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Written by Craig Ogan
In Chicago, lesbians rule

This is what equality looks like: Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, was elected mayor of Chicago defeating city Democrat party chair Toni Preckwinkle, 74 to 26 percent.

She ran as a reformer in an apocryphally corrupt city. Members of the city council have been indicted for bribery, the Smollett hate-crime hoax ― and cover-up, police shootings, a burgeoning murder rate were all issues that helped defeat the “machine” candidate.

One issue that’s clearly not an issue was Lightfoot’s sex life. She is married to Amy Eshleman. The couple is raising a daughter. Other Midwest cities re-elected out-and-proud candidates: in Madison, Wisconsin, Satya Rhodes-Conway beat the incumbent; and in Kansas City, Mo., Jolie Justus advanced from the primary to general election.

Equality Act gets hearing

The U.S. Congress is holding the first-ever hearing on the Equality Act. The legislation guarantees LGBT nondiscrimination under the 1964 landmark Civil Rights Act. The act has major support from 180 name-brand businesses though the Human Rights Campaign’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act.

Polls show 70 percent of Americans support any legislation with the word “equality” in the title. Congress will hear testimony from LGBT grievance-industry professionals, LGBT supporting churches, university law professionals and diversity officers, and the obligatory personal stories of discrimination.

Not invited to testify is former Log Cabin chief executive Gregory Angelo, who wrote an op-ed for a conservative newspaper, saying, “Don’t be fooled by the name: The Equality Act is legislation that would compromise American civil rights and religious liberty as we know it.”

N. Carolina Congressional nominee, still hot about the pot

North Carolina’s 9th congressional election was not decided in 2018 due to charges of voting fraud. The Republican in the race, who was ahead by a few votes, dropped out and will “re-run” this summer. The polls say the favorite to replace him on the “R Line” is the state legislator sponsored North Carolina HB2, which banned transgender people from using the bathroom of their identified gender.

The law led to a backlash, from canceled concerts to loss of the NBA All-Stars game. The law was largely modified, but remained objectionable to transgender activists. The legislator does not apologize for his support for the bill, rather is ratcheting up partisan rhetoric. His ads call Democrats “socialists” and “gun grabbers” who support “infanticide and open borders.” No mention of bathrooms, yet.

A tease does not please

A couple of late-Victorian bachelors sit around in dressing gowns drinking tea in a fabulous London flat. Some fans of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson thought (or hoped) they were lovers.

According to Martin Freeman, Dr. Watson to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes on the PBS-aired series said a “writers’ tease” ticked off some fans when the series didn’t have a “gay” ending. The updated portrayal toyed with the sexual nature of the relationship.

There was tongue-in-cheek humor, with other characters often assuming they were a gay couple. Fans assumed the show runners would end the series, “Where we held hands off into the sunset together,” says Freeman.

That scenario didn’t occur and the production company got complaints of disappointment and “betrayal”. With another season in the offering, gay hope, as it does at midnight on Grindr, can spring eternal.

Adoption in Michigan

A deal between the ALCU and the Michigan Attorney General requires faith-based adoption agencies, receiving state money, to help gay and lesbian people adopt. A lesbian couple were refused services by Catholic Charities and Bethany Christian Services, so they sued.

Michigan, like most states, contracts with private agencies to place children with adoptive parents. The two services averaged 25 to 30 percent of the state’s foster care adoptions.

No ‘Call Me by Your Name’ 2, yet

A sequel to Call Me by Your Name, a straight-washed movie about a gay relationship, is happening ― at least in book form. André Aciman’s Find Me picks up where the book and movie left off. The age-significant lovers Elio and Oliver have moved on.

Elio is now a gifted classical pianist and Oliver is a professor in the U.S., with sons. A movie sequel is in the talks, but the actor who played Oliver, Armie Hammer, talks it down, saying, “I think we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment.”

Sylvester, one for the books

An out, proud and loud 1980s artist, Sylvester, has a song inducted into the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress. Annually, the registry adds 25 American recordings that are at least 10 years old, selecting works with “culturally, historically, or aesthetically” significance. One of this year’s 25 was Sylvester’s, “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” recorded in 1978. Sylvester passed away in 1988 due to complications related to HIV.

VIP too important for ID, bar punished

Washington DC’s former mayor and current city council member, Vincent Gray, was tossed out of the DC Eagle after refusing to show his driver’s license to the door person. He thought his city councilor ID, which didn’t show his age, was sufficient for entry.

In a scene witnessed often in Utah, the 75-year-old politico, when challenged to use ID showing age, said, “Don’t I look old enough?” The bouncer pushed him out the door and the councilor fell and suffered minor injuries.

After Gray’s complaint, the bar’s liquor license was suspended for a week and the owners fined $2,000. Plus, the bouncer was fired.

San Antonio hates Chick-fil-A

Hope you are not in the San Antonio airport if you are “jonesing” for waffle fries and a chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A. The city council is banning the chain from the airport, which has long been criticized for making donations to anti-gay organizations.

The city council member, in proposing the ban, said that San Antonio is a city of compassion where everyone “has a place and we do not have room in our public facilities for a business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.”

The company has tried to downplay comments from its founder about marriage equality, but in 2017, Chick-fil-A made donations to groups not favored by LGBT activists.

The Texas attorney general sent a letter to the city that his office would investigate whether the a ban violates any laws about religious liberty. He also asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to look into the matter.

Brunei stones sodomy

Several crimes, like having a baby out of wedlock, missing prayers, or promoting religions other than Islam will face lesser fines and go into effect immediately. Stoning and stiffer punishments for other crimes were left to be implemented at a later date.

“The decision to implement the penal code is not for fun but is to obey Allah’s command as written in the Quran,” Prime Minister Hassanal Bolkiah said.

The country has 400,000 residents, with two-thirds being Muslim. According to UN High Commission for Human Rights, under international law, stoning is considered torture and is cruel, inhumane, degrading treatment and is prohibited.

Enough trope to hang themselves

Sean Hannity wasn’t the first media person to make tired trope that presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s married partner would be “First Lady”, rather it came from the long time stalwart of gay and lesbian media, the Advocate. The magazine headlined a hagiography of the two South Benders with “Chasten Buttigieg Would Be the Best ‘First Lady’ of Twitter”.

In the article, the writer wrote, “And as his self-proclaimed ‘underdog’ husband continues to capture the hearts of many Americans, we decided to round up a few of our favorite tweets from the man who may become the first male-identified ‘First Lady’ ever.”

Another dumb gay question, this time Buzz Feed asked Mayor Buttigieg, “Do you think President James Buchanan was gay,” and was answered with “my gaydar has never been very good.” Nice to hear a presidential candidate say, “My gaydar,” though.

More progress on HIV

Surgeons at the Johns Hopkins Hospital have transplanted a kidney from a living HIV-positive donor to an HIV-positive recipient, a medical breakthrough they think will expand the pool of available organs for transplants. The procedure is a large step from the days HIV diagnosis was considered a death sentence.

PHOTO: Lori Lightfoot



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Craig Ogan

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