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NATIONAL Ann Arbor ban, Buttigieg, NYC settlement, Gloria Allred
by Windy City Times staff
2021-08-22

This article shared 867 times since Sun Aug 22, 2021
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Using gay conversion therapy on minors to try to change their sexual orientation or gender identity is now officially banned in Ann Arbor, Michigan, according to MLive.com . "So-called conversion therapy is, of course, an abomination," Mayor Christopher Taylor said. "It seeks to teach people that they aren't who they are, and it does great and grievous harm, and I'm glad that we here at the city at least have the opportunity and will to do something about it to the extent that we can." City Council voted 10-0 to give final approval to the new ordinance aimed at protecting LGBTQ youth.

Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, have welcomed a child, the transportation secretary announced on his personal Twitter account, NPR reported. Pete made history in February when he became the first openly gay, Senate-confirmed Cabinet member. "For some time, Chasten and I have wanted to grow our family," the secretary posted. "We're overjoyed to share that we've become parents! The process isn't done yet and we're thankful for the love, support, and respect for our privacy that has been offered to us. We can't wait to share more soon."

Speaking of Buttigieg, the city where he was mayor—South Bend, Indiana—has contracted with a local affordable housing developer to identify needs for the homeless, which could lead the city to again try establishing an intake center, the South Bend Tribune reported. Building an intake center would mark a pivot from the administration of Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who in 2019 announced the city had scrapped the idea after the Common Council denied a plan to build one under heavy opposition from neighborhood groups on the near southeast and west sides. However, Buttigieg's top community development official, Pam Meyer (who holds a similar position under current Mayor James Mueller) said Buttigieg took that stance before the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Black non-binary individual reached a $35,000 settlement after they were allegedly tased in the crotch by NYPD officers after their birthday party, according to Gay City News. The settlement comes nearly two years after Danee Sergeant—a community activist and mental health advocate—said they were accosted on the street by NYPD officers Erica Rivera and Toni Burke after allegedly criticizing the department's questioning of Black people outside of a bar.

Attorney Gloria Allred, responding to questions about the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Alphonso David's links to the Andrew Cuomo scandal, said taking an employee's personnel file after leaving a place of employment would be a violation of privacy right—and David could be individually liable if a court found he aided in disseminating that information to the media, The Washington Blade reported. "Mr. David may be individually liable under New York law if a court determines that he did in fact 'aid and abet' Gov. Cuomo in retaliating against Ms. Boylan by providing Gov. Cuomo's aides with a copy of her personnel file to leak to the media," Allred said. A representative for David said the HRC president didn't take a "personnel file."

Miss'd America LLC announced that the 30th Miss'd America Pageant will return to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, Broadway World noted. This year's pageant will take place Saturday, Oct. 23, and will once again feature lavish sets, various numbers and a "Queens" night at the opera theme led by the reigning Miss'd America 2020-2021 Sapphira Cristal, along with returning host Carson Kressley and a special performance by Grammy winner Thelma Houston.

Recently, Politico called California Congresswoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton) and two of her Republican colleagues—all of whom voted against the Equality Act earlier this year—as "allies" of "the gay rights movement," the Los Angeles Blade reported. Equality California, the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ+=rights organization, responded with tweets detailing Kim's anti-LGBTQ+ record and imploring the reporter to correct the story.

The biotech company Moderna started human trials for its HIV vaccine, LGBTQ Nation noted. Its HIV vaccine will be the first of its kind to use messenger RNA (mRNA), an approach that Moderna used in its COVID-19 vaccine. The clinical trials have started and will end sometime around spring 2023, according to the National Institutes of Health's trial registry; they will involve 56 HIV-negative participants aged 18 to 56. The participants will be given one or two forms of mRNA that cause the body to form defenses against HIV infection.

Gay U.S. Rep. Mark Takano (D-California) introduced legislation that would create a four-day workweek nationwide, LGBTQ Nation noted. Takano's "Thirty-Two Hour Workweek Act" would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to reduce the standard from 40 hours a week to 32. Employers would have to pay an overtime rate of time-and-a-half for each hour an employee works beyond 32 hours. Takano told Reuters that U.S. workers are "are worn out and tired." He said the pandemic has also made workers rethink the value of their time.

In Montgomery, Alabama, the city council rejected a non-discrimination ordinance (NDO) introduced by Mayor Steven L. Reed, according to a press release from SPLC Action Fund. The ordinance promised to bar real and perceived biases in order to make the city more welcoming and inclusive. SPLC Action Fund Interim Deputy Legal Director, LGBTQ Rights & Special Litigation Scott McCoy said, "Attaining these protections remain a vital concern for Montgomery residents, who need and deserve an NDO that fully supports the communities it is created to protect. We look forward to revisiting the issue at the appropriate time with input from the mayor, city council and most importantly, the communities who are directly affected."

In D.C. (as well as other spots, such as Chicago), a group of gay bars and dives emerged as trendsetters by required customers to prove they'd been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19 within the prior three days, Eater DC noted. "Hands down, if we had one person complain about it, we had 40 people applaud it," gay bar co-owner John Guggenmos said. In addition to Pitchers, ALOHO, Number Nine and Trade, other D.C. gay bars that require proof of vaccinations or negative COVID tests include the Dirty Goose, Nellie's and Uproar Lounge—all along the U Street corridor—as well as JR's Bar, in Dupont Circle.

Local governments in the City of Winston-Salem and Chatham County voted unanimously to approve LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances, becoming the 11th and 12th North Carolina communities to approve similar ordinances this year, per a joint press release from the Campaign for Southern Equality and Equality NC. The ordinances ensure protections in private employment and places of public accommodations—such as restaurants and businesses—from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and natural hairstyle. The news follows Charlotte, the largest city in the state, passing its own ordinance in a unanimous, bipartisan decision.

In mid-August, Jersey City's LGBTQ+ community and the city kicked off its celebration of Pride Month with the creation of three colorful street murals, including one in front of City Hall, NJ.com reported. The annual Jersey City Pride Festival, which thousands of people from all over the region, was slated for Aug. 21 along Newark Avenue between Grove and Erie streets. Also, Jersey City-based Hudson Pride, founded in 1993 as an advocate for Hudson County's LGBTQ+ community, is collaborating with Jersey City on a documentary to capture the evolution of Pride and the advancement of LGBTQ+ in Jersey City over the past two decades.

Pride at Work issued a press release congratulating the new leadership at the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO Executive Council elected AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler as the new president after the passing of former president Richard Trumka. In addition, United Steel Workers Vice President Fred Redmond was elected to replace Shuler; she is the first woman to be elected president of the AFL-CIO and Redmond is the first African American to be elected secretary-treasurer. Pride at Work Executive Director Jerame Davis said, "I have worked closely with both President Shuler and Secretary-Treasurer Redmond, and both are strong champions for LGBTQ working people."

In Maryland, the Baltimore County school board pledged its commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusivity in schools—even as some members questioned the rights of students to use names, pronouns and school facilities that correspond with their gender identity, The Baltimore Sun reported. The resolution was introduced with a plea from the board's new student representative, Christian Thomas, who described to his adult counterparts how, as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, he had experienced homophobia in school over the years. The resolution is non-binding, but confirms the board's symbolic support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Also in Maryland, attorneys for Damascus High School argued in court that the facility shouldn't be liable for any alleged sexual harassment or rapes that took place there because there couldn't have been any sexual gratification involved in the "male-on-male incidents," LGBTQ Nation noted. Damascus currently serves about 1,200 students, and is the site of several alleged sexual assaults between students on the school's football team. According to the Washington Post, the victims' families allege that the school and its administrators knew that sexual assaults had happened in Damascus' locker rooms and in neighboring schools, but still chose to leave them unsupervised.

Campus Pride announced the awarding of 10 Social Justice Mini Grants for Activism, per a press release. These grants (worth up to $600 each) form the inaugural class of projects supported by Campus Pride, under a program launched in June 2021 as part of the organization's 20th-anniversary celebrations. Recipients include William Paterson University, University of Connecticut (two grants), Brigham Young University, George Washington University (two), University of Central Florida, Penn State University, University of Maryland and Baldwin Wallace University.

In its first large-scale collaboration with the LGBTQ community, Texas A&M's Cushing Memorial Library and Archives highlights local queer history, including some special memorabilia from Houston, OutSmart Magazine noted. "Coming Out Together to Share Our History: LGBTQIA+ Collections in College Station, Houston, and Beyond" runs through Dec. 16. In 1976, the university refused to recognize a gay student organization; it wasn't until 1984 that the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the First Amendment required the university to recognize the group. Currently, the school has a Pride Center and a program of queer studies.

U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) joined Stonewall PAC on Aug. 21 in honoring three Delaware legislators at its 17th annual summer fundraiser, the Washington Blade noted. State Sens. Sarah McBride (D) and Marie Pinkney (D) as well as Rep. Eric Morrisson (D) will be featured for "the work they are doing to ensure equal protection under the law for all," according to a Stonewall PAC statement.

In California, a new LGBTQ center opened in South Sacramento this summer, TheCRCConnection.com noted. The center was named after LGBTQ activist Marsha P. Johnson, who advocated for trans people of color, and the center is a new extension of Midtown Sacramento's LGBT Center, according to the Mayor's Office of Civic Engagement City of Sacramento website. Los Rios students in South Sacramento can access services such as HIV and STD testing, counseling services, support groups, sexual-health education, gender-affirming care services and referrals, COVID testing (on Thursdays), fentanyl test strips and condom dispensers.

A teen yanked down and stomped on an LGBTQ rainbow flag displayed outside a New York City home, according to the New York Daily News. The teen's accomplice recorded the vandalism on his cell phone after the pair rode a moped to the home, on 190th Street near 75th Avenue. Cops are asking the public's help identifying the duo and tracking them down. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident.

A Wisconsin server received a belated $4,500 tip from a group of 250 kind-hearted citizens—all because of a homophobic customer, out.com noted. The unnamed server in Madison received a hateful anti-gay message instead of a tip on a $142.95 bill for a group he had served. However, an anonymous person helped the receipt find its way to Eric Salzwedel—the co-founder of Do Good Wisconsin, a local nonprofit group that encourages its members to perform random acts of kindness.

In Iowa, The Tanager Place LGBTQ Center received a $30,000 grant that officials say will help expand programming and increase capacity for children and families it serves, TheGazette.com reported. The grant was awarded by the health-insurance company Amerigroup, Tanager Place officials announced. The Cedar Rapids-based facility, located within Tanager Place's Estle Center, opened in 2018.

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that a judge ruled in her favor in a lawsuit filed against the former owner of Bumpy's Polar Freeze—a popular ice cream shop in Schenectady, New York—for discrimination, harassment, making violent threats and filing false, race-based police reports against peaceful protesters, a press release noted. In altercations with peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters, David Elmendorf brandished several weapons and made death threats in an effort to stop protests, while simultaneously using a number of offensive, racial epithets when referring to Black protesters. Following the altercations, Elmendorf called the police and falsely claimed protesters were brandishing weapons as he used their race and color as the reason for the call.

OnlyFans is banning sexually explicit content starting in October, CNN.com noted. It's a seismic shift for a service that has become a major space for adult content as the creator economy has exploded. Like other social platforms, OnlyFans allows its creators to either offer content for free, or else wall their live-streams, videos and messages behind paid subscriptions. The website, which was founded in 2016, says it has 130 million users; it pays out more than $5 billion to its creators—who number more than 1.5 million—each year.


This article shared 867 times since Sun Aug 22, 2021
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