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Capital Pride Alliance Honorees Event

Capital Pride Alliance has announced the recipients of the 2023 Capital Pride Honors that will be hosted by Penn Social on Friday June 2nd at 7P kicking off their annual Capital Pride Celebration week. Admiral Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of HHS will be honored with the Paving the Way Award & longtime activist Earline Budd is receiving a Super Hero Award. The Paving the Way Award acknowledges an individual who or organization that has provided exemplary contributions, support & or advocacy that has positively impacted the LGBTQ community & whose leadership has inspired continued progress. The Capital Pride Hero Award recognizes individuals who have furthered the causes important to LGBTQ community in the national capital region. These heroes have brought about positive changes to our lives and our community. Ashley Smith, President of the Board of Directors of the Capital Pride Alliance stated, “The Capital Pride Alliance extends our thanks & gratitude to members of the community, which has numerous individuals, leaders & activists dedicated to fighting for LGBGTQ+ rights for all of us. We are fortunate to have such a vibrant honoree selection process, with so many outstanding individuals who were nominated. We are very pleased to celebrate these individuals at the 2023 Capital Pride Honors.” In addition to receiving their awards at the Capital Pride Honors the honorees will also serve as Marshals with Admiral Levine & Earline Budd serving as Grand Marshals in the Capital Pride Parade. The Capital Pride Alliance located in Washington, DC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the needs of the LGBTQ community all year long, through educational programs, major events, fundraising, outreach & advocacy. 

Random House Files Book Ban Lawsuit

In Florida during the 2021-2022 school year 566 books were banned across 21 school districts according to data tracked by PEN America the nonprofit organization that defends free expression. So far in the 2022-2023 Florida school year 357 books have been banned across 13 school districts. Penguin Random House, free-speech organizations, parents & authors have filed a federal lawsuit in Pensacola. The suit alleges that administrators & school board members in Florida’s Escambia County School District are violating the First Amendment as well as the 14th Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution because the books singled out are disproportionately books by non-white & or LGBTQ authors & often address themes or topics related to race or our LGBTQ community. Suzanne Nossel PEN America CEO stated, “In Escambia County, state censors are spiriting books off shelves in a deliberate attempt to silence pluralism & diversity. In a nation built on free speech, this cannot stand. The law demands that the Escambia County School District put removed or restricted books back on library shelves where they belong. Children in a democracy must not be taught that books are dangerous." Nihar Malaviya, CEO of Penguin Random House concluded, "Books have the capacity to change lives for the better & students in particular deserve equitable access to a wide range of perspectives. Censorship, in the form of book bans like those enacted by Escambia County, are a direct threat to democracy & our Constitutional rights. We stand by our authors, their books & the teachers, librarians & parents who champion free expression. We are proud to join forces with our longtime partner PEN America.” 

MBCC Against The Tide Fundraiser Event

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) is hosting its annual statewide Against the Tide athletic fundraising events as both in-person & virtual events next month. MBCC holds two in-person events that kicks off on Saturday June 17th at DCR’s Hopkinton State Park in Hopkinton, MA for the 31st year & then on Saturday August 12th at DCR’s Nickerson State Park in Brewster, MA for the 24th year. These events will feature 1-mile recreational or competitive swims, ½-mile recreational swim, 5K or 10K runs, 3-mile walk & a 1-mile USMS sanctioned swim. Cheryl Osimo, MBCC's Executive Director stated, "We are grateful to the many people who continue to support MBCC & we’re so encouraged by how well our virtual events were received by participants both locally & nationally in 2020, 2021 & 2022. In 2023, we hope that providing multiple virtual & in-person event options will give even more people a chance to be a part of the Against the Tide events to swim, walk & run in support of breast cancer prevention." The funds raised through Against the Tide helps to support & expand MBBC’s community education program Let’s Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures, MBCC Webinar Series & the newly-expanded student environmental health program, Let’s Talk Prevention: Actions You Can Take. Registration for the virtual is $20 per event & in-person options is $40 for an individual participant per event. MBCC is the leading breast cancer organization dedicated to preventing the environmental causes of breast cancer through community education, research advocacy & changes to public policy. 

LGBTQ Red Shirt Pride Event (AUDIO)

This week I talked with Alison Burgos, Co-Founder & Vice President of the KindRED Pride Foundation about the launch of “Red Shirt Pride Day” a global movement on the first Saturday of June to get a million LGBTQ individuals & allies to wear a red shirt not only in celebration of Pride Month but as a message of “KindRED” spirit in these challenging times. The link between red & Pride originated in 1991 when Disney cast members & the Central Florida LGBTQ Community decided to meet socially on the first Saturday in June in front of the Castle at Magic Kingdom. They wore red t-shirts as an expression of pride & to identify their “kindred spirits” since they had never met in person. “Gay Disney” flourished & quickly grew to be one of the largest LGBTQ annual gatherings in the world. The growth was in part the result of the national exposure brought on by the protests of far-right groups threatening to boycott. The LGBTQ community responded in droves & year after year have journeyed to Disney World Resorts from around the world. Burgos hopes to start a yearly worldwide tradition with Red Shirt Pride Day building connections with LGBTQ communities & allies around the world as a sign of solidarity for those who believe in diversity, inclusion, equality, safe expression & kindness. The KindRED Pride Foundation will inaugurate its Red Shirt Campaign at the official kickoff of Pride Cup the annual LGBTQ multi-sport competition held during Gay Disney weekend that takes place June 1st to June 4th in Orlando, Florida. I talked to Alison about what she hopes to accomplish with Red Shirt Pride Day & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

Ruthie & Connie LGBTQI+ Elder Act

With over 500 anti-LGBTQ bills circulating among local legislatures U.S. Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Becca Balint (D-VT) & Maxwell Alejandro Frost (D-FL) have re-introduced the Ruthie & Connie LGBTQ Elder Americans Act that would improve aging supports for older LGBTQ people nationwide as we head into Pride & in recognition of Older Americans Month. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici stated, “It is unacceptable that decades of discrimination have left many LGBTQI+ seniors without the support & resources they need to stay healthy as they age. I’m grateful for Ruthie & Connie’s advocacy on behalf of LGBTQI+ seniors & I’m glad to lead this legislation in their honor so everyone can access the care & services they need without discrimination.” Michael Adams SAGE CEO concluded, “All older people, including LGBTQ+ older people, deserve to be able to age in their community, with necessary services & supports. We commend Representatives Bonamici, Balint & Frost on reintroducing the Ruthie & Connie LGBTQI+ Elder Americans Act. And we honor the work of our many LGBTQ+ pioneers, like Ruthie Berman & her late wife Connie Kurtz, whose tireless advocacy made this bill a reality. We eagerly anticipate working alongside her & other LGBTQ+ trailblazers nationwide to pass this bill." I talked to Ruthie Berman in this exclusive podcast about her life with Connie. LISTEN  

NiK Kacy Presents Queer Prom Event

Queer activist, designer, entrepreneur & event producer NiK Kacy is presenting “Queer Prom Behind the Velvet Rope!” an exclusive Studio 54 themed fundraiser party for Equality Fashion Week on June 1st at Sunset at EDITION in West Hollywood, CA from 8P to Midnight in partnership with The West Hollywood EDITION. NiK Kacy stated, “The era of Studio 54 celebrated creativity & individuality. This year’s Queer Prom will honor those before us & celebrate our generations perpetuating this mission.” Coming out as a trans masculine, gender non-binary queer human in their adult life NiK Kacy dreamt of finally attending prom as their authentic self & wanted others to be able to do the same. Prom is a signature high school experience & a staple in American culture. A traditional rite of passage it was a dream Kacy had for years because they never felt safe to attend prom as a young student. Queer Prom is an annual fundraising event for Equality Fashion Week (EFW) during Pride Month that creates a nostalgic themed inclusive adult prom experience infusing love & healing into our LGBTQ community. Seeking to recreate the experience of prom for queer folks to re-envision growing up more authentically NiK hopes the event will be a joyful reclaiming of what may have been painful memories for many queer youths. The soirée will be hosted by LGBTQ influencer Amber's Closet, Laith Ashley Trans model & musician & Trans model, comedian & actress Arisce Wanzer. Additionally the evening will feature special performances by Dragula & RuPaul's Drag Race star, Drag King Landon Cider, LGBTQ activist & singer from Istanbul Iliana Georgi, DJs Daisy O’ Dell, Mike Taylor & more. Tickets run from $15 to $85. 

NAACP Issues A Florida Travel Warning

The NAACP has joined the League of United Latin American Citizens & Equality Florida in issuing travel advisories for the Sunshine State where tourism is one of the state's largest job sectors. As the largest & oldest civil rights organization in the USA the NAACP has issued a formal warning to travelers to Florida that the state is “openly hostile” to blacks, people of color & LGBTQ people. Derrick Johnson NAACP President & CEO stated, “Let me be clear: Failure to provide an accurate account of the horrors & inequalities that Black Americans have faced & continue to face is a disservice to students & a dereliction of duty to all.” The recommendation issued by the NAACP on May 20th is in response to a series of legislation signed into law by DeSantis that attempts to erase Black history & restricts diversity, equity & inclusion programs in Florida schools. As we reported last month Equality Florida issued a travel advisory for our LGBTQ community warning of the risks posed to the health, safety & freedom of those considering short or long term travel or relocation to the state. Nadine Smith, Equality Florida Executive Director stated, “We understand everyone must weigh the risks & decide what is best for their safety, but whether you stay away, leave or remain we ask that you join us in countering these relentless attacks. Help reimagine & build a Florida that is truly safe for & open to all & where freedom is a reality, not a hollow campaign slogan.” 

LA Dodgers Pride Night Controversy

The Los Angeles Dodgers have disinvited the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to the team’s annual Pride Night after opposition from conservative rightwing Catholic groups. The Sisters were slated to received the team’s Community Hero Award in a ceremony during the 10th annual event before the June 16th game against the San Francisco Giants. Dodger management stated, “Given the strong feelings of people who have been offended by the sisters’ inclusion in our evening & in an effort not to distract from the great benefits that we have seen over the years of Pride Night, we are deciding to remove them from this year’s group of honorees.” Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) who represents Dodgers Stadium stated, “By caving to political pressure, the Dodgers opened their front gates to the hate & transphobia Marco Rubio & far-right extremists have been trying to spread to California for years. All this bigotry towards drag queens & trans Americans has been one big dog whistle for the extremist base ahead of the next election. As the representative of Dodgers Stadium & a lifelong Dodgers fan, I’m beyond disappointed that they allowed themselves to get pulled into this political farce. One thing that’s been made clear by Angeleno’s reactions: this bigotry won’t fly in our backyards or our outfields. Don’t peddle that shit here or anywhere. I hope the Dodgers leadership corrects this wrong & stops giving into political agendas that further marginalize LGBTQ+ Americans.” In response Anaheim Mayor Ashleigh Aitken tweeted, "I'm inviting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to join me for @Angels Pride Night at Anaheim Stadium on June 7th. Pride should be inclusive & like many, I was disappointed in the Dodgers decision."

Oklahoma Stops Trans Youth Health Ban

Lambda Legal, the ACLU of Oklahoma, the American Civil Liberties Union & the law firm Jenner & Block LLP announced the filing of a binding agreement with the Oklahoma Attorney General's office not to enforce SB 613 a law Governor Kevin Stitt recently signed pending resolution of plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction in their challenge to SB 613. Jointly stating, “We welcome this opportunity to preserve the rights of transgender adolescents & their families to access medically necessary health care while our challenge proceeds. SB 613 is a cruel intrusion by the state into the rights of families & their children’s doctors with grave costs for transgender adolescents across the state & we remain confident the court will see through this unconstitutional attack on their rights & lives. We expect all state officials to abide by this agreement while our motion is pending & stand ready to hold the State accountable & defend the rights of all trans Oklahomans, should any enforcement of SB 613 occur.” The law Oklahoma’s SB 613 bans all forms of gender-affirming medical treatment for transgender adolescents & threatens providers who violate the law with a felony conviction & discipline from their professional licensing boards. A group of families with transgender adolescents & medical providers who support this medically necessary healthcare filed a lawsuit challenging SB 613 because it unjustly & unfairly targets them & the critical health care they need in violation of their rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. With the non-enforcement agreement transgender adolescents will continue to have access to evidence-based care for gender dysphoria & medical providers will not need to live in fear of providing necessary health care to their patients. 

Florida Trans Healthcare Ban Disputed

Three Florida parents have asked a federal court to issue a temporary restraining order immediately blocking enforcement of SB 254 which Governor DeSantis signed into law. The families are represented by Southern Legal Counsel, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, the National Center for Lesbian Rights & the Human Rights Campaign who stated, “This is a state of emergency for Florida parents, who are already being forced to watch their kids suffer rather than get them the safe & effective healthcare they need & that will allow them to thrive. Today, Governor DeSantis doubled down on the nightmare created by the Florida Boards of Medicine rules by signing SB 254 into law. This law ignores science, unconstitutionally inserts the state into family privacy & parental decision-making, deliberately provokes family conflict by inviting challenges to established custody orders & tramples on the rights & wellbeing of transgender adolescents. We are asking the court to take swift action to block the ban on access to essential healthcare in SB 254, as well as the Boards of Medicine bans, to stop further harm to transgender youth & their families while the plaintiffs’ case continues.” Advocates for the families will be in court this Friday to argue their motions to temporarily block the Boards of Medicine rules & the healthcare ban provisions in SB 254 so that they can get their children urgently needed medical care as the case continues. NCLR is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human & civil rights of the LGBTQ community through litigation, public policy advocacy & public education. 

Fenway Health's LGBTQ Boston Gala

New England’s LGBTQ community & beyond will enjoy a can’t-miss event of fashion & fine dining this Saturday May 20th at the Omni Boston Seaport from 6P to Midnight for the Fenway Health’s 2023 Gala. This elegant celebration raises funds to support Fenway’s life-saving care, research, education & advocacy work. Following on the heels of a highly successful inaugural event in 2022 this year’s Gala will take place in two parts, the Main Event & the After Party. Ellen LaPointe Fenway Health Chief Executive Officer stated, “The Fenway Gala is a once-a-year opportunity for our community & allies to come together in celebration & solidarity. We celebrate our wins, recommit to the work that must still be done & appreciate & enjoy one another, all the while raising funds to support vital programs & services to address health disparities experienced by LGBTQIA+ individuals, BIPOC people & those living with HIV here in Massachusetts. The Gala also helps support our research, education & advocacy efforts to defend LGBTQIA+ rights & expand access to high quality, compassionate LGBTQIA+ care in the face of a rising tide of discriminatory legislation throughout the nation.” This year the Fenway Leadership Awards will be presented to Karen & Rob Hale & the Hale Family who demonstrate extraordinary ally-ship, to the LGBTQ community through their generous support of youth experiencing homelessness & “Boston Pride For The People” who have come together to reimagine Boston’s LGBTQ Pride celebration to be more inclusive. The Gala is the latest evolution of Fenway Health’s historic fundraisers, The Dinner Party & The Men’s Event & is the “see & be seen event” of the season with glamour & style worthy of our history & future so see you there!

National LGBTQ Wall Of Honorees Event

The International Imperial Court System & the National LGBTQ Task Force are honoring 7 legends of the LGBTQ movement as 2023 National LGBTQ Wall of Honor inductees at the historic Stonewall Inn. The ceremony will take place on June 22nd at 6:30P at 53 Christopher Street in NYC. Nicole Murray Ramirez, San Diego City Commissioner & Queen Mother of the Americas of the International Imperial Court System stated, "I founded the National LGBTQ Wall Of Honor because I believe that a community, indeed a civil rights movement, that doesn't know where it came from & whose shoulders it stands on doesn't really know where it's going. I am especially proud that two iconic drag queens are being honored this year: Darcelle XV of Portland & Heklina of San Francisco. " Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of the Task Force concluded, “As we reflect on 50 years of hard-won progress, we hold tight to the fact that we not only fight for rights, we fight for people. The honorees this year not only showcase the beautiful diversity of our movement, but also embody this commitment to community and to each other. We were devastated at the passing of Achebe, but with this induction, we honor her memory & legacy as the first Black lesbian to serve on the Board of our organization. This is a moment to celebrate these leaders who wore their queerness on their sleeves, inspiring millions & teaching us that a key aspect of liberation is striving to create a world where everyone feels empowered to live as their authentic selves.”

"Game Show Confidential" Book (AUDIO)

This week I talked with author Boze Hadleigh about his fabulous new book “Game Show Confidential” published by Lyons Press & distributed by the National Book Network. At a time when books are being censored across the country this must-read LGBTQ inclusive book covers a fascinating history of the game show genre. Since first appearing on radio broadcasts in the 1930’s to the current phenomenon dominating our broadcast culture, game shows continue to draw huge audiences. We especially saw an insurgence of this popular programming during COVID providing TV audiences with its “feel good” entertainment. “Game Show Confidential” describes the evolution of the game show with its larger-than-life producers & hosts as well as the scandals that have rocked it from time to time. Back in 1954 the FCC tried to ban television game shows but the Supreme Court disagreed. Then came the 1958 game show scandals that led to a Congressional investigation into the rigging of game shows which director Robert Redford zeroed in on in the film "Quiz Show". During that time an interesting fact was former contestant & child star Patty Duke appeared before a Congressional investigating committee & broke down crying admitting she'd been coached by adults to lie. “Game Show Confidential” also addresses the misogyny, bigotry & homophobia that have dominated the genre until recently. Though we now have women hosting primetime games show like Jane Lynch, Ellen Degeneres & Elizabeth Banks, when Betty White was set to host a 1960’s game show, ABC vetoed having a female host. I talked to Boze about his inspiration for writing “Game Show Confidential” & his spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN 

Texas Bans Transgender Kids Healthcare

The Texas House voted to advance Senate Bill SB 14 Friday that will ban evidence-based, life-saving health care for transgender adolescents in Texas. The bill bans puberty blockers & hormone therapy which have been used & proven to treat gender dysphoria for decades. Emmett Schelling, Executive Director, Transgender Education Network of Texas stated, “Today was ugly, but I am reminded that one of the fundamental parts of our trans experience is the deep understanding that we are all we have. Queer & Trans Texans are united in the fight to build a world in our vision on our terms.” Ricardo Martinez, CEO at Equality Texas added, “I am beyond angry that we must keep showing up to defend the dignity, privacy & liberty of our neighbors. Banning health care that literally saves lives should not be an option. The public debate about the value of our lives is not legitimate & it is out of touch with true Texas Values. This is part of a nefarious plan to eliminate us from public life. But it won’t work. We will not stop fighting for our rights. Not now, not ever.” Ash Hall, Policy & Advocacy Strategist at the ACLU of Texas concluded, “This is a dark day in Texas. Our legislature has turned its back on science, parents, & the safety & lives of children. Our hearts break for transgender young people in our state who have repeatedly been attacked by their own government for callous political gain. This legislation is vicious, it’s cruel & it’s blatantly unconstitutional. The bigotry & discrimination in this bill will not stand up in court & it will not stand the test of time. Transgender people have always existed & always will & the vast majority of Texans do not support harming them or cutting off this life-saving healthcare.” 

LGBTQ Centers Stand Up For Equality

With a record 470 anti-LGBTQ bills on state dockets & 362 of them specifically attacking our transgender community LGBTQ people are literally fighting for their lives. For years anti-LGBTQ bills have been on the ballot in statehouses around the country but so far in 2023 the legislation we’ve seen both in volume & appalling measures have reached a fever pitch. Over 220 LGBTQ Centers have united to take a stand against this epidemic of hate & discrimination. CenterLink & its extensive network of member centers are stepping up to create a powerful united front to push back against the wave of hateful legislation targeting our LGBTQ community stating, “We, the undersigned centers, denounce the tidal wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation that lawmakers are hurling at our community. We continue to stand united as safe havens for LGBTQ people & as pillars against hate & discrimination. We will not relent until these attacks stop and LGBTQ people are treated fairly & equally under the law.” These bills are enforcing discriminatory bathroom bans, censoring drag shows or even make them illegal, keeping transgender students from participating in sporting activities at school, forcing teachers to out students, eliminating school curriculum around LGBTQ & racial issues, attempting to allow states to put restrictions on marriage equality, erasing LGBTQ people from schools & public life & preventing transgender youth from accessing gender-affirming care or even force them to detransition. Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, Indiana & Georgia have already passed laws denying transgender youth the medically necessary care they need & other states are likely to follow. Stand up now & join the movement against these horrendous bills. 

Vermont Trans Healthcare Protections

While over 18 states have moved to ban access to essential healthcare for transgender people Vermont is the latest state to safeguard access enacting the most comprehensive law in the country to protect patients & providers. Brenda Churchill, LGBTQIA Alliance of Vermont Liaison Team stated, “Inclusion & equality are core Vermont values & this legislation demonstrates once again our deep commitment to protecting & affirming LGBTQIA people. In the face of escalating bans on essential healthcare for transgender people across the country, our state is doing everything in its power to ensure that care remains protected here.” Keith Goslant, LGBTQIA Alliance of Vermont Chair added, “Extremist attacks on the LGBTQIA community are taking a terrible toll, particularly on LGBTQIA young people & today Vermont is sending a clear message that we proudly & strongly support our LGBTQIA family.” Every major medical association endorses the standards of care for transgender adolescents diagnosed with gender dysphoria as best-practice, research-based medical care. Yet, amid a wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation being promoted across parts of the country, 18 states have passed laws or regulations banning access to such care. Federal courts have issued rulings blocking bans in three states Alabama, Arkansas & Missouri & legal challenges to bans in several other states are pending. The LGBTQIA Alliance of Vermont is comprised of representatives from a range of LGBTQIA organizations & individuals from the broader Vermont community. Their mission is to anticipate & collaboratively respond to proposed & enacted laws, policies, actions & community-level crises that impact LGBTQIA Vermonters. 

Provincetown Film Festival 25th Year

The Provincetown International Film Festival is celebrating 25 years & runs Wednesday June 14th to Sunday June 18th in Provincetown, MA. Bruce LaBruce, award-winning filmmaker, photographer & writer has been named 2023’s “Filmmaker on the Edge.” John Waters stated, “If anybody deserves the Filmmaker on Edge Award, it’s this year’s honoree Bruce LaBruce. He’s been pushing the limits of gay correctness, punk attitude & political mayhem for about forty years & has somehow managed to keep his celluloid troublemaking spirit intact both above & below the limits of underground & commercial filmmaking. Filth followers everywhere - we honor you, Bruce LaBruce.” Billy Porter the Emmy, Tony & Grammy Award-winner as well as the Golden Globe-nominated actor, singer, director, writer & producer will be honored with this year’s Excellence in Acting Award. Anne Hubbell, PIFF’s Executive Director stated, “Billy Porter is a boundary breaking talent. Whether on the screen or on stage, Billy’s performances captivate & stay with you. We’re so thrilled to honor him & share his new film “Our Son” with audiences.” Also announced is that writer, director & actor Julio Torres & writer, actress & comedian Megan Stalter will both receive the festival’s “Next Wave Award'' this year. Andrew Peterson PIFF’s Director of Programming stated, “The fresh, unparalleled artistry of Julio Torres & Megan Stalter embodies the spirit & energy of our Next Wave Award. We are so thrilled to share their innovative talents & films with the Provincetown Film Festival audience this year.” Lisa Viola PIFF Artistic Director concluded, “In celebrating 25 years of PIFF, we are beyond excited to present a fantastic slate of over 100 films that include wildly talented first-time filmmakers, BIPOC & LGBTQIA voices & our longstanding commitment to gender parity.” 

Rhode Island Advances LGBTQ Adoption

The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to make it more accessible for LGBTQ parents to ensure security for their families through adoption. The bill will now advance to a floor vote in the Senate where it is expected to pass. A companion bill H 5226 is under consideration in the House Judiciary Committee. Senator Dawn Euer Lead Sponsor stated, “Given the current climate of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across the country, it is more important than ever for LGBTQ+ families to have access to the legal protections they want & need for their families. I’m grateful that my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee were motivated to move quickly to advance this priority bill, which will make it accessible for more Rhode Island parents to secure a confirmatory adoption. Rhode Island is an inclusive state that cares about equality & security for our LGBTQ+ community - including their children & S 0121 is proof of that. I look forward to the vote on the Senate floor.” Polly Crozier, Director of Family Advocacy at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders concluded, “I’m thankful to Senator Euer & to the members of the Judiciary Committee for seeing the urgency & importance of advancing this bill to protect children & families. With extremists escalating their attacks on LGBTQ+ people across the country, parents are more worried than ever about the safety of their children. An adoption decree provides additional security for children, particularly if families travel or move outside Rhode Island. S 0121 will remove needless barriers to adoption for LGBTQ+ people who seek to confirm their parentage.”

LGBTQ Film “The Rising Tide” (VIDEO)

Campus Pride has released a 15 minute documentary by student filmmaker Beth Starling entitled “The Rising Tide: LGBTQ+ in 2023”. The film focuses on the current onslaught of anti-LGBTQ bills & the horrific impact they are having on LGBTQ lives. Starling stated, “I made this documentary in an effort to raise awareness & place this moment in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the context of history & human rights. I hope it helps bring forth compassion for those affected by these bills.” Shane Mendez Windmeyer Campus Pride Founder, CEO & Executive Director who appears in the film added, “The laws that are being proposed—or in some states actually passed—anti-drag, anti-trans, anti-queer, are not only harmful for the actions that they take, but for the climate that they create.” Starling completed the film as part of a Documentary Production class at the University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA). Whisper Moore the engagement & resource manager for Campaign for Southern Equality who talks in the film about the risks for trans & nonbinary young people of color & for Black trans women who are disproportionately targeted concluded, “Maya Angelou said that ‘no one of us can be free until everybody is free’ & I feel that these legislative attacks against LGBTQ individuals are another way to broach upon our rights & freedoms. None of us are protected & have equal rights under the law, until we all do.” Since 2001 Campus Pride has been the leading national organization dedicated to building future LGBTQ & ally leaders & creating safer communities at colleges & universities. 
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