More religious liberty shenanigans
National Adoption Month started off on the wrong foot with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services authorizing adoption agencies affiliated with a religion to deny services to LGBT parents. The proposed regulation ends the policy that prohibited federally funded agencies from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The new regulations, though still in the 30-day public comment stage, will go into effect immediately. HHS said the rule “imposed a regulatory burden.”
Other programs that could be affected by the extension of the religious-liberty argument are elder services, Head Start, refugee resettlement, HIV services, and programs for runaways.
Cuomo misgenders himself, maybe?
Chris Cuomo thumbs couldn’t move fast enough on Twitter to apologize for a lame joke about gender pronouns. At the CNN LGBT Forum, Sen. Kamala Harris declared her pronouns as “she, her and hers.” With a twinkle in his eye, Cuomo responded, “She, her and hers? Mine too.” The backlash was swift on Twitter, where, among others, GLAAD tweeted “it was so disappointing” for Cuomo to mock Harris’ declaration “on such a major stage.”
The National Center for Lesbian Rights, meanwhile, tweeted that “people’s pronouns are not a punchline.”
Cuomo said he was sorry, but in either a syntactical error or a subtle “coming out”, said he should be forgiven because he is “committed to helping us achieve quality.”
UK survey good news, bad news
The Annual Hate Crime Report in Great Britain contains a little good news for LGBT people, such as more than 4 in 5 people said that LGBT+ people should be free to live as they wish. Bad news: 18- to 24-year-olds hold higher negative views towards LGBT communities than other age groups. And 20 percent of the 1,600 adults polled say LGBT should not be free to live as they wish, with 25 percent of 18 to 24 sharing that view. Ten percent of all people polled said being LGBTQ could be “cured.” Twenty percent of under 25 agreed with a possible cure, compared to 5 percent of those ages 55-65. Three percent of the older group said LGBT are dangerous with 16 percent of 18 to 24 sniffing danger.
“Bi” Congressperson resigns
Katie Hill, elected to U.S. Congress from California, declared her bisexuality as part of her campaign and proved it by having consensual affairs with both male and female campaign and congressional staffers. Her husband, in the middle of a divorce action, released nude photos of her on the internet.
She resigned rather than fight a Congressional Ethics Committee complaint about her staff dalliances. She blamed her troubles on an “abusive ex,” sexual shaming, the general misogyny of U.S. culture, a broken political system, and the current President. Her last vote was for the resolution for further impeachment inquiry in the House.
March on DC, blink and you miss it
If you blinked you probably missed the dozen or so individuals who no longer identify as gay or lesbian marching on Washington D.C. to lobby against the Equality Act and the Therapeutic Fraud Act. Sponsored by Church United and a political group named “Changed”, claimed that, “Changing the Civil Rights Act would create a super-class for anyone identifying as LGBTQ at the expense of people who are not.” They argued the Equality Act, which would provide workplace and housing protections for gender and sexual minorities for “discrimination that does not exist.”
St. Louis fined $20 million
How much is “your gayness” worth? To a St. Louis, Missouri police officer, it’s $20 million. The officer sued St. Louis County for job discrimination after he was passed over for promotion because he was a gay man. He said he was told by a member of the county’s Board of Police Commissioners that his sexuality was holding him back and he’d have to change to advance, “If you ever want to see a white shirt [get a promotion], you should tone down your gayness.”
He filed a complaint with the Feds and then sued. The jury awarded him $20 million. “We wanted to send a message,” the jury foreman told a newspaper. “If you discriminate you are going to pay a big price.”
Male couples dance on TV competitions
The USA’s Dancing with the Stars, serves up Sean Spicer in a cabana shirt and gay men dancing their little hearts out with C-list starlets.
The BBC in the United Kingdom serves up two hot guys dancing while vocalist Emeli Sande belts one out on Strictly Come Dancing. One of the men was gay, a professional dancer from South Africa and the other straight. (Johannes Radebe, who is gay, and Graziano di Prima), but it was a hot 3.5 minutes.
After the show, Radebe posted photos with the comment “Love knows no boundaries.” Di Palma, like most “Hets” reaction to their first time with a gay man, tweeted, “Unforgettable moment.”
In Denmark, Jakob Fauerby and Silas Holst are making history with their appearance together on Vild med Dans, Denmark TV’s version of the DWTS franchise. They are the first same-sex couple in the show’s history and have scored the highest points in four out of eight episodes.
‘Queer Eye’ star mobbed
Speaking of Dancing with the Stars, last summer, Queer Eye star Karamo Brown was cast with former presidential spokesperson Sean Spicer. Brown said some nice things about Spicer, even using the word “friendship” in People magazine. That was enough to spur the “outraged mob” to flood Brown’s social media with sobs of, “How dare you?” So bad was the mobbing that he deactivated his Twitter account.
The bullying worked, though. In a recent interview, Brown took it all back saying, “There was no friendship. I was just saying that if we’re going to be on the same show, I’m going to have a respectful conversation with someone who’s different from me.”
Brown was voted off the show, but Spicer continues to dance, albeit “rhythmically challenged,” according to Brown.
New HIV “strain” identified
U.S. scientists at Abbott Laboratories identified HIV-1 Group M, sub-type L, the first new strain since 2000. Abbot says, “Group M viruses are responsible for the global pandemic, which can be traced back to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Sub-Saharan Africa. We must continue to outthink this continuously changing virus.” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says existing medication is effective against this strain and others.
J ’accuse, recuse, Alito and Kavanaugh told
Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Samuel Alito have been asked to recuse themselves from LGBTQ rights cases after the publication of a photo of them with the President of the putatively “anti-LGBT” National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown.
The group calling for recusal cites a code of conduct for Federal judges, which doesn’t apply to SCOTUS, calling for no appearance of bias.
In 2015, the American Family Association asked that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan recuse themselves from the case because both had officiated marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples. The Notorious RGB and the famed softball catcher did not recuse themselves. So far, no comment from SCOTUS on this latest call for recusal.
Porn awards called homophobic
Nick Fitt and Clark Davis, two performers in gay porn for the world’s number one internet trafficked site, PornHub, walked out of the website’s awards ceremony in LA. In a “first world problem whine”, they tweeted that they weren’t allowed to walk the red carpet and had general admission seating, calling the ceremony, “the most homophobic experience of [their] lives.” They also claimed winners in gay categories weren’t allowed to accept onstage, saying, with no sense of irony, that gay performers received their awards in the “fucking trophy room.”
PornHub released a statement clarifying that red carpet walks were cut short as the line was very long and the show needed to start and “half of all category winners accepted their awards on stage. The other half and fan awards were called out on stage and received in the lounge. They included straight and gay winners.”
Illinois school rejects Harvey Milk?
Robin Stevenson, a noted author of 25 books for children, was scheduled to visit an Illinois elementary school. Her latest book, Kid Activists, explores the childhoods of 16 activists, including Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., Autumn Peltier, and Helen Keller. However, the book’s cover featuring a cartoon version of Harvey Milk waving a rainbow flag got Stevenson disinvited.
Illinois just passed a requirement for schools to include LGBT figures in history lessons but which allows parents to opt out if they have a problem with content. Some parents objected to Harvey Milk and the school canceled the event. The school said it was canceled because they didn’t follow the procedures about giving the parents enough notice to opt out, not because of Harvey Milk on the cover.
Fabulous impeachment inquiry hearing coverage
What turned out to be the most exciting thing about the opening of public hearings for the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry was the appearance of Pissi Myles, a New Jersey-based drag queen. Reporting for the streaming channel Happs News, she wrote, “It’s a crazy day in Washington! I’m flipping my wig over the high-energy proceedings today. Tensions are high, and the bar for who’s allowed in the Longworth House is very, very low.”
Ms. Myles is a winner in Philly Drag Wars, was voted Best Drag Hostess in Philadelphia, and she’s performed at the legendary Wigstock drag festival in NYC.