Thursday, June 17, 2021

SCOTUS rules "procedurally" on religion and gay couple adoptions/foster care; Nellies under great pressure from woke activists to be shut down


Philadelphia, 2007

Today the Supreme Court ruled against the city if Philadelphia in regulating faith-based adoption agencies receiving federal funds, with the practical effect that the ruling does not mean that all religious agencies in the future would be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples in applying to become foster or adoptive parents.

NBCNews explains Fulton v. City of Philadelphia in this article by Jo Yurcaba  NBC notes that same-sex couples are seven times more likely to adopt or foster than straight couples (UCLA Williams article), in a time when immigration (asylum seeking or refugees), and Covid is creating great need. HRC explains in an article by Aryn Fields.    Here is the opinion.  The holding is fairly narrow, criticizing the City of Philadelphia on the way it applied the law unevenly. Jeffrey Toobin reappeared on CNN today and explained, comparing it to Masterpiece Cakeshop and other cases.

There are widespread explanations of the Supreme Court’s upholding the Affordable Care Act on procedural grounds (lack of standing) (opinion)

We also all know the Emancipation Day, or Juneteenth, will become a federal holiday (and be observed Friday).

One other matter:  Activists are becoming more vocal in their demands of Nellie’s in the incident last Saturday and some want it closed permanently.  Metroweekly has the story.  Some of their demands though are very “woke” and collective in complaints about policing in general as white supremacy (which this was not).  On the other hand, a bar should not drag someone down steps.  (I’ve descended them myself before, and they are treacherous.  I most recently visited Nellie’s on Feb. 29, 2020, the last bar I visited (except for JR’s on March 1) before the bars were shut down for Covid.)  I presume there will be pro bono representation for the woman affected if she litigates. 

 Also, yesterday, Pitchers' Bar in Washington DC made an apology on Facebook for misgendering pronouns for a trans customer.  I was there Sunday night when this apparently happened and noticed nothing unusual.  

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Biden administration extends Title XI protections to transgender students


Adams Morgan 2019/6

The New York Times reports (Katie Rogers) that the Department of Education now will interpret Title XI of the Civil Rights Act as applying to transgender students (Katie Rogers). 

It is not clear that this would apply to women’s sports, but it probably would override state laws denying minors certain treatments.

Samantha Schmidt has a detailed article on transgender statistics in the Washington Post (April 2021).  It’s thought to be about 0.7% of the population of teens 13 to 17 (Williams Institute).  It’s also thought to be about 10% of the “LGBTQ community”.  Cis-gender is still much more common (which explains the intensity of gay porn, perhaps).

Monday, June 14, 2021

Washington DC's "mini-Pride" this past weekend as the city climbs out of coronavirus


Near Pitcher's 2021/6

I had my own “reduced Pride” this past weekend, in kind of a personal recovery mode.

Saturday, I attended the kickoff rally at Freedom Plaza at 2 PM.  The speeches were quite woke and identarian, and the audience was less binary and show less cis gay male machismo than in rallies of the past.  The cars were lined up near the National Theater and there were not that many of them.

After lunch at Harry’s (OK conservative gays go there) I walked over to 7th street, and it looks like I gave up around 5:30 PM when and got into the Metro when the parade finally came.

Sunday I took the Metro to Dupont Circle and walked up 18th Street, with a quick stop at Larry’s tavern (first time ever), which was crowded outside and inside (it is small) then up to Pitcher’s for supper. The dance floor was still closed (I don’t know if it opens Sundays) but everything else was open without restrictions.  Crowds were fair.

There were two incidents in Washington that are disturbing.  One was a fracas leading to a woman’s being dragged town a stair when she wasn’t involved (as per her statement), at Nellie’s Sports Bar on U St. Station WJLA offers a customer’s phone video of the incident. It sounds like it could lead to litigation.

Also, a many was arrested for assault on a female outside after a complaint, WJLA story.

 In fact, the Washington Blade further elaborates on the Nellie’s incident (and on additional protests) and on an incident in Shaw and a fatal DUI car-pedestrian wreck near Trade and Number Nine (link )  

Friday, June 11, 2021

"Zapping" as an activism technique in the earlier days of LGBT activism


World Pride NYC 2019/6

Erin Blakemore has an article in National Geographic June 2021 (paywall) explaining the importance of “zapping” as a technique of gay activism early

Zapping included disrupting sessions that were destructive, such as conversion therapy, or die-ins (as with AIDS and ACT-UP), or at businesses known to have flagrantly mistreated gay people, or to rallies of people like Anita Bryant.

I was starting my work world in the 1970s and pretty much stayed out of trouble.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

DC's mini-Pride this weekend; Town's re-opening


Pride DC June 2019

Metroweekly has a map and timetable for the PrideMobile and “march”, for most of Saturday afternoon, June 11, for Washington FC.   The mini-Pride has become more ambitious as the city reopens, after the traditional events were not scheduled until October because of uncertainty about COVID.  The route will pass Nats Park, where a double-header will be in progress because of a rainout today (with the San Francisco Giants, ironically). 

Metroweekly also has account for some bars as to theirreturning to full normal (supposedly June 11).  I didn’t see JR’s on the list, but the Facebook Page is healthy.

On January 29, 2021, Instinct reported that TownDanceboutique ahd secured a license to reopen in a former Baptist church in NE DC off North Capitol Street, despite resistance of some in the area over night noise, including military veterans recovering from PTSD.  But there is no confirmation on Town’s Twitter page.

Thursday, June 03, 2021

Uganda arrests gay men at a shelter on a pretext of controlling COVID

Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill protest


The Washington Blade reports (Michael J. Lavers) that 44 people were arrested at a shelter near Kampala, Uganda, the capital, for congregating and violating COVID social distancing rules.

That does sound self-serving when you consider that COVID has typically spread most rapidly in large households, especially with the variants.

Those detailed were given anal swabs to see if they were “gay”, that is, males who  practiced receptive anal intercourse, particularly without a condom.  This of course is how you would look for risk of HIV.

But this is how some authoritarian governments around the developing world still look at this.

And the highest priority from a public health perspective may be to send volunteers to vaccinate people in developing countries with authoritarian governments. 

Wikipedia embed, protest for Uganda 2014 anti-gay law, click for attribution 

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Loudoun County VA schools now face controversy over transgender students as a teacher is put on leave for stating his religious beliefs


Loudoun County courthouse 2020/8

A teacher in Loudoun County VA was placed on administrative leave after speaking out based on his religious beliefs against allowing transgender students to use their chosen names and pronouns. 

Then a pastor at the Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg spoke out against the board, and then the Democratic Party in Loudoun county called upon the pastor to recant his remarks.

WJLA reporter Nick Minock provides the story.

But the story occurred in a backdrop of criticism of curriculum changes that some claim are critical race theory. 

I notice that in many online forums today everyone is asked to state their pronouns, no matter how obvious they think their own cis gender status would be.  That certainly sounds a bit coercive.

 Two recent articles show that students claiming to be transgender credibly are more common than we though, maybe a little under 1% by high school.  There is Fatherly article by Tara Santora, article May 27, and Atlantic (Jesse Singal), Aug. 2018. This would not have applied to me; my situation was one of dyspraxia, which is not seen as a "disability". 

Update: Later June 5  Beth Greenfield of Yahoo! News reports in detail that the teacher is suing the school district.