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NATIONAL Presidential candidates, Truth Awards, Chick-fil-A, hate crimes
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Democratic presidential hopefuls will speak about their views and policy platforms regarding LGBTQ rights at a debate at UCLA on Oct. 10—the eve of National Coming Out Day, NBC News reported. UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation will co-host the event. In order to participate, a candidate must receive 1 percent or more of the vote in three separate national polls or receive donations from 65,000 people in 20 states.

In Emerson's second poll of the Iowa caucus, openly gay Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, has surged to 11 percent, placing him behind only former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Spencer Kimball, director of the Emerson Poll, concluded that "the biggest surprise in this poll is Mayor Pete." Two months ago, Buttigieg polled at 0 percent.

The Better Brothers Los Angeles ( BBLA )—in association with award-winning actress/activist Sheryl Lee Ralph and her non-profit organization, The DIVA Foundation—feted LGBTQ+ African-Americans recently at the fifth annual Truth Awards, a press release touted. Honorees included Golden Globe and Emmy winner Anthony Hemingway ( History Maker Award ); former Black AIDS Institute President/CEO Phill Wilson ( Lifetime Achievement Award ); writer/director/producer Tajamika "Taj" Paxton ( Media & Arts Award ); Queer Eye's Karamo Brown ( Culture & Arts Award ); food critic Kalen Allen ( Social Influencer Award ); booker/producer Eric Jones ( Passing the Torch Award ); and In the Meantime Men's Group ( Advocate Award ). Actress Angela Robinson again hosted, with R&B singer/songwriter Tweet entertaining the crowd.

Newly released tax documents show that Chick-fil-A is still giving money to anti-LGBTQ organizations—years after promising to stop, LGBTQ Nation noted. The 2017 tax returns of the Chick-fil-a Foundation were just made public, and Josh Israel at ThinkProgress found several anti-LGBTQ organizations listed as recipients: The Fellowship of Christian Athletes ( FCA ) got $1,653,416, the Paul Anderson Youth Home got $6,000 and the Salvation Army received $150,000. Chick-fil-A defended two of the organizations they donated to, but said that they had already decided to stop giving to the Paul Anderson Youth Home after the articles were unearthed.

In other Chick-fil-A news, the San Antonio city council has voted against allowing the restaurant to open a franchise in the local airport after it was revealed that the company has continued to pour millions of dollars into anti-LGBTQ groups, LGBTQ Nation noted. District 1 City Councilman Roberto Trevino made the motion to deny the fast-food chicken sandwich outlet the lucrative spot as an airport concession. Chick-Fil-A said in a statement, "We would have liked to have had a dialogue with the city council before this decision was made. We agree with Councilmember Trevino that everyone is and should feel welcome at Chick-fil-A. We plan to reach out to the city council to gain a better understanding of this decision."

A recent study by scholars from the University of North Texas has shown that "counties that had hosted a 2016 Trump campaign rally saw a 226-percent increase in reported hate crimes over comparable counties that did not host such a rally," LGBTQ Nation reported. Researchers said, "Using the Anti-Defamation League's Hate, Extremism, Anti-Semitism, Terrorism map data ( HEAT map ), we examined whether there was a correlation between the counties that hosted one of Trump's 275 presidential campaign rallies in 2016 and increased incidents of hate crimes in subsequent months." More about the HEAT map is at

United Airlines announced it has become the first U.S. airline to offer non-binary gender options throughout all booking channels in addition to providing the option to select the title "Mx.," according to a press release from The Trevor Project, which is working with United and the Human Rights Campaign. New training initiatives include teaching employees about preferred pronouns and the persistence of gender norms, LGBT competency in the workplace and other steps to make United an inclusive space for both customers and employees.

The National Coalition for LGBT Health is providing a Social Media and Promotional Toolkit to promote the 17th annual National LGBT Health Awareness Week, being held March 25-29, a press release noted. This year's theme is "Reject Rhetoric. Reflect Reality. Our Health Won't Be Denied!" The toolkit includes hashtags ( e.g., #HealthLGBT ), downloadable banners, social-media posts and much more. ( One post says that LGBTQ teens are six times more likely to experience symptoms of depression than the general population. ) See .

The NAACP, the country's oldest African-American civil-rights organization, publicly endorsed the Equality Act, a federal LGBTQ anti-discrimination bill, NBC News noted. "We support what it does—and we support it now," Hilary Shelton, the organization's D.C. bureau director, told NBC News on Friday. "It's important that it gets through." Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin tweeted, "For more than a century the @NAACP has been at the forefront of the fight for equality in this country. Thrilled to have this important organization join the growing chorus of voices supporting the #EqualityAct. Thank you @DerrickNAACP for your leadership."

Michigan will no longer financially support adoption and foster-care agencies that refuse to work with same-sex couples and LGBTQ individuals because of religious beliefs under the terms of a settlement of a lawsuit negotiated by Attorney General Dana Nessel, The Detroit Free Press reported. In exchange for the policy, the plaintiffs in the related case—Kristy and Dana Dumont of Lansing and Erin and Rebecca Busk-Sutton of Detroit—have agreed to dismiss their claims and pay their own attorney fees and costs. The settlement sets up a battle with the Republican-led legislature, which passed a law in 2015 that allows adoptions agencies to refuse to work with members of the LGBTQ community.

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) announced the launch of a star-studded Americans for the Equality Act public awareness and advertising campaign filmed by award-winning directors Dustin Lance Black and Paris Barclay, a press release noted. The series—which launched with a debut video featuring Academy Award-winning actress Sally Field and her son Sam Greisman—will feature prominent figures in entertainment, sports and beyond speaking about the need for the LGBT-focused Equality Act. The video is at

The Alabama Senate approved a bill that would eliminate marriage licenses and the need to solemnize marriages, The Montgomery Advertiser reported. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Range, passed 26-0 and now moves onto the House. Albritton, who first filed the bill in 2015, said it "takes the state out of granting permission [of] saying who can marry or who can't." Instead of issuing marriage licenses, two people getting married would submit affidavits or forms to a probate judge, who would then record the marriage; the marriage would be considered to take place the day the individuals signed the affidavit.

A man allegedly fired rounds leaving two men injured at a popular LGBTI club called Toucans Tiki Lounge in Palm Springs, California, Gay Star News reported. According to witnesses, an altercation inside the club ended with bouncers escorting two people outside. However, what occurred between the two men being escorted and the shootings inside and outside the premises is unknown.

An openly gay Latinx candidate—Adrian Rivera Reyes—has the top spot in the Democratic primary for at-large Philadelphia City Council seats in the May primary, while state Sen. Anthony Williams will be last on the primary ballot out of three Democratic mayoral candidates, The Philadelphia Tribune noted. Candidates or their proxies drew lottery balls out of the city's traditional Horn & Hardart coffee can to determine their ballot positioning in the May 21 primary. Reyes, 26, could become the first openly gay City Council member.

A conservative student group at Arizona State University ( ASU ) is being investigated after a 19-page dossier highlighting recent homophobic, anti-Semitic, and racist remarks made by some of its members leaked online, Queerty noted, citing Phoenix News Times. College Republicans United's founder, ASU senior Richard Thomas, has already come under criticism for social-media posts saying transgender people are mentally ill and that Muslims should be deported, among other comments.

A West Virginia assistant principal who made national headlines for demanding a transgender sophomore use a urinal in front of him last November is out of a job, noted. The Harrison County Board of Education voted unanimously not to renew Lee Livengood's contract. Livengood allegedly followed 15-year-old Michael Chritchfield into a boys' room at Liberty High School and shouted, "I'm not going to lie: You freak me out."

An LGBTI center in New York City has come under fire for agreeing to host a Republican event, Gay Star News reported. The Center agreed to host a March 28 LGBT town hall hosted by right-wing campaign group Walk Away. A panel for the event was slated to include #WalkAway founder Brandon Straka, political commentator Rob Smith, writer Mike Harlow and conservative trans YouTuber Blaire White. AIDS activist Jason Rosenberg was among those criticizing the organization; the Center tweeted back, "We acknowledge the diversity of our community's perspectives, and while we may be disgusted by or reject the ideas some groups espouse, we will not stand in the way of their right to say them."

Former Washington, D.C., mayor and current city councilor Vincent Gray was tossed out of the DC Eagle last year after refusing to show his drivers' license to the door person—and the bar's license is being suspended March 23-29, LGBTQ Nation noted. The suspension happened after an investigation by D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board ( ABRA ), and the owners were fined $2,000 for the incident; also, the bouncer has been dismissed.

Chip McKenney, president/founder of the Gay Polo League ( GPL ), announced the teams and introduce the headlining, USPA-rated, professionals playing in the 10th annual Senator Cup in Wellington, Florida, on Saturday, April 6, a press release noted. Players include standouts such as Joey Casey, Tiffany Busch, Hector Galindo and Stuart "Sugar" Erskine. Tickets for the 10th Annual Land Rover Palm Beach International Gay Polo Tournament Presented by RSM US and its festivities are currently on sale at The GPL is the only LGBTQ-identified polo league in the world.

Race car legend Hurley Haywood told HuffPost that coming out as gay has gifted him with the "awesome responsibility" of representing the LGBTQ community in a sport he views as a "last bastion of really macho" chauvinism. Haywood, a five-time winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, first spoke publicly about his sexuality in a February 2018 interview with Autoweek. Hurley—a new documentary that traces the now-retired driver's rise to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, even as he kept his personal relationships a secret from many fans—is now out on streaming platforms.

Equality Forum has decided to give up its office space in Philadelphia, PGN ( Philadelphia Gay News ) reported. The LGBTQ civil-rights organization, which was founded in Philadelphia in 1993, is selling the condo on the third floor of the Academy House that has served as its homebase since 2004.

Recently, the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health ECHO Center at IUPUI ( Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis ) is celebrating the six-month anniversary of the launch of its ECHO teleclinic, a press release noted. The teleclinic is focused on providing culturally competent and medically appropriate care to members of the LGBTQ+ community. LGBTQ+ ECHO clinic sessions are 90 minutes long each, and are hosted on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from 2:30-4 p.m. ET. See

NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch were set to make history March 29 as the first all-female crew to conduct a spacewalk at the International Space Station—but it was announced that the historic spacewalk will be delayed because of spacesuit issues, reported. The issue: They only have one spacesuit size medium available at the station. Now, astronaut Nick Hague is scheduled to join Koch on the walk.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan charged lawyer Michael Avenatti—best known for representing Stormy Daniels—for attempting to extort more than $20 million from Nike, noted. According to the criminal complaint, Avenatti met in March 2019 with attorney for Nike and threatened to release damaging information about the company if Nike didn't make millions in payment to himself and an unnamed co-conspirator. Avenatti also allegedly demanded that Nike pay $1.5 million to an individual he claimed to represent.

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