Kathy Kozachenkothe first out politician elected to public office in the countrywill be honored with a statue on the 50th anniversary of her historic election, per The Advocate. The city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, will honor Kozachenko, who successfully ran for a seat on the city council at the age of only 21 in 1974. Kozachenko served only one term in office, from 1974 to 1976, before retiring and later focusing on building a family with her partner and their son. Ann Arbor City Councilmember and Mayor pro-tem Travis Radina stated to X, formerly Twitter, that the council is raising $100,000 for the statue.
Congressmember Nancy Pelosi announced that she will seek re-election next year, dashing plans for gay state Sen. Scott Wiener to run for her seat in 2024, per The Bay Area Reporter. Pelosi has been raising campaign cash, with the San Francisco Chronicle reporting in July that she brought in nearly $2.1 million during the first six months of the year. Wienera former San Francisco supervisor who was elected to the state Senate in 2016 and re-elected in 2020had formed an exploratory committee for the 11th Congressional District that Pelosi has held since she defeated the late gay supervisor Harry Britt in 1987.
In New Jersey, the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice was forced to relocate its Drag Queen Story Hour after the LGBTQ+ safe space received a bomb threat, per OutInJersey.net . More than 50 people gathered at the center, in Princeton, for a story hour with Drag Queen Carrie Dragshaw (aka Dan Clay). However, moments before the event, the Princeton Police Department approached the front door and advised the center of the threat and the need to evacuate. No bomb was located.
Ken Keechlthe first out gay member of Florida's Broward County Commission and the county's first gay mayorhas died at age 60 of pancreatic cancer, The Advocate reported. Keechl, a Democratic attorney, was elected to the commission in 2006, beating incumbent Republican Jim Scott, a former state senator who Gov. Jeb Bush appointed to the commission in 2000. Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale and the heavily LGBTQ+ city of Wilton Manors, is Florida's second most populous county (after Miami-Dade).
Lyft is unveiling a new feature for women and nonbinary users that aims to make the rideshare experiences more comfortable for riders and drivers, CNET reported. The company announced the launch of Women Plus Connecta function that matches drivers with riders of a preferred gender. It will arrive in five select cities: Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.
Alabama families challenging the state's ban on medical care for their trans children have asked the full 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to review a panel ruling saying the ban can take effect while their case continues, according to a joint release from GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), the Human Rights Campaign and the Southern Poverty Law Center. NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter said, "Our clients and other Alabama families have a right to protect their transgender children and ensure they get the support they need. The panel's decision tramples on that right and conflicts with clearly established Supreme Court and 11th Circuit law. We hope the full court will review this case and prevent this devastating criminal ban from taking effect."
Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin pardoned a man convicted of disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice in a confrontation over the sexual assault of his daughter in a school restrooman assault the father wrongly blamed on the school's trans-inclusive restroom policy, The Advocate noted, citing The Washington Post. Scott Thomas Smith claimed his daughter's assault happened because of "radical gender policies" and that the student who attacked her was genderfluid because he was wearing a skirt. But while the attacker (who allegedly committed another attack at a second school) wore a skirt, he was not genderfluid, trans or anything but cisgender, according to Loudoun County prosecutor Buti Biberaj.
A group of activists staged a sit-in in Republican U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's personal office over funding for HIV/AIDS programs, ending with several demonstrators being arrested, The Hill reported. The demonstrationorganized by the groups Housing Works and Health GAPcentered on domestic funding for HIV/AIDS programs as well as reauthorization of the global program the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. PEPFAR authorization expires Sept. 30 and has gotten tied into abortion politics as some Republicans claimed that funds from the program have indirectly supported abortions.
Also on the HIV front, the largest insurer in North Carolina (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina) recently lowered the out-of-pocket cost of its HIV drugs, including PrEP, after complaints from advocacy organizations to the state and federal governments, per The Bay Area Reporter. The complaints cited the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's patient protections, which extends the non-discrimination protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964which includes disabilityto "any health program or activity, any part of which is receiving Federal financial assistance, including credits, subsidies, or contracts of insurance."
A Florida city declared itself a sanctuary for "LGBTQIA+ individuals and their families," according to Mid Michigan Now. The measure, which affirms Lake Worth Beach's "commitment to protecting human rights for all individuals," was introduced at a meeting of the city commissionand unanimously passed. A background document on the resolution explained that the city has previously been home to "generations of LGBTQIA+ people."
Also in Florida, the Miami-Dade County School Board rejected a proposal to recognize October as LGBTQ+ History Month at a meeting that lasted until the wee hours, per Fox28 Savannah. The meetingwhich lasted more than 14 hoursfeatured speeches from more than 100 parents, students, educators, advocates and non-profit representatives who argued over the proposal. Those in favor said the month deserved equal recognition as Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month.
Movement Advancement Project's LGBTQ+ movement building and policy researcher, Tessa Juste, drew on findings from the group's 2023 spotlight report "Unrestricted and Unprecedented: The Impact of MacKenzie Scott's Large Gifts on LGBTQ Organizations" for her guest post for the Center for Effective Philanthropy. Between 2020-2022, Scott (the ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos) gave more than $163 million to the 28 LGBTQ+-focused organizations included in the MAP report. Juste's post is at cep.org while the report is at www.mapresearch.org/2023-spotlight-mackenzie-scott.
Bill and Melinda Gates' foundation recently bought 1.7 million shares of Anheuser-BuschBud Light's parent companyvalued at almost $100 million, The Advocate noted. The company has seen sales decline following its controversial handling of transphobic backlash against its partnership with trans model and influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Anheuser-Busch laid off almost 400 workers amid declining sales in July.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved updated COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech amid rising cases and hospitalizations, CNN noted. Both vaccine manufacturers have said testing shows that their vaccines are effective against EG.5, the currently dominant strain in the country. Experts have expressed concerns about the impacts the triple threat of viral illnesses (COVID, flu and respiratory syncytial virus/RSV) will have this fall.
As she will be termed out of office in late 2024, lesbian Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) will be leaving the post next year, per The Bay Area Reporter. With state Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) being the pro tem designee, it means that the top two posts in the state legislature will be held by straight male lawmakers; Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) stepped into the lower chamber's top post this summer.
In addition to the Indigo Girls, Equality Utah is welcoming back Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and his husband, Olympic gold medalist Tom Daley, to the Eccles Theater on Oct. 14 for its Allies Gala, per a press release. Black won his Academy Award for writing the film Milk; he is also known for his work on projects such as ABC's When We Rise and the upcoming Netflix movie Rustin. Daley is the first British diver to win four Olympic medals, including gold for the men's synchronized 10-meter platform in 2020.
In San Francisco, the iconic LGBTQ+ bar The Stud will reopen in a new Folsom Street location early next year, per an Eater San Francisco item that cited the San Francisco Chronicle. Located three blocks from the previous Stud space, the bar will take over two connected buildings at 1123-1125 Folsom Street, formerly Julie's Supper Club and Trademark sports bar. A collective is seeking $500,000 (via givebutter.com/Stud2024&; to help deal with costs associated with purchasing and transforming the space.
Charged with seven felonies connected to alleged sexual misconduct with two boys, former Arizona Democratic lawmaker Tony Navarrete got a reality check from Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Bruce Cohen, 12News reported. (The trial is slated to start Sept. 19.) If convicted on all charges, Navarrete, 37, would be handed what amounts to a life sentencea mandatory minimum of 49 years in prison, Cohen told Navarrete at a settlement conference. Navarrete was a state senator and rising star when he was arrested in August 2021 on charges of molesting the two boys; he resigned within days of his arrest. According to court documents, "the defendant did not deny what had occurred and apologized multiple times for the pain he had caused."
In St. Joseph, Missouri, Buchanan County Republican Central Committee chair Steven Greiert threatened to bar elected leaders from running for office as Republicans if they voted to reappoint gay pastor Brian Kirk as a library board member, The Advocate noted. Kirk's renomination has been controversial since conservative Grace Calvary Chapel members started criticizing him this summer for supporting LGBTQ+ rights. Mayor John Josendale pulled the nomination of Kirk, the pastor of First Christian Church and a volunteer on the library's board, according to City Councilmember Andy Trout's email to Greiert; Kirk has maintained that he is the victim of bias.
Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an emergency order suspending the right to carry firearms in public across Albuquerque and Bernalillo County for at least 30 days in response to a surge in gun violence, Yahoo! News noted. Grisham expects legal challenges but was compelled to act because of recent shootings, including the death of an 11-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl and a 5-year-old girl, per a press release. The order also directed the Department of Health, along with the Environment Department, to begin wastewater testing for illegal substances such as fentanyl at schools.
Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert was escorted out of a performance of the Beetlejuice musical in downtown Denver, accused by venue officials of vaping, singing, recording and "causing a disturbance" during the performance, per The Denver Post. In an incident report shared with the Post, officials with Denver Arts & Venues wrote that two patrons were asked to leave the city-owned Buell Theatre during the performance of the touring Broadway show. They previously were issued a warning during the intermission regarding behavior that prompted three complaints from other theatergoers, the report says.
Tech giant Elon Musk secretly welcomed a third child with musician Grimes named Techno Mechanicus, according to Business Insider. The revelation came via a book review published by the New York Times on Musk's soon-to-be-released biography, Elon Musk. Including Techno Mechanicus, Musk now has 10 known kids (including an estranged trans daughter) with three different women including Grimes, who broke up with trans activist/whistleblower Chelsea Manning in 2022.