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Gay, Bi Men More Critical of Government’s Response to Monkeypox

poll from the Pew Research Center says that gay and bisexual men in the United States are more concerned about the recent monkeypox outbreak and are more critical of the U.S. government’s response to the crisis.The United States officially declared the monkeypox outbreak to be a national health emergency in early August.

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Montana Judge Declares College Trans Ban Unconstitutional
2021 law barring transgender athletes from competing on sports teams that align with their gender identity is unconstitutional. On Sept. 14, Gallatin County District Judge Rienne McElyea issued an injunction permanently barring the state from enforcing a provision in the law that prohibits transgender athletes from participating on collegiate-level women’s sports teams.McElyea found that, in passing the law, the state’s Republican-led Legislature infringed on the constitutional authority of the Montana Board of Regents, which is allowed to make its own policies governing college campuses.The ruling does not overturn part of the law prohibiting transgender athletes in grades K-12 from competing in sports that match their gender identity.In her ruling, McElyea rejected the state’s argument that the Board of Regents had no existing policies regarding athlete participation, finding that the board’s decision to comply with NCAA regulations on transgender participation was in itself a policy, reports the Helena Independent Record.“Contrary to the state’s characterization, the Board’s policy is not a delegation of the Board’s constitutional authority to a non-governmental body [NCAA], but an exercise of the Board’s authority to ensure the eligibility of Montana athletes and to protect the [Montana University System’s] substantial financial investment in its athletics programs,” she wrote.Current NCAA policy on transgender athletes allows each individual sports’ national governing body to determine its own criteria for eligibility.
Louisiana Public Schools to Reject Protections for LGBTQ Students
Just two months after President Joe Biden announced steps to increase federal protections for the LGBTQ community, it appears public schools in Louisiana will be refusing to implement policies protecting LGBTQ students that would comply with guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.As part of a larger executive order, Biden directed the Education Department to form a working group aimed at advancing pro-LGBTQ policies in schools, in the name of creating “safe and inclusive learning environments in which all students thrive.”The extent of those policies may vary, but will largely embrace the principle that LGBTQ students, especially transgender students, are protected from discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law prohibiting sex-based discriminatory practices in taxpayer-funded schools.Last year, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, citing the legal logic underlying a landmark LGBTQ rights case from 2020, clarified that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is inherently a form of sex-based discrimination.In issuing his executive order, Biden noted that over 300 proposed anti-LGBTQ laws have been introduced over the past year, many of which specifically target transgender children and their parents “by banning access to medical care and support at school.” The order, and the formation of the working group focused on pro-LGBTQ policies, were intended to provide a framework with which to implement the principles previously outlined by Cardona.But many social conservatives, including Louisiana state officials, disagree with the premise that Title IX applies to any situation besides those explicitly dealing with a person’s assigned sex at birth.
Education Department Proposes New Rule Protecting LGBTQ Students
proposed rule impacting how Title IX, the federal law prohibiting discrimination “on the basis of sex,” will be enforced — including protecting LGBTQ students from discrimination — in schools and colleges that receive federal funding.Education Secretary Miguel Cardona announced the changes to the way the law is enforced on Thursday, which marked the 50th anniversary of passage of the landmark law. Under Title IX, schools can be denied federal funds if they are found guilty of discrimination, excluding individuals from certain benefits or activities, or allowing harassment to continue without disciplining perpetrators.Under the Biden administration’s proposal, LGBTQ students would be protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics, and schools that enable such discrimination could potentially lose federal funds.“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this landmark law, our proposed changes will allows us to continue that progress and ensure all our nation’s students — no matter where they live, who they are, or whom they love — can learn, grow, and thrive in school,” Cardona said in a statement.The administration’s new rule would also change how schools handle sexual assault and sexual harassment allegations, marking a reversal from Trump administration rules that sought to avoid aggressively penalizing individuals accused of assault and harassment, on the grounds that they should be given a chance to defend themselves.
Andrew Gillum, Bisexual Florida Politician, Charged with Fraud
an out bisexual man who was the 2018 Democratic nominee in the race for Florida governor, has been indicted on 21 counts, including charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, and making false statements.On Wednesday, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Gillum, a former mayor of Tallahassee, and a longtime associate and fellow Tallahassee resident, Sharon Lettman-Hicks.According to the indictment, between 2016 and 2019, Gillum and Lettman-Hicks “engaged in an on-going and evolving scheme to defraud by unlawfully soliciting and obtaining funds from various entities and individuals through false and fraudulent representations and promises that the funds would be used for a legitimate purpose.”Gillum and Lettman-Hicks then allegedly used third parties to divert a portion of those funds to P&P, a communications company owned by Lettman-Hicks, who then provided the funds, disguised as payroll payments, to Gillum for his personal use.Both defendants have been charged with 19 counts of wire fraud, and Gillum is also charged with making false statements to FBI agents investigating the suspected fraud, according to a press release for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida.If convicted of the charges against them, Gillum and Lettman-Hicks could face up to 20 years in prison for the conspiracy charge, and 20 years for wire fraud.
Polyamorous Advocates Push for Visibility on Facebook
Polyamorous activists are seeking to change Facebook’s relationship status options to provide an inclusive option for those in multiple people relationships.In a letter to Tom Alison, the head of the Facebook app, the Organization for Polyamory and Ethical Non-Monogamy (OPEN) argued that the current relationship options on the social media platform were “arbitrary, exclusionary, and contrary to Meta’s core values,” referring to Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms, Inc.In the three-page open letter, dated June 16, the members of OPEN’s executive board argued that the lack of display options for people in polyamorous relationships on the site erases their identity.“At best, this restriction perpetuates the erasure and marginalization of non-monogamous relationships; at worst, it harms non-monogamous users by perpetuating social stigmas around the validity and authenticity of their relationships,” the board members wrote in the letter.Facebook currently has 11 options for people who wish to disclose their relationship status: single, in a relationship, engaged, married, in a civil partnership, in a domestic partnership, in an open relationship, it’s complicated, separated, divorced, and widowed, reports the online magazine Xtra.Some have argued that those in polygamous relationships can use the “in an open relationship” status, but OPEN opposes this because this doesn’t allow for polyamorous people to “present their most authentic self on their Profile’ and contributes actively to “delegitimizing non-monogamous relationships.”According to OPEN’s board members, approximately 4-5% of adults in the United States currently practice some form of ethical non-monogamy, which refers to “a range of relationship practices
Editor’s Pick: True Colors – LGBTQ+ Our Stories, Our Songs
Nouveau Productions, which Frazier runs with his husband Robert Pullen.All told, the special, star-studded programming to date has been strong in LGBTQ interest and appeal, ranging from an Ella Fitzgerald-themed Christmas show starring Vanessa Williams to the recently launched “Broadway in Concert” series featuring contemporary stars of the Great White Way paying tribute to iconic musicals.None of the specials have been quite as gay, however, as the latest, the explicitly queer-themed True Colors: LGBTQ+ Our Stories, Our Songs.Timed to kick off June’s Pride month, the program features real-life stories of hope, resilience, and triumph from members of the LGBTQ community, including former NBA player Jason Collins and acclaimed Sex and the City star and activist Cynthia Nixon, tied together with musical performances by a hodgepodge of queer talent, accompanied by the APO under Frazier and hosted by transgender Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider.The performance lineup includes the pioneering lesbian folk/rock duo the Indigo Girls with their chart-topping breakout hit “Closer to Fine,” Drag Race alums Peppermint, Alexis Michelle, and Jujubee giving a spin of “(A Little More) Mascara” from La Cage aux Folles, trans opera singer Breanna Sinclairé covering “Somewhere” from West Side Story, and Tony-, Emmy-, and Grammy-winning stage veteran André de Shields (Hadestown) reviving “The Colors of My Life” from the 1980 musical Barnum.Additional performers include Glee star Chris Colfer, persevering contemporary Christian singer Trey Pearson formerly of the group Everyday Sunday, and young indie-pop artist Morgxn.Premiering Saturday, June 4, on www.PBS.org, the PBS Video app, and select PBS stations nationwide.Local affiliate WETA is