In local News:
An anti-gay bill was stopped in Springfield last week. The bill would have amended the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection & Civil Unions Act to allow religiously based child welfare institutions to decline adoption to couples in a civil union. Activists from the ACLU of Illinois and The Civil Rights Agenda helped stop the bill which was introduced by Sen. Kyle McCarter of the 51 district. Civil rights agenda filed testimony ahead of the committee vote, detailing “blatant homophobia” in the language of the bill. Last Friday morning at meeting of the Executive Subcommittee on Civil Rights the bill voted down 2-1
This week is LGBT Health Awareness Week. The week is aimed to highlight the progress the United States is making to address the unique health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans, especially through implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Studies have shown that health disparities related to sexual orientation and gender identity are due in part to lower rates of health coverage and a lack of cultural competency in the health care system. To honor the week of awareness health care providers including University of Illinois Chicago are offering events and seminars focusing on LGBT health. To find out more on what’s going on for LGBT Health awareness week visit UIC.edu.
Chicago healthcare icon Howard Brown will be moving and expanding its primary Clinic the Triad Health Practice. CEO Jamal Edwards confirmed that Howard Brown has signed a 15-year lease for a 4,000-square-foot storefront at 3245 N. Halsted St. As the Midwest's largest LGBTQ focused healthcare provider, the new storefront location will give the clinic greater visibility, and its increased size will allow for an expansion of services.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has gone public with a series of confidential documents which outline the National Organization for Marriage's (NOM) multi-year plan to deter the national campaign for marriage equality. The documents reported reveal some of the group's racially-driven tactics stating quote, "The strategic goal…is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies." Another Section of the document talks about the Latino vote as a swing vote, making it important to interrupt the process of assimilation making the quote "support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity -- a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation." President of NOM Brian Brown did not deny the documents, simply stating them as proof the organization has worked with supporters of every color, creed and background.
In International News:
The 23-year-old Miss Universe Canada finalist Jenna Talackova was disqualified from the competition last week after it was discovered she had undergone sexual reassignment surgery. Denis Davila the Director of Miss Universe Canada told the Toronto Star that while they consider Talackova to be a "real girl," Miss Universe rules stipulate that contestants must be a “naturally born female.” Support for the beauty queen has skyrocketed with A change.org petition calling for the Vancouver native to be allowed to compete for the crown. The petition has received over 33,000 signatures. To find out more on the petition visit Change.org.
In Entertainment News:
Madonna Released Album MDNA and is already causing an international controversy. Her tour is planned to go through St. Petersburg, Russia on August 9. Activists have called on Madonna to boycott St. Petersburg to protest the "homosexuality propaganda" bill passed by the city council. On her Facebook wall she took on the issue saying she will use the show to express her support of the local gay community. Saying quote "I don't run away from adversity. I will speak during my show about this ridiculous atrocity."
The GLAAD Media Awards were held on Saturday in New York City. The first of three events over the course of the summer, this edition was hosted by "Glee" stars Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith and brought together allies like actress Dakota Fanning, hip-hop icon Russell Simmons, "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi, and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir. The GLAAD awards are held to honor accurate and inclusive representations of the GLBT community and the issues that affect their lives. Some of the awards handed out were Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage, given to The Advocate, Outstanding Music Artist, which Lady Gaga took home for her album "Born This Way," and Outstanding Talk Show Episode, won by "The Oprah Winfrey Show." One attendee to the awards took home a very special memory when the hosts decided to auction off a kiss, and John Stamos jumped up and offered his own as a prize. The auction raid $15,000 dollars.
That’s all for this episode of the gay report. Don't forget to let me know if you have a story idea or important event you'd like me to cover, just email me at TJ@gaychicagotv.com and let me know. AND don't forget to like us on Facebook. So join me again next week for more news and events affecting your world, and until next time, Stay proud Chicago.
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