Federal court upholds Washington State conversion therapy ban. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Monday rejected a therapist’s request for the court to reconsider its previous decision upholding Washington State’s law protecting minors from so-called conversion therapy by licensed health professionals.
Bathroom Bans for Transgender Youths Are Poised for Possible Supreme Court Review. Federal appeals courts’ rulings differed about whether to permit (Gavin Grimm in Virginia) or deny (Drew Adams in Florida) transgender students to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity, setting up an opportunity for the Supreme Court to weigh in.
California – San Francisco launches guaranteed income program for trans residents. The Guaranteed Income for Transgender People (GIFT) program will provide 55 residents with $1,200 a month for 18 months, including healthcare and financial coaching. The 2015 U.S. Trans Survey found that 33% of trans Californians lived in poverty, nearly triple the state’s overall poverty rate of 12%.
Connecticut – Equality Connecticut to launch this year. Matt Blinstrubas will lead the new group, which will join 43 other state pride organizations as part of Equality Federation.
Florida – LGBTQ+ parents in Florida say they are considering leaving the state. More than half of LGBTQ+ parents in Florida are considering moving their families to another state over concerns that a new Florida education law, The “Don’t Say Gay” bill – stigmatizes LGBTQ+ identities and creates a hostile learning environment for LGBTQ+ children or students with LGBTQ family members.
Iowa – Lawmakers introduce LGBTQ+ panic defense ban bill. A similar bill passed the State House unanimously in 2021 but was never considered in the State Senate.
Ohio – Hilliard City Schools asks for dismissal of lawsuit against the district. Eight parents are suing the school district over their view that teachers are improperly handling LGBTQ+ issues in the classroom. The school district’s attorneys argue that the suit “consists of thread-bare assertions, innuendo, rumor, and spurious legal conclusions.”
Utah – State Senate approves two bills targeting trans youth. SB16 would ban gender affirming care for trans youth under 18, while SB93 would ban changing birth certificates to reflect a minor’s gender identity. Both bills passed the Senate on January 19th on a mostly party-line vote.
Virginia – Bill introduced to force school staff to out trans students. The bill would require any school employee who is directly told that a student is trans must contact at least one of the student’s parents to ask if they are aware of their child’s gender identity and ask whether the parents wish to seek counseling for the student.
Wyoming – “Don’t Say Gay/Trans” bill advances to Senate floor. Senate File 117 advanced out of committee on January 20th and will be considered on the Senate floor. The bill is very similar to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill passed in Florida last year, and would ban discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in class through third grade.
India – Government objects to openly gay judicial appointee. The Indian Supreme Court released the government’s arguments against the appointment of Saurabh Kirpal, which stemmed from Kirpal’s openness about his sexual orientation. The Government believes that, because Kirpal is gay, he will be “biased” as a judge as well as a threat to national security.
Russia – New anti-LGBTQ+ laws go into effect. A law banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” passed Russian parliament in December. This has already resulted in censorship of movies, TV shows, and other media.
Study by the New England Journal of Medicine shows that gender affirming care has positive impact for trans youth. The study found that, as the youths’ physical appearance increasingly matched their gender identity, their overall wellbeing also improved, especially for teens who were assigned female at birth.
Pope Francis says homosexuality is a sin but not a crime, calling for an end to criminalization laws around the world. In an Associated Press interview, the Pope also urged Catholic bishops to welcome LGBTQ+ people into the Church.
Church of England apologizes to LGBTQI+ people for ‘shameful’ treatment. Church of England bishops apologized to LGBTQI+ people for the rejection and hostility they have faced, with the Archbishop of Canterbury acknowledging that the religious body was still “very divided” on the subject. The apology comes days after the Church of England set out proposals developed by the bishops that showed it would refuse to allow same-sex couples to get married in its churches, but said priests could bless them in church.
Films with queer storylines nominated for Oscars. Everything Everywhere All At Once, Tar, Night Ride, and others all earned Oscar nominations.
Fairyland to premier at Sundance Film Festival. The film is an adaptation of Alysia Abbott’s memoir about growing up in San Francisco with her gay single father and the impact that the AIDS crisis had on the community she grew up in.
Beyoncé performs in Dubai despite anti-LGBTQ+ laws in the UAE. To many Beyoncé fans, her performance in the UAE undermines the explicit purpose of her recently released Renaissance album, which she has dedicated to Black queer culture, due to UAE’s laws criminalizing sexual orientation and gender identity, including gender reassignment.
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