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NATIONAL Streisand/Summer, HIV treatment, Alex Morse, Barney Frank
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-08-18

This article shared 2053 times since Tue Aug 18, 2020
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MeidasTouch, a progressive Democratic political action group, teamed with the LGBTQ voting initiative Vote Proud for their latest video, titled "Enough Is Enough," Billboard noted. The video focuses on rallying queer people to vote by pointing to statistics showing low numbers of LGBTQ voting in 2016, and headlines pointing to the Trump administration's poor track record with LGBTQ issues. To send the point home even further, the backing track for the video is the 1979 number-one single "No More Tears ( Enough Is Enough )," by Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer.

The FDA approved ViiV Healthcare's Dovato ( dolutegravir/lamivudine ) as a new all-in-one, single-pill antiretroviral option for people with fully suppressed HIV who wish to change their treatment, Poz.com noted. Dovato was initially approved in April 2019 for people starting HIV treatment for the first time. The new expanded approval was based on findings from the Phase III TANGO trial, which showed that people who switched from a three- or four-drug regimen to Dovato maintained an undetectable viral load for a year.

LGBTQ Victory Fund applauded reports that Massachusetts Democratic Party chair Gus Bickford will investigate the UMass College Democrats who made abuse-of-power accusations against openly gay Congressional candidate Alex Morse. In a press release, LGBTQ Victory Fund Senior Political Director Sean Meloy said, "We commend the party chair for recognizing the importance of investigating this orchestrated political hit job on Alex, but we urge him to conduct an independent investigation immediately so voters can fill out their ballots with all the information available to them. We now know the leadership of UMass Amherst College Democrats was conspiring to damage Alex's campaign since at least October." Three groups of college Democrats in Massachusetts ( College Democrats of Massachusetts, UMass-Amherst Democrats and Amherst College Democrats ) disinvited Morse from future events, alleging that he showed a pattern of using "his platform and taking advantage of his position of power for romantic or sexual gain, specifically toward young students," Politico reported.

On a related note, Massachusetts state Sen. Julian Cyr issued his own statement on the Alex Morse matter. In part, Cyr said, ""As an 'out' queer elected official who knows the sex lives of LGBTQ people are too often sensationalized in politics and in media, I find it extremely disappointing that vague and anonymous allegations have been levied against Holyoke Mayor and Congressional candidate Alex Morse without any on-the-record sourcing. It's alarming that these claims have attracted this level of attention with a swiftness I fear they would have not received if Alex were straight." Cyr is the assistant majority whip and is the youngest member of the state Senate.

Former Congressman and veteran civil-rights campaigner Barney Frank said that the United States will elect an LGBT+ president—but it might take another 20 years, Reuters reported. Frank stepped down from Congress in 2013, a year after he wed his partner Jim Ready, scoring another LGBT+ milestone as the first member of the House of Representatives to marry someone of the same gender. He currently also is a political consultant and sits on the board of financial methodology and media company LGBTQ Loyalty—alongside tennis legend Martina Navratilova—which offers investors the chance to invest in a stable of 100 Fortune 500 pro-LGBT+-rights companies.

Don Lemon opened his CNN broadcast recently by taking President Donald Trump to task for using the same birther tactics he used against Barack Obama on vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, The Daily Beast noted. "Every single day, another lie, another conspiracy theory, another racist dog whistle," Lemon said at the top of his show. "He's using the podium in the White House briefing room, that you pay for, to lie to you. And he's starting with birtherism. Can you believe it? Is it 2011 all over again? What is going on?"

In New York City, the mother of a bisexual Black man who was shot to death by police last year is demanding answers after Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark announced she will not press charges against the police officers involved in that fatal shooting, Out.com reported. Clark declined to press charges against Officers Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis, who shot and killed Kawaski Trawick, 32, in his apartment while he was cooking dinner in his underwear on April 14, 2019. Trawick's mother said Clark originally refused to show her the bodycam footage of the shooting while she was accompanied by others, including local activists concerned about the case.

The tapes of the landmark 2010 Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial were not released Aug. 12 due to a temporary stay ordered by the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued the day before, The Bay Area Reporter stated. Judge William H. Orrick of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California had ordered July 9 that tapes of the 10-year-old trial be released Aug. 12.

A senior legal advisor for President Donald Trump's reelection campaign attempted to stir transphobic feelings among her Twitter followers when she misgendered Dr. Rachel Levine, calling Pennsylvania's health secretary "this guy" in a tweet about the coronavirus pandemic, PhillyVoice.com noted. Jenna Ellis, an evangelical advocate who was hired by the Trump campaign last fall, disparaged Levine while referencing a months-old incident between Levine and a Pittsburgh radio host. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, who noticed Ellis' tweet, called her words "unacceptable."

NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists announced the recipients of the Leroy F. Aarons Scholarship Award, the Steve Mason Sports Media Scholarship Award, the Facebook Journalism Project Scholarship Awards and the Kay Longcope Scholarship Award, a press release noted. Ogonna Ononye is the recipient of the 2020 Leroy F. Aarons Scholarship Award and Leo Baudhuin is the recipient of the 2020 Steve Mason Sports Media Scholarship Award. The recipients of the 2020 Facebook Journalism Project Scholarship Awards are Katie Anastas, Jacob deCastro, Olivia Muse, Laura Scudder and Irene Vazquez. The recipient of the 2020 Kay Longcope Scholarship Award wishes to remain anonymous.

The National LGBT Bar Association honored LGBTQ doctors, nurses and other frontline healthcare workers putting their lives on the line in the battle against COVID-19, a press release noted. GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality—the largest association of LGBTQ healthcare workers in the country—received the Frank Kameny Award, which recognizes the efforts of an LGBTQ organization or individual whose work has made extraordinary contributions to the struggle for equality under the law.

Lambda Legal named Sherise Bright as the organization's next chief communications officer, a press release noted. Bright has more than 20 years of experience in communications, working in nonprofits, corporations and entertainment, including E! News, the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the legal services firm Atkinson-Baker. Bright said, "As a Black queer woman, I'm honored to have a seat at the table to reimagine our vision for Lambda Legal so that it is a fully inclusive one."

Philadelphia's Mazzoni Center announced that it will restructure its leadership to an executive leadership team ( ELT ) model led by a president, executive officer, the Philadelphia Gay News reported. Other members of the new executive leadership team will include an executive human resources officer, executive diversity and inclusion officer, executive advancement officer, and executive legal officer and general counsel. The announcement comes after several years of staff changes and negotiations following the departure of former CEO Nurit Shein in April 2017. Mazzoni Center's mission involves meeting the health and wellness of the LGBTQ communities.

Oprah Winfrey released a video on the 150th day since Breonna Taylor's death, speaking on her reason for placing 26 billboards featuring Taylor's image across the streets of Louisville, WAVE3.com reported. "These 26 billboards, one for every year of Breonna's life, are my offering - my form of protest," Winfrey said in the video. 'We cannot be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice." Taylor—who was killed at her home March 13 by LMPD plainclothes officers serving a "no-knock warrant" relating to a drug-trafficking investigation—recently became the first person other than Winfrey to grace the cover of the media icon's O Magazine.

Taylor Swift criticized President Donald Trump and encouraged her followers to vote in the upcoming 2020 election, USA Today noted. The Folklore artist condemned Trump for opposing supplementary funding for the U.S. Postal Service, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and recently been mired in controversy with its new leadership. Trump has blasted vote-by-mail, particularly elections when states automatically send ballots to all registered voters; however, only nine states and the District of Columbia so far plan to hold universal mail-in elections.

Liberty University announced that its president, Jerry Falwell Jr., will be replaced this year by pastor and anti-LGBTQ activist Jerry Prevo, LGBTQ Nation reported. While Prevo just retired as head pastor at the Anchorage Baptist Temple, he is the current chair of Liberty's board of trustees. His church, in 2012, ran transphobic ads to oppose a measure that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative. After several high-profile scandals involving both his workplace conduct and his private life, Falwell announced that he'll be taking an indefinite leave of absence from leading the prominent evangelical university his father founded.

A gay Catholic official was accused of fraudulently using a coronavirus relief scheme to buy a yacht, a townhouse and a luxury sports car, PinkNews reported. Kenneth Gaughan, 41, fraudulently received more than $2.1 million in payment protection program ( PPP ) loans and economic injury disaster loans ( EIDL ), the United States Department of Justice has alleged. He has also been charged for embezzling funds from the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington D.C., where he worked as assistant superintendent. He pled not guilty to all charges during a court appearance Aug. 11, according to the Washington Blade.

North Carolina GOP congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn, 25, is on the defensive over photos on his Instagram page that show him in 2017 visiting Adolf Hitler's vacation house in Germany known as the "Eagle's Nest," CNN.com reported. "Strange to hear so many laughs and share such a good time with my brother where only 79 years ago a supreme evil shared laughs and good times with his compatriots," a photo caption stated. His Democratic foe, Moe Davis, believes Cawthorn is sending many "dog whistles" that hint at white nationalism. A staunch conservative who supports Trump, Cawthorn was partially paralyzed in a 2014 car accident.

Rapper and White House hopeful Kanye West announced his 10-point presidential platform that includes restoring prayer in classrooms, restoring a sound national economy, reforming the police, seeking racial justice in the courts and promoting "Creativity and the Arts," The New York Post reported. West, who launched his presidential bid on July 4 under the "Birthday Party," punctuated each of his 2020 presidential plans with his interpretation of biblical phrases on his campaign website, Kanye2020.country. Nothing LGBTQ-related is mentioned.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, believe they have developed a game-changing new treatment in the fight against COVID-19, iHeart.com noted. The team analyzed more than 2 billion nanobodies ( which are more stable and easier to mass-produce than human antibodies ) and found 21 that had the potential to stop the coronavirus from spreading. The new nanobodies, named "AeroNabs," were synthesized into an aerosol form, which can be delivered in a nebulizer. The researchers are hopeful the new treatment will prove effective when they begin human trials.

Matthew McConaughey interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci for 40 minutes on Instagram, with the Oscar-winning actor getting a chance to grill the nation's top infectious disease expert on COVID-19, ABC News noted. McConaughey rapidly fired questions at the doctor on everything from how concerned people should be about getting the virus from touching a door knob ( not as much as sharing close physical space with someone who is infected, Fauci said ) to whether Advil makes symptoms worse ( it doesn't ) to if sunlight kills the virus ( to which Fauci said it does ).

President Donald Trump's younger brother, Robert Trump, died at age 71 after being hospitalized in New York, The Guardian reported. The president visited his brother in hospital after White House officials said Robert had become seriously ill. The youngest of the Trump siblings had remained close to the 74-year-old president and, as recently as June, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Trump family that unsuccessfully sought to stop publication of a tell-all book by the president's niece, Mary.

Former Pro Bowl defensive back Dwight Hicks is the latest University of Michigan football alum alleging abuse by former team physician Dr. Robert Anderson, USA Today reported. Anderson is accused of sexual abuse by numerous men examined by him during routine physicals and other visits. Hicks said his goal was to provide a voice for other victims, but he wouldn't go as far to corroborate a claim that former Michigan coach Bo Schembechler knew of Anderson's behavior. Anderson, who died in 2008, worked at Michigan from 1968 to 2003.

Sumner Redstone—the media mogul who built his family's drive-in theater chain into a multibillion-dollar empire encompassing CBS and Viacom and later became the center of a jilted lover's lawsuit that nearly cost his family his financial legacy—has died at age 97, CNBC.com noted. Among other accomplishments, Redstone graduated from Harvard University and served in Army intelligence during World War II, helping to break the Japanese code.


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