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Respect for Marriage Act may get vote this year

U. S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, disappointed Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, by declaring he wouldn’t hold a vote on the Respect for Marriage Act until after the 2022 midterm elections. Collins, a cosponsor of the bill, opined, “My impression is that the majority leader is eager to put this bill on the floor in September.” The Democratic Senate caucus is unanimous for passage and Collins is hopeful to find seven more Republican Senators to join the three who have declared their support to avoid a filibuster. Utah Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney have stated they will be proposing amendments to the bill to “protect religious freedoms,” though Lee also stated he wouldn’t vote for the bill even if the amendments pass. Some talk was to add the RMA to a bill subsidizing insulin or the bill to raise the national debt limit. RMA will require all states to recognize any marriage legal in another state. Alas, political calculations interfered. If Dems keep the Senate, the vote will go on. If Repubs get the Senate, the vote may not. Either way, the Dems keep this issue alive for fundraising and as a club to pummel the Repubs.

Suspect Texas prisoner death

The sister of an inmate in the Woodville, Texas prison said her brother described pretty horrible treatment before his death in prison. She said he endured beatings from other inmates leaving him with bruises and black eyes which were ignored by guards. He was denied food by inmates in the mess hall, again ignored by guards. He was taunted by guards and fellow inmates with anti-gay slurs. He was discovered in his cell hanging from a noose with a puncture wound in his neck. Prison officials ruled it a suicide. The sister took her case to the media, describing the abuse and fear he expressed for his life. Media coverage got a local judge to order an autopsy. The coroner ruled the cause of death to be a homicide. The Texas Bureau of Prisons inspector general has started an inquiry into the death and prison practices.

Peppa Pig flirts with controversy

The cartoon show, “Peppa Pig” has introduced a same-sex couple — two lesbian polar bears. For years, activists have called for “Peppa” to feature LGBTQ characters. Now the controversy begins with various factions asking, “why Lesbians?” “Why an obvious nod to white gay men with ‘Bears?” “Why Polar bears which are presented with white fur and not a BPOC (the ‘B’ standing for black, brown, or bear)?” Asians, again, are left out of the advocacy, since no one mentioned Pandas. Probably more to come from the British cartoon, translated into 40 languages and broadcast in over 180 countries, after the burial rites for the Queen.

Billy Eichner apologizes for thought crime

Billy Eichner, the co-writer and star of “Bros,” a major studio romantic comedy with mainly an LGBTQ cast and creative crew. A Twitter grievance mob forced him to apologize for saying, “This is not some streaming thing which feels disposable, or which is like one of a million Netflix shows.” The ambiguity of the statement allowed Twitterers to interpret Eichner as dissing the quality or authenticity of other gay cinema offerings. Eichner’s apologia was, “I was not at ALL referring to the quality or monumental impact of streaming films.” He said he was, “so sorry if (he) inadvertently offended or insulted anyone.”

Southern discomfort

Public support for marriage equality, employment, and housing protections is growing. However, a survey by The Campaign for Southern Equality partnering with Campus Pride revealed high anxiety in some of the southern states. Almost 60 percent of LGBT people in 13 southern states reported that family members or caregivers discussed changing the respondents’ LGBTQ identity. A breakdown by group shows: 68.7 percent of transgender participants and 67.5 percent of LGBT people of color reported the highest incidence, and 52 percent of cisgender and 57 percent of white respondents reported having the conversation. Youngish LGBTQ Southerners, those ages 18–24, scored 64 percent, and 25 and older came in at 51 percent. Of respondents who identified as spiritual or religious, 69 percent reported that they were alienated or discouraged from participating in their faith community due to their LGBTQ identity.

Lance Bass dated girls

What may be a common occurrence to readers of QSaltLake is set to be the topic of a forthcoming movie by Lance Bass. Before revealing his gayness, the *NYSNC performer appeared on “TGIF,” hosted by Danielle Fishel. They dated for a year after the 1999 joint appearance. Bass went to her senior prom. He “outed” himself in 2006 in People Magazine. He discussed his gayness with Britney Spears two years earlier. He married Michael Turchin in 2014. He has been successful in recording, stage, screen, and video entertainment, but somehow believes a portrayal of this trivial episode will be a good career move.

Transmedicalist” charge denied by actor

It’s easy to ignore Twitter Twaddle, but sometimes you learn something. “Euphoira” actor Hunter Schafer recently liked a social media post that was perceived as “transmedicalist” by a Twitter grievance mob. They attacked and she retreated, posting “I am not a transmedicalist, and my ideology around transness does not align with transmedicalism, nor a disdain towards nb (nonbinary) identifying people.” The learning? Transmedicalism is the belief that a person must experience gender dysphoria and undergo medical treatment during their transition in order to be considered transgender. Otherwise, that person must use the more entertainment-career-friendly term, “non-binary”. The actress tried to clarify her opinion with, “I agreed with another t-girl’s post in which she pointed out an [imbalance] in the visibility and space taken up between non-binary folks and binary trans women (particularly those of color and/or those who have resorted to sex work as a means of survival) that I think deserves attention/re-evaluation (as far as resources and platforms go) within the LGBTQ+ community.” Clear?

Boston Marathon creates NB category

Organizers of next year’s Boston Marathon announced that nonbinary athletes will be allowed to run the prestigious race without having to register as members of the men’s or women’s divisions. Race sponsors are expecting 30,000 runners for the race. Race entry is selective based on the athlete’s submitted time. Once qualified, a runner has been put into divisions by sex and age. The 2023 registration application will include a nonbinary gender option. There are no standards for non-binary runners. Organizers are working with international running organizations and non-binary athletes to develop “fair” standards. The London Marathon has announced a similar decision for the 2023 race. Still waiting to hear from Salt Lake Marathon organizers.

All ages drag show canceled

Cool Beans Bar and Grill in Denton, Texas, canceled an all-ages drag show after a host on Glen Beck’s Blaze TV took to Twitter to target the show. A Texas state senator, who is a candidate for governor,76765764 also joined in the protest. Bar owners reported receiving “aggressive phone calls and hateful comments” and attacking them for “grooming children.” The bar is a welcoming space for the queer community that caters mostly to students at University of North Texas. The Disney-themed show advertised as “family friendly” was canceled because the owners thought the employees may be in danger.

Monkey-pox MD too hot for some

Image by Magnus Hastings via Twitter

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the senior White House official appointed to respond to the monkeypox outbreak, is getting criticized on Twitter and elsewhere because he wears harnesses and has posted shirtless pictures of himself on Instagram. Some Twitter twats claim he is a Satanist for wearing a harness with a pentagram star. Critics decry that in previous public health positions he used ”unorthodox tactics” to get LGBT people to test for HIV and other STIs. He has operated HIV and hepatitis screening clinics in an S&M club. He also dressed in drag to deliver meningitis vaccines. Daskalakis said he thinks people call him a Satanist “because I wear a high-fashion harnesses by Zana Bayne.”

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