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Gunman Kills 5 at Gay Nightclub

Daniel Aston... Derrick Rump... Kelly Loving... Raymond Vance... Ashley Paugh


A 22-year-old gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing five people and leaving 18 injured before he was subdued by “heroic” patrons and arrested by police who were on the scene within minutes.  Two firearms, including a “long rifle,” were found at Club Q after the Nov 20 2022 midnight shooting.

Investigators were still determining a motive, and the attack was being investigated to see if it should be prosecuted as a hate crime. Charges against the suspect will likely include first-degree murder.  Police identified the gunman as Anderson Lee Aldrich, who was in custody and being treated for injuries.


“At least two heroic people” confronted the gunman and stopped the shooting, police said, adding: “We owe them a great debt of thanks.”  Of the 18 people injured, some were in critical condition and at least two had been treated and released, officials said, adding that some were hurt trying to flee.



Club Q Shooting: Egregious Attack on Sacred Queer Space
Injured Club Q Survivors Share Details of Attack and Their Paths Toward Recovery
Club Q Owner Says Politicians Have Pushed LGBTQ Hate To New Level
Orlando Club Shooting Survivor Brandon Wolf  Blames Right Wing
AOC Tells Republicans to Connect the Dots After CO Springs LGBTQ Bar Shooting

A shooting targeting the LGBTQ community is not a random aberration that Republicans are trying to make sense of.

It is more like a GOP campaign promise fulfilled; their hateful rhetoric and repeated verbal attacks coming to life.
When you continually label queer people as predators,
when you repeatedly accuse teachers of being groomers,
when you declare drag shows and gay clubs as societal threats,
when you intentionally target transgender children and their parents,
when you perpetually traffic in irresponsible and dangerous rhetoric designed to generate irrational fear of LGBTQ people—hate crimes like the one in Colorado are the logical progression.

-John Pavlovitz | When Republicans Lament the Hate Crimes They Help Create

The shooting brought back memories of the 2016 massacre at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people. And it occurred in a state that has experienced several notorious mass killings, including at Columbine High School in 1999, a movie theater in suburban Denver in 2012 and at a Boulder supermarket last year. It was the sixth mass killing this month and came in a year when the nation was shaken by the deaths of 21 in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Club Q is a gay and lesbian nightclub that features a “Drag Diva Drag Show” on Saturdays. Drag events have become a focus of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and protests in recent months as opponents, including politicians, have proposed banning children from such events and falsely claim they’re being used to “groom” children.


"These are the people we need to center. These are the people we need to keep in our hearts. These are the people whose families need us.  These are the people we need to remember.  And remember: Until we call out the anti-trans rhetoric, the anti-LGBTQ legislation, the book bans and the so-called “don’t say gay” laws, the misinformation and disinformation, and the badly covered stories in the media, this violence will continue."
-PFLAG National


Attorney General Merrick Garland was briefed on the shooting, Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said. The FBI said it was assisting but said the police department was leading the investigation.

President Joe Biden said that while the motive for the shootings was not yet clear, “we know that the LGBTQ community has been subjected to horrific hate violence in recent years. Places that are supposed to be safe spaces of acceptance and celebration should never be turned into places of terror and violence. Yet it happens far too often,” he said. “We must drive out the inequities that contribute to violence against LGBTQ people. We cannot and must not tolerate hate.”  Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who became the first openly gay man in the United States to be elected governor in 2018, called the shooting “sickening.”

A makeshift memorial sprang up Sunday near the club, with flowers, a stuffed animal and candles in front of cardboard sign with the message, “Love over hate” next to a rainbow-colored heart.



“Club Q is in shock, and in deep mourning, with the family and friends who had loved ones senselessly taken from them. We condemn the horrific violence that shattered an evening of celebration for all in the LGBTQ community of Colorado Springs and our allies. Club Q offers our greatest gratitude to those who moved immediately to stop the gunman and prevent more loss of life and injury. Club Q has always provided a space for LGBTQ people and our ally friends to celebrate together. We will always speak up for and support everyone’s right to be themselves and be safe. We demand that those who spread disgusting rhetoric and encourage violence stop this behavior immediately before more people get hurt. We urge with everything in our heart for every person to do what they can to speak up for LGBTQ people and everyone’s right to be safe.”

-Club Q Official Statement


The CEO of a national LGBTQ-rights organization, Kevin Jennings of Lambda Legal, reacted with a plea for tighter restrictions on guns.  “America’s toxic mix of bigotry and absurdly easy access to firearms means that such events are all too common and LGBTQ people, BIPOC communities, the Jewish community and other vulnerable populations pay the price again and again for our political leadership’s failure to act,” he said in a statement. “We must stand together to demand meaningful action before yet another tragedy strikes our nation.”

The shooting came during Transgender Awareness Week and hours before Sunday’s International Transgender Day of Remembrance, when events around the world are held to mourn and remember transgender people lost to violence. The Colorado Springs shooting was sure to bring special resonance to those events.

Colorado Springs is a city of about 480,000 located about 70 miles south of Denver that is home to the US Air Force Academy, as well as Focus on the Family, a prominent evangelical Christian ministry.

[Source: Thomas Peipert and Jesse Bedayn, AP News, Nov 2022]


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Names of Colorado Springs Victims
Suspect in Colorado Springs LGBTQ Club Shooting Charged with 5 Counts of First-Degree Murder

Dan Savage on Why the Colorado Club Shooting is an Attack on all LGBTQ People

Dan Savage shares "we will fight until we're safe everywhere.”

American writer and LGBTQ community activist Dan Savage has shared his thoughts on the evolution of safe spaces in the wake of the mass shooting at Colorado Springs LGBTQ bar Club Q, which left five dead and 25 injured over the weekend.  In a tweet thread on November 20, Savage shared his thoughts on the history behind LGBTQ safe spaces, where queerness is kept private behind closed doors, and how he believes we must come out of the bars and onto the streets to fight to be safe anywhere and everywhere.

“It’s not just that gay bars are supposed to be a safe space,” Savage, author of Savage Love, began.  “People who hate queer people want us to keep it private. Behind closed doors. Someplace they don’t have to see it. And the doors of a gay bar are doors we keep it behind.”

The locations are a place “we can go and be together and not bother
them with the fact of our existence.” Here, queerness exists separate from hateful glances and “we can forget they exist. Not straight people. There are straight people in gay bars and clubs. Our friends. But behind those doors we can forget (we can suspend our disbelief) and pretend the haters don’t exist.”




The 58-year-old writer referenced the Colorado Springs shooting, writing: “An attack like this says “not even here.” Behind closed doors isn’t good enough for them. It’s not that they want us to exist out of sight. They don’t want us to exist at all.”  Savage goes on to state that if even LGBTQ places are not safe for all LGBTQ people “we have no choice but to fight to make it safe everywhere, for all LGBTQ people.”  He quotes, a chant heard during the Stonewall Riots: “Out of the bars and into the streets!”

“The raid on the Stonewall Inn was state-sponsored violence. The attack on Club Q in Colorado Springs last night… well, we’re waiting on the full details. But it looks like GOP-sponsored violence. Not just the logical result of the
groomer blood libel, but the goal.”  Here, Savage seems to reference Colorado republican representatives, Dave Williams and Mark Baisley, who targeted Highlands Ranch’s first drag show saying they were concerned about “groomers” at the event (even though tickets were restricted to adults 21 and older).


This was just one of many examples where republican voices have villainized the trans community in the US.  The Colorado mass shooting occurred a day before Club Q was set to host a Transgender Day of Remembrance brunch.  “Behind closed doors was never enough,” Savage continued. “They knocked down those doors and arrested us in bedrooms and evicted us from our apartments and fired us from our jobs and made something that’s already hard to do (loving another human being) almost impossible.”

“We fought back then. We fought back last night,” he adds.  “And we’re going to keep fighting. Because if we’re not safe behind the closed doors of a gay bar (if they can’t let us have even that) then we’re not safe anywhere.”  He concludes: “So we will fight until we’re safe everywhere.”

[Source: Emily Maskell, Attitude, Nov 2022]


When Republicans Lament the Hate Crimes They Help Create

Club Q Shooting: Egregious Attack on Sacred Queer Space
Injured Club Q Survivors Share Details of Attack and Their Paths Toward Recovery
Club Q Owner Says Politicians Have Pushed LGBTQ Hate To New Level
Orlando Club Shooting Survivor Brandon Wolf  Blames Right Wing
AOC Tells Republicans to Connect the Dots After CO Springs LGBTQ Bar Shooting


I Will Never Understand


"I refuse to understand because it is beyond comprehension that we as a community should ever be targeted for how we choose to live and love."

-Shohreh Davoodi


By now you've likely heard about the mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, where five people were killed and 18 others were wounded by a heavily armed gunman on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance.

On Sunday morning, I woke up to a text message from my sister with the news and then had to sit with the heaviness of yet another tragedy in my community as I attended a drag brunch at a lesbian-owned establishment in a conservative city and state (exactly the kind of place that could be targeted by a homophobic shooter).

Intellectually, I understand why there are people who want queer and trans folks dead.

I understand how anti-LGBTQ rhetoric spewed by hateful politicians to further their careers translates into real-world danger for queer people.

I understand that when people are perfectly comfortable leaving me comments on social media calling me a groomer, a sinner, and an abomination to womanhood, it's an indicator that something insidious is simmering in plain view and will eventually boil over.

I understand that homophobia and transphobia are unequivocally linked to patriarchy and misogyny and white supremacy and that some people will do almost anything if they feel their way of life, their security, and their power are being threatened.

I understand that if you say a lie enough times, with enough conviction, and without meaningful pushback, some people will believe the lie as truth. And if those believers repeat the lie enough times, with enough conviction, and without meaningful pushback, many more people will believe the lie as truth. And the web will keep expanding until the lie inevitably becomes the justification for prejudice and violence.

I understand that many more of us have died indirectly at the hands of homophobic citizens, churches, and governments than will ever be fully known due to a long and painful history of harm to our community that makes us sick, prematurely ages us, and sometimes makes living so miserable that it feels easier to refuse to keep on doing it.


But in my heart? I will never actually understand.

I will never understand how queer people are seen as unholy and unnatural when the immense love I feel for my partner is the holiest and most natural thing I've ever felt in my entire life and regularly brings me to my knees.

I will never understand how drag performers are smeared as being unsafe and obscene when I have witnessed entire rooms lit up in unabashed joy and awe in their presence because they are one of the closest things we have to real-life magic.

I will never understand how trans and non-binary people are so deeply misunderstood and maligned when the light they emanate from within when they're able to live as their true selves is warmer and more lovely than any blanket I've ever wrapped around me or cup of tea I've sipped.

I will never understand how people are intent on destroying our community gathering spaces when their disgust and distaste for seeing us out in the open are the reason we had to build them apart from everyone else in the first place.

I refuse to understand because it is beyond comprehension that we as a community should ever be targeted for how we choose to live and love.

It is beyond comprehension that Daniel Aston... Derrick Rump... Kelly Loving... Raymond Vance... and Ashley Paugh will not get to live the long, full, beautiful lives they deserved.

For as much as these kinds of tragedies in the LGBTQ community "make sense," the truth is, they make no fucking sense at all.

[Source: Shohreh Davoodi, Nov 2022]


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At Least 5 Killed After Gunman Opens Fire at LGBTQ Nightclub in Colorado Springs


Current LGBTQ News

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Cuba Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in Historic Referendum

Biden Touts Importance of LGBTQ Rights in UN Speech

Two-Thirds of Swing State Voters Support Marriage Equality

UN Expert Urges Joe Biden to do More for LGBTQ Rights Amid Veritable Plague of Attacks
President Biden: We Must Stop the Assault on American Democracy
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GOP Official Tells Tennessee Colleges Not To Apply Title IX Protections LGBTQ People
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Trump Goes on Transphobic Rant During Speech


Maura Healey and Tina Kotek Become First Lesbian Elected Governors in US

Out Democratic candidate Maura Healey has been elected the first out lesbian governor in the US, as well as the first woman to lead Massachusetts.  Followed closely by Tina Kotek who was elected in Oregon.

Democrat Maura Healey scored a decisive and historic victory in the 2022 midterm elections, becoming the first elected female governor in Massachusetts and the nation's first openly lesbian governor.

Healey, the state's Attorney General since 2014, overwhelmed her Republican opponent, former state Rep. Geoff Diehl, and put the governorship firmly back in Democratic hands after Republican Gov. Charlie Baker declined to seek a third term. Diehl was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who remains deeply unpopular in Massachusetts.



Healey never trailed in the polls and held huge advantages in fundraising and name recognition. She campaigned on a long list of Democratic priorities, including expanding affordable housing, promoting green jobs, and improving public transportation.

"Let's put money back in people's pockets by cutting the costs of housing, energy and health care," Healey said last June, when she accepted her party's nomination.

As the state's attorney general, Healey initiated or joined dozens of lawsuits against the Trump administration – from challenging his Muslim travel ban to protecting immigrant rights to suing the EPA for delaying or rolling back environmental regulations.

Healey's historic victory burnishes her profile as a leader in the LGBTQ community. "I'm proud of who I am," Healey said. She said she is especially moved when young people from that community tell her they feel comforted by her success. 
"Kids need to understand and believe that they are loved, they are seen and that they can be whoever they are."


Addressing her supporters at a victory rally in Boston, Healey dedicated her win to "every little girl and every young LGBTQ person out there."  "I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever, whoever you want to be," she said to a roaring crowd. "And nothing and no one can ever get in your way except your own imagination, and that's not going to happen."


Annise Parker, the president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which helps queer candidates get elected to public office, said Healey’s historic win will help send a message that “LGBTQ people have a place in American society and can become respected public leaders. We are confident that under Maura’s leadership, Massachusetts will reach new heights as one of the most inclusive states in the country."


Healey will follow two other out LGBTQ Democrats who have been elected to lead their states: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who is bisexual, became the first openly LGBTQ person to be elected governor in 2015, and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis became the first openly gay man to be elected governor in 2018. (Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey was not out when he was elected to office in 2001; he came out as gay in his 2004 resignation speech.)


Healey is joined by Tina Kotek who was elected Governor in Oregon.  Both candidates made history during the 2022 midterm elections.

Kotek previously broke barriers as the country’s first out lesbian speaker of a state House of Representatives, in 2013, and holding on to that role to become the state chamber's longest-serving speaker.

Democrat Tina Kotek narrowly defeated Republican Christine Drazan. In winning the 2022 race, Kotek overcame a multitude of factors working against Democrats in the state, including divisions within the party, a competitive third-party candidate siphoning voter from her, and a barrage of political attacks launched by the GOP candidate and aligned groups over rising crime and homelessness in the state.

In the days leading up to the election, polling had shown a dead heat between Kotek and Drazan, with independent Betsy Johnson polling in the mid-teens — peeling off what surveys showed was a large chunk of potential voters from Kotek. (Johnson was a Democratic state lawmaker for two decades.)

The close race sparked GOP hopes that voters in the reliably blue state (one that President Joe Biden won by 16 percentage points just two years ago) would elect its first Republican governor in 40 years.

[Source: Anthony Brooks, NPR News, Nov 2022]


Maura Healey and Tina Kotek Make History: Winning Elections to be First Openly Lesbian US Governors

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Maura Healey Becomes First Lesbian Elected Governor in US
Rainbow Wave Spreads across US as Hundreds of LGBTQ Candidates Win Elections
Out Lesbian Maura Healey Claims Historic Victory: Elected First Woman Governor in Massachusetts

Lesbians Score Big Political Gains in Midterm Elections' Rainbow Wave
Democrat Tina Kotek Wins Oregon Governor's Race
Maura Healey Wins Massachusetts Governor's Race: First Lesbian Elected to Lead a State
History Making LGBTQ Candidates Elected to State Legislatures Across the Country

Maura Healey Shatters Lavender Ceiling to Become Nation’s First Lesbian Governor

Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico are Married to Each Other


Two Miss Universe Contestants Marry In Secret


A former Miss Argentina and former Miss Puerto Rico shocked and delighted fans by announcing their surprise marriage.

Mariana Varela and Fabiola Valentín met at the 2020 Miss Grand International competition in Thailand, where they represented Argentina and Puerto Rico, respectively. After making it to the pageant top 10, the two beauty queens appeared to remain close friends on social media. What fans didn't know is they were secretly dating the whole time.


The pair posted matching Instagram Reels showing moments from their relationship, including romantic walks on the beach, candid cuddles, champagne toasts and a proposal with gold and silver balloons spelling out, "Marry me?"

The main image of the post shows the pair outside of the city courthouse in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where they married on October 28.  "After deciding to keep our relationship private, we opened the doors on a special day," the caption reads in Spanish.  Fans, celebrities and fellow pageant figures congratulated Varela and Valentín on their picture-perfect love.


"Congratulations," wrote Ghanaian singer and beauty queen Abena Akuaba, who won Miss Grand International 2020. "MGI brought together a beautiful union."  "Thanks for all the love!" Varela wrote in reply to the well-wishes. "We are very happy and blessed."

[Source: AJ Willingham, Advocate, Nov 2022]

Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico Reveal That They're Married
Former Miss Argentina and ex-Miss Puerto Rico Announce Their Marriage
Two Miss Universe Contestants Marry In Secret
Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico Marry After Dating 2 Years
Miss Argentina And Miss Puerto Rico Reveal They Quietly Tied The Knot

Same-Sex Marriage Is Now Legal in All of Mexico's States

Lawmakers in the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas have voted to legalize same-sex marriages, becoming the last of Mexico’s 32 states to authorize such unions.

The measure to amend the state’s Civil Code passed with 23 votes in favor, 12 against and two abstentions, setting off cheers of “Yes, we can!” from supporters of the change.



The session took place as groups both for and against the measure chanted and shouted from the balcony, and legislators eventually moved to another room to finish their debate and vote.

The president of the Supreme Court, Arturo Zaldívar, welcomed the vote. “The whole country shines with a huge rainbow. Live the dignity and rights of all people. Love is love,” he said.

A day earlier, lawmakers in the southern state of Guerrero approved similar legislation allowing same-sex marriages. And two more states did so two weeks earlier.

In 2015, the Supreme Court declared state laws preventing same-sex marriage unconstitutional, but some states took several years to adopt laws conforming with the ruling. The one-by-one process started with Mexico City in 2015 and was completed with Tamaulipas  in 2022.


Mexico’s legalization comes just one month after the people of Cuba voted to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption nationwide.

[Source: Associated Press, October 2022]


NBC: Same-Sex Marriage is Now Legal in All of Mexico's States
ABC: Same-Sex Marriage is Now Legal in All of Mexico's States
Them: Same-Sex Marriage Is Now Legal in All of Mexico

Leslie Jordan: Actor and Comedian Dies in Car Crash

"I am stunned at the death of Leslie Jordan, who delighted us with his many roles on television and film. The cause of death was a car crash after he suffered a medical emergency. Leslie, we are heartbroken at your loss and will miss your mirth and your inimitable spirit."
-George Takei


Leslie Jordan, actor and comedian, died on Oct 24, 2022 after a car crash in Hollywood, California. He was 67 years old. Season 3 of Call Me Kat, Jordan's current gig, has halted production.

In confirming the news, his publicist David Shaul wrote that "not only was he a mega talent and joy to work with, but he provided an emotional sanctuary to the nation."  Jordan was known for playing Beverly Leslie on the long-running sitcom Will & Grace, as well as his roles on American Horror Story and Call Me Kat. He also played the iconic role of Brother Boy in the Del Shores' film Sordid Lives.



But Jordan's fame grew exponentially on social media over the past couple of years, as he posted warm-hearted jokes and updates over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. His posts were a source of comfort and encouragement. On his Instagram account, he amassed more than 5 million followers.

Jordan grew up in Tennessee, where he was raised in the Southern Baptist Church. As he grew older and realized he was gay, he eventually fell out with the church.  "It's hard to embrace something that doesn't embrace you," he told NPR in 2021.  He eventually found his way back to the church, and in 2021 released a gospel album.

"My heart is broken. Leslie Jordan was one of the funniest people I ever had the pleasure of working with. Everyone who ever met him, loved him. There will never be anyone like him. A unique talent with an enormous, caring heart. You will be missed, my dear friend."
-Sean Hayes

[Source: Andrew Limbong, NPR News, Oct 2022]


Advocate: Leslie Jordan, Iconic Gay Comedian, Dead at 67
LA Times: Comedian and Actor Leslie Jordan: Queer Icon Dies After Car Crash
USA Today: Leslie Jordan, Beloved Will & Grace Actor and Social Media Sensation, Dies at 67
Queerty: Leslie Jordan, Beloved Actor and Gay Icon, Dies at 67
Variety: Leslie Jordan, Will & Grace and American Horror Story Star, Dies in Car Accident
People: Leslie Jordan's Will & Grace Costars Pay Tribute to the Late Actor

CNN: Leslie Jordan, Beloved Actor and Social Media Star, Dead at 67
Leslie Jordan's Final TV Interview
NPR: Actor and Comedian Leslie Jordan Dead at 67
Best Leslie Jordan Moments: Will & Grace

Karine Jean-Pierre: White House Press Secretary is a Gay Black Woman

Just in Time for National Coming Out Day

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Oct 11 2022 shared her own story of coming out in recognition of National Coming Out Day, urging other Americans not to feel discouraged.

“Like so many in the LGBTQ community, coming out wasn’t an easy thing to do. My family was traditional and conservative. Being gay in my family wasn’t something that you mentioned out loud or celebrated,” Jean-Pierre said at the start of the White House press briefing.


“But my family, like many families, grew to accept who I was. Who I loved didn’t change who I was as a person. It didn’t change the things I liked to do, and it didn’t change the goals I had for my life,” she continued. “The beauty of America is its freedom and the promise that you can do anything you want regardless of your race, sex, country of origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.”  Jean-Pierre expressed her appreciation for President Biden and first lady Jill Biden for being supportive of the LGBTQ community.

Jean-Pierre is the first openly gay woman and the first Black woman to serve as White House press secretary. She took over the role in May for Jen Psaki.

Oct 11 marked National Coming Out Day, which was started more than 30 years ago in support of members of the LGBTQ community who have come out about their sexual orientation or who are struggling with the process of coming out.  “I celebrate our LGBTQ community this National Coming Out Day. Never doubt that you are loved and appreciated for being exactly who you are,” Vice President Harris tweeted.

[Brett Samuels, the Hill, Oct 2022]


Karine Jean-Pierre: White House Press Secretary is a Gay Black Woman

The White House's Karine Jean-Pierre on Fixing MAGA's Mess
Karine Jean-Pierre Reflects on Coming Out as Gay: Wasn't an Easy Thing
Karine Jean-Pierre: Wikipedia


Current LGBTQ News


Supreme Court Decision on Roe Sets Off Alarm Bells in the LGBTQ Community
Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
LGBTQ Americans: History Is on Our Side

Awaken Dawn: Gun Violence Film

LGBTQ Groups Voice Outrage Over Dobbs Ruling Overturning Roe
Biden on SCOTUS Decision: This is Not Over
How will Roe v. Wade Reversal Affect LGBTQ Rights?
Biden Issues Wide-Ranging Executive Order Protecting LGBTQ Rights
Texas GOP Adopts Shockingly Explicit Anti-LGBTQ Party Platform

Trump Attacks Trans People at Alaska Rally
Out WNBA Star Brittney Griner, Imprisoned in Russia, Pleads for Biden's Help
Mallory vs Lana: Confronting Ignorant Lies and Misinformation


Cubans Vote to Legalize Same Sex Marriage

Cuba Approves Same-Sex Marriage in Historic Referendum

In September 2022, Cubans have approved a sweeping “family law” code that would allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt as well as redefining rights for children and grandparents. The measure (which contains more than 400 articles) was approved by 66.9% to 33.1%.  The reforms had met unusually strong open resistance from the growing evangelical movement in Cuba (and many other Cubans) despite an extensive government campaign in favor of the measure, including thousands of informative meetings across the country and extensive media coverage backing it. The code would allow surrogate pregnancies, broader rights for grandparents in regard to grandchildren, protection of the elderly and measures against gender violence.


President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who has promoted the law, acknowledged questions about the measure. “Most of our people will vote in favor of the code, but it still has issues that our society as a whole does not understand,” he said. The measure had been approved by Cuba’s Parliament, the National Assembly, after years of debate about such reforms.  A major supporter of the measure was Mariela Castro, director of the National Center for Sex Education, a promoter of rights for same-sex couples, daughter of former President Raul Castro and niece of his brother Fidel.


But there is a strong strain of social conservatism in Cuba and several religious leaders have expressed concern or opposition to the law, worrying it could weaken nuclear families.  While Cuba was officially (and often militantly) non-religious for decades after the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro (Raul’s brother) it has become more tolerant of religions over the past quarter century. That has meant a greater opening for not only the once-dominant Roman Catholic Church, but also to Afro-Cuban religions, Protestants and Muslims. Some of those churches took advantage of the opening in 2018 and 2019 to campaign against a re-write of the constitution to allow gay marriage. Opposition was strong enough that the government at that time backed away.

[Source: Associated Press, September 2022]


NBC: Cuba Approves Same-Sex Marriage in Unusual Referendum
Washington Post: Cuba Approves Same-Sex Marriage in Historic Turnabout
CNN: Cuba Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in Historic Referendum
BBC: Cuba Votes to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Biden Touts Importance of LGBTQ Rights in UN Speech

President Biden imagines a future where the LGBTQ community individuals live and love freely without being targeted with violence

In a speech before the UN General Assembly in Sept 2022, President Biden championed the importance of LGBTQ rights abroad. He declared, “The future will be won by those countries that unleash the full potential of their populations, where women and girls can exercise equal rights, including basic reproductive rights, and contribute fully to building stronger economies and more resilient societies; where religious and ethnic minorities can live their lives without harassment and contribute to the fabric of their communities; where the LGBTQ community individuals live and love freely without being targeted with violence; where citizens can question and criticize their leaders without fear of reprisal.”

In February 2021, Biden issued a presidential memorandum to protect the rights of LGBTQ people worldwide. The memorandum established the administration’s commitment to “ensure that United States diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQ persons.”


Among other actions, he directed agencies to combat the criminalization of LGBTQ identities, protect LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers, and provide foreign assistance to advance nondiscrimination efforts around the world.

A large part of Biden’s speech to the UN focused on condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations Charter — no more important than the clear prohibition against countries taking the territory of their neighbor by force,” he said. Biden also emphasized the US “vision of a free, open, secure, and prosperous world” where “individuals have the chance to live in dignity and develop their talents.”

[Source: Molly Sprayregen, LGBTQ Nation, September 2022]

Biden Touts Importance of LGBTQ Rights in UN Speech
LGBTQ Equality Not Within Reach in US Says UN Official

President Biden: We Must Stop the Assault on American Democracy
Joe Biden: Trump and Followers Are Undermining American Democracy
UN Expert Urges Joe Biden to do More for LGBTQ Rights Amid Veritable Plague of Attacks


Two-Thirds of Swing State Voters Support Marriage Equality

“Marriage equality has been nothing but positive, both for the LGBTQ community and for our society as a whole."

-President Joni Madison


With the proposed Respect for Marriage Act awaiting debate in the US Senate, new polling data from the Human Rights Campaign indicates that over two-thirds of registered voters in swing states support marriage equality.

The data collected by the HRC, the largest LGBTQ civil rights organization in the country, shows that 64 percent of prospective voters in the November midterm election would support a law “protecting the national right to same-sex marriage.”

The voters polled all reside in “battleground” states — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — defined as states where the Republican and Democratic parties have near-equal levels of support.



Thousands or even hundreds of votes could affect the outcome of an election in swing states, yet support for marriage equality surpasses party lines with endorsement from two-thirds of voters. Support also transcends polling subgroups, with 58 percent of men in favor, 69 percent of women, and 55 percent of Christians.

“Marriage equality has been nothing but positive, both for the LGBTQ community and for our society as a whole — and that’s reflected in this polling,” HRC Interim President Joni Madison said in a statement alongside the data’s release.

“Same-sex marriage has been legal nationally since 2015, and in many states for years before that. The joy that has emanated from thousands of weddings of couples who were previously denied the right to marry has melted many hearts,” she continued. “And the supposed harms that opponents of marriage equality predicted simply have not come to pass.”

The recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the case guaranteeing nationwide access to abortion, has many LGBTQ community members worried that the ruling ensuring marriage equality will also be revoked. Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the court's most conservative members, has said he would like to see that happen.



To protect the civil rights of queer individuals, the US House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act in July 2022 in a 267-157 vote with the support of 47 Republicans. The bill is currently awaiting deliberation in the Senate, where Democratic legislators aim to bring it to a vote before the November election.

Democrats have pushed for a swift Senate vote in order to force Republicans into taking a stance on marriage equality. If Republican candidates in battleground races vote against the act, their campaigns will likely suffer for it, as the issue of abortion indicates.

Since the overturning of Roe, several states have pushed abortion bans. Recent data from The Wall Street Journal shows that 60 percent of registered voters support legal access to abortion, which has substantially swayed voters to support Democratic candidates.

“It is more important than ever to pass the Respect for Marriage Act,” Madison concluded. “And reflect the voice of the 71 percent of Americans nationwide who support marriage equality.”

[Source: Ryan Adamczeski, Advocate Magazine, Sept 2022]

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Marriage Equality Bill Could Pass Senate Despite Some GOP Opposition
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Straight Congressman’s Impassioned Speech for Marriage Equality

Jim Obergefell Slams Supreme Court’s Threat to Overturn Same-Sex Marriage

Ted Cruz Says SCOTUS Should Overturn Marriage Equality
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Ted Cruz: Supreme Court Gay Marriage Decision Was Wrong


Continued Battle for the Soul of the Nation

"As I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under assault."

-President Joe Biden, September 2022


"Trump and the extreme MAGA Republicans are a clear and present danger to our democracy."

-Michael Luttig, Federal Circuit Court Judge

President Joe Biden issued a dire warning for the future of American democracy ahead of the midterm elections, saying former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies "threaten the very foundation of our republic."

Biden gave the nationally broadcast speech on Sept 1, 2022 from the Independence National Historical Park in downtown Philadelphia, where the US Constitution was crafted in 1787. The address, which White House officials called the "battle for the soul of the nation," saw Biden maintain his increasingly combative posture to the Republican Party and comes on the heels of recent legislative wins and a rise in his poll numbers.


During the speech, Biden called on Americans to preserve the Constitution and democracy, warning that "MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards, backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love. They promote authoritarian leaders, and they fanned the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country."

"MAGA Republicans," Biden stated, " do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people. They refuse to accept the results of a free election, and they’re working right now as I speak in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself."

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LGBTQ Equality Not Within Reach in US Says UN Official

“Despite five decades of progress, equality is not within reach, and often not even within sight."

-Victor Madrigal-Borloz

There has been much progress for LGBTQ Americans in recent years, but equality remains elusive, says the United Nations’ independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity. Victor Madrigal-Borloz made the remarks at a press conference in August 2022 after spending 10 days traveling around the United States.

“Despite five decades of progress, equality is not within reach, and often not even within sight, for all persons impacted by violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the United States,’’ Madrigal-Borloz said. The comments constituted his preliminary report on the state of LGBTQ Americans. He will make a formal one to the UN Human Rights Council next year.

His US trip included stops in Washington DC,  Birmingham Ala,  Miami, and San Diego. He met with more than 70 officials at all levels of government, over 100 representatives of nonprofit organizations, and numerous LGBTQ citizens.  He praised President Joe Biden and his administration for issuing “very powerful” executive orders aimed at promoting LGBTQ equality, but he noted many anti-LGBTQ moves by state and local politicians. He said he’d heard of about 280 pieces of such legislation, “which also create a terribly polarizing narrative that exacerbates already high and worrisome risks of violence and discrimination.”


“I am deeply alarmed by a widespread, profoundly negative riptide created by deliberate actions to roll back the human rights of LGBTQ people at state level,” he said. These include many attacks on transgender youth, such as efforts to keep them from accessing gender-affirming health care or bar them from competing on the sports teams designated for their gender identity. “The evidence shows that, without exception, these actions rely on prejudiced and stigmatizing views of LGBTQ persons, in particular transgender children and youth, and seek to leverage their lives as props for political profit,” Madrigal-Borloz said.

He also pointed out the high rate of violence against LGBTQ people, with, for instance, 20.3 percent of reported hate crimes based on anti-LGBTQ bias. He further cited a high risk of homelessness among queer Americans, widespread discrimination, and other challenges the LGBTQ population faces, including the effect of bad immigration policy, left over from the previous administration, on refugees and asylum seekers.

Overall, “the Biden-Harris administration has adopted powerful and meaningful actions that are in conformity with international human rights law, reveal a thoughtful strategy created through participative approaches, and provide significant capacity for their implementation,” he concluded. “This is exactly the combination of values, knowledge, and muscle that can drive social change.

“In light of a concerted attack to undermine these actions, I exhort the administration to redouble its efforts to support the human rights of all LGBTQ persons living under its jurisdiction and helping them to safe waters.”

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate Magazine, August 2022]

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Monkeypox Outbreak in Gay Community


The country's monkeypox outbreak can still be stopped, US health officials say, despite rising case numbers and so far limited vaccine supplies.

The Biden administration's top health official pushed back against criticism about the pace of the response and worries that the US has missed the window to contain the virus, which has been declared a global emergency.

"We believe we have done everything we can at the federal level to work with our state and local partners and communities affected to make sure we can stay ahead of this and end this outbreak," Xavier Becerra, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, explained. But he added that local health officials "must do their part. We don't have the authority to tell them what to do."


The pushback from federal leaders came as they announced distribution plans for 780,000 shots of the two-dose Jynneos vaccine. The doses will be allocated to states, cities and other localities based on their case numbers and the size of their populations that are considered high-risk for the disease. Health departments in San Francisco, New York, Washington, DC, and elsewhere say they still don't have enough shots to meet demand and have stopped scheduling appointments for second vaccine doses to stretch supplies.

"Clinics around the country are pleading with federal health officials for the information, supplies and staffing they need to successfully bring an end to this outbreak," said David C. Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, in a statement. The group is pressing for $100 million in emergency funding for local health departments and clinics.  The US is now capable of testing 60,000 to 80,000 people per day, though Becerra said daily testing numbers are well below that.

There were more than 4,600 reported monkeypox cases in the US as of July 2022, according to the CDC, and federal officials expect those numbers to rise. More than 99% of reported cases are in men and the vast majority of those are among men who reported sexual contact with other men, though health officials have stressed that anyone can catch the virus.


The monkeypox virus mainly spreads through skin-on-skin contact, but it can also transmit through touching linens used by someone with the infection. People with monkeypox may experience fever, body aches, chills and fatigue. Many in the outbreak have developed sometimes-painful zit-like bumps.

The US has ordered 5.5 million more vaccine doses for delivery by mid-2023 and has rights to the raw ingredients that could make 11.1 million more doses. US officials said a massive vaccination campaign could still be avoided if communities and individuals take measures to avoid spread.

In San Francisco, Tom Temprano had an appointment to get his second dose next week but was recently notified that it was canceled due to limited supplies. Temprano, who is the political director of San Francisco-based Equality California, said he's frustrated that health authorities have taken so long to respond. "Especially coming out of, still, two-and-a-half years into a pandemic, it's just a very disappointing response for the first larger-scale public health crisis we're facing coming out of that," he said.

He also sees parallels to the slow government response to AIDS in the 1980s. "I've heard from many folks that this feels similar in the lack of real concern and urgency to a disease that is right now disproportionately impacting the LGBTQ community," said Temprano, who is 36.

The CDC estimates about 1.5 million Americans currently meet suggested criteria for vaccination, primarily men who have sex with men.

[Source: Associated Press, July 2022]

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Senator Rubio Criticizes Same-Sex Marriage Bill

 Tammy Baldwin and Pete Buttigieg clap back at their Senate colleague after he called the Respect for Marriage Act a “stupid waste of time.”

Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, the first out member of the US Senate, confronted Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) after he called the Respect for Marriage Act a “stupid waste of time.”  Baldwin said, "The recent Supreme Court decision eroded a constitutional right to privacy. There’s a whole bunch of cases that have been decided based on a constitutional right to privacy that are in jeopardy. And I don't think the Respect for Marriage Act is stupid."

The Respect for Marriage Act would write marriage equality into US law, a safeguard in case the Supreme Court overturns Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 ruling that established equal marriage rights nationwide.

The Respect for Marriage Act was passed by the US House in July 2022 and is now pending in the Senate. It would assure that the federal government recognizes all valid marriages, no matter the gender or race of the spouses, and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which remains on the books although unenforceable due to a 2013 Supreme Court decision. DOMA denied federal recognition to same-sex marriages and allowed states to deny recognition to marriages performed in other states.

Baldwin, a lesbian, introduced the bill in the Senate along with a fellow Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, and a Republican colleague, Susan Collins of Maine. The legislation passed the House with bipartisan support, 47 Republicans joining all Democrats, but it may have a harder time in the Senate.



Out Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was asked about how the majority of House Republicans opposed the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) bill and about Sen. Rubio’s claim that the bill was a “stupid waste of time.”

“If Rubio’s got time to fight against Disney, I don’t know why he wouldn’t have time to help safeguard marriages like mine. Look, this is really, really important to a lot of people. It’s certainly important to me,” Buttigieg said. Buttigieg was referring to how Rubio attacked Disney in April for issuing a statement opposing Florida’s Don’t Say Gay law.

Buttigieg went on to talk about his weekend, saying that he “tried to give his husband Chasten a little bit of a break” by feeding their twin babies at breakfast. “That’s no small thing, as every parent of small kids knows,” he joked, adding that it wasn’t particularly easy that morning. “That half-hour of my morning had me thinking about how much I depend on and count on my spouse every day, and our marriage deserves to be treated equally,” he said. “I don’t’ know why this would be hard,” he added, referring to the RMA vote.

“I just don’t understand how such a majority of House Republicans voted ‘no’ on our marriage,” he continued, “hours after I was in a room with a lot of them talking about transportation policy, having what I thought were perfectly normal conversations with many of them on that subject, only for them to go around the corner and say that my marriage doesn’t deserve to continue.”

“If they don’t want to spend a lot of time on this, they can vote ‘yes,’ and move on, and that would be really reassuring for a lot of families around America, including mine,” he concluded.

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Republicans Split on Same-Sex Marriage Bill: Faces Uncertainty in the Senate


Senator Ted Cruz Says Supreme Court Was Wrong In Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

The dumbass Republican Senator from Texas says the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, which legalized same-sex marriage across the country, was clearly wrong and overreaching.

Ted Cruz was speaking about the differences between that case and the Supreme Court’s recent decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, which had previously protected abortion rights nationwide. He criticized the court for preventing individual states from deciding for themselves whether same-sex marriage should be allowed.


“Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation’s history. Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states,” he said. “In Obergefell, the court said no, we know better than you guys do, and now every state must sanction and permit gay marriage. I think that decision was clearly wrong when it was decided. It was the court overreaching.”

Cruz added that he personally doesn’t expect the court to reverse its decision, however, reasoning that “it would be more than a little chaotic” based on the number of same-sex marriages that have already legally taken place.

Cruz has previously advocated for allowing individual states to outlaw same-sex marriage. For many, his desire appears closer to a reality due to last month’s Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which ignited concerns that the court might overturn other decisions.

Justice Clarence Thomas amplified that concern, stating in a solo concurring opinion that any decision made by the Supreme Court that was stated to be supported by the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, such as Roe v. Wade was, should be reconsidered.

“Any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’” he said last month, adding that “we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”

Other rulings citing the due process clause include Griswold v. Connecticut, which established the right for married couples to use contraception; Lawrence v. Texas, which prohibits states from banning sexual relations between people of the same sex; and Loving v. Virginia, which protects interracial marriage.

Thomas mentioned the Obergefell, Griswold and Lawrence cases in his opinion but not did mention the Loving case, which, if overturned, could threaten his own interracial marriage.

[Source: Nina Golgowski, Huffongton Post, July 2022]

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NBC News: Sen. Ted Cruz says Supreme Court was Wrong to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage
Jim Obergefell Slams Supreme Court’s Threat to Overturn Same-Sex Marriage


Megan Rapinoe Receives Presidential Honor


President Joe Biden awarded the American soccer star Megan Rapinoe the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Rapinoe was one of the 17 recipients in July 2022 who were recognized by Biden.  Other recipients included gymnast and fellow Olympian Simone Biles, the Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington and Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who died in 2018. Rapinoe is the first soccer player to receive the award and one of just six female athletes or coaches.

"Beyond the World Cup title to Olympic medals, Megan is a champion for essential American truth that everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect," Biden said at the award ceremony at the White House. "She helped lead the change for perhaps the most important victory for anyone on our soccer team or any soccer team: equal pay for women."


Rapinoe has been a member of the US Women's National Team since 2006 and has helped the team win two Olympic medals and two World Cup championships. Off the field, she has made a name for herself for her contribution to LGBTQ equality and equality in women's sports.

In 2016, Rapinoe and four other US Women’s National Team players filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against the US Soccer Federation, alleging gender discrimination. Then in 2019, 28 members of the team, including Rapinoe, filed a similar lawsuit, citing years of gender discrimination in pay, medical treatment and overall workload.

The group of five players reached a settlement with the US Soccer Federation in February 2022, receiving $24 million and securing an agreement from the federation to pay men and women equally in all exhibition games, or friendlies, and tournaments.

“For us, this is just a huge win in ensuring that we not only right the wrongs of the past, but set the next generation up for something we only dreamed of,” Rapinoe said after the settlement was reached.

In May 2022, US Soccer announced a collective bargaining agreement with the women's and men's national teams to close the gender pay gap.


Rapinoe is the latest openly LGBTQ American to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, following comedian Ellen DeGeneres, gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, and playwright Tennessee Williams.

"I am humbled and truly honored to be chosen for this award by President Biden and feel as inspired and motivated as ever to continue this long history of fighting for the freedoms of all people," Rapinoe said in a statement after being named a medal recipient last month. "To quote Emma Lazarus, ‘Until we are all free, we are none of us free.’”

[Source: Matt Lavietes, NBC News, July 2022]

Megan Rapinoe Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
Lesbian Athlete Megan Rapinoe Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom


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Supreme Court Overturns Roe vs. Wade Decision


“We are at an exceedingly dangerous, unprecedented moment."

 -Joni Madison, Human Rights Campaign Interim President


The US Supreme Court made it official: in a 6-3 decision, the justices ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that the constitutional right to an abortion, which has existed for nearly half a century, no longer exists. States can now ban abortion, and about half are poised to do so. The long-planned radicalization of the Court by the right-wing has finally come to fruition, with the appointment under Donald Trump of three well-vetted justices guaranteed to carry out the right’s ideological agenda.

Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion, said “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey [a subsequent abortion rights decision] have enflamed debate and deepened division. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”


The rhetoric about division is laughable. The majority of Americans support some form of access to abortion. This decision will only deepen division. It will, however, delight the conservative base that the justices are catering to. The lack of regard for precedent and for public opinion is a very bad sign for LGBTQ rights. Indeed, Justice Clarence Thomas all but issued an open invitation to right-wing legal activists to find cases to bring his way.

“The message here is clear and distressing: Americans are losing protected access to abortion, a constitutional right they have valued for nearly 50 years, and other rights to personal liberty are at risk too. The anti-abortion playbook and the anti-LGBTQ playbook are one and the same. Both are about denying control over our bodies and making it more dangerous for us to live as we are. Both divide our country into free and less free, the opposite of what the United States should be. Our bodies, healthcare and our future belong to us, not to a meddling politician or extremist Supreme Court justices, and we will fight back.”

-Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO


"This ruling will cost women their lives and livelihoods. It will cost LGBTQ women, transgender men and nonbinary people their lives and livelihoods. And it will cost their friends, family, loved ones and neighbors those lives and livelihoods as a result. We cannot and will not allow this gross injustice to stand. We must fight twice as hard and twice as long, if necessary, to secure this fundamental right as our opponents have fought to rip it away. We are working with our allies in the reproductive freedom movement across California and across the country to protect access to safe, legal abortion. And we remain focused on a variety of LGBTQ issues, including attacks against trans kids, efforts to roll back protections for LGBTQ students, critical criminal justice reforms and the freedom to marriage equality. We will continue to monitor developments that threaten hard-fought rights to ensure that we can confront them quickly. And we must vote out anyone who stands in our way — until the work is done."

-Tony Hoang, Executive Director of Equality California

“As a result of today’s decision, some people will die because they can no longer access abortion care. Others will have their lives ruined by not being able to make their own decisions about their health and their futures. And as Justice Thomas makes clear in his concurrence, which openly calls for the reversal of the fundamental rights to contraception, sexual intimacy, and marriage, the Court’s disregard for precedent poses a clear and present danger to freedoms that are of utmost importance not only to LGBTQ people but to every person in this country.”

-Julianna Gonen, Federal Policy Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights


“Every person in this country should be deeply alarmed by this shameful ruling, which is simply not normal and should be beyond the bounds of what is thinkable for the body entrusted to uphold our constitutional freedoms. We must rally together across all our communities to push back against these extreme assaults. We will fight alongside our partners and at every level of state and federal government and in the courts for the right of transgender people to access life-saving healthcare and for parents’ basic right to seek that care for their transgender children; for the rights of LGBTQ students and students with LGBTQ families to be welcomed and included in schools; to protect the recognition of our relationships; to ensure stronger protections for LGBTQ families and all families; and for access to abortion, contraception and reproductive choice.”

-Janson Wu, Executive Director, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders

"It is disturbing and dangerous that the Court overturned the key precedents of Roe v. Wade and Casey. Doing so allows tremendous overreach and intrusion by the government into our most personal decisions and freedoms — on an issue that was settled five decades ago. This ruling is rooted in sexism and misogyny. It denies equality before the law and restricts the right of anyone who needs abortion care in order to make their own decisions about their own lives...We know this: bans on abortion are deeply racist and profoundly sexist — the harshest impacts always fall on Black and Brown women and pregnant people and our families and communities. This decision will impact these communities the most, and it is these lives that will be forever harmed by the loss of these fundamental rights."

-Kierra Johnson, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force.


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Jim Obergefell Slams Supreme Court’s Threat to Overturn Same-Sex Marriage
Olivia Rodrigo and Lily Allen: Fuck You to SCOTUS
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Thomas Wants Supreme Court to Overturn Rulings that Legalized Contraception and Same-Sex Marriage
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Liberal Redneck: Not So Supreme Court

Texas Republican Platform Says Being Gay is an Abnormal Lifestyle Choice

The GOP platform opposes all efforts to validate transgender identity

The Republican Party of Texas is well known for its anti-LGBTQ stances, but the party platform it adopted this year goes beyond even previous ones, with language calling homosexuality “an abnormal lifestyle choice” and opposing “all efforts to validate transgender identity.” The party adopted the platform at its convention in Houston in June 2022.

Previous platforms included much anti-gay and anti-trans language, but the “abnormal lifestyle choice” statement is new. The platform also endorses conversion therapy, as it has in the past, and calls it by a new name, “reintegrative therapy.”

“Homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice,” the platform reads. “We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin, and we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. No one should be granted special legal status based on their LGBTQ identification.”



At least one delegate, David Gebhart, tried to soften this language, saying, “We are the Republican Party of Texas, not the Westboro Baptist Church." Gebhart’s suggestion was met with laughter and boos. Other delegates made homophobic and sexually charged comments.

The platform addresses trans identity more explicitly than in the past. It calls gender dysphoria “a genuine and extremely rare mental health condition” and opposes any gender-affirming treatment for people under 21. This aligns with Gov. Greg. Abbott’s recent order that parents who allow their minor children to receive gender-affirming health care be investigated for child abuse (the order is temporarily blocked by court action). Texas legislators tried but failed to pass a law declaring such care to be child abuse.

Without recognizing any irony, though, the platform endorses “the fundamental right of parents to make all decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children in all aspects.” Apparently allowing children access to gender-affirming care is not one of those aspects.


The document further opposes teaching about critical race theory in K-12 schools (something that is not taught outside of higher education anyway) and calls for students “to learn about the humanity of the pre-born child.” It also asserts that President Joe Biden was not legitimately elected and criticizes US Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, for negotiating with Democrats on gun regulations. Cornyn was booed at the convention.

The platform shows how far rightward the party has lurched.

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate Magazine, June 2022]


Texas GOP Adopts Shockingly Explicit Anti-LGBTQ Party Platform

Texas Republican Platform Says Being Gay is an Abnormal Lifestyle Choice
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Biden Issues Wide-Ranging Executive Order Protecting LGBTQ Rights

The order directs federal agencies to address health care, education, conversion therapy, homelessness, foster care, and more.

In June 2022, President Joe Biden issued an executive order aimed at advancing the rights of LGBTQ people and fighting back against state legislative attacks. The order, which comes on the same day the president is hosting a Pride Month reception at the White House, addresses health care, education, conversion therapy, homelessness, foster care, and more.

More than 300 anti-LGBTQ bills, many of them aimed specifically at transgender youth, have been introduced in state legislatures this year, and more than 20 have become law. These include Alabama’s law criminalizing the provision of gender-affirming care to young people, which is temporarily blocked by a court. In Texas, there was not legislative action against such care, but Gov. Greg Abbott directed the state’s child welfare agency to investigate parents who allow their children access to this care, as he considers it child abuse (the probes are likewise temporarily halted by a court). Also, several of the laws passed in the past few years affect education, such as Florida’s “don’t say gay” legislation and numerous states’ restrictions on trans youth’s participation in school sports.


In response, Biden’s order advises states on how to take the opposite approach. It instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to release new sample policies for states on how to expand access to comprehensive health care for LGBTQ people, including gender-affirming care. Further, to address the high risk of suicide among LGBTQ youth, it directs HHS to expand young people’s access to suicide prevention resources and to issue new guidance through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on providing evidence-informed mental health care for this population.

In addition, it directs the Department of Education to address the impact of laws affecting students and to prepare a sample school policy how to achieve inclusive education. The DOE will set up a Working Group on LGBTQ Students and Families, “which will advance policies for states, school districts, and other educational institutions to promote safe and inclusive learning environments in which all students thrive,” according to a White House fact sheet.

On conversion therapy, Biden is directing HHS to explore issuing guidance that will clarify that federally funded programs cannot offer the discredited and harmful practice. “HHS will also increase public awareness about its harms, provide training and technical assistance to health care providers, and expand support for services to help survivors,” the fact sheet says.


He is encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to consider whether conversion therapy constitutes an unfair or deceptive act or practice and whether to issue consumer warnings or notices. He is further directing the secretaries of State, Treasury, and HHS to develop an action plan to promote an end to the practice around the world and ensure that US foreign assistance dollars do not fund it.


The order deals with a variety of other youth and family issues as well. It directs HHS to strengthen nondiscrimination protections in the foster care system. It further will “charge HHS with launching a new initiative to partner with state child welfare agencies to improve outcomes for LGBTQ youth in care; increase training for child welfare personnel on best practices for supporting LGBTQ youth; promote placements of children into environments that will support their sexual orientation and gender identity; and study and address the disproportionate rates of child removals that LGBTQ parents face, especially women of color,” according to the White House.

Biden is also directing HHS to expand access to voluntary family counseling and support programs and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with researching the impacts of family rejection on the mental health and long-term well-being of LGBTQ people. Another HHS project will be studying how current eligibility standards for federal programs affect LGBTQ households and issuing recommendations for more inclusive standards.

HHS is tasked with establishing a bill of rights for older LGBTQ Americans, provide guidance on avoiding discrimination in long-term care settings, and consider making a new rule assuring that LGBTQ people are included in the definition of populations facing “greatest social need” under the Older Americans Act.

To address homelessness and housing instability among LGBTQ Americans, the order calls on the Department of Housing and Urban Development to establish a working group to explore barriers to housing, seek ways to address these barriers, and provide technical assistance to housing providers.

Biden is also directing the US attorney general to set up a new clearinghouse within the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to provide effective training, technical assistance, and other resources for jurisdictions to better serve LGBTQ youth in the juvenile justice system.


Lastly, the order establishes a new committee to coordinate data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity across agencies while safeguarding privacy.

The directive builds on policies the Biden administration has already put in place, White House officials said. These include Biden’s executive order on his first day in office implementing protections against discrimination across the federal government; rescinding the ban on transgender people serving in the military; appointing a special envoy to advance the rights of LGBTQ people around the world; and establishing a gender-neutral marker on federal identification documents.

The president remains committed to the passage of the Equality Act, which would ban anti-LGBTQ discrimination nationwide in employment, housing, public accommodations, credit, and a variety of other aspects of life, the officials said. In response to one reporter’s question, they said “any assertion that he hasn’t been full-throated” in support of the act is wrong. The act has been approved by the House of Representatives but is stalled in the Senate, where Republicans are resisting it. The Senate is split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats (including two independents who caucus with the Democrats), but under the filibuster rule, it takes the support of 60 senators to end debate on most bills and move to a vote on the actual legislation.

The Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus commended Biden for the order, which aligns with the goals of the Equality Act and other legislation introduced by caucus members.

“President Biden has been a deeply committed ally to the LGBTQ community in the White House, and this executive order is another example of President Biden’s strong commitment to advancing LGBTQ rights,” said US Rep. David Cicilline, chair of the caucus. “At a time when radical right-wing politicians are pushing legislation targeting our community — and particularly transgender and nonbinary youth — President Biden is not just speaking out against these laws, he’s also taking critical actions to secure and protect our rights. This executive order will have a significant impact on LGBTQ people of all ages, from LGBTQ youth, including those in the foster care system, to LGBTQ older adults.”

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate Magazine, June 2022]

Biden Issues Wide-Ranging Executive Order Protecting LGBTQ Rights

Fact Sheet: President Biden Signs Historic Executive Order Advancing LGBTQ Equality
Day One (Jan 2021): Biden Issues Order Against Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination

Texas Pastor Calls for Execution of Gay People

It's not the first time a preacher from the Stedfast Baptist Church has made the news over calls of violence against LGBTQ people.

A pastor at a church in Texas, labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, delivered a sermon calling for the government execution of LGBTQ folks, and it’s not the first time he’s made such disturbing calls for violence.

In his sermon entitled, Why We Won’t Shut Up, Dillon Awes of the Stedfast Baptist Church in Hurst said gay men were predatory pedophiles who have either committed sex crimes against a child or just haven’t had the opportunity to do so yet, leading him to the conclusion that “We need to put these people to death through the proper channels of the government.”

Awes claimed the Bible’s solution to what he called the “sodomite deception” is queer people “should be lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head.”


“What does God say is the answer, is the solution for the homosexual in 2022, here in the New Testament, here in the book of Romans? That they are worthy of death,” Awes said. “Every single homosexual in our country should be charged with a crime, the abomination of homosexuality that they have, they should be convicted in a lawful trial, they should be sentenced to death, they should be lined up against a wall and shot in the back of the head.”

Awes and the Stedfast Baptist Church are in the midst of an anti-Pride month where he visits various local churches and organizations celebrating Pride, and films himself calling these churches blasphemous and tools of satan.

Last month, another preacher at the church, Jonathan Shelley, made the news for his call to commit violence against LGBTQ people. At an Arlington City Council meeting in May, Shelley railed against Pride, saying the Bible teaches “we should hate pride, not celebrate it.”

“God’s already ruled that murder, adultery, witchcraft, rape, bestiality, and homosexuality are crimes worthy of capital punishment,” he said.

Stedfast Baptist Church’s website says the government should impose the death penalty for homosexuality, but “Christians should not take the law into their own hands.” Other things it lists as sins include abortion, birth control, in vitro fertilization, feminism, and ecumenicalism. It doesn’t say if these are worthy of capital punishment. It’s an independent church, not affiliated with any larger Baptist body.



Awes has also produced a video called the Sodomite Deception which purports to center the alleged dangers of the LGBTQ community, but appears to contain little more than anti-gay epithets and threats.

“Why aren’t all these Baptists standing up and saying these freaks should go back to hell, should go back to the closet, put a bullet in your head?” Awes angrily asks in the trailer of the movie. “Why aren’t they saying it?”

“No homos will ever be allowed on this church as long as I’m the pastor here!” Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church shrieks in the film. “Never!”

More ominously, Aaron Thompson of the Sure Foundation Baptist Church calls for the murder of the LGBTQ community in the film.  “Is the law of the lord perfect or is it not?” Thompson asks. “It’s perfect, and what did he say? Put them to death.”

[Source: Donald Padgett, Advocate Magazine, June 2022]


Texas Pastor Calls for Gay People to Be Shot in the Head
Pro-Trump Candidate Calls for Executing Parents of LGBTQ Kids
Pastors in Idaho and Texas Call for Execution of LGBTQ People
Another Lunatic Pastor Calls For Execution of Gay People
Pastor Who Wants Death Penalty for Gays Rails Against Pride Month

Pastor Offers Biblical Solution to Gay People: Execution
Antigay Leaders Exposed as Gay or Bi
Dad Threatens to Show Up and Kill Somebody If Drag Queens Perform at His Kid’s School

Will Pride Pageantry Perk Up a Pensive Nation?

The parades, marches, events are a chance for one part of the population in this country to dance, sing, rejoice and celebrate.


“For the first time in the history of our country, a majority of our people believe that the next five years will be worse than the past five years. Two-thirds of our people do not even vote. The productivity of American workers is actually dropping, and the willingness of Americans to save for the future has fallen below that of all other people in the Western world.

“As you know, there is a growing disrespect for government and for churches and for schools, the news media, and other institutions. This is not a message of happiness or reassurance, but it is the truth and it is a warning. These changes did not happen overnight. They’ve come upon us gradually over the last generation, years that were filled with shocks and tragedy.”

The above sounds like something President Biden could have said yesterday or this morning, but the words above are from President Jimmy Carter’s famous “malaise” speech, formally known as “The Crisis of Confidence” speech in 1979, when high gas prices and high demand led to gas rationing, inflation was high, and American hostages were being held in Iran. The United States was at a crisis point. No offense to 1979, but that all seems tame compared to where we are now.


As we roll, or tumble, into Pride Month, we’re on the heels of mass shootings again — children in Uvalde, Texas, and people of color in Buffalo, NY — plus a do-nothing Congress that will do nothing about guns; a forthcoming Supreme Court decision that will likely overturn Roe v. Wade, with gay marriage next up in the crosshairs; queer kids, queer parents, and queer teachers under assault in the classroom; trans kids and trans athletes being demonized; baby formula shortages (kids are really getting slammed this year); monkeypox taking aim at gay men; and high gas prices, out-of-control inflation, and the war in Ukraine.

We will have televised hearings of the January 6 committee this month that will surely shock and anger all Americans — some rightly infuriated and others wrongly enraged. Oh, and another COVID-19 surge is upon us with a new variant that will peak this month, and likely one or more peaks to come. And travel in June and this summer is predicted to be miserable. CNN says we will “hate” it.

When we need to get away from all that has gone away, we can’t even get away.

This disaster of a mess growing steady, fast, and furious, like Billy Joel’s hyperventilating 1989 song, “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” that included this rapid staccato: “birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again / moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock / Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline / Ayatollahs in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan.” This stanza from the song, at one time so serious, seems somewhat less important now.

America doesn’t need a malaise speech as much as it needs a discourse about high anxiety. The wheels on this country are coming off. Now that’s not to say that they’ll come off completely. We’ve been in dire straits before, and America has bounced back; however, we have never been this divided. At least in the days of Jimmy Carter, most Americans thought he was right.


In our community, we look forward to the annual arrival of June — at least most of us do. It is Pride Month for us, and an opportunity for us to exult about who we are, despite all of the arrows being flung at us by devious politicians desperate to reenact the homophobia of the 1980s and 1990s. These lizard-like legislators are using our community as a weapon, as a cultural dividing line, as an insidious punchline to bigoted stump speeches and ruinous legislation.

But we won’t be deterred. Or will we? To be sure, some of the Pride events around the country, namely those in San Francisco and New York, are just as divided as our country, pitting police against Pride. Both sides have their points, but it’s illustrative that even in the LGBTQ+ community, a division exists.

Now that I’ve brought your mood down to the depths of despair, let me try to reassure you that America and our community need a bright, billowing, beautiful Pride Month more than ever, with colorful rainbows on every street corner.

There probably has never been a better time to have cities and towns across the country adorn their doorways and windows with Pride rainbow flags and decorations. The eclectic mix of colors brightens the cloudiness that hovers over June 2022 in America.

And the parades, marches, events (whatever you want to call them) are a chance for one part of the population in this country to dance, sing, rejoice and celebrate. Most of the rest of the country doesn't get this opportunity, but everyone is certainly more than welcome to join our party. It might be good to have a little bit of fun with gay men, lesbians, trans folk, drag queens, and leather daddies.


Some Americans still look askance at our revelry, and that’s too bad, particularly this year, when they should be lapping it up — somewhat of a pun intended. Our citizens are being beaten and punched and kicked and scolded — some more than others. If you’re out there and you're hurting and you're worrying and you’re afraid, don’t be afraid of us. Join us to let off some steam.

Some people might say, “Oh, I don’t want a bunch of straight people at Pride,” but I beg to differ. We need them as much as they need us. We’re going to need as much help as we can get when all of the midterm fires start trying to burn our community down. We need straight people, like Michigan state Sen. Mallory McMorrow, to support us. I’m not afraid to admit we need all the help we can get.

And America needs us. It needs our community to be bold, to be proud, and most importantly to be fun this month, and there’s no doubt we won’t let anyone down. As a matter of fact, we’ll pick you up if you are down.

May the pageantry of Pride perk up a pensive and problematic nation in the dismal month of June 2022.

[Source: John Casey, Advocate Magazine, June 2022]

Will Pride Pageantry Perk Up a Pensive Nation?

Info: Celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month

School Shooting Debate: Pete Buttigieg vs Ted Cruz

Eric Swalwell: Addressing Republican Arguments Against Gun Control
Pete Buttigieg Responds to Buffalo NY Supermarket Mass Shooting
Through Line of Critical Race, Don’t Say Gay, and Great Replacement

Beto O'Rourke Praises Parents of Trans Kids in Late Night Appearance
Amanda Gorman: Reasons to Stand Up for Roe v Wade

LGBTQ Adult Population in United States Reaches 20 Million

Gallup Poll: Twice as Many Americans Now Identify as LGBTQ


School Shooting in Uvalde, Texas

“We have a horrific scourge of gun violence in this country. The idea that us being the only developed country where this happens routinely – especially in terms of the mass shootings – is somehow a result of the design of the doorways on our school buildings is the definition of insanity, if not the definition of denial."
-Pete Buttigieg, US Transportation Secretary


19 young children and 2 teachers were shot dead in their classroom at Robb Elementary School in Texas. This is the 27th school shooting this year in the United States. We have seen 212 total mass shootings so far this year. Every day 106 people die from gun violence. Every year, 7,957 children and teens are shot. We have not even finished up with the funerals of the 10 black adults who were killed in Buffalo, NY. And now 19 children and two adults have been murdered within just days of that event.


In addition to "thoughts and prayers," Republican politicians have been quick to offer explanations and assign blame for the massacre. We have heard about the mental health problem, violent video games, poor parenting, police issues. And doors. Yes, doors.


Out Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg called out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for his focus on doors as a way to prevent mass shootings like the one that happened in Uvalde, Texas and left 19 kids and two adults dead.

Shortly after the massacre in late May, Sen. Cruz said that the problem at Robb Elementary School was that it had too many doors, and that schools should have fewer doors so that shooters can only enter in one place (although it would also make it much harder to evacuate a school in the case of a fire).  Cruz made the argument repeatedly in the wake of the shooting to have something to point to that isn’t gun regulation.


Buttigieg responded: “We have a horrific scourge of gun violence in this country,” Buttigieg said when asked by host George Stephanopoulos what he would have done when he was mayor of South Bend, Indiana if a shooting like this happened there. “As mayor – as every mayor is doing around the country – you take the steps that you can to reduce community violence.”

“But you’re also looking at Washington to say, ‘Will anything be different this time? Will we actually acknowledge the reasons why we are the only country – the only developed country – where this happens on a routine basis?'”

“The idea that us being the only developed country where this happens routinely – especially in terms of the mass shootings – is somehow a result of the design of the doorways on our school buildings is the definition of insanity, if not the definition of denial,” Buttigieg said.

School Shooting Debate: Pete Buttigieg vs Ted Cruz

Blaming Doorways: Definition of Insanity and Denial
Eric Swalwell: Addressing Republican Arguments Against Gun Control
Pete Buttigieg Responds to Buffalo NY Supermarket Mass Shooting









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