The NCAA LGBTQ OneTeama group of NCAA-trained facilitators at colleges across the countrypublished an open letter condemning the actions taken by 28 states across the country to introduce, pass and sign anti-transgender legislation, a press release noted. This year has been a record one for anti-transgender legislation, with almost 100 anti-transgender bills introduced across the countrythe vast majority of which attempt to ban transgender women and girls' participation in girls sports or ban transgender youth from accessing medically necessary, gender-affirming health care. The letter is at https://hrc-prod-requests.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/An-Open-Letter-in-Support-of-Transgender-Student-Athletes.pdf.
Under Baylor University's healthcare benefits policy, an employee's spouse can be added as a dependent only if the spouse is of the opposite sex, The Baylor Lariat reported. The Texas university's healthcare benefits policy defines an eligible spouse who can be added as a dependent as "your spouse of opposite sex to whom you are lawfully married." All position announcements and advertisements include the following statement: "Baylor is a Baptist university, affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Employer, Baylor encourages minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities to apply."
The nonprofit Milligan University alumni group Milligan for All submitted a letter to the Tennessee school calling for changes to policies regarding LGBTQ people, WCYB.com reported. The group started after allegations the university forced a professor to resign because she's lesbian. The letter asks the school to remove its official statement on human sexuality, protect students and employees from discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity, and form a task force to review policies. The group is asking Milligan's administration for a response and meeting by April 23.
A review of Division I schools by national advocacy organization Athlete Ally found that 92% do not have fully inclusive policies for trans athletes, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. The NCAA has had a transgender inclusion policy in place since 2011, but Athlete Ally's Athletic Equality Index (AEI) indicates such policies are lacking at the school level. The AEI also showed that 70% of Division I schools don't offer LGBTQ support resources targeted for student-athletes, and 80% of schools did not have a fan code of conduct that addressed harassment of athletes or spectators at school sporting events. The AEI is at https://www.athleteally.org/aei/.
Campus Pride and PFLAG National announced they are partnering for a second year to host a live virtual commencement ceremony to honor LGBTQ and ally graduates across the country, a press release noted. The national LGBTQ Lavender Graduation ceremony will be held Saturday, June 5, at 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT. The free event will be live-streamed at CampusPride.org/2021, on Campus Pride social media channels and on PFLAG National's Facebook page.
LGBT New Yorkers rallied outside St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC on Easter Sunday in response to the recent Vatican document banning church blessings for same-sex couples, IrishCentral.com noted, citing a press release issued by the Irish LGBT group Lavender and Green Alliance. Representatives from the Lavender and Green Alliance and the Catholic group DIGNITY NY were present at the April 4 rally staged at St. Patrick's Cathedral, on Fifth Avenue. Unfurling a large rainbow flag, the protesters called for reform of church teaching that renounces homosexuality as an "intrinsic disorder" and opposes same-sex marriage.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco sought to compare mental-health symptoms and psychosocial risk factors among three particular groups: Black and Latinx trans youth, white trans youth, and Black and Latinx cisgender youth, an out.com item noted. The data, published by JAMA Network Open, estimated that 50 percent of Black and Latinx transgender youth experience symptoms of depression while 46 percent have experienced suicidal thoughts. Compared to Black and Latinx cis youth, Black and Latinx trans youth had higher odds of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts, higher odds and levels of all forms of harassment and victimization, and lower levels of school connectedness and caring adult relationships. The article is at https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2777869.
During a virtual town hall about the Equality Act, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he wants voters to put heat on lawmakers to pass the measure, which would solidify comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, Gay City News reported. "You don't leave bigotry up to the states," Schumer said. "You try and stomp it out." The New Pride Agenda, a statewide LGBTQ advocacy group, and Freedom for All Americans, a bipartisan campaign advocating for LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections, hosted the Zoom meeting.
Equality California (EQCA) Executive Director Rick Zbur announced that he's running to represent California's 50th State Assembly District, the Los Angeles Blade reported. In making his announcement, Zbur also indicated he will withdraw from the race for Los Angeles city attorney in order to run for Assembly. He enters the race as the first declared candidate with a significant cash advantage; as of his most recent campaign filing on Dec. 31, Zbur had $202,632 on hand that can be moved from the City Attorney Committee to the Assembly Committee.
Two years after opening its flagship Anita May Rosenstein Campus, the Los Angeles LGBT Center celebrates the grand opening of its newest building: the Michaeljohn Horne & Thomas Eugene Jones Youth Housing, a press release announced. The nearly 13,000-square-foot, four-story structure includes 25 supportive housing apartments (279 to 329 square feet each) for youth ages 24 and younger; a community space with desktop computers, a television, and seating; a case management office; an outdoor space with landscaped areas and pathways; laundry facilities; and more. On any given day, there are 4,000 youth (ages 24 and younger) living on the streets of Los Angeles, mostly in Hollywoodand 40% of these youth are LGBTQ.
Ashley Diamonda Black transgender woman who is currently suing the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC)asked a federal judge for an emergency order to protect her health and safety while in GDC custody, a Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) press release stated. SPLC said that since her re-incarceration in connection with a technical parole violation in October 2019, Diamond has been sexually assaulted and abused 16 times, including three times at the hands of GDC staff. "The message Georgia is sending trans people in custody is that our lives and existences simply do not matter," said Diamond in the statement. "But I know better. Georgia's actions toward me and other trans prisoners are a systemic abuse of power, authority and moral decency."
Arkansas teachers wouldn't be required to address students by a name or pronoun inconsistent with the student's biological sex under proposed legislation that passed in the House, ArkansasOnline.com reported. The vote on House Bill 1749 came two days after lawmakers prohibited hormone treatments, puberty blockers and transition-related surgeries for transgender minors. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who vetoed the bill only to see it overridden by Republican supermajorities, faced sharp criticism againthis time from former President Donald Trump, who accused the governor of being a "RINO" (a Republican in Name Only).
According to a report in Axios, former Olympic athlete and reality television star Caitlyn Jenner has been meeting with key political consultants and fundraisers, with an eye on challenging embattled California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a likely recall election later this year, according to Out.com . Jenner is expected to run as a Republican if she decides to run. Newsom is all but certain to face a recall election at some point later this year. Despite winning office in a landslide election showing with 61 percent of the vote in 2018, his policies remain deeply unpopular with the right wing.
Two CBS local television executivesPeter Dunn and David Friendleft the company, following a January investigation by the Los Angeles Times into allegations they "cultivated a hostile work environment," CBS News reported. The Jan. 24 Los Angeles Times story included images of a Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission complaint filed by a former employee who accused Dunn of making "racist, sexist, homophobic and discriminatory comments." Regarding one allegation, an employee claimed Dunn questioned if a job applicant for an anchor position was "too gay for Philadelphia."
Openly gay Golden States Warrior team president and chief operating officer Rick Welts announced that he will be retiring following the conclusion of the current NBA season, LGBTQ Nation reported. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee was the first NBA executive to come out when he did so in 2011. He was widely regarded as the first major sports executive to do so, and is still regarded as one of the most successful executives in U.S. sports history. Welts has worked in the NBA for 46 seasons, starting as a ball boy in 1969 for the Seattle Supersonics.
In Michigan, Hazel Park City Council members unanimously approved a first reading of a human-rights ordinance to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the Oakland Press reported. The measure is similar to local laws in about 50 cities statewide, including nearby Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, Huntington Woods and Madison Heights. Councilman Luke Londo, who is bisexual, introduced the ordinance.
For the first time Abilene's history, the Texas city will host an official LBGTQ Pride Parade, SanAngeloLIVE.com noted. The first unofficial parade occurred in 1999, when approximately 40 people walked down the city's streets. Two years ago, the Abilene Pride Alliance hosted "Pride in the Park" at Everman Park; more than 500 people showed up for the event that featured face paintings, free hugs from moms, speakers and food. The alliance is hoping to have at least 1,500 attend the upcoming parade, which will be called "Denims and Diamonds." According to the alliance's website, the event is slated to take place July 17.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) responded to the news from the Department of Justice clarifying that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 bans discrimination on the bases of gender identity and sexual orientation in federally-funded education institutions, a press release noted. HRC President Alphonso David said, "This memorandum will allow students, parents, and teachers to advocate for nondiscriminatory policies for LGBTQ students. Students who experience discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity should feel confident filing complaints with the Department of Education. We are thankful to President Biden and his administration for following through with their promise to implement the Supreme Court's decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, and we look forward to seeing our leaders continue to defend the rights of LBGTQ people in the weeks and months to come."
St. Clair, Missouri, residents elected Cozy Bailey as their new leadermaking her the first openly LGBTQ mayor in the town, KMOV.com reported. Bailey said she's proud to be part of a historic first, and praised the community for its support. Bailey owns a landscaping company and said her goals will be developing city property and preserving the city's history.
Ballroom legend Boogie Revlon Makaveli was killed at age 36, out.com reported. The performer was the founder of the House of Makaveli and was deemed legendary previously while he was in the House of Revlon. According to WNCT, his body was found in a vehicle crash. He was pronounced dead at the scene and "it was determined he had been shot more than once." The suspect, Jimmie Early Speight Jr., was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle in connection with the killing.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived a philosophy professor's lawsuit against a public university in southern Ohio that reprimanded him for refusing to address a transgender student by her preferred pronouns, Reuters reported. The court said that Nicholas Meriwether can try to prove Shawnee State University violated his First Amendment free speech and religious rights by mandating pronouns that he said did not reflect "biological reality" and contradicted his devout Christian beliefs. Writing for a three-judge panel, Circuit Judge Amul Thapar said, in part, that Meriwether was simply communicating on a "hotly contested" matter of public concernwhether one's sex can be changed.
Two hundred LGBTQ Philadelphians recently received their first vaccine doses at the William Way Community Center through a collaboration with HIV/AIDS healthcare provider Philadelphia FIGHT, BillyPenn.com noted. The April 6 clinic was among the first pop-up vaccination events specifically geared toward queer and trans Philadelphians. Research shows LGBTQ people more often have pre-existing conditions and lower incomes that have been correlated with COVID risk, plus they're more likely to work in highly affected industries like food service and healthcare.
On The Transgender Day of Visibility, middle-distance runner Nikki Hiltz used the occasion of to announce on Instagram they identify as trans and nonbinary, out.com noted. Hiltz had previously come out as gay while in college and has been a visible and affirming presence for gay athletes in the past. "The word I use currently to describe my gender is non-binary," she posted. "The best way I can explain my gender is as fluid."
In New York, Albany County politician George Langdon IV resigned after saying gay people should be sent to an island, The Advocate noted. Langdon, a Republican, resigned and issued two statements of apology after his first one last week, Albany's Times Union newspaper reported. Langdon had appeared at a right-wing conference titled "A Return to Liberty Under the Constitution," held in March. Video of the Albany-area event showed him saying same-sex relationships are not "perpetual" and not in keeping with God's design for humanity.
Failed GOP congressional candidate and Trump supporter Angela Stanton-King launched into a hate-filled tirade against her trans daughterand Dr. Phil McGraw, according to Queerty. She recently appeared on McGraw's show in an attempt to smooth things with her 19-year-old trans daughter. However, McGraw also invited trans woman and well-known advocate Ashlee Marie Preston. Stanton-King was outraged. Straight after filming, whilst leaving Paramount Studios, she posted a profanity-laden video in which she blasted McGraw and the show's producers for making out that she was a bad parent. Last year, Stanton-King unsuccessfully ran for the late John Lewis' congressional seat.
A Washington state man pled guilty to federal hate crime and conspiracy charges in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, a U.S. Department of Justice press release noted. Cameron Shea, 25a leader of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Divisionpled guilty to federal conspiracy and hate crime charges for threatening journalists and advocates who worked to expose anti-Semitism. Shea will be sentenced on June 28; he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for the hate crime charge and five years for the conspiracy charge.
In California, Pasadena's only gay bar, Boulevard, launched a GoFundMe to raise $50,000 to help the nearly 40-year-old business to stay open, Eater Los Angeles noted. Money will go toward replacing a lot of the equipment and appliances that haven't been used in over a year, plus finance a small remodel. Boulevard has been a longtime LGBTQ haven for the San Gabriel Valley, and a karaoke-and-drag performance favorite for decades in Pasadena. See https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-boulevard-bar-in-pasadena-help-us-reopen?qid=81cb2b5d28f45b3790141fd56c75e3b6.
A 70th birthday celebration for out entrepreneur Mitchell Gold will take place April 29 at 8 p.m. ETand it will also benefit the Tyler Clementi Foundation, a press item stated. Special guests will include actress Judith Light and former Second Lady Tipper Gore, with a special appearance by actor Alan Cumming. People can RSVP at https://tylerclementi.org/mitchell70/.
A new chapter of the Cultivating Change Foundation at Oregon State University (OSU) aims to promote LGBTQ+ inclusiveness in the agriculture industry, Capital Press reported. Cultivating Change is a national nonprofit founded in 2015, with university chapters at Penn State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Ohio State and now OSUthe first west of the Mississippi River.
Former Fox News host and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) was called out for another one of his reactionary jokes, according to LGBTQ Nation. "I've decided to 'identify' as Chinese," Huckabee tweeted. "Coke will like me, Delta will agree with my 'values' and I'll probably get shoes from Nike & tickets to @MLB games. Ain't America great?" Lesbian writer Charlotte Clymer responded, "Wow, you managed to be incredibly racist, transphobic, ignorant of voting rights legislation, and extremely corny all within the space of 280 characters. You must be proud."