On April 30, hundreds of senior business leaders gathered at the eighth annual Out Leadership: U.S. 2018 LBGT+ Senior Summit, sponsored by Ropes & Gray. The first session, hosted by Barclays, featured the launch of “Out for Success: Realizing the full potential of your LGBT+ talent,” the first comprehensive, international study of high-performing, high-potential LGBTQ emerging business leaders, presented by Out Leadership and PwC. The 231 LGBTQ employees who participated in the survey were identified as high performers or as individuals with leadership potential by their employers.
info: outleadership.com. pwc.com. ropesgray.com.
Debunking the stereotyping of LGBTQ in Brazil as sex workers or working in beauty or the arts, on May 2, 27 LGBTQ people graduated from the fifth entrepreneurship training run by MRI Brazil exclusively for low-income LGBTQ individuals. MRI helps low-income LGBTQ individuals to open their own small businesses and to improve their employment skills.
As the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether a small business can legally deny goods or services to same-sex couples based on the owner’s religious beliefs, a national survey released on May 1 from the non-partisan PRRI as part of its American Values Atlas found broad opposition to this policy. The survey also found emerging consensus in support of same-sex marriage, with most religious groups and all major ethnic and racial groups now supporting it.
Transgender Chelsea Manning will take the stage at the seventh edition of C2 Montréal and will focus on addressing the tech industry’s gender discrimination problem.
On May 24, The Economist Events will host its third annual Pride and Prejudice Summit, a 24-hour event hosted by The Economist Events across three cities — Hong Kong, China, London, U.K. and New York, N.Y. This year’s summit will continue to challenge and push forward the global conversation around LGBTQ diversity and inclusion, with a focus on evaluating how advocacy can translate these discussions into meaningful action to improve the legal rights and societal treatment of LGBTQ individuals worldwide. Among speakers is North Carolina’s Rev. William Barber.
Dykes on Bikes announced that founding member Soni Wolf died on April 25 of natural causes at the age of 69. The National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Brooke Oliver Law Group represented Dykes on Bikes in an action to register its name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which had initially rejected the application on the grounds that the term “Dykes on Bikes” is disparaging to LGBTQ individuals. On July 11, 2007, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a final ruling affirming the group’s trademark of the name “Dykes on Bikes.”
info: nclrights.org. dykesonbikes.org.
On May 11 Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law SB 1140, a bill that will allow Oklahoma’s adoption agencies the right to deny LGBTQ couples the ability to adopt a child based on religious objection. The Democratic National Committee shared its response to the action by saying, “Plain and simple, Governor Fallin and Oklahoma Republicans are discriminating against LGBTQ parents. Rather than focusing on empowering families or uniting children with loving parents, Governor Fallin and Oklahoma Republicans want to strip qualified potential parents of their ability to provide for a child in need. With over 400,000 children in foster care nationwide, including more than 16,000 in Oklahoma alone, the Oklahoma legislature should be focusing on how it can attract more qualified and loving parents to the system – not rejecting potential homes based on the gender identity or sexual orientation of the parents.” The Equality Federation joined Democrats by stating that it stood with its member organization Freedom Oklahoma “in our disgust at the passage of SB 1140, the first piece of anti-LGBTQ legislation in the nation to become law this year. All youth deserve loving homes, and discrimination has no place in Oklahoma.”
info: dnc.org. equalityfederation.org.
After years in the candidacy process, Reconciling Ministries Network’s communications associate, Brett Roes, has been offered a full-time appointment as a licensed local pastor. His last day with the network will be at the end of May.
Grindr hosted their first award ceremony, the Zero Filter Awards, on May 2 in Los Angeles, Calif. The award ceremony honored LGBTQ creators, makers, activists and influencers who have had a positive impact in their communities and throughout the fashion, design, music and other industries.
A new study examining the relationship between prejudice and support for the rights of marginalized groups found that reducing transphobia increases an individual’s support for the equality and legal protection of transgender individuals. The study also found that exposure to images and information about transgender individuals helped reduce transphobia.
In a bipartisan 14-10 vote, the Republican-led New Hampshire Senate on May 2 passed HB 1319, a bill that provides explicit comprehensive non-discrimination protections for transgender individuals in employment, housing and public spaces. The House passed HB 1319 in March by a strong bipartisan vote. Republican Gov. Christopher T. Sununu is expected to sign the bill into law. Once signed, New Hampshire will join 18 other states, including every state in New England, in providing comprehensive protections for transgender individuals. In other news, the state’s House of Representatives voted for final passage of HB 587, a bill to ban conversion therapy on minors. The legislation was sent to the governor for his signature.
Georgia’s DeKalb County State Court Judge Mike Jacobs has come out as bisexual, The Georgia Voice shared. Project Q has previously reported that Jacobs emailed its site with a statement identifying himself as bisexual. Jacobs is the first openly LGBTQ trials judge in his county. In related news, singer Janelle Monae has come out as a “queer black woman,” the Voice reported.
The Israel Ministry of Tourism announced Bravo executive producer and talk and radio show host Andy Cohen will serve as the official International Ambassador of Tel Aviv Pride 2018 which takes place June 3-10. “I’ve always wanted to go to Israel and can’t think of a better occasion to get me there,” said Andy Cohen.
info: israel.travel. facebook.com/tlvpride.
The Transgender Law Center has condemned the Trump administration’s erasure of Obama-era federal Bureau of Prison rules, grounded in the Prison Rape Elimination Act signed by George W. Bush, were intended to address the health and safety of incarcerated transgender individuals, reported by BuzzFeed. “This is a cruel, politically-motivated rollback that will have devastating consequences for the well-being of transgender people in prison,” said Kris Hayashi, the center’s executive director. “This administration is targeting our communities in some of the areas where they are already the most vulnerable. These attacks on trans immigrants, on our access to healthcare, trans youth, and now on trans people who are incarcerated are particularly deplorable.” The Democratic National Committee also responded to the action, saying, “The Trump-Pence administration continues to turn back the clock on LGBTQ rights and has now turned its aim towards some of the most vulnerable among us. With this decision, transgender individuals will be at risk of increased rates of abuse, discrimination, assault, rape, and possibly even death. The Trump-Pence administration has prioritized the politics of its base over the well-being of LGBTQ Americans.”
info: transgenderlawcenter.org. dnc.org.
Transilient is seeking funds to bring younger assistants on its 2018 tour.
Former Cuban President Raul Castro’s daughter Mariela has taken on the cause of advocating for LGBTQ rights in Cuba, including marriage, The Georgia Voice reported.
RuPaul Charles will star in a new comedy series, “AJ and the Queen,” on Netflix. Charles also serves as executive producer. The show centers on Ruby Red, a “bigger-than-life but down-on-her-luck drag queen who travels across America from club to club in a rundown 1990’s R/V with her unlikely sidekick AJ, a recently orphaned, tough-talking, scrappy 11-year-old stowaway,” Netflix shared.
A new Facebook group, LGBTQ Travelers, has been launched by travel blogger Adam Groffman. “It’s meant to be an organic space for LGBTQ travelers to connect — a fun, friendly, and safe space to meet either online or off, to share tips, and to just generally connect and engage,” Groffman said. To date, members of the LGBTQ Travelers community have started discussions and photo posts about LGBTQ memorials around the world, credit card rewards, coming out while traveling, and local travel tips just to name a few. Expansion plans are forthcoming for the group.
MSMGF has announced the release of “Unity in Diversity, A Case Study on the Achievements, Good Practices and Lessons Learned from the Consortium of MSM and Transgender Networks.”
Out for Undergrad announced that Joy Dunn, member of its board of directors and senior manager of new product introduction at Space Exploration Technologies Corp at SpaceX, USA has been named one of 100 of the World’s Brightest Under 40 by the World Economic Forum of Young Global Leaders.
OutServe-SLDN has announced that it has begun a new program, OutServe Knowledge Online, which brings critical information to its members — LGBTQ service members, veterans, Department of Defense civilians, and their families — through events and by creating an online repository of information and resources specific to the LGBTQ military community. The kick-off event will be held on May 24.
The Democratic National Committee will have its 19th annual gala on June 25 in New York, N.Y., and will have as a featured speaker and special guest, Virginia House Delegate Danica Roem, who will become the first openly transgender elected official to speak at a major party gala in U.S. history, the committee stated. She joins Olympic athlete Gus Kenworthy who will also be a guest speaker at the event.
In its 2017 Social Responsibility Report released on April 30, Health Care Service Corporation highlighted the work of its employees to make a positive impact in the lives of members and their communities and maintain a “strong, caring, inclusive and ethical culture of excellence.”
Transgender military ban plaintiffs in Doe v. Trump, the first lawsuit to challenge the Trump-Pence ban, filed a cross-motion for summary judgment by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders on May 11 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Plaintiffs’ motion asserts that undisputed facts show the ban, including the March 23 Mattis implementation plan, violates their Equal Protection and Due Process rights, and that the court should provide permanent declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the Trump-Pence ban from ever being implemented.
info: glad.org. nclrights.org.
Registration is now open for the Reconciling Ministries Network “For Everyone Born,” the 2018 Convocation of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition slated for July 26-29 in St. Louis, Mo.
The American Military Partner Association announced the launch of a new program focused on education, advocacy and support for military families with LGBTQ children. The new program, called MilPride, will be led by Jessica Girven and Amanda Brewer — military mothers of transgender youth who have had to face challenges and discrimination in navigating the military system.