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National news in brief: October 7

Ann Coulter on Logo’s ‘A-List’ next season, StopSB48 nears a crucial deadline for signatures, Toby Keith favors marriage equality and DADT repeal and more



Ann Coulter (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Ann Coulter to appear on Logo’s ‘A-List’

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Ann Coulter has confirmed that she joined GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia in filming an episode of Logo’s “A List: Dallas” in West Hollywood.

The two were visiting “A List: Dallas” cast member and GOProud fundraiser, Taylor Garrett. Coulter is the honorary board chair of GOProud.

“We look forward to gay people everywhere getting a chance to hear about our organizations and hear from Ann Coulter – simply the smartest, funniest and most stylish woman in politics today,” LaSalvia remarked in a statement. “We thank Ann for agreeing to do this and for continuing her outspoken support for gay conservatives.”

Logo, an LGBT television network, released a statement saying, “while there are of course thousands of reasons to disagree with Coulter and her uber conservative politics, it is incredibly refreshing to see someone in her position, and of such noted stature for her far right opinions, willing to reaffirm her GLB (T might be going out on a limb) support.”

Deadline nears for opponents of Calif. history law

SACRAMENTO — StopSB48, the group challenging a California law mandating inclusion of LGBT history in the classroom, has collected 82 percent of the signatures needed to qualify their measure for the ballot.

The deadline for submitting the signatures to the state is Oct. 12, and most signature drives for ballot measures need to collect more than the minimum number of signatures needed to qualify, as many signatures are often unable to be verified. The campaign estimates it needs 750,000 signatures. So far the group has collected 415,000 of the 504,760 needed, according to gay journalist Rex Wockner.

In response to what it calls illegal signature gathering tactics, California LGBT advocates Courage Campaign have formally requested an investigation by the California attorney general’s office in Santa Ana and Oceanside City. According to the organization, signature gatherers are asking passersby if they would like to sign a petition to “protect children from child abduction.” California is one of only a few states that makes falsifying information while collecting petition signatures a misdemeanor.

Country star Toby Keith endorses marriage equality

OKLAHOMA CITY — Country singer Toby Keith, who has at times spoken out in favor of both Republican and Democratic causes, revealed that he supports marriage equality and last year’s repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

In the CMT Insider interview, Keith expressed opposition to denying marriage licenses to couples that want to marry, and said ballot measures “waste time and money.”

The star wrapped up his feelings about openly gay service members saying “Somebody’s sexual preference is, like, who cares?”

Chicago’s oldest LGBT publication folds

CHICAGO — Gay Chicago, which became Gay Chicago Magazine earlier this year after restructuring, ceased publication this week.

The publication has been in print since 1976, and was one of the oldest LGBT titles still in print in the country. The publication had been struggling for many years since the death of the long time publisher, Ralph Paul Gernhardt in 2006. Gernhardt’s children Craig and Christy had published the book since their father’s passing, according to the Windy City Times, the last remaining LGBT news publication in Chicago, after another LGBT publication, the Chicago Free Press, ceased publication last year.

Gay San Fran candidate features daughter in ad

SAN FRANCISCO — Gay city supervisor and candidate for San Francisco mayor, Bevan Dufty, cast his daughter Sidney in an ad touting the importance of the San Francisco public transit system.

The ad features the candidate and his daughter riding crowded trains, and dancing in the aisles of an empty MUNI car.

“Sidney thinks MUNI is magic,” Dufty narrates. “We go underground and come out someplace new. Just us. I want all of us to see it that way.”

Dufty is believed to be the first openly gay candidate in the country to feature his or her own children in a campaign ad, according to the Victory Fund.



Federal judge halts enforcement of Fla. trans healthcare ban

Advocacy groups challenged Senate Bill 254



A federal judge has halted enforcement of a Florida law that bans gender-affirming health care for transgender youth. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

In his 44 page ruling, Judge Robert Hinkle of the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida has barred the state from any further enforcement action against transgender youth or their parents from seeking appropriate gender-affirming care.

Hinkle’s ruling allows Florida parents challenging the ban to access necessary medical care for their trans children while the legal challenge to the bans continues. The ruling blocks enforcement of Florida state Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine rules banning established medical care for trans adolescents as well as provisions in Senate Bill 254 that codify those rules into state law with added criminal and civil penalties.

In his summary Hinkle wrote: “Gender identity is real. Those whose gender identity does not match their natal sex often suffer gender dysphoria. The widely accepted standard of care calls for evaluation and treatment by a multidisciplinary team. Proper treatment begins with mental health therapy and is followed in appropriate cases by GnRH agonists and cross-sex hormones. Florida has adopted a statute and rules that prohibit these treatments even when medically appropriate.”

In today’s ruling the court indicated that the plaintiff parents are likely to succeed in their claims that SB 254 and the Boards of Medicine rules unconstitutionally strip them of the right to make informed decisions about their children’s medical treatment and violate the equal protection rights of trans youth by denying them medically necessary, doctor-recommended healthcare.

The challenge to the Boards of Medicine and SB 254 healthcare bans is likely to proceed quickly to trial.

The families are represented by Southern Legal Counsel, GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Human Rights Campaign, which issued the following statement:

“Today’s ruling is a powerful affirmation of the humanity of transgender people, the efficacy of well-established, science-based medical care, and of the rights of parents to make informed healthcare decisions for their children. The court recognized the profound harm the state of Florida is causing by forcing parents to watch their kids suffer rather than provide them with safe and effective care that will allow them to thrive. We are incredibly relieved that these Florida parents can continue to get healthcare for their children while we proceed to challenge these bans and eventually see them fully overturned.”

Read the ruling:

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Events roundup: Federal gov’t celebrates Pride month

Bidens to host White House Pride reception on Thursday



U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (Photo courtesy DHS)

The White House, U.S. federal agencies, and Congress are honoring Pride month with a slate of official and unofficial events this year, many taking place this week.

Details for some events have not yet been announced, so this article will be updated when new information becomes available – such as details about the U.S. State Department’s Pride reception, which is expected to happen later this month.

  • The U.S. Department of the Interior kicked off Pride month with a celebration on June 1, where DoI Secretary Deb Haaland raised the Progress Pride Flag alongside members of Interior’s LGBTQ community.
  • Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs hosted a flag raising ceremony on June 1 at the John A. Wilson Building. The Mayor’s Office is also sponsoring a District of Pride Showcase at the Lincoln Theatre on June 29.
  • On June 2, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security held a flag raising ceremony at the agency’s headquarters with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
  • Speaker Emerita U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will throw out the ceremonial first pitch during the Washington Nationals Night OUT game on Tuesday, Major League Baseball’s longest-running annual Pride event. The Speaker will be honored this year for her advancement of LGBTQ civil rights throughout her career in Congress.
  • The U.S. Department of Defense’s DoD Pride, an LGBTQ employee resource group for service members and DoD civilian employees, will hold its annual Pride month event on June 7 at the Pentagon.
  • President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden are hosting a Pride month celebration on the South Lawn of the White House on June 8, which will feature a performance by singer-songwriter Betty Who.
  • The LGBTQ Victory Fund’s June 22 Federal PAC Reception will feature LGBTQ members of Congress: U.S. Reps. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.), Eric Sorensen (D-Ill.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Robert Garcia (D-Calf.), and Sharice Davids (D-Kan.).
  • On June 28, Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff are hosting a reception in celebration of Pride at the Vice President’s residence, in collaboration with GLAAD.
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Same-sex marriage support remains strong at 71 percent high

Supreme Court issued Obergefell ruling in 2015



A Gallup Poll released Monday showed that support for same-sex marriage is maintaining a position of 71 percent of Americans who think it should be legal, matching the previous year’s percentage.

Gallup noted that public support for legally recognizing gay marriages has been consistently above 50 percent since the early 2010s.

The latest figures are from Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 1-24.

When Gallup first polled about same-sex marriage in 1996, barely a quarter of the public (27 percent) supported legalizing such unions. It would take another 15 years, until 2011, for support to reach the majority level. Then in 2015, just one month before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, public support for legalizing gay marriage cracked the 60 percent level. In 2021, it reached the 70 percent mark for the first time and has been there each of the past three years.

Support Relatively Low Among Republicans, Weekly Churchgoers

Gallup has recorded increases in support for same-sex marriage across all major subgroups over time. Today, majorities of all but two key subgroups — Republicans (49 percent) and weekly churchgoers (41 percent) — say gay marriages should be legally recognized.

Republican support for gay marriage has hovered around the 50 percent mark since 2020, with slight majorities backing it in 2021 and 2022. The latest 49 percent recorded for this group is statistically similar to the level of support Gallup has recorded in recent years.

Like all other subgroups, weekly churchgoers (41 percent) are more supportive of gay marriage now than they were in the previous two decades. However, their level of support has been steady since 2018 — ranging between 40 percent and 44 percent.

Bottom line

Same-sex marriage has received majority support in the U.S. for over a decade, and support has been on an upward trajectory for most of Gallup’s polling since 1996.

Gay marriage became the law of the land after the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell decision, and President Joe Biden signed bipartisan legislation to ward off future judicial attempts at undoing its legality late last year.

Among many groups — including older adults, Protestants and residents of the South — perspectives on gay marriage have gone from majority opposition to majority support over the course of Gallup’s trend spanning more than a quarter of a century. But two groups remain holdouts on the issue, with Republicans evenly divided on the legality of same-sex unions and weekly churchgoers maintaining their position against it.

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