Seven collegiate championships previously awarded to North Carolina are now pulled as a result of the anti-LGBT law the state enacted earlier this year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Monday.
Mark Emmert, NCAA president, said in statement the board of directors decided to move the previously scheduled events out of North Carolina because NCAA events must promote an inclusive atmosphere for college athletes, coaches, administrators and fans.
“Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” Emmert said. “We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships.”
The NCCA cites as the reason for pulling the events House Bill 2, which nullified city pro-LGBT non-discrimination ordinances in the state, including one recently enacted in Charlotte, and prohibits transgender people from using the restroom. Also cited are the five states and other cities that have put in place bans on state-sponsored travel to North Carolina as result of the law.
The seven championship events relocated from North Carolina were for the 2016-17 season:
* 2016 Division I Women’s Soccer Championship, College Cup (Cary), Dec. 2 and 4.
* 2016 Division III Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships (Greensboro), Dec. 2 and 3.
* 2017 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, first/second rounds (Greensboro), March 17 and 19.
* 2017 Division I Women’s Golf Championships, regional (Greenville), May 8-10.
* 2017 Division III Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships (Cary), May 22-27.
* 2017 Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship (Cary), May 26 and 28.
* 2017 Division II Baseball Championship (Cary), May 27-June 3.
“The NCAA Constitution clearly states our values of inclusion and gender equity, along with the membership’s expectation that we as the board of governors protect those values for all,” said Susquehanna University president and vice chair of the NCAA board of governors Jay Lemons. “Our membership comprises many different types of schools – public, private, secular, faith-based – and we believe this action appropriately reflects the collective will of that diverse group.”
The NCAA decision is the latest in a string of decisions from businesses that have cancelled expansions in North Carolina and performers that have nixed events in the state. The National Basketball Association pulled the All-Star Games from the state as a result of the anti-LGBT law.
Nonetheless, state officials have been intransigent in their support for HB2. At the Values Voter Summit in D.C. on Friday, North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who called the special session that passed the law, promoted the measure as “common sense in America.”
The Washington Blade has placed a call in with the office of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory seeking comment. As the Huffington Post’s Amanda Terkel notes, the NCAA made the decision at the same time the governor was attending a fundraiser in D.C. that cost at least $1,000 to attend.
A spokesperson for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper, who has pledged to repeal HB2 and supports LGBT non-discrimination protections, chided McCrory for the loss of the games.
“It seems that almost every day, we learn of a new consequence of HB2,” said Cooper spokesperson Ford Porter. “Hosting NCAA championship events has long been a point of pride for North Carolina. These tournaments pump money into our economy and give our communities and fans a chance to showcase our incredible tradition of college sports. Now, our ability to host these events at the highest level has been eliminated because of Gov. McCrory and HB2. Enough – We need to repeal this law and get our state back on track.”
Mixed views among U.S. adults on trans issues: Pew
Most back non-discrimination, but divided on other issues
A new survey from a leading non-partisan research center reveals Americans have mixed views on transgender issues at a time when states are moving forward with measures against transgender youth, with strong majorities favoring non-discrimination protections but weaker support for access to transition-related care among minors and participation in school sports.
The Pew Research Center issued the findings on Tuesday as part of the results of its ongoing study to better understand Americans’ views about gender identity and people who are transgender or non-binary. The findings are based on a survey of 10,188 U.S. adults from data collected as part of a larger survey conducted May 16-22.
A majority of respondents by wide margins favor non-discrimination protections for transgender people. A full 64 percent back laws or policies that would protect transgender people from discrimination in jobs, housing, and public spaces, while roughly 8-in-10 acknowledge transgender people face at least some discrimination in our society.
Additionally, nearly one half of Americans say it’s extremely important to use a transgender person’s new name after they undergo a transition, while an additional 22 percent say that is somewhat important. A smaller percentage, 34 percent, say using a transgender person’s pronouns is extremely important, and 21 percent say it is somewhat important.
But other findings were less supportive:
- 60 percent say a person’s gender is determined by sex assigned at birth, reflecting an increase from 56 percent in 2021 and 54 percent in 2017, compared to 38 percent who say gender can be different from sex assigned at birth.
- 54 percent say society has either gone too far or been about right in terms of acceptance, underscoring an ambivalence around transgender issues even among those who see at least some discrimination against transgender people.
- About six-in-ten adults, or 58 precent, favor proposals that would require transgender athletes to compete on teams that match the sex they were assigned at birth as opposed to teams consistent with their gender identity, compared to 17 percent who oppose that and 24 percent neither favor nor oppose it.
- 46 percent favor making it illegal for health care professionals to provide transition-related care, such as hormones or gender reassignment surgery, to someone younger than 18, compared to 31 percent who oppose it.
- Americans are more evenly split when it comes to making it illegal for public school districts to teach about gender identity in elementary schools (which is favored by 41 percent, and opposed by 38 percent) and investigating parents for child abuse if they help someone younger than 18 obtain transition-related care (37 percent are in favor and 36 percent oppose it).
Young adults took the lead in terms of supporting change and acceptance. Half of adults ages 18 to 29 say someone can be a man or a woman even if that differs from the sex they were assigned at birth, compared to about four-in-10 of those ages 30 to 49 and about one-third of respondents 50 and older.
Predictably, stark differences could be found along party lines. Democrats by 59 precent say society hasn’t gone far enough in accepting people who are transgender, while 15 percent say it has gone too far and 24 percent say it’s been about right. For Republicans, 10 percent say society hasn’t gone far enough, while 66 percent say it’s gone too far and 22 percent say it’s been about right.
Read the full report here.
House passes resolution that calls for Brittney Griner’s immediate release
Detained WNBA star’s trial to begin on July 1
In a resolution passed on June 24 by the U.S. House of Representatives, lawmakers called on Russia to immediately release detained WNBA star Brittney Griner.
Griner was first arrested in Russia in the days leading up to its invasion in Ukraine. Authorities have charged her with drug trafficking after claiming that she attempted to pass through Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport while in possession of cannabis oil.
The House’s resolution, introduced in May by U.S. Reps. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) and Colin Allred (D-Texas), made multiple demands of Russia, including that the country “immediately release Brittney Griner,” provide her with consular access and humane treatment and that the U.S. “raise the case of Brittney Griner and to press for her release” in all its dealings with the Russian government.
“This legislation insists on our embassy personnel having access to Ms. Griner and restates our commitment to freeing her now,” Lee said in a statement after introducing the resolution. “We continue to pray for her family and we will continue to work together as three members of Congress, along with others, to spread the message that she is held wrongfully and must be freed now.”
The resolution also expressed support for both Griner’s family and for “all prisoners unjustly imprisoned in the Russian Federation.”
Allred, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, took to Twitter following the passage of the resolution.
“I’m proud the House has spoken in passing our resolution and calling for Brittney Griner’s swift release,” Allred wrote. “Every day an American is held abroad is a lifetime, and I will keep working with @POTUS to do all we can to bring home every American detained abroad.”
Griner’s WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury, welcomed the House’s passage of the resolution this past weekend.
“[Rep.] Stanton and many others are continuing to work with the White House, State Department and Brittney’s family to secure her safe return home,” the team wrote on Twitter.
The resolution comes after reporting revealed missteps on the part of the U.S. government in handling communication related to Griner’s detention.
According to past reporting, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow failed to connect Griner with outside phone calls permitted by the Russian government when Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, attempted to call her. Cherelle Griner reportedly called 11 times on June 18 on the couple’s fourth anniversary but was unable to reach her wife due to what the State Department claimed to be a “logistical error.”
While the resolution is being heralded by its supporters, it contains no provisions intended to enforce the House’s demands for the release and humane treatment of Griner and others held by Russia. With less than one percent of criminal defendants in Russia being acquitted, it is unclear whether the resolution will do anything to persuade the country’s courts to permit Griner’s release.
Griner appeared in Russian court on Monday for a preliminary hearing prior to her trial that has now been scheduled to begin on July 1. It was also confirmed by Griner’s attorney on Monday that her detention had been extended for six months pending her trial.
If convicted, she could face up to 10 years in prison.
“We must keep Brittney’s case on the forefront and make clear to the White House that her release should be one of the highest priorities for our government,” Cherelle Griner said in May.
Protests, revelry mark NYC Pride
Tens of thousands protested Roe ruling on Friday night
New York City Pride, one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world, rang in the weekend with equal parts celebration and protest.
Although the annual Pride march was on Sunday, the entire weekend was filled with an outpouring of public anger in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Protesters took to the streets of Manhattan on Friday with an estimated 17,000 people gathering to protest the ruling, which made abortion imminently illegal in roughly half of states. At least 25 people were arrested at the Friday night protests, which spread from Washington Square Park through Midtown to Bryant Park.
In light of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision — which advocates say will harm members of the LGBTQ community — NYC Pride announced that Planned Parenthood would kick off Sunday’s Pride march as the first group to walk. In their statement, NYC Pride said that “[The Supreme Court’s] dangerous decision puts millions in harm’s way, gives government control over our individual freedom to choose, and sets a disturbing precedent that puts many other constitutional rights and freedoms in jeopardy.”
“As millions gather for LGBTQIA+ Pride this weekend in New York City and cities across the country, our voices will be heard — for the LGBTQ people impacted and the millions with whom we stand in solidarity,” read the statement. “Pride was born of protest and will always be a space to fight injustice and discrimination. Join us as we advocate for bodily autonomy at this year’s NYC Pride March.”
In addition to the march; NYC Pride had a full slate of Pride programming during the week leading up to it, including Pride Island at Governor’s Island, Youth Pride and a human rights conference. Queer clubs and bars throughout the city hosted various Pride-themed events throughout the weekend.
NYC Pride was not the only organization mobilizing this weekend.
Reclaim Pride NYC hosted a “Queer Liberation March for Trans and BIPOC Freedom, Reproductive Justice, and Bodily Autonomy,” in partnership with pro-choice groups and community organizations.
“The [Queer Liberation March] is the annual people’s protest march without corporate funding; corporate floats; politicians’ grandstanding; or police control or involvement,” said the Reclaim Pride Coalition.
Although Pride originated from a moment of violent tension between police and LGBTQ people at the Stonewall Inn, officers on Sunday carefully patrolled the entire NYC Pride march route. When the apparent sound of gunshots nearly sparked a stampede in Washington Square Park during the parade, the New York Police Department said there were “no shots fired,” later confirming that the sounds were due to fireworks being set off at the park.
The Washington Post noted fears of violence against the queer community circulated at Pride celebrations across the country.
Police also responded to reports of a shooting at San Francisco Pride, although no suspects or witnesses were found. In light of the epidemic of gun violence — from last month’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, to the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in 2016 that left 49 people dead — a fear of active shooters and widespread public anger at the prospect of less rights characterized Pride’s usually jubilant atmosphere.
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