National News

On June 30 in New York City, after a weeklong abundance of celebrations, rallies and worldwide media attention, a group of longtime LGBTQ activists marched down Fifth Avenue carrying a banner that read: “Gay Liberation Front: First To March.” Their ages ranged from late-60s to mid-80s. They wore matching T-shirts with their slogan. Some carried photo buttons of friends long departed. And as they walked downtown toward Christopher Street and the Stonewall Inn, onlookers greeted them with thunderous applause —  a thank you for the work they began 50 years ago, work that led to the LGBTQ community we know today.

 

Alana Chen was only 14 when she confessed to her parish priest that she was a lesbian and had strong attractions to other women. He advised her not to tell her family and put her through relentless conversion therapy, which her mother now asserts led Chen to self-harm, hospitalization, and, last week, to death by suicide.

Report: Substitute teacher fired for berating child on dads

The Salt Lake Tribune reports officials said a substitute teacher in Utah was fired after berating a fifth-grade student who said he was thankful for being adopted by his two dads, one of whom is a former dancer on “Dancing with the Stars.”

 

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced a new nationwide program to provide free HIV-prevention drugs — PrEP — to uninsured Americans at risk of HIV. About 200,000 people will have access to the daily pre-exposure prophylaxis medication through the program, Ready, Set, PrEP. To qualify for the program, participants must test negative for HIV, have a valid prescription for the medication and be without prescription drug coverage.

 

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT), a former Mormon missionary and author of several best-selling religious-themed books, introduced the “Fairness for All Act” on Dec. 6. The bill was put forward as a compromise to the Equality Act that passed the House in June with some bipartisan support. The Equality Act has been awaiting ratification by the Senate. The Equality Act would “prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.”

Judge blocks challenge to Indiana’s religious
objections law

WNDU.com reported conservative religious groups have failed to convince an Indiana judge they faced any harm from limits placed on the state’s contentious religious objections law signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence.

 

The American Medical Association (AMA) has voted to support state and federal efforts to ban gay conversion therapy, the scientifically discredited practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

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