National, World News Briefs

U.S. Reps vote on LGBT adoption

On a mostly party-line vote the U.S. House of Representatives, House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment allowing taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to deny LGBTQ families the ability to adopt a child based on religious objection. The change would cut 15 percent of funding to states and localities penalizing adoption agencies that refuse to place children in families that conflict with the agency’s “sincerely held religious beliefs or convictions.” The amendment also bars the federal government from refusing to work with adoption agencies that discriminate.

Schumer’s daughter to wed girlfriend

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, announced at NYC Pride his daughter’s wedding, tweeting: “Marching in the #NYCPride Parade has special meaning this year as I am marching with my daughter Alison and her wonderful fiancée Biz! (Elizabeth Weiland).” Alison Schumer is an executive at Facebook, and Weiland is an MBA student.

Log Cabin Republicans, Off Broadway

As if being a gay person in the Republican Party wasn’t already disappointing, a Broadway play, Log Cabin, has been called dreary by critics. Playwright Jordan Harrison’s new play stars Modern Family’s, Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Criticized as consciously “diverse as a Benetton ad” and the play, about pregnancies, infidelities, birthdays and spanning six years of LGBT cultural shifts, “Log Cabin feels almost entirely impersonal and inert.” One critic wrote, “The conflicts aren’t rooted in character and do little to challenge or deepen our understanding of their social and political opinions.”

SCOTUS ducks florist bouquet

After siding with a baker who refused work for a gay couple, the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t choose sides and tossed a 2017 ruling by Washington state’s Supreme Court that Barronelle Stutzman (not a drag name), owner of Arlene’s Flowers of Richland, violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by refusing service to a same-sex couple. SCOTUS ordered the Washington state court to revisit the case in light of its “Masterpiece” ruling which cited government hostility to religion. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has said there is no evidence of hostility against religion in Stutzman’s case.

Ivanka donation steps on LGTB toes

Ivanka Trump faced criticism after donating $50,000 to a Texas church’s effort to help immigrant children. The recipient, Prestonwood Baptist Church has a history of anti-LGBTQ activism. The church’s website calls being LGBTQ “Sexual Identity Confusion” and says “sexual identity” — which includes both gender identity and sexual orientation — is “fixed in us at our creation” and is not an “individual choice.”

Who’s “drunkest” starts Pride fight

Elmwood Place, Ohio Mayor, Bill Wilson, and his husband, Bill Smith, gave the town a black eye after Cincinnati Pride. They each other black eyes too. The couple had too much to drink, argued about who was “the drunkest”, and which one should drive home. The fight turned physical during the car ride and continued at home. Police arrested both men for domestic violence and disorderly conduct.

LBGT candidate for Mayor of Moscow (not Idaho)

Russian LBGT activist, Anton Krasovsky revealed he is running for mayor of Moscow. However, getting his name on the September ballot, the authorities must allow him to. He is registered as a candidate but to enter the election, he needs to collect signatures from 110 municipal deputies.

#metoo, much more on Kevin Spacey

London’s Metropolitan Police are investigating three new claims of sexual assault by actor Kevin Spacey. Charges are from actions in 2008, 2013 and 1996. The number of allegations against Spacey is currently at six — five complaints of sexual assault and one of assault.

Previous allegations by actor Anthony Rapp snowballed into similar accusations from movie crew and cast members, mostly for groping. Spacey’s agency, his publicist, and also Netflix dumped him shortly after that.

In a new movie, Billionaire Boys Club, Spacey plays a con man. It’s his first film since dumped from All The Money in the World.

“It’s tough being” me in the movies

A BBC official said lack of diversity on Monty Python would make the show impossible, now. Gilliam used his trademark absurdist humor, telling a Canadian film festival: “It made me cry: the idea that … no longer six white Oxbridge men can make a comedy show. It is bullshit. I no longer want to be a white male. My name is Loretta, and I’m a BLT, a black lesbian in transition.”

After being slammed by transgender actors, Scarlett Johansson has withdrawn from portraying a transgender man in a new movie about a prostitution ringleader who was born female but identified as a man. Critics pointed out that cisgender actors often land transgender roles, but its rare for transgender actors to play cisgender characters. Johansson, the movie’s producer, was dismissive, further inflaming critics. Trace Lysette of Transparent, who sent series star Jeffry Tambor packing for harassment and insensitivity, was among those who disapproved. Lysette tweeted: “So you can continue to play us, but we can’t play y’all? Not only do you play us and steal our narrative and our opportunity but you pat yourselves on the back with trophies and accolades for mimicking what we have lived — so twisted. I’m so done.”
Conversion Therapy continues in Maine

Choosing not to join the 13 United States already banning conversion therapy, Maine Governor Paul LePage vetoed a bill banning conversion therapy for minors. LePage said, “Young people should not be physically or mentally abused” if they tell their parents “they have experienced sexual or romantic attraction to an individual of the same gender.” He also declared people should have the freedom to choose the therapy they want.

“Gawgus” Tab Hunter dies

Harvey Fierstein called him “Gawgus” and men and women used Hollywood heartthrob, Tab Hunter, as their masturbation fantasy from 1953 to the early 60s. Hunter died at age 86. His death was “sudden and unexpected” according to his partner, producer Allan Glaser. Warner Bros Studio’s The Sigh Guy in the 1950s, he typified the all-American boy and became an object of affection for teenagers. Linked in the press to Natalie Wood and Debbie Reynolds, he later revealed he was carrying on a long-term relationship with Psycho actor Anthony Perkins. One notable later role came in John Waters’ 1981 film Polyester.

Some want Ts “the L” out of Pride

Eight women blocked the London Pride Parade with a banner that read “Transactivism erases lesbians”. They chanted mouthful of slogans including “A man who says he’s a lesbian is a rapist”. Others handed out leaflets with the headline “Get The L Out!” Parade officials faced criticism for allowing the protesters to march in front of the parade after the protest. Officials explained, “Given the hot weather and in the interest of safety, the parade group was allowed to move ahead.”

Parade organizers, on the other hand, condemned the protest, “Lesbian board members at Pride in London were angry about the level of bigotry, ignorance, and hate demonstrated by Get The L Out!”

In a refrain heard after Pride parades everywhere, others have also criticized Pride in London for having too many corporate floats, many of which don’t mention LGBTQ people.

PHOTO | Broadway’s Log Cabin

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