Quick Hits 07.14.17
Updated: July 13, 2017 at 6:51 pm
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Scouts for Equality will be on hand at the Boy Scouts of America’s National Jamboree. This is the first time that the organization has attended a national event. They will assist the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association at their shared booth in the God & Country exhibit area.
Lambda Legal is taking a Georgia anti-LGBTQ discrimination case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case is between Jameka Evans and the Georgia Regional Hospital. Due to her sexual orientation, Evans lost her job. The case raises the question of whether civil rights laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination as part of bans on sex discrimination, The Georgia Voice reported.
info: thegavoice.com. lambdalegal.org.
A new memorial will make its way to the Hudson River Park in Greenwich Village, New York City, honoring the LGBTQ lives lost at the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando as well as anyone who was a victim of intolerance or hate, GayRVa reported.
Transgender comic Ian Harvie spoke with People Magazine about making the first transgender comic stand-up special, starring on “Transparent” and protecting women’s rights.
The plaintiffs in Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant filed a petition on July 6 after seeking a rehearing en banc by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit after a three-judge panel found on June 22, 2017 that the plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge Mississippi’s HB 1523, the most extreme anti-LGBT law in the nation.
The Lambda Archives San Diego will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Sept. 16.
Agency33 Public Relations, Nashville, Tenn.’s first LGBTQ-focused firm, recently began operations under the leadership of entertainment industry veteran Joey Amato.
A Russian-based startup has released its Partner APP which provides a safe experience for users who are not ready to come out.
During a radio interview with Carmen Jovet on AM 610 NotiUno radio, Thomas Rivera Schatz, Puerto Rican Senate president and a leader of the Statehood Party, used the masculine pronoun “señor” repeatedly to describe Ana Matosantos, the only female member of Puerto Rico’s Financial Oversight and Management Board (known locally as the Junta de Supervisión Fiscal or simply the Junta). This was widely regarded as a homophobic slur from a politician and party with a record of hostility towards the LGBTQ community. Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) responded, saying, “This crossed a line. This wasn’t an accident or a slip of the tongue, this fits the pattern of how Statehooders relate to the LGBT community — namely: with hostility and homophobia. What matters is that one of the most senior leaders of the Puerto Rican government thinks it is OK to talk this way and it reveals a lot about the conservative politics of the pro-statehood movement. Making fun of someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity is never okay — in Puerto Rico or anywhere else. I am the last one to support anything the Junta is up to, but homophobic remarks? That is beneath the dignity even of the Statehooders and makes President Trump look mature and well-adjusted by comparison.”
SubscriberWise announced a personal plea from SubscriberWise founder and FICO global GOAT David Howe to Donald Trump concerning the federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). The plea is directed toward an executive action to immediately expand the existing ECOA laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class. “One year after the horrific massacre at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, the United States of America continues to have a federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act that remains incomplete and inadequate,” Howe stated. He added, “And what a sad indictment this is for the U.S.A. because expanding the existing ECOA is one of the most immediate and obvious ways our government can continue to right the wrong of this nation’s long and disgusting behavior involving intolerance and discrimination against our LGBTQ sisters and brothers.”
Canada Pride Montréal 2017 will include over 200 activities in celebration of sexual diversity and gender plurality, organizers said.
A new report released on July 5 by MSMGF and OutRight Action International in collaboration with the Global Platform to Fast Track the Human Rights and HIV Responses with Gay and Bisexual Men argued for a global health and development approach that is inclusive of LGBTI individuals. It called on countries to recognize and address the impact of stigma, discrimination, violence, and criminalization on health.
Montréal, Canada is celebrating some significant anniversaries in 2017, including its Gay Village (35th) and the Gay Village cultural pedestrian street program (10th), with a 1km-long linear rainbow installation suspended above the pedestrian axis of Sainte-Catherine Street East in Montréal. A succession of six principal colors, each in three hues, combine to form 18 shades across 180,000 recycled plastic balls. Two sizes of balls are attached on tensor wires and suspended above the street and through the trees. 18 Shades of Gay celebrates the evolving spectrum of LGBTQI community identities – plural, diverse, inclusive and nuanced, organizers shared.
The Gender Conference East, held from Nov. 3-4 in Newark, N.J., has now opened registration. The event provides a safe and supportive space dedicated to the needs of children and youth across the gender spectrum, as well as their families and the professionals working with them.
A review published in AACC’s Clinical Chemistry journal reports that clinical laboratories could significantly improve healthcare for the transgender community by using both sex and gender identity to make decisions about clinical testing and by determining normal lab values for healthy transgender patients. It emphasized these as critical steps on the road to eliminating the hurdles that transgender individuals face when seeking quality healthcare.
Earlier this month, Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools postponed its “Coming Out and Coming Around” event due to criticism and concern by conservative parents who saw this as a one-sided conversation. They wanted to see “both sides” of the issue discussed and transition dangers included.
The Rhode Island General Assembly voted for final passage of a bill sponsored by Rep. Edith Ajello to prohibit licensed mental health providers from using the discredited and harmful practice of conversion therapy on children and adolescents. This was a victory for the Rhode Island Conversion Ban Committee. The state joins Nevada, Connecticut, California, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Washington D.C. in banning the practice.
The Black AIDS Institute shared that the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that U.S. transgender surgeries are up by 20 percent in the first two years of collecting data on these procedures.
“Transparent” creator Jill Soloway has come out as transgender and non-binary, adding “more visibility to other genderqueer, non-binary and trans people, moving us forward in gaining more realistic representation of LGBTQ people,” the Human Rights Campaign reported.
The conservative and anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council supported the decision by the Pentagon to delay the full implementation of the Obama-era transgender policy as a good first step.
The Victory Institute and the Madrid Summit launched an international experts group of LGBTQ elected officials that will work to advance equality worldwide.
Indiana native and civil rights attorney Dan Canon has announced his run for Congress. He served on the legal team in the Obergefell case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The GLBT Historical Society’s 2017 Living Colors Gala will be held on Oct. 14 in San Francisco, Calif.
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A – which once pledged to treat LGBTQ people with honor after donating millions to anti-gay groups – is again funneling money to anti-LGBT organizations, including one in Georgia that proclaims being gay is evil, Data Lounge reported.
New Line Theatre closes its 26th season of adult, alternative musical theatre with the world premiere of the third installment of New Line’s own creation, the new revue “Out on Broadway: The Third Coming”, running from Aug. 3-19 at the Marcelle Theater in St. Louis, Mo. Tickets are now on sale. It is an original revue of musical theatre songs performed from the perspective of five gay men.
A conversation has been revived on the potential of womb transplantation for those who are transgender and are seeking to carry a child. One of the biggest considerations is the difference in anatomy with regard to pelvic size and placement.
Dr. Tyrel Starks, an assistant professor of psychology at New York, N.Y.’s Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and faculty investigator of the Hunter College Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training, has been awarded a five-year grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse to test an individually-delivered intervention intended to reduce drug use and HIV incidence among HIV negative men in relationships with other men.
info: chestnyc.org. hunter.cuny.edu.
The Astraea Foundation has released its 2017 annual report.
Skyhorse Publishing will release two books in September. “Before I Had the Words” by Skylar Kergil is a memoir about reinvention and growth as the author recounts his physical transition from female to male. “You and Your Gender Identity” by Dara Hoffman-Fox, LPC. is a guide that helps navigate the journey of self-discovery and embracing gender identity.
The Victory Institute convened the first-ever meeting of LGBTQ mayors at the 85th Annual Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Miami Beach from June 23–26. The meeting was attended by Don Guardian of Atlantic City, N.J.; Robert Garcia of Long Beach, Calif.; Christopher Cabaldon of West Sacramento, Cali.; and Javier Gonzales of Santa Fe, N.M.
Philanthropist Tim Gill was recently featured in an issue of Rolling Stone. He was formerly founder of Quark, a graphics software company. The Gill Foundation, among his other works, has been at the forefront of LGBTQ-cause-giving since its inception. The magazine called him a “mega donor.”
The Federal Bar Association’s LGBT Law Section has announced that it is working to enhance the successful practice and development of LGBTQ federal practitioners and their allies. The section supports and educates professionals with an interest in LGBTQ-related issues. In addition, it serves and assists each chapter and circuit of the association by developing and implementing programs, publications and activities involving LGBTQ-related legal issues.
Logo Documentary Films announced the next documentaries in their 2017 slate. The first film, “Forbidden: Undocumented & Queer in Rural America,” premiering Aug. 3 follows Moises Serrano, an undocumented immigrant and gay man born in Mexico and raised in North Carolina, fighting for the American dream. “KEVYN AUCOIN Beauty & the Beast in Me” premieres on Sept. 14. The film, directed by Lori Kaye, uses makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin’s never-before-seen personal video and audiotapes to tell the story of his artistic gift nearly extinguished by gay persecution, an undiagnosed rare disease and his untimely death at age 40.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law responded to a new report detailing the lack of accurate data on hate crimes incidents. The under-reporting of hate crimes is attributable, in part, to a lack of trust among targeted communities who do not feel safe reporting incidents of hate to law enforcement, the committee shared.
The Washington Blade reported that the Prince William County School Board added a gender identity and sexual orientation clause to its nondiscrimination policy.
On the 48th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, June 28, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and several of their colleagues introduced the first-ever Senate resolution recognizing June as “LGBTQ Pride Month. The resolution notes major milestones in the fight for equal treatment of LGBT Americans and resolves to continue efforts to achieve full equality for LGBT individuals. U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tom Carper (D-DE), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Coons (D-DE), Ed Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-CT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV) are also sponsoring the legislation. On June 26, Sen. Baldwin and Rep. Suzan DelBene introduced legislation for LGBT Equallity Day, honoring the anniversary of three significant victories won at the U.S. Supreme Court for LGBTQ Americans (Lawrence v. Texas, 2003; U.S. v. Windsor (2013); and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015).
Findings from a new Ogilvy survey released in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month of over 1,000 Americans, including over 400 LGBTQ allies, revealed that nearly two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) believe that LGBTQ-inclusive brands/businesses are good for the economy and similarly (64 percent) believe that these initiatives reflect the country’s diversity. However, the majority (68 percent) reported that in order to be an LGBQT ally, brands/businesses need to “walk the talk” following through on promises and plans.
The National LGBT Media Association has announced its second annual Ad POP award winners. The association represents legacy brand names and new top performing papers: Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco, Calif.), Bay Windows (Boston, Mass.), Between the Lines (Detroit, Mich.), Dallas Voice (Dallas, Texas), Gay City News (New York,.N.Y.), Los Angeles Blade (Los Angeles, Calif.) , Philadelphia Gay News (Philadelphia, Pa.), South Florida Gay News (Wilton Manors, Fla.), Georgia Voice (Atlanta, Ga.), Washington Blade (Washington, D.C.), Watermark (Central Florida) and Windy City Times (Chicago, Ill.). Rivendell Media, LGBTQ media expert, helped coordinate national entries across local LGBTQ media.
“Empire” star and activist Jussie Smollett recently gave the Black AIDS Institute a gift of $20,000 and leveraged it with a challenge to amass a total of $40,000.
Northern Ontario filmmakers have created a documentary on Rainbow Camp for LGBTQ youth. It is currently in post-production. The facility provides a safe space for those who attend to be their true selves and has a universal application, cutting across demographics and borders to tell a story of acceptance.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on June 27 efforts to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in 2019. As part of the state’s commemorative efforts, cultural events will be promoted statewide and New York will host the largest international LGBTQ Pride celebration in 2019 – Stonewall 50/WorldPride. The governor also announced that Anthony Goicolea has been selected to design New York’s official monument honoring the LGBTQ community, those lost in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting in June 2016, and all victims of hate, intolerance and violence. The monument will be located at the western edge of Greenwich Village, in Hudson River Park
The U.S. Supreme Court announced on June 26 that it will review a decision from the Colorado Court of Appeals that found that a cake shop discriminated against a same-sex couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake.
The American Jewish Committee said it was “appalled” that several Jewish participants in a Pride parade in Chicago, Ill. were told to leave the event because their flags had the Jewish Star of David.
LGBTQ sports organization the Varsity Gay League has recently reached its 10-year mark in creating a social opportunity for the LGBTQ community and its allies — a space to create a support system while being athletic. It currently has leagues in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Long Beach and Sacramento, Calif., Austin, Texas, Orlando, Fla., Dallas, Texas, Boston, Mass. and Portland, Ore. and plans on adding others. With kickball as their main sport, the organization also includes other sports in varying cities such as bowling, soccer, tennis, beach volleyball, flag football, dodgeball and ultimate Frisbee (among others).
The National LGBTQ Task Force has applauded the restoration by the Department of Health and Human Services of a sexual orientation question to the survey of older adults. The Task Force will redouble its effort for the addition of a gender identity question to the national survey.
“Came out/Kicked out,” a series of short animated films that tell the true stories of LGBTQ youth who have been forced to leave home, is seeking contributions through Indiegogo to help fund its work. The goal of the project is to help elevate LGBTQ youth voices and to celebrate their lives, resilience and accomplishments. The series will cover a range of experiences, ethnicities and gender identities.
Syria-born LGBTQ activist and emerging author, Ahmad Danny Ramadan, has been named among the 9th annual RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrants, along with doctors, artists, entrepreneurs and philanthropists. Presented by Canadian Immigrant magazine and sponsored by RBC Royal Bank, this annual awards program celebrates the achievements of inspiring Canadian immigrants.
The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision in Pavan v. Smith which denied same-sex married couples’ right to be named on their children’s birth certificates like other married parents.
Wayne Besen has announced that Truth Wins Out is closing its doors because it had accomplished its major goals. “We helped expose and ultimately vanquish (with the help of other heroes) major “ex-gay” programs including Love Won Out, Exodus International, and JONAH,” Besen shared. He has called on the community to contribute one last tax-deductible contribution to allow Truth Wins Out, LGBT Science and Truth Wins Out Care website to operate in perpetude. “There is priceless information for reporters, parents and people who need facts on ‘ex-gay’ programs and the religious right. It would be nothing short of a tragedy if these websites, bursting with history and knowledge, disappeared,” he added.
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About the author: Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at email@example.com and 704-531-9988, x205.