On Aug. 21, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) hosted the 3rd Annual James Baldwin Legacy Awards to honor the contributions of Black men and masculine elders within the Black LGBTQ+/same gender loving (SGL) movement and community, per a press release. Honorees included journalist Jonathan Capehart, Rev. Frederick Davie, SWERV Magazine founder Jamil Fletcher, U.S. District Court Judge Darrin P. Gayles, activist Jeffrey C. King, Rev. Louis Mitchell and Councilman Darryl Moore (elected to the same office in two different states). NBJC Executive Director Dr. David J. Johns said, "The Baldwin Awards (and corresponding Wisdom Awards) are designed to give flowers to Black queer, trans and non-binary/non-conforming leaders; celebrate the process of aging, preserve the lessons learned over time, and facilitate intergenerational connections that enable Black people to get closer to freedomcollectively."
The Archdiocese of Denver and two of its parishes filed a lawsuit against the state of Colorado's Department of Early Childhood, aiming to overrule an anti-bias policy held by the state's universal preschool program protecting LGBTQ+ families and students, The Advocate noted. The Catholic group has claimed that enforcing nondiscrimination policies violates the First Amendment and the right to free exercise of faith. All eligible families in Colorado can now take advantage of 15 hours of taxpayer-funded preschool per week thanks to a law signed into law by gay Democratic Gov. Jared Polis in 2022; however, participating schools must accept students regardless of religion, sexual orientation or gender identitywhich the Catholic group sees as incompatible with Catholicism.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco is the latest Catholic organization to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it deals with more than 500 lawsuits from survivors of child sexual abuse, USA Today reported. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone said in a statement that the bankruptcy allows for the resolution of claims in a fair and equitable manner under court supervision. According to Penn State University law professor Marie Reilly's tracker, 18 Catholic churches have reorganized their debts under Chapter 11 bankruptcy and another 12 are in proceedings.
A new set of rulesincluded in LGBTQ+ support guides released for students in Florida's Broward and Palm Beach countieswill be the school districts' efforts to navigate through a rapidly changing landscape based on a series of new state laws, including one critics have dubbed "don't say gay," per the South Florida SunSentinel. For example, parents in one South Florida district have the right to request the preferred pronouns for their children to be called this school year; however, teachers and school staff will have the right to say no.Also, trans athletes in South Florida will be allowed to play on boys' sports teams, but girls' teams are off-limits. And teachers and school staff may have to out a gay or transgender child to their parents in some situations but may be able to stay quiet in others.
A school board in suburban Atlanta voted to fire teacher Katie Rinderle, who read a book about gender fluidity to her fifth-grade class, USA Today noted. In a four-to-three vote along party lines, the Cobb County School Board made the decision. Rinderle had taught at the district for 10 years before being reprimanded for reading Scott Stuart's My Shadow Is Purplea picture book that challenged the gender binaryat Due West Elementary School, the AP reported.
In Maine, the Cumberland Police Department found that the Greely High School library did not violate state laws against dissemination of obscene matter to minors for providing access to the Maia Kobabe book Gender Queer, The Maine Wire reported. Multiple complaints were filed with Cumberland Police after a school-board meeting was adjourned when a parent of a child in the district raised concerns with the board over pornographic books allegedly being in the library.
Voters in a conservative enclave within Washington state (Columbia County) will decide whether to shutter the county's only library after staff refused to remove books on certain racial, LGBTQ+ and sexual topics, KPTV reported. The battle over books began last summer after a patron objected to seeing What's The T?: The Guide to All Things Trans and/or Nonbinary in the Dayton Memorial Library; the nonfiction book is aimed at teens ages 14 and older. The library would be the first in the country to close over a book dispute, according to the American Library Association.
Texas' new law targeting drag performances is slated to go into effect Sept. 1and drag enthusiasts are not taking the forthcoming measure lying down, The Houston Chronicle noted. RuPublicansthe "husband and husband team" behind the popular satirical Instagram account of the same namecreated a GoFundMe seeking donations for the purchase of billboard space in Austin calling out the pending enforcement of SB 12, which is a measure signed by Gov. Greg Abbott that criminalizes "sexually-oriented" drag performances conducted "in the presence of minors." As of Aug. 21, the GoFundMe page surpassed its $15,000 goal. RuPublicans first gained fame in March, when the account began posting AI-generated images showing various national Republicans in drag.
Transgender high school tennis coach Sasha Yates' job is being threatened in Gettysburg, Pennsylvaniaand one of her major opponents is Michelle Smyers, a school board member connected with the far-right group Moms for Liberty, per The Advocate. The key issue seems to involve what restrooms and locker rooms Yates will be allowed to use, according to local news sources, although school officials deny that the matter involves Yates' trans identity. Some people mentioned Smyers' homophobic and transphobic Facebook posts, such as one in which she said "social contagion" had created a "transgender cult."
After California ally Laura "Lauri" Carleton was killed after a dispute concerning an LGBTQ+ Pride flag at her San Bernadino County store, Mag.Pi, the Los Angeles LGBT Center and Flags for Good announced a new banner honoring the Lake Arrowhead community member and shop owner, according to Yahoo! News. The Center collaborated with Flags for Good to create a rainbow banner bearing the magpie symbol, after her store's name. Proceeds from sales will benefit the Lake Arrowhead LGBTQ+ Fund.
Anti-trans harassment on social media by former college swimmer Riley Gaines has been linked with a bomb threat at a California library, PinkNews noted. Mary L. Stephens libraryin Davis, a city near Sacramentoreceived an anonymous bomb threat in a phone call that included anti-LGBTQ+ speech. The threat came a day after the Yolo county chapter of Moms for Liberty hosted a meeting during which trans inclusion in sport was criticized. (During the event, library staff were forced to repeatedly warn speakers that misgendering athletes violated the library's code of conduct.) Later, Gaines reposted the video and wrote: "This is ridiculous but not shocking… a female athlete silenced for calling a spade a spade." She went on to share the library's name and contact number with her 700,000+ followersand, later that day, the library had reportedly received the threatening phone call.
D.C. police arrested 35-year-old Mary Kennedy (who had no fixed address) on two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon after two men who had just stepped outside the gay bar Fireplace reported being assaulted, per The Washington Blade. One of the two men was taken to a nearby hospital after he was bleeding "profusely" from the neck from the stab wound. A D.C. police incident report stated the two stabbings were not listed as suspected hate crimes.
In Hampton, Virginia, there was a ceremony to kick off the interior construction of the LGBT Life Centerthe first of its kind in the region, WTKR reported. The center will have a community space, a clinic, a pharmacy, a food pantry, mental-health resources and transportation services. The $1.8-million facility is being paid for by an appropriation from Congressman Bobby Scott as well as senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.
ONE Archives Foundation announced the lineup of 40 exhibitions, readings, lectures, podcasts, workshops and parties for its inaugural Circa: Queer Histories Festival, per a press release. Circa will take place during LGBTQ+ History Month on Oct. 1—31 and consist of 70 programs across Los Angeles. Exhibitions include "The Butch Closet," a multidisciplinary installation that illustrates the narrative arc of Jewish lesbian folk singer Phranc's butch identity as set against the artistic, musical and revolutionary scenes she took part in Los Angeles from the 1960s to the present. See CircaFestival.org .
University of Houston's LGBTQ Resource Center will be closed in accordance with Senate Bill 17a law banning diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives at public higher-education institutions, The Los Angeles Blade noted. SB 17, which takes effect on Jan. 1, will require that all state-funded colleges and universities close their DEI offices; it also will ban any mandatory diversity training. Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law on June 14.
James Burkea former suburban New York police chief who once led the Gilgo Beach killings investigation and later went to prison for beating a suspectwas arrested again after authorities say he attempted to engage in sex with a male undercover ranger at a Long Island park, CBS News noted. (Other media reports say the person was a male sex worker.) Burke is charged with offering a sex act, public lewdness, indecent exposure and criminal solicitation, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said. A report stated that Burke, Suffolk County's police chief from 2012 to 2015, was arrested at Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park in Farmingville after exposing himself to the ranger and saying he was interested in oral sex.
A Manhattan man who tried to kick in the door of CNN host Anderson Cooper's home was sentenced to 30 days in jail, Deadline reported. Gerald Hurt visited Cooper's Manhattan doorstep at least four times between August and December 2022. Cooper has a restraining order on Hurt, which was ignored. Hurt was eventually charged with eight counts of misdemeanor stalking, menacing and trespassing, and criminal contempt for violating the order.
West Hollywood bar and restaurant Hi Topsa veteran of LA's LGBTQ+ sceneis making moves, as it's expanding into some prime Los Feliz real estate soon, per Eater Los Angeles. It will be on Vermont Avenue inside the former home of the Rockwell venue, just north of Hollywood Boulevard. Hi Tops is known for offering seating with views to near-endless televisions around the dining room, while the menu leans into pub-friendly "gourmet stadium food."
In Utah, Provo's Cougar Pride Center is starting its own queer chorus in time for the new semester at Brigham Young University (BYU) to start, Daily Herald noted. Run by BYU students and alumni, the chorus is open to all people. The group is inviting BYU students, other college students, members of the LGBTQ+ community and anyone else who wants to join.