June, 2023 News (81 Articles with 89,467 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for June, 2023 6th Annual HIV/AIDS Awareness Walk participants. Photo by Michael Mahler.

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Local and Regional News

State Rep. La'Tasha D. Mayes: 'Means the world to me' to lead Pittsburgh Pride March and Parade

State Rep. La'Tasha D. Mayes: 'Means the world to me' to lead Pittsburgh Pride March and Parade
PITTSBURGH, June 3 - State Rep. La'Tasha D. Mayes, D-Allegheny, issued the following statement about serving as grand marshal of the Pittsburgh Pride March and Parade 2023 today: "I am honored to serve as grand marshal of Pittsburgh Pride March and Parade 2023. As the first out lesbian ever to serve in the Pennsylvania General Assembly and a long-time local and national LGBTQ+ rights activist, it means the world to me to lead this march and parade on the 50th Anniversary of the first Pride in the United States.
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ABC News Presents Month-Long Coverage in Honor of Pride Month, Including New 'Soul of a Nation' Special Spotlighting the Transgender Community

ABC News Presents Month-Long Coverage in Honor of Pride Month, Including New 'Soul of a Nation' Special Spotlighting the Transgender Community
To honor and celebrate Pride Month, ABC News will have month-long coverage highlighting the LGBTQ+ community, including a one-hour primetime special from ABC News Studios' Emmy and GLAAD Award-winning series "Soul of a Nation" with "The Freedom to Exist with Elliot Page." "The Freedom to Exist" will take an in-depth look at the transgender community and features a broadcast exclusive interview with Oscar-nominated actor Elliot Page, who bravely came out as transgender in 2020 and was the first openly trans man to appear on the cover of TIME Magazine. With the release of his new book, "Pageboy: A Memoir," Page discusses his difficult journey to standing in his truth and how he hopes to champion inclusivity in Hollywood. The conversation, which includes audio excerpts from his memoir, also unpacks sexuality and gender identity.
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In Our Own Write: Creative Writing for LGBTQ Elders

In Our Own Write: Creative Writing for LGBTQ Elders
The University of Pittsburgh's Center for Creativity facilitates a FREE virtual creative writing workshop for LGBTQ "elders" (ages 50+) geared specifically toward those with little or no previous writing experience. Erik Schuckers facilitates the group. Register online at pi.tt/ioow23
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Community Spotlight #6: NW PA Pride Alliance

In 2010, several factors led to the creation of the Pride Planning Committee, which would become the NW PA Pride Alliance. Erie Gay Pride Inc, which had been the organizer of the local Pride from 2006 to 2009, reorganized as the Greater Erie Alliance for Equality and changed its focus. With there not being a Pride Fest for 2010, a group of volunteers got together on January 16, 2011, at the Plymouth Tavern to begin planning events for that year.
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Erie Gay News Partners with Whee! Pride for Shirts!

Celebrate LGBT pride with some Erie Gay News (EGN) merchandise from Whee Pride. For 30 years, Erie Gay News has worked to connect Erie citizens with the LGBT community. To celebrate and continue EGN's effort to serve the community, Whee Pride has created personalized merch!
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Pride Night at the Seawolves on June 29

The NW PA Pride Alliance has once again teamed up with the Erie Seawolves to host Pride Night. The game will be Thursday, June 29, at UPMC Park, 110 E 10th St. First pitch is at 6:05 PM. To get your special game day packages, go to NWPAPride.org and click the link. Get a free limited edition ballcap when you purchase your ticket through NWPAPride.org.
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Pride Guide 2023

Pride Guide 2023
Check out the many Pride events in our region!
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Erie's Queer Happy Hour at Oasis Pub on May 3

NW PA Pride Alliance held their May Erie's Queer Happy Hour on May 3, 2023, at Oasis Pub and Tiki Bar,3122 W Lake Road, Erie, PA. The Erie Happy Hour is the first Wednesday of the month, and the June 7 Erie's Queer Happy Hour will be at U Pick 6 Harbor House, 4454 Buffalo Rd, Erie, PA. NW PA Pride Alliance also hosts Meadville Happy Hour on the fourth Wednesday of the month, alternating between Julian's Bar & Grill in odd-numbered months and Cussewago Creek Distillery in even-numbered months.
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Queer Food Drive, May 2023

Thanks to 11 different Queer organizations, the Second Harvest Food Bank and those battling food insecurity will benefit from over $500.00 in food and monetary donations collected on Saturday, May 13, at Central Outreach Wellness Center, 3104 State St, Erie, PA.
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Erie Pridefest 2023 - Parade Gathers at 11th Street!

Pridefest will take place this year on June 24th. We will gather on 11th St between Peach and French St from 11- 12 and step off to march to Perry Square at 12. Please note that this is a change in location from years past.
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Afternoon for Equality is Sunday, June 4, 2023 - and GEAE needs your help!

Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE)'s Afternoon for Equality is a significant source of funding that helps empower GEAE to support the region's LGBTQ+ community and its allies through educational programs, social events, and service opportunities. These programs and events strengthen our voice, improve the quality of life in northwestern Pennsylvania, and propel us toward our mission to create a safe and welcoming community for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This year's Afternoon for Equality is Sunday, June 4 from 5-9 PM at the Hagen History Center, 356 W 6th WSt, Erie PA, 16607. The event features an open bar with food, and music by the Stephen Trohoske Trio.
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Drag Bingo Benefit for Alzheimer's Association on May 26

The Alzheimer’s Association team Guardians presents a Drag Queen Bingo hosted by Erie's own Rebecca Mae on Friday, May 26, at the JPTF Bingo Hall, 2319 W 38th St, Erie, PA. Tickets are $30 presale and $35 at the door. Tickets include 10 Regular Bingo Games *Special Games Available* Cash prizes, games of chance, raffle items, bottle raffles, and more! O-69 Jello Shot Special. Due to the Nature of this Event, 18+ to enter. Drag Performances by Rebecca Mae, Debbie, and Shea D'Heaux! Bring those dollar bills and make it rain!! All proceeds benefit the Alzheimer's Association. To purchase presale tickets: https://www.zeffy.com/en-US/ticketing/a796fdc6-2e9e-402b-8af2-efdbc36a8a74
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Aging with Pride Launches Needs Assessment Survey

Aging with Pride seeks to serve local senior LGBTQ+ people with fun, enjoyable, and helpful programming. To help best understand the community's needs, we have launched a needs assessment survey. You can fill out the form online by browsing to bit.ly/agingwithpridesurvey, or you can alternatively download a PDF from our website at AgingWithPrideErie.org. We will also have copies of the survey at our table at area Pride events, including Pride Fest on June 24, Meadville Pride on July 29, and Erie Pride Picnic on August 12. Please help us get the word out, so we can do the best job of serving the community!
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McDowell GSA Spirit Week Goes Viral

McDowell GSA Spirit Week Goes Viral
This April, McDowell's GSA created a Spirit Week to celebrate the opening of McDowell CPA's The Prom. Thursday was Dress in Drag Day, meaning that kids would dress up as drag kings or queens (within the school dress code). When the spirit week was made, there were no thoughts of any issues. The GSA spirit weeks are entirely optional. Little did the club know that the spirit week would go viral. On Tuesday, April 25th, there were posts on Twitter about how 4 out of the five days were fine for a spirit week, but Thursday was unacceptable. In the original post, the person wrote, "My issue is not with pride day or lesbian pride, but the drag day. Drag is a kink, and to push it on impressionable teenagers is absolutely appalling and needs to be stopped…..this is grooming". Under the post, many people agreed with the statement, and few tried to back up McDowell's decision.
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Cauldron & Thorne - Erie's Metaphysical Store

Cauldron & Thorne - Erie's Metaphysical Store
For peace and tranquility, visit Cauldron & Thorne, home of fine magical goods in Erie. I talked with owners Matt and Sonia Miller about this unique store. New to the area, they found a home not too far from Erie, but soon found that they had to drive 3-4 hours to find metaphysical items. They decided to take a chance and open a metaphysical store in Erie. Coming in with no preconceived notions, they wanted to open a happy place, a sanctuary, expecting all visitors to leave their prejudices at the door. They went from concept to opening in just 28 days, opening in October 2021. The following April, they expanded to the adjacent building, providing more space for activities.
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Aging with Pride Wants to Meet You

Aging with Pride, an organization of senior LGBT+ members and allies, is hosting a kickoff event on Thursday, June 8 from 6 PM to 8 PM at the Oasis Pub, 3122 West Lake Road.  This organization develops and sponsors social/recreational and educational events to promote healthy leisure activities, community and an active, enjoyable lifestyle.  They are sponsoring this social hour (OK, social two hours) to interact with members of the community and to get a sense of the types of activities that are of interest to senior LGBT+ individuals.  Possible future events include a book club, movies, card and game times, group excursions to surrounding areas, coffeehouse get togethers, wine/beet tastings, and picnics, among others.  For more information about Aging with Pride, visit their website at AgingWithPrideErie.org, or email Dale Allgeier at DaleAllgeier@outlook.com.  And please plan on attending the June 8 kickoff event!
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Come Join Erie Sisters and Brothers for our annual Victorian Princess Dinner

The Erie Sisters and Brothers annual Victorian Princess Dinner cruise coincides with Erie Pride held in Downtown Erie PA. The LGBTQIA+ parade kicks off at 1pm with festivities to follow in the downtown square. Then join us and take in the beautiful scenery of Presque Isle Bay as you enjoy the delicious dinner buffet on the three tier Victorian Princess paddle boat.
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Ashtabula Pride is coming!

Plans for the 3rd annual Ashtabula County Pride festival are underway and getting exciting. Last year over 2000 people showed up to celebrate diversity. This year Pride will be held June 3rd from 11:00-5:00 at the Ashtabula County fairgrounds in Jefferson, OH. Admission is free for anyone in the LGBTQ+ community, their friends, family and allies. The family-friendly event will have food trucks, vendors, crafts, community services representatives, live music and entertainment by local talent, dance parties, free medical testing, the Bookmobile, activities for kids, representatives from local churches, and a basket raffle.
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Aging with Pride Partners with Whee! Studios for Apparel

Aging with Pride, an organization of senior LGBT+ members and allies, has partnered with Whee! Studios to provide Aging with Pride t-shirts, hoodies, and tank tops.  Part of the proceeds from these sales will be used for Aging with Pride activities and events.  To see what's available and to place an order, visit wheepride.shop/collections/aging-with-pride.  For more information about Aging with Pride, visit their website at AgingWithPrideErie.org.  Look your best as you age with pride!
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Claudio Simonetti's Goblin to Take the Stage at Eerie Horror Fest; Tickets Now On Sale

May 1, 2023 - Erie, Pennsylvania - The Eerie Horror Fest has announced that Italian prog-rock band Claudio Simonetti's Goblin will be performing at the Warner Theatre on October 7th, 2023 at 9 p.m. Fans of the genre will likely recognize the band's name from the beloved films they have scored, starting nearly 50 years ago. Their performance is slated to be "a best-of set including scores from Suspiria, Demons, Dawn of the Dead, Deep Red, and more!"
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Upcoming Nazi Protest Against LGBTQ Community in Cleveland, OHIO

Upcoming Nazi Protest Against LGBTQ Community in Cleveland, OHIO
Neo-Nazi groups on Telegram are planning protest over approaching Drag Queen story hour event in Cleveland, Ohio. On Saturday, May 13 Veranda L'Ni, Cleveland's tallest drag entertainer will read a selection of stories to the group and lead sing-alongs that share messages of love and inclusivity at the Near West Theatre. The program welcoming ages 3 to 8 and their families is drawing attention of Nazi groups in Ohio. Several chat groups entitled "Call2Action Ohio" on Telegram are calling group members to pull up outside the Near West Theatre and protest against the event. These groups have been involved in several rallies against LGBTQ community in Ohio. A flyer titled "Pedophile Story Hour Protest" has been circulating in several Neo-Nazi and far right telegram groups for weeks. The demonstrators will carry and hold signs that say "Go choke you sick freaks", "Groomers go home" and "This is not art; this is evil".,etc.
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Deadline for June 2023 print edition (issue #331) of Erie Gay News is Monday, May 15, comes out Tuesday, May 23! This will include regional Pride listings!

Deadline for June 2023 print edition (issue #331) of Erie Gay News is Monday, May 15, comes out Tuesday, May 23! This will include regional Pride listings!
For the next Erie Gay News (issue # 331, cover-dated for June 2023), please send in-person and online events, news items, and other info for late April 2023 and beyond by Monday, May 15. We expect the next edition to come out on Tuesday, May 23. Please note that this issue will include listings of regional Pride events!
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Entertainment and Travel

Dreams of Hope presents a new theatriQ production For the Lost Voices June 3 & 4

Pittsburgh, PA | Wednesday, May 31, 2023 - Dreams of Hope: Queer Youth Arts is celebrating 20 years of service to Pittsburgh's LGBTQA+ youth with the premier of our first theatrical production since 2019-a show produced by youth participants in theatriQ, our signature performing arts program.
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Logo celebrates Pride Month with sixth installment of Logo 30

New York, NY (May 30, 2023) - Logo today announced that in celebration of Pride Month, the brand will spotlight diverse entertainers, activists, creatives, and changemakers in the LGBTQ+ community, throughout the month of June, with its sixth installment of Logo30. This powerful series profiles LGBTQ trailblazers and allies who are blazing a path forward for our global community.
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Celebrate Pride Month with Pittsburgh's LGBTQIA+ Choir! Tickets on sale now

Every June, all eyes turn toward the LGBTQIA+ community. Corporations change their branding to incorporate rainbows as queer people march, demonstrate, and party in celebration of our community. We Dream A World where that celebration does not end on June 30th and where we find the "Courage To Be Who We Are."
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Black Public Media launches new digital shorts series

NEW YORK (May 11, 2023) - Harlem-based Black Public Media (BPM), a national arts nonprofit known in part for its award-winning documentary series AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange (now in its 15th season) is unveiling AfroPoP Digital Shorts. The new series, which delivers contemporary stories about life, art and culture from all corners of the African diaspora, will launch its inaugural season on Black Public Media's YouTube channel on Monday, May 22.
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Hulu's "Drag Me To Dinner" Premieres on May 31

Hulu's 'Drag Me To Dinner' Premieres on May 31
Drag Me To Dinner is a riotous, format-busting, fourth-wall-breaking, unapologetic sendup of traditional reality competition shows! In each episode, two teams of successful drag queens go head-to-head to throw the most fabulous, awe-inspiring, drag-tastical dinner parties of all time, and be crowned champion by our three judgers: the multi-talented Neil Patrick Harris, drag superstar Bianca Del Rio, and the funny and fabulous Haneefah Wood.
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Local Faces and Photos

G2H2 on May 5 at Perry's Tavern

Gay Guy/Girl Happy Hour (G2H2) held their monthly social hour on Friday, May 5, 2023, at Perry's Tavern, located at the Erie Food Hall, 508 State Street, Erie, PA. G2H2 meets on the first Friday of each month from 6-8 PM at local establishments. The group is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/54742829807
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Political, Activism and Legal

Lambda Legal to Pentagon: It's Time to Let People Living with HIV Join the Military

(Washington, DC, May 31, 2023) - Today, Lambda Legal asked a U.S. District Court to strike down the last remaining ban preventing people living with HIV from joining any branch of the U.S. Armed Services. Together with co-counsel Winston & Strawn LLP, Perkowski Legal, PC, and Scott A. Schoettes, Esq., Lambda Legal filed a motion for summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
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Roundup of Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation Advancing In States Across the Country - May 31, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 31, 2023 - As extremist lawmakers in state houses across the country continue advancing a record-breaking number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills in state legislatures, the Human Rights Campaign - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - is providing the below snapshot (updated weekly) to illustrate the hostile legislative climate facing LGBTQ+ people, and the scale and scope with which the ongoing legislative assault is being waged.
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Over 100 Leading LGBTQ+ Advocacy Organizations and Allies Call on Target and Business Community to Reject Coordinated, Extremist Anti-LGBTQ+ Attacks

WASHINGTON - May 31, 2023 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), GLAAD, GLSEN, Family Equality, National LGBTQ Task Force, National Center for Lesbian Rights and National Black Justice Coalition, in partnership with more than 100 organizations, renewed their call for Target and the business community to reject and speak out against anti-LGBTQ+ extremism going into Pride Month. Additionally, the coalition stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ employees at companies like Target, as well as the designers of Pride merchandise, who have experienced horrendous, unhinged attacks while simply showing up to work. Harassment and threats of violence, anywhere and at any time, against good people just doing their jobs to make a living is completely unacceptable and irrational. As highlighted in the statement below, the coalition has communicated expectations that Target provide necessary security measures for employees' safety while also showing support for the LGBTQ+ community by denouncing extremists.
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57 Brazilian Companies Achieve Top Score in Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Brazilian LGBTQ+ Workplace Equality Index

WASHINGTON - May 31, 2023 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, in partnership with Instituto Mais Diversidade and the Forum de Empresas e Direitos LGBTI+, is releasing its second annual 'HRC Equidade BR: Global Workplace Equality Program' report. This is the leading benchmarking survey and report recognizing employers in Brazil that have demonstrated a commitment to LGBTQIA+ equality by adopting crucial LGBTQIA+-inclusive policies and practices for their employees.
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HRC's Transformational Work Advancing HIV & Health Equity Programming For Black And Latin LGBTQ+ Communities To Expand Over Next Three Years

Washington, D.C. - May 31, 2023 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, is proud to announce the expansion of its work -- supported by a three-year, $5 million grant from Gilead Sciences, Inc. -- to eradicate the stigma surrounding HIV in Black and Latin communities and end the HIV epidemic by 2030.
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New Lawsuit Argues Combined Restrictions on Health Care for Trans Youth and Abortion Violated State Constitution

LINCOLN, Neb. - May 30, 2023 - "No bill shall contain more than one subject." That language from the Nebraska State Constitution is at the heart of a new lawsuit that is challenging Nebraska's new abortion ban and new restrictions on gender-related care for transgender youth.
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Anti-LGBTQ+ Extremism Reaches New Levels in Uganda with Signing of New Law Backed by Far-Right U.S. Figures

WASHINGTON, DC - May 29, 2023 -Today, Ugandan President Museveni signed a law passed by Parliament, first on March 21 and amended on May 2, that severely and drastically restricts the rights of LGBTQ+ Ugandans to engage in public life or advocacy. The bill further expands the "offense of homosexuality" and outlaws the "promotion of homosexuality." This new law, on top of Uganda's already existing criminalization law, will create a chilling effect on freedom of speech, expression, and association and will curtail liberty, privacy, and equality. The bill will also put health care out of reach for LGBTQ+ Ugandans, putting lives at great risk.
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Veterans PTSD Survey

Adigeni LLC is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) working with the Department of Veterans Affairs and National Center for PTSD to conduct a survey study for veterans facing post-traumatic stress disorder, one of the biggest issues facing military vets today.
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Task Force new Movement Moment podcast episode: "I’m Ready For This Fight" - Being LGBTQ in the Military with Tanya Domi & Joe Zuniga

The National LGBTQ Task Force today released the third episode of Movement Moments: The National LGBTQ Task Force at 50, a limited series podcast featuring deep discussions on topical issues facing the LGBTQ community. In honor of Memorial Day, this month's episode highlights Joe Zuniga and Tanya Domi, two trailblazing LGBTQ veterans whose work paved the way for the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell in 2011. Listen as these old friends discuss what inspired them to come out, how the Task Force supported their advocacy, and their hopes for the future of the LGBTQ movement. You can download Movement Moments at the link at https://thetaskforce.buzzsprout.com/, or listen wherever you get your podcasts.
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Leading LGBTQ+ Advocacy Organizations Raise the Alarm to Business Community on Coordinated Anti-LGBTQ+ Attacks; Call on Target to Lead

Recent pushback against businesses such as Anheuser-Busch and Target, blatantly organized by extremist groups, serves as a wake up call for all businesses that support the LGBTQ+ community. We've seen this extremist playbook of attacks before. Their goal is clear: to prevent LGBTQ+ inclusion and representation, silence our allies and make our community invisible. These attacks fuel hate against LGBTQ+ people, just as we've seen this year with more than 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that restrict basic freedoms and aim to erase LGBTQ+ people.
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ACLU of Texas Reacts to School 'Chaplains' Bill Passing the Texas Legislature

AUSTIN, Texas - May 25, 2023 - Texas lawmakers passed Senate Bill 763 on Wednesday, which would allow school districts to replace licensed counselors, psychologists, and family specialists with uncertified "chaplains." The bill now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott, who is expected to sign it into law.
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BREAKING: Louisiana Senate Health & Welfare Committee Kills Bans on Gender Affirming Care

Baton Rouge, Louisiana - May 24, 2023 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, thanks members of the Louisiana Senate Health & Welfare Committee for voting to involuntarily defer HB 648, a dangerous attack on age-appropriate, best-practice health care for transgender youth.
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Human Rights Campaign Denounces DeSantis' 2024 Bid for President, Pledges to Keep Desperate Florida Man's Authoritarianism from Reaching the White House

WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 24, 2023 - The Human Rights Campaign - America's largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization - released the following statement in response to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' announcement that he will run for President in 2024: "In 2022, voters soundly rejected the divisive, cruel, and chaotic campaigns of MAGA politicians and Trump-imitators like Ron DeSantis, said Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson. "Dangerously out of step with average Americans' views on freedom and equality, DeSantis has weaponized his position as governor to target and punish anyone he considers his political enemy, including LGBTQ+ families, Black and brown Floridians, immigrants and private businesses. Even with the majority of Floridians forcefully opposing his anti-LGBTQ laws and despite surging support for LGBTQ+ families nationally, DeSantis is failing to recognize the duties of the job for which he's campaigning. The 'freedom' Ron Desantis peddles is freedom for a very few at the expense of freedom and liberty for all.
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In Face of Anti-LGBTQ+ Extremism, 200 Senior Living Communities Commit to LGBTQ+ Inclusion, Participating in Inaugural Long Term Care Equality Index (LEI)

WASHINGTON - May 24, 2023 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, and SAGE, the world's largest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ elders, released the 2023 Long Term Care Equality Index (LEI). This year, 200 long-term care communities across 34 states participated in the LEI, with 75 percent of participating communities earning either the High Performer or Leader designation. Recent news about a senior living facility in Boston vandalized with hate speech, as well as a story of a 79-year-old transgender woman who was discriminated against by a nursing home in Maine, highlight the need to support LGBTQ+ elders.
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ICYMI: Human Rights Campaign Condemns Ohio State Senate for Passing Education Censorship Bill

Columbus, Ohio - May 24, 2023 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - condemned the Ohio State Senate for passing Senate Bill 83 which would undermine efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion on college and university campuses.
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Southern Utah Drag Stars File Lawsuit Challenging the City of St. George's Censorship of Drag Performances

ST. GEORGE, Utah - May 23 , 2023 - Today, the Southern Utah Drag Stars (Drag Stars) filed a lawsuit against the city of St. George, Utah, which denied the organization a special events permit for a family-friendly drag show. The city's refusal to grant a permit is part of a years-long effort to target drag performances and LGBTQ+ pride events in violation of the First and 14th Amendments, as well as the Utah Constitution. Legal counsel intends to seek a preliminary injunction to allow Drag Stars to host its family-friendly drag show in June.
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Roundup of Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation Advancing In States Across the Country

WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 23, 2023 - As extremist lawmakers in state houses across the country continue advancing a record-breaking number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills in state legislatures, the Human Rights Campaign - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - is providing the below snapshot (updated weekly) to illustrate the hostile legislative climate facing LGBTQ+ people, and the scale and scope with which the ongoing legislative assault is being waged.
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Nation's Largest LGBTQ Advocacy Group Joins Equality Florida In Issuing Updated Florida Travel Advisory

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - May 23, 2023 -- In the wake of Florida's most anti-LGBTQ legislative session in history, Equality Florida and the Human Rights Campaign have issued an updated travel advisory that details risks associated with relocation or travel to the state. In all, six anti-LGBTQ bills were passed and nearly all have been signed by Governor DeSantis. While not a blanket recommendation against travel nor a call for boycott, the travel advisory outlines the devastating impacts of laws that are hostile to the LGBTQ community, restrict access to reproductive health care, repeal gun safety policies, foment racial prejudice, and attack public education by banning books and censoring curriculum in order that prospective travelers or residents can make the best decisions for themselves and their families.
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Justice Department Urges Supreme Court to Reject Argument Exempting Public Charter School from Civil Rights Laws

WASHINGTON - May 23, 2023 - The Solicitor General of the United States rejected arguments made by a North Carolina public charter school suggesting their skirts-only dress code for girls should be exempted from civil rights laws.
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Human Rights Campaign Condemns Gianforte for Signing New Anti-LGBTQ+ Bills into Law

Helena, Montana - May 22, 2023 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - slammed Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte today for signing several new anti-LGBTQ+ bills into law despite a growing chorus of detractors that included the Governor's own son, David, who called for the bills to be vetoed.
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Governor Pillen, Refusing to Acknowledge What's at Stake, Signs Super-Sized Attack on Healthcare Targeting Gender Affirming Care, Reproductive Rights

LINCOLN, NE - May 22, 2023 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - condemned Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen for signing LB 574 into law. This super-sized healthcare discrimination bill will now prohibit transgender youth from receiving age-appropriate, best practice gender affirming healthcare and will also prohibit abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. Pillen signed the legislation following a seven-week-long filibuster of the bill, an effort led by State Senator Michaela Cavanaugh that garnered national headlines. "If this legislature collectively decides that legislating hate against children is our priority, then I am going to make it painful - painful - for everyone," said Cavanaugh last month.
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Trial Challenging Florida's Ban on Medicaid Coverage for Gender-Affirming Medical Care for Transgender Floridians Comes to a Close

(TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA -May 22) Today, the trial concluded in a lawsuit challenging Florida's prohibition on Medicaid coverage for the treatment of gender dysphoria for transgender Floridians, as set forth in recently enacted SB 254 and the rule promulgated by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) last August. A ruling is expected in the near future from the Northern District of Florida, after a two-week federal trial in Dekker, et al. v. Weida, et al.
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Parents File for an Emergency Order to Block SB 254 as Governor DeSantis Signs Discriminatory Law Criminalizing Transgender Healthcare

May 17, 2023 (TALLAHASSEE) - Three Florida parents have asked a federal court to issue a temporary restraining order immediately blocking enforcement of SB 254, which Governor DeSantis signed into law today. The families, who have a pending challenge to the state Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine rules banning established medical care for their children and other transgender adolescents are also challenging provisions in SB 254 that codify those rules into state law, add criminal and civil penalties, and create additional barriers for families with transgender adolescents.
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Research Shows Attacks on LGBTQ+ Rights by Gov. DeSantis and other Anti-Equality Lawmakers Has Devastating Economic and Business Consequences

NEW YORK CITY, NY - May 19, 2023 - With the recent news that Disney has scrapped plans for a new campus in Florida citing "changing business conditions," Todd Sears, the founder and CEO of Out Leadership, the premier global LGBTQ+ organization harnessing the power of business to drive equality, today released the following statement: "Disney's decision to not build their new campus in Florida has cost the citizens of that state 2,000 new jobs and can be directly tied to Governor DeSantis' continued political attacks on LGBTQ+ individuals, women, and people of color. Despite corporations trending decisively towards equality, these actions by Governor DeSantis, and anti-equality leaders in other states, continue to threaten businesses and subsequently their local economies.
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Pride Season to Overlap with Fairness Act Advocacy

Pride Season to Overlap with Fairness Act Advocacy
June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, but it is also the time of year that Harrisburg lawmakers focus on passing a budget and making other legislative deals before their summer recess. Those two traditions are meeting in an important way for LGBTQ+ rights this year.
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ACLU of Nebraska: Vote Won't be Final Word on Abortion, Trans Rights

LINCOLN, Neb. - May 19, 2023 - Today, Nebraska state senators narrowly overcame a filibuster and approved new restrictions on abortion access and transgender adolescents' health care.
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All In For Equality Coalition Statement on Transgender Athlete Ban Bill

AUSTIN, Texas - May 17, 2023 - The Texas House voted today to advance Senate Bill 15, which will ban transgender athletes from participating in sports in Texas public colleges and universities according to their gender.
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Human Rights Campaign Honors International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) by Highlighting Impacts of Global Small Grants Program

WASHINGTON - May 17, 2023 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, is commemorating International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) by celebrating the innovative outcomes of the third year of HRC Foundation's Global Small Grants Program, which supported 20 initiatives to advance LGBTQ+ equality in 18 different countries.
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Oklahoma Attorney General Signs Non-Enforcement Agreement on Health Care Ban for Trans Youth

OKLAHOMA CITY - May 17, 2023 - The ACLU of Oklahoma, the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and the law firm Jenner & Block LLP announced today the filing of a binding agreement with the Oklahoma Attorney General's office not to enforce SB 613, a law Governor Kevin Stitt recently signed, pending resolution of plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction in their challenge to SB 613.
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Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Equidad CL Recognizes 57 Employers in Chile For Their Commitment to LGBTI+ Inclusion

WASHINGTON - May 18, 2023 -- Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) launched the fifth annual HRC Equidad CL: Programa Global de Equidad Laboral. Implemented in partnership with Fundación Iguales and with the support of Pride Connection Chile, the survey evaluates LGBTI+ workplace inclusion within major Chilean businesses and multinationals. This year, 57 organizations earned the maximum score in the 2023 HRC Equidad CL report, and the total number of participating companies has increased from last year's total of 135 to 157, reflecting a growing commitment in Chile to creating LGBTI+ inclusive policies and practices in their workplaces. The HRC Foundation's work in Chile impacts more than 315,000 employees working for inclusive employers nationwide. LGBTI+ affirming policies are a win-win: workers can achieve their full potential and employers reaffirm their commitment to treating all employees with dignity and respect.
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ACLU Challenges Mississippi High School's Refusal to Let Transgender Student Wear Dress to Graduation Ceremony

JACKSON, Miss. - May 18, 2023 - The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Mississippi have filed a lawsuit against Harrison County School District (HCSD) after school officials told a graduating transgender student she could not wear a dress or heeled shoes to her graduating ceremony as requested by her and her parents.
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Media Fact Sheet: Bathroom Bans

ACLU of Nebraska Statement on Combined Ban Moving Forward

LINCOLN, Neb. - May 16, 2023 - New restrictions on abortion access and health care for young transgender Nebraskans are now just one round of debate away from heading to Gov. Jim Pillen's desk.
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Advocates to File Lawsuit Against New Law Banning Healthcare for Transgender Youth in Texas

AUSTIN - May 18, 2023 - Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, and Transgender Law Center today pledged to file a lawsuit against sweeping new legislation banning transgender youth from accessing medically necessary health care that the Texas legislature passed yesterday evening.
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STATEMENT: Lambda Legal Responds after Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs Four Anti-LGBTQ Bills into Law

(Miami, Florida - May 17) Today, on International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law four anti-LGBTQ+ bills at a signing ceremony at a private Christian school. The bills signed into law included: The "Don't Say Gay or Trans" expansion (HB 1069), extending last year's legislation from K-3 to 8th grade; a gender-affirming care ban (SB 254) with sweeping impacts on transgender youth and adults; an anti-drag bill (SB 1438) seeking to censor art; and a bill restricting transgender students from accessing bathrooms aligned with their gender identity in K-12 schools and public facilities (HB 1521).
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Missouri Attorney General Issues Order Terminating Anti-Transgender Rule

Jefferson City, Mo. - May 16, 2023 - Today, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey issued an order terminating his anti-transgender emergency rule challenged in Southampton Community Healthcare v. Bailey, the lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal, ACLU of Missouri and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP. Bailey issued the emergency rule on April 13, seeking to impose severe restrictions on transgender people of all ages seeking gender-affirming care. Attorney General Bailey filed the request to terminate the rule after the court issued a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of the rule in the lawsuit.
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Roundup of Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation Advancing In States Across the Country

WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 16, 2023 - As extremist lawmakers in state houses across the country continue advancing a record-breaking number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills in state legislatures, the Human Rights Campaign - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - is providing the below snapshot (updated weekly) to illustrate the hostile legislative climate facing LGBTQ+ people, and the scale and scope with which the ongoing legislative assault is being waged.
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Local Citizens Declare Victory Over Proposed Rainbow Flag Bans In California, New Jersey, Florida

New York City (May 8) - There has been an alarming rise in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation on the community level across America. These measures have included Rainbow Flag bans, book bans, attacks on trans and non-binary students, school curriculum takeovers, and language shaming, disproportionately harming the rights of LGBTQ+ Americans. Since 2022, more than 20 communities and school departments across America, bowing to right-wing group pressure, have passed regulations to remove all Rainbow Flags.
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National LGBTQ Task Force Launches "Building Queer Power" Training Series

WASHINGTON, DC, May 10, 2023 - The National LGBTQ Task Force and partner organizations today announces the launch of the "Building Queer Power" Training Series.
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LGBTQ Equality Laws & Policies Update: May 2023

This year has seen a horrifying record number of political attacks on LGBTQ people, and especially on transgender people?-?with more than 700 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced just in 2023. This update covers LGBTQ equality laws enacted from March 15 - May 5, 2023 and includes the following topics. Given the high number of LGBTQ-related bills introduced and signed into law, this is a longer update than usual. Our maps for each policy area are updated in real-time as new laws are enacted.
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2023 has seen record numbers of anti-LGBTQ bills and we've had enough

For years, anti-LGBTQ bills have been on the ballot in statehouses around the country, but in 2023 the legislation - both in volume and appalling measures - has reached a fever pitch. State lawmakers have introduced more anti-LGBTQ legislation this year than in the previous five years combined With 470 anti-LGBTQ bills on state dockets, and 362 of them specifically attacking the transgender community, LGBTQ people are literally fighting for their lives.
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Equality California on State Auditor's Report Regarding California Department of Public Health LGBTQ+ Data Collection

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - April 28, 2023 - Equality California, the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Tony Hoang in response to a report from the California State Auditor highlighting a staggering deficit in sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data collected by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH "Despite the advancements we have made in creating a more just and equal society for LGBTQ+ Californians, by virtually every measure of success, our community remains at the bottom - including when it comes to health care outcomes.
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Health

Don't wait to donate: Blood and platelet donors needed now

(May 22, 2023) - The American Red Cross asks people to book a time to give blood or platelets now to address a recent drop in donation appointments that could lead to fewer transfusions for patients in the weeks ahead. Type O blood donors are especially needed to ensure a strong blood supply.
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Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center Announces 2023 Lehigh Valley Pride

BETHLEHEM, PA - Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center proudly announces that 2023 Lehigh Valley Pride will take place on Sunday, August 20, from 2 to 8:30 p.m., at the SteelStacks (101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA 18015).
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6th Annual HIV Awareness Walk

On Monday, May 15, 2023, the Erie County HIV Task Force held the 6th Annual HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk. The HIV / AIDS walk provides a reminder to the local community that making personal health a priority is everyone's right. This year's awareness walk was located at Perry Square in downtown Erie PA. Participants enjoyed educational materials, refreshments and testing opportunities via the PA Thrive Partnership mobile unit at the event. Awareness walk attendees also received complimentary gift bags of materials from the task force as well as event sponsors Adagio Health, Community HealthNet, the Erie County Department of Health, SafeNet, and the Northwest Pennsylvania Tobacco Coalition. Public Health Staff were on hand for participants to ask questions and receive additional information regarding services in the region. For more information on local services, testing, and free condom, visit the Erie County HIV Task Force at ECHIV.ORG or follow their Twitter account @EriePAHIV and like their Facebook page.
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

We need more diverse queer Asian American men in American media

We need more diverse queer Asian American men in American media
Over the last few years, I've had the privilege to take diverse online classes with a range of universities, and, recently, ethnic studies classes with California State University-East Bay. Hands down, the top classes I took with CSUEB were (1) Asian American Intimacies and (2) Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities. Through these classes, I learned so much, including about the near-exclusive presentation of feminine and bottom queer Asian American men (as opposed to other kinds of queer Asian American men) in diverse American media. What does this tell me? We need more diverse queer Asian American men in American media.
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Contests

Enter to win Maybe Someday

Enter to win Maybe Someday
Enter to win a Maybe Someday Video On Demand (VOD) from Ballet Diesel Films. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, June 16, and Friday, July 7.
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Enter to win 365 Gays of the Year!

Enter to win 365 Gays of the Year!
Enter to win 365 Gays of the Year! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, June 12, and Tuesday, July 4.
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Enter to win At Sea with Patrick Dennis: My Madcap Mexican Adventure with the Author of Auntie Mame

Enter to win At Sea with Patrick Dennis: My Madcap Mexican Adventure with the Author of Auntie Mame
Enter to win At Sea with Patrick Dennis: My Madcap Mexican Adventure with the Author of Auntie Mame by Robert (Raub) Karr. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, June 9, and Friday, June 30.
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Enter to win The Ghosts of Trappist

Enter to win The Ghosts of Trappist
Enter to win The Ghosts of Trappist by K.B. Wagers. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, June 6, and Tuesday, June 27.
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Enter to win Fault Line

Enter to win Fault Line
Enter to win Fault Line by H. N. Hirsch. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, June 2, and Friday, June 23.
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Enter to win Shade

Enter to win Shade
Enter to win Shade by H. N. Hirsch. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, May 26, and Friday, June 16.
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Enter to win Love at First Set

Enter to win Love at First Set
Enter to win Love at First Set by Jennifer Dugan. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, May 23, and Tuesday, June 13.
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