LGBTQ INFORMATION NETWORK │ RAINBOW OF RESOURCES

NEWS

 

Rainbow Wave: 114 LGBTQ Candidates Won Office This Year

Supreme Court Divided Over LGBTQ Rights

CBS Sunday Morning: Growing Up Trans

A Little Late With Lilly Singh

New York Grants State Benefits to LGBTQ Veterans

Democratic Candidates Participate in LGBTQ Town Hall

Apple CEO Tim Cook Receives GLSEN Respect Award

Is It Legal to Fire Workers for Being LGBTQ?

HRC and CNN 2020 Equality Town Hall

Donald Trump Jr Spews Ignorance About Trans Athletes

Rice University Band Performs Pro-LGBTQ Halftime Show

Mayor Pete Hailed as Role Model by 58 US Mayors

Elizabeth Warren Responding to Question About Marriage Equality

Disney's High School Musical Introduces Gay Teen Character

VP Pence Praises New Law Allowing Adoption Agencies to Ban Gay Parents

 

 

Top LGBTQ News Sources

 

Huff Post Queer Voices

Advocate Magazine

LGBTQ Nation

Pink News

Lavender Magazine

Rainbow Times

Pride Magazine

Trans Equality

Queerty

On Top Magazine

Washington Blade

Autostraddle

Towleroad

BuzzFeed LGBTQ

Queerspace Magazine

Alturi LGBTQ World News

 

Rainbow Wave: LGBTQ Candidates Getting Elected

 

In 2019, 144 openly LGBTQ candidates won their races, according to the Victory Fund, an organization which supports LGBTQ political candidates nationwide. In addition, 12 races involving LGBTQ candidates remain undecided or are headed to runoff elections.

A total of 382 known out LGBTQ candidates ran in political races this year. Among winners in Nov 2019 were eight bisexuals, 20 lesbians and nine trans women, including Danica Roem who serves in Virginia’s House of Delegates, making her the first-ever trans person to win re-election for a state legislature in the US.

 



“Anti-LGBTQ attacks on our candidates almost universally backfired,” said Annise Parker, President and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. She added: "LGBTQ candidates are winning elections in numbers and in parts of the country thought unthinkable a decade or two ago. LGBTQ people are in every community (we are people of color, women, immigrants, and people with disabilities) and we come from families both liberal and conservative. This beautiful diversity provides an opportunity to connect on some level with every single voter in America. That is the reason LGBTQ candidates are winning in unprecedented numbers, and this will only accelerate in the years ahead."

Victory Fund says there are currently 765 openly LGBTQ elected officials serving nationwide.

 

Rainbow Wave: 114 LGBTQ Candidates Won Office This Year

Danica Roem: First Trans Legislator Re-Elected

Trans Lawmaker of Virginia: Danica Roem

2019 Candidates Endorsed by the Victory Fund

Victory Fund: Results 2019

 

 

Current LGBTQ News

 

New HRC President: Alphonso David

Bogota, Columbia Elects First Woman and Lesbian Mayor

Beto O'Rourke: Progressive Views on Anti-LGBTQ Religious Institutions

Sen Chuck Schumer Addresses HRC National Dinner

Iowa Town Defies Federal Govt: Defends its Rainbow Crosswalks

Pete Buttigieg Makes History: Talks Publicly About His Coming Out

Perverted Acts: NC Republicans Trying to Ban Marriage Equality

Laverne Cox Interview: I'm Done Debating, Transgender is Real

LGBTQ Nation: Jersey Mayor Says LGBTQ Rights Should Not Be Mentioned in Schools

Queerspace Mag: SCOTUS to Hear LGBTQ Employment Discrimination Cases

 

Anti-LGBTQ Hate Crimes On the Rise

 

Hate crime murders in the US reached a 27-year high last year, according to new data released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and hate crimes targeting LGBTQ people rose by 6% in 2018 over 2017.

The 24 hate crime murders that occurred in 2018 mark their highest occurrence since the FBI began tracking and reporting hate crimes in 1991. While the number of overall hate crimes dropped slightly from 7,175 in 2017 to 7,036 in 2018, they remain high. Even more troubling: the number of actual hate crimes and murders that occurred in the US is likely to be much higher, due to under-reporting.

 

Among the 7,036 “single-bias hate crimes” reported in 2018 (that is, hate crimes in which a single perceived characteristic motivated the attacker) 16.7% happened due to sexual orientation bias and 2.2% occurred due to gender identity bias. An additional 59.6% occurred due to racism and 18.7% were motivated by religious-bias. These 7,036 single-biased hate crimes affected 8,646 victims total.

Of the 1,445 victims targeted due to sexual-orientation: 59.7 % were targeted for being gay men, 12.2% were targeted for being lesbian women, and 1.5% were targeted for being bisexual. Another 24.9% targeted LGBTQ people generally without listing a specific identity.

 

Of the 189 victims targeted for gender-identity, 160 were victims of anti-transgender bias and 29 were victims of anti-gender non-conforming (GNC) bias. This is an increase over the 131 reported anti-transgender or anti-GNC hate crimes in 2017.


[Source: Daniel Villarreal, LGBTQ Nation, November 2019]

 

LGBTQ Nation: Anti-LGBTQ Hate Crimes Reach a New High

HRC Report: Alarming Increase in Number of LGBTQ Hate Crimes

Mother Jones: Is Political Climate Leading to More Anti-LGBTQ Violence?

Anti-LGBTQ Violence on the Rise and Government is to Blame

CBS News: Data Shows US Hate Crimes Continue to Rise

Reuters: Attacks Against LGBTQ Community Rarely Prosecuted

Trans Worker Threatened by Customers

 

Saudi Arabia Calls Homosexuality Extreme and Perverse

 

Saudi Arabia just called homosexuality a form of “extremism.” Don’t expect Trump to respond. Donald Trump has a long history of looking the other way whenever Saudi Arabia commits human rights abuses. A video posted on the Twitter account of Saudi Arabia’s state security agency called feminism, homosexuality, and atheism “unacceptable forms of extremism and perversion.” Trump’s willingness to let the country get away with human rights abuses empowered the country’s admission, and he’s likely not to comment on it.

Homosexuality and atheism have long been illegal and punishable by death in the absolute monarchy, where public protests and political parties are banned and the media is tightly controlled. And Trump greed has repeatedly excused Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses. Trump said of the country and its rulers, “I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.”

 



Trump’s first foreign trip as president was to Saudi Arabia, and during the trip he essentially said that the US would look the other way on the country’s human rights abuses. “We are not here to lecture,” Trump said. “We are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship.”

Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner has “a very strong bond” with the country’s crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman. So, even though  the CIA concluded with “high confidence” that bin Salman ordered the brutal October 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Trump said, “It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event. Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t.”

 

Trump’s infamous “Muslim travel ban” omitted Saudi Arabia, even though it’s a Muslim-majority country where five of the 19 September 11 hijackers came from. His pledge to decriminalize homosexuality internationally also made no mention of Saudi Arabia’s grievous anti-LGBTQ record.

Add to that the fact that the Trump administration conflates anti-LGBTQ policies with “religious freedom” and it’s easy to see how Trump has empowered Saudi Arabia to admit its animus against women and queer people despite the country’s claims to be “modernizing” towards Western values.

[Source: By Daniel Villarreal, LGBTQ Nation, Reuters, November 2019]

 

Saudi Arabia Calls Homosexuality Extreme and Perverse

Wikipedia: LGBTQ Rights in Saudi Arabia

Corporations Ignoring Saudi Arabia's Anti-LGBTQ Laws

Equaldex: LGBTQ Rights in Saudi Arabia

 

LGBTQ Rights on Trial

 

A seemingly divided Supreme Court struggled on Oct 8, 2019 over whether a landmark civil rights law protects LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, with one conservative justice wondering if the court should take heed of “massive social upheaval” that could follow a ruling in their favor.

With the court’s four liberal justices likely to side with workers who were fired because of their sexual orientation or transgender status, the question in two highly anticipated cases that filled the courtroom was whether one of the court’s conservatives might join them. Two hours of lively arguments touched on sex-specific bathrooms, locker rooms, and dress codes.

 

A key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 known as Title 7 bars job discrimination because of sex, among other reasons. In recent years, some courts have read that language to include discrimination against LGBTQ people as a subset of sex discrimination.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court appointee, said there are strong arguments favoring the LGBTQ workers. But Gorsuch suggested that maybe Congress, not the courts, should change the law because of the upheaval that could ensue. “It’s a question of judicial modesty,” Gorsuch said.

Two other conservatives, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, did not squarely indicate their views, although Roberts questioned how employers with religious objections to hiring LGBTQ people might be affected by the outcome.

 

The first of two cases involved a skydiving instructor and a county government worker in Georgia who were fired for being gay. The second case involves transgender people, and the audience in the courtroom included Stephens, transgender actor Laverne Cox and some people who had waited in line since the weekend to hear the court's arguments.

The Trump administration and lawyers for the employers hit hard on the changes that might be required in bathrooms, locker rooms, women’s shelters and school sports teams if the court were to rule that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covers LGBTQ people. Lawmakers, not unelected judges, should change the law, they argued.


“Sex means whether you’re male or female, not whether you’re gay or straight,” Noel Francisco, Trump’s top Supreme Court lawyer said.

 

Justice Samuel Alito, a conservative, seemed to agree with that argument, saying Congress in 1964 did not envision covering sexual orientation or gender identity. “You’re trying to change the meaning of ‘sex,’” Alito said.

If the votes of some conservative justices seemed in doubt, the liberals’ views were clear.

 

“And we can’t deny that homosexuals are being fired merely for being who they are,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor said. “At what point do we say we have to step in?”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pointed out that the term sexual harassment was unknown in 1964, but now is considered sex discrimination.

Justice Elena Kagan suggested sexual orientation is a clear subset of sex discrimination, saying that a man who loves other men cannot be treated differently by an employer than a woman who loves men.

 



The cases are the court’s first on LGBTQ rights since Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement and replacement by Kavanaugh. Kennedy was a voice for gay rights and the author of the landmark ruling in 2015 that made same-sex marriage legal throughout the United States. Kavanaugh generally is regarded as more conservative. A decision is expected by early summer 2020, amid the presidential election campaign.

A ruling for employees who were fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity would have a big impact for the estimated 8.1 million LGBTQ workers across the country because most states don’t protect them from workplace discrimination. An estimated 11.3 million LGBTQ people live in the US, according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA Law School.

 

Is It Legal to Fire Workers for Being LGBTQ?
NBC News: Supreme Court Divided Over LGBTQ Rights

NPR News: LGBTQ Employment Rights Case in Supreme Court

USA Today: Supreme Court Tackling Trans Job Bias Civil Rights Case

CBS News: Supreme Court Split Over LGBTQ Rights

LGBTQ Nation: Is Supreme Case About Right to Work or Right to Live?

AP News: Divided Supreme Court Weighing LGBTQ Rights

Queerspace Mag: SCOTUS to Hear LGBTQ Employment Discrimination Cases

 

 

Current LGBTQ News

 

Video: Megan Rapinoe's Speech at US Women's World Cup Champion's Parade

Pete Buttigieg: Unlikely Unprecedented Presidential Campaign

Ben Carson Spews Hateful Anti-Trans Slurs

Illinois is Fifth State to Include LGBTQ Curriculum in Schools

Advocate: Trump, Pence Open Door to Firing LGBTQ People Over Religion

Gay Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg

New York Times: Trump's Ominous Attempt to Redefine Human Rights

Right Wing Thrilled With Trump's Anti-LGBTQ Policies

Candidate Pete Buttigieg Confronts VP Mike Pence About Anti-Gay Comments

Advocate: Why Are We Still Failing LGBTQ Students?

 

Trump Promoting Anti-LGBTQ Legislation

 

Trump launches the latest in his ongoing attempts to whittle away at the rights and protections for LGBTQ people. While his is homophobia is rampant, in his latest move, we see, in particular, his transphobia in evidence.

 

In August 2019, the Trump administration filed a Supreme Court brief arguing that it should be perfectly legal to fire transgender people for being transgender. The brief argues in Harris Funeral Homes v EEOC & Aimee Stephens that an employer has every right under federal law to fire someone for transitioning. And the brief makes that argument using transphobic tropes.

 


The case is about Aimee Stephens, who worked for Harris Funeral Homes for five years before announcing that she was transitioning in 2012. Her employer said that she was “violating God’s commands” and fired her two weeks later. She filed a complaint with the EEOC saying that she suffered from sex discrimination under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the EEOC agreed. And now the Supreme Court will hear her case.

Her argument is that the Civil Rights Act bans discrimination based on sex, and it’s impossible to fire a transgender person without considering their sex. Furthermore, even if one were to accept that “sex” only refers to sex assigned at birth, she was discriminated against because she was fired for not conforming to sex stereotypes associated with people assigned male at birth.



 

This is an argument that the Trump administration has been working against, even though the Obama administration was supportive. Donald Trump and Republicans in general oppose LGBTQ civil rights legislation, so of course they’re going to work against attempts to get those protections through the courts.


The brief’s argument is that Congress never intended for “sex” discrimination to preclude discrimination against transgender people, even if that’s what a plain reading of the text would suggest. They also say that Harris Funeral Homes developed policies (like bathroom usage and a dress code) based on sex assigned at birth, and Stephens refused to follow those policies.



 

It also repeatedly says that Stephens’s identity and gender are unimportant to the case, what’s important is that she was going to violate her employers’ dress code. The brief reduces being transgender to clothes and presentation, as if she’s a man playing dress-up.
 

The brief’s language uses outdated language, dishonors pronouns, and is steeped in the idea that sex assigned at birth is the only real identity someone can have, and being transgender is something on top of that. That is, Aimee Stephens is a gender non-conforming man, not a transgender woman, according to the Trump administration.

[Source: LGBTQ Nation, August 2019]

 

Trump Urging EEOC to Turn Its Back on LGBTQ Workers

Trump: Trans Discrimination Should be Legal

Trump Tells Supreme Court: Allow Gay People to Be Fired

Trump: Discrimination Against Gays and Lesbians is Perfectly Legal

Trump Tells SCOTUS to Legalize Firing of LGBTQ Workers

New York Times: Trump's Ominous Attempt to Redefine Human Rights

Trump's New Anti-LGBTQ Policy for Federal Contractors

Christian Right Loves License-to-Discriminate Rule

Trump to Legalize LGBTQ Discrimination for Federal Contractors

"Concerned Citizen" Tells Business to Remove Rainbow Flag

Trump Urges Supreme Court to Approve Anti-Trans Discrimination

Trans College Student Kicked Out for Having Top Surgery

 

Jersey Mayor Spews Anti-LGBTQ Rhetoric

 

A Jersey Shore mayor is on an unholy crusade to keep positive images of LGBTQ people out of public schools.

In January 2019, Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill into law mandating that middle and high school curriculums include the historical contributions made by people with disabilities or who those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. Alfonso Cirulli, the Republican mayor of Barnegat, New Jersey, has freaked out about this and launched a campaign to stop it. He’s trying to create public pressure to force the legislature and governor to reverse their wise decision.

The malignant mayor stated: “Sometimes laws are introduced with the best intentions but sometimes they go overboard…from my observation, we’ve crossed over the line into absurdity.”



 

First, there is nothing absurd about teaching the truth and giving credit to LGBTQ people who have helped improve this country from the very beginning. What Cirulli is doing is unseemly. He is demanding that the government lie to students about reality. He is insisting that we build a giant closet that renders LGBTQ people invisible. The mayor wants to hide LGBTQ heroes that have given far more to this country than he has.
 

What he’s not saying is that if LGBTQ people are hidden, it’s much simpler for bigots like Cirulli to ostracize and discriminate against them. You know what crosses over the line into absurdity? Cirulli’s ridiculous reason for opposing the LGBTQ curriculum. He said, “The government has no right to teach our kids morality.”

Then he immediately and ironically turned around and incoherently said that the LGBTQ political movement was “an affront to almighty God with the intent of trying to completely eradicate God’s law. The Bible tells us that they will try but not succeed, and pay the eternal price for their rebellion.” So the mayor doesn’t have a problem with teaching morality – as long as it’s his backwater version of morality. No hypocrisy or disconnect from reality here.



 

Finally, the mayor said, “There is no hate or bigotry intended here. But no group has a right to force others to comply with their beliefs.” Again, Cirulli is trying to ram his own personal sectarian beliefs down the throats of all New Jersey residents. And, yes, Mr. Mayor, trying to erase the contributions of an entire community is the very definition of bigotry.

In electing to go down this path, the small minded, small town mayor has chosen ignorance over information and indoctrination over education. He has embarrassed and humiliated Barnegat, New Jersey. He has made a place most people have never heard of seem intolerant and unwelcoming.

For what he has done to his constituents and the reputation of his town, Cirulli ought to resign. Worst of all, the mayor is a former assistant principal – so who knows how many students he harmed with his backward, homophobic attitude over the years. How much bullying of LGBTQ students did he allow to take place during his tenure? How many lives is he responsible for ruining? We may never know.

It’s 2019 and it’s past time to leave this medieval mindset behind. Teaching the important contributions of LGBTQ people in world history will not turn a single kid gay. However, denying students incontrovertible facts about LGBTQ people, could turn these kids into hateful bigots – and I submit that’s the real goal of Mayor Alfonso Cirulli.


[Source: Wayne Besen, LGBTQ Nation, August 2019]

 

Advocate Mag: Jersey Mayor Calls LGBTQ Movement an Affront to God

LGBTQ Nation: Jersey Mayor Says LGBTQ Rights Should Not Be Mentioned in Schools

Washington Post: Jersey Mayor Rails Against New LGBTQ Education Law

NY Daily News: Jersey Mayor Against Teaching LGBTQ History in Schools

 

Author Toni Morrison Dies at 88

 

American author Toni Morrison has died. The Nobel laureate (whose novels Beloved, Song of Solomon, and The Bluest Eye explored race in America) passed on August 5, 2019 in the Bronx at age 88.

 



Morrison was a towering figure in the literary community. She wrote 11 novels in her lifetime, and her honors included the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 

Her work often centered on a Black female protagonist and featured predominantly African-American characters, which was a revolutionary point of view within her literary generation. In her writing and interviews, Morrison spoke truth to power, laying bare the impact of oppression and racism, as well as the power of words to fight them.

 

New York Times Video: Remembering American Author Toni Morrison

Advocate Article: LGBTQ Community Mourns Passing of Toni Morrison

PBS News Video: Remembering Toni Morrison's Beautiful Human Urgency

Recent Interview with Toni Morrison

NBC News Video: Beloved Author Toni Morrison Dies at 88

CBS News Video: Legacy and Influence of Toni Morrison

 

 

Current LGBTQ News

 

PBS News: 50th Anniversary of Stonewall Riots

Disney Actor Joshua Rush Comes Out

Victoria's Secret Hires First Openly Trans Model

Advocate Commentary: Current State of Coming Out

New Kind of Prom Date

Photos From World Pride 2019

Thousands Celebrate Stonewall Riot 50th Anniversary

Country Rapper Lil Nas X Comes Out as Gay

"Concerned Citizen" Tells Business to Remove Rainbow Flag

Cory Booker: I have a Non-Binary "Niephew"

Transgender People Killed in 2019

Clarence Thomas: Marriage Equality Decision Should be Overturned

NBA Star Dwayne Wade Supports His Gay Son

Presidential Campaign: Pete Buttigieg in Provincetown

Advocate Mag: Champions of Pride 2019

Pride Month 2019

We Stand United: World Pride Song

NYC Lights Up 12 Iconic Buildings for World Pride

 

Women's Soccer: USA Wins World Cup Title

 

The US Women's Soccer Team's World Cup championship isn't just a sports victory. It's resonating across the country as a symbolic victory for feminism, LGBTQ pride, and progressive politics. The team, especially openly lesbian co-captain Megan Rapinoe, has been boldly political, standing up for both women's rights and LGBTQ rights and against Donald Trump, who so clearly works against both.

 


 

The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup was the eighth edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup, the quadrennial international football championship contested by 24 women's national teams representing member associations of FIFA. It took place between in June and July 2019, with 52 matches staged in nine cities in France, which hosted the event, the first time the country hosted the tournament.
 

The United States entered the competition as defending champions after winning the 2015 edition in Canada and successfully defended their title with a 2–0 victory over the Netherlands in the final. In doing so, they secured their record fourth title and became the second nation, after Germany, to have successfully retained the title.

If one person could embody all the pride, excitement, and swagger, it was US co-captain Megan Rapinoe, who battled the President of the United States even as she became the unparalleled star of the World Cup. Her boundless energy came across the Atlantic with her and was on display for all to see from the cable talk shows to the steps of New York’s City Hall.

 



Megan Rapionoe said, “There is nothing, nothing, that can faze this group. We’re chillin’. We got tea-sippin’. We got celebrations. We have pink hair and purple hair. We have tattoos and dreadlocks. We got white girls and black girls and everything in between. Straight girls and gay girls. It’s my absolute honor to lead this team out on the field. There’s no other place that I would rather be.”

NBC News: USA Wins Third Women's World Cup Title

USA Today: Megan Rapinoe and the US Women's Soccer Team

Sports Illustrated: Megan Rapinoe's Pride Shines

Washington Post: Rapinoe Delivers Rousing Victory Speech

Video: Megan Rapinoe's Speech at US Women's World Cup Champion's Parade

Salon: Women's World Cup is a Triumph

Wikipedia: 2019 FIFA Women's Soccer World Cup

 

Trump's New Human Rights Commission: All Anti-LGBTQ Activists

 

President Trump's new human rights commission is a Who's Who of anti-LGBTQ academics and activists. And they'll be advising Trump on what constitutes "human rights." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced a new commission that he said will decide which human rights are more important to US foreign policy. And he’s stacked it with anti-LGBTQ activists.

 



The stated purpose of the new Commission on Unalienable Rights is to provide “fresh thinking about human rights discourse where such discourse has departed from our nation’s founding principles of natural law and natural rights.” It will answer questions like, “What does it mean to say or claim that something is, in fact, a human right?” and “How do we know or how do we determine whether that claim that this or that is a human right, is it true, and therefore, ought it to be honored?"

 

Pompeo said that the commission would conduct “one of the most profound reexaminations of the unalienable rights in the world since the 1948 Universal Declaration” of Human Rights. The group will focus, he said, on “natural law.”  Natural law as a concept is often used by the right to argue against women’s and LGBTQ people’s rights.

 

The risk is high that the Commission will advance a specific brand of conservative arguments aimed at dialing back gains on LGBTQ rights and women’s rights, including particularly the right to choose and the right to marriage equality.
 

Pompeo didn’t pick State Department employees who work on human rights to staff the commission, instead picking former US Ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon to head it. Glendon is a conservative law professor who “writes forcefully against the expansion of abortion rights.” She called marriage equality “a bid for special preferences” that will suggest that “alternative family forms are just as good as a husband and wife raising kids together.”

 

Glendon has written extensively on her view that marriage equality is a “radical social experiment” that harms children. She also recently wrote an endorsement for a viciously anti-trans book, calling the book (which culminates in a plan of action that calls for the complete erasure of trans people) “eminently readable and insightful.” 
 

Glendon is known as the first person to accept, then reject, the University of Notre Dame's Laetare Medal, which recognizes service to the Catholic Church and society. In 2009, she refused the award because President Barack Obama, a supporter of abortion rights, was scheduled to deliver the university’s commencement address that year.

 

 

In addition to Mary Ann Glendon, take a look at the members of the commission:
 

--Peter Berkowitz - Criticized the Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling overturning sodomy laws as “dangerous,” writing that “Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion seemed to follow the logic of his moral and political judgments rather than the logic of the law.”

--Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson - Lectured that his belief is for Muslims to repress being gay, and that homosexuality and same-sex marriage are prophesized as “one of the signs of the End Times.”

--Jacqueline Rivers - Delivered a speech at the Vatican, insisting that LGBTQ activists were “abolishing in law the principle of marriage as a conjugal union and reducing it to nothing other than sexual or romantic partnerships or domestic companionship.” She went on insist that LGBTQ activists have “unjustly appropriated” civil rights language.

--Meir Soloveichik - Called the notion of gay people’s marriages “nonsensical." He went on to suggest that arguments favoring bestiality will follow same-sex marriage. Also, promoted an anti-LGBTQ book written by the National Organization For Marriage’s co-founder.

--Christopher Tollefsen - Wrote an anti-trans essay that culminated in the opinion that "attempts to change one’s biological sex all fail. That is an undefeatable reason against trying to do so.” In a follow up, he further argued that "it is a mark of a heartless culture that it encourages such confusion even to the point of encouraging bodily mutilation as a solution to gender dysphoria and prohibiting therapy that might be psychologically and spiritually beneficial.”

--F. Cartwright Weiland - Served as policy analyst for the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute, an anti-LGBTQ think tank that advised the Texas legislature and Governor’s office. Also served as speechwriter to anti-LGBTQ US Senator John Cornyn.

 

LGBTQ Nation: Every Member of Trump's Human Rights Commission is Anti-LGBTQ

NBC News: Trump's New Human Rights Commission Alarms LGBTQ Advocates

New York Times: Trump's Ominous Attempt to Redefine Human Rights

Trump Launches New Commission to Question What Qualifies as Human Rights

PBS News: Commission Members Praised Human Rights Abusers

Mary Ann Glendon Criticizes Gay Rights and Gay Marriage

ACLU: New Human Rights Commission is Up to No Good

Trump's New Commission Likely to Promote Anti-Rights Agenda

 

Clarence Thomas Suggests Overturning Marriage Equality

 

The Supreme Court decided to punt on the case of a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. That only delays the inevitable day of judgment. But perhaps the biggest impact on marriage equality came in an entirely different case and Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in it.

 



Thomas was in the majority on a case about double jeopardy, but he wrote a separate concurring opinion that went far beyond the issue at hand. Just because the law has always been interpreted in a particular way, Thomas wrote, doesn’t mean that it should be. Thomas argued that respecting legal precedent, known by the term stare decisis, shouldn’t be sacred. And what’s the case that Thomas suggested proved his point? Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that made marriage equality a national right. “I write separately to address the proper role of the doctrine of stare decisis,” Thomas said in his opinion. “In my view, the Court’s typical formulation of the stare decisis standard does not comport with our judicial duty under Article III because it elevates demonstrably erroneous decisions (meaning decisions outside the realm of permissible interpretation) over the text of the Constitution and other duly enacted federal law.”

 

 

Then Thomas cites Chief Justice Roberts’ dissent in Obergefell to drive home his point. “It is always tempting for judges to confuse our own preferences with the requirements of the law, as in Obergefell v. Hodges,” cited Thomas, “and the Court’s stare decisis doctrine exacerbates that temptation by giving the venire of respectability to our continued application of demonstrably incorrect precedents.”

Thomas’ disdain for the Obergefell ruling comes as no surprise, as he has consistently been an opponent of any LGBTQ rights. What is important about his latest complaint is that he is setting the ground to revisit the ruling, if the opportunity arises. Whether the Court has the stomach to rescind marriage equality is a big question. But it’s clear that there are enough conservative justices on the Court to carve out big exceptions for conservative Christians who don’t like the law. Thomas is laying the groundwork for that decision by telling his fellow justices that they don’t have to follow past Court decisions if they are “demonstrably incorrect.”


It’s easy to dismiss Thomas as a crank who rarely speaks during Court arguments. But Thomas has been a huge influence on conservative legal thought. That he has marriage equality in his sights is something that should give any supporter of marriage equality pause.
 

[Source: John Gallagher, LGBTQ Nation, June  2109]

 

 

Current LGBTQ News

 

Hong Kong Court Rules in Favor of Gay Couple

Hundreds of LGBTQ Couples Get Married in Taiwan

Celebrities Who Came Out in 2018-19

New LGBTQ Documentary: State of Pride

World Health Organization: Transgender Not a Disorder

Where the 2020 Candidates Stand on LGBTQ Equality

Washington Blade: House Judiciary Committee Passes Equality Act

LGBTQ Equality Act: Support From Jessie Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita

Support for LGBTQ Equality Act by Interfaith Group

Trans Deaths Are Real Deaths

Despite Trump's Efforts, Transgender Support Growing

RI Bishop Calls Pride Events Harmful to Children

Pete Buttigieg to be First Gay Candidate in Presidential Debates

Ecuador Just Legalized Same-Sex Marriage

 

Trump Bans Pride Flags From US Embassies

 

Despite Donald Trump’s cynical Pride Month announcement in early June 2019, his actions continue to show that he doesn’t actually support LGBTQ pride, visibility or change on any scale.

It was reported that Trump’s State Department has forbidden requests from US embassies around the world to fly the rainbow flag during Pride Month. These embassies include Brazil, Germany, Israel and Latvia. Obama had approved similar requests in the past.

 



As one observer stated, "Although the pride flag can and is being flown elsewhere on embassy grounds, including inside embassies and on exterior walls, the decision not to allow it on the official flagpole stands in sharp hypocritical contrast to President Donald Trump’s claim to be a leader in supporting LGBTQ rights overseas."


President Donald Trump’s tweet “honoring” Pride Month came on the heels of more attacks on the LGBTQ community and was met with immediate scorn. In the last month alone, the Trump administration has ramped up its attacks on LGBTQ rights including denying medical care to trans people, tearing apart bi-national same-sex families, opposing the Equality Act, and throwing trans people out of homeless shelters.

 



Despite Trump's refusal to grant permission, some US embassies around the world have found a way to get around the decision or are outright defying the administration’s homophobia. It is reported that embassies in Korea, Nepal, India, Chile, Austria, and Israel have all revolted, taking matters into their own hands, and are hoisting pride flags. "This is a category one insurrection," one diplomat said.

Ambassador Randy Berry, along with the US Mission in the Nepal community, stated, "I join people around the world in celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Intersex Pride Month, and reaffirm the US commitment to defending human rights for all."

 

State Dept Denies Multiple Requests by US Embassies to Fly Pride Flag

US Embassies Denied Permission to Fly Pride Flag

Trump Bans US Embassies From Flying Pride Flag

Trump Administration Tells US Embassies: No Pride Flags on Flagpoles

US Embassies Defy Trump Ban on Flying Pride Flag

US Diplomats Defy Trump Policy Against Flying Pride Flags

Despite Request Denials, US Embassies Flying Pride Flags

US Embassies Defy Trump's Orders

 

Straight Pride Parade in Boston

 

Just in time for LGBTQ Pride Month, a right wing conservative activist group (three homophobic guys) in Boston has organized a Straight Pride Parade. June 2019, Pride Month kicks off in Boston while preparations for a possible “Straight Pride Parade” are also underway. The event to celebrate heterosexuality in one of the nation’s most gay-friendly cities is meant to poke fun at the “identity politics” of the political left, organizer Mark Sahady said.


“For them everything is based upon identity and whether or not one is categorized as a victim or an oppressor,” Sahady stated. “If you get victim status then you are entitled to celebrate yourself and expect those with oppressor status to defer to your feelings.” Sahady has also organized “free speech” rallies and a gun rights demonstration with the group Resist Marxism, whose website says it tries to “defend the Constitution against violent extremists and the regressive left.”



 

Organizers of the Straight Pride Parade tentatively plan to host the event in late August, Sahady said, and have filed a discrimination complaint against Boston for permission to fly their straight pride flag. The parade will include floats and vehicles, Sahady explained, and will run from Copley Square to City Hall, the same route as the official Pride parade will take in early June.

 

In a statement, Mayor Marty Walsh (D) declined to specifically address the Straight Pride Parade. Instead, he focused on LGBTQ pride and encouraged people to attend the official Pride parade and advocate equality for all. “Every year Boston hosts our annual Pride Week, where our city comes together to celebrate the diversity, strength and acceptance of our LGBTQ community,” Walsh said in a statement. “This is a special week that represents Boston’s values of love and inclusion, which are unwavering.”



 

Boston has a history as a safe haven for the LGBTQ community. Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004. In May of that year, Boston-area residents Marcia Kadish and Tanya McCloskey became the first same-sex couple in the United States to get married. The powerful advocacy group LGBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders was founded in Boston and is still located there.

Linda DeMarco, the president of Boston Pride, which is organizing this month’s Pride Parade, said her group is focused on what she thinks will be the largest Boston Pride parade ever. “We know that straight allies of the LGBTQ community are among the thousands of supporters who come out every year to march, observe and celebrate,” DeMarco said. “We are looking forward to seeing our straight friends, family, and neighbors at the Boston Pride parade and festival along with members of the LGBTQ community.”



 

Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of 2020 Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg, issued a statement on social media about the nuances of identity based politics — why having a pride-styled event for a dominant group like heterosexuals wasn’t to be equivocated with something like gay pride: “Questions you may want to ask yourself before organizing an identity based parade: Was it ever legal for me to be jailed for my identity? Can I be denied housing/health services because of how I identity? Is it legal to kill me in other countries for how I identify?” he wrote. “Could I be kicked out of the military for how I identify? Has it ever been illegal for me to marry others of the same identity?”

 

James Fell, a heterosexual ally, posted this message on social media: "It's official. Boston is going to have a Straight Pride Parade. I'm straight. I like being straight. A big reason why I like being straight is that I've never once experienced bigotry for my sexuality. I didn't have to fight for my right to marry the person of my choosing. I didn't have to concern myself with beaten or killed because others didn't accept who I wanted to sleep with. I didn't have to stay closeted out of fear, or worry about the reaction of my family, friends or colleagues by coming out. I never got called a slur for being straight. Nobody ever told me I'm going to burn in hell for being straight. There aren't any programs where I could be sent to be tortured into no longer being straight.  There aren't any countries where you can be put to death simply for being straight. There is nothing I ever had to fight for, or struggle against, because I'm straight. And therefore, there isn't any reason to take pride in it. Grateful for for the privileges, sure, but not proud. I don't see it.  what I do see is that this parade is misnamed. It's not a "Straight Pride" parade. It should be called a "Homophobic Piece of Shit" parade."
 

Washington Post: Three Guys Want Permit for Straight Pride Parade

NY Times: Amid Boston LGBTQ Pride Week, Straight Pride Parade Draws Attention

Huffington Post: Backlash for Straight Pride Parade in Boston

 

Bishop Who Ignored Pedophilia Says Gay Pride Harms Children

 

The nerve of this guy! Just ahead of 2019 Pride, the Rhode Island bishop who admitted turning his back on child sex abuse, claims Pride events are dangerous. The Roman Catholic bishop of Providence, RI has been met with protests and calls for his resignation after tweeting that Catholics should avoid Pride events.

Bishop Thomas Tobin tweeted that Pride events “promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals” and “are especially harmful for children.” The latter has led some observers to note that Tobin, while auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh in the 1990s, knew that children were reportedly being harmed there by abusive and predatory priests. The hypocrisy was shocking.

 



After the initial outcry over his audacious tweet, he issued a statement saying he understood that he had offended many in the LGBTQ community, and that this was not his intent, but he added, “My obligation before God is to lead the faithful entrusted to my care and to teach the faith, clearly and compassionately, even on very difficult and sensitive issues.”  The statement placated few. About 350 people, including city leaders, protested in Providence’s Cathedral Square.

“Having that kind of hatred in his heart, as a person of faith, he doesn’t get to come back” and attempt to soften the blow, Jodi Glass, one of the protesters, stated. She particularly objected to his assertion that Pride events are bad for children, as educating children about diversity is a good thing, she said. Her wife, Ruth Horton, said the church should be more concerned “with brethren moving around assaultive priests,” referring to the frequent practice of merely transferring clergy members accused of assault instead of prosecuting them.


A Pennsylvania grand jury’s report, released in 2018, documented more than 1,000 cases in which priests were accused of sexually assaulting minors. Tobin acknowledged that while serving as Pittsburgh’s auxiliary bishop from 1992 to 1996, he “became aware of incidents of sexual abuse when they were reported to the diocese,” but he said dealing with them was outside his area of responsibility.

 

 

Here are some of the social media messages that were exchanged...

 

Bishop Thomas Tobin‏: A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ “Pride Month” events held in June. They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals. They are especially harmful for children.

Jorge Elorza: A reminder that Providence is a place where all people are welcome to celebrate Pride this month. We stand with and support our LGBTQIA+ community here this June and every day in our capital city.

Wilson Cruz: You know what’s proven to be actually harmful to children? The Catholic Church.

Mia Farrow: This is pure ignorance and bigotry. Ignore this hate-filled hypocrite. His mindset leads only to suffering. He brings to mind those priests who molested my brothers. Of course we should embrace our LGBTQ brothers and sisters and children. Jesus spoke of love. Kids are in far more danger at a catholic church than at a gay pride gathering.

Tom Sherrington: The height of myopic prejudice. The delusion of it all. Your festering bigotry is all your own. Your church is infested with child abusers for decades. Millions of humans are gay. You people really need to wake up.

 

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate, June 2019]

 

Time: Bishop Faces Backlash for Discouraging Pride Event Participation

Boston Globe: Bishop's Tweet Outrages LGBTQ Community

Advocate: RI Bishop Calls Pride Events Harmful to Children
MPR: Bishop Faces Backlash After Tweet About Pride Event

 

 

 

LGBTQ News

 

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Black Lesbian Becomes Chicago Mayor

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At Billboard Awards: Dan Reynolds Calls for Conversion Therapy Ban

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Complete List of Democratic Presidential Candidates

Feminism and Equality: What Trans Women Want You to Know

Imagine Dragons Frontman Slams Conversion Therapy
Celebrities Who Came Out as LGBTQ 2018-19

 

Equality Act: Protecting LGBTQ Rights

 

On May 1, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights laws. The Equality Act, which US Rep David Cicilline (D-RI) reintroduced in the US House of Representatives in March, passed the committee by a 22-10 vote margin with all Republican committee members voting against it. The openly gay Rhode Island Democrat in a statement after the vote said “fairness and equality are core American values.” He went on to say, “This bill affirms those values and ensures members of the LGBTQ community can live their lives free from the fear of legal discrimination of any kind."

 



US Rep Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who chairs the committee, spoke in favor of the Equality Act at the beginning of the markup, which is the first time one has taken place for the perennial bill. “This is long-overdue legislation that will explicitly prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming Americans and strengthen nondiscrimination protections for women and others,” said the New York Democrat.

“The American dream is broken when all states are not united,” said Carter Brown, founder of Black Trans Men who said he lost his job in Texas because of his gender identity. “All Americans need permanent, explicit nondiscrimination laws in place and enforced.” The Equality Act would specifically add gender identity and sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act.

The bill has 240 co-sponsors in the House from both sides of the aisle. Sen Jeff Merkley (D-Ore) has introduced the Equality Act in the US Senate.

“It’s time for Congress to add explicit federal LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections to our nation’s civil rights laws,” said the Human Rights Campaign in a tweet.

 



The Equality Act is a bill in the United States Congress, that, if passed, would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit, and the jury system. As of 2019, discrimination against LGBTQ people is legal in 30 states, with members of the LGBTQ community being given little protection against discrimination at a national level. The Equality Act seeks to remedy this lack of protection, applying existing state anti-LGBTQ discrimination laws nationwide.

The Equality Act was jointly introduced in both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate on March 13, 2019. The bill has received support from both Republican and Democrat members of Congress.

Scientists and medical practitioners gave overwhelming support to Equality Act. Summarizing the view of the scientific community in 2017, the American Psychological Association released a statement that "the Equality Act is necessary because discrimination based on sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation remains a grave problem across the United States." It was also positively received by the American general public and advocates of human and civil rights.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans identified as LGBTQ in the United States report having experienced discrimination in their personal lives. Polling has shown that an overwhelming majority of Americans (regardless of demographics) support banning discrimination against LGBTQ people. An April 2019 poll found that only 6 percent of voters believed that sexual orientation discrimination in employment should be legal. The United States is currently one of the few Western nations not to outlaw anti-LGBTQ discrimination in employment nationally.

 

Advocate: Equality Act Moves Forward Without Republican Support

Washington Blade: House Judiciary Committee Passes Equality Act

Notes: LGBTQ Equality Act

HR 5: LGBTQ Equality Act / Entire Text

HR 5: LGBTQ Equality Act / Summary

LGBTQ Equality Act: Support From Jessie Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita

Support for LGBTQ Equality Act by Interfaith Group

UCLA Williams Institute: LGBTQ People Not Protected by State Laws

 

Mr. Ratburn Gets Married: LGBTQ Subject Matter in Kid's Cartoons


Arthur, the beloved 22-year-old series on PBS Kids, has just introduced its first queer character, Arthur’s teacher, Mr. Ratburn, who got married on the May 2019 season premiere. Even though he’s not the first queer character on children’s television, he still breaks new ground.

The series, based on the books by Marc Brown, features anthropomorphic aardvark Arthur and his friends and family. In the “Mr. Ratburn’s Special Someone” episode, the children learn that their third-grade teacher, Mr. Ratburn, is getting married, but they don’t know to whom. Still, one of Arthur’s friends opines, “Teachers don’t get married. It’s just wrong!” which leads to an amusing debate over whether teachers have any life outside the classroom. It’s not that the kids don’t want him marrying another man—it’s that they can’t envision him marrying anyone.

 



It’s a funny and sweet story, not only because of the same-sex wedding, but because it also shows that “toughening up” isn’t always desired for a man—without going overboard in the other direction and portraying Mr. Ratburn as an effeminate stereotype. The fact that he’s marrying another man is a complete non-issue. The students are more horrified by the fact that, at the wedding, one of their teachers is (gasp!) dancing.

The episode follows previous, sporadic efforts by PBS Kids to show queer characters. Most famously, they did so in 2005 on Postcards from Buster, where anthropomorphic rabbit Buster visits a maple sugar farm run by a two-woman couple. Then-President George W. Bush’s secretary of education, Margaret Spellings, denounced the episode and asked the show’s producers to return all federal funding. Producer Jeanne Jordan told the New York Times that the controversy made it difficult to find funds for a second season.

 



More recently, the venerable Sesame Street has shown kids with same-sex parents in a few of its episodes. Disney Junior’s Doc McStuffins, produced by Chris Nee (a lesbian mom herself), featured a two-mom couple in one episode in 2017. A few shows on other networks, such as the Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe and Clarence, Nickelodeon’s The Loud House, and Amazon’s Danger and Eggs, have ongoing queer characters. And cable service Xfinity On Demand last year launched a Kids & Family collection within its LGBTQ Film & TV collection on Xfinity X1, featuring Mombian recommendations.

Two female characters in the Steven Universe episode “Reunion” last year made history with the first-ever same-sex wedding in children’s television. The Arthur episode is, to the best of my knowledge, the first wedding of two male characters in children’s television, and the first time a network show has shown any same-sex wedding.

Even more notably, the episode features a queer teacher—at a time when many teachers still struggle with how much of their sexual orientation or gender identity to disclose at their schools and debates rage about LGBTQ inclusion in the curriculum. Count this doubly because of PBS Kids’ previous run-in with the Department of Education over queer content.

 

[Source: Dana Rudolph, LGBTQ Nation]

 

Arthur Cartoon Character Comes Out as Gay and Gets Married

Arthur Kid's Cartoon: Mr. Ratburn Comes Out and Gets Married

NY Times: Arthur Opens Season with Same Sex Wedding

Mr. Ratburn Gets Married: Watch the Entire Episode

 

Pete Buttigieg: Gay Presidential Candidate

 

When Pete Buttigieg announced that he was running for president in March 2019, the general feeling was he was a minor candidate at best. At 37, he’s just two years older than the office requires, and thirty (even forty) years younger than some of his Democratic rivals. The only elected office he has held is mayor of South Bend, Indiana, which, with a population of 102,000, is hardly a metropolis.

And then there’s the gay thing. As an openly gay candidate, Buttigieg seemed easy to classify as a novelty. All in all, Buttigieg looked like he was destined to be a footnote in a crowded presidential field. But, it’s not turning out that way at all.

 



Buttigieg is proving to be a credible candidate simply by being himself. His appearance at a CNN Town Hall was a turning point. Buttigieg impressed the audience and pundits by his plainspokenness and command of facts, to say nothing of his ability to turn a phrase.

He called Vice President Mike Pence, whom Buttigieg knows personally, the “cheerleader of the porn presidency,” a description that will haunt Pence for years and will serve as an epitaph for his career.

Buttigieg did such a good job that he raised $600,000 from 22,000 donors in just 24 hours. Within a few days, Buttigieg was able to announce that he had hit the threshold of 65,000 donors necessary to qualify him for the Democratic candidates’ debate.

 



Buttigieg has the kind of background that is tailor-made for a presidential candidate: Harvard, Rhodes scholar, veteran. He also has a big uphill battle. Most people don’t know who he is; he’s polling at one percent. He’s not the fundraising juggernaut that other candidates are. The media’s love affair with him now can quickly turn, as the press decides the pendulum has swung too far in that direction.

Yet so far, Buttigieg’s candidacy has been more successful than anyone would have predicted. Seeing him arrayed on a stage crowded with first-tier candidates will further boost his credibility. Maybe Buttigieg doesn’t win the nomination for president, at least not this time around. But he’s definitely paved the way for a bigger presence in the Democratic party.

 

Gay Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg

Mayor Pete Announces Prez Campaign and Kisses Husband

NY Times: Pete Buttigieg Might be President

Pete Buttigieg and Husband on Cover of Time Magazine

Pete Buttigieg: Gay South Bend Mayor Running for President

CNN: Pete Buttigieg Doing Well in the Polls

Pete Buttigieg: Unlikely Unprecedented Presidential Campaign

Washington Post: Is Pete Buttigieg Gay Enough?

Pete Buttigieg Will be Part of Presidential Debate

South Bend Tribune: Mayor Buttigieg Marries Partner

Pete Buttigieg: Presidential Candidate With an Advantage Over Trump

LGBTQ Nation: Why Pete Buttigieg is Good for Gays

 

 

LGBTQ News

 

Methodist Churches Nationwide Publicly Rebelling

LGBTQ Rights Are Under Attack in Trump's America

HRC Denounces Trump's Trans Troop Ban

Pete Buttigieg: Gay South Bend Mayor Running for President

Mike Huckabee Claims LGBTQ Rights are Greatest Threat to America's Morality

Judge Rebukes Trump Over Trans Military Ban

North Carolina's Largest Festival Crowns First Queer Queen

Trump Silent About Brunei's Brutal Anti-Gay Laws

Lilly Singh: New Late Night Host

Coming Soon: YouTube Documentary About LGBTQ Pride

Beyonce and Jay-Z Win GLAAD Media Award

 

HRC Denounces Trump's Trans Troop Ban


“At this difficult moment for transgender service members and those wishing to serve their country, every transgender patriot should know that a grateful nation supports you,” said HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride. “The Trump-Pence transgender troop ban is dangerous for both transgender people and our national security, which is why a bipartisan chorus of members of Congress, leading military experts and overwhelming majorities of Americans oppose this despicable policy. The fact that a service member who came out on Thursday can continue to serve openly while a service member who comes out on Monday can’t only reinforces the cruel and arbitrary nature of this ban.”

Following Donald Trump’s initial tweets announcing his intention to ban qualified transgender people from serving in the military, HRC joined six active members of the armed services, three individuals seeking to enlist, the American Military Partners Association (AMPA) and Washington state’s Gender Justice League as co-plaintiffs in Karnoski v. Trump, filed by Lambda Legal and Outserve-SLDN, one of four federal lawsuits filed challenging the ban.

 



Despite the string of court victories for transgender troops and recruits in federal district and circuit courts, the U.S. Supreme Court recently stayed the preliminary injunctions that had been blocking the Trump-Pence administration from implementing their discriminatory ban while the cases make their way through federal courts. Last month, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that they would begin discharging openly transgender service members who come out on or after April 12, 2019. Beginning on that day, the administration will also forbid capable openly transgender patriots from enlisting.

While the administration will begin discriminating against transgender troops and enlistees, the cases challenging the unconstitutional policy will continue to make their way through the federal courts.

 



“For more than two years, transgender people have been serving in the military openly and honorably,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The implementation of Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s trans troop ban is a stain on our nation’s history. While the immediate harm of this policy is significant, we will continue to fight in the courts, on the streets and at the ballot box for dignity and fairness for all transgender people.”

A diverse range of voices have opposed banning transgender people from serving in the military. Thirty-three former national security experts and military leaders, the American Medical Association and the NAACP filed briefs in support the cases filed to halt the Trump-Pence ban. In testimony before Congress, all four service branch chiefs stated that open service for transgender patriots had not inhibited military readiness or unit cohesion. Former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen (ret.), recently penned a powerful piece supporting open service for transgender troops and opposing the administration’s arbitrary and animus-fueled policy.

 

[Source: Human Rights Campaign]

 

HRC Denounces Trump's Trans Troop Ban

Judge Rebukes Trump Over Trans Military Ban

CNN: Transgender Ban Goes Into Effect

Advocate: Trump's Military Ban Ignores Science to Inflict Harm

BuzzFeed: Trans Troops Now Banned From US Military

NPR: How Trans Troop Ban is Affecting One Military Family

Cory Booker Will Repeal Trans Military Ban if Elected

 

Lori Lightfoot to be New Chicago Mayor


Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot trounced her opponent in April 2019 and made history. Lightfoot will be the only black lesbian mayor in the nation. And the first out mayor of one of America’s three largest cities.

“A Black lesbian taking power in the nation’s third-largest city is a historic moment for so many communities that are too often ignored in American politics,” said former Houston mayor Annise Parker. Parker, the President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund formerly held the record as the “highest ranking” out mayor. Houston is the nation’s fourth largest city.

 



“Chicago’s enormous influence on the national dialogue provides a platform for Lori to promote more inclusive solutions to the challenges facing our cities and nation – and to be a credible messenger as well,” Parker said. “Lori will certainly remain focused on the issues facing Chicago. But as the highest-ranking LGBTQ person ever elected mayor of an American city (a title she takes from me) she is also now a key leader in the movement to build LGBTQ political power nationwide.”
 

“As the first openly LGBTQ woman of color to be elected mayor in any of America’s 100 largest cities and the first black woman to serve as Mayor of Chicago, Lightfoot is an inspiration to thousands of LGBTQ people of color who have a new role model in elected office,” DNC chair Tom Perez said in an emailed statement.

“This historic win reaffirms that our diversity is our greatest strength, and that our elected leaders should reflect the diversity of the communities they represent. I look forward to working with Mayor-elect Lightfoot as she fights to build a brighter future for all. The people of Chicago will be well served with her leadership.”
 

LGBTQ Nation: Black Lesbian Becomes Chicago Mayor

USA Today: Chicago Makes History with First Gay, Black, Female Mayor

Chicago Tribune: Lori Lightfoot Breaks the Rules

 

 

LGBTQ News

 

Poet Mary Oliver Dies at 83

Lilly Singh: New Late Night Host

Pete Buttigieg: Gay South Bend Mayor Running for President

Cory Booker Will Repeal Trans Military Ban if Elected

Pete Buttigieg Will be Part of Presidential Debate

US Military Will Begin Enforcing Trans Ban

New Revealing Music Video From Cameron Hawthorn

Ireland's Gay Prime Minister Meets VP Mike Pence

Jussie Smollett Files Fake Hate Crime Report

Lesbian Couple Marries Atop Empire State Building

Cameron Hawthorn: Gay Country Music Star

 

Lilly Singh to be New Late Night Host


Lilly Singh, who will take over NBC host Carson Daly’s time slot, will also be one of the few women of color and queer women in late-night comedy.

Comedian and YouTube star Lilly Singh will take over outgoing NBC late-night host Carson Daly’s time slot, making her the only female late-night host currently on a major broadcast network when her new show premieres in September 2019.



 

The daughter of Indian immigrants in Canada, Singh, who recently came out as bisexual, will also be one of the few women of color and queer women in late-night comedy.

Singh rose to fame through her YouTube comedy channel, “IISuperwomanII,” which has more than 14 million followers, producing sketches frequently referencing her immigrant background and being open about her mental health. In addition, she has acted in movies such as “Bad Moms” and HBO’s “Fahrenheit 451.”

Her half-hour show, “A Little Late With Lilly Singh,” will feature guest interviews and comedy sketches, according to NBC.

 

Lilly Singh: New Late Night Host

Bisexual Lilly Singh Taking NBC Late Night Spot

Lilly Singh Comes Out as Bisexual

 

 

Local Methodist Churches Rebelling Nationwide


Churches all over the country are protesting the United Methodist Church’s anti-LGBTQ stance by displaying signs that show support for the LGBTQ community. Many local Methodist churches, too, have joined in the protest against their own denomination's governing body and remind their local community that they do in deed support LGBTQ people, even if the church officials do not.

In February 2019 the General Conference of the United Methodist Church voted to reaffirm their teaching that homosexuality does not align with Christianity and to punish individual churches that perform marriages for same-sex couples and allow LGBTQ clergy. This decision by church officials could split the nation’s second-largest Protestant church.


After three days of intense debate at a conference in St. Louis, the vote by church officials and lay members from around the world doubled down on current church policy, which states that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” The vote served as a rejection of a push by progressive members and leaders to open the church to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Now, a divide of the United Methodist Church, which has 12 million members worldwide, appears imminent. Some pastors and bishops in the United States are already talking about leaving the denomination and possibly creating a new alliance for gay-friendly churches.
 

Methodist Churches Nationwide Publicly Rebelling

United Methodists Tighten Ban on Gay Marriage and Gay Clergy

Local Methodist Churches Covering Their Signs in protest

Methodist Church Might Split Over Anti-LGBTQ Decision

 

 

LGBTQ News

 

Celebrities Who Came Out in 2018

LGBTQ Celebrity Coming Out Stories That Shaped 2018

Stephen Colbert Comments on Jussie Smollett Case

Rainbow Wave: LGBTQ Politicians Making History

Chuck Schumer's Lesbian Daughter Gets Married

Former Dallas Cowboy Comes Out as Gay and Gets Married

Serbia's Lesbian Prime Minister Just Had a Baby

 

Queer Moments at the 2019 Oscar Awards

 

The 91st annual Academy Awards took place in February 2019 in Los Angeles.

“Green Book” took home the evening’s most coveted prize for Best Picture. The Peter Farrelly-directed film also scored Mahershala Ali his second Oscar for portraying real-life pianist Dr. Don Shirley.

British actress Olivia Colman bested frontrunner Glenn Close in the Best Actress category for her star turn in the Yorgos Lanthimos-directed royal comedy “The Favourite.”

But the Freddy Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” came out on top in the end, leading all the films with a total of four awards. Rami Malek walked away with the Best Actor Oscar.

 

 


Best Picture - “Green Book”
Actress In A Leading Role - Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Actor In A Leading Role - Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Actress In A Supporting Role - Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Actor In A Supporting Role - Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”

Directing - Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”

 

LGBTQ Stories Win at 2019 Oscars

Gender Fluid Outfits at the 2019 Oscars

Red Carpet Moments: Pantsuits, Statement Pieces, Glittery Gowns

Rami Malek Wins Best Actor Oscar for Bohemian Rhapsody

Billy Porter and His Husband at the Oscars

Oscar First: Queer Female Sexuality in The Favourite

Telling LGBTQ Stories at the Oscars

Red Carpet Highlights: Lots of Pink Dresses

Good Queer Things at the 2019 Oscars

 

Valentine's Day: Lesbian Couple Marries Atop Empire State Bldg

 

A New York lesbian couple took their love to new heights on Valentine’s Day 2019 when they tied the knot at the top of the Empire State Building.  Fabiana Faria and Helena Barquet were one of two couples to win a 15-minute wedding ceremony on the famed building’s 86th-floor observatory. Chitra Pathak and Nachiket Patel of New Jersey also won the contest, held annually by the Empire State Realty Trust for 25 years.

 



The Empire State Building began hosting same-sex weddings in 2012, when Phil Fung and Shawn Klien of New York won the contest, after New York’s legalization of gay marriage the preceding June. Barquet and Faria are believed to be the first lesbian couple to marry atop the iconic building on Valentine’s Day.

The two lucky couples were chosen from more than 1,000 entries, including international applicants. Jean-Yves Ghazi, the senior vice president of the observatory, officiated the service.  The sheer volume of entries, Ghazi said in a statement, made it clear “that the storied history and romance surrounding the Empire State Building continue to touch lives around the globe.”  “I’m excited to officiate at the weddings for Helena and Fabiana as well as Chitra and Nachiket,” he added, “and continue this tradition for its 25th year.”
 

[Source: Huffington Post, Queer Voices, Feb 2019]

 

Lesbian Couple Marries Atop Empire State Building

Same-Sex Couples From Migrant Caravan Wed in Tijuana

Chuck Schumer's Lesbian Daughter Gets Married

Former Dallas Cowboy Comes Out as Gay and Gets Married

 

 

LGBTQ News

 

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2018

Trump Sets Back Trans Rights

Protest Erupts in Response to Trump's Anti-Trans Efforts

Taking a Stand Against Trump's Anti-Trans Policies

Interview with Lesbian Musician Mary Lambert

Transgender Political Candidates

Celebrities Who Came Out in 2018

Scotland Becomes First Country to Require LGBTQ Curriculum in Schools

Trump's Latest Attacks on Same-Sex Couples

Transgender People Killed in 2018

Czech Republic Could Be Next for Marriage Equality

 

Midterm Elections and LGBTQ Politicians

 

The future remains bright when it comes to actual members of our community representing our interests at the national level.  On the national and state level, election results revealed LQBTQ politicians among the winners.

 

The number of LGBTQ candidates who sought political office in 2018 was higher than expected. At least 606 openly LGBTQ candidates ran for office in 2018, with 390 appearing on the ballot this November.  This year’s tally includes 91 people who sought seats in the US Congress, 10 who ran for governor, and 299 who sought statewide or state legislative seats, with the remainder running for various local offices.

 



The LGBTQ incumbents up for re-election in the House of Representatives easily won their races on election day (November 2018).

Sean Maloney won his fourth race to serve his New York state district. Maloney had made an unsuccessful bid to become state attorney general earlier this year, but remained on the ballot for re-election, which turned out to be a smart move. In Wisconsin, Mark Pocan joined out Senator Tammy Baldwin in easily winning re-election to Congress. In Rhode Island, David Cicilline won his fifth term to serve in Congress by a two-to-one margin. Mark Takano also coasted to re-election in his Southern California Congressional district. When he joined the House in 2013, Takano was the first openly gay person of color ever elected to Congress.

 

On the state level, Jared Polis was elected governor in Colorado and Kate Brown was re-elected as governor of Oregon.

 

Sharice Davids became first LGBTQ person and Native American to represent Kansas in Congress. Chris Pappas became New Hampshire’s first openly gay member of Congress. Lesbian Angie Craig defeated anti-LGBTQ congressman in Minnesota, becomes first openly gay person elected to Congress from the state. Transgender women, Gerri Cannon and Lisa Bunker, were elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Democrats Susan Ruiz and Brandon Woodard became the first LGBTQ members of the Kansas state legislature. Malcolm Kenyatta became the first LGBTQ black man elected to the Pennsylvania legislature. Teri Johnston was elected mayor of Key West, Florida, becoming the state’s first lesbian mayor.

 

LGBTQ Candidates in 2018 Midterm Elections

Rainbow Wave: LGBTQ Politicians Making History

LGBTQ Candidates in 2018 Midterm Elections

LGBTQ Candidates Running for Office in 2018

Meet 150+ LGBTQ Elected Politicians

Jared Polis: First Openly Gay Governor

Kyrsten Sinema: First Out Bisexual Senator

Zach Wahls: From Activist to State Senate

Kate Brown: First Bisexual Governor Re-Elected

Four LGBTQ House Incumbents Coast to Re-Election

Guam: First Female Gov and First Gay Lt Gov

Florida Town: LGBTQ Folks Are Taking Over

 

Scotland Mandates LGBTQ Curriculum in Schools

 

Students in Scotland are about to get some new lessons about LGBTQ people and historical events. The country has become the first to mandate LGBTQ-centered curriculum be taught in schools. Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney told parliament that the new education initiative will start immediately.

 



Scottish schools will teach themes like LGBTQ terminology and identities, tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, prejudice in relation to the LGBTQ community and promoting awareness of the history of LGBTQ equalities and movements.

“Scotland is already considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe for LGBTQ equality,” Deputy First Minister John Swinney stated. “I am delighted to announce we will be the first country in the world to have LGBTQ inclusive education embedded within the curriculum. Our education system must support everyone to reach their full potential. That is why it is vital the curriculum is as diverse as the young people who learn in our schools.”
 

Scotland Becomes First Country to Require LGBTQ Curriculum in Schools

BBC: Teaching LGBTQ Issues in Scotland's Classrooms

Wash Post: Scottish Students Required to Learn About LGBTQ History

 



LGBTQ News Reports


Gay Comedian Sampson McCormick

Angela Ponce: First Transgender Person to Compete in Miss Universe Pageant

California Denounces Corrective Surgery on Intersex Children

Homosexuality No Longer a Crime in India

Courts Advancing LGBTQ Rights Worldwide

India's Top Court Decriminalizes Homosexuality

The Future Is Not In Front of Us, It's Inside of Us

 

Trump Administration Seeks to Redefine Gender

 

Civil rights organizations and members of the LGBTQ community are stunned and furious about a reported Trump administration plan to severely narrow the legal definition of gender.

The administration is reportedly planning to restrict the definition of gender as immutable for an individual’s lifetime and that would be based on genitalia at birth. Such a definition would essentially be a government declaration that there is no such thing as “transgender.” At least 1.4 million people in the US currently identify as transgender.

 



The reported change is being spearheaded by the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs receiving government funding.

The National Center for Transgender Equality, which is one of the organizations planning a Washington rally, stated: “Make no mistake, trans people are under direct attack from the Trump Administration.”

It also issued a statement calling the proposal “an attempt to put heartless restraints on the lives of 2 million people, effectively abandoning our right to equal access to health care, to housing, to education, or to fair treatment under the law ... and to solidify an archaic, dogmatic ... view of the world.”

 

 

The draft memo erases the difference between sex and gender identity, saying that “sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth. The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.”

The Trump administration has already sought to bar transgender people from serving in the military and has challenged other civil rights protections.

 

Transgender Could Be Defined Out of Existence
Protest Erupts in Response to Trump's Anti-Trans Efforts

The HHS Anti-Trans Memo

Trump Administration Aims to Erase All Trans Rights

Activists Blast Anti-Trans White House Plan

Trump Administration Prepares to Erase Trans Protections

HHS Dept Overseeing White House Effort to Erase Trans People

Protesting Trump's Latest Attack on Trans People

 

Minnesota Issues Non-Binary Driver's Licenses

 

Minnesota to Issue Non-Binary, Gender-Neutral Driver's Licenses...  Oregon, California, Colorado, Maine, and DC have recently made similar inclusive moves. As part of its newly instituted REAL ID system, Minnesota will now permit drivers to apply for licenses that mark them as male, female, or nonbinary.

Among the first to apply for a nonbinary license in Minnesota is J. Zappa, a volunteer firefighter in Medicine Lake. Although assigned male at birth, Zappa has identified as both a woman and man throughout their life, until realizing they were nonbinary.  "I guess you could say I'm a shade of gray in a world of black and white," Zappa explained.

After having multiple licenses that identified them as exclusively M or F, Zappa is now waiting for a driver's license that fully encompasses their identity. "It was just frustrating because most recently I had an F on it and I would show it to someone, but they would say, ‘You are dressed like a man’ or ‘You have a deep voice’ or ‘We don't think this is accurate.’ They would say ‘This isn't your license," Zappa recalled.

 



"Gender identification is a self-descriptor like eye color, height, and weight. Licenses will have either an M, F or X noted in the gender section," the Department of Public Safety's Driver and Vehicle Services Division wrote in a statement. "It was a business decision to offer a third option to better serve all Minnesotans."

One Minnesotan feels much better served.  "I feel good. I know a few other people have accomplished this in a few other states. It started on the West Coast a few years ago, and more and more people are recognizing that nonbinary people exist and we ought to be legally recognized," Zappa explained.

The District of Columbia, Maine, and Oregon already offer the gender-neutral marker "X" on driver's licenses and state identification cards. Oregon was the first to do so, in June 2017. That year in California, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the Gender Recognition Act, which established the state as the first to legally recognize a third, gender-nonbinary option on all legal documents. It will take effect in 2019.  In September 2018, Colorado became the first state to not assign gender on a birth certificate when it retroactively amended an intersex individual's documents to reflect their biological sex.

Minnesota's move, Zappa added, “is one more step in recognizing trans people to be who they are and that we’re legitimate and that we’re out here, so it’s good.”

[Source: Ariel Sobel, Advocate Magazine, October 2018]

 

Minnesota Issues Non-Binary Gender Neutral Driver's Licenses

Oregon Adds New Gender Option to Driver's Licenses

Maine Offers Non-Binary Option on Driver's Licenses

California Recognizes Third Gender on ID Documents

New York Adds Third Gender Option to Birth Certificates

Colorado Issues Intersex Birth Certificates

NYC Mayor Adds Gender X Option to Birth Certificates

Arkansas Has Been Offering Non-Binary Option on State IDs for Years

Colorado Offers Third Gender Option on Driver's Licenses

 

First Transgender Person to Compete in Miss Universe Pageant

 

The first transgender woman to compete in the global Miss Universe pageant wants to make history as a role model for trans children around the globe – no matter whether she wins or not the top beauty title. The 26-year-old Angela Ponce beat 20 other contestants in the Miss Universe Spain gala in June 2018, qualifying for the global round of the pageant, which has allowed transgender participation since 2012.

 



The location and dates for this year’s contest have yet to be announced. But Ponce is already planning to use it as a platform to draw attention toward high rates of suicides among trans teenagers, as well as legal codes that still discriminate against them around the world. “If my going through all this contributes to the world moving a little step forward, then that’s a personal crown that will always accompany me,” Ponce said.

 

[Source: USA Today]
 

Angela Ponce: First Transgender Person to Compete in Miss Universe Pageant

USA Today: Miss Universe's First Transgender Contestant

NBC News: Trans Miss Universe Contender Speaks Up for Trans Kids

NY Times: Angela Ponce Aiming for Miss Universe Title

Advocate: What About the Miss America Pageant?

 

 

LGBTQ News Reports

 

LGBTQ Nation: Trump Has Declared War on LGBTQ Rights

Trump Administration and LGBTQ Discrimination

CNN: India's Top Court Decriminalizes Homosexuality

World Wide Pride Celebrations

Janelle Monae: Proud Queer Black Woman

Queer Couples at High School Proms

More Americans Than Ever Support Same Sex Marriage

World Health Organization: Transgender People Not Mentally Ill

Businesses Are Saying No to Religious Freedom Laws

 

New Task Group Formed to Protect Hate Groups

 

In July 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the creation of a “Religious Liberty Task Force” at the Justice Department. Sessions announced the task force in a speech where he said that Donald Trump’s election has given the right a “rare opportunity” to stop a “dangerous movement, undetected by many” that is eroding religious freedom.

 



Sessions mentioned Jack Phillips three times. Phillips is the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, which took a case to the Supreme Court recently to ask for a religious exemption to Colorado’s antidiscrimination law so that it could refuse to serve a gay couple.

But while conservatives prefer to talk about cases involving cake, the Trump Administration announced in January 2018 a new Department of Health and Human Services initiative to advance doctors’, nurses’, and other medical workers’ “religious freedom” to refuse to help LGBTQ people.

“This taxpayer funded task force is yet another example of the Trump-Pence White House and Jeff Sessions sanctioning discrimination against LGBTQ people,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “Over the last 18 months, Donald Trump, Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions have engaged in a brazen campaign to erode and limit the rights of LGBTQ people in the name of religion. The Attorney General standing shoulder-to-shoulder this morning with anti-LGBTQ extremists tells you everything you need to know about what today’s announcement was really all about.”

 

[Source: Alex Bollinger, LGBTQ Nation, July 2018]

 

LGBTQ Nation: Jeff Sessions Announces New Religious Liberty Task Force

Huff Post: Criminalizing Gay Sex Again

Trump Administration to Reward Countries That Oppress LGBTQ People

Advocate: Jeff Sessions Launches New LGBTQ Assault

LGBTQ Nation: Trump Has Declared War on LGBTQ Rights

Fighting Attempts to Legalize Bans on Gay Adoption

Israel May Ban Sexual Orientation Discrimination

 

Israel's Knesset advanced a bill in June 2018 banning sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. The bill widens the scope of current anti-discrimination law.  Under the amendment, wherever Israeli law refers to discrimination, it would also mean discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. "In view of the changes that have occurred in Israeli law since 1992, and in view of the frequent attacks on the LGBTQ community owing to sexual orientation or gender identity in the form of discrimination and harassment, the time has come to amend the interpretation law beyond the legal meaning,” reads the explanation to the bill.

 

 

Times of Israel: Knesset Advances Bill Banning LGBTQ Discrimination

Y Net News: Knesset Approves Bill Banning LGBTQ Discrimination

JTA: Israeli Lawmakers Give Preliminary Approval of LGBTQ Anti-Discrimination Bill

Cleveland Jewish News: Bill Banning LGBTQ Discrimination Gets Knesset Approval

 

Janelle Monae Proud to Be Queer Young Black Woman

 

Janelle Monáe is further opening up about her sexuality.  Movie fans know her from her roles in the films Hidden Figures and Moonlight. And, while she is an accomplished movie actor, she first came to fame as an R&B singer and rapper.

 

The 32-year-old singer, who released her new album Dirty Computer in April 2018, spoke to CBS This Morning about how her late mentor Prince influenced how she wants to portray her sexuality in music and in the public eye.

 



“I think that it’s important for people to be proud of their identity. I am very proud to be a queer young black woman in America. I’m proud of who I am,” Monáe said.

In the latest issue of Rolling Stone, Monáe revealed what it’s like “being a black queer woman in America” and why she doesn’t identify as bisexual.  Monae has described herself as "someone who has been in relationships with both men and women" and has further identified as pansexual.


Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae

Make Me Feel by Janelle Monae

Rolling Stone: Janelle Monae Frees Herself

Django Jane by Janelle Monae

Billboard: Queerest Moments on Janelle Monae's New Album

I Like That by Janelle Monae

Pynk by Janelle Monae

 

Media Ignored Anti-LGBTQ Violence in 2017

 

Last year was the deadliest on record for LGBTQ people, but you wouldn’t know that based on news coverage. According to a new report from press watchdog Media Matters, cable and broadcast news spent less than 40 minutes across seven networks covering anti-LGBTQ violence, despite a year of unprecedented attacks.

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) reported an 86 percent spike in anti-LGBTQ homicides in 2017, the worst the organization ever recorded. (The Pulse Nightclub shooting is not included in the tally.) Over the course of the entire year, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox Broadcasting Co, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC only discussed anti-LGBTQ violence 22 times, according to the report.

 



Fox News topped the list with 10 minutes and 21 seconds devoted to coverage of anti-LGBTQ violence. But most of that coverage (7 and a half minutes) was actually a single segment. CBS devoted 8 minutes and 29 seconds to coverage of anti-LGBTQ violence. Fox Broadcasting Co. fell to the bottom of the list with none at all, while other networks hovered in-between.  ABC hosted just one discussion of anti-LGBTQ violence. CNN did four times, but only linked it to a trend of violence against LGBTQ people once.

 

The report comes amid the most shocking NCAVP anti-LGBTQ violence numbers to date. NCAVP reported 52 hate-related homicides last year alone. Transgender people accounted for 27 of those murders. People of color made up two-thirds of the victims in the report. The report notes, “The lack of coverage for anti-LGBTQ violence also comes at a time when acceptance for LGBTQ people is reportedly declining.  For the most part, networks discussed isolated incidents, failing to link them to a growing threat of anti-LGBTQ violence."

 

It has also been noted that anti-LGBTQ hate groups have been mainstreamed over the last year. President Trump keynoted the annual event of an anti-LGBTQ hate group last year when he spoke at the Values Voters Summit, and he has championed a rollback of LGBTQ rights.

[Source: Kate Sosin Oeser, Huffington Post, March 2018]

 

 

LGBTQ News Reports

 

LGBTQ Athletes Competing in Winter Games
California Judge Rules in Favor of Anti-Gay Baker

NY Times: Thousands Participate in Women's March

Gus Kenworthy: US Olympic Skier

Marriage Equality in 20 More Countries

Once-a-Week HIV Pill Coming Soon

CNN: The Future is Female

Same Sex Couple Wins in Oregon Wedding Cake Case

Taiwan Considering Third Gender Option for IDs
Religious Liberty and Discriminating Against Gay Homebuyers

Trump's Transgender Military Ban was Ignorant Snap Decision

Cake Case Will Have Far Reaching Impact for LGBTQ People

 

Gus Kenworthy: Call Me the Gay Skier

 

Gus Kenworthy was terrified about the consequences of coming out as gay in 2015 but the American skier says that his decision prompted a huge outpouring of unexpected support and has allowed him to compete without the weight of the world on his shoulders. Kenworthy, an Olympic silver medal winner in the ski slopestyle at Sochi, came out in a cover story for ESPN The Magazine to become the first openly gay action sports athlete.

“I had set myself up for the worst case scenario,” he said. “I thought I was going to be turned against and become this pariah.” Kenworthy had already told his close family and friends, who were all very supportive. Their support, along with a desire to be an inspiration for other young men and women scared to come out as homosexual, drove Kenworthy to make the decision. “I knew I would feel so much better because I was being authentic and maybe it would help kids going through the same transition as me,” said Kenworthy.

 



“I thought it would maybe help other people, either in professional sports or amateur sports or even just in communities where they felt isolated and scared to be themselves.” Within minutes of the news breaking, Kenworthy’s telephone was blowing up. “I had so much support coming in and so my phone just couldn’t handle it and I couldn’t handle it either,” he said. “I was crying and it is quite a weird sensation to set yourself up for one outcome and then get the total opposite.”

Kenworthy says his decision has led to a change in what he calls his “headspace” going into competitions. Instead of compartmentalizing his life he is able to be himself and this has contributed to a greater sense of freedom and confidence. The change means Kenworthy is more confident than ever heading into the Pyeongchang Winter Games in February 2018. “I am more open with everyone in my life and I think it just translates into me being able to ski a little bit more freely and not have so much to focus on and worry about,” he added.

Despite his achievements on the slopes, Kenworthy is known by many as the "gay skier." Instead of shying away from the tag, Kenworthy has embraced it and hopes to serve as an inspiration for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people (LGBTQ) around the world. If, as Kenworthy says, he can be a gay man at the top of the world, an Olympic gold medallist, then it would prove a lot of people wrong.

”The Olympics is a cool opportunity to represent our country, which is amazing, but I have another community I am competing for and that is the LGBTQ community. There are all these stereotypes and stigmas that people have associated in their mind over time but nothing breaks barriers down more than visibility or representation.

”Having someone at the Olympics, the pinnacle event in sports, competing against the best in the world and being out and proud and gay and getting a medal, it would be amazing. There is pressure that comes with this responsibility and I feel I have a responsibility to the LGBTQ community now. I want to lead by example and I want to be a positive example and an inspiration for any kids that I can.”

 

[Source: Huffington Post, Queer Voices, January 2018]
 

 

LGBTQ News Reports

 

LGBTQ Year in Review

Famous People Who Came Out in 2017

Most Important LGBTQ Television Moments in 2017

Anti-LGBTQ Crime Hit New High in 2017

NPR: Top LGBTQ News Stories of 2017

Celebrities Who Came Out in 2017

Best LGBTQ Films in 2017

Celebrate 2017: Best LGBTQ Articles

Most Influential LGBTQ Celebrities of 2017

Top LGBTQ Moments on Ellen's Show in 2017

Unprecedented Violence to LGBTQ People in 2017

 

Supreme Court to Decide Gay Wedding Cake Case

 

The US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Dec 5, 2017 in a case that could have huge ramifications for freedom of speech and protections against discrimination. But it all began with a same-sex couple who just wanted a special wedding cake.

In 2012, Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips pointed to his conservative Christian beliefs in refusing to make a custom wedding cake for Colorado couple Charlie Craig and David Mullins.

 



On one side of the case is the state of Colorado and its public accommodations law barring discrimination against customers based on their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. On the other side is a baker who is morally opposed to same-sex marriage and refuses to create cakes for same-sex wedding receptions.

 

Businesses Are Saying No to Religious Freedom Laws

NPR: Gay Couple vs. Wedding Cake Baker

Huffington Post: Free Speech vs. Discrimination

California Judge Rules in Favor of Anti-Gay Baker

Same Sex Couple Wins in Oregon Wedding Cake Case

Preserving LGBTQ Equality: No Piece of Cake

Report: Cake Case Will Have Far Reaching Impact for LGBTQ People

Supreme Court Justices Question Litigants in Wedding Cake Case

USA Today: Supreme Court Divided Over Gay Wedding Cake Case

US Supreme Court Might Not Back Gay Couple's Complaint

Religious Leaders Warn: Gay Wedding Cake Case is Not About Faith

Pew Research Center: Public Opinion Split on Gay Wedding Cake Case

 

Businesses Saying No to Religious Freedom Laws

 

Businesses are saying no to "religious freedom" laws and lawmakers are listening. The Kentucky House of Representatives is swerving away from a freedom-to-hate bill, thanks in part to businesses pushing back. House Bill 372 would have given churches and religious organizations the right to ignore the municipal LGBTQ protections now in nine Kentucky cities.

The original bill had 46 sponsors among 100 state representatives. But State Rep. Jason Nemes, a Louisville Republican, has led a rewrite of the bill, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. The proposed legislation now only clarifies that churches and ministers can cite religious objections and not provide weddings for same-sex couples. Federal law already allows church leaders to decline to marry anyone; the issue was already settled in a 2015 US Supreme Court decision.

 



Among the Kentucky cities with civil-rights protections for LGBTQ people are Louisville, with a quarter of the state’s population, Lexington, with the University of Kentucky, and Frankfort, the state capital. In January, Paducah became the first city in western Kentucky to do so. However, Kentucky may be seeing what other states have learned — that businesses can pay dearly for such religious-freedom legislation that allows LGBTQ discrimination.

Dave Adkisson, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce president, said his members with out-of-state business oppose the legislation. “They had concerns, frankly, about how it would appear to those outside Kentucky if we seemed to be discriminating against any one particular group,” Adkisson said.

Indiana, to the north, led by then Gov. Mike Pence, and North Carolina, to the southeast, have both felt the financial pinch after anti-LGBTQ campaigns in their statehouses.

And Kentucky is already on the no-travel list for state-funded travel from California after it passed 2017 legislation that allowed student groups to discriminate against LGBTQ people. When California attorney general Xavier Becerra, announced the ban in January 2017, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s press secretary, Woody Maglinger, had denounced it as “far-left political ideology."

In contrast, Louisville’s mayor, Greg Fischer, a public supporter of LGBTQ rights, had pleaded that his city — home of the Kentucky Derby and considerable convention business — be exempted. It wasn’t.

As of June 2017, the California ban had already cost the city $2 million in future revenue.

Meanwhile, Kentucky is embroiled in other controversy. The state’s Republican governor, Matt Bevin, who had signed last year’s anti-LGBTQ legislation, has made a controversial push to slash pensions of state employees. Those employees include public-school teachers, who are now protesting in the capital.

With Bevin’s battle raging, statehouse Republicans may have been hoping this anti-LGBTQ legislation would give them momentum going into the fall elections, Louisville Democratic Representative Joni Jenkins said. “Honestly, I haven’t heard any outrage from any of the churches in my district about having to participate in anyone’s weddings,” Jenkins said, “so I don’t know what problem this is supposed to be solving.”
 

[Source: Ron Johnson, LGBTQ Nation, Lexington Herald Ledger, March 2018]

 

 

LGBTQ News Reports

 

LGBTQ Alabamians and the Vote Against Roy Moore

Starbucks Holiday Coffee Cups Include Same Sex Couple

Elected Official in Virginia Disses Teen’s Two Moms

California Recognizes Third Gender
Hong Kong: First Asian City to Host Gay Games

Sydney Opera House Launches Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

NPR News: Remembering Edith Windsor, LGBTQ Advocate

LGBTQ Pride in Serbia

Senators Introduce Resolution to Recognize June as LGBTQ Pride Month

 

Australia Votes Yes for Marriage Equality

 

A nationwide survey on the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia came back with sweeping support on November 15, 2017, ending a month-long campaign for equality that has stoked widespread anxiety in the country’s LGBTQ community. The issue will now go to the Australian Parliament. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promised an official vote to legalize marriage equality by the end of the year.

 



In the survey, 61.6 percent of Australians voted yes and 38.4 percent voted no. More than 12.7 million people responded to the voluntary postal survey, a nationwide response rate of nearly 80 percent.

“They voted yes to fairness. They voted yes to commitment. They voted yes to love,” Turnbull said at a press conference in Canberra following the vote. “It is up to us, here in the Parliament in Australia to get on with it. This was an unprecedented exercise in democracy.”

Most members of the Australian parliament (some 70 percent in both houses) have said they will vote yes on a same-sex marriage vote were the results from the survey to come back with a “yes,” according to a survey from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

 

Australian Parliament Approves Marriage Equality

LGBTQ Nation: Joyous Reaction to Australian Parliament Approval of Marriage Equality

Huff Post: In Nationwide Poll Australians Vote Yes for Same Sex Marriage

NY Times: Australia to Legalize Same Sex Marriage

CNN: Australia Votes Yes for Marriage Equality

Australians Celebrate Yes Vote for Marriage Equality
 

Danica Roem Makes Political History

 

Trans woman Danica Roem (D) just defeated anti-LGBTQ candidate Bob Marshall (R) in Virginia.  The man who wrote the anti-trans bathroom bill just lost the election to a trans woman. Let that sink in.

 

Virginia’s most socially conservative state lawmaker was ousted from office on Nov 7, 2017 by Danica Roem, a Democrat, who will be one of the nation’s first openly transgender elected officials and who embodies much of what Bob Marshall fought against in Richmond.

 

Danica Roem defeated incumbent Republican Bob Marshall, 73, on having campaigned on a platform of social inclusion as well as local issues, such as building up infrastructure and job creation. it also exposed the nation’s fault lines over gender identity.

 

The race pitted a 33-year-old former journalist who began her physical gender transition four years ago against a 13-term incumbent who called himself Virginia’s “chief homophobe” and earlier this year introduced a “bathroom bill” that died in committee.

“Discrimination is a disqualifier,” a jubilant Roem said. “This is about the people of the 13th District, disregarding fear tactics, disregarding phobias, where we celebrate you because of who you are, not despite it.”

 

Wasington Post: First Trans Person Elected to Public Office in Virginia
LA Times: Danica Roem Defeats Chief Homophobe

NBC News: Trans Woman Elected to Virginia State Legislature

LGBTQ Nation: Virginia's New Transgender Legislator

 

California Recognizes Third Gender

 

California Governor Jerry Brown signed first-of-its kind legislation in October 2017 that enables residents of the state to choose a third, non-binary gender category on California state-issued IDs, birth certificates and driver’s licenses.

The Gender Recognition Act (Senate Bill 179) also reportedly makes the process of an individual changing their gender on legal documents easier by no longer requiring a statement from a physician declaring that they’ve undergone “clinical treatment.”

“As the LGBTQ community, but especially the trans community, is under assault in this country, California needs to go in the opposite direction and embrace the trans community and support the trans community and modernize these laws,” State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who co-sponsored the bill alongside Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), said in a statement.

While Oregon and Washington DC have undergone steps to make it easier for citizens to legally identify as non-binary, California is the first to enshrine a third gender category into law.

A number of other countries already have or are in the process of passing legislation that allows citizens to legally identify outside of the gender binary, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, England, Pakistan, and Nepal.

[Source: James Michael Nichols, Huffington Post, Queer Voices, Oct 2017]

 

 

Rainbow Riots: LGBTQ Voices From Uganda

President Trump Defends White Supremacists

India Declares: Freedom of Sexual Orientation is Fundamental Right

Evangelical Leaders Release Anti-LGBTQ Statement on Sexuality
Australians Rally for Support of Same Sex Marriage

Response to the Nashville Statement

TED Talk: Why We Need LGBTQ Education

 

Edith Windsor, LGBTQ Advocate, Dies at 88

 

Edith Windsor, the famous LGBTQ advocate who fought the Defense Of Marriage Act, died on September 12, 2017, at the age of 88.

 

Edith Windsor loved Thea Spyer. For nearly half a century, the two were partners and eventually were legally married as well. When Spyer died in 2009, though, the federal government didn't recognize that love on Windsor's tax forms, expecting her to pay more than $350,000 in estate taxes. That is, until Windsor fought the law that did not recognize that marriage — and won.

 

Judith Kasen-Windsor, whom Windsor married last year, confirmed her death in a statement. "I lost my beloved spouse Edie, and the world lost a tiny but tough as nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality," she said. "Edie was the light of my life. She will always be the light for the LGBTQ community which she loved so much and which loved her right back."

 

 

Barack Obama issued the following statement: "America’s long journey towards equality has been guided by countless small acts of persistence, and fueled by the stubborn willingness of quiet heroes to speak out for what’s right. I had the privilege to speak with Edie a few days ago, and to tell her one more time what a difference she made to this country we love. She was engaged to her partner, Thea, for forty years. After a wedding in Canada, they were married for less than two. But federal law didn’t recognize a marriage like theirs as valid – which meant that they were denied certain federal rights and benefits that other married couples enjoyed. And when Thea passed away, Edie spoke up – not for special treatment, but for equal treatment – so that other legally married same-sex couples could enjoy the same federal rights and benefits as anyone else."

 

NPR News: Remembering Edith Windsor, LGBTQ Advocate

Huff Post:  Remembering LGBTQ Rights Icon, Edith Windsor

LGBTQ Nation: Tribute to Edith Windsor

Philadelphia Names City Block in Honor of Edith Windsor

 

Evangelical Leaders Release Anti-LGBTQ Statement

 

A coalition of over 150 evangelical leaders released a manifesto on August 29, 2017 reiterating their belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Titled the “Nashville Statement,” the document also asserts that God created two distinct sexes, that sex should only occur within the bounds of heterosexual marriage, and that “it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism.”

The statement emerged out of a meeting convened by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood on Friday at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s annual conference in Nashville. It consists of 14 statements of affirmation and denial relating to human sexuality.

 

For instance, Article 7 of the statement reads: "We affirm that self-conception as male or female should be defined by God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption as revealed in Scripture. We deny that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption."

Among the signers were many prominent and influential evangelical leaders, including Steve Gaines, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Russell Moore, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. Perkins was also reportedly one of the architect’s behind President Trump’s ban on transgender service members.

 

Evangelical Leaders Release Anti-LGBTQ Statement on Sexuality

Response to the Nashville Statement

 

 

LGBTQ News Reports

 

The Year to Be Queer

Why I Am Coming Out Now

James Corden's Tribute to Transgender Troops
Ireland’s First Gay Prime Minister

German Lawmakers Vote to Legalize Same Sex Marriage

Rainbow Riots: Freedom

Why I Must Come Out

What Could a Gay Utopia Teach Urban America?

LGBTQ Equality March on Washington DC
Gay Men's Chorus of Washington DC Sings to Drown Out Protesters at Knoxville Pride
Taiwan Makes History as First Asian Nation to Legalize Same Sex Marriage

Asia's Biggest Gay Pride Parade

Why We Won't Go Back

What Has and Has Not Changed

 

 

India Supports LGBTQ Rights

 

India’s Supreme Court has given the country’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer community the freedom to safely express their sexual orientation. In a historic decision on August 24, 2017, the nine-judge panel declared that an individual’s sexual orientation is protected under the country’s Right to Privacy law.

“Sexual orientation is an essential attribute of privacy,” the decision reads. “Discrimination against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation is deeply offensive to the dignity and self-worth of the individual. Equality demands that the sexual orientation of each individual in society must be protected on an even platform.”

Although the Supreme Court did not directly overturn any laws criminalizing same-sex relationships, the language of the court decision offers hope to the LGBTQ community. The judges expressly state sexual orientation falls under an individual’s right to privacy, a constitutional right, and that no individual should be discriminated against based on their orientation.

Going forward, this can establish a precedent as organizations challenge discriminatory laws in court, and offer protection against discrimination in places such as the workforce.

This could even deliver a death blow to an oppressive and controversial law in the Indian Penal Code. Section 377 is a law that limits a citizen’s right to express their gender identity or sexual orientation in consensual relationships. In 2013, another panel of the Supreme Court upheld Section 377.
 

India Declares: Freedom of Sexual Orientation is Fundamental Right

Ireland’s First Gay Prime Minister

German Lawmakers Vote to Legalize Same Sex Marriage

Taiwan Makes History as First Asian Nation to Legalize Same Sex Marriage

Australians Rally for Support of Same Sex Marriage

LGBTQ Pride in Serbia




President Trump Bans  Trans Troops

 

On June 26, 2017, President Donald Trump declared that transgender people weren’t fit to serve in any branch of the armed service in any capacity, citing a strain and distraction to the United States military readiness. His exact words were:

“After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
 

No Allies Here: Trump Bans Transgender People From Military

Pentagon Says Trans Troops Can Still Serve

Transgender Ban: About Hate Not Money

Trump's Ban: Trans Veterans Respond

Defense Secretary Appalled by Trump's Announcement

Trans Military Ban: Joint Chiefs Respond

Why We Need Trans People in the US Military

Trans Service Members Make Public Statement at VMA Event

 

Marriage Equality in Germany

 

On June 30, 2017, Germany’s parliament passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage - a sudden landmark shift for LGBTQ rights in Europe’s most populous country.

 

The vote came days after Chancellor Angela Merkel signaled that she was open to changing Germany’s marriage laws to include same-sex couples, prompting a hurried push from opposition lawmakers to pass the so-called marriage-for-all legislation.

 

 

Merkel’s ruling coalition had long opposed a vote on same-sex marriage, an issue that is divisive among her conservative bloc. But during an interview on Monday with German women’s magazine Brigitte, Merkel said she was open to members of her coalition voting their conscience, rather than holding the party line.

 

Merkel’s shift came after she visited a lesbian couple raising eight foster children. She called her dinner with the family “a life-changing experience” and said she realized her party’s arguments against same-sex marriage were no longer valid.

 

 

Polls show that a strong majority of German voters favor same-sex marriage. A Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency survey earlier this year showed 83 percent of Germans support it.

 

Germany has allowed civil partnerships since 2001. But unlike many neighboring countries, it has lacked full same-sex marriage equality. A growing number of countries in Europe have legalized same-sex marriage, including Finland and Slovenia this year. Italy remains among European states that permit only civil unions and do not grant full rights afforded to married couples.

 

German Lawmakers Vote to Legalize Same Sex Marriage

The One Sentence That Brought Marriage Equality to Germany

Angela Merkel's Dinner With Lesbian Couple

Gay Pride in Berlin

First Gay Couple Married in Germany

 

 

Important LGBTQ Issues After Marriage Equality

 

Now that the LGBTQ community has the legal right to marry, what challenges remain?  What other important issues and concerns still face the LGBTQ community?  What other problems still need to be solved?

 

Rolling Stone: Now That We Have Marriage Equality

NY Times: Challenges That Remain for LGBTQ Community

BuzzFeed: Important LGBTQ Issues

 

Sesame Street Expresses Pride

 

“Sesame Street” sent a heartfelt message to LGBTQ people as cities across the US celebrated National LGBTQ Pride Month. On June 23, 2017, the classic children’s TV series tweeted a photograph that featured seven of its beloved characters, including Elmo, posed to form a rainbow.  the accompanying message read, "Sesame Street is proud to support families of all shapes, sizes, and colors."

 



LGBTQ News Reports

Why Pride: Explanation for Straight People

Human Rights Watch: LGBTQ Students in US Face Discrimination and Hostile Environment
TED Talk: This is What LGBTQ Life is Like Around the World

CNN: What a Trump Presidency Means for LGBTQ Americans

People Guess the Sexual Orientation of Strangers

TED Talk: Why We Need LGBTQ Education

The Power of Inclusive Sex Education

Huff Post: Chechen Prez Says We Don’t Have Any Gays

LGBTQ Nation: Chechen Prez Laughs About Anti-Gay Violence

 

Marriage Equality in Taiwan

 

On May 24, 2017, Taiwan’s constitutional court declared that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, the first such ruling in Asia, sparking celebration by activists who have been campaigning for the right for years.

 



The court, known as the Judicial Yuan, said current marriage laws were “in violation of both the people’s freedom of marriage and the people’s right to equality”, and it gave two years for legal amendments to allow same-sex marriage.  “If relevant laws are not amended or enacted within the said two years, two persons of the same sex who intend to create the said permanent union shall be allowed to have their marriage registration effectuated,” the court said.

Hundreds of supporters of same-sex marriage gathered in the street next to the island’s parliament to celebrate the decision, holding colorful umbrellas to ward off a drizzle. “This ruling has made me very happy,” said Chi Chia-wei, a veteran gay rights activist who had petitioned the court to take up the issue.  The ruling clearing the way for same-sex marriage is the first in Asia, where socially conservative attitudes largely hold sway.

 

Taiwan Makes History as First Asian Nation to Legalize Same Sex Marriage

German Lawmakers Vote to Legalize Same Sex Marriage

 

Increased Calls to Trevor Project Suicide Hotline

 

The LGBTQ community was enjoying a growing wave of support, although admittedly it had a long way still to go. Marriage equality had been won, nondiscrimination ordinances were becoming more common, and it appeared as if the momentum was on our side. Then America elected Donald Trump to become our 45th president. Since then, that progress has looked more in danger than it has in years. For younger people, the turn can be particularly upsetting.

 

 

“After the election it became clear to me that young people needed our help more than ever,” reports Amit Paley, the new CEO of The Trevor Project, whose suicide prevention hotline has seen a noted increase in call volume. LGBTQ youth attempt and commit suicide at a higher percentage than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. “The day after the presidential election the Trevor Project’s call volume doubled, and there has been an increase in calls since then,” he said.

 

In May, Paley reported, The Trevor Project’s Lifeline received more calls than in its entire 19-year history. “The policies of this administration, no doubt about it, are directly harming young LGBTQ people,” Paley told The Daily Beast. “What’s so upsetting and shocking for them is that up until this point they had been growing up in a time of increasing acceptance and tolerance. Our mission is to end suicide among LGBTQ young people, and we are concerned by any activities that might reverse the progress we have made.”

 

“There are more people feeling in crisis and more people reaching out for help,” said Paley. “When the president of the United States and politicians in positions of power stand up and make LGBTQ people feel less-than, or make them feel their rights are being taken away from them, that has a significant impact on their self-worth. That’s our reason to be here: to say that no matter what anyone in Washington says, you are worthy, you are loved, you have dignity, and you are who you are and who you love does not lessen you as a person.”

 

LGBTQ News Reports

 

Human Rights Watch: LGBTQ Students in US Face Discrimination and Hostile Environment

TED Talk: This is What LGBTQ Life is Like Around the World

CNN: What a Trump Presidency Means for LGBTQ Americans

Why Pride: Explanation for Straight People
Changing: Trans Teen Music Video

Think Progress: Chick-Fil-A Still Funding Anti-Gay Causes

LGBTQ Nation: Chick-Fil-A Still Supporting Anti-LGBTQ Organizations

LGBTQ Year in Review: 2016

 

Religious Based Discrimination

 

Most Americans don’t think religious-based discrimination should be lawful. The tide is turning in support of more open policies toward the LBGTQ community.

In June 2017, the governor of Texas signed into law a bill that allows faith-based adoption groups to deny services “under circumstances that conflict with the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs.” Critics, including the ACLU of Texas, say the new law could likely be used to discriminate against LGBTQ families in adoptions. This law is similar to those passed in Mississippi and Tennessee which also legalize discrimination against LGBTQ people based on religious convictions.

 

 

In March 2016, the Tennessee legislature introduced a bill allowing counselors to refuse to provide mental health care services to anyone who violates their “sincerely held religious beliefs,” including beliefs about LGBTQ people.  That bill did pass and was signed into law.

A number of Christian groups and outlets applauded the bills passed in Texas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. But according to a new report by the Public Religion Research Institute, support for religiously based service refusals is quickly declining. PRRI’s report, based on a survey of roughly 40,000 interviews, found that more than six in ten Americans oppose allowing small business owners in their state to refuse to provide goods and services to gay or lesbian people on religious grounds.

White evangelical Protestants continue to be the faith group most in favor of religiously motivated discrimination, though even among that group support has dropped. In 2015, 56 percent of white evangelicals were in favor of allowing business owners to deny services to gay and lesbian people. In 2016, the number had dropped to 50 percent.

 

Legalizing Religious Based Discrimination

Federal Court Rules Mississippi Businesses Can Discriminate Against LGBTQ People

LGBTQ Discrimination in Tennessee

Map of State Religious Exemptions Laws

Handy Guide to Understanding Religious Exemption Laws

Evangelical Leaders Release Anti-LGBTQ Statement on Sexuality

 

Kim Davis: Symbol of Religious Opposition

 

Kim Davis is the county clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, who gained international attention in August 2015 when she defied a US federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, following the June 26, 2015, US Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. Davis, who has been married four times, reacted to the decision by denying marriage licenses to all couples, saying she was acting "under God's authority". Her defiance led to her being jailed, while both supporters and detractors hotly debated her stance in the national media. Marriage licenses in Rowan County are now being issued to all citizens as required by law.

 

 

Davis was elected county clerk in 2014 and promised to follow the statutes of the office. A few months later, Obergefell v. Hodges was decided and all county clerks were ordered to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Davis refused, citing her religious opposition to same-sex marriage. Couples represented by the American Civil Liberties Union who had been denied marriage licenses from Davis filed and won a lawsuit against her, Miller v. Davis, and she was ordered to start issuing marriage licenses by the US District Court. Her lawyers tried to appeal to the US Supreme Court, but the application to appeal was denied. Davis continued to defy the court order, refusing to issue marriage licenses, and was ultimately jailed for contempt of court. She was released from jail five days later, under the condition that she not interfere with the efforts of her deputy clerks, who had started issuing marriage licenses to all couples. Davis then modified the Kentucky marriage licenses to no longer mention her name.

Attorney and author Roberta A. Kaplan described Davis as "the clearest example of someone who wants to use a religious liberty argument to discriminate." Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said that Davis' imprisonment was part of the "criminalization of Christianity." Columnist Jennifer Rubin compared Davis' refusal to obey the decision of the US Supreme Court to Alabama Governor George Wallace's "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door" in 1963.

 

LGBTQ Nation: Kim Davis May Have to Pay Thousands of Dollars to LGBTQ Couples
NPR: Gay Couple's Lawsuit Against Kim Davis Continues

ABC News: Kim Davis Defends Denying Same Sex Marriage Licenses

New York Times: Kim Davis Goes to Jail

Washington Post: When Does Your Religion Excuse You From Doing Your Job?

CNN: Who is Kim Davis?

Wikipedia: Kim Davis

 

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