National News

Boy’s drag performance at Ohio bar prompts lawmaker’s action

 

The Toledo Blade reports the drag queen performance of a 9-year-old boy at a bar outside Ohio’s capital city has prompted a state legislator to propose a law aimed at closing what he says is a, “loophole in child exploitation laws.”

When Stormé DeLarverie died at age 93 on May 24, 2014, it was a mere month before the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. Now the 50th approaches. The New York Times’ obituary of DeLarverie noted, she “threw the first punch” at the police who were harassing patrons of the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, though this has not been confirmed. 

Morehouse College to take transgender students

CNN reports the country’s only all-male historically black college will begin admitting transgender men next year.

The move marks a major shift for Morehouse College at a time when higher education institutions around the nation are adopting more welcoming policies toward LGBTQ students.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, unofficially known as the Mormon Church, made an about-face on an issue concerning the children of same-sex couples: baptism, reversing a 2015 policy.

The Church announced that at the 189th Annual General Conference on April 4, first counselor in the First Presidency Dallin Oaks “outlined a new policy.”

Effective immediately, “Children of parents who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender may be baptized without First Presidency approval if the custodial parents give permission for the baptism, and understand both the doctrine that a baptized child will be taught and the covenants he or she will be expected to make.”

All charges were dropped against Jussie Smollett, the black, openly gay actor who was charged with filing a false police report about being the victim of a hate crime in January.

Yet, despite that ruling on March 29, neither outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel nor Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is ready to let the case go.

Despite Smollett’s unwavering assertion that he was indeed attacked and did not stage the incident himself, Emanuel has spoken out repeatedly against the actor and demanded Smollett pay the city $130,000 to cover the cost of the investigation including police overtime pay.

Another hearing on the Equality Act was held April 9 on Capitol Hill before the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services. Sarah Warbelow, Legal Director of HRC testified, as did mothers of gay, lesbian and transgender children.

Warbelow identifies as bisexual and is “the proud parent of a transgender daughter.” She said she was “testifying on behalf of HRC’s three million members and supporters. The overarching message is straightforward and self-evident: discrimination shouldn’t triumph over an individual’s freedom to be themselves.”

The legal director explained the links between the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Equality Act and said, “The Equality Act builds on the legacy of the civil rights statutes that have made America a stronger nation that recognizes diversity as an asset.”

In a victory for LGBTQ employees at the U.S. Department of Justice, Attorney General William Barr ordered the FBI and the Bureau of Prisons to investigate allegations of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees within the department and affiliate agencies.

Barr made the announcement in a letter released April 5. The order is an immediate response to a series of requests from an LGBT group.

Lucy Flores could be any woman — straight, bisexual, lesbian trans. That she’s a well-known Nevada politician with the kind of life story that elevates her to star status is why former Vice President Joe Biden was in Nevada to endorse her for a Lieutenant Governor run in 2014. At that time, Flores alleges, Biden put his hands on her shoulders, smelled her hair and then kissed her on her head.

Flores described the incident and how it made her feel in an op-ed in The Cut on March 29. Several presidential candidates have spoken out in support of her including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Obama HUD Secretary Julián Castro.

Sen. Sanders displays transgender pride flag at office

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is showing his support for transgender Americans by displaying the new transgender pride flag placed outside his Burlington office, The Burlington Free Press reported.

The independent senator said in a social-media post that discrimination has no place in society and he was displaying the flag as a show of support for transgender people across the United States.

LGBTQ groups are claiming victory following Google’s March 28 decision to stop offering an app by a ministry that included material considered “ex-gay” involving conversion therapy, which is the practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation.

The group Truth Wins Out, based locally, has been at the forefront in the fight against the practice.

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