Georgia Governor Signs Series of Controversial Education Bills into Law

Florida Gov Says Those Opposing Don’t-Say-Gay Bill Complicit In Pedophilia

Gay Lawmaker Confront GOP Colleague Over Anti-Trans Bill
Those Who Support Laws Against LGBTQ Kids Should Burn in Hell
US Justice Dept Warns States Against Treading on Civil Rights of Transgender Youth

Ariana DeBose Becomes First Openly Queer Woman of Color to Win Acting Oscar

Biden Administration Warns States That Anti-Trans Laws Violate Federal Law and Constitution
First Federal Suit Against Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Law Filed
Don’t Mess With Trans Kids: Charitable Merch That Raised $120,000
Florida Governor Signs Controversial Don't-Say-Gay Bill Into Law
SCOTUS Nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Grilled on Marriage Equality

SNL Tribute: Prayer for Ukraine

Ketanji Brown Jackson Schools GOP Senator Who Ranted About Gay Marriage
Texas Judge Blocks Probes of Trans Kids' Supportive Parents Statewide
Anti-Trans Legislative Push Starts Again in 2022
At least 7 States Proposed Anti-Trans Bills in First Week of 2022

Ketanji Brown Jackson Schools GOP Senator Who Ranted About Gay Marriage
Texas Judge Blocks Probes of Trans Kids' Supportive Parents Statewide


Supreme Court Drafts Opinion to Overturn Roe v Wade

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled.”
-Justice Samuel Alito

The US Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito.


The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights (Roe v. Wade) and the subsequent 1992 decision (Planned Parenthood v. Casey) that largely maintained the right.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes.  “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he writes in the document, labeled as the “Opinion of the Court.”


“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
-Justice Samuel Alito

The other Republican-appointed justices (Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett) had voted with Alito in the conference held among the justices after hearing oral arguments in December, and that line-up remains unchanged as of this week.

The three Democratic-appointed justices (Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan) are working on one or more dissents, according to the person. How Chief Justice John Roberts will ultimately vote, and whether he will join an already written opinion or draft his own, is unclear.

[Source: Josh Gerstein & Alexander Ward, Politico, May 2022]

Supreme Court Draft Opinion Would Overturn Roe v. Wade
Supreme Court has Voted to Overturn Abortion Rights, Draft Opinion Shows
Ocasio-Cortez: Supreme Court Isn’t Just Coming for Abortion
Amanda Gorman: Reasons to Stand Up for Roe v Wade

Mallory McMorrow Responds to Lana Theis' Lies

"I am the biggest threat to your hollow, hateful scheme."
-Mallory McMorrow

A video of Michigan state Senator Mallory McMorrow hitting back against a claim she wants to "groom and sexualize" children was viewed more than one million times on social media.

Michigan state Senator Lana Theis, a Republican, made the claim in a fundraising email, writing that McMorrow, a Democrat, and others are "outraged they can't...groom and sexualize kindergarteners or that 8-year-olds are responsible for slavery," Michigan Advance reported. The e-mail came after McMorrow walked out of the Senate during an invocation by Theis.

In recent weeks, some conservatives have accused people who want to educate students about LGBTQ issues of being "groomers" and trying to sexualize children—a claim condemned by many as a homophobic attack.



"We have to stand up against blatant hatred."

-Mallory McMorrow

McMorrow, while speaking on the Senate floor on Tuesday, blasted the accusation in a video that has gone viral, being viewed more than one million times and causing the senator's name to trend. "I sat on it for a while, wondering why me? said McMorrow. "And then I realized—because I am the biggest threat to your hollow, hateful scheme. Because you can't claim that you're targeting marginalized kids in the name of 'parental rights' if another parent is standing up to say 'no.'"

Later in the speech, McMorrow responded to Theis' claim that she believes 8-year-olds are responsible for slavery. "I am a straight, white, Christian, married suburban mom who knows that the very notion that learning about slavery or redlining or systemic racism somehow means that children are being taught to feel bad or hate themselves because they are white is absolute nonsense," she said.

McMorrow added: "No child alive today is responsible for slavery. No one in this room is responsible for slavery, but each and every one of us bears responsibility for writing the next chapter of history. Each and every one of us decides what happens next, and how we respond to history and the world around us."



"This same rhetoric is now being used to attack an already marginalized community, particularly LGBTQ kids to deflect and scapegoat so that people are so mad and taking out their anger on gay kids," she said.

McMorrow said she hopes that more people like her stand up and fight back, adding that Democrats cannot listen to polling that suggests they should not focus on these social issues. "We can't in good conscious do that. We have to stand up against blatant hatred because that's what allows it to thrive," she said.

[Source: Anthony Stanton, Newsweek, April 2022]


Mallory vs Lana: Confronting Ignorant Lies and Misinformation
Mallory McMorrow's Response to 'Grooming' Claim
Lawmaker's Blistering Rebuke After Colleague's Baseless 'Grooming' Accusations
Mallory McMorrow Responds to Lana Theis' Lies

Gay Alabama Lawmaker’s Rant Goes Viral as Republicans Criminalize Trans-Friendly Doctors

“In one breathtakingly cruel and cowardly day, the Alabama legislature passed the single most anti-transgender legislative package in history."

-Cathryn Oakley, Human Rights Campaign

“There are very real challenges facing our young people, especially with today’s societal pressures and modern culture. I believe very strongly that if the Good Lord made you a boy, you are a boy, and if he made you a girl, you are a girl. We should especially protect our children from these radical, life-altering drugs and surgeries when they are at such a vulnerable stage in life. Instead, let us all focus on helping them to properly develop into the adults God intended them to be.”

-Kay Ivey, Alabama Governor

“This is personal y’all. I’m trying to appeal to you that this is not small government. This is invasive."

-Neil Rafferty, Alabama State Representative



An impassioned Democratic lawmaker in Alabama calling out his Republican colleagues for their attacks on trans youth has gone viral after the state passed a law to jail doctors who provide gender-affirming care to minors. “I don’t know how this became a platform issue for y’all,” said out gay state Rep. Neil Rafferty (D) in the Alabama legislature. “I don’t know where it became a central core issue to pick on these kids, to pick on these families. I don’t know where it is or why y’all think that this is something that we need to vote on, not just vote on, but put off the top of the calendar like it’s a priority.”


Not to be outdone by Florida's recent anti-LGBTQ legislation, the Alabama Senate passed an anti-transgender bathroom bill, requiring transgender students to use the restroom associated with the sex on their birth certificate instead of their gender. At the last minute, the senators added a copycat Don’t-Say-Gay bill that’s even more restrictive than the on Florida passed.  At the same time, the Republican-controlled Alabama House passed a law to criminalize doctors who provide gender affirming care to transgender youth, and that’s what Rep. Rafferty (one of 28 Democrats in the chamber with 75 Republicans) was speaking out against.

Rafferty (who represents Birmingham) called out Republicans pushing the bill for their insinuation that the families of transgender youth don’t care about their kids.  “It’s a priority for us to be getting involved in private family medical decisions that are made with a team of healthcare providers, that are made with the parents centering around the child who are surrounded by a team of healthcare providers, mental health professionals who are guiding them through this process?” he implored his colleagues. “You want to think you’re just going to a doc-in-a-box or willy-nilly, just getting prescribed this stuff because somebody just said, hey, this is it.”



“In Alabama, instead of focusing on critical kitchen-table issues like the economy, COVID, or addressing the country’s mental health crisis, Republican lawmakers are currently debating legislation that, among many things, would target trans youth with tactics that threatens to put pediatricians in prison if they provide medically necessary, lifesaving healthcare for the kids they serve. Just like the extreme government overreach we’ve seen in Texas, where politicians have sent state officials into the homes of loving parents to investigate them for abuse — just to harass and intimidate the LGBTQ community — today’s vote in Alabama will only serve to harm kids.”

-Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary


"We want to ensure our elementary school classrooms remain free from any kind of sex talk."

-Kay Ivey, Alabama Governor

“It’s hard enough growing up being different. It’s even harder growing up being different, and then have a state legislature, your elected officials, the leaders of this state, put a target on children’s backs, put a target on the parents’ backs, and once again get in the middle of their decisions.”
-Neil Rafferty, Alabama State Representative



“That’s not how being transgender works.” Then he discussed his own identity.  “Trust me, if I didn’t have to be gay, I wouldn’t be,” Rafferty said. “You know how much easier my freaking life would be? This is personal y’all. I’m trying to appeal to you that this is not small government. This is invasive. Just don’t you dare call me a friend after this,” he said as he left the stand.

[Source: Alex Bollinger, LGBTQ Nation, April 2022]


LGBTQ Nation: Gay Alabama Lawmaker’s Righteous Rant Goes Viral as Republicans Criminalize Trans-Friendly Voctors
Advocate: Alabama GOP Gov. Signs Bill Making Gender-Affirming Care a Felony
NPR: Alabama Legislature Votes to Ban Gender-Affirming Medical Care for Transgender Youth
Gov. Kay Ivey Signs Don’t-Say-Gay and Anti-LGBTQ Bathroom Bills Into Law
ABC News: Alabama Governor Signs Don't-Say-Gay, Trans Care, and Bathroom Ban Bills
Advocate: Alabama Advances Don't-Say-Gay Legislation in Last-Minute Amendment
Alabama’s Only Openly Gay Legislator Opposes Anti-Trans Bill
USA Today: Alabama Passes Expanded Version of Transgender Bathroom Bill That Includes LGBTQ Discussion Ban
NBC News: Alabama Governor Signs Bill Criminalizing Transgender Health Care for Minors
Groups Say They’ll Sue to Dismantle Alabama’s New Anti-Transgender Laws
CBS News: Alabama Governor Signs Sweeping Law Banning Medication for Transgender Youth

'Say Gay' Billboards Debut Across Country Opposing Anti-LGBTQ Bills

We're not trying to turn straight kids into queer kids.
We're trying to make sure you don't turn queer kids into dead kids.


After Florida Gov. Rick DeSantis signed the state's "Don't Say Gay" bill into law, two organizations are hoping to send messages of support to LGBTQ youth across the country. Southern Progress PAC and FOLX Health kicked off a digital billboard campaign on March 31, Transgender Day of Visibility, in several cities where anti-LGBTQ bills like "Don't Say Gay" are in the works. The billboards include messages such as "Say Gay" and "Protect Trans Youth" as the two groups hope to combat what they call the "harmful and unnecessary" legislation.

"The bill is quite frankly, a solution looking for a problem. We should let kids talk about who they are and where they come from, without fear of repercussions," Southern Progress PAC volunteer Ally Sammarco said. "The idea that teachers are grooming children is a weird conservative fantasy that helps them 'explain' why some kids are gay. It's just not true. Most people know what the real intent of this bill is, and if you ask anyone from the LGBTQ community, they know what the consequences will be." The messages on the billboards are straight forward said Sammarco. "It's OK to say gay. It's more than OK. It's encouraged," she said. "We want to make it very clear that it's OK to talk about who you are and where you come from and no one can stop you from doing that."

[Source: Emell Adolphus, Edge Media Network Contributor, April 2022]


Florida Governor Signs Controversial Don't-Say-Gay Bill Into Law

Billboards Across Florida Encourage People to Say Gay

First Federal Suit Against Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Law Filed
Don’t Mess With Trans Kids: Charitable Merch That Raised $120,000
LGBTQ Group Sues Florida Over Don't-Say-Gay Law

Homophobic and Transphobic Lies are Now the Basis for Florida Law

Apple's Tim Cook Raises Concern Over LGBTQ Laws in the US

Queer Lives Under Attack: Fight Back at the Polls
Report: LGBTQ Students Are Target of Coordinated Right-Wing Attack
Out Gov. Jared Polis Slams Republicans for Attacking LGBTQ People With Over 150 Bills

Texas Judge Blocks Probes of Trans Kids' Supportive Parents Statewide
Don’t-Say-Gay Bill Passes Florida Senate and Heads to Governor's Desk
Georgia Legislators Introduce Florida-Style Don't-Say-Gay Bill
Texas Families Fleeing to Protect Their Kids From Trans Child Abuse Directive

South Dakota Becomes First State in 2022 to Pass Anti-Trans Bill
LGBTQ Advocates Fight Measure to Ban Sexual/Gender Identity Talk in Schools
Anti-Trans Legislative Push Starts Again in 2022
At least 7 States Proposed Anti-Trans Bills in First Week of 2022

Ariana DeBose Becomes First Openly Queer Woman of Color to Win Acting Oscar

Ariana DeBose has won the Oscar for best supporting actress at the 94th Academy Awards. She makes history as first queer woman of color to win an Oscar.  it is the same award Rita Moreno won, her predecessor in the same role in West Side Story in 1962.

DeBose beat out fellow nominees Jessie Buckley (“The Lost Daughter”), Judi Dench (“Belfast”), Kirsten Dunst (“The Power of the Dog”) and Aunjanue Ellis (“King Richard”) to take home the supporting actress trophy Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.



DeBose won the prize for her role in the Steven Spielberg-directed West Side Story remake, in which she plays the key role of Anita, the girlfriend of Sharks gang leader Bernardo, and sings the famous number America. It makes DeBose only the second Latina actor to win an Oscar, after Moreno, and the first queer woman of color.

To a standing ovation, DeBose celebrated Moreno as a trailblazer: “I’m so grateful – your Anita paved the way for tons of Anitas like me, and I love you,” she said, gesturing to Moreno. “Now you see why Anita says ‘I want to be in America’, because even in this weary world that we live in, dreams do come true, and that’s a really heartening thing right now,” DeBose said.

DeBose has already won a string of awards for her role in the film, including best supporting actress at the Baftas, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards.


At the end of her speech, the 31-year-old actor harkened to her early days as an aspiring performer. “Imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus, look into her eyes,” she said. “You see an openly queer woman of color, an Afro-Latina, who found her strength in life through art. And that is, I think, what we’re here to celebrate.” To anyone who “has ever questioned your identity” or “lived in the grey spaces”, she added, “there is, indeed, a place for us”.

Ariana DeBose: First Openly Queer Woman of Color to Win Acting Oscar
West Side Story Cast Performs "America" From "West Side Story"

Ariana DeBose Becomes First Openly Queer Woman of Color to Win Acting Oscar
Oscars 2022: Ariana DeBose Wins Best Supporting Actress for 'West Side Story'
Ariana DeBose Accepts the Oscar for Supporting Actress
Oscars 2022: Winners Recap 94th Academy Awards


Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed as Supreme Court Justice

"I am the dream and the hope of the slave.  It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. But we’ve made it. We’ve made it, all of us. In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court. I am humbled and “honored to be given the opportunity to serve as a justice."

-Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson

"We witnessed a truly historic moment. We’re going to look back and see this as a moment of real change in American history. I applaud the pose and composure Justice Jackson showed during her confirmation hearings, during which she endured vile and baseless attacks on her record. It was verbal abuse."

-President Joe Biden

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed as a justice of the US Supreme Court, with three Republicans breaking with their party, which largely opposed her. The Senate confirmed her by a vote of 53-47, with three Republicans joining all Democrats and independents to confirm her as the first Black woman to sit on the nation’s highest court. Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah were the Republicans. She will be sworn in this summer, after Justice Stephen Breyer retires. She is currently a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and has been a public defender and vice chair of the US Sentencing Commission.


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell characterized Jackson as a far-left judge and other Republicans grilled her about marriage equality — which she supports — and tried to paint her as soft on crime due to her sentences in child pornography cases, although legal analysts said the sentences she handed down were within accepted parameters. US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene even smeared the three Republicans who supported Jackson as “pro-pedophile” and called the Democrats “the party of pedophiles.”

Jackson had the backing of LGBTQ and other civil rights groups after President Joe Biden announced her nomination to the court, and they are hailing her confirmation. Even though she had once sat on the board of a private school that had an antigay statement on its website, she was a supporter of LGBTQ equality. She once said she was primarily working on fundraising plans for the school and didn’t know about the antigay statement.

“We are thrilled to join in the celebration today of the historic and bipartisan confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the US Supreme Court,” Imani Rupert-Gordon, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said in a press release. “As a leading civil rights organization that works through the courts to seek equity and justice for LGBTQ people, we are acutely aware of how important it is to have a judiciary that reflects the diversity of this country.

“Judge Jackson is immensely qualified to serve on the nation’s highest court and brings important professional and experiential diversity to the position, which will benefit us all. Her perspective will enrich the Court’s deliberations and her presence will increase public confidence in the institution. Judge Jackson has already inspired us with her extraordinary professional accomplishments and contributions, and we know that she will continue to inspire this and future generations as an exceptional Supreme Court Justice.”


“As I have pursued this professional path, and if I’m fortunate enough to be confirmed as the next associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, I can only hope that my life and career, my love of this country and the Constitution, and my commitment to upholding the rule of law and the sacred principles upon which this great nation was founded, will inspire future generations of Americans.”

-Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson

“For too long, our government, our courts, haven’t looked like America. I believe it’s time that we have a court that reflects the full talents and greatness of our nation with a nominee of extraordinary qualifications, and that we inspire all young people to believe that they can one day serve their country at the highest level."

-President Joe Biden

“LGBTQ rights are under attack all across this country, and today’s confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the US Supreme Court is a critical step to ensure our hard-won progress is not reversed by those using the courts to fight outdated culture wars,” added GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Judge Jackson’s experience and judicial temperament will make her one of the most qualified justices ever to serve on the Court. GLAAD congratulates Judge Jackson and our entire nation on this historic and long overdue representation.”

“Words can only partly express the soul-deep joy we feel in this moment,” said Ben Jealous, president of People for the American Way. “The confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who will be the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, caps so many years of striving and struggle by Black women persevering in the fight for an equal voice in our society. The future Justice Jackson is a person of matchless credentials and a demonstrated commitment to civil rights and the Constitution, who is poised to shatter one of our country’s oldest glass ceilings. As the grandson of a Black woman who fought for civil rights throughout the twentieth century and the father of a Black daughter who sees a new day dawning for her generation, I could not be more proud.”

One of the cases Jackson will hear in the court’s next term, which begins in October 2022, will involve whether a web designer has the right to refuse service to same-sex couples who want to set up wedding websites.

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate, April 2022]


Ketanji Brown Jackson Makes History as First Black Woman on Supreme Court
Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed to US Supreme Court
Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed to SCOTUS Despite GOP Smear Attempts
Senate Confirms Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court: First Black Woman to Serve as a Justice
GOP Senators Chose to Disrespect Ketanji Brown Jackson



Current LGBTQ News


Violence Against Women Act Expands Services to LGBTQ Survivors
Judge Says: Kim Davis Violated Same-Sex Couples' Rights by Refusing Marriage Licenses
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Apple's Tim Cook Raises Concern Over LGBTQ Laws in the US

Queer Lives Under Attack: Fight Back at the Polls
Report: LGBTQ Students Are Target of Coordinated Right-Wing Attack
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Don’t-Say-Gay Bill Passes Florida Senate and Heads to Governor's Desk
Georgia Legislators Introduce Florida-Style Don't-Say-Gay Bill
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South Dakota Becomes First State in 2022 to Pass Anti-Trans Bill
LGBTQ Advocates Fight Measure to Ban Sexual/Gender Identity Talk in Schools


Florida Governor Signs Controversial Don't-Say-Gay Bill Into Law

"This cruel legislation is an affront to our Nation’s cherished values and sends a harmful message to our children. Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Republicans have chosen to needlessly bully, isolate and demean LGBTQ students. I am deeply moved by the thousands of students who have spoken up and walked out to protest this bigoted legislation. House Democrats proudly stand with them, and we will continue fighting to enact long overdue protections for LGBTQ Americans – starting with the Equality Act."
-Nancy Pelosi

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed the Parental Rights in Education bill, dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill by critics. The bill bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade and states that any instruction on those topics cannot occur "in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards," according to the legislation, HB 1557.

"We will make sure that parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination," DeSantis said before signing the bill Monday. The legislation states that the Florida Department of Education would have to update its standards in accordance with the requirements. Under this bill, parents can also decline any mental, emotional and physical health services available to their children at school, and schools will be required to notify parents of their child's use of school health services unless there is reason to believe "that disclosure would subject the student to abuse, abandonment or neglect."




Parents could sue their school district if they believe there is a violation of any of these requirements or restrictions. The bill is expected to go into effect July 1, 2022.

"I think the last couple years have really revealed to parents that they are being ignored increasingly across our country when it comes to their kids education. We have seen curriculum embedded for very, very young children, classroom materials about sexuality and woke gender ideology. We've seen libraries that have clearly inappropriate pornographic materials for very young kids," DeSantis claimed at the signing.

The bill has stirred debate and controversy nationwide. Critics say that this ban is aimed at ridding classrooms of LGBTQ content and discussion. They say it will harm LGBTQ youth by shunning representation and inclusion in classrooms, putting the mental health and safety of this group at risk. "Let us be clear: Should its vague language be interpreted in any way that causes harm to a single child, teacher or family, we will lead legal action against the State of Florida to challenge this bigoted legislation," local LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Florida said in a statement.

They also said erasing the presence of the LGBTQ community from lessons implies students should be ashamed or should suppress their gender identity or sexual orientation. Legislators against the bill argued that students are aware of gender identity and sexual orientation at a young age and said schools should be allowed to offer spaces to discuss these topics. The Biden administration has denounced the legislation and met with LGBTQ youth and their families in the state.



"Laws around the country, including in Florida, have targeted and sought to bully some of our most vulnerable students and families and create division in our schools," Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement. He added: "My message to you is that this administration won't stand for bullying or discrimination of any kind, and we will use our authorities to protect, support and provide opportunities for LGBTQ students and all students."

Supporters of the bill say that these discussions and decisions should be left to the parents. "What we're preventing is a school district deciding they're going to create a curriculum to insert themselves," Rep. Joe Harding, the sponsor of the bill, said. He added, "Families are families. Let the families be families. The school district doesn't need to insert themselves at that point when children are still learning how to read and do basic math."

"This bill is not intended to hurt students," added Florida state Sen. Kelli Stargel in debate on the legislation. "This bill is not intended to out gay children. This bill is intended to strengthen the family."

More than six in 10 Americans oppose legislation that would prohibit classroom lessons about sexual orientation or gender identity in elementary school, a recent poll found.

[Source: Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, March 2022]

Florida Governor Signs Controversial Don't-Say-Gay Bill Into Law

Enabling Hate: Fla. Gov. DeSantis Signs Historic Don't-Say-Gay Bill

ABC News: What is the Don't-Say-Gay Law?

Florida Gov Says Those Opposing Don’t-Say-Gay Bill Complicit In Pedophilia

LGBTQ Group Sues Florida Over Don't-Say-Gay Law
Don’t-Say-Gay Bill Signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Florida's Governor Signs Controversial Anti-LGBTQ Law

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Limiting LGBTQ Classroom Instruction
Homophobic and Transphobic Lies are Now the Basis for Florida Law
Billboards Across Florida Encourage People to Say Gay

More States Are Now Pushing for Don't-Say-Gay Bills and Censorship Laws

Poll: Most Americans Oppose Laws Prohibiting Elementary School LGBTQ Lessons
I'm Gay by Randy Rainbow


Judge Says: Kim Davis Violated Same-Sex Couples' Rights by Refusing Marriage Licenses

Davis claims she was acting on God's authority to deny marriage licenses...

and to illegally impose her personal religious beliefs on other people...

Kim Davis — the former clerk in Kentucky whose refusal to sign marriage certificates for same-sex couples grabbed national headlines in 2015 — violated their constitutional rights, a federal judge found. The decision leaves open the question of whether the former clerk is responsible for the legal fees of the two couples who sued and other monetary damages that have accrued over the nearly seven years of legal back-and-forth. A jury will decide whether Davis is liable for those fees and other damages, which likely stands around hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"After seven years, Judge Bunning finally ruled that Kim Davis intentionally violated our constitutional rights," David Ermold remarked. He is one of the people initially denied a marriage license by Davis. "Now, the question is will they hold her financially responsible for the insensitive and irrational legal mess that SHE created," he said. "It feels like seven years of legal purgatory."


The Liberty Counsel, which represents Davis, says it "will continue to argue that she is not liable for damages because she was entitled to a religious accommodation," which Governor Mat Bevin and the legislature granted.  "Davis argues that a finding of liability would violate the First Amendment Free Exercise of Religion," says the counsel, a religious liberty organization that litigates cases involving evangelical Christian values.

The legal battle started in 2015 when Davis, in her capacity of a county clerk, defied the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. It's the landmark decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. She said distributing marriage licenses to such couples went against her beliefs as a member of the Apostolic Church, arguing that she could not give them a marriage license "under God's authority."  Her refusal quickly drew support from social conservatives and anger from same-sex marriage advocates.


Ermold and now-husband David Moore were denied marriage licenses three times, and another couple — James Yates and Will Smith — were denied licenses four times. A deputy clerk finally approved their licenses while Davis spent five days in jail for contempt of court.  Both couples say the ordeal has caused mental anguish and emotional harm, among other issues.

[Source: Jaclyn Diaz, National Public Radio, March 2022]


NPR: Judge Says Kim Davis Violated Same-Sex Couples' Rights by Refusing Marriage Licenses

USA Today: Judge Rules Kim Davis, who denied same-sex marriage licenses in Kentucky, violated couples' rights
NBC: Judge Rules Against Kentucky Clerk Who Denied Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

CBS: Former Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Violated Rights of Same-Sex Couples, Judge Rules
CNN: Federal Judge Rules Kim Davis Violated Rights When She Refused Marriage Licenses Same-Sex Couples in 2015
Rolling Stone: Clerk Who Denied Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples Violated Constitutional Rights, Finds Federal Judge
LGBTQ Nation: Judge Rules Former KY Clerk Kim Davis Violated Constitutional Rights of Same-Sex Marriage Couples

Violence Against Women Act Expands Services to LGBTQ Survivors

“No one, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, should experience abuse. Period. And if they do, they should have the service and support to get through it, and we’re not going to rest.”
-President Joe Biden

The Violence Against Women Act, reauthorized in the spending bill signed into law by President Joe Biden, now for the first time includes a grant program designed to aid LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The act has for some years has barred service providers from discriminating based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity, but the reauthorized version does much more, activists note. “This Act creates the first grant program dedicated to expanding and developing initiatives specifically for LGBTQ domestic violence and sexual assault survivors,” said a statement from Liz Seaton, the National LGBTQ Task Force’s policy director. “Our sister organization, the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, participated in a working group on bill language and advocated for its passage.”


“This legislation has the strongest-ever provisions to benefit LGBTQ survivors,” added Beverly Tillery, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, which coordinates the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. “While the LGBTQ community continues to experience a barrage of anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ attacks across the nation, VAWA provides a brief moment of hope that we can and will continue to make important advancements for our community. This victory is the result of a strong coalition of advocates who have been willing to fight with and for the most marginalized communities in our country.”

At an event celebrating the VAWA reuauthorization, Biden noted, “No one, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, should experience abuse. Period. And if they do, they should have the service and support to get through it, and we’re not going to rest.”

VAWA was first passed in 1994. Biden helped write it when he was a US Senator. It requires reauthorization every five years, but it lapsed in 2019, largely due to partisan disputes over whether to include a provision banning gun ownership by dating partners and stalkers who have been convicted of domestic violence. The current law bans this for those who have been spouses of victims, and Democrats agreed to drop the expansion of the ban in order to get the reauthorization passed. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said it was a “tough choice” to drop that, but the level of support needed was simply not there.

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate, March 2022]


Violence Against Women Act Expands Services to LGBTQ Survivors


Don't-Say-Gay Legislation Moves Forward

The Florida legislature has passed the controversial Don’t-Say-Gay bill and sent it to Gov. Ron DeSantis to sign. The Florida Senate voted 22-17 in favor of the bill. Republicans Jeffrey Brandes and Jennifer Bradley joined Democratic senators in voting against it.

The vote came after the Senate rejected a series of amendments. Republican leadership made clear no amendments softening the language in the law would be considered because the chamber wanted to send the bill directly to DeSantis. The legislation prohibits instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade and places a vague requirement of “age-appropriate” instruction in all grade levels.


Republican Sen. Dennis Baxley argued the bill will only increase parental involvement in children’s schooling. On the Senate floor, Baxley expressed concern about the rise in the number of students coming out as LGBTQ while still in school. He discussed the subject recently with his son, a psychologist. “Why is everybody now all about coming out when you are in school?” he said. “There really is a dynamic of concern about how much of this are genuine type of experiences and how many of them are just kids trying on different kinds of things they hear about and different kinds of identities and experimenting."

Baxley said many are trying to find some outside explanation for the number of children coming out at earlier ages. “Some of it is I’m sure cultural shift of what’s accepted and that kind of thing. But I know some of it is just the confusion kids go through, particularly when you go to middle school and high school,” he said.  Senate amendments from Democrats and one Republican, the libertarian-leaning Sen. Jeffrey Brandes, tried to change the bill in a number of ways, including focusing on actual sexual content, which isn’t covered in the bill at all.


"Kids don't turn queer because a teacher told them that queer people exist. They turn queer because their older sister's best friend gave them Ani DiFranco's first two albums on cassette.  Everyone knows this."

-Gillian Branstetter


"Thank you!  Finally!  My work here is done!"

-Ani DiFranco


Gov. DeSantis’s press secretary received significant criticism for calling the legislation an anti-grooming bill. “If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8-year-old children,” she said. Baxley made clear during Senate debate that the legislation had nothing to do with grooming, a term for the preparation of children to be sexual partners to adults.

During closing arguments, Sen. Linda Stewart, who is from Orlando, cited the Pulse nightclub shooting as a part of Florida history that cannot be discussed in class under the bill. That hurts “a community which has been discriminated against as long as probably any of us have lived on this earth.”  She also expressed concern about the bill potentially opening schools to lawsuits because it creates a cause of action from individuals if teachers allegedly run astray of the law.

Sen. Ileana Garcia, a Republican from Miami shared stories and made comments that revealed her ignorance about sexual orientation and gender identity. She and other Republican lawmakers who back the bill are doing so with the aid of profound misunderstanding and disinformation.

For much of the past week the Florida Capitol has been filled with students from around Florida protesting against the law.  Some activists have suggested that opponents of the bill should flood the Florida state house with "say gay!" postcards!  Many have already begun addressing postcards to Ron DeSantis with a simple message: Gay! Gay! Gay! Gay! Gay! Gay! Gay!


In the chamber, Sen. Shevrin Jones, Florida’s first out senator, shared his personal story of not coming out until adulthood. He praised the students for expressing their own identities at a much younger age. “I don't think y'all understand how much courage it takes to show up every day,” Jones said.

“Let us be clear: should its vague language be interpreted in any way that causes harm to a single child, teacher, or family, we will lead legal action against the State of Florida to challenge this bigoted legislation. We will not sit by and allow the governor’s office to call us pedophiles. We will not allow this bill to harm LGBTQ Floridians. We will not permit any school to enforce this in a way that endangers the safety of children. We stand ready to fight for Floridians in court and hold lawmakers who supported this bill accountable at the ballot box,” LGBTQ rights group Equality Florida said in a statement.

In response to the Senate passing the bill, US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona called out those who voted for it. “Parents across the country are looking to national, state, and district leaders to support our nation’s students, help them recover from the pandemic, and provide them the academic and mental health supports they need. Instead, leaders in Florida are prioritizing hateful bills that hurt some of the students most in need. The Department of Education has made clear that all schools receiving federal funding must follow federal civil rights law, including Title IX’s protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

He added, “We stand with our LGBTQ students in Florida and across the country, and urge Florida leaders to make sure all their students are protected and supported.”

[Source: Jacon Ogles, Advocate Magazine, March 2022]

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Russia Invades Ukraine

“The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces. President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable.”

-Joe Biden, US President



“Russia’s launch of a premeditated war against the sovereign nation of Ukraine is an attack on democracy and a grave violation of international law, global peace and security. Putin’s unprovoked actions will cause devastating loss of life and a diminishing of Russia in the world order. The United States Congress joins President Biden and all Americans in praying for the Ukrainian people.”
-Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House


"Who in the Lord’s name does Putin think gives him the right to declare new so-called countries on territory that belonged to his neighbors? This is a flagrant violation of international law, and it demands a firm response from the international community."
-Joe Biden, US President


"Putin is a genius. He's pretty smart.  He's going to go in and be a peacekeeper.  Here's a guy who's very savvy.  I know him well.  Very very well."

-Donald Trump


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President Biden Remarks on Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Standing on the Side of Russia: Pro-Putin Sentiment Spreads Online

After marinating in conspiracy theories and Donald Trump’s Russia stance, some online discourse about Vladimir Putin has grown more complimentary. The day before Russia invaded Ukraine, former President Trump called the wartime strategy of President Putin “pretty smart.” His remarks were posted on YouTube, Twitter and the messaging app Telegram, where they were viewed more than 1.3 million times.

Right-wing commentators including Candace Owens, Stew Peters and Joe Oltmann also jumped into the fray online with posts that were favorable to Putin and that rationalized his actions against Ukraine. “I’ll stand on the side of Russia right now,” Mr. Oltmann, a conservative podcaster, said on his show this week.  And in Telegram groups like The Patriot Voice and Facebook groups including Texas for Trump 2020, members criticized President Biden’s handling of the conflict and expressed support for Russia, with some saying they trusted Putin more than Biden.

The online conversations reflect how pro-Russia sentiment has increasingly penetrated Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, right-wing podcasts, messaging apps like Telegram and some conservative media. As Russia attacked Ukraine this week, those views spread, infusing the online discourse over the war with sympathy (and even approval) for the aggressor.


The positive Russia comments are an extension of the culture wars and grievance politics that have animated the right in the United States in the past few years. In some of these circles, Putin carries a strongman appeal, viewed as someone who gets his way and does not let political correctness stop him. “Putin embodies the strength that Trump pretended to have,” said Emerson T. Brooking, a resident senior fellow for the Atlantic Council who studies digital platforms. “For these individuals, Putin’s actions aren’t a tragedy — they’re a fantasy fulfilled.”

Support for Putin and Russia is now being expressed online in a jumble of facts, observations and opinions, sometimes entwined with lies. In recent days, commenters have complimented Putin and falsely accused NATO of violating nonexistent territorial agreements with Russia, which they said justified the Russian president’s declaration of war on Ukraine.


The pro-Russia sentiment is a stark departure from during the Cold War, when the Soviet Union was viewed by many Americans as a foe. In recent years, that attitude shifted, partly helped along by interference from Russia. Before the 2016 US presidential election, Kremlin-backed groups used social networks like Facebook to inflame American voters, creating more divisions and resistance to political correctness.

After Trump was elected, he often appeared favorable to (and even admiring of) Putin. That seeded a more positive view of Putin among Trump’s supporters, misinformation researchers said. “Putin has invested heavily in sowing discord” and found an ally in Trump, said Melissa Ryan, the chief executive of Card Strategies, a consulting firm that researches disinformation. “Anyone who studies disinformation or the far right has seen the influence of Putin’s investment take hold.”  The Russia-Ukraine war is now being viewed by some Americans through the lens of conspiracy theories, misinformation researchers said. Lisa Kaplan, the founder of Alethea Group, a company that helps fight online misinformation, said the pro-Russia statements were potentially harmful because it could “further legitimize false or misleading claims” about the Ukraine conflict “in the eyes of the American people.”

Not all online discourse is pro-Russia, and Putin’s actions have been condemned by conservative social media users, mainstream commentators and Republican politicians, even as some have criticized how Biden has handled the conflict.  “Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is reckless and evil,” Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, said.  And Representative Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois who was censured recently by the Republican Party for participating in the committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, criticized House Republicans for attacking Biden, tweeting that it “feeds into Putin’s narrative.”

The growing appreciation for Putin was captured in recent polling from the Economist and YouGov, which showed he was viewed more favorably by Republicans than Biden. Another recent poll from Yahoo News and YouGov found that 62 percent of Republicans believed Putin was a “stronger leader” than Biden.  That sentiment was echoed in an informal poll online, when a QAnon influencer asked followers in the Patriot Voice group on Telegram if they trusted Putin. Nearly everyone who responded to the question said the same thing: yes.

[Source: Davey Alba, Stuart Thompson, Ben Decker, New York Times, Feb 2022]


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Info: Russian Invasion of Ukraine

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Remarks by President Biden Announcing Response to Russian Actions in Ukraine

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Gallup Poll: Twice as Many LGBTQ Americans

A February 2022 survey from Gallup shows that, a decade after a 2012 poll showing that 3.5% of Americans identified as LGBTQ, twice as many Americans now identify as LGBTQ. Driven largely by Gen Z, the latest poll shows that 7.1% of America's population now identifies as something other than heterosexual and/or cisgender.

The change reflects generational comfort levels with regard to stepping out of the closet. More than 1 in 5, or 21 percent, of Generation Z adults identify as LGBTQ, Gallup found. That's almost double the proportion of millennials, who are 26 to 41, at 10.5 percent, and nearly five times the proportion of Generation X, who are 42 to 57, at 4.2 percent.


Less than 3 percent of baby boomers, who are 58 to 76, identify as LGBTQ, compared to just 0.8 percent of traditionalists, who are 77 or older. Not only is the trend increasing with each generational cohort — it's also accelerating, at least within the ranks of Millennials and, especially, Gen Z Americans.  The percentage of Generation Z adults who are queer has almost doubled since 2017 — jumping from 10.5 percent in 2017 to 20.8 percent. The rise shows that younger Gen Zers, who have turned 18 since 2017, are more likely than older Gen Zers to identify as queer.

The poll also suggested that bisexual people constitute the largest single subset of the LGBTQ rainbow. Here, too, Gen Z led the way, with a whopping 15% of respondents from that age group saying they were bi.


But the cultural landscape is not monolithic. While 70 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage rights, and a majority also support nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, a "Values and Beliefs" survey from 2021 saw a noticeable decline in acceptance for trans people serving openly in the Armed Forces as compared to a poll from only two years earlier.

Trans athletes, the target of an ongoing and record-shattering rash of hostile legislation, were also a notable subject in that 62 percent of Americans say trans athletes should only be allowed to play on sports teams that correspond with the sex they were assigned at birth, according to last year's poll.


[Source: NBC News, February 2022]

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LGBTQ Olympic Athletes at 2022 Bejing Winter Games

Beijing is hosting the XXIV Olympic Winter Games, February 2022, and it’s not just COVID complicating China’s plans for a seamless event. Numerous countries, including the United States, have announced a diplomatic boycott of the games (a move that keeps those countries’ government officials from attending), mainly because of China’s alleged abuses against the Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in the northwest part of the nation. Additionally, the Chinese government continues to vilify its LGBTQ citizens, going so far as to ban “sissy men” from TV last year. Even if most Chinese athletes are forced to compete in the closet, numerous queer athletes from around the world will represent their countries (and the LGBTQ community) at the Games.

There are at least 35 openly LGBTQ athletes competing at the Beijing 2022 Games, more than double the number at PyeongChang, South Korea, in 2018 (15) and five times the number at Sochi, Russia, in 2014 (7).

The athletes (representing 15 countries) will compete in nine different sports, including ice hockey (12), figure skating (10), skeleton (3), skiing (3) and snowboarding (2).

With at least seven out players, Canada’s women’s ice hockey team is sending more openly LGBTQ athletes to Beijing than any other country is for its total delegation (it is also sending two out figure skaters and one biathlete), with the US (6) and Great Britain (4) sending the second and third most, respectively.



Figure Skating

Filippo Ambrosini (Italy)
Kevin Aymoz (France)
Jason Brown (USA)
Guillaume Cizeron (France)
Lewis Gibson (Great Britain)
Amber Glenn (USA, reserve)
Timothy LeDuc (USA)
Paul Poirier (Canada)
Simon Proulx Sénécal (Armenia)
Eric Radford (Canada)

Ice Hockey

Brianne Jenner (Canada)
Erin Ambrose (Canada)
Ebba Berglund (Sweden)
Alex Carpenter (USA)
Emily Clark (Canada)
Mélodie Daoust (Canada)
Anna Kjellbin (Sweden)
Aneta Lédlová (Czech Republic)
Jamie Lee Rattray (Canada)
Jill Saulnier (Canada)
Ronja Savolainen (Finland)
Micah Zandee-Hart (Canada)

Megan Bankes (Canada)

Bruce Mouat (Great Britain)


Andrew Blaser (USA)
Kim Meylemans (Belgium)
Nicole Silveira (Brazil)

Ski Jumping
Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (Austria)

Makayla Gerken Schofield (Great Britain)
Gus Kenworthy (Great Britain)
Sandra Naeslund (Sweden)

Belle Brockhoff (Australia)
Sarka Pancochova (Czech Republic)

Brittany Bowe (USA)
Ireen Wüst (Netherlands)

Olympic Athletes That Identify as LGBTQ

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Trans Jeopardy Contestant: Amy Schneider's 40-Game Winning Streak Ends


"How much it's meant to trans people to see me succeed is something I will always, always be proud of"

-Amy Schneider


Jeopardy contestant Amy Schneider’s 40-game winning streak came to an end on January 26, 2022. Schneider, who became the second-most-winning contestant in the game show’s history, finished second, losing to newcomer Rhone Talsma by a margin of $29,600 to $19,600.


However, Schneider’s performance will go down in Jeopardy history as one of the greatest of all time. She walked away with $1,382,800, making her the highest-earning woman in the competition's history.



"When I started, my biggest goal was just to win four games. Not only did I end up winning 10 times as many, but I've heard from so many people, especially trans people and their loved ones, about how much it's meant to them to see me succeed, and that's something I will always, always be proud of," says Schneider.

Her journey with Jeopardy! is not over yet. The California resident will return to the game show later in 2022 for its Tournament of Champions. Schneider is the first out transgender contestant to qualify for that tournament.

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LGBTQ Advocates Fight Measure to Ban Sexual/Gender Identity Talk in Schools

"You are purposefully making your state a harder place for LGBTQ kids to survive in"

-Chasten Buttigieg


Chasten Buttigieg (husband of US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg) critiqued a Florida measure that would force teachers to out LGBTQ students and ban classroom discussion around sexual and gender identity.

A version of the bill has passed the Florida State House of Representatives "largely along party lines" in January 2022. The state lawmaker who introduced the bill to the House, Republican Rep. Joe Harding, characterized the bill as "defending the most awesome responsibility a person can have: being a parent."

Harding's bill, along with its companion bill introduced by Florida state Sen. Dennis Baxley (R), would block teachers in Florida from talking about LGBTQ topics that are not "age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students."

Harding acknowledged that "the law would prevent school districts from creating curriculum or policies that encourage teachers to discuss LGBTQ topics in classrooms," and, while he claimed that the bill "would not preclude the teaching of LGBTQ history in K-12 classrooms," the lawmaker also specified that the measure "focuses on 'specific curriculum or coursework that puts' a student 'in a situation where they have to have' a discussion about LGBTQ topics."


In a move reminiscent of the Texas law that weaponizes lawsuits against abortion providers, the proposed Florida measure "sets up a method for parents to sue teachers or school officials, and entitles the parents to potential monetary damages."

Chasten Buttigieg, who is a teacher, spoke out against the push to outlaw classroom discussion of LGBTQ issues. Addressing his remarks to Gov. Ron DeSantis, Buttigieg said, "This will kill kids."  He added: "You are purposefully making your state a harder place for LGBTQ kids to survive in."

Another state lawmaker, Jon Harris Maurer, spoke against the measure, saying that "LGBTQ people are a normal, healthy part of our society. Conversations about us aren't something dangerous that should be banned. That's prejudicial, and it sends a terrible message to our young people, including LGBTQ young people, or young people who have LGBTQ parents."


Buttigieg cited findings by The Trevor Project, an organization that combats LGBTQ youth suicide, that indicate 42% of youth who are non-cisgender and non-heterosexual "seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year."  Buttigieg also cited findings that LGBTQ students who learn in class about issues and people directly relevant to themselves "had 23 percent lower odds of reporting a suicide attempt in the last year."

Advocates have also condemned the proposed measure due to language in one version of the bills that "would require educators and administrators to effectively 'out' known LGBTQ students to their parents without their consent."

[Source: Kilian Melloy, Edge Media Network, January 2022]


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House Committee in Florida Passes Don't-Say-Gay Bill

Florida House Committee Passes Don’t-Say-Gay Bill
Chasten Buttigieg Denounces Proposed Ban on LGBTQ Discussions in Florida Schools
Don't-Say-Gay Bill Moves Forward in Florida

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Gay Fashion Icon André Leon Talley is Dead at Age 73


"No one saw the world in a more glamorous way than he did ...

No one was grander and more soulful than he was.."

-Diane von Furstenberg


André Leon Talley, the towering former creative director and editor at large of Vogue magazine, has died. He was 73. Talley was an influential fashion journalist who worked at Women's Wear Daily and Vogue and was a regular in the front row of fashion shows in New York and Europe. At 6-feet-6 inches tall, Talley cut an imposing figure wherever he went, with his stature, his considerable influence on the fashion world, and his bold looks.

In a 2013 Vanity Fair spread titled "The Eyeful Tower," Talley was described as "perhaps the industry's most important link to the past." Designer Tom Ford told the magazine Talley was "one of the last great fashion editors who has an incredible sense of fashion history. ... He can see through everything you do to the original reference, predict what was on your inspiration board."


Designer Diane von Furstenberg praised Talley: "No one saw the world in a more glamorous way than you did ... No one was grander and more soulful than you were."

In his 2003 memoir, ALT: A Memoir, Talley focused on two of the most important women in his life: his maternal grandmother, Bennie Frances Davis and the late fashion editor Diana Vreeland.  "Bennie Frances Davis may have looked like a typical, African American domestic worker to many of the people who saw her on an ordinary day, but I, who could see her soul, could also see her secret: that even while she wore a hair net and work clothes to scrub toilets and floors, she wore an invisible diadem," he wrote.

His relationship with Vogue started at Duke University, where his grandmother cleaned dorms; Talley would walk to campus in his youth to read the magazine.  Talley was also a familiar figure to TV audiences, serving as a judge on America's Top Model and appearing on Sex and the City and Empire.

Raised in Durham, NC, Talley worked assorted jobs before arriving in New York in the 1970s, soon meeting Vreeland striking up a friendship that lasted until her death in 1989.


Talley worked as a park ranger in Washington, DC, and Maryland, where he told visitors about slaves who built Fort Washington and dressed up like a Civil War soldier, he told The Associated Press in 2003.

After stints with Interview magazine and Women's Wear Daily, Talley was hired at Vogue in 1983 by Editor in Chief Anna Wintour and was appointed its creative director in 1988. Talley released another memoir in 2020, The Chiffon Trenches, that included gossipy behind-the-scenes tales about Wintour and other fashion figures like the late designer Karl Lagerfeld.

Of all the elements of a person's apparel, Talley considered shoes to be most important. "You can tell everything about a person by what he puts on his feet," Talley told the AP.  "If it's a man and you can see the reflection of his face on the top of his black shoes, it means they've been polished to perfection. ... If it's a woman and she's wearing shoes that hurt ... well, shoes that hurt are very fashionable!"

[Source: Associated Press, January 2022]

Iconic Vogue Editor André Leon Talley Has Died at Age 73
André Leon Talley, Fashion Industry Icon and Former Creative Director of Vogue, Dead at 73
Iconic Fashion Journalist André Leon Talley Dies at 73

Fashion Icon André Leon Talley is Dead at Age 73
Influential Fashion Journalist André Leon Talley Dies at 73


Iconic Actor and Longtime LGBTQ Ally Betty White has Died at 99

"Don't try to be young. Just open your mind and stay interested in stuff. There are so many things I won't live long enough to find out about, but I'm still curious about them."
-Betty White


The beloved actress who was set to celebrate her 100th birthday on January 17, 2022 died on December 31 in Los Angeles. She was revered by her many LGBTQ fans.  She stood by the LGBTQ community as a strong ally and supporter.


She said recently, “My 100th birthday! I cannot believe it is coming up! I’m so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age. And People Magazine is celebrating with me!"  And a nationwide theatrical event of “Betty White Birthday Celebration: 100 Years Young,” was scheduled.


Reacting to the news about White’s death from their home in Wilmington, Delaware, President Joe Biden said, “That’s a shame. She was a lovely lady.” The First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden said, “Who didn’t love Betty White? We’re so sad.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statement Friday saying: “Betty was a trailblazer, and easily one of the most beloved and lasting figures in television. She co-founded her own production company in the 1950s, one of two women at the time wielding creative control on both sides of the camera. Her 80-year career is the longest for any woman in television, and her work on Golden Girls created a cultural touchstone that remains relevant almost 40 years after its premiere.

“But above all else, she was a beacon of hope throughout her career, bringing joy and humor to everything she did. Although she may not have been born here, she was a timeless Californian treasure, through and through, and was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in 2010. Betty happily shared her talents with the world, and her spark will live on, inspiring generations to come.”

White became a TV sitcom star in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Golden Girls,” "Hot In Cleveland," and countless other TV shows and films.  Betty White’s career spanned nine decades.  Her appearance on “Saturday Night Live” in 2010 earned her a new generation of admirers.


In an interview with Frontiers LA Magazine Features Editor Jeremy Kinser, White attributed her huge following in the LGBTQ community to her racy characters and her love of animals. “Throughout my career, I’ve always portrayed characters that were humorous, but also weren’t afraid to speak their minds, especially when it came to racy or controversial topics,” says White, whose résumé includes The Mary Tyler Moore Show‘s sardonic Sue Ann Niven and The Golden Girls‘ naïve Rose Nyland. “I think this struck a chord with the LGBTQ community. We both also share a very strong love for animals. When you combine the two, it’s a very strong match." She joked: “Gays love old ladies.”

She was revered in Hollywood and around the world for her sharp wit and warmth, and was passionate about human and animal rights.  In 2010 she came out publicly in support of LGBTQ rights and equal marriage.  White was an early supporter of same-sex marriage telling Parade magazine in 2010, ”I don’t care who anybody sleeps with,” she said . “If a couple has been together all that time – and there are gay relationships that are more solid than some heterosexual ones – I think it’s fine if they want to get married. I don’t know how people can get so anti-something. Mind your own business, take care of your affairs, and don’t worry about other people so much.”

[Source: Brody Levesque, Los Angeles Blade, December 2021]

AP News: Betty White, TV’s Golden Girl, Dies at 99
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IMDB: Betty White
MSNBC: Legendary Actress Betty White Dies At 99
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Biden Marks Deadliest Year on Record for Transgender Americans on Day of Remembrance

NPR: US Navy Commissions Ship Named After Slain Gay Rights Leader Harvey Milk

Election Day Produces LGBTQ Firsts Around the Nation

Dr. Rachel Levine Is Now First Trans 4-Star Admiral in US History

Doritos Day of the Dead Commercial With Queer Couple Goes Viral
Joe Biden Sends Love to LGBTQ People for National Coming Out Day

Kimi Cole Aims to Be First Trans Politician to Win Statewide Race
Lambda Legal Secures Social Security Survivor's Benefits for Same-Sex Partners

Doritos and Dia de Muertos: Nunca Es Tarde Para Ser Quien Eres

Colin Powell Dies: Supporter and Then Critic of Don't Ask Don't Tell
LGBTQ Affirming Oreo Ad: Proud Parent

As States Pursue Wave of Anti-LGBTQ Laws, Cities Move in Opposite Direction

Masked Christmas: Jimmy Fallon, Ariana Grande, Megan Thee Stallion


Desmond Tutu: Spiritual Leader and Human Rights Hero Dies

Sad news. Tremendous loss. South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu died December 2021, at the age of 90. He will be remembered as an anti-apartheid hero, an aggressive human rights advocate, a veteran of non-violent struggle against oppression worldwide, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Desmond Tutu was wise and compassionate. He was a patriot without equal, a true humanitarian, a leader of principle and pragmatism, and the moral compass of his time.  Among his accolades...  Uncompromising foe of apartheid... Contagious laugh... Great sense of humor...  Brought people together... Peacemaker... Freedom fighter... Principled leader... Elder statesman... Global ambassador... Activist for racial justice and LGBTQ rights...



The Dalai Lama:
“We have lost a great man, who lived a truly meaningful life. He was devoted to the service of others, especially those who are least fortunate. I am convinced the best tribute we can pay him and keep his spirit alive is to do as he did and constantly look to see how we too can be of help to others."

Barack Obama:
"A universal spirit, Archbishop Tutu was grounded in the struggle for liberation and justice in his own country, but also concerned with injustice everywhere. He never lost his impish sense of humor and willingness to find humanity in his adversaries, and we will miss him dearly.”


Bill Clinton:

"He had an "unshakeable faith in the inherent decency of all people. His own heart was good enough to seek reconciliation not revenge, to reject demonization and embrace his uncanny ability to bring out the best in others. Those of us touched by the gift of his life owe it to him to pass it on."



Tutu campaigned internationally for human rights, especially LGBTQ rights and same-sex marriage.

"I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this," he said in 2013, launching a campaign for LGBTQ rights in Cape Town. "I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say, 'Sorry, I would much rather go to the other place.'"

Tutu said he was "as passionate about this campaign for LGBTQ rights as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level." He was one of the most prominent religious leaders to advocate for LGBTQ rights. Tutu's very public stance put him at odds with many in South Africa and across the continent, as well as within the Anglican church.

Desmond Tutu, South African Equality Activist, Dies at 90

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Desmond Tutu, South African Equality Activist and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dead at 90
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South African Anti-Apartheid Leader, Dies at 90

Desmond Tutu's Laugh was Contagious and His Fight for Freedom was Deadly Serious
1st US Gay Bishop Remembers Tutu's Generosity and Kindness

Bell Hooks: Queer Black Feminist Writer Passes Away

Esteemed queer Black feminist author bell hooks has died at age 69. She died in Dec 2021 at her home in Berea, KY. She had been ill, and friends and family were with her.

Her dozens of books included essays, poetry, and works for children, and she dealt with issues of intersectionality long before many others. These issues were at the core of her 1981 book
Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, which examined the impact of sexism on Black women throughout history as well as racism within the feminist movement.


All About Love: New Visions, first published in 2000, deals with how love can heal a polarized society and asserts that love cannot be separated from justice. Amid the protests against police brutality and systemic racism last year, it “became sought-after reading,” according to the Bell Hooks Center at Berea College.

She was one of Time’s 100 Women of the Year in 2020, and the magazine called her a “rare rock star of a public intellectual.” Utne Reader in 1995 listed her among its 100 Visionaries Who Can Change Your Life.

She once described her identity as “queer-pas-gay.” She was critical, however, of those who viewed racism and homophobia as the same. “White people, gay and straight, could show greater understanding of the impact of racial oppression on people of color by not attempting to make these oppressions synonymous, but rather by showing the ways they are linked and yet differ,” she wrote in 1999’s
Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black.

She was born in 1952 in Hopkinsville, KY, as Gloria Jean Watkins. Her pen name, "bell hooks," was her great-grandmother’s name, which she styled in all lowercase letters as a way to place importance on “substance of books, not who I am,” she said.


Growing up in Kentucky, she attended segregated schools that did not teach about the impact of racism. She went on to study at Stanford University, then earned a master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin and a doctorate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She taught at Stanford, Yale University, and the City College of New York, then joined Berea’s faculty in 2004. Berea was founded in the 1850s by abolitionists who were dedicated to equal education for people of all races and genders.

The Bell Hooks Center at Berea hosts speakers on feminism and social justice, and seeks “to chart a new chapter in Berea College’s great, historical commitments — one that cultivates radical coalition between women, LGBTQ students, and students of color,” according to its website. The college also houses Hooks’s papers and artifacts. “Berea College is deeply saddened about the death of bell hooks, Distinguished Professor in Residence in Appalachian Studies, prodigious author, public intellectual and one of the country’s foremost feminist scholars,” said a statement from the school.

“I want my work to be about healing,” Hooks once said. “I am a fortunate writer because every day of my life practically I get a letter, a phone call from someone who tells me how my work has transformed their life.”

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate, December 2021]

Bell Hooks: Biographical Notes

Queer Black Feminist Writer Bell Hooks Dies at 69
Bell Hooks: Queer Black Feminist Writer Passes Away
Trailblazing Feminist Author, Critic and Activist Bell Hooks Dies at 69
Bell Hooks Institute
Famed Feminist Writer, Bell Hooks, Dies at Age 69


Canada Bans Conversion Therapy, Joining a Handful of Other Nations

Canada banned conversion therapy in Dec 2021, a debunked treatment that aims to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. Several other countries, including Germany and Brazil (and 20 US states) have banned the debunked practice.

A bill making it a crime to subject Canadians of any age to the discredited practice became law Wednesday after Canada's Parliament passed the measure. "It’s official: Our government’s legislation banning the despicable and degrading practice of conversion therapy has received Royal Assent — meaning it is now law. LGBTQ Canadians, we’ll always stand up for you and your rights," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.


The Canadian law is the latest instance of a growing global effort to eradicate conversion therapy, a practice that ranges from religious counseling to electric shock therapy and has been associated with “severe psychological distress.”

Canada's ban follows that of Germany, Malta, Ecuador, Brazil and Taiwan. Some of the nations, such as Germany, have passed bans exclusively for minors, whereas others, like Malta, have passed bans for all citizens. In the United States, 20 states and the District of Columbia have restrictions in place for minors, according to the Movement Advancement Project, a nonprofit think tank. Three states (Florida, Alabama, Georgia) are in a federal judicial circuit with an injunction that blocks conversion therapy bans.

In addition to Canada, France's Senate voted in favor of legislation this week that would also criminalize the practice, with prison sentences of two to three years and fines up to $50,000.


In 2019, the American Medical Association voiced its support for state and federal efforts to ban conversion therapy, saying that it "has no foundation as scientifically valid medical care and lacks credible evidence to support its efficacy or safety.”  And last year, the United Nations called for the practice to be banned internationally and released a detailed report on the practice's global implications. “The attempts to pathologize and erase the identity of individuals, negate their existence as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or gender diverse and provoke self-loathing have profound consequences on their physical and psychological integrity and well-being,” the report stated.

LGBTQ advocates hailed the Canadian law's passage. "To the survivors who have fought for years for a safer, more equal future: thank you and congratulations. This is your moment," No Conversion Canada, a Canadian nonprofit coalition to end conversion therapy SAID.

[Source: Matt Lavietes, NBC News, Dec. 2021]

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Canada Bans Conversion Therapy
French Parliament Bans LGBTQ Conversion Therapy

Stephen Sondheim, Musical Theater Legend, Dead at 91

The gay composer and lyricist of greats like
Into the Woods and Company died suddenly after reportedly spending Thanksgiving with friends. Out songwriter and composer Stephen Sondheim died November 2021 at the age of 91. Sondheim’s work reshaped American musical theater and has influenced generations of songwriters.

His death was announced by his lawyer and friend, Richard Pappas, according to The New York Times. Pappas said Sondheim wasn’t known to be ill, and his death was sudden. The Broadway legend had spent Thanksgiving with some friends, Pappas said.


Sondheim’s success stretched from the 1950s, writing lyrics for
West Side Story, to the 1990s, writing for such musicals as Assassins and Passion. The first Broadway show that he wrote the music and lyrics for was the 1962 comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. It won a Tony Award for best musical.

The Times noted that the 1970s and 1980s were his “most productive” years. His works in those decades included
Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Into the Woods, and Sunday in the Park With George.

“If you think of a theater lyric as a short story, as I do, then every line has the weight of a paragraph,” he wrote in his 2010 book
Finishing the Hat, which was the first volume of his collection of lyrics and comments.

Sondheim majored in music at Williams College in Massachusetts, going on to study with avant-garde composer Milton Babbitt after graduation, reports the Associated Press.


According to a 2013 HBO documentary,
Six by Sondheim, he liked to write his music lying down and would occasionally have a cocktail to help him write. He also revealed in the documentary, directed by frequent collaborator James Lapine, that he only fell in love after he turned 60. Most recently, he had been in a relationship for several years with Jeff Romley.

In April of 2020, at the height of lockdowns, musical theater luminaries came together in a virtual event to celebrate Sondheim’s momentous birthday with Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration. The event was hosted by Raúl Esparza and included performances from Neil Patrick Harris, Patti LuPone, Ben Platt, Jake Gyllenhaal, Beanie Feldstein, Bernadette Peters, Mandy Patinkin, and Katrina Lenk, among so many others. The comedic showstopper of the evening arrived courtesy of Christine Baranski, Audra McDonald, and Meryl Streep, who delivered a boozy “The Ladies Who Lunch.”

During a 2010 event renaming the Henry Miller Theatre on Broadway as the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, Sondheim said, “I’m deeply embarrassed. I’m thrilled, but deeply embarrassed,” according to the AP. “I’ve always hated my last name. It just doesn’t sing.”

[Source: Alex Cooper, Advocate Magazine, November 2021]

Stephen Sondheim, Musical Theater Legend, Dead at 91

Musical Theater Master Stephen Sondheim Dies at 91

Stephen Sondheim, Master of Musical Theater, Dead at 91
Remembering Stephen Sondheim: The Best There Ever Was
Stephen Sondheim, Legendary Broadway Composer and Lyricist, Dies at 91

We Stand With You: Honoring Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance began over two decades ago, and the number of names to be remembered has grown each year, with the past few years seeing an epidemic of violence against transgender people, especially trans women of color. This year, with six weeks remaining, at least 46 transgender people have been murdered, making it the deadliest year since the Human Rights Campaign began tracking the murders in 2013.

Many of these murders qualify as hate crimes, but the reporting of hate crimes and the enforcement of hate crime laws are woefully inadequate. In turn, the Deep South (where transgender people face significant barriers to equality) remains a hotbed of hate against the trans community, demonstrating the intersection of bias based on sex, race and gender identity.


Today the Southern Poverty Law Center recognizes the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors those who have lost their lives to hate crimes and denounces the surge of violent attacks against the transgender community in recent years. “Far too many of our transgender friends and family members are taken from us as a result of bigotry and prejudice, and there are anti-transgender hate and extremist groups whose goal it is to erase transgender people,” said Scott McCoy, interim deputy legal director for LGBTQ Rights and Special Litigation at the SPLC. “This day is important because it reminds us to recognize and appreciate the humanity and dignity of transgender people, and it forces us to acknowledge the hatred that confronts transgender people on a daily basis.”

Nikole Parker, director of transgender equality for Equality Florida, says that the number of murders resulting from anti-trans hate is likely higher than is known, as victims are often misnamed and misgendered. “As a Black, trans woman, this is definitely terrifying,” Parker said. “We want to live authentically and in our truth, and the fact that we’re still being targeted is horrifying. This is a scary time, where people feel like they could kill you for just being you.”

To respond to bias against the transgender community, Equality Florida and the SPLC are working in the legal, legislative and education arenas to ensure that LGBTQ people achieve full equality under the law and are protected from hate crime. “There needs to be a lot more public education on how dangerous and deadly this violence is,” said Jon Harris Maurer, Equality Florida’s public policy director. “We’re actively working to provide public education around transgender rights in venues across Florida, and we’re mobilizing our work by reaching out to lawmakers to call attention to this issue.”


Even in 2021, the LGBTQ community and especially the transgender community, encounter discrimination in many aspects of their lives, including the education system, the immigration system, the economic and social safety net system, the health care system and the criminal justice system. “This oppression and discrimination are compounded for many LGBTQ people with the intersection of sexism and racism,” McCoy said. “Discrimination is particularly acute for transgender women of color, which causes them to experience the highest rates of poverty and violence, including murder, of LGBTQ people and at much higher rates than the cisgender population.”

Today is a day when the violence must be recognized. “Even though we lost these individuals, we remember who they were and how they lived,” Parker said. “I want lawmakers to see and to listen – to understand that I’m a human, too. I don’t want to die because someone doesn’t understand my identity.”


As one of its initiatives, Equality Florida works with local law enforcement and prosecutors to treat hate crime victims with dignity while investigating and prosecuting their attackers. “We train law enforcement to improve cultural competency around the LGBTQ community and particularly the transgender community amid this atmosphere of fear and distrust,” Maurer said. “But these aren’t one-and-done events. It’s an ongoing process of educating law enforcement, and we want those cultural competencies to be ingrained into their practice every day.”

LGBTQ youth, especially transgender and nonbinary youth, have become particular targets in the culture war being waged by hate groups and extremists, making them more vulnerable to hate violence. “Opponents of equality vilify the transgender community due to misinformation that allows them to play on fear,” Maurer said. “Equality Florida is working to humanize the transgender experience by taking the lead to eliminate the ‘gay/trans panic defense,’ a legal tool that essentially shifts blame from a perpetrator of violence to an LGBTQ victim. Fifteen states have already banned this, but the law is still active in Florida.”

In 2009, Equality Florida helped build vital support among Florida’s representatives in Congress to pass the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, even though a number of Florida Republicans voted against the measure. The Act added gender, sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of categories protected under the federal hate crime law. “I think it’s incredibly important to recognize that we have protections for the LGBTQ community,” Maurer said. “Often our opponents will try to mark them as special rights, but we’re really just seeking equality. We want the same shot at life and happiness as everyone else does. And because there are systemic barriers, we have to turn to policy solutions in some cases to make sure we have protections.”

The SPLC has urged the Biden administration to prioritize investigating hate crimes committed against transgender people and enforcing laws intended to protect the transgender community. And each year the SPLC lobbies the Florida Legislature to pass a bill to include gender identity and disability in the list of protected characteristics under the state’s hate crimes statute. “All of our work to recognize transgender people, vindicate their rights and combat anti-transgender hate and extremist groups has the effect of raising awareness of and familiarity with the transgender community on the part of the general public,” McCoy said. “Such awareness leads to greater acceptance and understanding and has the effect of shifting the cultural narrative that transgender people exist and are worthy of dignity and respect.”

For Parker, today is an extremely difficult day. “We’re mourning,” she said. “We’re losing them; they’re being shot 20 times, their eyes are being gouged out. These are real things happening to our community. This is an important day, but it’s a very tough day, because it always reminds me that no matter what I try to do, no matter how much good I try to do, someone will look at me as the enemy simply for living my truth.”


To combat the injustices and violence against the transgender community, Parker said it’s important to be a good ally. “I always tell people to educate yourself about transgender people, to do research and challenge your friends and family,” she said. “When transgender subjects come up in conversations, I encourage people to ask others why they believe what they do. People have preconceived notions and being an ally can get them to see things differently.”

Because people play on fear and lack of understanding toward the transgender community, getting to know a transgender person and understanding their challenges can be incredibly important. “Conversations can change the hearts and minds of others, and ultimately they can change policy for the better,” Maurer said.

As the nation remembers those lost, today serves as a reminder that the cost of complacency and inaction is much too high. “For the SPLC, this day is also a demonstration of the intersectionality of bias and the need for solidarity among communities feeling the impact of hate,” McCoy said. “On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we say to the transgender community: We see you. We remember you. We love you. We stand with you.”

[Source: Liz Vinson, Southern Poverty Law Center, Nov 2021]

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Current LGBTQ News


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20 States Sue Over Biden Administration's LGBTQ Rights Guidelines


US Navy Launches New Ship Honoring Harvey Milk

The US Navy has launched a ship named after a gay rights activist forced to resign from the service because of his sexuality in the 1950s. The USNS Harvey Milk was launched in San Diego in November 2021 in a service attended by Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro and Milk's nephew, Stuart.

It is one of six new ships to be named after famed US civil rights leaders. Others include former Chief Justice Earl Warren and slain presidential candidate Robert Kennedy.

Milk served as a diving officer and Lieutenant aboard the submarine rescue ship USS Kittiwake during the Korean War. But he was forced out of the service following two weeks of interrogation about his sexuality in 1955.


He later became one of America's first openly gay politicians, elected in 1977 to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. But a year later he was shot and killed by Dan White, a former city supervisor with whom he had frequently clashed.

Speaking at the ceremony, Secretary Del Toro said that it had been wrong that Milk had been forced to "mask that very important part of his life" during his time in the Navy. "For far too long, sailors like Lt. Milk were forced into the shadows or, worse yet, forced out of our beloved Navy," Del Toro said. "That injustice is part of our Navy history, but so is the perseverance of all who continue to serve in the face of injustice."

When the Obama administration first announced its intention to name a ship after Milk in 2016 some expressed opposition to the move. They suggested that Milk would have disapproved of lending his name to a Navy ship given his well known opposition to the Vietnam War.

[Source: BBC, November 2021]


BBC: US Navy Launches Ship Named for Gay Rights Leader Harvey Milk
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Advocate: US Navy Launches Ship Honoring Harvey Milk

USA Today: Navy Christens Ship USNS Harvey Milk, Named After Gay Rights Activist
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NBC: Navy Launches Ship Named for Gay Rights Leader Harvey Milk
Video: Navy Launches Ship Named for Pioneering Gay San Francisco Leader Harvey Milk


Election Day Produces LGBTQ Firsts Around the Nation

State and local elections in Nov 2021 yielded some notable LGBTQ firsts and some important reelections.

Detroit elected its first out queer woman to its City Council. Gabriela Santiago-Romero, who grew up in the city after immigrating from Mexico, was elected from District 6, easily defeating Hector Santiago (no relation); there was no incumbent in the race. She is a Democrat, but City Council elections are officially nonpartisan. A longtime community organizer, she is the first Latinx woman from the LGBTQ community to be elected in the state of Michigan.

Cleveland also elected its first out queer female City Council member, Rebecca Maurer. She narrowly beat incumbent Tony Brancatelli in Ward 12 in a nonpartisan race. She is a lawyer who has focused on housing and consumer law. In Ward 3, incumbent Kerry McCormack, a gay man, was reelected, defeating challenger Ayat Amin.



Transgender man Dion Manley became the first out trans person elected in Ohio by winning an at-large seat on the Gahanna-Jefferson City Schools Board in the suburbs around Columbus. There were just five other trans men in elected office around the nation; one of them, Phillipe Cunningham of the Minneapolis City Council, lost his bid for reelection.

In Pennsylvania, Xander Orenstein won their race for the Allegheny County Magisterial District Court and became the first nonbinary person elected to a judicial position in the United States. In Massachusetts, Thu Nguyen was elected to the Worcester City Council, becoming the first nonbinary person in elected office in that state. Orenstein and Nguyen join nine other out nonbinary elected officials in the US.

Christopher Coburn, a queer man, was elected to the Bozeman City Commission in Montana, making him the first Black member of the LGBTQ community to be elected in that state. Coburn was appointed to the commission in April to fill a vacancy left by Michael Wallner’s resignation, while having to run for election in November to determine if he would serve the remaining two years of Wallner’s term. Coburn is one of just seven out LGBTQ elected officials in Montana.


While Cunningham was not reelected in Minneapolis, Black trans woman Andrea Jenkins easily won reelection to the City Council there. She and Cunningham were both originally elected in 2017. She represents Ward 8, which includes George Floyd Square.

“In the wake of George Floyd’s death, it was Councilor Jenkins who led the fight for racial and social justice,” JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president of policy and political affairs at the Human Rights Campaign, said in a press release. “She understands firsthand the challenges facing transgender people today, especially transgender women of color. She has never stopped fighting on behalf of those on the margins of society and against the systemic racism and injustices that pervade our world. We congratulate her on her victory tonight. We look forward to continuing to work with her in the years to come.”

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate, November 2021]

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Dr. Rachel Levine Is Now First Trans 4-Star Admiral in US History

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced in Oct 2021 that the nation’s first openly transgender four-star officer across any of the eight uniformed services of the United States.

Admiral Rachel Levine, who serves as the HHS Assistant Secretary for Health and head of the US Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, was ceremonially sworn in as a four-star admiral. Admiral Levine now serves as the highest-ranking official in the USPHS Commissioned Corps and its first-ever female four-star admiral. Admiral Levine will lead 6,000 Public Health Service officers who are dedicated to serving our nation’s most underserved and vulnerable populations.


HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said that making Levine an admiral is a proud moment for HHS. “She is a highly accomplished pediatrician who helps drive our agency’s agenda to boost health access and equity and to strengthen behavioral health,” Secretary Becerra explained. “She is a cherished and critical partner in our work to build a healthier America.

In response to becoming a four-star officer, Levine said, “This is a momentous occasion, and I am both humbled and pleased to take this role for the impact I can make, and for the historic nature of what it symbolizes. May this appointment be the first of many like it as we create a more inclusive future.”

In a recent interview, Levine provided an update to all the work she’s been doing during the first six months of her tenure as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services. “I’m very much enjoying the job. We have a fantastic staff, and Secretary Becerra is wonderful, sincere, and compassionate. I love collaboration, and that collaboration for the issues we’re working on extends all the way up to the president and vice president, and that’s something that Americans of every stripe should take great comfort with.”

[Source: John Casey, Advocate, Oct 2021]


Call Her Admiral Rachel Levine Now
Dr. Rachel Levine Is Now First Trans 4-Star Admiral in US History
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What's Going On In Texas?

How ignorant, irresponsible and hateful can Texas become?  For starters, Texas has Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbott and lots of other conservative republican politicians.  Texas is pro-gun and anti-abortion.  Texas doesn't believe in the climate crisis.  But, it had a huge power outage, caused by unexpected severe weather, which it handled badly.  Texas banned vaccine and mask mandates.  Texas pretty much banned all abortions.  Texas now officially has more legislative control over vaginas than guns. Texas is also anti-LGBTQ.  Texas is trying to restrict trans youth from high school sports.  And now, surprise surprise, they're trying to remove transgender protections....



The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has been accused of removing a web page featuring information about a suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ youth after one of Gov. Greg Abbot’s primary challengers criticized him for having it up.

Challenger Don Huffines posted a video where he accused the child welfare agency of “promoting transgender sexual policies to Texas youth.” The web page was quickly removed. “These are not Texas values, these are not Republican Party values, but these are obviously Greg Abbott’s values,” Huffines said.  The website for the Texas Youth Connection, part of Family and Protective Services, was also taken down. The site pointed young people in foster care not only to the resources found on the LGBTQ web page but also to housing and education assistance.


In a recent tweet, Huffines boasted about the web page’s removal. “I told Texans I would get this DFPS website taken down and stop Greg Abbott from using our tax dollars to promote transgender ideology,” Huffines wrote. He added that the reporting about the removal “shows I kept my promise.”  And “We’re just getting started,” he wrote. While the governor’s office declined to comment on the removal of the webpage, public records requests by the Houston Chronicle show the office had discussed the page after Huffines’s initial social media post.

A spokesperson for Family and Protective Services, Patrick Crimmins, contacted the person who oversaw the page, Darrell Azar. “Darrell — please note we may need to take that page down, or somehow revise content,” wrote Crimmins. “The state is responsible for these kids’ lives, yet it intentionally removed a way for them to find help when they need it the most,” said Ricardo Martinez, chief executive of advocacy group Equality Texas, according to the Associated Press. “This action is unconscionable, and it reminds us that political aspirations are part of every attack on LGBTQ kids in Texas.”


Texas has pushed several anti-LGBTQ bills this year. One is heading to a final vote soon and would ban trans student athletes from joining sports teams that align with their gender identity. Earlier this year, Abbott asked the child welfare agency’s commissioner to determine if gender affirmation surgery on minors was child abuse. The commissioner released a memo agreeing with Abbott.  LGBTQ advocates point out that such surgeries are extremely rare for youth.

The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, stated that the organization had received more than 4,000 crisis contacts from trans and nonbinary youth in Texas this year. That number is a 150 percent jump from last year. “The Trevor Project’s crisis counselors have been hearing from transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas who are scared and worried about anti-trans laws being debated in their state — and some have even expressed suicidal thoughts. This is a crisis,” the Trevor Project’s CEO and executive director, Amit Paley, said in a release at the time.

If you or someone you know needs help or support, the Trevor Project’s counselors are available 24/7 at (866) 488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678678.

[Source: Alex Cooper, Advocate, October 2021]


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Trans Lives Are Precious: Trucks With a Message for Texas Politicians


Joe Biden Sends Love to LGBTQ People for National Coming Out Day

Today, we celebrate National Coming Out Day and the courage of LGBTQ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self. Today and every day, I want every member of the LGBTQ community to know that you are loved and accepted just the way you are – regardless of whether or not you’ve come out.

My Administration is committed to ensuring that LGBTQ people can live openly, proudly, and freely in every corner of our nation. I am proud to lead an Administration with LGBTQ officials serving openly at the highest levels of government — and prouder that together we have made historic progress advancing protections and equal opportunities for the LGBTQ community. From acting on Day One to prevent and combat discrimination, to enabling all qualified Americans – including transgender Americans – to serve their country in uniform, to defending the human rights of LGBTQ people around the world, my Administration has been clear that we will continue to champion the dignity, equality, and wellbeing of the LGBTQ community.


Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ bills still proliferate in state legislatures. Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ people everywhere. From defeating discriminatory bills to passing the Equality Act, we have more work to do to ensure that every American can live free of fear, harassment, and discrimination because of who they are or whom they love.

To LGBTQ people across the country, and especially those who are contemplating coming out: know that you are loved for who you are, you are admired for your courage, and you will have a community — and a nation — to welcome you. My Administration will always have your back, and we will continue fighting for the full measure of equality, dignity, and respect you deserve.

[Source: President Joe Biden, October 2021]


Current LGBTQ News


Sept 11 Tribute: Firsthand Witness to America’s Greatest Attribute
Bruce Springsteen: Performs at September 11 Memorial

Two Gay Champions: Saint of 9-11 and Hero of Flight 93
Paul Simon: September 11 Tribute on SNL

Remembering Fearless Gay Hero Mark Bingham
Saturday Night Live: September 11 Tribute

Supporters Push for Gay Priest Who Died on 9-11 to Be Made a Saint
Bruce Springsteen: My City of Ruin

Rugby Star, 9-11 Hero Mark Bingham Leaves Lasting Legacy 20 Years After United Flight 93 Crash
Paul Simon 9-11 Tribute: Sounds of Silence

How Mark Bingham Left a Legacy On and Off the Rugby Field

Record Number of Out LGBTQ Athletes at Tokyo Summer Olympics
NPR Report: LGBTQ Adults Facing Hunger At Twice Rate As Others
James Hormel, First US Ambassador to Come Out as Gay, Dies at 88
Ariel Nicholson: Makes History as First Trans Model on Cover of Vogue


Liz Cheney Admits She Was Wrong to Oppose Same-Sex Marriage

Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney has said she was “wrong” to oppose marriage equality in the past. The 55-year-old has represented Wyoming’s at-large congressional district since 2017 and is up for re-election in 2022.

While previewing her campaign on 60 Minutes (Sept), she made a surprise detour into comments she made in 2013 against same-sex marriage, which fuelled a rift between her and her sister Mary, who is gay.  Liz told 60 Minutes: “I was wrong, I was wrong."

“I love my sister very much. I love her family very much and I was wrong. It is a very personal issue and very personal for my family. I believe that my family was right. “My sister and I have had that conversation.”

Shocked 60 Minutes host Leslie Stahl replied: “Wow, I was not expecting that.”

“Freedom means freedom for everybody,” Cheney added, quoting her father, former vice president Dick Cheney, who had previously voiced support for marriage equality.


Liz Cheney, who was stripped this year of her position as the third-ranking Republican in the House of Representation for her rallying against Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud, said recently that meeting a trans woman helped give her perspective on her approach to LGBTQ rights.

“We were at an event a few nights ago,” she recalled, “and there was a young woman who said she doesn’t feel safe sometimes because she’s transgender. “Nobody should feel unsafe,” she insisted.

Liz Cheney spoke out against same-sex marriage in 2013, during an unsuccessful run for Senate. During a spot on Fox News she said he believed “in the traditional definition of marriage” – despite her own sister being a lesbian. “I love Mary very much,” Liz said, “I love her family very much. This is just an issue on which we disagree.”

Mary, who is married to Heather Poe and was involved in the Supreme Court effort to legalize marriage equality in California, responded with a public social media post at the time. Writing in a 2013 Facebook post, Mary said her sister opposing her right to marry the person she loves left her feeling like a “second-class citizen”.  She wrote, “Liz, this isn’t just an issue on which we disagree. You’re just wrong.  And on the wrong side of history.”  She later told The New York Times that she would never reconcile with Liz unless she changed her position on marriage equality. The pair had not spoken for months even before her comments.

Overall, support for LGBTQ rights (and marriage equality in particular) has steadily risen in recent years among Republican supporters. Just 30 per cent of Republicans in 2013 were in favor of it. By June 2021, a thumping 55 per cent proudly said they support marriage equality, according to a Gallup poll.

[Source: Josh Milton, Pink News, Sept 2021]

NPR: Liz Cheney Says She Was Wrong In Opposing Same-Sex Marriage
NBC: Rep. Liz Cheney Says She was Wrong to Oppose Same-Sex Marriage
People: After Rift with Gay Sister, Liz Cheney Now Admits She Was Wrong to Oppose Same-Sex Marriage
ABC: Dick Cheney's Daughter Marries Her Partner
Advocate: Mary Cheney Says Sister Liz is Dead Wrong on Marriage Equality

Biden at United Nations: We Must Defend LGBTQ Rights

President Joe Biden addressed world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in Sept 2021, where he spoke about the need to protect the rights of LGBTQ people around the world. “We all must defend the rights of LGBTQI individuals so they can live and love openly without fear,” Biden said

“As we pursue diplomacy across the board, the United States will champion the democratic values that go to the very heart of who we are as a nation and a people — freedom, equality, opportunity and a belief in the universal rights of all people,” he added. In his speech, Biden specifically spoke about LGBTQ rights violations in Chechnya and Cameroon. For years, Chechen authorities have organized lethal crackdowns against LGBTQ people in the Russian republic. Earlier this year the Russian LGBTQ Network reported that Chechen men forcibly returned a man to the republic from Moscow and interrogated him about LGBTQ people in the area.


Human Rights Watch reported in April 2021 that authorities in Cameroon had arrested, beaten, or threatened around 24 people for allegedly participating in same-sex conduct or gender nonconformity. The organization noted one person was made to take an HIV test and an anal examination. “These recent arrests and abuses raise serious concerns about a new upsurge in anti-LGBTQ persecution in Cameroon,” said Neela Ghoshal, HRW's associate LGBTQ rights director, at the time. “The law criminalizing same-sex conduct puts LGBTQ people at a heightened risk of being mistreated, tortured, and assaulted without any consequences for the abusers.”

The Biden administration has been open about prioritizing LGBTQ rights in its foreign policy, a shift from the previous administration.  Around 69 UN member states still criminalize consensual same-sex activity, according to the international LGBTQ rights groups ILGA. The group found that at least 34 countries still enforce these policies in 2020.

[Source: Alex Cooper, Advocate, Sept 2021]

Biden at UN: We Must Defend Rights of LGBTQ Individuals
Biden Highlights LGBTQ Rights in UN General Assembly Speech
President Biden Includes LGBTQ Rights In United Nations Address
President Biden Calls for Increased LGBTQ Rights and Equality Around the Globe at UN General Assembly

20th Anniversary: Remembering Gay Hero Mark Bingham

Mark Bingham (1970-2001) was a gay American rugby player, public relations executive, and founder of the Bingham Group. During the September 11 attacks in 2001, he was a passenger on board United Airlines Flight 93. Bingham was among the passengers who, along with Todd Beamer, Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick, formed the plan to retake the plane from the hijackers, and led the effort that resulted in the crash of the plane into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, thwarting the hijackers' plan to crash the plane into a building in Washington DC, most likely either the Capitol Building or the White House. Bingham's heroic efforts on United 93, as well as his athletic physique, have been noted for having diminished the gay stereotype.



On the morning of September 11, Bingham overslept and nearly missed his flight, on his way to San Francisco to be an usher in his fraternity brother Joseph Salama's wedding. He arrived at Newark International Airport at 7:40 am, ran to the gate, and was the last passenger to board United Airlines Flight 93, taking a seat next to passenger Tom Burnett.

United Flight 93 was scheduled to depart at 8:00 am, but the Boeing 757 did not depart until 42 minutes later due to runway traffic delays. Four minutes later, American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center's North Tower. Fifteen minutes later, at 9:03 am, as United Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower, United 93 climbed to cruising altitude, heading west over New Jersey and into Pennsylvania. At 9:25 am, Flight 93 was above eastern Ohio, and the pilots received an alert on their ACARS device, "Beware of cockpit intrusion." Three minutes later, air traffic controllers could hear screams over the cockpit's open microphone. Moments later, the hijackers took over the plane's controls and told passengers, "Keep remaining sitting. We have a bomb on board". Bingham and the other passengers were herded into the back of the plane. Within six minutes, the plane changed course and headed for Washington DC.


After the hijackers veered the plane sharply south, the passengers decided to act. Bingham, along with Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick, formed a plan to take the plane back from the hijackers. They relayed this plan to their loved ones and the authorities via telephone. Bingham stated, "This is Mark. I want to let you guys know that I love you, in case I don't see you again, I'm on United Airlines, Flight 93. It's being hijacked." Alice Hoagland, Mark's mother, said that her son spoke "confidentially" with a fellow passenger, to form a plan to retake the plane. And the call cut off after about three minutes. Hoagland, after seeing news reports of the plane's hijacking, called him back and left two messages for him, calmly saying, "Mark, this is your mom. The news is that it's been hijacked by terrorists. They are planning to probably use the plane as a target to hit some site on the ground. I would say go ahead and do everything you can to overpower them, because they are hellbent. Try to call me back if you can." Bingham, Burnett, and Glick were each more than 6 feet tall, well-built and fit. They were joined by Todd Beamer, Lou Nacke, Rich Guadagno, Alan Beaven, Honor Elizabeth Wainio, Linda Gronlund, and William Cashman, along with flight attendants Sandra Bradshaw and Cee Cee Ross-Lyles who stormed the cockpit and in an effort to take over the plane.

According to the 9-11 Commission Report, after the plane's voice data recorder was recovered, it revealed pounding and crashing sounds against the cockpit door and shouts and screams in English. "Let's get them!" a passenger cries. A hijacker shouts, "Allah akbar!" ("God is great"). Jarrah repeatedly pitched the plane to knock passengers off their feet, but the passengers apparently managed to invade the cockpit, where one was heard shouting, "In the cockpit. If we don't, we'll die." At 10:02 am, a hijacker ordered, "Pull it down! Pull it down!" The 9-11 Commission later reported that the plane's control wheel was turned hard to the right, causing it to roll on its back and plow into an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 580 miles an hour, killing everyone on board. The plane was 20 minutes away from its suspected targets in Washington DC.


Remembering Fearless Gay Hero Mark Bingham, Who Saved Hundreds of Lives on 9-11
Rugby Star, 9-11 Hero Mark Bingham Leaves Lasting Legacy 20 Years After United Flight 93 Crash
How Mark Bingham Left a Legacy On and Off the Rugby Field
9-11 Flight 93: Mark Bingham's Mother Speaks
Mark Bingham: Biographical Notes

LGBTQ Heroes of Sept 11

Father Mychal Judge.  New York Fire Department Catholic chaplain Judge, 68, was killed while ministering to a fallen firefighter at Ground Zero.

Mark Bingham, 31, a passenger on United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania, helped to thwart the plane’s hijackers. September 16 is officially designated Mark Bingham Day in San Francisco.

Michael Lepore, 39, was a project analyst at Marsh & McLennon. He is survived by his partner of 18 years, David O’Leary.


Carol Flyzik’ was aboard American Airlines Flight 11, It was the first of two to crash into the World Trade Center. Flyzik, who was a registered nurse and a member of the Human Rights Campaign, is survived by Nancy Walsh, her partner of nearly 13 years.

David Charlebois, the co-pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon. Charlebois was a member of the National Gay Pilots Association. Charlebois is survived by Tom Hay, his partner of almost 13 years.

Graham Berkeley, 37, a native of England who lived in Boston, boarded United Airlines Flight 175 on Sept. 11 on his way to a conference in Los Angeles. His plane became the second hijacked airliner to crash into the World Trade Center.

Ronald Gamboa, 33, and his partner of 13 years, Dan Brandhorst, 42, were traveling with their 3-year-old adopted son, David. Brandhorst and Gamboa were founding members of the Pop Luck Club, an L.A. organization for Gay men interested in adopting children.


James Joe Ferguson, 39, director of geography education outreach for the National Geographic Society, was on American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon.

John Keohane was killed by falling debris. Keohane worked at One Liberty Plaza near the World Trade Center and died when the towers collapsed. After the planes hit the Trade Center towers, Keohane met Mike Lyons, his partner of 17 years, on the street when Keohane was suddenly killed by falling debris. Tragically, Lyons committed suicide March 1, 2002, on his 41st birthday.

“Roxy Eddie” Ognibene, member of the Renegades of New York’s Big Apple Softball League, worked as a bond trader for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods on the 89th floor of WTC 2 and was tragically lost in the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attack.

Luke A. Dudek, Was a food and beverage controller at Windows on the World. Dudek is survived by his partner of 20 years, George Cuellar. Dudek’s first day back to work in New York was Sept. 11. He died in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Catherine Smith, 44, who worked on the 97th floor of one of the World Trade Center towers.


Waleska Martinez, 37, a computer whiz in the Census Bureau’s New York office, was aboard flight 93 that crashed outside Shanksville, PA.

Jeffrey Collman, flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the north tower. He is survived by Keith Bradkowski, his partner of 11 years.

Eugene Clark, worked on the 102nd floor of the south World Trade Center tower. He sent his partner Larry Courtney a voice message stating “I’m OK. The plane hit the other tower. And we’re evacuating.” Clark was never seen by his partner again.

Andrew LaCorte. worked in One WTC and was killed instantly when the first plane hit. At the time he had no partner but is remembered and missed by his many friends and family.

Renee Barrett, Renee was injured in the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, died on October 18 of her injuries. Barrett was a member of the Gay Metropolitan Community Church of New York. She leaves behind her life partner Enez Cooper and her 18-year-old son, Eddie.

Seamus O’Neal, also lost his life in the attacks on the World Trade Center. He is survived by his partner Tom Miller.

Patricia McAneney was the fire marshal of her floor in the first World Trade Center tower. She is survived by Margaret Cruz, partner of 18 years.

Pamela Boyce, was at work on the 92nd floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower when it was struck. She is survived by Catherine Anello her partner.

The Stories of 9-11's LGBTQ Heroes
Remembering the LGBTQ Victims and Heroes of 9-11
Two Gay Champions: Saint of 9-11 and Hero of Flight 93
Supporters Push for Gay Priest Who Died on 9-11 to Be Made a Saint

Remembering Gay Co-Pilot of Flight 77
First Officer David Charlebois Fought for LGBTQ Recognition and Helped Change Company Culture
National Gay Pilots Association

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis' Wedding Marks 1st Same-Sex Marriage Of Sitting Governor

Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis wed his longtime partner in Sept 2021, marking the first same-sex marriage of a sitting United States governor.

In 2018, Polis became the first openly gay man ever elected governor in the US. A decade earlier, he was the first openly gay man elected to the US House. "Over the course of Jared's career in Congress, you know, we didn't set out to be the first of anything. Things sort of happened that way," said his now-husband, Marlon Reis.


As recently as 2014, same-sex marriage was prohibited in Colorado. The US Supreme Court made gay marriage legal across the country in 2015. "As I was growing up, marriage was not even in the realm of possibility," Reis said. "And in fact, the reality was that there was a lot of misinformation out there about what could potentially happen if you came out — what opportunities would you lose, how it would negatively impact you. So for a long time, the idea of getting married, we didn't talk about it."

Both men are now in their 40s. Polis noted the stereotypes that came along with being gay when he was younger. "When people thought of gay people, they thought of AIDS, unfortunately," he said. 'That was, I think, in both of our cases our parents' first fears, they were like, 'Oh, I hope you don't get AIDS. Be careful.' That's the main thing you knew about gay people in the '80s and '90s."

The couple was married in a traditional Jewish ceremony at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Polis and Reis decided to hold their wedding on a significant day to them personally: the 18th anniversary of their first date. They picked CU-Boulder because that's where Reis graduated from college. "We met online and went out on a date and we went to the Boulder bookstore and then went to dinner," Polis said.


During the ceremony, the couple's 7-year-old daughter served as the flower girl; their 9-year-old son was the ring bearer. Polis said their daughter was probably more thrilled than anyone about the wedding. "She was all in on being a flower girl. She's been prancing around. She got a great dress. She's terrific." Their son was also happy, but more ambivalent about it all. "Kids are so modern that their responses to things are sometimes funny. Our son honestly asked us, 'Why do people get married?' " Reis said.  He said he explained the legal rights afforded to married couples and that it's an "expression of the caring that you feel for one another."

Practically speaking Reis has been considered the state's first gentleman since Polis took office, but Polis said the wedding meant the world to them. "People could say we took 18 years to get around to it, or you could say we took six years to get around to it," said Polis, counting back from the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. "But it was great to celebrate our love for one another with our family."

[Source: Bente Birkeland, National Public Radio, Sept 2021]


NPR: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis' Wedding Marks 1st Same-Sex Marriage Of Sitting Governor

CNN: Colorado Governor Weds Longtime Partner in First Same-Sex Marriage for Sitting Governor
Advocate: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis Marries Husband in Historic First for Nation
Denver Post: Jared Polis, First Openly Gay Elected Governor, Marries Longtime Partner Marlon Reis
People: Colorado Governor's Wedding Makes History

Record Number of Out LGBTQ Athletes at Tokyo Summer Olympics

At least 168 publicly out gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and nonbinary athletes are headed to Tokyo for the Summer Olympic Games, more than triple the number who participated at the 2016 Rio Games.

The number of publicly out LGBTQ athletes in Tokyo is also greater than the number athletes who have participated in all of the previous Olympic Games (Summer and Winter) combined while publicly out. The massive increase in the number of out athletes reflects the growing acceptance of LGBTQ people in sports and society. The rise of social media, especially Instagram, has given athletes a forum where they can live their lives openly and identify directly with their followers.


In contrast, Outsports counted 23 publicly out Olympians in 2012 and 56 in 2016 at those Summer Games. “Competing at the Olympics as an openly gay athlete is pretty amazing,” Canadian swimmer Markus Thormeyer told Outsports. Thormeyer was not out when he competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics and came out publicly as gay in a 2020 essay for Outsports. “Being able to compete with the best in the world as my most authentic self at the biggest international multi-sport games shows how far we’ve come on inclusion in sport. I’m hoping that by competing at these Games I can show the LGBTQ community that we do belong and we can achieve anything we put our minds to.”

His comments were echoed by Elissa Alarie, a Canadian rugby player. We originally did not have Alarie on our list, but she contacted us and told us she was LGBTQ (she also gave us the names of three out teammates whom we also added). “Growing up in a small French town in Quebec, I didn’t know or even know of a single LGBTQ person or athlete until I was older,” Alarie said. “I hope the increased visibility can give young people a sentiment of belonging and encourage communities to be inclusive and welcoming.”


This year at least 27 different countries will be represented by at least one publicly out athlete in 30 sports, including the first trans Olympians. The United States has the most out athletes at these Olympics, with the more than 30 out athletes we know of about a fifth of all the attendees on the list. Team USA is currently followed in the number of publicly out LGBTQ athletes by Canada (17), Britain (16), Netherlands (16), Brazil (14), Australia (12) and New Zealand (10). We will update the numbers as we learn more about the current Olympic athletes. These numbers include reserve athletes who have been practicing with the team and are traveling to Tokyo with the team.

Women on the list outnumber men by about a 8-1 margin, with women’s soccer having more than 40 out players. This continues a trend seen at past Olympics and is reflective of out athletes in elite non-Olympic sports where women also proliferate.

[Source: Outsports, July 2021]


Outsports: Record Number of Out LGBTQ Athletes at Tokyo Summer Olympics

BuzzFeed: Tokyo Olympics is Gayest Games Ever

NBC News: Over 160 LGBTQ Athletes Competing ion Tokyo Olympics

Olympic Athletes: Out and Proud

ESPN: Tokyo Olympics is Most Inclusive Event for LGBTQ Athletes

Reuters: More LGBTQ Athletes Than Ever at Tokyo Olympics

Time: Record Number of LGBTQ Athletes Competing in Tokyo Games

Today: Erica Sullivan is Witty, Charming, and Gay


Current LGBTQ News


Biden and Buttigieg Celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month

US Adds Third Gender Option to American Passports

Special Pride Message From President and First Lady

How LGBTQ Pride Will March On In 2021
Music, Movies, Media: Celebrate LGBTQ Pride

Message From Pulse Shooting Survivor Brandon Wolfe

Biden's Message to Trans Youth: Your President Has Your Back
Pulse Nightclub Site to be Designated a National Memorial

Biden Revives LGBTQ Protections Against Healthcare Discrimination

Biden Announces Two Judicial Nominees Who Are Lesbians

Deidre Downs: Miss America and Her Wife are Having a Baby

State Department to Allow X Gender Markers on US Passports
NBC: Alan Turing is First Gay Man on a British Bank Note

Sesame Street Features Married Gay Couple with Daughter

How Joe Biden Became the Most LGBTQ-Friendly in US History

Evangelicals Trying to Survive the Rainbow Onslaught

CNN: Support for Same Sex Marriage Reaches Record High

Metro Weekly: Most Republicans Now Support Same-Sex Marriage

Biden Selects Trans and Lesbian Officials for Dept of Defense

Global Survey: 1 in 5 Young Adults Are Not Straight

Advocate: Britain Unveils Bank Note Honoring Alan Turing


Infamous Homophobe Anita Bryant's Granddaughter is a Lesbian

Meet Sarah Green!  She is the granddaughter of Anita Bryant!  She is a lesbian and she's getting married!  Sarah Green's grandmother is one of the best-known anti-LGBTQ activists in history, so she might not invite her to her wedding. In the 1970s, former Miss America contestant and singer Anita Bryant spearheaded a virulent anti-gay crusade that cost her dearly.

The granddaughter of arch anti-LGBTQ activist Anita Bryant is getting married to another woman, and she doesn’t know whether to invite her homophobic grandmother to her wedding. Bryant’s granddaughter Sarah Green said that her grandmother refused to even believe that she’s gay after she came out on her 21st birthday. The 81-year-old Christian conservative activist is still praying for Green to find a husband.

Now Green is getting married. Like many queer people, she’s not sure whether to invite her grandmother. But unlike most people, her grandmother organized one of the first major anti-LGBTQ campaigns in the country, accusing gay people of being pedophiles.


Bryant won the 1958 Miss Oklahoma pageant and was a brand ambassador for the Florida Citrus Commission, but she’s best known for mounting the infamous “Save Our Children” campaign in the 1970s to repeal a local ordinance in Dade County, Florida, that banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Bryant focused on gay teachers, saying that gay people are child molesters who go into teaching to hurt kids. “Homosexuals cannot reproduce, so they must recruit,” she said, also saying that gay people were “human garbage.”

“What these people really want, hidden behind obscure legal phrases, is the legal right to propose to our children that theirs is an acceptable alternate way of life,” she said in 1977. “I will lead such a crusade to stop it as this country has not seen before.” And she did. Jerry Falwell Sr. flew to Florida to help out as she put together the first major anti-LGBTQ campaign, coming up with arguments and tactics that would be used by anti-LGBTQ activists for decades.

That didn’t stop her granddaughter Sarah Green from coming out to her on her 21st birthday. Green said that Bryant sang “Happy Birthday” to her and told her that she would have a husband one day. “And I just snapped and was like, ‘I hope that he doesn’t come along because I’m gay, and I don’t want a man to come along,'” Green said.

Bryant then told her granddaughter that homosexuality doesn’t exist. Robert Green (Sarah Green’s father and Anita Bryant’s son) said that his mother’s “face froze” when his daughter came out. “All at once, her eyes widened, her smile opened, and out came the oddest sound: ‘Oh,'” he said. “Instead of taking Sarah as she is, my mom has chosen to pray that Sarah will eventually conform to my mom’s idea of what God wants Sarah to be.”

“It’s very hard to argue with someone who thinks that an integral part of your identity is just an evil delusion,” Green said. “She wants a relationship with a person who doesn’t exist because I’m not the person she wants me to be.” She said she doesn’t know if she should invite her grandmother, unsure whether Bryant will be offended if she’s left off the invitation list. “I think I probably will eventually just call her and ask if she even wants an invitation, because I genuinely do not know how she would respond,” she said. “I don’t know if she would be offended if I didn’t invite her.”

[Source: Alex Bollinger, LGBTQ Nation, July 2021


Advocate: Another Pie in the Face for Anita Bryant

Edge Media Network: Anita Bryant's Lesbian Granddaughter to Wed
LGBTQ Nation: Anita Bryant's Granddaughter is Marrying a Woman


Senate Confirms Historic LGBTQ Nominees to Defense Department

In July 2021, he US Senate confirmed two groundbreaking LGBTQ appointees to the Department of Defense by unanimous consent.  Gina Ortiz Jones was confirmed as undersecretary of the Air Force, becoming the first out lesbian to be an undersecretary of any branch of the military. Shawn Skelly was confirmed as assistant secretary of defense for readiness, making her the highest-ranking out transgender person in Defense Department history and only the second trans person ever confirmed by the Senate (Dr. Rachel Levine, assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, was the first).


Jones and Skelly are among more than 200 LGBTQ political appointees put forth by President Joe Biden. Both sailed through their confirmation hearings last month without controversy.

Jones was an intelligence officer in the Air Force and was deployed to Iraq during the war there, serving under “don’t ask, don’t tell.” After leaving the Air Force, she worked for the federal government as an adviser on intelligence and trade, with agencies including the Defense Intelligence Agency and Office of the US Trade Representative.

She was the Democratic nominee for the US House of Representatives from Texas’s 23rd Congressional District, which stretches from El Paso to San Antonio, in 2018 and 2020, losing narrowly to incumbent Republican Will Hurd in 2018 and by a somewhat larger margin to Republican newcomer Tony Gonzales in 2020.


A Filipina-American, she is the first woman of color to be an undersecretary of a military branch and the second member of the LGBTQ community. Eric Fanning, a gay man, was undersecretary of the Air Force for two years during President Barack Obama’s administration, then became secretary of the Army.

Skelly served 20 years as a naval flight officer, retiring with the rank of commander, and then in 2013 joined the Obama administration as the first trans veteran appointed by a U.S. president. Her positions included special assistant to the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics at the Department of Defense and ultimately as the director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

She most recently worked for CACI International, a company that provides technology and expertise for national security purposes, and she is cofounder and vice president of Out in National Security, an advocacy group for LGBTQ people in the military, defense contracting, and related areas. She was also part of the Biden transition team.

“Gina and Shawn served their country when living openly could result in discharge and a lost career, so their ascension to key leadership positions is a powerful moment for those service members who served or continue to serve in silence,” said Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Institute, in a press release. “Their confirmation will transform perceptions of LGBTQ people within the ranks of the U.S. military, but also among the leaders of militaries we work with around the world. While they were confirmed because of their unquestionable qualifications and experience, they symbolize our continued progress and will further disrupt any lingering notion that LGBTQ people are somehow unfit to serve.”


“The Biden team is building the most LGBTQ-inclusive administration in U.S. history and the impact it will have on policies and legislation is enormous,” added Ruben Gonzales, Victory Institute executive director. “Gina and Shawn will join at least a dozen other out Defense Department appointees who understand the challenges LGBTQ service members face and will make their well-being a priority. Our military, like our government, is strongest when it reflects the diversity of the people it serves and ensures all are treated with dignity and respect. Gina and Shawn are shattering lavender ceilings that will encourage more LGBTQ people to consider public service.”

Another out Defense Department nominee is awaiting a confirmation hearing — lesbian Sue Fulton, a retired US Army captain who is nominated to be assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs.

Victory Institute, a sister organization to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, provides training and leadership development to LGBTQ people who aspire to elected or appointed political office. Its Presidential Appointments Initiative has recommended and advocated for numerous qualified candidates for positions in the Biden administration, including Jones and Skelly.


[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate, July 2021]


Senate Confirms Historic LGBTQ Nominees to Defense Department

Skelly and Jones Confirmed by US Senate: LGBTQ Firsts

Dr. Rachel Levine Confirmed for Assistant Health Secretary

Reggie Greer: White House Senior Advisor on LGBTQ Issues

Trump's Judicial Appointments Will Impact LGBTQ Rights Beyond Presidency
Biden Appoints Two Gay Men to Key Roles in His Administration

Most Pro-Equality President in History: Biden’s Ambitious LGBTQ Agenda
Biden Administration to be Most LGBTQ-Inclusive in US History
Biden Picks Pete Buttigieg for Secretary of Transportation

Trans Physician Rachel Levine: Biden's Choice for HHS Assistant Secretary

Jeff Marootian: Biden's New Environmental Advisor is Gay

Sarah McBride: Makes History as First Openly Trans State Senator

Gay Man Carlos Elizondo Named Biden's White House Social Secretary


American Passports Will Now Have Third Gender Option

Nonbinary, intersex and gender-nonconforming Americans will be able to choose a gender option other than “male” or “female” when applying for a US passport, the State Department announced in June 2021. Passport applicants will be able to self-select their gender without providing supporting medical documentation.

The policy change is part of the department’s effort to take “further steps toward ensuring the fair treatment of LGBTQ US citizens, regardless of their gender or sex,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.


It is not yet known when the third gender marker, reportedly to be an “X,” will be available. Blinken said the department is currently “evaluating the best approach to achieve this goal” and noted that adding a gender option “is technologically complex and will take time.”

Once the US has a third gender option in place, it will join a growing number of countries with such a passport option, including Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Nepal and New Zealand.

In the more immediate term, US passport applicants will be able to self-select their gender and will no longer be required to provide medical documentation if their gender identity does not match the gender marker on their other identity documents.

The Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, applauded the upcoming policy changes, saying they will “decrease the risk of discrimination, harassment, and violence for an already vulnerable group.”


“This is an important step towards achieving meaningful progress for LGBTQ equality in America, and will empower and enable millions of citizens to travel domestically and internationally with greater confidence that the United States recognizes their gender identity,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement. He also called for the US to “encourage other nations to adopt inclusive policies that support non-binary and transgender people.”

[Source: Brooke Sopelsa, NBC News, June 2021]


Lambda Legal: State Department Allows X Gender Markers on US Passports

NBC  News: US Adds Third Gender Option to American Passports

Advocate: US State Dept Introduces Gender Neutral Passports

Them: US State Dept Allows X Gender Markers on Passports

NPR: US Adds Third Gender Option On Passports

Nevada Pageant Winner Becomes First Transgender Miss USA Contestant

Kataluna Enriquez, who was crowned Miss Nevada USA in June 2021, will become the first openly transgender woman to compete in the Miss USA pageant. With a platform centered on transgender awareness and mental health, Enriquez, 27, beat out 21 other contestants at the South Point Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. “I didn’t have the easiest journey in life,” she said. “I struggled with physical and sexual abuse. I struggled with mental health. I didn’t have much growing up. I didn’t have support. But I’m still able to thrive, and I’m still able to survive and become a trailblazer for many.” After her win, Enriquez thanked the LGBTQ community, writing, “My win is our win. We just made history. Happy Pride.”

In March 2021, Enriquez, who previously competed in trans-specific pageants, became the first transgender woman crowned Miss Silver State USA, the main preliminary for Miss Nevada USA. During the pageant’s question-and-answer segment, Enriquez said being true to herself was an obstacle she faced daily. “Today I am a proud transgender woman of color. Personally, I’ve learned that my differences do not make me less than, it makes me more than,” she said. “I know that my uniqueness will take me to all my destinations, and whatever I need to go through in life.”


Enriquez, who is Filipina American, designs her own outfits, including a rainbow-sequin gown she wore Sunday night in honor of Pride Month “and all of those who don’t get a chance to spread their colors,” she explained.  "Pageantry is so expensive, and I wanted to compete and be able to grow and develop skills and create gowns for myself and other people," Enriquez said.

She will represent Nevada at the 2021 Miss USA pageant, being held November 2021 at the Paradise Cove Theater at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Miss Universe pageant system, of which Los Angeles-based Miss USA is part, began allowing transgender entrants in 2012. If she is crowned Miss USA, Enriquez will be the second trans contestant in a Miss Universe pageant, after Spain’s Angela Ponce in 2018.


Miss America, a separate organization headquartered in New Jersey, did not immediately reply to an inquiry about whether transgender women or nonbinary individuals are allowed to compete in its annual competition. As of 2018, the pageant was reportedly only open to “natural born women,” according to the Advocate.

In February, a federal judge upheld the right of another organization, Nevada-based Miss United States of America, to bar transgender contestants from its pageant.

[Source: Dan Avery, NBC News, June 2021]


Advocate: First Trans Contestant to Compete in Miss USA

NBC News: Nevada Pageant Winner Becomes First Tansgender Miss USA Contestant

Washington Post: Kataluna Enriquez Dreamed of Seeing a Transgender Miss USA Contestant
Miss Nevada USA Winner Makes History: 1st Trans Woman to Hold the Title
2021 Miss Nevada Winner is First Transgender Woman Crowned in Pageant's History

Biden and Buttigieg Celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month


President Joe Biden celebrated Pride Month at the White House in June 2021, a reflection of the growing stature of the LGBTQ community at the highest level of government. “Pride Month represents so much,” Biden said. “It stands for courage. The courage of all those in previous generations and today who proudly live their truth. Stands for justice. Both the steps we’ve taken and the steps we need to take. And above all, Pride Month stands for love.”


Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay person confirmed to a Cabinet post, joined the president and first lady in the White House's East Room and also gave remarks. “Us even being here proves how much change is possible in America," Buttigieg said. “So many lives have been changed, saved by the sustained advocacy, the moral resolve, the political courage of countless LGBTQ leaders and allies, some elected, some invisible, some long gone, some in this room right now.”

A White House hallway was lit in the colors of the rainbow flag, a symbol of the LGBTQ movement, and Biden said he takes the hallway each day as he goes between the residence and the Oval Office. Also on display was a candle carried during the AIDS vigil and a pair of sandals owned by Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was fatally beaten in 1998 and whose death inspired new hate crime laws.

Also on Friday, Biden named Jessica Stern as a special diplomatic envoy at the State Department for LGBTQ rights. Her responsibilities will involve ensuring that US diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect LGBTQ rights around the world. Stern is currently executive director of OutRight Action International, which defends human rights and works to prevent abuses of LGBTQ people. In her new role, Stern will help put in place a presidential memorandum to advance the rights of LGBTQ people as well as bring together like-minded governments, nonprofits and corporations to uphold equality and dignity, according to the White House.


The focus also carries personal resonance for many in the Biden administration. Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House's principal deputy press secretary, tweeted out her own story about coming out to her mother at the age of 16 and the revolted look in response that left her sexuality a family secret for many years. “I’m proud to be an out Black Queer woman and I have been for quite some time,” she wrote. “I’m happy to say, my Mother is now proud of ALL of who I am; she loves my partner and she loves being a doting grandmother to the daughter we are raising.” Jean-Pierre added that her journey toward acceptance was not easy, but it was worthwhile.

Biden also signed into law a measure that designates the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, as a national memorial. A mass shooting at the gay nightclub in June 2016 left 49 people dead and 53 wounded in what was the deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in US history.

[Source: Josh Boak and Darlene Superville, Associated Press, June 2021]


Biden and Buttigieg Celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month

Biden Marks Pride Month With Speech Recognizing LGBTQ Legislators
Biden Recognizes LGBTQ Pride Month


Current LGBTQ News


President Biden's Pro-LGBTQ Timeline
Arkansas Lawmakers Enact Trans Youth Treatment Ban

State Rep. Park Cannon: Black Queer Lawmaker Arrested in Georgia

Arkansas Governor Signs Bill Allowing Medical Workers to Refuse Treatment to LGBTQ People

Record Number of Anti-Trans Bills Introduced in States This Year

29 States File Bills to Ban Trans Athletes in Sports

Police Officer Defends Trans Daughter Against Anti-Trans Legislation

New Poll: 73 Percent of People Support Trans Kids in Sports

Mother Testifies Against Anti-Trans Legislation in Texas

Father of Trans Daughter Testifies Against Trans Youth Athlete Ban

Troubling Rise in Business Owners Refusing LGBTQ Customers

Caitlyn Jenner Launches Bid for California Governor

Dr. Rachel Levine Confirmed for Assistant Health Secretary

Advocate: Salute to Amazing LGBTQ Women of 2021

GLAAD Media Awards: Who Are the Big Winners?

Alan Turing's Face Is Now on a New £50 Note in United Kingdom

Leyna Bloom: Makes History on Cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition

New Poll: 75% of Americans Support LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Laws

LGBTQ Celebrities Who Came Out in 2020

Reggie Greer: White House Senior Advisor on LGBTQ Issues

Lindsey Graham: Aggressive Opponent of LGBTQ Civil Rights Bill

Japanese Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Ban is Unconstitutional


Carl Nassib: NFL Football Player Comes Out as Gay


Las Vegas Raiders lineman Carl Nassib just made sports history by becoming the first active player in the National Football League to come out as gay (or anywhere on the LGBTQ spectrum, for that matter).

Nassib made the announcement on Instagram and quickly put his money where his mouth is, announcing a donation to and partnership with the Trevor Project, which aids LGBTQ youth in crisis.

“What’s up, people?” Nassib said in a video post. “I’m at my house in West Chester, Pa. I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends, and job a guy can ask for.



“I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know that I’m not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming-out process are not necessary, but until then I will do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting and compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project. They’re an incredible organization, they’re the number one suicide prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America and they’re truly doing incredible things. I’m very excited to be a part of it and help in any way that I can, and I’m really pumped to see what the future holds.”

Nassib, 28, has played with the Raiders for two years and has been in the NFL six years overall, including stints with the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Nassib played college football at the University of Pennsylvania.

While other NFL players have come out after retiring, Nassib is the first active out player in the league. Michael Sam famously came out after finishing his college career at the University of Missouri and was drafted into the NFL but never made a team roster.

Nassib is getting support. “The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told Outsports in a statement. “Representation matters. We share his hope that someday soon statements like his will no longer be newsworthy as we march toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community. We wish Carl the best of luck this coming season.”

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis issued this statement: “Carl Nassib’s powerful coming out is a historic reflection of the growing state of LGBTQ visibility and inclusion in the world of professional sports, which has been driven by a long list of brave LGBTQ athletes who came before him. As an accomplished athlete who is now the first out gay active player in the NFL, Carl Nassib’s story will not only have a profound impact on the future of LGBTQ visibility and acceptance in sports, but sends a strong message to so many LGBTQ people, especially youth, that they too can one day grow up to be and succeed as a professional athlete like him.”

[Source: Neal Broverman, Advocate Magazine, June 2021]


Advocate: First Active NFL Player Has Come Out

NBC: Carl Nassib Comes Out Publicly as Gay

LGBTQ Nation: Raiders' Carl Nassib Comes Out

CBS: Carl Nassib Comes Out as Openly Gay NFL Player

OutSports: NFL World Supports Carl Nassib

CNN: Carl Nassib is First Active NFL Player to Come Out as Gay

NFL News: Raiders DL Carl Nassib Becomes First Active NFL Player to Come Out as Gay

Time: Carl Nassib is First Active NFL Athlete to Come Out as Gay

USA Today: Who is Carl Nassib?

Bio: Carl Nassib


Trans Students Protected by Title IX


The US Department of Education announced, in June 2021, that transgender students protected at school by Title IX. This moved reverses the GOP-authored guidance that said those students were not protected by any federal laws.

The announcement from the Department of Education comes not only during Pride Month, but also during a national debate over whether transgender athletes should be allowed to compete in sports that match their gender identities. Such debates have prompted a wave of anti-trans legislation from GOP-led state legislatures.

“Today, the Department makes clear that all students (including LGBTQ students) deserve the opportunity to learn and thrive in schools that are free from discrimination,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “The Supreme Court has upheld the right for LGBTQ people to live and work without fear of harassment, exclusion, and discrimination – and our LGBTQ+ students have the same rights and deserve the same protections."


The interpretation of the law reverses guidance issued under former President Donald Trump. That administration, in turn, had rescinded guidelines that said Title IX applied to discrimination based on gender identity.

"This is a day that transgender kids and their families have been waiting for," said Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, deputy executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality. The Biden administration, Heng-Lehtinen said, "will defend their right to fully participate in school."

The news comes one year after the Supreme Court ruled gay and transgender workers are protected by the Civil Rights Act, legislation that bans discrimination in the workplace. The Education Department's interpretation says gay and transgender students will have those same protections in schools. The new guidance is particularly important for students in places where state-level protections for transgender youth don’t exist, said Christy Mallory, legal director at the University of California-Los Angeles’ Williams Institute, which conducts research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and policy.

According to research by GLSEN, an LGBTQ youth advocacy organization, more than half of all states lack comprehensive guidance concerning transgender, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming students.


Title IX guidance changed under Obama, Trump, and Biden. Former President Barack Obama's administration made clear to schools in 2016 that Title IX, a 1972 law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in schools, protected transgender students. In 2017, the Trump administration rescinded the Obama-era guidance that spelled out schools' legal responsibilities. The Trump administration also threatened to withhold federal funding from schools that allowed transgender students to participate in school sports.

Trump's secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, also suggested the Office of Civil Rights, a branch of the Department of Education, would not investigate discrimination complaints from transgender students. None of those actions changed the law, but they created confusion.

The June 2021 notice clarifies that confusion by reminding public schools of their obligation under Title IX to provide safe and non-discriminatory environments to LGBTQ students, said Paul D. Castillo, a lawyer and students' rights strategist at Lambda Legal, a civil rights organization that defends LGBTQ people. And it signals the Office of Civil Rights will review their complaints with the same vigor as other complaints, he added.

[Source: Erin Richards, Alia Wong, Lindsay Schnell, USA Today, June 2021]

USA Today: Transgender Students Protected at School by Title IX

Advocate: Education Dept Will Protect Students From Anti-LGBTQ Bias

NBC News: Education Dept Says Title IX Protects LGBTQ Students

LGBTQ Nation: Biden Administration Extends Title IX Protections to LGBTQ Students

CBS News: Title IX Protection Extended to Trans Students


New Awesome Toy: LGBTQ Lego Set


Kind of awesome: A new rainbow Lego set arrives just in time for Pride Month.

You’ve heard of “Everything Is Awesome,” the catchy theme song of the “Lego Movie” franchise. Now get ready for “Everyone Is Awesome,” a new, rainbow-colored Lego set introduced by the toy company ahead of LGBTQ Pride Month, the first ever LGBTQ-themed set. The 346-piece collection, available for purchase starting June 1, includes a different figurine for each color of Lego’s rainbow: black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, dark blue, purple, light blue, white and pink. Lego said that the model was inspired by the classic rainbow flag, an enduring symbol of solidarity for the LGBTQ community.


“Everyone is unique, and with a little more love, acceptance and understanding in the world, we can all feel more free to be our true AWESOME selves!” said Matthew Ashton, Lego’s vice president of design. “I am fortunate to be a part of a proud, supportive and passionate community of colleagues and fans. We share love for creativity and self-expression through LEGO bricks and this set is a way to show my gratitude for all the love and inspiration that is constantly shared.”


“I wanted to create a model that symbolizes inclusivity and celebrates everyone, no matter how they identify or who they love," Matthew Ashton said in a press release. “Everyone is unique, and with a little more love, acceptance and understanding in the world, we can all feel more free to be our true awesome selves! This model shows that we care, and that we truly believe ‘Everyone is awesome!'”


"Having LGBTQ-inclusive toys creates a space for families to let LGBTQ children know that they are loved and accepted," Joe Nellist, from the UK's LGBT Foundation.


Social media erupted with joy for the product, despite past criticism claiming LGBTQ Pride merchandise had become an overly commercialized space. "You know what. I like this one," wrote one person.

[Source: Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times; Zamira Rahim, CNN; Alexander Kacala, NBC Today; May 2021]

CNN: Lego Unveils First LGBTQ Set Ahead of Pride Month
LA Times: New Rainbow Lego Set Arrives Just in Time for Pride Month
NBC Today: Lego Announces 1st Rainbow Set for LGBTQ Pride Month
The Guardian: Lego Launches First Set with LGBTQ Theme

USA Today: New Lego Set Proclaims Everyone is Awesome

Biden Bans Discrimination Against LGBTQ People in Healthcare


"No one should ever be denied access to health care because of their sexual orientation or gender identity."
-President Joe Biden


"So now it's clear. There is no ambiguity. You cannot discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity."

-Health & Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra


The US will protect gay and transgender people against sex discrimination in healthcare, the Biden administration announced in May 2021, reversing a Trump-era policy that sought to narrow the scope of legal rights in sensitive situations involving medical care.

The action by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) affirms that federal laws forbidding sex discrimination in healthcare also protect gay and transgender people.


The Trump administration had defined “sex” to mean gender assigned at birth, thereby excluding transgender people from the law’s umbrella of protection.

“Fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences,“ the HHS secretary, Xavier Becerra, said in a statement. “Everyone – including LGBTQ people – should be able to access healthcare, free from discrimination or interference, period.”

Becerra said the Biden administration policy will bring HHS into line with a landmark supreme court decision last year in a workplace discrimination case, which established that federal laws against sex discrimination on the job also protect gay and transgender people.

Despite that ruling, the Trump administration proceeded to try to narrow the legal protections against healthcare discrimination, issuing rules that narrowly defined “sex” as biological gender. A federal judge had blocked those rules from taking effect, although Trump administration officials argued that as a legal matter healthcare discrimination was a separate issue from the employment case the supreme court decided.


The action means that the HHS Office for Civil Rights will again investigate complaints of sex discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Hospitals, clinics and other medical providers can face government sanctions for violations of the law.

The Biden administration action essentially restores policy established during the Obama years. The Affordable Care Act included a prohibition on sex discrimination in healthcare and the Obama administration had interpreted that to apply to gay and transgender people as well. It relied on a broad understanding of sex shaped by a person’s inner sense of being male, female, neither or a combination.

[Source: Associated Press, May 2021]


Biden Revives LGBTQ Protections Against Healthcare Discrimination
US Bans Sex Discrimination Against LGBTQ People in Healthcare
Biden Administration Prohibits Anti-LGBTQ Health Care Discrimination

Arkansas Governor Signs Bill Allowing Medical Workers to Refuse Treatment to LGBTQ People

Conscience Rule Will Threaten LGBTQ Healthcare

Hospitals Make Tremendous Strides Toward LGBTQ Inclusive Care

Trump's Military Ban Ignores Science to Inflict Harm

Transgender Health Protections Reversed By Trump Administration
Trump Administration Exacerbating LGBTQ Healthcare Discrimination


Biden Affirms LGBTQ and Trans Youth in Speech to Congress

President Joe Biden stood up for transgender rights and called on the Senate to pass the Equality Act in a historic speech before a joint session of Congress.


“I hope Congress can get to my desk the Equality Act to protect the rights of LGBTQ Americans,” Biden told Congress while discussing major initiatives that are being held up in the Senate. Then he specifically addressed trans youth: “To all the transgender Americans watching at home — especially the young people who are so brave – I want you to know that your president has your back.”


Biden’s mention of transgender people comes at a time when dozens of states across the country are considering bills to reduce transgender rights, attacking trans youth’s rights to health care and to participate in school sports. The Biden administration’s position is that these laws are already illegal under federal law, and he signed an executive order stating that Title IX’s ban on discrimination “on the basis of sex” in education bans discrimination against LGBTQ students as well. Civil rights groups say that they are preparing to file federal lawsuits to overturn these state laws.

The Equality Act would add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal civil rights legislation, extending anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ people. The bill passed in the House mostly along party lines and is stalling in the Senate, where Senate rules currently require 60 votes for the bill to proceed and Democrats only control 50 seats. Signing the bill into law in his first 100 days in office was the Biden-Harris campaign’s main promise to LGBTQ voters, and those voters turned out for him and were necessary for his victory. Today is the 100th day of his presidency, though, and there’s no sign that the Senate will pass the bill in the near future.


LGBTQ organizations praised Biden for renewing the call to pass the Equality Act. “The fact that President Biden will spotlight the inequalities LGBTQ Americans face every day and call for passage of the Equality Act speaks volumes about how important this legislation is and how much this new Administration is doing to ensure full equality and acceptance,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “LGBTQ lives are on the line, and it’s time for the U.S. Senate to take action and send the Equality Act to the president’s desk for his signature.”

His speech was also noteworthy because, for the first time in U.S. history, the leaders of the House and the Senate who sat behind him while he addressed a joint session of Congress were both women. “Madame Vice President,” he said, referring to Vice President Kamala Harris. “No president has ever said those words from this podium, and it’s about time.”

[Source: Alex Bollinger, LGBTQ Nation, April 2021]

Biden Affirms LGBTQ and Trans Youth in Speech to Congress
President Biden Acknowledges Trans Americans During Speech to Congress
Biden to Transgender Americans: Your President has Your Back
Biden's Message to Trans Youth: Your President Has Your Back
Biden Made a Lot of Progress on LGBTQ Rights in First 100 Days
President Biden's Pro-LGBTQ Timeline

Improving the Lives and Rights of LGBTQ People in America



Current LGBTQ News


Advocate: Salute to Amazing LGBTQ Women of 2021

Senate Majority Leader Schumer Talks About the Equality Act
PBS Documentary: Famous Gay Neurologist Oliver Sacks

GLAAD Media Awards: Who Are the Big Winners?

Transgender Day of Visibility: Celebrating Our Existence and Fighting for Our Rights

First Presidential Proclamation of Transgender Visibility Day

New Survey: Most Young People Are Supportive of Transgender Peers

Dutch Couple Celebrates 20th Anniversary of World's First Same-Sex Marriage

Alan Turing's Face Is Now on a New £50 Note in United Kingdom

Leyna Bloom: Makes History on Cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition

New Poll: 75% of Americans Support LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Laws

LGBTQ Celebrities Who Came Out in 2020

Time Magazine: Elliot Page Is Ready for This Moment

Reggie Greer: White House Senior Advisor on LGBTQ Issues

Lindsey Graham: Aggressive Opponent of LGBTQ Civil Rights Bill

Japanese Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Ban is Unconstitutional


Gay and Bi Teen Boys Are Coming Out to Parents in Record Numbers

Generation Z teenagers have been more open to family members about their sexual identities than the generations that preceded them. But hurdles still remain. A record-breaking number of gay and bisexual teenage boys are out to their parents.

A new study, published in the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity journal, shows that 66 percent of those in this demographic (ages 13 to 18) are out to their mothers, while 49 percent are out to their fathers. This is a marked uptick from older generations. In the 1990s, for example, 40 percent of boys were out to mothers and less than 30 percent were out to fathers, the study noted. The study polled nearly 1,200 teenage boys attracted to those of the same gender from January 2019 to January 2020 as part of an HIV prevention survey. People born between 1998 and 2018 are classified as Generation Z.



While the findings were encouraging to researchers, lead author David A. Moskowitz, PhD, noted there were still hurdles to overcome. "This study is encouraging in that it shows that many teens, including those under 18 years old, are comfortable with their sexuality," said Moskowitz, an assistant professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University's Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing. "At the same time, we must be cautious, as the data also point to some of the same barriers and discrimination that previous generations have faced. Work still needs to be done."

To wit, among this demographic, the level of comfort with being out to parents varied based on factors like race, identity, and religion. White participants were more likely to be out than Black participants; gay participants were more likely to be out than bisexual participants; and those who were less religious were more likely to be out than those who were more. "This gives us an understanding of the factors that move teenagers to share this type of information with the people closest to them," Moskowitz said. "We can now compare these practices with how other generations deal with these issues and think about what it all means for future generations."


Moskowitz noted that the study will open doors to more research about sexuality within Generation Z, including views on coming out among young women. "This study provides a road map for such an effort," Moskowitz said. "In the meantime, these findings should be helpful to those who work with teenagers identifying as sexual minorities."


[Source: Daniel Reynolds, Advocate Magazine, April 2021]

Study: Gay & Bi Teen Boys Are Coming Out to Parents in Record Numbers
Survey: More Than 1 In 3 LGBTQ Youth Experience Discrimination At Work
Many LGBTQ Youth Don’t Identify with Traditional Sexual Identity Labels
Trevor Project: 40 Percent of LGBTQ Youth Considered Suicide in the Past Year
Survey: More Than Half of LGBTQ Youth Have an Eating Disorder
Research Update: Crucial Role of Community Members in the Lives of LGBTQ Youth

Arkansas Lawmakers Ban Treatment for Transgender Youth


In April 2021, The Arkansas legislature overrode Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto of a bill denying gender-affirming health care to minors, making Arkansas the first state with such a law. And American Civil Liberties Union officials said they were preparing a lawsuit.

Hutchinson had vetoed House Bill 1570, saying it was overly broad. It bans not only gender-confirmation surgeries (which doctors do not recommend for minors anyway) but also hormone treatments and puberty blockers. “If this was just to ban gender reassignment then I would support it, but those who are taking treatment are not grandfathered in, this is not the right path to put them on,” the Republican governor said. “While the population of minors dealing with this is an extreme minority, this could lead to significant harms from suicide to drug use to isolation,” he added.


But the Arkansas House of Representatives voted 71-24 to override Hutchinson’s veto, and the Arkansas Senate voted 25-8 to do so. Civil rights groups immediately condemned the legislature’s action. “Today Arkansas legislators disregarded widespread, overwhelming, and bipartisan opposition to this bill and continued their discriminatory crusade against trans youth,” said a statement from Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas. “As Governor Hutchinson noted in his veto message, denying care to trans youth can lead to harmful and life-threatening consequences. This is a sad day for Arkansas, but this fight is not over — and we’re in it for the long haul. Attempting to block trans youth from the care they need simply because of who they are is not only wrong, it’s also illegal, and we will be filing a lawsuit to challenge this law in court. We are hearing from concerned families all over the state who are afraid about the impact of this bill and others like it. We are committed to doing all we can to support these families and ensure they know how to continue to fight for their rights and get the care and resources they need.

“No matter what these politicians do or say, one thing has not changed: trans youth are loved, they are seen, and we will never stop fighting to defend their dignity, their rights and their lives. To everyone who spoke out against this bill: now is the time to stay loud, not only for trans lives, but for all the fundamental rights that politicians are hellbent on attacking.”


“The Arkansas Legislature has ignored dozens of local doctors and national medical experts, as well as trans youth and their parents,” added Chase Stangio, deputy director for transgender justice with the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project. “This bill will drive families, doctors and businesses out of the state and send a terrible and heartbreaking message to the transgender young people who are watching in fear. Gender-affirming care is life-saving care and banning that care will have devastating and in some cases deadly consequences. Trans youth in Arkansas: We will continue to fight for you. The ACLU is preparing litigation as we speak. ACLU supporters from around the country spoke out against this bill. We will always have your back and will be relentless in our defense of your rights.”


Sam Brinton, vice president of advocacy and government affairs for the Trevor Project, issued this statement: “To the transgender and nonbinary youth of Arkansas, please know that you deserve love and support and to be affirmed in your gender identity. We will not stop fighting until this cruel and illegal ban is overturned. “Governor Hutchinson listened to trans youth and their doctors, the state legislature clearly did not. We knew this override could happen, but it is nonetheless devastating because we also know it could have deadly consequences. It is not extreme or sensational to say that this group of young people, who already experience disproportionate rates of violence and suicide attempts, would be put at significantly increased risk of self-harm because of legislation like HB 1570 pushing them farther to the margins of society.”

Similar bills are pending in several other states.

[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate Magazine, April 2021]


NBC News: Arkansas Lawmakers Enact Trans Youth Treatment Ban

Advocate: Arkansas Bans Gender-Affirming Care for Trans Minors

LGBTQ Nation: Arkansas Lawmakers Ban Gender-Affirming Care for Trans Youth

Arkansas Teachers Fear for Their Trans Students

Record Number of Anti-Trans Bills Introduced in States This Year

29 States File Bills to Ban Trans Athletes in Sports

Police Officer Defends Trans Daughter Against Anti-Trans Legislation

New Poll: 73 Percent of People Support Trans Kids in Sports

Mother Testifies Against Anti-Trans Legislation in Texas

Father of Trans Daughter Testifies Against Trans Youth Athlete Ban

Attack After Attack: Trans Youth Speak Out on Health and Sports Bills Aimed at Them

Meanwhile: In North Carolina


Alan Turing's Face on £50 Note in United Kingdom


Gay Icon Alan Turing's Face Is Now on a New £50 Note in United Kingdom. Bank of England Unveils New £50 Note Featuring Alan Turing. The honor comes after he was arrested and chemically castrated for his sexuality.

The Bank of England in March 2021 unveiled their new £50 note featuring gay mathematician, cryptographer, and biologist Alan Turing. Turing was selected by public nomination in 2019 when the Bank sought to honor a British scientist on the note. Despite his instrumental contributions breaking Nazi Germany’s famed Enigma code during World War II, the heroic cryptopgrapher was later chemically castrated following his 1952 arrest for having a sexual relationship with another man.


“Turing is best known for his codebreaking work at Bletchley Park, which helped end the Second World War,” Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said in a statement. “However in addition he was a leading mathematician, developmental biologist, and a pioneer in the field of computer science. He was also gay, and was treated appallingly as a result. By placing him on our new polymer £50 banknote, we are celebrating his achievements, and the values he symbolizes.”

“Turing was embraced for his brilliance and persecuted for being gay,” echoed GCHG Director, Jeremy Fleming. “His legacy is a reminder of the value of embracing all aspects of diversity, but also the work we still need to do to become truly inclusive.”

The new £50 polymer note features Turing’s likeness on the back along with other symbolic imagery representing his many achievements. These include images and technical drawings of his early attempt at computers along with a key component of his codebreaking machine, ticker tape depicting his birthdate in binary code, as well as a quote he gave to The Times in 1949 where he said “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.”

The Bank of England released a video on YouTube which featured gay author and actor Stephen Fry, who noted Turing “was among the thousands of men who were harried and harangued by the authorities” during the post-war United Kingdom, and that he was filled with delight both with the honoring of Turing but also the manner in which he was selected.

“The choice of Alan Turing and the manner in which it was arrived at by public nomination marks another step in our nation’s long overdue recognition of this very great man,” Fry said in the video.

Turing was a key visionary and pioneer in the fields of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. He was instrumental in his efforts at famed Bletchley Park just outside London where he and his team broke Nazi Germany’s Enigma code, which was thought to be unbreakable. Much of his work was covered by the Official Secrets Act at the time, and so he was never fully recognized for his contributions.


He was arrested in 1952 for homosexual activity with a consenting 19-year-old man. Given the choice between prison or chemical castration, he chose the latter. As a result of his conviction, the authorities took away his security clearance and barred him from further cryptography work for the British signals intelligence agency. He died in 1954 at the age of 41, having consumed cyanide. Turing’s life and story were famously portrayed in the 2014 film The Imitation Game staring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Fleming said he sees Turing’s appearance on the note as a “landmark moment” in his country’s history and a cause for both celebration and reflection. “Not only is it a celebration of his scientific genius which helped to shorten the war and influence the technology we still use today, it also confirms his status as one of the most iconic LGBT+ figures in the world.”

[Source: Donald Padgett, Out Magazine, March 2021]


Advocate: Britain Unveils Bank Note Honoring Alan Turing

Alan Turing's Face Is Now on a New £50 Note in United Kingdom

Bank of England Video: Alan Turing on UK Bank Note

BBC: Alan Turing the Creator of Modern Computing

GLAAD: Alan Turing Inspires Queer Woman of Color in Tech


Can Medical Workers Refuse Treatment to LGBTQ Patients?

In March 2021, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law legislation allowing doctors to refuse to treat someone because of religious or moral objections, a move opponents have said will give providers broad powers to turn away LGBTQ patients and others. The measure says health care workers and institutions have the right to not participate in non-emergency treatments that violate their conscience.

Opponents of the law, including the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union, have said it will allow doctors to refuse to offer a host of services for LGBTQ patients. The state Chamber of Commerce also opposed the measure, saying it sends the wrong message about the state.


Hutchinson opposed a similar measure in 2017 that failed before a House committee. But he said the law he signed was narrower and limits the objections to particular health care services, not treating specific types of people. “I support this right of conscience so long as emergency care is exempted and conscience objection cannot be used to deny general health service to any class of people,” Hutchinson said in a statement released by his office. “Most importantly, the federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender, and national origin continue to apply to the delivery of health care services.”


Opponents have said types of health care that could be cut off include maintaining hormone treatments for transgender patients needing in-patient care for an infection, or grief counseling for a same-sex couple. They’ve also said it could also be used to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control, or by physicians assistants to override patient directives on end of life care.


“There is no sugarcoating this: this bill is another brazen attempt to make it easier to discriminate against people and deny Arkansans the health care services they need,” ACLU of Arkansas Executive Director Holly Dickson said in a statement. The ACLU did not say whether it planned any legal action to try and block the law before it takes effect.

The law is among several measures targeting transgender people that have easily advanced through the majority-Republican Legislature this year. Hutchinson on Thursday signed a law that will prohibit transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity.

A final vote is scheduled on another proposal that would prohibit gender confirming treatments and surgery for minors.


The Human Rights Campaign announced that it would air a television ad in Arkansas during the Arkansas-Oral Roberts game in the NCAA Tournament denouncing measures such as the transgender athlete restrictions in Arkansas and other states. “Trans kids are kids. They don’t deserve this cruelty,” the 30-second spot says.

The bills are advancing as a hate crimes measure backed by Hutchinson has stalled in the Legislature after facing resistance from conservatives. The bill would impose additional penalties for committing a crime against someone because of their characteristics, including their sexual orientation or gender identity.

[Source: PBS News Hour, March 2021]

Arkansas Governor Signs Bill Allowing Medical Workers to Refuse Treatment to LGBTQ People

Arkansas Passes Bill to Ban Gender-Affirming Care for Trans Youth

NPR: Alabama Considers Banning Medical treatment for Trans Youth

Religious Exemption Laws Explained

List of States: Religious Exemption Laws

Troubling Rise in Business Owners Refusing LGBTQ Customers

Alabama Senate Votes to Ban Gender-Affirming Care for Minors

Record Number of Anti-Trans Bills Introduced in States This Year

29 States File Bills to Ban Trans Athletes in Sports

Police Officer Defends Trans Daughter Against Anti-Trans Legislation

New Poll: 73 Percent of People Support Trans Kids in Sports

Father of Trans Daughter Testifies Against Trans Youth Athlete Ban



Current LGBTQ News


LGBTQ Nation: 70% of Voters Support Equality Act

Golden Globes: Jane Fonda's Speech on Diversity and Inclusion

Jodie Foster Wins Golden Globe Award and Kisses Her Wife

NBC News: US House of Reps Passes Sweeping LGBTQ Rights Bill

New Poll: Americans Identifying as LGBTQ More Than Ever
Congressman Says God Detests LGBTQ People

Randy Rainbow: Mr. Biden Bring My Vaccine

The Inauguration We Can’t Enjoy
LGBTQ Reaction to Biden's Inauguration

C-SPAN: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Inauguration Ceremony

Ashley Biden Wears Tuxedo on Inauguration Night

Biden Reverses Trump's Transgender Military Ban

Sarah McBride: Most Inspiring Elected Official in America

Advocate: Half of Gen Z Believes Gender Binary is Outdated

Alabama Senate Votes to Ban Gender-Affirming Care for Minors

Gay Rep. David Cicilline Speaks at Trump Impeachment Trial

50 Years a Scapegoat: LGBTQ Community Once Again in GOP Crosshairs

Biden Lifts Trump's Trans Military Ban

Teen Sensation JoJo Siwa: Comes Out and Changes the World for LGBTQ Youth

Buttigieg Thanks Husband During Senate Confirmation Hearings

Jojo Siwa Talks to Jimmy Fallon About Her Amazing Girlfriend


President Biden's Pro-LGBTQ Timeline

President Biden committed to being a champion for LGBTQ people every day in the White House, and he’s off to a historic start. From protecting people from discrimination to addressing the epidemic of violence against trans people to ensuring a safe future for LGBTQ youth, there’s so much good we can do together. We’re tracking every action taken by this White House to defend our communities and expand our rights.


February 23, 2021 - Department of Veterans Affairs Expands Support for Trans Veterans - At President Biden’s direction, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced it would begin reviewing its policies to ensure they are inclusive of all gender identities and gender expressions. This includes a plan to end the ban on gender-affirming care for trans veterans.

February 19, 2021 - President Biden Encourages Passage of the Equality Act - After reintroduction of the Equality Act in the House, President Biden shared his support for the legislation and called on Congress to swiftly sign it into law. The Equality Act would create sweeping protections for LGBTQ people in housing, education, health care and more. The White House later put out its official statement of administration policy supporting the legislation.

February 11, 2021 - Fair Housing Act Enforced to Protect LGBTQ People - The Department of Housing and Urban Development, at the direction of President Biden, announced it would enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people, a step toward addressing the housing challenges many in our community face.


February 10, 2021 - Biden-Harris Administration Postpones Discriminatory Trump-Era HHS Rule Change - The Biden-Harris administration announced it would halt implementation of a discriminatory Trump-era rule under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The rule would have permitted discrimination against LGBTQ people, religious minorities and women in programs related to foster care, adoption, HIV and STI prevention, youth homelessness, refugee resettlement, elder care programs and more.


February 9, 2021 - Press Secretary Psaki Affirms Trans Rights are Human Rights - During a daily press briefing, Press SecretaryJen Psaki received a question regarding the administration’s stance on transgender students participating in sports. Psaki made the President’s position clear - trans rights are human rights.

February 4, 2021 - Memorandum on Protecting Rights of LGBTQ People Abroad - President Biden issued a memorandum aimed at protecting the rights of LGBTQI people worldwide. This memorandum comes at a time when same-sex relations are still criminalized in 69 countries, with same-sex conduct punishable by death in nine of them.


February 2, 2021 - Pete Buttigieg Confirmed as Transportation Secretary - Pete Buttigieg was confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 86-13 to become the next Transportation Secretary. He is now the first-ever openly LGBTQ Cabinet member confirmed by the full Senate.

January 28, 2021 - Global Gag Rule Rescinded - President Biden signed an executive memorandum to immediately rescind the so-called Mexico City Policy, also known as the “global gag rule,” a decades-old policy barring international nonprofits from receiving U.S. funding if they provide abortion counseling or referrals.


January 25, 2021 - Repeal of the Ban on Transgender Military Service - Within his first week in office, President Biden followed through on his promise to repeal the discriminatory ban on transgender people serving openly in the military. An estimated 15,000 service members were impacted by the policy enacted under Trump.

January 23, 2021 - Department of Justice Reversal of Trump Era Memorandum Designed to Limit Bostock Implementation - Implementing President Biden’s executive order regarding Bostock v. Clayton County, the Department of Justice revoked a Trump era memorandum that was designed to substantially limit application of the decision with respect to workplace nondiscrimination law and to refute application to other areas of law.


January 22, 2021 - First Lady Dr. Jill Biden Visits Whitman-Walker Health - As one of her first official visits as First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden visited Whitman-Walker, one of the foremost LGBTQ clinics and providers for those living with HIV & AIDS. The visit was a clear indication that this administration will make our health and well-being a priority.

January 21, 2021 - Trump Ban on Diversity Training Revoked - President Biden revoked a former Trump order that had banned federal agencies, contractors and recipients of federal funding from conducting certain diversity training on race and sex that also had implications for trainings on sexual orientation and gender identity.

January 20, 2021 - Equity Orders on Racial Equity & Support for Underserved Communities - President Biden issued an executive order advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities through the federal government, explicitly including LGBTQ people within the measures. The executive order includes a commitment to ensuring equitable access to government programs, engagement with underserved communities and the creation of an Interagency Working Group on Equitable Data.

January 20, 2021 - Executive Order Implementing the Bostock Decision - On day one, President Biden issued the most substantive, wide-ranging LGBTQ executive order in U.S. history, extending protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The executive order affirmed the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock vs. Clayton County, which secured workplace protections, and applied the holding of the Court to laws prohibiting discrimination in housing, education, health care and credit.

[Source: Human Rights Campaign]


HRC: President Biden's Pro-LGBTQ Timeline
Most Pro-Equality President in History: Biden’s Ambitious LGBTQ Agenda

NBC News: US House of Reps Passes Sweeping LGBTQ Rights Bill

LGBTQ Reaction to Biden's Inauguration

Biden Reverses Trump's Transgender Military Ban

Biden Lifts Trump's Trans Military Ban

Biden Issues Order Against Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination
Biden Administration to be Most LGBTQ-Inclusive in US History
Biden Picks Pete Buttigieg for Secretary of Transportation

Trans Physician Rachel Levine: Biden's Choice for HHS Assistant Secretary

Jeff Marootian: Biden's New Environmental Advisor is Gay

Biden Appoints Two Gay Men to Key Roles in His Administration


Reggie Greer: White House Senior Advisor on LGBTQ Issues

Reggie Greer, the Black gay man who was LGBTQ vote director for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, now has a job in the White House. President Biden named Greer senior adviser on LGBTQ issues at the White House and director of priority placement in the White House’s Presidential Personnel Office. He is one of more than 50 LGBTQ appointees in the Biden administration so far, and the administration is likely to top the record of 330 set over the course of President Barack Obama’s tenure.

For the Biden campaign, Greer’s duties included leading the Out for Biden effort, aimed at getting LGBTQ voters to the polls. Before joining the campaign a year ago, Greer spent more than three years as director of constituent engagement at the LGBTQ Victory Institute, which among other things provides training to current and future LGBTQ candidates and campaign workers and works to place out appointees in pro-equality presidential administrations through its Presidential Appointments Initiative.



He was previously deputy director of public engagement at the US Department of Transportation, working with Secretary Anthony Foxx during Obama’s administration. In 2016 he was appointed to Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee.

LGBTQ activists praised Biden’s choice of Greer. “Reggie is a ray of sunshine in the conflict-driven world of politics and the respect and trust he’s earned from LGBTQ leaders will make him an extremely effective adviser,” Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund and Victory Institute, said in a press release. “He exemplifies the America United ethos, with a rare ability to bring diverse communities and interests together and rally them behind a common cause and vision. He will be invaluable as a bridge between the administration and the millions of LGBTQ Americans relying on President Biden to bring needed change to our nation. I am thrilled about his appointment and am eager to continue working together on moving equality forward for our community.”


Arli Christian, campaign strategist with the American Civil Liberties Union, released this statement: “We're thrilled the White House is prioritizing LGBTQ issues by appointing Reggie Greer as LGBTQ senior advisoer. We look forward to working with Director Greer on our top ask of the Biden-Harris administration: an executive order updating the process by which federal agencies change gender markers on IDs. Over 67,000 people have signed our petition calling on the White House to issue this executive order, and we’re excited to work alongside Director Greer in support of transgender, nonbinary, and intersex people nationwide.”

During the presidential campaign, Greer lauded Biden in an interview with The Advocate. “Joe Biden spent his entire career fighting systemic injustice,” Greer said. “He listens to people when they explain the types of systemic issues that they face. What makes this country great is that we include every voice in the political process."


[Source: Trudy Ring, Advocate Magazine, March 2021]

Reggie Greer: White House Senior Advisor on LGBTQ Issues

Victory Institute Applauds Appointment of Reggie Greer

Reggie Greer: Biden Campaign's LGBTQ Engagement Director


Gallup Poll Shows Growing LGBTQ Population

In February 2021, Gallup released a new poll that showed a growing percentage of adults in the US are LGBTQ identifying. In response, Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David released the following statement:

“This poll confirms what we have long known—that the LGBTQ community is powerful and a growing force in the United States, and around the world. Young adults, in particular, feel empowered to publicly claim their identities—a compelling finding and validation for the past generations of LGBTQ advocates who have long fought for full equality. As a growing percentage of the population comes out as LGBTQ, it only amplifies the need for the Equality Act to be passed through Congress swiftly and with bipartisan support in order to secure consistent and explicit anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across all areas of life.”

Key Points from the poll: Results from a 2020 Gallup poll were released that showed the estimate of LGBTQ identifying American adults has risen by more than one percentage point from the previous 2017 update.

--5.6% of US adults identify as LGBTQ. The current estimate is up from 4.5% in Gallup's previous update based on 2017 data.
--More than half of LGBTQ individuals (54.6%) identify as bisexual.
--One in six adults in Generation Z identify as LGBTQ, more than any previous generation.
--Women are more likely than men to identify as LGBTQ (6.4% vs. 4.9%, respectively).
--Americans have grown increasingly supportive of equal rights for the LGBTQ community and a growing percentage of Americans identify themselves as LGBTQ—signaling that public acceptance is critical for LGBTQ individuals to feel safe identifying as their true selves.

Gallup Poll: Percentage of LGBTQ  Population Rises in US

NBC News: New Poll Says Americans Identifying as LGBTQ More Than Ever

USA Today: Young People Driving Numbers as LGBTQ Percentage Increases

ABC News: Increase in Percentage of Americans Identifying as LGBTQ


Mr. Potato Head Goes Gender Neutral


Mr. Potato Head is no longer a mister. Hasbro, the company that makes the potato-shaped plastic toy, is giving the spud a gender neutral new name: Potato Head. The change will appear on boxes this year.

Toy makers have been updating their classic brands to appeal to kids today. Barbie has shed its blonde image and now comes in multiple skin tones and body shapes. Thomas the Tank Engine added more girl characters. And American Girl is now selling a boy doll.

Hasbro said Mr. Potato Head, which has been around for about 70 years, needed a modern makeover. Kimberly Boyd, a Hasbro executive who works on the Potato Head brand, said that kids love the toy because it provides a canvas onto which they can project their own experiences.


“The sweet spot for the toy is two to three years old. Kids like dressing up the toy, then playing out scenarios from their life. This often takes the form of creating little potato families, because they’re learning what it means to be in a family.” The Potato Heads played into this tendency to create families over the decades. In 2012, the toy giant celebrated Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head‘s 60th wedding anniversary with a boxed set featuring the couple.

Today, the company wants to stop leaning so heavily into this traditional family structure. “Culture has evolved,” she tells Fast Company. “Kids want to be able to represent their own experiences. The way the brand currently exists (with the “Mr.” and “Mrs.”) is limiting when it comes to both gender identity and family structure.”

[Source: Nexstar Media Wire and Associated Press, Feb 2021]


Mr. Potato Head Rebrands

Hasbro Drops Mr. From Potato Head Brand

Mr. Potato Head Goes Gender Neutral

Hasbro to Make Mr. Potato Head More Inclusive



Current LGBTQ News


Former Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton: Peaceful Transfer of Power

Biden Issues Order Against Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination
Most Pro-Equality President in History: Biden’s Ambitious LGBTQ Agenda
Biden Administration to be Most LGBTQ-Inclusive in US History
Biden Picks Pete Buttigieg for Secretary of Transportation

Trans Physician Rachel Levine: Biden's Choice for HHS Assistant Secretary

Jeff Marootian: Biden's New Environmental Advisor is Gay

Meet Your Republican Insurrectionists

Jen Ellis: Meet the Teacher Behind Bernie Sanders' Mittens

Lesbian Mom/School Teacher Hand-Knitted Bernie's Famous Mittens

Gay Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney Was Ready to Fight Off Mob at Capitol
Republicans Condemn Cindy McCain for Supporting LGBTQ People

Country Music Star TJ Osbourne Comes Out as Gay

Trump's Attempted Coup Requires Bold Response

Biden Appoints Two Gay Men to Key Roles in His Administration

Arizona GOP Lawmakers: Ignorant Comments About Non-Binary People

Advocate: Trans People Lost to Violence in 2020


US House of Reps Passes Equality Act


In February 2021, the US House of Representatives passed HR 5, the Equality Act, a far-reaching measure that has been decades in the making and would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The vote was 224-206, with three Republicans joining all the Democratic representatives in favor of federal legislation that will update existing federal nondiscrimination laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act, to confirm that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is unlawful discrimination based on sex. The Equality Act clarifies sex discrimination laws to prohibit LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing, credit, education, and other areas, and explicitly extends sex discrimination protections to public accommodations and federally funded programs.


Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings issued the following statement: “Today, the US House of Representatives passed, yet again, the Equality Act, as it has done in years past. And, once again, the Equality Act now goes to the US Senate. We hope and trust this year, it will finally get the hearing in the Senate that it so richly deserves. After years of ignoring this important legislation, the Senate needs to take care of business and pass the Equality Act. Since the introduction of the first Equality Act in 1974 (nearly 50 years ago), LGBTQ advocates and our supporters in Congress have been fighting to win explicit protections for LGBTQ people in federal nondiscrimination laws. The time has come to enact those protections: 47 years is long enough to wait for protection of our basic rights as citizens."

The legislation was passed by the House in 2019 but blocked in the Republican-led Senate. This time around, Democrats now control the White House, House and Senate. President Biden has signaled his support for the measure, but it still faces an uphill fight in the Senate, where it would need 60 votes to break a legislative filibuster.



The Equality Act enjoys bipartisan support in Congress. It was introduced by US Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and US Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), with dozens of co-sponsors.  “Madam speaker, discrimination is wrong. As children, we learn the golden rule: treat others the way you yourself want to be treated. Right now discrimination is a fact of life for millions of LGBTQ Americans,” Cicilline said on the floor ahead of the vote. “The fact is that in most states an LGBTQ person is at risk of being denied housing, education, or serve on a jury because of who they are. That's why we are here to consider HR 5, the Equality Act. The equality act does no more and no less than say LGBTQ people deserve the same rights and responsibilities as all other Americans — most fundamentally the right to live lives free of discrimination.”


LGBTQ Nation: Landmark LGBTQ Civil Rights Legislation Passes US House

Advocate: US House of Reps Passes Equality Act; Now Onto the Senate

NBC News: US House of Reps Passes Sweeping LGBTQ Rights Bill

CNN: House of Reps Passes Equality Act to End LGBTQ Discrimination
Lambda Legal Applauds Passage of Equality Act by House of Representatives

Good Riddance Bigot King Rush Limbaugh


Anti-LGBTQ talk radio host Rush Limbaugh died in February 2021 in Florida. Limbaugh, 70, last year announced he had lung cancer. Limbaugh had been a prominent figure in conservative politics since the 1980s. Over 600 stations in the US aired his daily radio program. Limbaugh also frequently mocked and insulted people with HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ people, women and other groups. Limbaugh last February said, “America’s still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage as president” in reference to now-Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg kissing his husband, Chasten Buttigieg. Then-President Trump in his 2020 State of the Union address presented Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. “Rush Limbaugh spent much of his career attacking LGBTQ people, including mocking those impacted by the AIDS crisis,” said GLAAD Head of News and Campaigns Barbara Simon in a statement to the Washington Blade. “He spread misinformation to his listeners and fueled distrust and division across the country.”
-Michael K. Lavers, Washington Blade


Rush Limbaugh died on Wednesday. Fox News called him a pioneer; HuffPost (correctly) proclaimed him a “bigoted king.” I’ll go with powerful ghoul. Rush said racist, sexist, and odiously right-wing shit every day for hours and hours on end, for years. He played the theme song from The Jeffersons whenever he talked about Carol Moseley Braun, the first Black woman to serve in the US Senate. He spoke terribly of those who had recently been killed—so no need to bother with the fake civility. If it’s unclear where to stand, just know the New York Times rolled out its code word for a terrible man who is newly dead: “provocateur.” Whether Limbaugh is good or bad isn’t really worth pondering. (Donald Trump gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.) The better question is why he was able to be an ass, and such an important one, for so long. In 1995, when Mother Jones wrote about Rush (“Wizard of Ooze“), he was the center of Republican politics, having helped bring about a conservative takeover of the House. Politico Mary Matalin said this to us: “You cannot underestimate, and you cannot overstate, the power of Rush Limbaugh.”
-Jacob Rosenberg, Mother Jones


As a gay man, Limbaugh hated me. There’s no question about that, and he’s hated me since he first opened his big mouth to vomit vile venom about “homosexuals” and every conceivable and unacceptable descriptor that was me. He used every word in the vocabulary in his attempt to diminish me. Limbaugh loathed me more than I loathed myself, and he loathed anyone like me, and he loathed people like me during the AIDS crisis, when his sickening, repugnant voice screeched abhorrence to anyone sick with the disease. He did not speak kindly of the dead during that era. I imagine he never had a grandmother or anyone with an ounce of decorum who told him not to speak ill about the deceased. He was the antithesis of truth and honor. The anti-Larry Kramer. Limbaugh lied about the disease, about the supposed decadence, and about the deceased. Souls and lives didn’t matter to Limbaugh, only perpetuating falsehoods to score ratings points.He railed against same-sex marriage. He compared us to pedophiles. Limbaugh said that the movement for marriage equality was akin to a movement to normalize pedophilia. His outer ugliness was only outmatched by his inward deplorableness and bloated bigotry. Limbaugh was furious when the Supreme Court affirmed that LGBTQ+ people were entitled to protection from employment discrimination.
-John Casey, Advocate


Limbaugh saturated America’s airwaves with cruelty and conspiracies, amassing millions of listeners and transforming the Republican Party. An opponent of marriage equality — which he suggested was “perverted” and “depraved” — Limbaugh argued in 2016 that legalizing gay marriage would lead to bestiality. “What happens if you love your dog?” he said. He once referred to transgender people as being mentally ill. Throughout the 1980s and ’90s, Limbaugh also frequently denigrated those who were HIV positive, saying the best way to stop the spread of the virus was to “not ask another man to bend over and make love at the exit point.” He spoke out against federal funding to fight the virus too, calling it the “only federally protected virus.”
-Nick Robins-Early and Christopher Mathias, Huffington Post


Advocate: Why Should I say Anything Nice About Rush Limbaugh?

HuffPost: Rush Limbaugh, Bigoted King of Talk Radio, Dies at 70

Queerty: Homophobic Hypocritical Radio Host, Rush Limbaugh, Dies

ABC News: Controversial Talk Show Host, Rush Limbaugh Dies

Salon: Rush Limbaugh Created America's Modern Fascist Aesthetic

Advocate: Hateful Homophobe Rush Limbaugh Dead at 70
Rolling Stone: Rush Limbaugh Did His Best to Ruin America

Queerty: Rush Limbaugh's AIDS Updates

WBUR Boston: The Obituary Rush Limbaugh Deserves

Mother Jones: Rush Limbaugh Mastered the Art of Being an Asshole


Day One: Biden Issues LGBTQ Executive Order


"This is exactly the kind of clear statement that we hoped to get from the Biden administration. And that absolutely is the right approach, because there's nothing about the Supreme Court's explanation for why sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination as an aspect of sex discrimination should be limited just to the employment context.”
-Sharon McGowan, Lambda Legal Chief Strategy Officer and Legal Director

President Biden Issues Most Substantive, Wide-Ranging LGBTQ Executive Order In US History! The Human Rights Campaign responded to the release of an executive order that implements the US Supreme Court’s ruling in the consolidated cases Bostock v. Clayton County, Altitude Express v. Zarda and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC. The Order is included in a series of Day One Executive Orders that also includes executive actions launching a “whole-of-government” response to address racial equity, improving response to the COVID-19 pandemic and reducing its economic impact on the vulnerable, and combating climate change.


Alphonso David, President of the Human Right Campaign, responded with this statement: “Biden’s Executive Order is the most substantive, wide-ranging executive order concerning sexual orientation and gender identity ever issued by a United States president. Today, millions of Americans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their President and their government believe discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is not only intolerable but illegal. By fully implementing the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in Bostock, the federal government will enforce federal law to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, health care, housing, and education, and other key areas of life. While detailed implementation across the federal government will take time, this Executive Order will begin to immediately change the lives of the millions of LGBTQ people seeking to be treated equally under the law. The full slate of Day One Executive Orders mark a welcome shift from the politics of xenophobia and discrimination to an administration that embraces our world, its people and its dreamers. We look forward to continuing to engage with the White House, Department of Justice, and other agencies to ensure that Bostock is properly implemented across the federal government.”


On Day One Biden Issues Order against Anti-LGBTQ Discimination

Biden Issues Executive Order Expanding LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Protection

Day One: Biden Calls for LGBTQ Protections and Angers Conservatives

Biden's Pro LGBTQ Order: Even Bigger Than You Think

The Inauguration We Can’t Enjoy
LGBTQ Reaction to Biden's Inauguration

Former Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton: Peaceful Transfer of Power

Biden Issues Order Against Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination
Biden Restoring What Trump Stole From LGBTQ Americans

Most Pro-Equality President in History: Biden’s Ambitious LGBTQ Agenda

Biden to Soon Reverse Trans Military Ban
Biden Administration to be Most LGBTQ-Inclusive in US History
Biden Picks Pete Buttigieg for Secretary of Transportation

Trans Physician Rachel Levine: Biden's Choice for HHS Assistant Secretary

Jeff Marootian: Biden's New Environmental Advisor is Gay










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