A majority of LGBTQ youth reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression amid the pandemic, according to poll released Friday by Morning Consult and The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization.
The poll surveyed 1,200 people across the U.S. between the ages of 13–24 in late July, including 600 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth and 600 non-LGBTQ youth.
Stay-at-home orders have led to some LGBTQ youth being stuck inside in unsupportive households, which could lead to adverse mental health affects, as well as limited opportunities to get needed care, according to the survey. Nearly 1 in 4 LGBTQ youth who responded said they were unable to access mental health care because of the pandemic.
Three-fourths of LGBTQ respondents said they were suffering from increased loneliness since the pandemic began, with 55 percent reporting symptoms of anxiety and 53 percent reporting symptoms of depression in the two weeks preceding the poll. The survey found non-LGBTQ respondents were 1.75 times more likely than LGBTQ youth and 2.4 times more likely than trans and nonbinary youth to exhibit no signs of either anxiety or depression.
Over one-third of LGBTQ youth surveyed said they were unable to be themselves at home, and nearly one-third of transgender and nonbinary youth reported feeling unsafe in their living situation since the start of the pandemic.
“This year has been difficult for everyone, but it has been especially challenging for LGBTQ youth, and particularly Black LGBTQ youth, who have found themselves at the crossroads of multiple mounting tragedies,” Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of The Trevor Project, said in a statement.
Paley said that since the onset of the pandemic, the volume of youth reaching out to his organization’s crisis services programs has, at times, been double its pre-Covid-19 volume.
“We’ve known that LGBTQ youth have faced unique challenges because of the countless heartbreaking stories we’ve heard on our 24/7 phone lifeline, text, and chat crisis services; but these findings illuminate the existence of alarming mental health disparities that must be addressed through public policy,” he stated.
Compounding the negative effects of stay-at-home orders related to the public health crisis are the ongoing news reports and social media videos of violence against Black Americans and reports of police violence against people of color.
A majority of LGBTQ youth said the ongoing unrest had negatively affected their well being, with 78 percent of Black LGBTQ youth saying they had been negatively affected. Of that, 44 percent of Black LGBTQ youth said their well being had been negatively affected “a lot.”
Only 8 percent of Black LGBTQ youth said police in their neighborhood were there to protect them, which reflected a larger trend of 71 percent of LGBTQ youth in total reporting that they deeply distrust the police.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.
If you are an LGBTQ young person in crisis, feeling suicidal or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call TrevorLifeline now at 1-866-488-7386.
But despite his apparent passion for religion, when Pompeo paid a visit to the Vatican this week, he was unceremoniously rejected for a meeting with the Pope.ADVERTISING
According to Reuters, on Wednesday (30 September), the day before he was set to meet with Vatican officials, Pompeo spoke at the US embassy to the Holy See and denounced China’s record on religious freedom.
In an article and series of tweets in September, Pompeo criticised the Catholic Church for working with Beijing to appoint Chinese bishops, claiming Vatican officials were putting their “moral authority at risk”.
Officers found Mia Green, a Philadelphia resident, shot in the neck in the passenger’s seat of a car driven by Abdullah lbn El-Amin Jaamia when he was stopped Monday morning for running a stop sign, a police statement said.
During the traffic stop, Jaamia, 28, “exited the front driver’s door and approached Police stating that his passenger was shot.”
Officers then provided a police escort as Jaamia drove Green to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 8:30 a.m.
Upon further investigation, Jaamia was charged with murder and related offenses on Tuesday, police said.
Authorities did not provide details surrounding the investigation, possible motive and arrest, or specify the relationship between the suspect and victim. It was not immediately clear if Jaamia has a lawyer.
“We know that the loss of yet another trans community member of color is especially painful, no matter the circumstances,” the city said. “This latest act of violence against a member of our community is a somber reminder of the epidemic of violence against trans individuals.”
Green’s death shows “there is much work to be done in the pursuit of full equality, respect, and justice for us all,” the statement said.
Across the U.S., there has been “surge of violence against transgender people,” according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.
“In just seven months, the number of transgender people suspected of being murdered in 2020 has surpassed the total for all of 2019,” the center wrote in an August blog post, prior to Green’s death.
There have been at least 29 instances of fatal violence against trans and gender nonconforming people in the U.S. this year, with most of the victims being Black and Latinx transgender women, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
Transgender children who receive gender-affirming medical care earlier in their lives are less likely to experience mental health issues like depression and anxiety, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.
“The study highlights that timely access to gender-affirming medical care is really important for youth with gender dysphoria,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Julia C. Sorbara, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Gender dysphoriainvolves a conflict between an individual’s sex assigned at birth and their gender identity.
The study found that transgender youths who sought that type of care — which, for minors, most commonly includes puberty blockers, hormones or both — at a later age and further into puberty were more distressed and more likely to suffer from mental health issues.
“A major part of puberty is developing physical changes, and for youth with gender dysphoria, they begin to develop physical changes that are not in keeping with the gender they identify,” Sorbara said. “This can be very distressing for these young people.”
The study included 300 transgender minors aged 10 to 17 who were being treated at the Hospital for Sick Children. The researchers tracked their ages at the time they first sought care at the Toronto clinic and their reported difficulties with mental health.
More than three-quarters of the youths who went to Sorbara’s clinic reported mental health problems, including depression and anxiety, according to the study.
“The most common were depressive and anxiety disorders, as well as having considered suicide at some point — unfortunately not so out of keeping with what’s been reported from other clinics,” Sorbara said.
Researchers found that those issues were more likely the older the children were when they arrived at the clinic. When compared to children ages 10 to 15, children older than 15 were more likely to have reported diagnoses of depression (46 percent vs. 30 percent) and to have self-harmed (40 percent vs. 28 percent), considered suicide (52 percent vs. 40 percent), attempted suicide (17 percent vs. 9 percent) and required psychoactive medications (36 percent vs. 23 percent).
Sorbara’s study follows another study, also published in Pediatrics, that found that transgender individuals who received puberty blockers during adolescence had lower risks of suicidal thoughts as adults than those who wanted the medication but could not get access to it.
Suicide is a significant problem facing transgender children and adults. The 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health by The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization, found that 40 percent of LGBTQ youths said they have “seriously considered” attempting suicide in the past year.
A 2019 report from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law found a connection between experiences of discrimination, including in medical care, and suicidality for transgender adults, with participants who had experienced discrimination being twice as likely to have attempted suicide compared to those who had not experienced discrimination.
Another recent study found that almost 60 percent of transgender adults were close to someone who has attempted suicide and 25 percent knew someone who had committed suicide and that such exposure has negative impacts on their mental health.
Sorbara also noted that participants in her team’s study were only those “who want to and can access care.” She said many transgender children and adolescents may want or would benefit from such care but are unable to get access to it. She said she hopes her study lends “support to efforts to ensure this care is readily available for the youth that need it.”
The ability of transgender youths to receive gender-affirming medical care has become a political issue, with several states considering measures this legislative session to block access to that type of care. Republican legislators in at least eight states have introduced proposals that would punish doctors and other medical professionals who provide the kind of gender-affirming medical care described in Sorbara’s study. Bills in Missouri and New Hampshire called such care “child abuse.”
In February, over 200 medical professionals signed a letter opposing the bills on the grounds that they “violate the rights and freedoms of transgender young people.”
“Many credible studies of trans youth populations have demonstrated that gender-affirming care is linked to significantly reduced rates of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicide attempts,” the letter says. “To put it plainly, gender-affirming care saves lives and allows trans young people to thrive.”
Timothy Ray Brown, who made history as “the Berlin patient,” the first person known to be cured of HIV infection, has died. He was 54. Brown died Tuesday at his home in Palm Springs, California, according to a social media post by his partner, Tim Hoeffgen.
The cause was a return of the cancer that originally prompted the unusual bone marrow and stem cell transplants Brown received in 2007 and 2008, which for years seemed to have eliminated both his leukemia and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
“Timothy symbolized that it is possible, under special circumstances,” to rid a patient of HIV — something that many scientists had doubted could be done, said Dr. Gero Huetter, the Berlin physician who led Brown’s historic treatment.
One other man is believed to have been cured of HIV after undergoing to same transplants in 2016.
When Charles Hughes and Richard Solomon began making plans in 2018 to open their own gay bar in New York’s historic Harlem neighborhood, they had no idea a pandemic would shut them down before they even opened.
“The first thing we thought was, ‘Oh, my gosh, we’re going to be out of business before we started this business,’” Hughes, 39, told NBC News.
But a global health crisis is not the only headwind their bar, Lambda Lounge, and the few remaining Black-owned gay bars in the United States are facing. Long before anyone had heard of Covid-19, these LGBTQ social spaces were dwindling across the country.
For more than two decades, gay bars, especially those owned by people of color, have been disappearing. Historically, these spaces were where the LGBTQ community gathered to find romance, make long-lasting friendships and engage in community activism. Throughout the 1980s, there were more than 1,500 such bars, a number that has declined steeply since the late ‘90s, with fewer than 1,000 existing today, according to a study published last year by Oberlin College and Conservatory professor Greggor Mattson.
The closures have had a disproportionate impact on bars catering to women and people of color: Between 2007 and 2019, LGBTQ bar listings dropped by an estimated 37 percent, and those serving people of color plummeted by almost 60 percent, according to the study. Though the reasons are not entirely clear, experts suspect the overall decline in gay bars is related to decades of skyrocketing rents and gentrification, which have disproportionately impacted small, Black-owned businesses; the emergence of online dating sites and apps; and circuit parties that rotate among venues, which have become increasingly popular among younger crowds.
According to online listings, there are more than 60 LGBTQ bars across the five boroughs of New York City, one of the metropolitan areas hardest hit by the pandemic, and many of these spaces are struggling to stay open. Of the city’s dozens of remaining gay bars, just two — Lambda Lounge and Alibi Lounge, both in Harlem — are known to be Black owned. Club Langston in Brooklyn closed last year after nearly two decades in business.
Since it opened in 2015, Alibi Lounge has become a sanctuary for LGBTQ people of color. In March, under city mandates, owner Alexi Minko was forced to temporarily shutter his bar and soon began to run out of money. A former lawyer who had poured his life savings into his business, Minko frantically applied for emergency aid through the government’s overwhelmed Paycheck Protection Program application, whose website he said continuously crashed.
Desperate for assistance, Minko reluctantly set up an online fundraising campaign for his bar. He was on the brink of ending his lease, he said, when donations suddenly surged. In only a matter of weeks, the campaign raised $165,000. While Minko eventually received a small loan through the government’s emergency relief program, he said the donations “absolutely saved my business,” as well as the idea that it’s possible for a Black gay man to open his own bar.
“My fear if Alibi had gone down is to instill in the young mind that, ‘Oh, why bother? We’re Black and gay, it’s just going to fail anyway,’” said Minko, who has since reopened his bar outside at limited capacity in compliance with New York City’s rules.
Earlier this month, Alibi Lounge was one of 10 LGBTQ-owned businesses to be awarded funding through the Queer to Stayprogram, a small business initiative from Showtime and the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBTQ advocacy group.
Access to ‘mainstream capital’
While the total economic fallout from the pandemic won’t be known for some time, August data from the business listing site Yelp found that more than 2,800 businesses had permanently closed since March in New York City alone, and a report published last month from the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit business group, said as many as a third of the city’s “230,000 small businesses that populate neighborhood commercial corridors may never reopen.”
The national picture is also grim, especially for Black business owners: A report released in August by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found the number of Black-owned businesses declined more than 40 percent across the U.S. between February and April, while white-owned businesses declined 17 percent.
In June, the Small Business Administration released a list of 661,218 organizations that received loans of $150,000 or more. It received racial and ethnic backgrounds from just 94,501 owners. Of those, 1,827 Black-owned businesses received loans.
Most of these business owners rely on personal finance and credit, and often lack relationships with banks, according to Cy Richardson, senior vice president for economics and housing programs at the National Urban League, a nonprofit that advocates for economic and social justice for Black Americans.
“Broadly, the notion of access to mainstream capital, that’s where the racial wealth gap is really exacerbated,” he said.
Those at the intersection of the Black and the LGBTQ communities have been particularly hit hard amid the pandemic, according to asurvey released last month by the Human Rights Campaign, which found Black LGBTQ respondents fared worse than both the overall Black population and the overall LGBTQ population along every economic indicator measured.
‘Envy of the wider gay community’
Scholars who study LGBTQ nightlife say the loss of Black-owned gay bars would be devastating. Historically, these bars have been havens for people of color, who have experienced discrimination in white-owned bars for generations, according to Eric Gonzaba, an assistant professor of American Studies at California State University, Fullerton, who is writing a book about the history of gay nightlife.
Around the 1960s, gay bars began to sprout in metropolitan areas across the U.S. At the time, closeted white people didn’t want to be seen entering a gay bar where someone they knew might recognize them, so owners had a tendency to open these bars in predominantly Black neighborhoods. They would then often enact racist policies — including unfair carding measures and dress codes — to keep Black people out, according to Gonzaba, who said even up until the 1990s, some white bar owners would require people of color to show three forms of government picture ID to enter.
“These are places that were highly segregated for much of their history and are perfect examples of the inability for the LGBTQ rights movement to have a unified coalition into the ‘70s and ‘80s,” Gonzaba explained. He said even the Stonewall Inn, the once mafia-owned New York City gay bar that has become a symbol of the LGBTQ rights movement, “didn’t let a lot of people of color into the doors” (it has long since operated under new owners who do not engage in such discrimination). Since many gay bars in the ‘80s and ‘90s were where gay activists gathered to educate the community about HIV and AIDS, he said lifesaving information about the virus often didn’t reach the Black community.
Fed up, the Black LGBTQ community began to form its own house parties and unique social clubs in cities with large Black populations. Washington, D.C., alone boasted about 20 bars, nightclubs, coffeehouses and social gatherings that catered to a Black LGBTQ clientele, according to the Rainbow History Project, though it’s unclear if all were Black-owned and operated. Black gay activist groups used these spaces to educate patrons about HIV and AIDs and to organize around issues for racial justice. Perhaps the most epic among them, the The Club House, remained a popular D.C. haunt until it shuttered in 1990.
Unlike most LGBTQ bars at the time, Black-owned bars welcomed a gender diverse crowd, including transgender and gender-nonconforming people, according to Gonzaba. He said these patrons cultivated a unique music subculture in the 1970s composed of early disco and drag, and a “more sexually expressive culture” began to flourish.
“This is music that’s founded by African American and Latinx people in inner cities, parts of Chicago and Philadelphia and Washington, and dancing becomes normalized … and this kind of style of music and this kind of style of dancing that’s highly sexualized becomes the envy of the wider gay community,” Gonzaba said of this early disco era that would later give rise to house and electronic dance music.
“It’s the ability for clubs to be places of refuge and sexual expression and sexual exploration,” he said, that still lead people today to “think of bars and nightlife as a place to not just have a drink but to explore different avenues of one’s sexuality, and that’s hugely borrowed from Black culture.”
Where are all the Black-owned gay bars?
The number of Black-owned gay bars, currently and historically, is unknown, since there is no resource that specifically tracks them, and Gonzaba said many bars frequented by LGBTQ people of color have historically been white-owned. But business listings suggest there may not be many of them left.
In addition to Lambda Lounge and Alibi Lounge in New York, at least three others — Jeffery Pub in Chicago, Metro 2.0 in Jackson, Mississippi, and Jocks PHL in Philadelphia — are still in business.https://www.instagram.com/p/BzWSKlLBq7l/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=8&wp=1116&rd=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nbcnews.com&rp=%2Ffeature%2Fnbc-out%2Fblack-owned-gay-bars-are-dwindling-can-they-survive-covid-n1241100#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A877%2C%22ls%22%3A852%2C%22le%22%3A873%7D
In Chicago, the pandemic is threatening to shut down what might be the country’s oldest Black-owned gay bar. Jeffery Pub opened in the 1960s and has gone through multiple owners, according to the current owner, Jamal Junior. The businessman, who purchased the bar in the mid-2000s, was forced to temporarily close the pub in March under a city ordinance as the pandemic swept through the Midwest. He said the pub has not been able to reopen in compliance with city mandates because it lacks outdoor space.
“I’m just praying and hoping that we can survive,” Junior, 46, told NBC News.
Metro 2.0 owner Temica Morton is currently trying to hold on to what might be the only Black-owned gay bar in the South. Morton, a Jackson-based LGBTQ advocate, acquired the lease to the bar in February just as the pandemic struck the U.S. She invested her entire savings into Metro 2.0, which she said has been a popular venue for LGBTQ people of color of all genders since it opened in the late 1990s. But a seesawing series of shutdown orders from state and city officials left the businesswoman in “panic mode” as she struggled to figure out how to keep the bar alive. The bar temporarily shut down Aug. 5, and reopened in September at limited capacity after the shutdown lifted. Morton, 44, said she’s now “taking it one day at a time.”
Many Black-owned bars whose clientele was composed largely of people of color have shuttered in the past decade, including several in New York City alone, like Starlite Lounge, No Parking and Club Langston. Perhaps the most famous of the shuttered bars was Jewel’s Catch One, a Los Angeles venue known for its Black disco scene that operated between 1973 and 2015 under the ownership of lesbian Jewel Thais-Williams. And a decade before that, the community lost beloved bar Knob Hill in Washington, D.C., which operated between 1957 and 2004.
In 1990, after dealing with decades of discrimination at gay bars in San Francisco, where he moved in 1969, Rodney Barnette, a Vietnam War veteran, former member of the Black Panther Party and gay rights activist, opened his own bar. The New Eagle Creek Saloon, which operated under the slogan “A friendly place with a funky base for every race,” was forced to shut down after only three years due to rent increases that Barnette said he could not afford. But before it shuttered, he said the saloon served as a refuge for San Francisco’s LGBTQ people of color. Activist groups like Lesbians and Gays of African Descent for Democratic Action (LAGADDA) gathered there to organize against racist carding policies in San Francisco and to educate the Black community about HIV prevention, he said.
“I call it a community center that served alcohol, that’s the way I describe it,” said Barnette, whose bar has been memorialized by his daughter, artist Sadie Barnette, in an exhibit commissioned by The Lab in San Francisco.
“People felt good,” he said of the saloon’s patrons. “You could walk in the bar, and know there wouldn’t be any discrimination against you, that you were welcome, that everybody was welcome.”
‘Everybody should be treated equal’
By the 1990s, Black LGBTQ activists and allies had successfully fought to end racist carding policies. However, a number of recent incidents indicate that racism still plagues gay nightlife.
In 2016, fury erupted in Philadelphia after a video shared widely on social media showed the owner of a popular gay bar using the N-word. A 2017 report issued by the city’s Commission on Human Rights found that women, minorities and transgender people felt unwelcome and unsafe in Philadelphia’s gay neighborhood for decades. The report recommended establishments and organizations in the so-called gayborhood undergo training for racial bias and hire more diverse staff.
In 2018, a group of Atlanta drag performers, all trans women of color, collectively quit their jobs at a popular gay club, Burkhart’s, after its white owner made racist posts on his Facebook page.
Last year, an email from a manager at Progress Bar, a gay bar in Chicago’s “gayborhood,” ordered DJs to stop playing rap music at the bar. “Anything vulgar, aggressive or considered mumble rap (including certain Cardi B tracks and newer Nicki Minaj) is off limits,” the manager wrote in a leaked message.
In June, activists gathered in front of 941 Saloon, a Pittsburgh gay bar, to protest dress codes they said discriminated against Black people.
In July, a picture circulating on Facebook showed a bartender at Number Nine, a popular gay bar in Washington, D.C., apparently wearing a “black face” Covid-19 mask. The management later posted an apology, claiming the bartender didn’t know the mask was racist.
Over the years, as wealth in the U.S. has become more concentrated, Gonzaba said it is not uncommon for multiple gay bars to be managed under a single owner.
“These bars are owned by wealthy, white men who often have many different establishments in the cities,” he explained.
Some bars, even if they don’t engage in discriminatory practices within their establishment, try to cultivate loyalty among white clientele through their branding, according to Gonzaba. For example, in 2012, a leaked email from a gay bar owner in Washington, D.C., revealed that he had requested an advertisement for the bar, which displayed a Black man, be replaced with “a hot white guy,” stating it was “more our clientele.”
Barnette, who now resides in Los Angeles, said that despite progress made by activists, LGBTQ nightlife still caters predominantly to white men.
“The overall gay white male community has not reformed into making it a point that everybody should be treated equal,” he said.
‘A responsibility to queer people of color’
In New York City, where Covid-19 cases have plummeted, bars and restaurants have been allowed to slowly reopen outdoors at limited capacity. Starting Sept. 30, restaurants will be allowed to reopen their indoor space at 25 percent capacity, though bar service will not be permitted.
In July, Lambda Lounge celebrated its grand opening with a “nice turnout” despite restrictions, according to Hughes and Solomon, 38, who set up their lounge outdoors.
“It was so nice,” Hughes said. “We had to literally stop people coming in so we could be compliant with Covid rules.”
While the couple said they did receive a small loan through the emergency relief program, they are unsure how long they will remain open without more assistance, especially as the weather cools and a possible second wave of Covid-19 could force the city to shut down bars and restaurants later this year. So far, they’ve raised nearly $6,000 through a GoFundMe campaign for their lounge.
Hughes said the ongoing stress is giving him migraines, and Solomon said it has been “hard to find optimism right now.” Their insurance premium has already increased by $1,000 a month due to the pandemic, they said, and they are not currently bringing in enough money to cover their rent and other expenses. Still, the men vow to stay open as long as they can.
“We have a responsibility to queer people of color to make sure that this place lasts, and it’s extremely difficult when we run into obstacles,” Solomon said, “but the glass is half full.”
Lesbian, gay and bisexual people are significantly more likely to get migraines than straight people, and scientists believe the stress of bigotry could be one reason why.
A survey of 10,000 Americans aged 31-42 by San Francisco’s University of California found that almost a third of LGB people experienced migraines, a figure 58 per cent higher than in heterosexual participants.
And although the researchers were unable to pinpoint the exact reason behind the painful and disabling headaches, we can only assume that the constant strain of dealing with cis straight nonsense is a contributing factor.
“There might be a higher rate of migraines in LGB people because of discrimination, stigma or prejudice, which may lead to stress and trigger a migraine,” the study’s lead author Dr Jason Nagata told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“Physicians should be aware that migraines are quite common in LGB individuals and assess for migraine symptoms.”
Migraines can be accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound as well as blurred vision, nausea and vomiting. The throbbing headaches are the most common reason for emergency room visits in the US, and while there are many different triggers, the cause is still unclear.
The study found that the increased risk of migraines was seen even in those who identified as “mostly heterosexual but with some same-sex attractions”.
It’s possible that the prevalence in the queer population is connected to the rise in hate crimes, which have reached the highest levels in a decade in the US. LGBT+ people are among the most frequently targeted groups, alongside Jews and Black people.
Dr Nagata also considered that another reason LGB people may be more likely to get migraines could be the barriers of receiving healthcare.
Other studies have shown that women are much more likely to experience migraines than men, and up to 85 per cent of American migraine sufferers are female.
Migraines also appear to be more common among Black Americans and Americans with lower socioeconomic status, according to the National Headache Foundation.
A federal judge has ruled against the Trump administration in litigation challenging the transgender military ban, ordering the Defense Department to turn over documents it had previously on the policy withheld on the basis they were predecisional and deliberative before the restriction went into effect.
U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman in Washington State, a Clinton appointee, issued an order Friday requiring the Trump administration to hand over documents requested as part of the discovery process for the lawsuit by October 5.
“This matter comes before the court upon defendants’ recent submission of documents for in camera review, filed in response to the court’s recent orders on defendants’ assertion of the deliberative process privilege,” Pechman writes. “After careful examination of each document submitted for in camera review, the court finds that the documents do not fall within the proper scope of the deliberative process privilege and orders defendants to produce the documents by October 5.”
The lawsuit, Karnowski v. Trump, was filed in 2017 by the LGBTQ group Lambda Legal and the group now known as the Modern Military Association of America on behalf of various plaintiffs, including transgender military service members and the Human Rights Campaign, against the ban.
Peter Perkowski, legal and policy director for the Modern Military Association of America, said via email to the Washington Blade the order is a victory in the ongoing lawsuit.
“The Trump-Pence administration has once again lost to legal scrutiny and can no longer hide critical documents related to Trump’s unconstitutional transgender military ban,” Perkowski said. “From the moment Trump recklessly tweeted his ban to the day the Department of Defense implemented it, it has always been crystal clear that this transgender military ban is based on nothing more than blatant discrimination.”
The lawsuit before Pechman in Washington State was filed after President Trump tweeted in 2017 he’d ban transgender people from the military “in any capacity,” but before the Pentagon under former Defense Secretary James Mattis completed his six-month policy and implemented restrictions based on his recommendations.
The case has been percolating through the Ninth Circuit for years. Although Pechman initially issued a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the transgender military ban, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned that order, allowing the policy to go into effect as litigation proceeds.
At issue in the order Pechman granted Friday are documents related to the discovery process in the lawsuit, which compels the U.S. government to produce material relevant to the transgender military ban. Those documents are expected to demonstrate whether the Defense Department implemented policy against transgender people as result of Trump’s tweet, or whether the military determined it needed to exclude them as result of an independent review former Defense Secretary James Mattis was conducting at the time.
Republican senator Kelly Loeffler has submitted a bill that attempts to rewrite a key civil rights law to legally erase transgender kids and bar them from taking part in school sports.
The Georgia senator on Tuesday (22 September) submitted a bill in the US Senate that would rewrite parts of Title IX, a civil rights law passed in 1972 that protects people from sex-based discrimination in education programs.×
Republican senator Kelly Loeffler files anti-trans bill.
Loeffler’s planned amendment seeks to define sex as “based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth” for the purposes of athletics, and bar trans people from taking part in sporting events in their true gender.
It states that any recipient of federal funds “who operates, sponsors, or facilitates athletic programs or activities… [must not] permit a person whose sex is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designated for women or girls”.
Per a release, the bill is intended to “make sure schools keep girls’ sports for girls” – although, by defining gender as based solely on reproductive biology and genetics, it would logically compel cisgender teenage girls to compete against transgender boys and non-binary people.
In addition to Loeffler, the bill is co-sponsored by four notoriously anti-LGBT+ Republican senators – ‘freedom to discriminate’ backer Mike Lee, anti-trans JK Rowling megafan James Lankford, Taylor Swift foe Marsha Blackburn and Tom Cotton, whose interns like to rant about “f****ts”.
In a release, Loeffler said: “Title IX established a fair and equal chance for women and girls to compete, and sports should be no exception.
“As someone who learned invaluable life lessons and built confidence playing sports throughout my life, I’m proud to lead this legislation to ensure girls of all ages can enjoy those same opportunities. This common sense bill protects women and girls by safeguarding fairness and levelling the athletic field that Title IX guarantees.”
The bill is backed by a swathe of anti-LGBT+ hate groups including the Family Research Council, run by Trump ally Tony Perkins.
Perkins, whose group has long fought to deny women access to healthcare, claimed the bill would “help ensure that girls are afforded the opportunity to play on a level playing field”.https://lockerdome.com/lad/13296932562903654?pubid=ld-5883-3439&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinknews.co.uk&rid=www.pinknews.co.uk&width=572
Soraya Santiago, a trans activist, queer icon and the first person in Puerto Rico to receive gender confirmation surgery, has passed away at the age of 73.
According to the Associated Press, Santiago had been battling cancer, and died Tuesday (September 22) at her home in the city of Carolina.
She was a trailblazer in a multitude of ways. Not only was she the first known person in Puerto Rico to have had gender confirmation surgery, she was also the first on the island to successfully change her name and sex on her birth certificate, and the first openly trans person to run for office in the US territory.
In 2019, she told United Explanations: “Those were doors I opened, and I hope to keep opening more doors so that the community can keep establishing itself where it should be and not where people want it to be.”
Soraya Santiago remembered as a ‘heroine’ in the fight for trans rights.
Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of Puerto Rico’s largest city, paid tribute to Santiago on Twitter, writing: “Soraya, our heroine in the fight for the dignity of our compatriots in the trans community, died after a battle against cancer.
“We love you, we owe you a lot and we will never forget you.Read Morex
“Rest my dear, but keep giving us strength from there. I will miss you.”https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=lilylwakefield&dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1308397128323076098&lang=en-gb&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinknews.co.uk%2F2020%2F09%2F23%2Fsoraya-santiago-died-dead-trans-puerto-rico-gender-confirmation-surgery-carmen-yulin-cruz%2F&siteScreenName=PinkNews&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=500px
When Santiago was asked if she had a message for young trans people, she added in the United Explanations interview: “Although much progress has been made on all these issues of acceptance, rights and equality, there is still a long way to go.
“The youngest are already doing it, they are already walking that path. The youth of today is more open.https://lockerdome.com/lad/13296932562903654?pubid=ld-5883-3439&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinknews.co.uk&rid=www.pinknews.co.uk&width=572
“But it occurs to me to tell them to follow their dreams, not to stop dreaming, that if they believe that this is their reality and the truth of their life, they should run after it and not after what society, wrongly, wants to impose on them.”