Pope calls for civil unions for same-sex couples

The Vatican – In a new documentary that premiered October 21 in Rome, Pope Francis called for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples. This is a radical shift in stance from the position held for years by the Vatican’s doctrinal office. Previous popes — particularly Francis’s immediate predecessors, Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II, both staunchly anti-gay — have been unmoved on the issue of same-sex unions of any kind. The film, Francesco, sees Pope Francis speaking at length about pastoral care — a form of emotional, social and spiritual support — for LGBT people. “Homosexuals […]

Maryland’s Sue Nami, queens from all 50 states urge voting

Washington, D.C. – Maryland drag performer Sue Nami joined drag performers from all 50 states in a roll call video for LGBTQ voters hosted by Shangela, Bob the Drag Queen, and Eureka O’Hara The hosts and producers behind the Emmy-nominated HBO docuseries We’re Here premiered “We’re Here. We’re Queer. #WeVote,” a roll call video featuring drag talent from all 50 states, as well as DC, urging LGBTQ people and allies to vote in the upcoming election. View the video at https://youtu.be/XXYZJBHx4s0 Shangela, Bob the Drag Queen, and Eureka O’Hara, hosts and consulting producers of HBO’s We’re Here, star in the […]

Barrett is a dangerous pick to join the Supreme Court

Washington, D.C. – Leading LGBTQ school campaigners in the US have issued a last-minute plea to the Senate not to confirm Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court. President Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett on September 26 and the Senate has been rushing to confirm her before the election on 3 November. The Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced her nomination to the full Senate with a vote expected on October 26. Barrett is a conservative catholic with extremist views on many issues. She has been a vocal opponent of abortion rights and gay marriage. Her anti-LGBTQ track record and […]

Pennsylvania issues guidelines for sex during COVID crisis

Harrisburg, PA – Earlier this month, the State of Pennsylvania issued guidelines for sexual health and practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Montgomery County also recently issued guidelines. Both follow the actions taken by Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health, as well as Erie and Allegheny Counties, who released similar guidelines in May. Pennsylvania has seen an uptick in COVID cases in the past month. “For many people, the stay-at-home time has passed,” said Adrian Shanker, Executive Director of the Bradbury-Sullivan Community Center. “It’s also unrealistic to think people will avoid sex until this has passed. We are empowering our community to […]

Official seeks landmark status for home of lesbian pioneers

San Francisco, CA – A Gay San Francisco supervisor has vowed to landmark the home where the late lesbian pioneering couple Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin lived throughout most of their 54 years together. Historic preservationists, friends of the couple, and Lyon and Martin’s daughter held a Zoom call on September 24 to discuss designating the house at 651 Duncan Street in the city’s Noe Valley neighborhood as a historic site. District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman said during the call that he would seek granting historic status to the property. “I do think this is clearly a home of historic […]

Texas Social Work Board removes discrimination protection

Austin, TX – Texas social workers, state legislators, disability rights and LGBTQ advocates condemned the Oct. 12 decision by the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners, which licenses and oversees social workers, decision to remove protections for disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression from the Social Work Code of Conduct. State Sen. Jose Menendez of San Antonio and state Reps. Jessica Gonzalez of Dallas and Diego Bernal Bernal of San Antonio, all Democrats, joined state Rep. Sarah Davis, a Houston Republican, in forcefully denouncing the appointed commission’s unanimous vote. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott recommended removing the language. […]

Another pandemic: Doctor’s memoir of the AIDS early years

Chicago, IL – Cover your nose and mouth. Wash your hands with soap and water. Stay six feet away from strangers and those you think might be infected; better yet, stay at home. And that is how you crush a pandemic — more or less — although, as in the new book Plague Years by Ross A. Slotten MD, sometimes it’s not that easy. Plague Years: A Doctor’s Journey through the AIDS Crisis by Ross A. Slotten, MD (University of Chicago Press, 2020) $20; 214 pages. It was not until Slotten saw his former lover, Art, that the reality hit […]

Capital idea: an interview with Kim Roberts, editor of By Broad Potomac’s Shore

As compared to New York, San Francisco or Chicago, Washington DC might not be among the first places the average person thinks of when it comes to poetry. But thanks to queer poet/historian/educator Kim Roberts that is changing. Beginning with her groundbreaking 2018 book A Literary Guide to Washington, DC: Walking in the Footsteps of American Writers from Francis Scott Key to Zora Neale Hurston, Roberts wisely turned our attention to the city’s rich literary history. For her new book, By Broad Potomac’s Shore: Great Poets from the Early Days of the Nation’s Capital (University of Virginia Press, 2020), narrows her expansive focus from all writers to […]

The Haunted House’s History

The house has stood for decades. No one knows when it was built or what happened to its owners, whom haven’t been seen or heard from in our lifetime. Nature has reclaimed the land and house itself. What once was a porch is now a broken, sagging collection of boards. The beams of the roof have rotted, collapsing inwards to the heart of the house. A “No Trespassing” sign hangs on what is left of the front door. Perhaps the sign has served its purpose because there is no graffiti or any sign of vandalism to be found; or, it […]

4th Annual Keystone State Gay Rodeo – Wrap Up

After a fantastic weekend of roping, speed, and camp events, the Keystone State Gay Rodeo Association (KSGRA) celebrated its success of it’s annual rodeo weekend. The 4th Annual Rodeo was held Saturday, October 3 at Red Man Ranch & Arena in New Freedom, PA.    This years rodeo saw new contestants and many new faces in the audience.     On Sunday, October 4, Jackpot Team Penning was held.    At this event, teams of riders on horseback sort cattle to pick out the numbers that they are assigned in 60 seconds and get them “penned” in a three-sided corral at the other end […]