Some news items you might have missed:
• Washington Blade: The African nation of Gabon has decriminalized consensual same-sex sexual relations becoming one of the few countries in sub-Saharan Africa to legalize them. A 2019 law that criminalized same-sex relationships by a maximum penalty of six months in prison and a 5 million Central African CFA franc ($8,561) fine was repealed by both chambers of Parliament and the president of Gabon signed the measure on Tuesday.
• Instinct Magazine: Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) and Broadway producer Justin Mikita are officially fathers. The couple announced that their newborn baby boy, Beckett Mercer, was welcomed into the world on Tuesday, July 7.
• CNBC: As the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues, 32% of U.S. households have not made their full housing payments for July yet. About 19% of Americans made no housing payment at all during the first week of the month, and 13% paid only a portion of their rent or mortgage.
• NY Times: Joy Reid has been announced as the new anchor for the 7 p.m. ET hour on MSNBC. Her new show, “The ReidOut,” will premiere in the slot previously held by Chris Matthews’ “Hardball” on July 20. The new assignment makes Reid one of only a few Black women who have anchored a major American evening news program.
• AP News: Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart said Wednesday Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa in late June that drew thousands of participants and large protests “likely contributed” to a dramatic surge in new coronavirus cases. Tulsa County reported 261 confirmed new cases on Monday, a one-day record high, and another 206 cases on Tuesday. During the week before the Trump rally, there were 76 cases on Monday and 96 on Tuesday.
• LGBTQ Nation: Out actress Javicia Leslie has been cast as the new Batwoman in the CW series, following Ruby Rose’s departure after just one season in the titular role. She will be playing Ryan Wilder, a different character from Rose’s Kate Kane. She’s described as “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed.” While Ryan is “nothing like Kate Kane,” the new character is also a lesbian. Ruby Rose congratulated her successor on social media.