News Round-Up: August 4, 2021

H Scott Apley

Some news items you might have missed:

ABC13: H Scott Apley (above), an anti-vaxxer and a leader in the Texas Republican Party, died just days after being diagnosed with COVID. His wife and 5-month-old son tested positive as well. Apley mocked federal “hand-outs” during the pandemic on social media, so it will come as no surprise friends have set up a crowd-funding campaign asking for $35K for the family. Continue reading “News Round-Up: August 4, 2021”

Texas Democrats Leaving State To Block Voting Restrictions Bill

Road sign reading Texas

Road sign reading Texas

Democratic lawmakers in the state of Texas are reportedly leaving the state today in order to break the quorum required to pass new voting laws. The governor had called the special session into order primarily for the purpose of passing the legislation.

From the Texas Tribune:

Upping the ante in both the legislative fight at home and the national debate over voting rights, most House Democrats are expected to board a flight out of Austin headed for the U.S. capital without a set return date.

At least 51 of the 67 Democratic representatives — the number needed to break quorum — were in the process of leaving, most arriving at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Monday to board a chartered flight.

The House is set to reconvene Tuesday morning, but the absent Democrats would mean there will not be enough members present to conduct business under House rules.

Texas Democrats are hoping to find some (any) leverage to force their way to the negotiating table as them say they’ve been shut out of drafting of the voting bill.

Texas Governor Vetoes Anti-Dog Cruelty Legislation

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (screen capture)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (screen capture)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (screen capture)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) vetoed Senate Bill 474, known as the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, that would have made it illegal to leave dogs chained up outside without drinkable water, adequate shade or shelter.

The bill passed in the Senate 28-3 and the House 83-32.

From the Texas Tribune:

Abbott said Texas already has the statutes in place to protect dogs from animal cruelty, and the penalties proposed in Lucio’s bill seemed excessive.

“Texas is no place for this kind of micro-managing and over-criminalization,” he said in the veto statement.

Shelby Bobosky, executive director of Texas Humane Legislation Network, a nonprofit that lobbies in support of animal rights, said the organization’s members are devastated by the veto, and the bill would have “clarified the vague language that makes the statute completely unenforceable.”

The hashtag #AbbottHatesDogs began trending on Twitter soon after Abbott’s veto.

Podcast: Pride Month 2021, Bakery Hit By Homophobia, The Latest From Eli Lieb

TJ Osborne makes history at the CMA Awards, new documentary 'Mayor Pete' takes you behind the scenes of the 2020 presidential campaign, LGBTQ people are getting vaccinated at much higher rates than heterosexuals

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 headlines:

• For the first time in five years, the LGBTQ community not only received full-throated support from the man in the Oval Office, but President Joe Biden, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris all issued video greetings to LGBTQ Americans for Pride Month

• Congress votes to make Pulse Nightclub a national memorial

• Gay men in the UK will have an easier time donating blood

• A bakery in Texas experienced hideous homophobia for saying ‘Happy Pride’ and then the internet stepped in

• Eli Lieb drops the perfect anthem for Pride Month ‘Boys Who Like Boys’

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

News Round-Up: June 10, 2021

Caden Wyatt with his dad, John, and his mom, Janell (image via John Wyatt)

Some news items you might have missed:

Buzzfeed: Just over a year since he first came out, Caden Wyatt, 15, (above) told the most people he ever has that he’s gay — and he did it with his dad by his side. For the first time in their lives, and likely one of the first times in their Oklahoma neighborhood, the Wyatts hung a flag outside their house to ring in Pride Month.

PEOPLE: Queer Eye star Karamo Brown says filming the current season of the “make better” show in Texas was the ‘first time’ he experienced ‘blatant’ hatred.

Instagram: Cheyenne Jackson is thankful he learned how to get ripped AF with his hotel room workouts. He looked pretty fit before, but I’m not complaining…

Buzzfeed II: Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen) explained to Kelly Clarkson why it took him five years to start dating Noah Galvin (The Real O’Neals) and it’s really sweet. “I didn’t see the light for a long time, and then I realized, you know, that he was the guy.”

Instinct Magazine: Caitlyn Jenner compared herself with Donald Trump in an uneasy appearance on The View on Thursday. When pressed by Joy Behar if she was one of those Republicans who believe Trump won the election, she hedged her answer.

“I’m not going to get into that, that election is over with,” but she proceeded to draw a parallel between herself and Trump. “He was a disrupter when he was president. I want to do the same thing.”

Christian Post: Pastor Lewis Clemons of Columbus, Georgia, could have settled a civil case against him for zero dollars if he agreed to acknowledge and record a public apology for allegedly sexually abusing and raping his former congregant, Lequita Jackson. He refused and went to trial. On Wednesday, a jury in the Superior Court of Muscogee County ruled in favor of Jackson and imposed a $500,000 verdict against him.

USA Today: Austin Swink was preparing to go on his first mission trip with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he decided to reveal the news that he was gay to his dad, Vaughn Swink. “I got this feeling that I just needed to get it off my chest before I left, because it was weighing on me for so long, not saying anything,” Swink said. He decided to video record his coming out to his dad, and posted the reaction online.

News Round-Up: June 8, 2021

(screen capture from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)

Some news items you might have missed:

Gallup Polling: U.S. support for legal same-sex marriage continues to trend upward, now at 70% – a new high in Gallup’s trend since 1996. This latest figure marks an increase of 10 percentage points since 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all states must recognize same-sex marriages.

Gothamist: Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that the vast majority of New York’s coronavirus restrictions and safety measures will be lifted once 70% of adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine—which he estimated could happen within the next two weeks.

Washington Blade: An East Texas bakery shared a photo of rainbow Pride cookies on Facebook and immediately got slammed with homophobic hate including customers cancelling huge orders. But by the next morning, the owners were deluged with orders offering to buy the cancelled cookies and a line of customers down the block buying out the entire bakery in a show of support.

NBC4i: An anti-vaccine physician told Ohio lawmakers Tuesday that COVID-19 vaccines can magnetize people. “I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures all over the internet of people who have had these shots and now they’re magnetized. They can put a key on their forehead. It sticks.”

NBC News: Wisconsin pharmacist Steven Brandenburg has been sentenced to 3 years in prison after pleading guilty to destroying 500 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in January. Brandenburg admitted he removed doses of Moderna vaccine from refrigeration storage overnight knowing it would render them ineffective.

Buzzfeed: Check out this list of 33 great LGBTQ-themed shows to watch on Hulu for Pride Month like Love, Victor or that awesome coming out dance sequence on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (top image).