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NATIONAL Pageant ruling, AOC, gay journalists, Dwyane Wade, trans activist
by Andrew Davis
2022-11-06

This article shared 671 times since Sun Nov 6, 2022
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A federal appeals court ruled that the operator of the Miss United States of America pageant (not to be confused with the Miss USA pageant) can't be forced to allow openly transgender women into its competitions, NPR reported. In rejecting the complaint brought by activist/trans woman Anita Green, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that being forced to do this would obstruct the organization's ability to express its belief the contest is only for "natural born" females. Green first sued Miss United States of America LLC in an Oregon district court in 2019.

Progressive congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said she will stand up for LGBTQ+ rights after an attack by hecklers caused chaos during a recent speaking event in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, New York, The Guardian reported. The Democrat met the hecklers at the back of the Boys and Girls Club with dancing—the video of which has gone viral on social media. Ocasio-Cortez later tweeted that the hecklers "were yelling Westboro Baptist-style anti-LGBT+ slogans. What do you think I'm gonna do? Take them seriously? … But NY-14 will always have a champion for LGBTQ+ people on my watch. Period."

CNN's new morning show CNN This Morning—with co-hosts Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins—launched with a news-heavy three hours that nevertheless played up an essential element of rival shows: conversation and chemistry, Deadline noted. CNN This Morning featured other CNN personalities like Audie Cornish and contributors such as openly gay journalist LZ Granderson. Unfortunately, the debut slumped to a third-place finish in the cable news ratings, drawing an average audience of 387,000 viewers—fewer watchers than the show it replaced, New Day, according to Forbes.

Out gay TV journalist Shepard Smith will depart CNBC as his newscast will have its final episode later this month, Deadline noted. This ends a two-year effort to establish a presence for the high-profile anchor in the primetime hours.

Former NBA star Dwyane Wade responded to his ex-wife's claim that he was exploiting their trans daughter, Zaya, and her gender identity for financial gain, Out noted, citing Page Six. In court documents where Siohvaughn Funches-Wade legally challenged Zaya's name change, Funches-Wade alleges that Wade "is positioned to profit from the minor child's name and gender change with various companies through contacts and marketing opportunities including but not limited to deals with Disney." However, Wade (who's married to actress Gabrielle Union) criticized the allegations as "serious and harmful," adding, "I've given her the opportunity to reach out to Zaya's teachers, doctors, and therapists over the years and even meet her friends, so she could get her own understanding of our child's needs for her LIFE."

In New York City, advocates gathered last month to remember the life of Melissa Nunez—a trans activist who was killed in Honduras on Oct. 18 after she was deported from the United States, Gay City News reported. Nunez previously lived in Miami, where she was an activist for LGBTQ and intersex rights, and had tens of thousands of followers on TikTok, according to the Washington Blade. The vigil, which took place at Corona Plaza in Queens, featured candles, pictures of Nunez, and signs with messages such as "#JusticeforMelissa" and "No transwomen [are] safe in Central America."

Attorneys for Seattle Pacific University failed to convince a federal judge U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan has standing to sue Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson for launching an investigation into the Christian school's hiring practices regarding LGBTQ+ individuals, according to Courthouse News Service. U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan dismissed Seattle Pacific's lawsuit against Ferguson from the bench, citing a lack of redressability/remedy. The school sued Ferguson in July after Ferguson's office initiated an investigation into the school's hiring practices after student and staff sit-ins and calls to remove the school's board of trustees, in response to a May 2022 vote to keep a school policy that prohibits staff from engaging in "same-sex sexual activity."

In Portland, Maine, the new Equality Community Center recently celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a community block party, WMTW reported. The Center will act as a hub for the LGBTQ+ community in the city as well as a central location for advocacy groups along with other progressive organizations. Tenants, such as Equality Maine, Portland Pride and Maine TransNet have already moved into the site.

In Connecticut, authorities in Norwalk arrested a man accused of severely beating a same-sex couple outside the gay bar they jointly own last month, Metro Weekly reported. Casey Fitzpatrick and husband Nicholas Ruiz, the owners of Troupe429, said in a post on the bar's website that the man came into the bar during a drag show and "repeatedly harassed and made several female patrons and our staff uncomfortable." The man was escorted out by security, but would not leave the bar's entryway. Police announced the arrest of a suspect, Carmen Everett Parisi—but said they found no evidence that the assault was fueled by anti-LGBTQ bias, according to NBC News.

Dr. Mehmet Oz—the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania against Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman—campaigned at an event venue in Lancaster County that does not permit same-sex weddings, according to Metro Weekly. Although the website says that Elizabethtown's Stone Gables Estate "will not tolerate discrimination against any one person," it also appears to imply that the owners of the estate have strong personal religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage. A woman at the Stone Gables Estate told a Washington Post reporter that the estate does not book same-sex weddings.

A Vermont family filed a federal lawsuit against school officials at the Orange Southwest School District and Randolph Union High School following an incident involving a transgender student using the girl's locker room during a volleyball game, according to MyNBC5.com . The suit was filed after the district and Randolph Union High School officials suspended Travis Allen from his middle school coaching job without pay for the rest of the season and disciplined his daughter, Blake Allen. The case has garnered international attention, including a tweet from Caitlyn Jenner.

In South Carolina, the Greenville County Council members voted nine to three against a resolution that would move any children's books "promoting sexuality" into the adult section of all county libraries, the Greenville News reported. While the resolution did not explicitly name LGBTQ+ literature, children's books focused around LGBTQ+ themes were at the center of a Greenville County Republican Party request in September urging the council to take action against content deemed inappropriate. Charlotte Grubbs, one of the speakers against the resolution, said that books can be a "lifeline" for queer children looking to see themselves represented in media.

On Nov. 4, the Virginia Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of a teacher from West Point who was fired after refusing to address a trans student by male pronouns, WRIC reported. A King William County Circuit Court already dismissed seven of Peter Vlaming's nine claims against the West Point School Board without hearing arguments, essentially finding that Vlaming had no standing. The supreme court has to decide if the circuit court was wrong to dismiss Vlaming's claim on the basis of the facts presented in his and the school board's initial filings.

The Movement Advancement Project (MAP) announced a $1.5-million gift from philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, per a press release. For more than 16 years, MAP has been involved with the LGBTQ+ movement through messaging research, policy reports and analyses, and movement-building research and tools. MAPS's LGBTQ Equality Maps, for example, track more than 50 laws and policies that impact LGBTQ+ people, and provide an equality profile for each state, D.C. and the U.S. territories.

The man alleged to have "violently assaulted" Nancy Pelosi's husband on Oct. 28 reportedly posted anti-trans images and extremist conspiracy theories online, according to PinkNews. David DePape, who attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer, posted thoughts filled with transphobia, anti-LGBTQ+ views and extremist conspiracy theories, according to reports by the Rolling Stone and CNN. Other blogs written by someone with the username "daviddepape" also espoused hateful views about the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalised groups.

Motto—a sex-positive matchmaking app for gay and queer hookups and casual dating from Joel Simkhai and Alex Hostetler—is now available in New York City, a press release noted. Motto is Simkhai's first venture since leaving Grindr five years ago, and was created as a premium, ad-free alternative for gay and queer community members. Motto is a free, membership-based app and each profile must have three face pictures. See FindMotto.com .

Controversial NBA star Kyrie Irving—after two seemingly half-hearted acts of contrition—finally used the words "I apologize" and "I am deeply sorry," and directed them "To All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from my post [linking to an antisemitic film]," Deadline noted. "This is an encouraging step from @KyrieIrving," tweeted Anti-Defamation League President and CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. "But actions speak louder than words. Because of his post and previous refusals to walk it back, the #antisemitic film/book is now a best seller in multiple categories on @amazon. There is a lot more to do to undo this damage." The Brooklyn Nets suspended Irving for at least five games without pay and Nike has severed its partnership with him.


This article shared 671 times since Sun Nov 6, 2022
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