Boston Irish let LGBT vets march
The Allied War Veterans Council of South Boston voted to let LGBTQ military veterans march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade this year. The Council claimed OutVets’ application was late and the rainbow in the group’s logo was in violation of the parade’s code of conduct. Top politicians in the state, including the governor, Charlie Baker, and the mayor of Boston, Martin J. Walsh, announced they would skip the parade, if OutVets was excluded.
U.S. goes gay at NATO
Richard Grenell has been nominated to be ambassador to NATO. The selection will make the longtime Republican activist and former U.S. spokesman at the United Nations the highest-ranking openly gay person to serve in the new administration.
“Beauty is Beastly” Russians and Americans agree
Disney’s first-ever “exclusively gay moment” was set to make history in the upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast, and that it comes from Josh Gad’s character LeFou.
Some in Russia and the U.S. aren’t happy
A Russian lawmaker, Vitaly V. Milonov, says the law banning “homosexual propaganda” should be applied to a new Disney version of Beauty and the Beast due to the seconds-long glimpse of a gay character dancing near the end of the movie.
In the U.S., Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has called for a Christian boycott of Disney over its gay Beauty and the Beast character and a new cartoon that features same-sex kissing. A theater owner in Alabama announced the movie will not be screened at his theater, saying, “If I can’t sit through a movie with Jesus Christ by my side, I won’t show it.” No word from Jesus yet.
Wrestlers wrestle in court
A transgender boy won the 110-lb girl’s wrestling state title in Texas but says he would compete against boys if allowed and is taking lower doses of testosterone to try to be fair to his opponents.
17-year-old Mack Beggs said he competes against girls only because the state’s governing body for public high school sports requires him to wrestle under the gender listed on his birth certificate at his Dallas Fort Worth high school.
A Dallas-area attorney and parent of a girl wrestler has filed a lawsuit against the governing body seeking to keep Beggs from competing against girls.
Then there’s the girl in a Davis County (Utah) School district who wants to wrestle in the boy’s category. No gender fluidity issues here, she just thinks she can beat the boys. Her parents have gone to court to force the school district to allow middle school student to compete in the boys category.
Grimm tidings from SCOTUS
The US Supreme Court sent the case on whether a Virginia transgender student should be allowed to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, back to the lower court for further review.
Gavin Grimm, a transgender boy, had petitioned the court to allow him to use the bathroom he chooses. SCOTUS ordered the lower court to reconsider the case in light of new guidance documents issued by the Trump administration which changed Obama-era guidance.
Them the Gods would destroy, they first rise up
Gay provocateur, Milo Yiannopoulos has resigned from the hard-right news site Breitbart News after a video surfaced in which he made remarks that appeared to condone sex between grown men and teenage boys. He was also uninvited to the annual Conservative Political Action Committee convention in February, and lost a book contract.
Marriage equality up, teen suicide down
Researchers say suicide attempts among high school students fell by an average of 7 percent nationally following the implementation of the marriage equality. Suicide attempts among gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers dropped 14 percent in a decade and half continuum. The study came from Johns Hopkins University and published in the Journal of American Medical Association. The team analyzed figures from more than 760,000 students collected between 1999 and 2015.
California-based Inspire Investing has launched two “Biblically responsible” exchange trade funds, eliminating stocks of companies that “do not align with biblical values,” including abortion, alcohol, pornography and the LGBTQ “lifestyle.”
Inspire officials told the Huffington Post, “We are not against the LGBTQ community. Inspire Investing and its investing tools do not promote or condone bigotry. In fact, we love our neighbors in the LGBTQ community, and encourage companies to offer equal benefits to all of its employees.” The ETFs, “simply exclude companies’ stocks that take hard-line activist actions.”
South Dakota, blanket anti-LGBT law
South Dakota’s Governor, Dennis Daugaard, has signed the first anti-LGBT legislation passed in the U.S. in 2017. The bill will allow taxpayer funded agencies to refuse to provide any service, including adoption or foster care services, on the basis on the agency’s employee religious or moral convictions. The ACLU of South Dakota has opposed the bill and is seeking to stop the law in state or federal courts.
The bill was opposed by local and national child welfare experts including The Adoption Exchange, Child Welfare League of America, National Association of Social Workers, and Voice for Adoption, as well as family law experts, and local and national LGBT rights organizations including the Movement Advancement Project and the Human Rights Campaign.
L.A. parade resistance
Organizers of Los Angeles Pride have announced, instead of the annual Pride parade a #ResistMarch has been scheduled in response to the threat against the rights of minority Americans by the U.S. government. #ResistMarch’s organizers say the event harken the “1970’s first LGBTQ+ Pride and will involve marching.”
Pride Festival will continue to be a ticketed event as it has every other year.
Awww Ru! Who knew, now we do
RuPaul, arguably the most famous drag queen in the world, uncharacteristically got married, quietly, in January. She told Hollywood Today Live that her partner of 23 years, a rancher named Georges LeBar, got married on the anniversary of the day they met.