News Round-Up: January 29, 2021

(image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Woofy Eles Quintero (above) snaps this relaxed selfie as we slide into the weekend. Follow him on Instagram here.

The Advocate: Sixty corporations, including Papa John’s and Chipotle, improved their LGBTQ policies in 2020 to a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s latest Corporate Equality Index.

Edge Media: An 8 year-old girl in Oklahoma was expelled from her Christian school for telling another girl she had a crush on her.

NowThis News: In his first major outing since his inauguration, President Joe Biden visited wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

My Central Jersey: Frederick Gattuso, 43, was arrested and charged with one count of third-degree fraudulent voting. Gattuso, a Republican, was charged after an investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined Gattuso allegedly voted twice in the 2020 election.

ABC News: More voter fraud – this time in Pennsylvania, and yes, he was a Republican. A criminal complaint alleges a South Park man submitted a mail-in ballot for November’s election in the name of his wife who had died seven years earlier.

Twitter: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on QAnon Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) calling the Parkland shooting a ‘false flag’ event: “Anyone suggesting it was fake is either deranged or a sadist.”

HRC & Billy Porter: Protest + Vote = Change

LGBTQ civil rights group, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), teamed up with Grammy® /Emmy®/Tony® award-winning actor, singer and activist Billy Porter to release this inspiring video encouraging people to vote as the nation is now j 100 days until the 2020 election.

The video pairs Porter’s new cover of the iconic protest song, “For What It’s Worth,” with sound bites from HRC President Alphonso David’s speech at HRC’s 2019 National Dinner.

Utilizing images of protest past and present, the video notes that both protest and voting are necessary to create change.

Originally written by Stephen Stills in 1966 at the height of the civil rights movement, “For What It’s Worth” is as relevant today as when it was first released.

Says Porter: “In pairing the song with Alphonso’s prophetic words about the power of seeing beyond yourself, this new video shares an important message for 2020: keep protesting, but also remember the sacrifices that have been made for our right to vote, and get yourself to the ballot box too.”

No Pride Love From Trump Administration For 4th Year In A Row

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David
Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David

While Donald Trump and Mike Pence took the time to acknowledge Global Coptic Day today, for the fourth year in a row they failed to recognize Pride Month.

In response, Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David issued the following statement:

“This June, the Trump-Pence administration has yet again failed to recognize Pride Month to honor the history of the LGBTQ community and acknowledge the ongoing movement toward full equality,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “In a global pandemic and national crisis highlighting ongoing racial violence and police brutality across the country — violence that particularly targets Black lives — Trump and his administration have stoked division, hate, and anger with continued attacks on LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants, and other vulnerable communities.

“The first pride started with protest. LGBTQ people — led in large part by transgender women of color — resisted police brutality and violence at Stonewall, the Black Cat, and Compton’s Cafeteria, among others. In this moment, we must unite like never before and take action, combat racism in all its forms and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality.”

In order to help the LGBTQ community and its allies celebrate Pride Month in this moment, HRC is today officially launching its #PrideInside toolkit, a series of resources to help HRC members, the LGBTQ community and its allies celebrate Pride. The toolkit can be found at HRC.org/pride.

Los Angeles: Adam Rippon Honored With HRC Visibility Award

Adam Rippon (All images via Getty Images for HRC)

Out Olympian Adam Rippon was honored in Los Angeles last night with the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award.

Adam’s fellow “out Olympian” Gus Kenworthy, who received the same award last year, presented Adam with the Visibility Award.

Here’s Gus’s introduction and Adam’s full speech, which is very much worth the watching.

Additionally, Adam finally met Oscar-winner Sally Field’s son, Sam Greisman, who she very publicly campaigned to meet Rippon.

In a text message to her son during the Olympics Field wrote, “He’s insanely pretty. Find a way.” Looks like mission accomplished:

More pics from the event courtesy of Getty Images for the Human Rights Campaign:

Out Olympian Gus Kenworthy introduces Adam Rippon

Presenting the Visibility Award

Josh Duhamel of Love, Simon

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

DWTS/ANTM champ Nyle DiMarco with Adam Rippon

Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin

Gus Kenworthy: “Thank You, HRC”

Olympian Gus Kenworthy thanks the Human Rights Campaign for changing and saving LGBT lives.

Out Olympian Gus Kenworthy thanks the Human Rights Campaign in this newly-posted video today.

“I am a huge supporter of the Human Rights Campaign because they’re a huge supporter of me.

“It’s been an incredible Olympics. We’ve seen so much change and so much progress and so much visibility for the LGBT community and that’s been incredible. And I don’t think we’d be anywhere near where we are without all the hard work the Human Rights Campaign has done.

“You guys have changed lives, you’ve saved lives, and I cannot thank you enough so from the bottom of my heart, thank you HRC.”

Please note Gus’ low-profile trolling of Donald Trump via his choice of hat 😉

Watch the video below.

Hillary Clinton At The Human Rights Campaign National Dinner 2017

What can I say? Hillary Clinton addressed the Human Rights Campaign’s National Dinner in Washington, D.C. last night.

Via Politico:

Clinton took aim at the White House’s efforts to roll back the Affordable Care Act and ban transgender service members, as well as its silence on international LGBT issues, during her remarks at the national dinner of the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT rights organization.

…”You know and [Trump] knows that transgender people have fought and died for this country,” Clinton said, adding that it was “insulting and wrong” for his administration to suggest transgender troops are unfit to serve.

Trump’s Justice Department has also argued in court that LGBT people are not protected from discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, reversing a legal position trumpeted by the Obama administration. It also voted against a United Nations resolution that condemned use of the death penalty against those who engage in consensual same-sex relationships.

“We cannot rely on this administration or the Supreme Court to uphold LGBT rights,” Clinton said. “We need to be agitating to pass the Equality Act,” she added, referring to proposed legislation that would make housing and workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity illegal.

Clinton touched on many other topics, including the upcoming anti-gay Colorado baker lawsuit coming to SCOTUS: “It is just wrong that in 2017 you can lose your job, lose your home, or, if this administration gets its way, be denied a wedding cake simply because of who you are or who you love,” she said.

There’s much more, but really, hit the play button below.

Please watch. Please. #ShesWithUs

Hillary Clinton Speaks To Human Rights Campaign On LGBT Rights

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton addressed members of the Human Rights Campaign this morning, speaking passionately about LGBT rights.

From ABC News:

“Ben Carson says that marriage equality is what caused the fall of the Roman empire,” the Democratic presidential candidate said to laughter during a breakfast at the LGBT rights organization’s annual gathering in Washington, D.C.

Clinton then mentioned Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, which drew hisses and boos from the crowd gathered inside the grand ballroom of the Mayflower Hotel, and went on to challenge him to join her at a gay pride parade.

“Ted Cruz slammed a political opponent for marching in a pride parade. He clearly has no idea what he’s missing. Pride parades are so much fun. I was marching in them back when I was first lady. You should join sometime Senator, come on,” she said.

Both Carson and Cruz have said they believe marriage is between a man and a woman. ABC News has reached out to their campaigns for comment to Clinton’s remarks.

“Hillary would have everyone believe she’s been in favor of marriage equality since the fall of the Roman Empire,” Carson campaign spokesman Doug Watts said. “When she’s not lying, she’s spinning!”

“We need to say with one voice that transgender people are valued, loved, and one of us,” she said. “Transgendered people are still banned from serving … that is an outdated rule. I support the policy review that Defense Secretary [Ash] Carter recently announced in the Pentagon. I hope the United States joins many other countries and lets transgendered people join openly.”

She later called out the Republican presidential candidates for ignoring the issue all together.

“See if you are ever in a forum with any of them, if you can get them to say the word transgendered,” she said.

Speaking of The Equality Act, which has been introduced in Congress, which would outlaw discrimination against LGBTs in virtually every corner of society, Hillary said this:

“It’s a noble piece of legislation that deserves to become the law of the land. As president, I will fight for it and I hope many of you will be with me when I sign it into law.”

Human Rights Campaign to donate $1 million to marriage equality fight

The Human Rights Campaign is sending $250,000 apiece to Maine, Washington, Maryland, and Minnesota to help with same-sex marriage ballot measures in each of those states, Politico reports:

Officials said there will be more spending coming, and that it makes the total spent by HRC in 2011 and 2012 on marriage-related efforts to $4.8 million.

“These ballot measures are the critical issues in November for our community, besides re-electing the president” and a small handful of specific races, said HRC’s Michael Cole-Schwartz. “And part of why they’re a big deal is because our opponents have rightfully had the talking points that all of these states have banned marriage for same-sex couples (in the past).”

Maine is the only state with a ballot measure that would legalize same-sex marriage.

Washington and Maryland are fighting repeals of laws passed in 2011.

Minnesota is battling a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.