear masks or facial coverings at gatherings within West Hollywood limits.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised objections from staff in the State Department recently over his decision to speak before an anti-LGBTQ+ group that espouses the debunked benefits of the discredited and torturous practice of conversion therapy, Out.com noted. The Miami Herald reported the complaints came after advance teams for Pompeo's speech found overtly anti-LGBTQ+ flyers at an event with the conservative Christian group Florida Family Policy Council.

Citi announced transgender and nonbinary customers will no longer be forced to use birth names on eligible credit cards, Out.com reported. The move is part of the "True Name" program with Mastercard that offers approved customers the option to choose the name they want to appear on participating credit cards. Citi further plans to soon let members choose the name by which they wish to be addressed when speaking with customer service representative or using any online or mobile access points.

A Dallas tavern is facing backlash from the LGBTQ+ community after word spread the establishment's owners instructed a manager to stop hiring gay male servers, Out.com noted. According to an audio recording The Dallas Voice obtained, Redfield's Tavern had seen an increase in business from queer customers since the start of the global pandemic—but the owners expressed concern about the number of gay employees and instructed the manager to hire more women instead of gay men. Redfield's owners did not respond to requests for comments from The Dallas Voice.

A Sandy, Utah neighborhood went viral for its support of the LGBTQ community—and it happened after several residents who live in the Autumn Ridge Drive community received an anonymous letter asking them to rethink flying Pride flags, ABC4.com reported. In support of National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11), 80 flagsand 55 love signs went up. Days later, an anonymous letter found its way to mailboxes throughout the neighborhood. The secret sender asked if flying Pride flags was "consistent" with the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As a result of their efforts to fly Pride flags, the Donahoos—a family who spearheaded a movement in 2019 to make their neighborhood a place of inclusion—said they are receiving encouraging messages from other communities who are doing the same thing.

Desert Stonewall Democrats, Equality California and LGBTQ Victory Fund jointly condemned what they called an onslaught of biphobic and sexist attacks against Palm Springs City Councilwoman Christy Holstege, and demanded her opponents denounce and end them. A press release stated that a staff member for Mike McCulloch, an opponent of Holstege, wrote "I highly doubt Christy belongs to the LGBTQ community" in one of a series of biphobic attacks online. "The countless attacks on Councilmember Christy Holstege do not reflect the values of diversity, equality and inclusion that we hold as a LGBTQ+ Democratic Club and community," said Miguel Navarro, chair of Desert Stonewall Democrats.

The Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee held a public workshop discussion on expanding hate crime laws in Pennsylvania to include gender identity, sexual orientation and people with disabilities, The Philadelphia Gay News reported. The meeting was held at the request of Sen. Tom Killion (R-Chester/Delaware). LGBTQ+ activist Kendall Stephens, a trans woman of color, was among the community advocates to address the senators.

AIDS/LifeCycle announced a new charity event, TogetheRide, geared for cyclists of all ages and abilities worldwide in which they raise critical funds and collectively pedal 1.2 million miles (representing the 1.2 million people in the United States living with HIV and AIDS), a press release noted. Organizers have set June 2021 as the deadline for all riders—ranging from longtime AIDS/Lifecycle participants to home exercise bike enthusiasts, road cyclists, mountain bikers, indoor cyclists, bike commuters, and even tricyclists—to fulfill the challenge at the riders' own pace and time commitments. The 2021 AIDS/LifeCycle ride, scheduled for June 6—12, has been canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. See TogetheRide.org.

Casa Ruby founder/executive director Ruby Corado announced on Facebook that she has been released from a local hospital after being taken to the emergency room Sept. 29, while experiencing what she believed to be COVID-related breathing problems, The Washington Blade noted. Acccording to its website, the D.C.-based nonprofit organization Casa Ruby's "mission is to create success life stories among transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals."

NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists announced that New York Times Magazine contributing writer Linda Villarosa as well as Outsports.com founders Jim Buzinski and Cyd Zeigler are the 2020 inductees into the LGBTQ Journalists Hall of Fame, a press release noted. To date, the LGBTQ Journalists Hall of Fame has honored 48 individuals, living and deceased, who have left a lasting mark on their profession through their own courage and mastery of the practice of journalism.

Rolling Stone magazine endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden for president, saying in a piece that the United States has lived "under a man categorically unfit to be president" for the last four years, The Hill noted. "Fortunately for America," the magazine said at the top of its endorsement of the former vice president, "Joe Biden is Donald Trump's opposite in nearly every category: The Democratic presidential nominee evinces competence, compassion, steadiness, integrity, and restraint."

President Donald Trump's youngest daughter hosted an event in Tampa, Florida in an effort to court LGBTQ voters in the area, WFLA.com reported. Tiffany Trump and Former National Intelligence Director Richard Grenell, who is openly gay, spoke at the "Trump Pride" event at the Westshore Grand Hotel. Equality Florida Action, Inc.—an LGBTQ-rights advocacy group—called the campaign's outreach a "desperate and cynical sham."

On Oct. 20, The Erie Gay News (EGN) released its tricentennial (300th) issue, ErieReader.com noted. The Erie Gay News has been a fixture of the Erie community since the early 1990s. EGN Editor Michael Mahler, 57, came out publicly in May of 1992 and was one of the first openly gay voices in Erie County.

A longtime close advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he would temporarily step away from his work at a nonprofit tied to the mayor following a second accusation that the advisor, Rick Jacobs, had forcibly kissed and touched others without consent, NBC Los Angeles reported. Jacobs did not directly address the allegations described by writer and reporter Yashar Ali, who said in a first-person account that Jacobs kissed him against his will.

Actress Rose McGowan called out the "liberal 'intellectuals'" rushing to New Yorker scribe Jeffrey Toobin's defense in his Zoom masturbation scandal—saying a woman caught in the same position would be "burned at the stake," Page Six noted. Toobin, who is on leave as a legal analyst for CNN, said that he made an "embarrassingly stupid mistake" during a Zoom session in which he was allegedly caught pleasuring himself. McGowan—one of Harvey Weinstein's accusers—has previously said she never received any support from male directors she worked with over the course of her career after she came forward with disturbing allegations against the producer.

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union that aimed to block Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' rule dictating how colleges and K-12 schools must respond to reports of sexual misconduct, Politico reported. Judge Richard D. Bennett sided with DeVos and the Education Department, ruling that the four plaintiffs listed in the lawsuit lack standing to sue. Bennett said the advocacy group leading the lawsuit, Know Your IX, "has not adequately alleged facts to establish its standing to bring this action."


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