Actor and activist Omar Sharif Jr. opened up in an op-ed for Hornet entitled “A Voice for the Voiceless: Amidst a Brutal Crackdown, This Gay Egyptian Looks for Hope.” The piece shared what it is like being a gay Egyptian in the public eye and the weight it carries both in the U.S. and in Egypt.
The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to issue a ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The central issue in this case is about public accommodations and whether or not customers can be turned away just because of who they are or whom they love. In light of this, the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) launched a new report, “LGBT Policy Spotlight: Public Accommodations Nondiscrimination Laws,” that provides a comprehensive overview of the patchwork of federal, state and local protections against discrimination in public spaces. The report also highlights the gaps in protections that leave LGBT people vulnerable to discrimination, and was released in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, Freedom for All Americans and the National Center for Transgender Equality. To accompany the report, MAP’s latest ad, “Movie Theater,” depicts how transgender people can experience harassment, discrimination and denial of equal treatment in places of public accommodation. It can be viewed at lgbtmap.org/Movie-Theater-ad.
The Associated Press reported that Newman University’s Steckline Gallery canceled an LGBTQ exhibit, “Rainbow in Reverse: Queer Kansas History,” due to “‘community concerns’ that the exhibit would expose students to ‘evil.’”
Canadian MP and Rhodes Scholar Randy Boissonnault was one of three lecturers at Oxford University’s Corpus Christi College’s 500th anniversary celebrations. He came full circle from “deeply closeted student” to “proud and out” LGBTQ advocate at Oxford.
GLAAD released research on 45 instances where Donald Trump has selectivity targeted the LGBTQ community during his first year in office, The Wisconsin Gazette reported.
The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation have issued an invitation to scholars who are no more than three years beyond receipt of the doctorate to apply for a two-year National Park Service Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral fellowship, potentially renewable for one additional year. The Postdoctoral Fellowship in Gender and Sexuality Equality will begin in September 2018. This fellowship is made possible by support from the National Park Foundation through a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
info: chroniclevitae.com/jobs/0000397434-01. nps.gov.
Openly gay Waleska resident Adam Wynn has announced he is running for U.S. House of Representatives in Georgia’s 11th Congressional District, The Georgia Voice reported. If elected, he would be the first openly LGBTQ individual ever elected to Congress in Georgia.
TIME magazine ran an op-ed from GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis saying that Donald Trump is “trying to erase the LGBTQ community.”
The Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch will be held on April 8 in Washington, D.C. at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.
GLAAD has announced its 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards nominees during the Sundance Film Festival held in Park City, Utah. Among the nominees were: Golden Globe winner “Lady Bird;” Golden Globe nominees “Call Me By Your Name,” “The Shape of Water,” “A Fantastic Woman,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Will & Grace,” “Feud: Bette and Joan” and “This Is Us;” ABC’s “When We Rise,” “Modern Family,” “20/20” and “Good Morning America;” The CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend;” Netflix’s “One Day at a Time,” “Sense8,” “Easy,” “Las chicas del cable” and “Godless;” Amazon’s “One Mississippi” and “Transparent;” Starz’s “Survivor’s Remorse”; Univision’s “La doble vida de Estela Carrillo;” HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and “Room 104;” The New Yorker and “Nightline” for their coverage of the persecution of gay and bisexual men in Chechnya; Rolling Stone and VICE on HBO for its coverage of transgender youth; CNN en Español for its report on survivors, families and first responders one year after the Pulse Nightclub massacre; and Grammy-nominated artist Kehlani for her album “SweetSexySavage.” The full list is available online.
The StartOut Growth Lab, a startup accelerator to advance companies founded or co-founded by LGBTQ entrepreneurs, welcomed its second cohort, including a cryptocurrency trading platform that simplifies and accelerates cross-exchange orders, an artificial intelligence concierge for vacation rentals, a high performance haptic glove for virtual and augmented reality applications and a mental health platform that uses data-driven matching to increase engagement between sessions. The Growth Lab is the result of a partnership between Nixon Peabody LLP and StartOut.
Former prisoner and transgender activist Chelsea Manning has declared her intension to run for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Her announcement was made on YouTube.
The National Coalition for LGBT Health will hold the 16th annual National LGBT Health Awareness Week from March 26-30 and is seeking respondents to a short survey to assist organizers in unfolding its full observance. As part of the survey, respondents can sign up their organization as a partner in National LGBT Health Awareness Week. Partners will conduct activities to raise awareness of LGBTQ health concerns and will extend the reach of the week through social media. The coalition will promote all partner organizations on its website and will provide educational materials and a social media toolkit for partner organizations to use throughout the event.
According to Newsweek.com on Jan. 10, Israel lifted a ban on gay and bisexual male blood donors, after implementing a double testing system on a two-year trial basis that allows blood banks to screen donations twice. Prior to this announcement, the country had a similar policy to that currently in place within the US. and UK, which allows gay and bisexual men to donate blood only after a 12-month period of no same-gender sexual contact.
The remains of Blaze Bernstein, a gay college student at the University of Pennsylvania, was found in Borrego Park in California. An arrest has been made in connection to his murder. The death in Orange County is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
Hornet released its first-ever research with Nielsen around the efficacy of LGBTQ-themed branded advertising on the LGBTQ consumer. The custom study, which Hornet commissioned from Nielsen in 2017, examines advertising content across various industries including consumer packaged goods, hospitality, automotive and banking.
Gay Games 10 will be held in Paris, France from Aug. 4-12 with participants from over 85 countries competing in 36 sports, 14 cultural events, two ceremonies and a sports conference. Interested parties should email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.
The Human Rights Campaign issued a report detailing at least 129 anti-LGBTQ bills that were introduced across 30 states during the 2017 state legislative session.
FCB/Six has turned the rainbow flag into a data slider to assist LGBTQ individuals in traveling safely. The bars depict the welcoming level across six metrics.
Treatment Action Group has launched a new web portal to support initiatives to end AIDS and sharply reduce new HIV infections in key U.S. locales. The organization is now collaborating with AIDS Alabama, NASTAD, the Southern AIDS Coalition, the Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative and SisterLove to assist community leaders in the Deep South as they advance their own jurisdictional initiatives to end the epidemic.
Equality Florida has announced that it is seeking to defend the City of Tampa, Fla.’s ban on the “dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy for minors” against a lawsuit filed by Liberty Counsel, an anti-LGBTQ hate group. A motion to intervene on behalf of Equality Florida was filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the law firm Carlton Fields. On the other side of the state, Broward County voted to enact an ordinance to protect LGBTQ youth and prohibit the use of conversion therapy on minors. The National Center for Lesbian Rights submitted testimony to Broward County on the urgent need to stop harmful, dangerous conversion therapy and worked alongside Equality Florida and the Southern Poverty Law Center to push the ordinance forward. More municipalities in Florida have enacted ordinances prohibiting conversion therapy than in any other state.
info: splcenter.org. nclrights.org. equalityflorida.org.
KATU in Oregon reported that Banks School District Superintendent Jeff Leo released a statement saying that rainbow flags were not replacing American flags in the Washington County’s classrooms. The release came after a parent falsely claimed on a radio show that they had.
Georgia laws that criminalize people living with HIV have resulted in 571 arrests from 1988 to September 2017, according to state-level criminal history record information analyzed by the Williams Institute.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that Costa Rica must recognize marriage equality, and full rights for same-sex couples, in a decision that is binding on 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries, Daily Kos reported.
Equitas Health announced it has achieved Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike designation by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the first for an LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS-focused health center in Ohio. The designation applies to their Short North and Dayton Health Centers.
Trevor Wadleigh and Chris Marchant, two members of Well-Strung, are competing in “The Amazing Race.” The two best friends are excited to be representing the LGBTQ community as the only openly gay competitors this season. “We love being competitive, and we are thrilled to be representing the world of classical music, pop music, and the LGBT community, and hope to do them all proud,” Wadleigh shared.
GLAAD and Equality Florida released “Southern Stories: A Guide for Reporting on LGBTQ People in Florida in English and Spanish.” This media guide will serve as a resource for journalists and media organizations both in Florida and nationally when reporting on the LGBTQ community.The guide contains story leads, a glossary of terms and definitions frequently used in reporting, terms to avoid, and common pitfalls.
info: glaad.org. equalityflorida.org.
Two Spelman College students are the first recipients of the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., Scholarship. Sophomores Chablise Davis and Cylantra Dees will each receive renewable $25,000 scholarships. The self-identified LGBTQ advocates were selected because of their academic achievements and their ability to emerge as courageous leaders at Spelman and in the LGBTQ community.
With a vote of 4-1, Paducah, Ky. became the ninth Kentucky city to adopt a Fairness Ordinance, prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations against LGBTQ individuals, making Paducah the only city in Western Kentucky with LGBTQ discrimination protections.
Erin Uritus has taken over the role of CEO for Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. Board Chair and Comcast Senior Vice President Michael Cox shared, “Erin joins Out & Equal with unparalleled domestic and international experience as an executive in the corporate, government and nonprofit sectors — a critically important combination to us at Out & Equal. Her visionary leadership will bring the organization and the entire movement to further workplace equality for the LGBT community the next level. As the Chair of the Board of Directors and as a major sponsor of the organization, I have full confidence Erin will lead all of us to a future where our country’s largest companies and governments around the world embrace diversity, prioritize inclusion, and enact equality.” Prior to joining Out & Equal, Uritus was a senior leader at Booz Allen and the International School Services. She has worked internationally, including nine years in the Middle East where she supported efforts to modernize government in the midst of the Arab Spring.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a case challenging one of the most extreme anti-gay laws in the country — Mississippi’s HB 1523 — which grants the right to refuse service by anyone to those they believe is an LGBTQ individuals, is in same-sex relationships (including legal marriage), have ever had sex outside man-woman marriage, have ever had an abortion or have had their gender assigned at birth altered, Gay RVA reported.