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National news briefs

Sept. News Briefs
Written by Craig Ogan

Blind pig finds truffle

Mary Roland, a magistrate judge since 2012 is a surprising nomination to the U.S. District Court in Illinois. She is a member of the Gay and Lesbian Bar Association, considered left of center, and is married to a woman. It’s speculated that she is part of a “package” with Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill. He asked for her appointment during the Obama Administration but was turned down. According to Lambda Legal, nearly one-third of Trump’s judicial nominees have an anti-LGBTQ record. LifeSiteNews, a Roman Catholic-oriented website expressed concern that she couldn’t separate her “homosexuality to be a fair judge.”

Il Papa trips over his tongue

Reporters recently asked Pope Francis what he would say to parents who “observe homosexual traits” in their child. His answer: “I would say first of all to pray, not to condemn, to dialogue, to understand, to give space to the son or the daughter. The child has the right to a family, and the family not throwing him out.” He also suggested that “a lot can be done through psychiatry.” A Vatican spokesman quickly clarified the Pope wasn’t suggesting homosexuality is a psychological problem, but therapy is a tool to help with acceptance and depression issues.

Grindr IPO

Oh hell, turns out the ChiComs own Grinder and they want to take the world’s largest gay hook-up platform public. Don’t rush off to delete the app or hide your pic; they’re not outing you; rather they’re floating an initial public stock offering. Bloomberg reports: “Grindr — a wholly owned unit of the Chinese internet gaming firm, Kunlun, which bought a 61.5 percent stake in Grindr in 2016 for $155 million and bought the rest of the company in 2017.”

Intersex baby surgery

California’s legislature passed a resolution condemning surgery performed on infants to “correct” the child’s genitals. The resolution was introduced by, no kidding, state Democrat Sen. Scott Wiener, and co-sponsored by social justice organizations interACT and Equality California. The resolution urges MDs to delay genital surgeries but doesn’t ban the procedure. Parents have the right to authorize the operation but advocates think the child should have a choice and therefore wait for the child’s informed consent.

SCOTUS rules against Philly Catholic adoption service

The United States Supreme Court rejected Philadelphia Catholic Social Services and Bethany Christian Services’ legal appeal to continue to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples. Lower courts rejected the claim citing constitutional rights were violated by being forced to follow an anti-discrimination law. Bethany has agreed to comply with the law, but CSS of Philadelphia “will show them” and will shut down its adoption services.

Mass. transgender woman loses a Congressional run

Not this time for Alexandra Chandler, running for the Massachusetts 3rd Congressional District nomination. She hoped to be the first transgender person elected to the U.S. Congress. She did poll more votes than her demographic at 5.7 percent of the votes in the primary election.

Drag Race racing to an Emmy

RuPaul’s Drag Race is in the running for an Emmy award. An unnamed Hollywood producer and advocate hopes RuPaul wins: “Maybe I like being subversive, but I would love for RuPaul to win because I would love to see her accept an award on the main telecast.” The anonymous guest columnist (this is now acceptable opinion journalism) writes, “Everybody that is now able to do drag shows, or even for that matter to be transgender, walks in her footsteps — his footsteps.”

Gay Democrat wins in New Hampshire primary

Chris Pappas earned the Democratic nomination for New Hampshire’s swing 1st Congressional District and will face Republican former police chief Eddie Edwards for the seat of retiring fellow Democrat, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter. The Victory Fund and other gay PACs supported Pappas.

Queering Fashion Week

A queer fashion show takes place during New York Fashion Week at the Brooklyn Museum, marking its sixth year. The show,  “Dress Code”, is produced by Anita Dolce Vita and presented annually by DapperQ. The show features 10 designers whose work is dedicated to the queering of fashion — particularly gender nonconformity, designers who aren’t typically among big-house brands during NYFW. Alex Mugler from Viceland’s My House hosts the evening. The producers hope to not only queer the opening day of Fashion Week but are queering the entire week, partnering with The Phluid Project to bring a full week of events.

Stormy weather at NLGJA conference

An emcee at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association conference in Palm Springs, Calif., received criticism for referring to nonbinary people as “things and its.” His comment caused immediate protest, Tweet signaling, and resignation from the NLGJA. Marshall McPeek is a meteorologist at ABC’s Columbus, Ohio affiliate; and, a journalist Monica Roberts immediately called him out, yelling, “Oh no he did not” and “There are no ‘things’ or ‘its’ here.” He later apologized on stage, and the NGLJA issued a statement saying that McPeek’s “inappropriate, unscripted remarks” don’t “reflect our values.”

Nothing like a mother’s love

An Ithaca College sophomore Mahad Olad visited family in Kenya who tried to subject him to conversion therapy. As a Muslim born in Somalia but raised in Kenya and Minnesota, he hid his homosexuality and his atheism from his family but, as families do, they figured it out. Reaching Kenya, mommy dearest detained Olad at a hotel where she asked him to withdraw from college and placed under the control of a group of sheiks. The goal: to reform his religious beliefs and pray away the gay (or, failing that, beat it away). Instead, Olad called the U.S. Embassy, which gave him refuge and got him out the country.

Golfer, gay

It was just a matter of time before one of those gym bunnies on the Professional Golf Association tour came out in the conservative world of pro golf. Tadd Fujikawa is now the first professed gay male in the men’s PGA. At last count, there are almost 20 out golfers on the LPGA (no, it’s not the Lesbians Playing Golf Association). Fujikawa, a native of Hawaii, qualified for the U.S. Open at 15 years old and is the youngest player in 50 years to make the weekend event.

Speaking of golf, Caitlyn Jenner Tweeted a pic showing the plaque, “Caitlyn Jenner” on a locker in the private ladies locker room at the elite Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Jenner reportedly felt affirmed as a woman following the club rejecting her participation in the men’s tournament.

Boys wed as toys

Two Chicago men who are massive Disney fans threw a Disney-themed wedding where they dressed as Buzz and Woody from the Toy Story series. “You’ve got a friend in me” was the first dance song. The grooms asked guests to dress as their favorite Disney character. And some did — several men as Tinker Bell and a lesbian couple as different iterations of Mary Poppins. The couple was engaged at, yes, Disneyland. The honeymoon: not Never Never Land, but Hawaii with a layover at Disneyland. See wedding pics at goo.gl/p2J66G.

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Craig Ogan

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