Voodoo ceremony for twins in Benin to celebrate them as deities
In Abomey-Calavi near the port city of Cotonou in Benin, a voodoo priestess organises a large, traditional ceremony bringing together dozens of twins to be honoured as deities. In southern Benin, Nigeria and Togo, twins are worshipped as demigods.news.yahoo.com
Virginia school board requires teachers to address transgender kids by preferred names, pronouns
A northern Virginia school board voted Wednesday to expand access for transgender students to school facilities and groups, a decision coming the day after hundreds of people for and against the changes converged for a public hearing.
Kentucky and Baptist foster care agency settle dispute over LGBTQ language
Kentucky has finalized its contract with a Baptist-affiliated foster care and adoption agency after months of dispute over whether to include language that expressly bans LGBTQ discrimination, the state announced Friday.news.yahoo.com
Virginia lawmaker encourages some school districts to reject adopting inclusive transgender policies
The General Assembly passed a law last year requiring school systems to adopt inclusive policies for transgender and gender non-conforming students by fall 2021, but some lawmakers are encouraging districts to reject this.
Bill seeks to ban transgender athletes from women’s sports in Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Bills have been filed in 25 states across the country, including Florida, seeking to ban transgender women from competing in women’s school sports. The legislation, which would prevent transgender women from competing in women’s sports, follows multiple instances of transgender athletes winning titles in state and national competitions. The House version of the bill would ban transgender women from competing in women’s sports outright, whereas the Senate version would allow transgender athletes to compete provided they maintain a low testosterone level. AdEskamani said even though there are some restrictions in place for transgender athletes on the professional stage, she believes policies concerning children and student-athletes should be treated differently. In Connecticut, there is an ongoing federal lawsuit challenging whether allowing transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports violates Title IX, a federal civil rights law that aims to shield people from gender-based discrimination.
New poll shows nearly 1 out of 6 Gen Z adults identify as LGBT
A big reason for this change is that a higher percentage of adults in younger generations are more likely to be a part of the LGBT community. When breaking down the 5.6% of Americans identifying as LGBT:Identify As Among LGBT U.S. AdThe survey also broke respondents down by generation, with nearly 1 in 6 Gen Z adults (those born between 1997 and 2002) identifying as LGBT. Nearly 16% of those surveyed in Gen Z identified as LGBT. With younger generations far more likely than older generations to consider themselves LGBT, that growth should continue.”
Kansas family says their 13-year-old student disciplined for saying ‘I’m a lesbian’
AMERICUS, Kan. – A Kansas school district has banned a 13-year-old girl from riding the bus after saying she’s gay in front of other students. Izzy Dieker is an eighth-grader at Americus School in the North Lyon County District. Every day Dieker rides the bus to school for 30 minutes from her small town. “Once I got home my dad told me he got a call from the school that I was kicked off for saying ‘I’m a lesbian’,” Dieker says. “We’ve had talks about other students calling her names and I expect that because they’re repeating what their parents say.
Study: Pandemic eats into LGBTQ representation on network TV
The percentage of regularly seen LGBTQ characters on streaming as well as prime-time broadcast TV and cable during the 2020-21 season fell. Prime-time broadcast fell to 9.1% after reaching an all-time high of 10.2% last season. GLAAD's report, “Where We Are on TV,” found that 70 out of 773 series regular characters on broadcast scripted prime-time TV were LGBTQ. The group found good news on the second request in the latest study — over half of LGBTQ characters on cable television were people of color, meeting GLAAD’s challenge. The advocacy group noted that nearly half of all LGBTQ representation in prime-time scripted cable is seen on just three networks — FX, Freeform and Showtime.
Sarah McBride becomes the first openly transgender person to be elected state senator
While most Americans continued awaiting the presidential election results, history was silently being made in Delaware. Sarah McBride, 30, made history on election night by becoming the first openly transgender person to be elected to the state Senate in U.S. history. “I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too,” McBride tweeted Tuesday night after the election was called. McBride is a former spokesperson for the LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign and also became the first trans person to speak at a major political convention. McBride will represent parts of Bellefonte, Claymont and Wilmington, the state’s largest city.
New channel offers fare for women in the LGBTQ community
LOS ANGELES – An online channel devoted to women in the LGBTQ community is launching with shows including a pandemic-set romantic comedy and a paranormal drama. The channel debuts Thursday as part of Revry, a digital platform that offers free, queer-focused programming, including the 24/7 Revry News channel. “I’m overjoyed to offer a free, living and breathing space for queer female stories to be seen across the world,” Revry co-founder LaShawn McGhee said in a statement. Now called OML, it's become “a tentpole brand for the lesbian and queer female communities,” McGhee said. OML has expanded its female-driven content and outreach to a larger audience, a goal that will be enhanced by its partnership with Revry, OML founder Shirin Etessam said in a statement.
Pope Francis’ support for same-sex civil unions is a ‘sigh of relief’ for local LGBTQ community
ROANOKE, Va. – Recently, Pope Francis became the first pope to voice his support for civil unions for same-sex couples. Bernard Alvarez of the Roanoke Diversity Center said most of the pushback the LGBTQ community faces comes from churches and causes people to question their identity. Therefore “it’s a sigh of relief” to hear the pope publicly endorse, Alvarez said. “After my first experience with a same-sex person, I was torn apart, depressed after that because I just felt that I had broken my covenant with God and my community," Alvarez said. "And I did not know how to deal with it.”Alvarez said he would like to see Pope Francis follow up with a more detailed policy to see if local dioceses will be able to perform same-sex marriages.
Mixed Philippine reaction on pope nod on gay civil unions
MANILA – Pope Francis’ endorsement of same-sex civil unions drew mixed reactions Thursday in the Philippines, Asia’s bastion of Catholicism, with a retired bishop saying he was scandalized by it while an LGBT group welcomed the pontiff’s remarks with relief. President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman said the Philippine leader has long expressed support to same-sex civil unions but added it needed to pass through Congress. Retired Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said he “had very serious doubts about the moral correctness” of the pontiff’s position. He said it ran against long-standing church teachings, which explicitly permit only the union of man and woman whether in civil, legal or church sacramental unions. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte has long supported same-sex civil unions and the papal endorsement may finally convince legislators to give their approval.
Show us your Pride to celebrate National Coming Out Day
Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day, and for many LGBTQ+ Americans, there are many reasons to celebrate their Pride. National Coming Out Day has been celebrated for 32 years now, and it’s an important reminder on just how far the queer community has come since earlier times. There was an entire generation of LGBTQ Americans who had live inside the closet because of laws and discrimination. So if you’re proud to be out and want it to shout it from the rooftops, tell us about it below! If you have advice for people still in the closet struggling with their identity, maybe offer some advice, and tell us how your life has improved since coming out.
Oreo is giving away 10,000 packs of rainbow cookies. Here’s how to get yours
We’re PROUD to announce the first-ever Rainbow OREO Cookies made in honor of our partnership with @PFLAG 🏳️🌈 Join our #ProudParent campaign and you could snag a pack of Rainbow OREO Cookies! pic.twitter.com/Sg5U6Q7sTb — OREO Cookie (@Oreo) October 9, 2020These rainbow Oreo cookies could be yours, here’s how the company said you can get the cookies:“Join OUR #ProudParent campaign and share a photo of what allyship means to you. Don’t forget to follow @OREO too.”Here’s how:1️⃣ Join OUR #ProudParent campaign and share a photo of what allyship means to you. Don’t forget to follow @OREO too. — OREO Cookie (@Oreo) October 9, 2020According to the company, 10,000 “rewards” will be made available to participants throughout the contest, which ends Oct. 31 or when all of the rewards are claimed.
Roanoke Vice Mayor selected as co-chair of Biden’s Virginia LGBTQ+ leadership council
ROANOKE, Va. – Two Roanoke politicians will play an active role in the Biden-Harris campaign’s effort to reach LGBTQ+ voters in Virginia. The Biden for President Virginia campaign announced on Monday that Roanoke Vice Mayor Joe Cobb and Roanoke City Council candidate Peter Volosin are among the co-chairs selected for the LGBTQ+ Virginians for Biden-Harris leadership council. The goal of the council is to “highlight Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' plan to advance LGBTQ+ equality, starting by working to pass the Equality Act.”Council members will work to “mobilize and engage” the LGBTQ+ community in Virginia. The campaign said this will include things like hosting weekly meetings, tapping into existing networks and organizing voters for early voting. Here is the full list of those who will serve as co-chairs:
Appeals court rejects rehearing in transgender bathroom case
RICHMOND, Va. – A federal appeals court has denied a request for a full-court review of a ruling that a Virginia school board’s transgender bathroom ban is unconstitutional. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond on Wednesday rejected a request from the Gloucester County School Board for a rehearing to review a ruling that the board’s policy discriminated against transgender student Gavin Grimm, who was barred from using the boys' bathrooms at Gloucester High School. The board’s policy required Grimm to use private bathrooms or restrooms that corresponded with his sex assigned at birth. A federal judge ruled against the school board last year. That ruling was upheld last month by 4th Circuit judges.
Kroger sued after allegedly firing Arkansas workers who refused to wear rainbow symbol
Grocery giant Kroger is being sued in federal court after two former employees claim they were wrongfully fired for refusing to wear an apron with a rainbow symbol, according to NBC News. The women were allegedly disciplined and eventually fired for not wearing the new aprons issued last April that had an embroidered rainbow heart on the top left part of the bib. Before refusing the aprons, the lawsuit says the workers requested a religious accommodation to the uniforms but were denied, according to the lawsuit. The rainbow flag is used as a symbol to express LGBTQ pride. NBC News reports that Kroger declined to confirm whether the symbol was intended for pride purposes and said it can’t comment on pending litigation.
‘Harry Potter’ actors come out in support of trans community after J.K. Rowling’s comments
I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter himself, was the first star to make a statement on the matter. His thoughts were long, but to many “Harry Potter” fans, his words were very comforting. And in my opinion, nobody can touch that.”Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger, tweeted out in support of the trans community. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid.
Virginia bans conversion therapy for minors
RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia is outlawing the discredited practice of conversion therapy for LGBTQ children. Conversion therapy is a practice used to try to change sexual orientation or gender identity. Ralph Northam said Tuesday he had signed into law that bans licensed therapists and counselors from subjecting minors to the practice. The American Psychological Association has said conversion therapy is not based in science and is harmful to mental health. The Virginia law will go into effect July 1.
Virginia lawmakers pass protections for LGBTQ people
RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia lawmakers have passed comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation that advocates say makes the state the first in the South to enact such protections for LGBTQ people. The measures advanced on bipartisan votes in both chambers Thursday. Each chamber still must take up the other’s measure in procedural votes before the legislation can be sent to Democratic Gov. The legislation prohibits discrimination in housing, public or private employment, public spaces and credit transactions on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Advocates praised the passage of what they called urgently needed landmark human rights legislation.
Senate confirms White House lawyer as appeals court judge
WASHINGTON, DC – A White House lawyer won Senate confirmation as a federal appeals court judge Thursday despite complaints by lawmakers from both parties about his record on immigration, race, women's equality and LGBTQ rights. Steven Menashi, an associate White House counsel, was confirmed by a 51-41 vote for a seat on the New York-based 2nd U.S. Graham was one of several senators who expressed frustration at Menashi’s refusal to answer questions about his record at the White House and the Education Department during his confirmation hearing in September. Menashi is among more than 150 federal judges nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Senate, including at least 46 appeals court judges. About one-quarter of federal appeals court judges were nominated by Trump.
Activists defiant as Uganda proposes death penalty for gay sex
The country's lawmakers passed a bill in 2014, but they replaced the death penalty clause with a proposal of life in prison. But members of Uganda's LGBTQ community have vowed to fight this bid to reintroduce the bill. Together we stand as the LGBT community in Uganda." Arrests and attacksUgandan activists told CNN they have noted worrying trends of arrests and attacks on the LGBTQ community. Last Friday, a young gay paralegal, Brian Wasswa, was bludgeoned to death at his home in Jinja, LGBT group Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) said.
NJ mayor: LGBTQ rights movement 'an affront to almighty God'
BARNEGAT TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (CNN) - A New Jersey mayor called the LGBTQ rights movement "an affront to almighty God" at a town council meeting and warned that people who support "unrighteous laws" will be held accountable. Barnegat Township Mayor Alfonso Cirulli, a former assistant principal, began Tuesday by condemning a state law that requires LGBTQ-inclusive material be taught in public school. He said, "There is no hate or bigotry intended here," and that his comments did not represent the Barnegat Township Committee. Fuscarino said, however, that Garden State Equality has a "great working relationship" with the Barnegat school district and called Cirulli "an outlier." In a statement posted on its website, superintendent Dr. Brian Latwis wrote that the Barnegat Township School District would comply with state guidelines.
LGBT activist murdered in Russia
(CNN) - An LGBTQ rights activist who was murdered in St. Petersburg had received death threats and was named on a website urging vigilante violence, campaigners have said. Grigoryeva also protested against Russia's backing of the conflict in eastern Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea, Olga Smirnova, a friend and fellow activist, told CNN. A spokeswoman for the Russian LGBT Network told CNN that Grigoryeva's name was included on a Russian website that identified LGBT activists and called for vigilante action against them. "The situation is scary, especially for LGBT activists. Asked about threats that Grigoryeva received, Smirnova said: "She did not just complain, she kept us informed about all the threats that she received.
Thousands expected to take to NYC streets for WorldPride
(CNN) - New York has always been a major Pride destination, but this year's celebration is expected to draw record crowds. "The LGBTQ community is an essential part of NYC," New York Police Department Commissioner James O'Neill said at a news conference on Tuesday. Sunday's march caps off a month of events that included a rally commemorating Stonewall 50, Youth Pride and Pride Island, a three-day outdoor music festival. "New York City is the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement," Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted last week. Last year's march in New York City featured more than 550 groups and more than 100 floats.
Riot Act: What Happened the Night of the Stonewall Uprising
Police were notorious for raiding bars in the West Village and downtown Manhattan, havens for the LGBTQ community, that were suspected of serving homosexual customers. If you sat at a gay bar, you could not turn around, Tree said. It reopened with new money thanks to members of the Genovese crime family syndicate and became popular in the LGBTQ community. The rebellion mobilized the LGBTQ community and its allies in a way not yet seen. In 2011, New York State legalized same-sex marriage, becoming the sixth state at that time to do so.
Country star Jake Owen claps back at anti-LGBTQ commenter
(CNN) - Please "Believe" that Jake Owen will not allow people to diss the LGBTQ community. The country singer took on an Instagram commenter who had words to say regarding Owen's latest song. "Some of my closest friends and coworkers, are part of the #lgbt community and I couldn't be more happy for the progress they have made," Owen wrote in the caption. Owen went on to say, "I BELIEVE the world needs more love. The singer asked the commenter to come find him for a hug at the concert if he or she attended.