May, 2024 News (78 Articles with 65,442 total views)

On the cover of the print edition for May, 2024 OddCity Entertainment organizers of RainbowFest 2024 with Rianna Czech on April 13. Photo by Michael Mahler.

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Local and Regional News

Excitement Builds as Waldameer & Water World Prepares for Opening Day

Erie, PA - April 29, 2024- Anticipation and excitement are building as Waldameer & Water World prepares to welcome guests for another memorable season of fun and entertainment. Waldameer is thrilled to announce the start of its 2024 season, with Opening Day scheduled for May 4.
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Erie Area Council of Governments and Erie County Department of Public Safety launch public education campaign regarding use of 9-1-1

Erie Area Council of Governments and Erie County Department of Public Safety launch public education campaign regarding use of 9-1-1
Erie, PA - The Erie Area Council of Governments (EACOG) has partnered with the Erie County Department of Public Safety to develop a campaign informing the public of the importance of using the 9-1-1 system for emergencies only.
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Jamestown Pride 2024

Pride will kick off Saturday, June 1, at 10 am with a flag-raising in Downtown Jamestown. The event will include coffee and doughnuts, speakers, and voter registration as part of the "Vote with PRIDE campaign." You can get your Jamestown PRIDE tee shirt or decal at the flag-raising to be ready for pride month.
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GEAE's Afternoon For Equality on June 2

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 2 from 5-9 PM at the Hagen History Center, 356 W 6th St. The event features an open bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres, and music by the Stephen Trohoske Trio.
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Many helping hands make for light work at Pride On The Bay

NW PA Pride Alliance is looking for extra hands to help with Pride on the Bay this year at Liberty Park on Saturday, June 29.
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TransFamily of NW PA Hosts Trans Day of Visibility

TransFamily of NW PA celebrated Trans Day of Visibility on Saturday, April 6, in Perry Square. The event included speakers and a walk around Perry Square. Trans Day of Visibility has been on March 31 since 2009. The local observance was postponed from March 31 due to Easter being the same day this year. Photos are by Kim and Andrea.
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Erie's Pride Prom will soon be here!

Looking for a special night out with someone special, or maybe for you and a group of your friends? NW PA Pride Alliance is hosting the annual Adult Pride Prom on Saturday, May 25, at the Ambassador Banquet & Conference Center Garden Atrium and Terrace.
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Aging With Pride Dinner at Habibi Mediterranean Cuisine

On Thursday, March 28, 2024, Aging With Pride held its annual monthly dinner at Habibi Mediterranean Cuisine, 127 W 14th St, Erie, PA. Aging With Pride dinners are on the last Thursday of each month at 6 PM at area restaurants. Additionally, Aging With Pride hosts a book club the third Saturday of the month at Werner Books, planning meetings twice a month, and other social and educational events.
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Gear up for Pride!

With the new Pride on the Bay collection, NW PA Pride Alliance is ready to help you gear up for this year's Pride season. For the first time, all the colors of the Progress Pride Flag will be featured.
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ASCEND Erie Queer Scouts Climbing Club

ASCEND Erie has started a Queer Scouts climbing club at the gym, located at 426 State Street, Erie, PA. The club meets every second and fourth Tuesday from 6-8 p.m.
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March Meadville Happy Hour

On March 27, NW PA Pride Alliance held its monthly Meadville Happy Hour at Julian's Bar & Grill, 299 Chestnut St, Meadville, PA. Meadville Happy Hours are the fourth Wednesday of each month. The April 24 Meadville Happy Hour will be at Julian's Bar & Grill, due to Cussewago Creek Distillery being unavailable that night.
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Meadville Transfamily of NW PA Meetings Move To Second Tuesdays

The Meadville meetings for TransFamily of NW PA will now be the second Tuesday of the month from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at Empowerment With Grace, 296 Chestnut Street, Meadville, PA. Please use the side entrance. The Erie meetings will continue on the fourth Saturday of the month from 2 to 5 PM at Compton's Table in Central Outreach, 3104 State St, Erie, PA.
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Federal Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Allowing Florida Transgender Teacher to Use Her Title and Pronouns at Work

TALLAHASSEE - April 10, 2024 - On Tuesday, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting Florida education officials and the Hillsborough County School Board from taking any steps to enforce Florida Statute § 1000.071(3) (2023) ("subsection 3") against plaintiff Katie Wood, a high school teacher.
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Location Change For Ashtabula Pride on June 15

The 4th Annual Ashtabula Pride 2024 is happening June 15 from 11 am - 9 pm at Walnut Beach in Ashtabula, Ohio. LOTZ Productions will provide entertainment, local bands, and singers. Food, artisans, family fun events, vendors, and more will be there. Ashtabula Pride changed the location due to the repavement of Bridge Street this summer.
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Queer Spaces Survey

Compton's Table is looking to update our well-used resource, the Safe Space list. We are sending out an anonymous survey where community members can detail workplaces, social spaces, and housing spaces where they have had positive or negative experiences. Several people in the community come to Compton's seeking resources, and we want to have the most up to date information for them. The list of safe spaces will be posted on the Compton's Table website and updated regularly. Find the list and check out all Compton's Table offers at www.comptonstable.org. Take the survey at https://www.qrfy.com/kJbYiOvgYP
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Five Iron Golf Tees Up Exciting Arrival in Erie

Five Iron Golf Tees Up Exciting Arrival in Erie
ERIE, Pa., April 16, 2024-Erie residents and golf enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the grand opening of Five Iron Golf, the nation's leading indoor golf and entertainment experience, at 1000 State St. Construction is well underway, with a targeted opening date set for the last week of May.
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Compton's Table Name Change Clinic on 4/13

On April 13, Compton's Table hosted the first ever "Hello My Name Is" Name Change Clinic. There were over 30 people in attendance to receive information regarding how to legally change their name in Erie County. Attorney Seth Trott of Quinn Law Firm gave a presentation detailing the entire process, and he volunteered his time to represent 10 participants in obtaining their legal name change. At the name change clinic, Compton's board members aided in completing all the necessary paperwork for 10 participants to get started on their name change. Compton's Table eagerly looks forward to planning another event like this in the future, as this one was a major success and had a lot of community interest.
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RainbowFest 2024 On April 13

RainbowFest 2024, held on April 13 at Basement Transmissions, 145 W 11th St, Erie, PA, by OddCity Entertainment, was a heartwarming day of unity, talent, and pure love, bringing together our local queer community in a celebration of our vibrant diversity. Our theme, centered around spotlighting the incredible talent within our area, was beautifully echoed in the inspiring speeches by our guest speakers: Susannah Faulkner, David Moore, Gabe Genua, and Rianna Czech. Their words set the stage for an unforgettable lineup of 15 bands and solo musicians, each pouring their souls into the music they shared. The festival came alive with the fierce energy of six captivating drag performance artists, each a beacon of creativity and self-expression. And then there was the live art by Gavin Doss, the son of one of our organizers, Athena Rose-his creations added a personal touch that filled the air with creativity and warmth. Beyond the music and performances, our community rallied together to make a difference, raising an incredible $1,000 for Comptons Table and four large bags of gender affirming clothing and accessories! As we said our farewells, our hearts were full. Each attendee left feeling not just accepted but truly seen and embraced. RainbowFest 2024 wasn't just an event-it was a celebration of who we are, a testament to our strength, creativity, and the power of love that binds us all together.
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Deadline for May 2024 print edition (issue #342) of Erie Gay News is Monday, April 15, comes out Tuesday, April 23!

Deadline for May 2024 print edition (issue #342) of Erie Gay News is Monday, April 15, comes out Tuesday, April 23!
For the next Erie Gay News (issue # 342, cover-dated for May 2024), please send in-person and online events, news items, and other info for late April 2024 and beyond by Monday, April 15. We expect the next edition to come out on Tuesday, April 23.
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Entertainment and Travel

Historic Boston a Walker's Paradise--your B Town Weekend

Historic Boston a Walker's Paradise--your B Town Weekend
Historic Boston makes for a perfect weekend. The city is so walkable (and has such great public transit), you will have sore legs. The historic city is home to 5 or more universities, so it seems in part like a college town on steroids.
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The show WILL go on! Charley's Aunt moves to The Erie Station Dinner Theatre for 5 Performances! May 17- May 25

As I'm sure most of you heard on the news, All An Act Theatre fell victim to a fire on April 27th. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and Community Shelter Services can continue operations. The damage to the theatre is severe and we won't be able to hold performances for several months. However, our good friends at The Station Dinner Theatre have offered to let us use their theatre to continue the run of Charley's Aunt. We are so grateful for their generosity. Dates and times are below. We hope you will all come out to support us as we wade through these muddy waters.
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Johnny Bloom's "Roarin' 20s" Harkens Back to a Bygone Era

Johnny Bloom's 'Roarin' 20s' Harkens Back to a Bygone Era
Johnny Bloom aims to usher in a new age of jazz with his debut single, "Roarin' 20s." The song harkens back to a post-war era when young people danced the Charleston and the Shimmy. It is fun and flirty, with an attention-grabbing groove that mixes elements of blues, ragtime, marching music and African folk rhythm. "I've always been incredibly interested in American music through the generations, and the history of New Orleans street jazz, blues, and bandstand music, in particular," says Bloom. "My main purpose with 'Roaring 20s" is to help revive a style of music I am passionate about, and to broaden people's tastes in music. I have discovered that diversifying the music I listen to has absolutely changed my life for the better and I hope it will do the same for listeners." Johnny Bloom's "Roarin' 20s" is being released by So Fierce Music and distributed by The Orchard/Sony Music. It is now available on Spotify and all major music platforms.
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Brian Falduto Dolls Up Dolly Parton's "Why'd You Come in Here Lookin' Like That?"

Brian Falduto Dolls Up Dolly Parton's 'Why'd You Come in Here Lookin' Like That?'
Brian Falduto's newest single release is another example of what's become the modus operandi for the Hollywood child actor turned country crooner: it's the same old country love song, but it's gay. He covers Dolly Parton's beloved classic "Why'd You Come in Here Lookin' Like That," but his version adds a modern twist that while humorous, also carries real significance to Falduto and a large segment of country music fans that have long felt ignored by the genre. "As far as I'm concerned, we all belong in country music," he asserts. "White, black, straight, gay... country music is about storytelling and it's time we hear some new stories."
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Erie Art Museum Acquires New Art in Permanent Collection

ERIE, Pa. - The Erie Art Museum has made its first art acquisition in 3 years, with the gift of a series of prints from Nicole Reinhold Martin and purchases of work by elin slavick and Ana Balcazar.
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Hot Fun in the Desert Sun: Your Palm Springs Itinerary

Hot Fun in the Desert Sun: Your Palm Springs Itinerary
Palm Springs is a favorite destination of mine. I have lots of friends there and there is always something new to do. This trip was no exception. Hiking in two new natural areas. A cabaret shows at Oscar's. Swimming with the USMS Masters at the Palm Springs Swim Center. A bagel at Townie Bagels and a baguette at Peninsula Pastries. And a cocktail at PSP Air Bar were among the highlights.
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Political, Activism and Legal

South Carolina Man Sentenced for Obstructing Justice in the Murder of a Black Transgender Woman

WASHINGTON - May 2, 2024 - A South Carolina man was sentenced today to obstructing an investigation into the December 2019 murder of a transgender woman.
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With New Rule, Biden Administration Strengthens Protections for LGBTQI+ Youth in Foster Care System

WASHINGTON - April 29, 2024 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization - is hailing the release today of a final rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that directs state and tribal agencies across the country to fully implement existing protections for LGBTQI+ youth in foster care. The Children's Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families (a division of HHS), which regulates child welfare programs run by state and tribal agencies receiving federal funds, proposed these comments in draft form in September 2023.
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STATEMENT: LPAC Slams States' Defiance of New Title IX Protections for LGBTQ+ Students

Washington D.C. - April 30, 2024 - In a landmark move by the Biden Administration, Title IX rules have been revised to explicitly prohibit sex-based discrimination in educational environments, directly addressing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The revision marked a critical step forward in ensuring that LGBTQ+ youth across America can experience a safe, inclusive, and equitable education-fundamental rights that every student deserves.
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Sixth Circuit Hears Appeal of Ruling Upholding Tennessee's Discriminatory Birth Certificate Policy

(Nashville, TN, May 2, 2024) - Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard oral argument in Lambda Legal's appeal of a district court ruling upholding Tennessee's discriminatory birth certificate policy. Tennessee's policy does not allow transgender people born in Tennessee to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates, leaving them grappling with inconsistent government identity documents and forcibly disclosing their transgender status. Tennessee is one of only a handful of states left in the country that still categorically prohibit transgender people from correcting their birth certificates to accurately reflect their identity.
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New Report Finds Harassment & Mistreatment Fuels Mistrust Among LGBTQ People Towards Police

NEW YORK - April 30, 2024 - Widespread mistreatment and harassment by law enforcement continues to sow doubt and mistrust of police among LGBTQ+ people, according to a new analysis, despite LGBTQ+ people also facing higher rates of crime victimization than their peers.
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Texans Speak Out Against Paxton's Lawsuit, Abbott's Order

Austin, TX - This morning Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, announced that he is suing the Department of Education over updates to the Title IX regulations. Title IX is a federal civil rights law designed to protect students in public schools from discrimination. Updates from the Department of Education follow Supreme Court precedent about how to interpret language in civil rights legislation. The updates now explicitly include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.
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Kansas Legislature Sustains Governor Laura Kelly's Veto of Bill Stripping Away Access to Essential Health Care for Transgender Youth

Topeka, KS - April 29, 2024 - Today, in a victory for transgender youth, the Kansas House voted to sustain Governor Laura Kelly's veto of SB 233, which would have banned critical, medically necessary health care for transgender youth. The vote came hours after the Senate advanced an effort to override the veto. Today's vote follows pleas from 200 medical and mental health professionals throughout Kansas warning of the dire consequences that would be imposed should the legislation have taken effect, along with Governor Kelly's veto statement declaring that "if the legislature paid this much attention to the other 99.8% of students, we'd have the best schools on earth."
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ACLU Applauds EEOC Guidance on Workplace Harassment

WASHINGTON - April 29, 2024- Today, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced the release of its final guidance on harassment in the workplace, providing much-needed clarity to courts, employers, and workers and ensuring on-the-job dignity and safety for millions of people.
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Victory! Fourth Circuit Rules North Carolina and West Virginia Can't Deny Transgender People Coverage for Medical Care

(RICHMOND, VA - April 29, 2024) -- Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed two lower court rulings ordering North Carolina and West Virginia to end their discriminatory exclusions for coverage of gender-affirming medical care for transgender people in both states.
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Lambda Legal Commends Administration for Healthcare Nondiscrimination Rule Restoring Critical Protections for LGBTQ+ People

(New York, April 26, 2024) - Lambda Legal today commended the Biden administration for issuing new regulations under Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that will protect access to nondiscriminatory healthcare for LGBTQ+ people and other vulnerable populations. The new rule, released by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), restores and clarifies important regulatory protections for LGBTQ+ people and other vulnerable populations under Section 1557, also known as the health care nondiscrimination law, that were previously rescinded by the Trump administration.
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ICYMI: 38% of Transgender Youth Living in States That Have Enacted Bans on Care, Study Shows

WASHINGTON- This month, UCLA's Williams Institute released its 2024 report on the impact of anti-transgender legislation on youth. The results are jaw-dropping, with an overwhelming majority of transgender young people currently grappling with hostile political environments and hundreds of thousands of youth contending with restricted access to health care and restrooms, bans on participating in sports, and state-sanctioned misgendering.
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National Women's Law Center on NCAA's Continued Review of Policy on Transgender Women Athletes: Make the Right Choice

Washington, DC - April 26, 2024 -Earlier this week, NWLC joined over 50 organizations in urging the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to protect the rights of transgender women seeking to participate in sports as their authentic selves. On April 25, the NCAA Board of Governors decided to maintain its current policy while continuing to review the issue.
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Oklahoma Superintendent Ryan Walters Vows to Reject U.S. Department of Education's Updated Title IX Guidelines, Risking Critical Federal Funding for OK Schools

WASHINGTON - April 25, 2024 - In a letter circulated today, Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters ordered that school district leaders across the state refuse to comply with the U.S. Department of Education's updated Title IX rule finalized last week. The rule clarifies the scope of nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ students while also empowering sexual assault survivors, a move imperative to the enhanced safety and protection of queer and transgender students.
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ICYMI: Kansas Medical Professionals Urge Legislature to Not Ban Lifesaving Care for Trans Youth

KANSAS, STATEWIDE - April 22, 2024 - 200 medical providers and mental health professionals in Kansas have signed onto an open letter to the Kansas legislature warning against the adverse consequences of SB 233, which would ban and severely restrict minor transgender patients' access to care and would make punishable providers' ability to provide evidence-based care in line with best practices. The signatories are urging the legislature to sustain Governor Kelly's veto.
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Lambda Legal, Juvenile Law Center Urge Supreme Court to Affirm Ruling Blocking Oregon City's Draconian Ban Targeting the Unhoused

(Washington, DC, April 22, 2024) - The United States Supreme Court heard oral argument today in City of Grants Pass v. Johnson, a challenge to a draconian ordinance that criminalizes people experiencing homelessness. A U.S. District Court in July, 2020, blocked enforcement of the ban, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed that ruling in September, 2022. Lambda Legal, the Juvenile Law Center, the law firm Baker McKenzie, and 223 experts on unhoused youth submitted a friend-of-the-court brief underscoring the particular harm the unconstitutional ban posed to unhoused youth, many of whom face rejection and abuse at home and face additional barriers to accessing other housing.
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Supreme Court Narrows Injunction Against Idaho Trans Care Ban

WASHINGTON - April 15, 2024 - The Supreme Court of the United States issued a partial stay today against a statewide preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of Idaho's ban on gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth, allowing the law to be enforced against families and medical providers other than the plaintiffs in this case while that case proceeds in the District Court.
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Kelley Robinson, President of the Human Rights Campaign, Named on the TIME List of the 100 Most Influential People in the World

WASHINGTON - April 17, 2024 -Today, TIME named Human Rights Campaign President, Kelley Robinson, to the 2024 TIME100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The full list and related tributes appear in the April 29, 2024 issue of TIME, available on newsstands on Friday, April 19, and now at time.com/time100. The list recognizes the impact, innovation and achievement of the world's most influential individuals. Under her leadership, the Human Rights Campaign declared a national state of emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans and won key legislative and electoral fights. President Kelley Robinson is a trailblazing advocate and leader in the fight for human rights-she is the first Black, queer woman to hold the position of HRC President, leading the largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization in the United States.
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The Most Anti-LGBTQ+ State in the Country? Tennessee Lawmakers Pile on **4 More** Discriminatory Bills - So Far - On Top of the TWENTY They Have Already Passed

NASHVILLE, TN - April 17, 2024 - In a truly stunning display of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination and targeted misuse of government power, Tennessee lawmakers last week sent to the governor THREE new pieces of legislation targeting the rights and existence of the LGBTQ+ community and has continued working on harmful bills this week. The three bills last week follow on the heels of SB 1738, passed earlier this month and signed by Governor Bill Lee, which could place LGBTQ+ youth in the foster care system into unsupportive homes.
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Kansas Governor Laura Kelly Vetoes Bill That Would Strip Away Access to Essential Health Care for Transgender Youth

Topeka, KS - April 12, 2024 - Today, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly vetoed SB 233, which, if enacted, would ban crucial, medically necessary health care for transgender youth. This is the latest anti-LGBTQ bill to be rejected by the governor, who vetoed a similar bill targeting gender affirming care last year, in addition to a slew of other extremist, anti-LGBTQ+ bills.
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Lesbian Activist Delivers Landmark Security Council Briefing on LGBTQ Rights in Colombia's Armed Conflict

New York, 9 April 2024 - For the first time in its 78-year history, the United Nations Security Council received a full briefing in a regular session on security issues impacting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people in a conflict setting. Marcela Sanchez, a lesbian human rights defender and executive director of Colombia Diversa, a human rights organization based in Bogota that focuses on LGBTQ people's human rights, briefed the United Nations Security Council on LGBTQ persons in the Colombian peace process. Sanchez called for an end to attacks against LGBTQ persons in Colombia and demanded the full, equal, and safe participation of women and LGBTQ people in the implementation of Colombia's peace agreement.
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Black Leaders in the LGBTQIA Movement Applaud University of South Carolina Head Coach Dawn Staley for Standing up for Trans Athlete Inclusion

WASHINGTON - On Sunday, April 7, the University of South Carolina's women's basketball team won the NCAA National Championship. Ahead of the championship game, South Carolina's head coach Dawn Staley made comments in support of transgender athlete inclusion in sports when she was pressed by a media member on the topic. Her remarks came ahead of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) voting Monday, April 8, to all but ban transgender women from women's competitions starting next school year.
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LGBTQ Equality Maps Updates and Bill Tracking for April 2024

MAP's LGBTQ Equality Maps provide a detailed snapshot of the current state of LGBTQ laws and policies in the United States. See below for the latest state policy updates and bill tracking as of April 5, 2024. In this month's edition, state-level policy changes are sorted by updates that are positive and include protections for LGBTQ people, or negative and limit access to education, medical care, IDs, services, and more.
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Following a Furious Rebuke from Outraged Oklahomans, Ryan Walters Continues to Spread Hate, Maligning and Misgendering Trans Student Nex Benedict

April 18, 2024 - In response to an op-ed published today by Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters, who seeks to divert blame for the death of nonbinary Oklahoma teen Nex Benedict following a bullying incident that took place at school, Kelley Robinson, Human Rights Campaign President, released the following statement: "It is ludicrous and offensive to see Ryan Walters painting himself as an opponent of bullying and defender of children while in the same breath, he misgenders and insults Nex Benedict - the young Oklahoma teen who died following a school bullying incident on his watch, in the state school system that he leads. This is further evidence that he doesn't have the vaguest idea of how to actually run a state school system and is interested in nothing but raising his own profile, insulting a teen who died in tragic circumstances, fanning the flames of hatred, and attacking the entirety of Oklahoma's LGBTQ+ community. Ryan Walters, you should be ashamed of yourself. Resign now."
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New Class-Action Lawsuit Challenges Montana's Refusal to Update Transgender People's Birth Certificates & Driver's Licenses

HELENA, Mont. - April 18, 2024 - Today two transgender women filed a class-action lawsuit against the State of Montana and various state agencies challenging a 2022 policy that categorically bars transgender people from correcting the sex designation on their birth certificates. The lawsuit also challenges a policy that makes it impossible for transgender Montanans to update the sex listed on their driver's licenses.
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Advocates for Gender Justice, Civil Rights, and Student Rights Respond to Biden Administration's Finalization of New Title IX Rule

Washington, DC - April 19, 2024 - Today, the U.S. Department of Education finalized a range of critical updates to its regulations interpreting and enforcing Title IX, restoring and reinforcing vital civil rights protections for all students to access school spaces and programs free from sex discrimination.
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State Boards Of Psychology And Osteopathic Medicine Adopt New Policies That Oppose The Practice Of Conversion Therapy On LGBTQ+ Minors

Harrisburg, PA - April 11, 2024 - The State Boards of Psychology and Osteopathic Medicine voted this week to adopt new Statement of Policies (SOP) that oppose the use of conversion therapy on minors in Pennsylvania. The new policies notify licensees that the Board considers the use of conversion therapy to be unprofessional, harmful conduct that may subject any licensee engaging in it to administrative discipline.
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All Anti-LGBTQ Bills Defeated in KY's 2024 General Assembly

April 15, 2024 - Today, the Kentucky General Assembly adjourned without advancing any anti-LGBTQ laws. Advocates successfully defeated ten bills aimed at restricting the health, rights, and well-being of LGBTQ Kentuckians.
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New HRC Paid Ad Features Testimony from a Recent Owasso High School Grad: "Look around at what happened to students like Nex Benedict."

WASHINGTON - April 15, 2024 - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, today released powerful video testimony from Marley H., an Owasso High School grad and Oklahoman speaking to the culture of harassment and bullying she witnessed firsthand during her time in the Owasso school district, how it impacted her and her fellow students, and what she sees as the way forward for the district and state. The video's release comes as we mark two months since the death of Nex Benedict, a 16 year-old Owasso nonbinary student of Choctaw heritage who died after being assaulted in their school bathroom and bullied and harassed for over a year.
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Ohio Court Temporarily Blocks Gender-Affirming Care Ban from Taking Effect

COLUMBUS, OHIO - April 16, 2024 - Today, the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas issued a temporary restraining order to prevent the ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth from taking immediate effect. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Ohio, and the global law firm Goodwin Procter, successfully argued that the plaintiffs are likely to win their claim that House Bill 68 violates the Ohio Constitution because it covers more than one single subject.
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Housing Survey 2024

The Pennsylvania Equality Project is conducting year 2 of a five-year study on housing affordability and sustainability. The survey runs from April 1 until May 31. It is open to all LGBTQ+ people who reside year-round in Pennsylvania or are students attending a post-secondary school in PA and reside either on or off campus. All personal identifying information shared on the survey will remain confidential. Results from the survey will be available in mid-July and shared through our website at https://paequality.com/survey/. The housing survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.
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Fourth Circuit Rejects West Virginia Law Barring Transgender Girls From Student Athletics

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals today voted to block a West Virginia law banning transgender student-athletes from playing on teams consistent with their gender identity, finding the law violates the rights of transgender students under Title IX.
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Victory! Lambda Legal Announces Settlement of Case on Behalf of Former Military Cadet and Midshipman Living with HIV

(Baltimore, MD - April 8, 2024) - Lambda Legal and co-counsel Winston & Strawn LLP, Perkowski Legal, PC, and Scott Schoettes today announced they have reached a settlement with the Department of Defense (DoD) in a lawsuit filed in 2018 on behalf of a former Navy midshipman, Kevin Deese, and a former Air Force cadet, John Doe (a pseudonym), who were denied commissions after graduating from their respective service academies because they are living with HIV. The settlement provides for Deese and Doe to be commissioned as officers in recognition of the status and military careers they qualified for and earned years ago.
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NWLC Condemns NAIA's Ban on Transgender Women's Participation in Women's College Sports

Washington, DC - April 8, 2024 - Today, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced its decision to categorically ban transgender women from women's sports.
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Health

AHF Billboards Shatter HIV Stigma

LOS ANGELES - AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has launched a new out-of-home advertising campaign to celebrate people thriving with HIV as a way to shatter the stigma around testing and show living with HIV does not mean stopping the things you love to do. The artwork includes the URL HIVcare.org which directs people to AHF's directory of service locations nationwide.
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Adagio Health conducts first Spring Health Fair in Erie

Pittsburgh, PA (April 29, 2024) - Join Adagio Health Erie for the organization's first Spring Health Fair on Thursday, May 9. Located at 3530 Peach Street, visitors can expect to learn more about their health and Adagio Health programs while connecting with the community. The health fair will be from noon to 6PM.
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Race to help save lives with the Red Cross by giving blood or platelets

[April 22, 2024] - As May approaches, the American Red Cross reminds eligible donors to keep the blood supply stable by racing to give blood or platelets in the weeks to come. Donors of all blood types - especially type O blood donors and those giving platelets - are crucial to keeping shelves fully stocked with blood products throughout the month.
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Sat May 18 HIV/AIDS Awareness Walk

The Erie County HIV Task Force invites everyone to participate in the 7th Annual HIV / AIDS Awareness Walk on Saturday, May 18th. We will meet at the stage in East Perry Square, 575 State Street, Erie, PA, at 11 AM. Step off is at 11:30 AM. We will walk around North and South Park Row circling Perry Square and everyone is encouraged to wear red to help raise HIV awareness. PA Thrive Partnership is providing on-site HIV testing. All ages are welcome and the event is child and pet friendly. (Please be prepared to clean up after your own pets.) People participating as organizations are welcome to represent their group/organization. If you don't wish to walk the entire route, you are welcome to join us at any point along the sidewalk around Perry Square.
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WPATH Responds to Cass Report Publication

April 12, 2024-In response to publication of the Cass Report the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and affiliated partners ATHI, AusPATH, PATHA and USPATH issued the following statement: "WPATH supports policies that increase access to high-quality ethical care for transgender youth. "The foundation of the Cass report is rooted in the false premise that non-medical alternatives to care will result in less adolescent distress for most adolescents and is based on a lack of knowledge of and experience working with this patient population. It is harmful to perpetuate this notion and does not acknowledge the very real fact that medical pathways are an important treatment option for many young people.
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Rising Mpox Cases: Get Vaccinated

In the summer of 2022, men who have sex with men in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States saw an outbreak of a communicable disease that beforehand was seen mostly due to travel from Central or West Africa. Mpox, previously known as Monkeypox, is part of a family of viruses that cause disease in both humans and many types of animals. Smallpox is an example of a pox virus that no longer exists in nature. Mpox, on the other hand, surged in 2022. The ongoing outbreak worldwide has the US leading with the most cases at 34% and the highest death count at 33% globally. As of early April 2024, the US has seen approximately 700 confirmed cases compared to 315 cases at the same time one year prior. These cases and deaths are specific to the type of Mpox that spread in 2022.
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Spring into action: Give blood or platelets with the Red Cross

[April 8, 2024] - During National Volunteer Month in April, the American Red Cross asks donors to help protect the blood supply by making and keeping blood or platelet donation appointments in the weeks ahead. Donors of all blood types - especially type O blood donors and those giving platelets - are needed now to keep the blood supply strong enough to support critical patient care this spring.
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Letters, Columnists and Opinion

Cheers to supportive parents

There is a universal experience that nearly all of us face, and it was brought to mind for me this week when a close friend lost one of his parents. We often discuss the grief that comes after such a loss as well as the impending death before it occurs.
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Contests

Enter to win Together in a Broken World

Enter to win Together in a Broken World
Enter for a chance to win a copy of Together in a Broken World by Paul Michael Winters.  To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, May 17, and Friday, June 7.
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Enter to win Queer Villains of Myth and Legend!

Enter to win Queer Villains of Myth and Legend!
Enter to win Queer Villains of Myth and Legend! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, May 14, and Tuesday, June 4.
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Enter to win To Be Loved: A Story of Truth, Trauma, and Transformation

Enter to win To Be Loved: A Story of Truth, Trauma, and Transformation
Enter for a chance to win a copy of To Be Loved: A Story of Truth, Trauma, and Transformation by Frank G. Anderson MD.  To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, May 10, and Friday, May 31.
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Enter to win My Child is Trans, Now What?: A Joy-Centered Approach to Support

Enter to win My Child is Trans, Now What?: A Joy-Centered Approach to Support
Enter for a chance to win a copy of My Child is Trans, Now What?: A Joy-Centered Approach to Support by Ben V. Greene.  To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, May 7, and Tuesday, May 28.
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Enter to win Photography - A Queer History!

Enter to win Photography - A Queer History!
Enter to win Photography - A Queer History! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, May 3, and Friday, May 24.
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Enter to win Mysterious Ways Digital Download from Ariztical Entertainment!

Enter to win Mysterious Ways Digital Download from Ariztical Entertainment!
Enter to win Mysterious Ways Digital Download from Ariztical Entertainment. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, April 30, and Tuesday, May 21.
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Enter to win Pride Power: The Young Person's Guide to LGBTQ+!

Enter to win Pride Power: The Young Person's Guide to LGBTQ+!
Enter to win Pride Power: The Young Person's Guide to LGBTQ+! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, April 26, and Friday, May 17.
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Enter to win Altered Perceptions Digital Download from Ariztical Entertainment!

Enter to win Altered Perceptions Digital Download from Ariztical Entertainment!
Enter to win Altered Perceptions Digital Download from Ariztical Entertainment. To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Tuesday, April 23, and Tuesday, May 14.
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Enter to win The Advocate Educator's Handbook: Creating Schools Where Trans and Non-Binary Students Thrive!

Enter to win The Advocate Educator's Handbook: Creating Schools Where Trans and Non-Binary Students Thrive!
Enter to win The Advocate Educator's Handbook: Creating Schools Where Trans and Non-Binary Students Thrive! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, April 19, and Friday, May 10.
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Enter to win Out Of Left Field!

Enter to win Out Of Left Field!
Enter to win Out Of Left Field! To enter the contest, fill out the form here between Friday, April 19, and Friday, May 10.
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Miscellaneous

Application Now Available for New PA Student Teacher Support Program

Harrisburg, PA (April 11, 2024) - The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has announced that the student application for the new PA Student Teacher Support Program is now available on pheaa.org/StudentTeacher.
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Pennsylvania Library Association Celebrates National Library Week by Highlighting Libraries Reaching for the Stars

Mechanicsburg, PA (April 4, 2024) - April 7-13, 2024 is National Library Week, a time to highlight the essential role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening communities.  In honor of this week, the Pennsylvania Library Association is announcing the 2023-2024 PA Forward® Star Library awardees showcasing libraries who are committed to providing quality literacy programming to their communities.
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