News Round-Up: July 1, 2021

A French woman has been charged for causing a huge pile-up at the Tour de France over the weekend

A French woman has been charged for causing a huge pile-up at the Tour de France over the weekend

Some news items you might have missed:

Cycling News: A spectator who held up a cardboard sign on the opening day of the Tour de France accidentally struck cyclists (above) causing dozens to crash. The 30-year-old French woman has been arrested and charged with involuntarily causing injury and faces a fine of 1,500 euros.

Vanity Fair: Following her very public statement last week, Britney Spears’s request to have her father, Jamie Spears, removed from her conservatorship has been denied by the judge overseeing the case.

WPRI: Chase Allen, 25, of Seekonk, was apprehended by FBI agents for allegedly taking part in the violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol building. Allen is accused of participating in the destruction of thousands of dollars worth of media equipment during the riots. Photos capturing a man wearing the exact same outfit as Allen show him stomping on cameras outside the Capitol building. He claims he was there to document the events as a journalist.

JoeMyGod: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noam has literally rented out 50 members of the state’s National Guard to an auto scrap billionaire to head down to the Texas/Mexico border.

Nevada Independent: Nevada casinos collected a single-month record of $1.23 billion in gaming revenues during May, a stunning figure given that most COVID-19 capacity restrictions weren’t fully lifted until June 1.

People: Out singer/songwriter Hayden Joseph tells the pop culture magazine, “Mainstream country radio is still controlled by a couple of conglomerates, and they still play one-dimensional country music, all signed by a boy’s club that looks and sounds the exact same.” I wrote about his latest single, “Out,” here.

D.C. National Guard To Remain Deployed Through March

D.C. National Guard to remain deployed due to possible civil unrest
National Guard members laying down in parking garage (image via Twitter)

Politico is reporting the deployment for the entire D.C. National Guard has been extended until March 31.

With the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump scheduled to begin soon, officials worry about possible civil disturbances in the nation’s capital over the next several weeks.

The memo, signed by D.C. National Guard chief Maj. Gen. William Walker and dated Jan. 25, orders troops to remain on duty at least through the end of March “in continued support of District and Federal civil authorities during anticipated First Amendment demonstrations and Civil Disturbance in the District of Columbia.”

The new orders suggest that law enforcement agencies in the nation’s capital are preparing for potential unrest in the coming days and weeks, as former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial kicks off and his supporters issue threats to lawmakers.

In addition to the D.C. Guard, troops from Maryland have been ordered to remain on duty through at least March 15. The National Guard Bureau initially said the orders will become voluntary after 31 days, but Guard sources said Tuesday that was not the case.

Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic is wrecking havoc with the D.C. National Guard troops as hundreds have tested positive for the virus or are currently quarantining due to exposure.

Many of the troops, who have had to sleep on the floor of the Capitol building or an underground parking lot, say the deployment is becoming its own super-spreader event.

Pence: During Riots Biden Sent Out Press Release While Trump Sent In National Guard

L-R Vice Presidents Mike Pence, Joe Biden

Vice President Mike Pence took a shot at his predecessor, former Vice President Joe Biden, during an interview with the Washington Examiner contrasting the actions of Biden and Donald Trump during recent riots.

The Washington Examiner reports:

President Trump was the last line of defense between law-abiding people and a dangerous, left-wing mob intent on toppling statues and ripping the nation apart, according to Vice President Mike Pence.

“When rioters were setting fire to one of the oldest churches in America and defacing our national monuments, Joe Biden sent out a press release. President Trump sent in the National Guard,” Pence said Thursday in an exclusive interview aboard his campaign bus with the Washington Examiner.

“The contrast with Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi is, this is a president who understands our commitment is to uphold the rule of law — law and order,” said Pence, who spoke as he completed a swing through Pennsylvania, a battleground critical to Trump’s reelection prospects.

It’s worth noting that Trump is the president of the United States and has the power to send in the National Guard.

Biden is a private citizen with no such authority (at this time).

News Round-Up: May 20, 2020

Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechen Republic in HBO’s ‘Welcome To Chechnya’

Some news items you might have missed:

Oregon Live: A gay man recently became angry with his mother when she didn’t know how to respond when he introduced his new boyfriend who is HIV-positive. She fears if they stay together and have children the new boo might infect the future/possible kids. She wrote to the popular column ‘Ask Amy’ for advice.

CBS Detroit: A Wisconsin woman who has taken hydroxychloroquine for 19 years to treat lupus has tested positive for COVID-19. The woman, a self-described Trump supporter, says she only left her home to go the grocery store. She told CBS News she thought she would be safe because of what Donald Trump has said about the drug.

HBO: From Academy Award-nominated director David France comes Welcome to Chechnya, a powerful and eye-opening documentary about a group of activists risking their lives to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ persecution in the repressive and closed Russian republic of Chechnya.

Politico: More than 40,000 National Guard members currently helping states during the coronavirus health threat will face a “hard stop” on their deployments on June 24 — just one day shy of many members becoming eligible for key federal benefits like education benefits under the Post-9/11 GI bill and/or early retirement.

Bloomberg News: Researchers are finding evidence that patients who test positive for the coronavirus after recovering aren’t capable of transmitting the infection, and could have the antibodies that prevent them from falling sick again.

AZ Central: Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) dropped four percentage points in a month trailing Democrat Mark Kelly by 13 points, according to the latest tracking poll by OH Predictive Insights. The same poll in April favored Kelly 51% to McSally’s 42%, and now in May, it’s 51%-38%. The poll shows independents breaking more than 2-1 for Kelly.

TikTok: Since the fan on my two-year-old laptop sometimes goes into high gear for no apparent reason, I clicked on this. I had no idea computers could get so filthy inside.

Podcast: Billy Porter On Sesame Street, National Guard LGBTQ Inclusion, Homophobes In Croatia

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• National Guard units are taking positive steps to promote LGBTQ inclusion

• A crowd in Croatia cheered at the burning of an effigy depicting a same-sex couple with a child

• Texas teacher wins $100K settlement for LGBTQ discrimination

• Atlanta man convicted of rape after pretending to be gay in order to befriend lesbian

• The ‘Love, Simon’ TV sequel will premiere in time for Pride Month on Hulu

• One Million Moms is really, really mad Billy Porter is heading to Sesame Street

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

News Round-Up: April 24, 2019

David Hernandez

Some news item you might have missed:

• Out singer/songwriter and American Idol alum David Hernandez found my favorite place in Puerto Vallarta – Mantamar Beach Club. If you look behind him in the lower right hand corner, you can see the cabanas hot hubby Michael and I always spend our days in 🙂

• File this under ‘Birds of a feather…’ One of the co-founders of Students For Trump has been arrested for pretending to be a Manhattan lawyer and taking thousands from would-be clients.

• Five states – California, New Mexico, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington – have announced they will refuse to impose Donald Trump’s trans military ban and therefore not remove trans people from their National Guards.

• Donald Trump says his administration is “fighting all the subpoenas” claiming the Democrats are hoping to “luck out” by going after him. If you’re innocent, why hide anything?

• Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was told not to bring up any concerns about  Russian forms of interference in the 2020 election in front of Donald Trump because he “equated any public discussion of malign Russian election activity with questions about the legitimacy of his victory.”

• Fox’s Empire will feature the first black gay wedding on network television; and it may be Jussie Smollett’s last episode.

• Today is True Colors Day – launched by Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors United organization in an effort to raise public awareness about LGBTQ youth homelessness, and to provide supporters with simple ways to make a difference.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ youth. While many factors contribute to LGBTQ youth homelessness, identity-based family rejection is the most commonly cited reason.

The cast of FX’s Pose sat down to make this video for True Colors Day about how we can change our culture to one of love and acceptance.

Louisiana: National Guard won’t process same-sex spousal benefits

Like its neighbor, Texas, Louisiana will not be processing spousal benefits for married same-sex couples at National Guard facilities:

National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Kazmierzak said Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis, the state’s adjutant general, issued the directive Wednesday.

Kazmierzak cited the state’s constitution.

“The state of Louisiana’s constitution does not recognize same sex marriage, nor does it allow a state official to take part in an act that recognizes same sex marriage,” he said.

Kazmierzak said the Louisiana National Guard isn’t denying same-sex benefits. He said guard personnel can seek to file benefit requests with eight federal military installations ar ound the state for processing.

Texas National Guard refuses benefits to married same-sex couple

Tuesday marks the first day that the U.S. armed forces started offering partner benefits, including military IDs, to troops with same-sex spouses after a period of implementation this year. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision against the Defense of Marriage Act, gay troops are now eligible for major spousal benefits, including health and pension benefits as well as equal access to housing.

Alicia Butler, an Austin, Texas, attorney, said she was rejected when she tried to register with the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS, the military’s health benefits system, when she applied on Tuesday at Camp Mabry, where her spouse, Judith Chedville, a nurse and Iraq war veteran, is stationed as a member of the National Guard.

“We were told that Texas would not register us into the system and would not issue an ID card for me,” Butler said. “We were told that if she was active duty they would do that for me, but not for a National Guard member because she’s part of the Texas National Guard.”

The explanation the couple was given, Butler said, was that they were denied because she and her spouse are the same gender. Butler said she and her spouse were legally married in California.

The American Military Partner Association, an LGBT military group, says it was leaked guidance indicating that Texas Military Forces, or the Texas National Guard, wouldn’t honor the U.S. armed forces’ plan to begin offering partner benefits to gay troops because the Texas Constitution prohibits same-sex marriage.

“The TXMF is a state agency under the authority and direction of the Texas state government,” the guidance states. “Therefore, the TXMF must consider that the Texas Constitution and Texas Family Code 6.204 conflicts with the DoD policy extending benefits to same-sex spouses. Due to this potential conflict, we are unable to enroll same-sex families into DEERs at our state supported facilities until we receive legal clarification.”

Similar to what Butler and Chedville were told, the guidance says troops who are affected by this issue should seek a federal facility to apply for benefits.

“However, the TXMF remains committed to ensuring its military personnel and their families receive the benefits to which they are entitled,” the guidance states. “As such, we encourage anyone affected by this issue to enroll for benefits at a federal installation.”

More at the Washington Blade

National Guard marches in LA Gay Pride parade

National Guard marches in Los Angeles Gay Pride parade
National Guard marches in Los Angeles Gay Pride parade

In a series of firsts, a delegation from the California National Guard, led by its Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, took part in L.A. Pride, joining Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), the first openly gay person elected Speaker, in yesterday’s Pride Parade. This marks the first time a U.S. National Guard force has directly outreached to the LGBT community at Pride.

The California National Guard also had its first-ever recruiting booth at the Pride Festival following the parade. Several of the Guardsmen marching alongside Speaker Pérez and Maj. Gen. Baldwin are gay and were marching openly for the first time as members of the Armed Forces.

“The overwhelmingly positive response to the California National Guard from Pride participants today was matched only by the respect and enthusiasm the Guard showed toward our community,” Speaker Pérez said. “Today makes it absolutely clear the Guard is committed to including and reflecting all the people they serve.”

“We are a performance-based force, and one’s sexual orientation shouldn’t affect their ability to serve and excel,” said Maj. Gen. Baldwin. “Duty to one’s state and nation – not sexual orientation – is the defining trait of our soldiers and airmen.”

(Via press release from John Perez, openly gay Speaker of the California Assembly)

National Guard marches in Los Angeles Gay Pride parade

(h/t JMG)