Happy Sunday! It’s brunch time. Don’t be dumb. This week we bring you stories about the latest version of Hornet, the Equality Act and a potential reason to be concerned about the new owners of The Advocate. We also have some surprising news from the Trump administration concerning the LGBTQ community. (Yes, you heard that right.) And of course we have our Whackjob of the Week. See who they are below.
Here are the week’s 5 news stories that’ll keep you looking well-informed at brunch:
1. ‘Hornet V5’ Is a Whole New App
Seven years and 25 million users later, Hornet launches yet another level to the app, now with several new features. Hornet has always been a place to connect in many ways, and now after logging in you are able to post a photo and caption it. You’re able to like others’ photos and even leave comments on them. For English users, “The Daily Sting” wraps up multiple headlines in one convenient bundle. It’s an enhanced experience that takes Hornet to a whole new place, so log in and check it out!
2. Does The Advocate Need to Change Its Name to ‘The Adversary’?
The Advocate magazine just celebrated its 50th anniversary acknowledging its start as basically a flier that informed our community. Over the years it has served as a publication that covered all facets of the LGBTQ movement, including politics. Out magazine has told the story of so many celebrities and public personalities. Both have given us a narrative of our times.
Pride Media, run by stepbrothers Adam Levin and Maxx Abramowitz is a holding company that acquired both publications. Reporting recently discovered that those new investors may have some explaining to do regarding donations supporting anti-LGBTQ Republicans. Levin has donated to a number of Republicans, all of whom have publicly taken anti-LGTBQ stances.
So what does this mean for the publications? Well, there has already been an exodus of staff, and a new editor in chief will join Out at the end of the year. Even though a recent statement says Levin really supports LGBTQ rights, could this be the thing that poisons the publications? Read more here.
3. Pelosi to Push Equality Act
Election Day is only a few weeks away, and the LGBTQ community just got another reason to show up at the polls. Current Minority Leader (and anticipated Majority Leader) Nancy Pelosi of California said passing the Equality Act would be a top priority. If passed, the Equality Act would ban discrimination against women and LGBTQ people in employment, housing, education and several other areas at the federal level. It would be added to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
With the Senate likely to remain in Republicans’ hands, as well as a Trump administration that has been nothing but hostile to the LGBTQ community, the Equality Act would face an uphill battle to actually become law. But having it front and center on the Democratic legislative agenda would speak volumes.
4. Trump Nominates a Gay Judge
For the second time in his two years as president, Donald Trump has nominated a gay man to the federal bench. The White House has announced the nomination of Patrick Bumatay to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Bumatay, a conservative, appears not to have a record of anti-LGBTQ activism, a significant contrast from many of Trump’s other judicial nominees. (Barack Obama nominated 11 openly LGBTQ federal judges to the bench.) The first was Mary Rowland, who was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Bumatay still needs to be confirmed by the Senate. “Gay and conservative” is not always a good thing in the courts, but only time will tell.
5. Our Whackjob of the Week: JIFGA, Formerly JONAH
JIFGA is the Jewish Institute for Global Awareness, which is the new name for the ex-gay group JONAH, ordered dissolved by a New Jersey court in 2015 after losing a fraud lawsuit that raised $100K to help a “Death to Gays” Chicago priest who burned a rainbow flag.
JIFGA claims Father Paul John Kalchik is being persecuted by his bishop Cardinal Blase Cupich and was forced into hiding on Sept. 21 after Cardinal Cupich threatened to have him committed to a psychiatric treatment center. In an interview with NBC News, Kalchik proudly cited the Leviticus bible verse calling for homosexuals to be executed.
Chalk it up to another instance of a Christian being “persecuted” for their “beliefs” and then rallying other haters to give money. Wouldn’t it be easier to just love one another, regardless of who they may love? Hate’s a lot of work — and apparently expensive.
Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo were one of two plaintiff couples in California’s 2013 challenge of Proposition 8, which brought marriage equality back to the state after being ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court. These activists also host the weekly podcast The Husbands. Catch them there or follow them on Hornet @PaulandJeff.
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