National & world news briefs

Hateful details

The Anti-Defamation League and GLAAD tracked 356 hate crimes in the U.S. for 12 months in 2022 to 2023. The survey does not include online harassment or speech. The report broke out the crimes this way: 305 harassments, 40 incidents of vandalism, and 11 assaults. Extremist groups committed 49 percent of the crimes. Crimes were reported in 46 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. California, Florida, New York, and Texas had the highest total number of incidents. News trends drive the numbers, with 138 incidents relating to drag events and performers, 33 incidents relating to schools and educators, 23 incidents relating to healthcare facilities and providers, and 22 incidents relating to government buildings and elected officials. The most cited motive, with 191 incidents of harassment, vandalism, and assault, made references to “grooming” or “pedophilia.” The groups found a crossover of racist and LGBTQ hate crimes, with 128 incidents also citing antisemitic actions and 30 incidents being racist in word or deed.

Key West gay men integrated

In what must be a deflating to the gay male community members who patronize Key West’s New Orleans House, the Florida Commission on Human Relations ruled women must be admitted to all areas of the resort. The NOH is a gay gathering place with clothing-optional areas reserved for men. A woman, who the commission states, “identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community,” was denied access to the male-only areas of the club. She says it was discrimination. The club argued she had been to parties held in the clothing-only areas and was disruptive. New Orleans House attorney said the judge’s ruling, which is being appealed, “Trampled on the rights of male guests who wish to only be naked around other men.” Notice this is Florida, and the attorney did not “Say, Gay.”:

Methodist exit

With 6.5 million members, the United Methodist Church, the third largest Christian Denomination in the U.S., stands to lose one-fifth of its U.S. congregations due to differences over the denomination’s stand that, “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” The official policy does not allow out-gay or lesbian clergy or the performance of same-sex marriages. Many congregations do not follow the policies and will propose pro-gay and lesbian changes, voted down in years past, at the next general conference. Since 2019, over 6,000 U.S. congregations have left the UMC and joined the Global Methodist Church. The Reconciling Ministries Network, which advocates for full participation in the UMC, has more than 1,000 congregations.

Rapinoe retires

The variously colored-hair soccer phenom, Megan Rapinoe announced she plans to retire at the end of 2023. The avowed lesbian “futboler” will play in the upcoming World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Playing with the U.S. women’s soccer team since 2006, she has shown athletic excellence and been an advocate for equality of opportunity for LGBT people and for equal pay for women. Earlier this year, the athlete was named one of Time Magazine’s 12 Women of the Year this year. As she was retiring from the game, she took the opportunity to push for allowing transgender women on the women’s team. There’s little chance she will join the well-paying but LGBTQ-shy Saudi Arabian Football Federation with other retired greats like Cristiano Ronaldo.

Georgia Pride not peachy

Organizers of Tbilisi Pride tried to put on a parade but were thwarted by a mob of anti-Pride protestors. Tbilisi is the capital of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, located on the Black Sea. The parade participants were evacuated to safety when an anti-LGBTQ+ mob of between 2,000 and 5,000 protestors marched towards a park where the Pride event was held. News reports say protestors included Orthodox Christian clergy waving religious icons. Other protestors carried the red and white flags of Georgia. The mob fought with police, vandalized the stage, and burned Pride flags. No injuries were reported, unlike the last pride event in 2021, where 50 journalists and bystanders were beaten. Pride organizers criticized their police protection and said the violence was orchestrated by the Georgia Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Marriage equality gets high

Nepal is in the Himalayan Mountains and is home to Mount Everest. It is the latest country, and one of the few Asian ones, to support marriage equality. The country’s Supreme Court ruled that all same-sex marriages must be legally registered along with other non-traditional, opposite-sex unions while legislation authorizing marriage equality is permanently passed. The first and only gay member of Nepal’s parliament, Sunil Pant, estimates that around 200 same-sex couples could register their marriages with this ruling.

Vatican Synod

The Fall 2023 Synod of the Roman Catholic Church in the Vatican will include an American Jesuit who runs a ministry for gay and lesbian Catholics. Among those chosen is the Rev. James Martin from the United States, who has long been a prominent advocate of greater acceptance of marriage equality and non-discrimination in the Catholic Church, which officially teaches any sexual activity outside of marriage is sinful. Since marriage equality is not a Catholic rite, regardless of legal status, same-sex coupling is a sin. The Vatican’s canvass prior to the synod found Catholics, worldwide, want steps to promote women to decision-making posts as well as an inclusion of the gay and lesbian people in the church. The Pope has decried laws that criminalize homosexuality and declared that “being homosexual is not a crime.”

Something in the water At Brown University

The proportion of students at Brown University identifying as something other than straight has grown from 14 percent in 2010 to 38 percent in 2023. The Providence, R.I. school asked students if their “sexual orientation” was heterosexual, homosexual (gay or lesbian), bisexual, asexual, pansexual, queer, or questioning. When asked gender identity questions, 3.1 percent of respondents identified as nonbinary and 1.8 percent as “genderqueer.” The proportion of those declaring LGBTQ identifying as gay and lesbian dropped from 46 percent in 2010 to 22 percent in 2023. More than half of the LGBTQ students identified as bisexual — 53.7 percent. Nationwide, 7.2 percent of U.S. adults identify as LGBTQ+, according to Gallup polls. The percentage is larger — 19.7 percent — among people aged 18 to 25.

Even Cary Grant wanted to be Cary Grant

Jennifer Grant, in her memoir “Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father,“ says she never saw any indication that her father, Cary Grant, was attracted to men. Jennifer Grant is the only child of the iconic film star when her father, at 62, and married actress Dyan Cannon. She said If he ever had a same-sex relationship, she “hope[d] it made him happy.” Grant has been linked to another beautiful actor, Randolph Scott. The two lived together in the 1930s, and photos show the two men frolicking in swimming pools and on the beach and enjoying each other’s company in “domestic” settings. He was also linked, in a lambda way, to costume designer Orry-Kelly. A famous “Hollywood hustler,” claimed he serviced Grant when Grant could not get lucky on his own. Work of fiction? Jennifer Grant is an executive producer of “Archie,” an upcoming British miniseries about her father, whose birth name was Archibald Leach. Jason Isaacs plays Cary Grant. Was Cary Grant gay? Who cares, he was Cary Grant.

Portland honors drag queen

Not often do the words “Portland, Drag Queens and good news” show up in a story but, Portland, Ore., is naming a public square for Darcelle XV, the legendary drag queen who died recently at age 92. The downtown PDX’s O’Bryant Square, bordered by recently designated Harvey Milk Street, was renamed Darcelle XV Plaza. Darcell ran a Portland nightclub called Showplace for more than 50 years. It is reputedly the longest-running drag club west of the Mississippi. Darcell was the character played by Walter W. Cole, Sr. The Showplace is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as is the home Cole Sr. shared with his life partner, fellow entertainer “Roxy,” nee Le Roy Neuhardt, also deceased. Cole’s son is continuing to operate Showplace. Darcell is on the Wall of Honor at NYC’s Stonewall Inn and was recognized by many local and statewide groups for philanthropic activities.

Dog” Barks, Echo In London

Speaking to a Christian televangelist, a Reality TV star advocated physical violence against transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Duane Chapman, on cable TV as “Dog the Bounty Hunter, said, “Rebuke Satan out of him and just give him a couple of black eyes. … I mean that. If I ever see him, I’m dropping him.” His daughter Lyssa Chapman, a lesbian according to TMZ, says her dad’s comments do not reflect the morals he taught her growing up … and she loves him, but worries he’s watching too much cable news. Joining “Dog” in advocating violence in a transgender context, the keynote speaker at a Trans Pride Celebration in London advocated punching “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists.” Sarah Jane Barker said, “If you see a TERF, punch them in the fucking face.” The organizers of the event, London Trans+ Pride, released a statement that decried the speaker’s call to violence. London Trans+ Pride also criticized media reporting the speech without context, “Not being heard, listened to, or [being] actively undermined, is not only deeply frustrating, disheartening and fear-inducing, it is also why people like Sarah and many others in our community hold a lot of rage and anger.”

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