National & World News

LGBTQ+ intent to ”parent,” high

Regardless of demographics or income, millennials claiming LGBTQ+ status say they want to be parents. Family Equality, a group formed to promote LGBTQ+ family formation and parenthood, released a research report that revealed that 77 percent of LGBTQ+ millennials are either already parents or are considering becoming parents in the coming years. This is a 44 percent increase over older LGBTQ+ generations. The drawbacks LGBTQ+ people face are the challenges of surrogacy expenses and IVF, which are sometimes not covered by insurance. Fostering and adoption are more affordable. Family Equality indicated there are still ten states that allow for open discrimination against adoptions by lesbian and gay couples.

Round-up state government action

Ohio’s governor vetoed a bill that would have regulated both transitioning medical care for minors and transgender girls’ participation in school sports. The veto messaging related only to the transition medical care for minors and did not mention girls’ sports. Transgender activists should hold the champagne, though, as the Ohio House voted 65-28 to override the veto, prompting chants of “Shame!” from the House gallery and the House livestream to be temporarily cut. 

Louisiana families with transgender children are suing to overturn the state’s law regulating transitioning medical care for transgender minors. The legislature voted to override the governor’s veto of the law. It strongly regulates pharmaceutical and hormone therapy and surgeries for the purpose of gender transition. Healthcare workers who violate the law are subject to discipline by licensing boards and can be sued. No court action at press time.

Virginia Democrats introduced legislation to amend the state constitution to abolish its ban on same-sex marriage. The 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling made state prohibitions irrelevant, but many states, like Utah, still have language in the constitutions recognizing only opposite-sex marriages. State Sen. Adam Ebbin and Del. Mark Sickles, two of Virginia’s out LGBTQ+ legislators, filed resolutions for the constitutional amendments.

Virgina Republicans in the House of Delegates quickly killed a bill asking Virginians to vote on a referendum to remove marriage restriction language from the state’s charter. A 2006 amendment to the Virginia constitution banned same-sex marriage. The bill’s opponents, the Family Foundation, suggested the Supreme Court may overturn the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision.

Tennessee legislators, fearing that looking at a rainbow flag may turn a child gay, have joined the parade led by Florida to ban regularly displaying any flag except the national and state flags in classrooms or public school campuses. There may be exceptions for other city flags or flags used in a lesson plan. “Agenda, promoting” flags are the target, such as the rainbow and progressive flags, Black Lives Matter flag, Hamas, and the Confederate Battle Flag. The sponsor made the eye-roll causing argument that indoctrination has no place in public schools.

Idaho’s law regulating pharmaceutical or surgical therapy for people under 18 was set to go into effect at the beginning of 2024. A federal judge has ruled the law’s restrictions violate the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The judge blocked the law’s enforcement because he opined the plaintiffs had a good chance of winning the case in court. The Idaho attorney general is appealing the ruling, but the law is still blocked as the case proceeds.

Florida’s legislature just went into session with pre-filed legislation that will affect LGBT people, including bills that would: criminalize “lewd or lascivious grooming,” containing a broad definition of grooming; prohibit government employees from being required to use their colleagues’ requested pronouns; declare nearly all published accusations of anti-LGBTQ bias to be “defamation per se” and impose a $35,000 fine on journalists reporting the accusations; require Floridians to legally certify that their driver license or other state ID reflects the sex listed on their original birth certificate; require any health insurance policy covering transition-related medical expenses also cover “treatment to detransition” from such procedures; and require school districts or state agencies to identify the “birth-sex” of people when collecting vital statistics in complying with anti-discrimination laws, public health, crime, economic, or other data.

Ugandan loses U.S. funding over anti-gay law

The U.S. has removed Uganda from the list of nations eligible for aid from the African Growth and Opportunity Act in response to the country’s recently passed “Anti-Homosexuality Act.” The law made what it described as “aggravated homosexuality” punishable by death. It also imposed a life sentence for “recruitment, promotion and funding” of same-sex “activities” and banned people from identifying as LGBTQ+. The European Union and other international groups have taken similar action. No word on the status of U.S. aid to oil-rich Middle-Eastern countries with similar laws and the quaint custom of making gay men choose between being tossed from atop buildings or having “gender-affirming” surgery.

Nondiscrimination rule changed

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rewrote a rule that may allow widespread discrimination against LGBT people in obtaining health care. The 2019 rule was said to protect the religious beliefs of anyone connected to health care, ranging from non-medical employees to medical specialists. Federal funding could be withheld if employees were forced to give any services that contradicted the employees’ ethical system. The rule was primarily a threat to transitioning medical treatment for transgender people, artificial insemination, surrogacy pregnancy, and abortions. In a now moot lawsuit, a judge called the definitions in the law “overbroad” and would allow too much denial of care. The new rule essentially eliminated the problem section of the old rule containing the over-broad definitions, narrowing the universe of employees who may deny service.

Ooh la la, hottie for French PM

Gabriel Attal

Gabriel Attal is the new Prime Minister of France — the first openly gay person to serve in the position and, at 34 years old, the youngest to fill the role in over 65 years. He has a resume that shames former South Bend Mayor and current U. S. Secretary of Transportation Peter Buttigieg. Prior to PM, he was minister of education, having previously been minister of public works (French version of Mayor Pete’s job), and was the government spokesman from 2020 to 2022. He was controversial as Education Minister, enacting a ban on the Muslim abaya dress in public schools. He pushed a very un-French position against bullying and advocated for school uniforms in public schools. Recent polling shows Attal as France’s most popular politician, with a 40 percent approval rating. 

Gay, French PM on the market

The gay man, Gabriel Attal, newly appointed French Prime Minister, is also newly single. He was outed on social media in 2018 by a former classmate, Juan Branco. Attal claims Branco was the ringleader of “homophobic bullying” in school and implied Branco was “obsessed” with Attal’s sexual and affectional behavior. At the time of the outing, Attal made public his civil union with Stéphane Séjourné, a member of the European Parliament. The two have since reportedly broken up but have not spoken publicly about their relationship.

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