No Pride Month declaration
For the second year running, the United States White House refused to acknowledge June as LGBT Pride Month. The WH issued proclamations from 2009 to 2016 and in the 1900s. This year the White House instead issued proclamations honoring Caribbean-American heritage, African-American music, homeownership, the outdoors and the ocean in June. The U.S. State Department of Defense and the CIA, however, did issue statements referring to June as Pride Month.
ISIS plot against Parisian gays
Two men arrested in Paris, France reportedly planned a terror attack targeting the gay community in the name of ISIS. France’s intelligence service DGSI and local police found evidence of targeting LGBT people including, “knives, a firing device, and Islamist State group propaganda.
AIDS Memorial Pathway in Seattle
The Seattle City Council authorized the design and construction of an “AIDS Memorial Pathway” as part of an art plan for Cal Anderson Park and the transit-oriented development above the adjacent Capitol Hill Link light rail station. The AMP is a public art installation which will, as the city council memorialized, “create a place of remembrance and reflection; utilize technology to share stories about the epidemic and the diverse community responses to the crisis; and provide a call to action to end HIV/AIDS, stigma, and discrimination.” Cal Anderson was Washington’s first openly-LGBTQ elected official, who died from AIDS in 1995.
Russia hard on gays at World Cup
With the FIFA World Cup underway in Russia, gay men are being warned not to assemble, demonstrate or try to have sex in Russia. Media reports that police are advising visitors that LGBT behavior is frowned on and agitation for LGBT rights will not be tolerated. The Russian gay community reports official warnings to avoid sexual encounters with tourists, and some soccer fans are reporting harassment and sexual encounter stings by state security services. Moscow police recently arrested longtime British activist Peter Tatchell for protesting Russia’s lack of action on anti-LGBT activity in the Russian-protected Caucasus region of Chechnya.
Celestial fluidity, not enough
According to Solo: A Star Wars Story screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan, the character of Lando Calrissian is sexually fluid, though frank dialogue or action never showed it. “I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie,” Kasdan said. The Daily Beast’s Ira Madison demurred: “This queer-baiting is the best they can do? It’s condescending, somehow even more so than the vague insistence that two male characters in the new trilogy, Finn and Poe, might have a relationship. But it’s also a lot of pandering on the studio’s part.”
Pope Francis, again, says something nice about LGBT
In a private meeting, Pope Francis reportedly told Juan Carlos Cruz, a survivor of clerical sexual abuse, that God loves him as he is: “He told me, ‘Juan Carlos, the fact that you’re gay doesn’t matter. God made you like that, and he loves you like that, and I don’t care,’” Cruz said. The Vatican declined to confirm or deny the pontiff’s remarks, telling Los Angeles Times, “We don’t normally comment on the pope’s private conversations.”
New Hampshire says ‘no’ to conversion therapy
LGBT-rights groups praised New Hampshire GOP Governor Chris Sununu and criticized social conservatives after signing two bills — one banning harmful gay conversion therapy and the other outlawing gender-based discrimination. “Discrimination — in any form — is unacceptable and runs contrary to New Hampshire’s Live Free or Die Spirit,” Sununu said. “If we really want to be the ‘Live Free or Die’ state, we must ensure that New Hampshire is a place where every person, regardless of their background, has an equal and full opportunity to pursue their dreams… .”
Kiss heard around the Chesapeake
Maryland gubernatorial candidate Richard Magdaleno made history with a political TV ad that ends with him kissing his husband, Mark Hodge, on the front lawn of his home. The ad highlights the various ways the progressive candidate has stood up against the Trump agenda. Even though POTUS is irked easily, Magdaleno says the kiss is “the number one way I’ll piss off Donald Trump and the Republicans.” To the candidate’s disappointment, Trump has not tweeted a response to the ad.
Like waffle fries, tell no one
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, thinking that we all cared about his lunch fare, started a social-media firestorm and then apologized after he tweeted that he ordered food from Chick-fil-A. Critics jumped on Dorsey for supporting the chain during June. Chick-fil-A caught hell in 2012 because of comments made by its CEO, Dan Cathay, expressing opposition to same-sex marriage. The company had also donated millions to anti-gay groups. The controversy spurred protests at stores by activists as well as supporters who came to rally behind the company. Teach him to brag about lunch.
Photo | Seattle’s AIDS Memorial Pathway breaks ground June 19