“True stud” Elliot Page and “heartthrob” Mae Martin reunite after both coming out

Elliot Page (left) and Mae Martin (right)

Elliot Page and Mae MartinPhoto: Screenshot/Instagram

Elliot Page and Mae Martin had a reuniting of sorts this weekend, with both posting the same selfie with each other to their respective Instagrams.

“Chilling with this heartthrob,” Page captioned his post. Martin said on their post, “reunion with true stud @elliotpage.”

Related: Here’s how gays are made according to the internet

““PS I just finished season two of Feel Good on Netflix,” Page added about the show that Martin co-created and stars in, “and if you haven’t watched yet it what are you doing?”

Both entertainers have a lot in common — both are now 34, Canadian, and have come out publicly in the last year. Page came out in December 2020 as transgender, while Martin came out as non-binary and bisexual in April.

Martin, born in Toronto, is known as a stand up comedian and writer. Martin has previously written for the Baroness von Sketch Show on CBC and the comedy special Dope on Netflix. Their current show, Feel Good, which is also on Netflix, has earned them a BAFTA Award nomination and two Canadian Comedy Awards.

Page, born in Halifax, is known for his Academy Award-nominated acting who currently stars in Netflix’s Umbrella Academy. He shot to stardom with the hit 2007 film Juno, for which he got an Oscar nomination. He also appeared in two X-Men films, co-hosted the docuseries Gaycation, and directed the film There’s Something in the Water.

Still, this isn’t the first meeting between the two. They’ve actually known each other for 15 years.

Martin previous described to the New York Times how they “weirdly met” Page “in a bar when we were 19.”

“I was like a weird sort-of homeless stoner – I had an apartment, but there were no locks on the door… [and] Elliot was filming X-Men [The Last Stand] at the time, I think, and we had a mutual friend,” Martin said.

The two reconnected years later and have been friends ever since. Page confided in Martin prior to coming out publicly, which Martin said “was very inspiring, and reassuring.” It helped Martin with their own understanding of their gender identity, which came “in the midst of it all” when they were “feeling quite stressed about it.”

“It’s nice to have someone you can bounce off of who’s going through something similar,” they said.

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Will the Biden administration retract a Trump-era policy harming LGBTQ refugees?

JUNE 30, 2018: An activist in Detroit holds a protest sign that says

JUNE 30, 2018: An activist in Detroit holds a protest sign that says “With LGBT Refugees.”Photo: Shutterstock

Among the many offenses Donald Trump committed against the LGBTQ community as President, one undoubtedly was with his immigration policy. Trump and his aides, led by Stephen Miller, despised anyone who was not a white Christian and already here. (There were some exceptions, like Melania’s parents.)

The Trump administration’s policies made it virtually impossible for LGBTQ people suffering persecution to seek asylum in the United States. Joe Biden’s election offered hope for them that things would change for the better. Unfortunately, the change has been slow in coming. Moreover, some of the changes are leaving LGBTQ refugees behind.

Related: An open letter to President Biden & Secretary of State Blinken

Trump rolled out Title 42 in March 2020. The policy used the COVID-19 epidemic as an excuse to ban people from seeking asylum via the southern border. In doing so, it played into old stereotypes that immigrants are inherently diseased.

“It was just a damaging excuse that the president latched onto,” Aaron Morris, executive director of Immigration Equality, an LGBTQ immigrations rights group, tells . “Even pre-pandemic, the president’s administration was considering using this same provision for a made up medical reason.”

Biden’s administration has said before that they would consider repealing Title 42, at least in part. But more recently, they’ve been backtracking, apparently out of concerns that the optics of a flood of immigrants seeking asylum will hurt President Biden politically.

Immigration rights advocates like Morris are critical of the foot-dragging. “It’s remarkably frustrating that the Biden administration has not repealed Title 42,” he says. “It’s hurting a whole lot of refugees, and some of the most vulnerable among them are LGBTQ [people].”

The Biden administration is still considering revisions to at least one part of Trump’s policies. The revision being considered would allow families to remain together instead of being separated at the border — but the part that remains will effectively single out LGBTQ people for continuing unfair treatment.

Anyone traveling alone to America’s borders, as many LGBTQ refugees have to do, will still be turned away. Moreover, the definition of “family” is inherently disadvantageous to LGBTQ people.

The changes would essentially ensure that almost all LGBTQ people hoping for asylum in the U.S. would still be blocked from seeking it.

“The vast majority of LGBTQ refugees will be legally single because they have not had the opportunity to marry, or their parental relationships have not been solidified under the law,” Morris notes.

Title 42 is being challenged in the courts, but that is a slow process. Morris says to , “I don’t think the Biden administration should wait for a federal court to stop using Title 42 for this purpose.”

In the meantime, LGBTQ people remain at risk of persecution. Violent attacks and kidnappings against refugees turned away at the border are all too common.

“We should acknowledge that we’re living in a pandemic on both sides of the border,” says Morris.

“Excluding people from coming here doesn’t slow down the pandemic. It just makes it impossible for refugees to find safety.”

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The GOP leader in the House is pretending that the party isn’t at war with itself

The GOP leader in the House is pretending that the party isn’t at war with itself

Photo: Kevin McCarthy’s Facebook page

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has to be the most feckless politician since James Buchanan.

Tthe presumably gay Buchanan, when he was president, dithered while the country became increasingly divided over the issue of slavery. In a vain attempt to paper over the profound differences between North and South, Buchanan intervened in the notorious Dred Scott case, ensuring that slavery remained the law of the land. All Buchanan did was deepen divisions.

Related: Republicans are fleeing the GOP because of Trump but the rot started long before he was president

Even when seven states seceded in the final months of his presidency, Buchanan refused to act, saying he didn’t have the authority to do so.

McCarthy is following Buchanan’s playbook. Faced with a deeply divided Republican party, he is pretending that the divisions don’t exist.

Last week, McCarthy refused to discipline newly elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, even though Greene is a conspiracy-minded extremist who had previously called for Pelosi and other Democrats to be executed for treason.

At the same time, McCarthy stood by Rep. Liz Cheney after she faced calls for removal from her leadership post because she voted for Trump’s impeachment.

Or at least McCarthy stood by her publicly. Privately, he called on her to apologize.

Faced with a party split between standard issue conservatives like Cheney, and extremists unmoored from reality like Greene, McCarthy pretended that the two sides are equal.

McCarthy has offered some criticism of Greene, only to immediately undercut his own remarks. “Past comments from and endorsed by Marjorie Taylor Greene on school shootings, political violence, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories do not represent the values or beliefs of the House Republican Conference,” McCarthy said.

He then condemned the Democratic move to strip Greene of her committee assignments as a “power play.”

Greene herself offered a half-hearted apology reminiscent of the times when her hero Trump was forced to read prepared remarks in a voice that suggested he didn’t believe a word of what he was saying.

McCarthy declared victory, by proclaiming that “this Republican party’s a very big tent.”

The problem is that the phrase “big tent” means differences in policy positions. It doesn’t mean differences in reality. That’s the problem facing the GOP today. It’s not like members are dickering over the size of tax cuts. They’re fighting over whether Democrats stole the election and whether the insurrection was really an antifa-led false flag event.

Looming over all of this mess — indeed, the root of it — is Donald Trump. McCarthy is scared that Trump will lash out at him, threatening him with a primary challenger. To that end, the House leader went to Florida two weeks ago to meet with the former inciter-in-chief. Trump had been threatening to fund challengers for anyone who voted for impeachment or against his acolytes, like Greene.

Cheney has been a particular target of Trump’s, but unlike McCarthy and others, Cheney has principles that she is sticking to. Even though nearly a third of the House Republicans voted to oust her from her leadership role and her state party censured her, Cheney isn’t backing down.

In her first interview since the vote, Cheney defiantly went after Trump. “People have been lied to,” Cheney said. “The extent to which the president, President Trump, for months leading up to Jan. 6, spread the notion that the election had been stolen, or that the notion that the election was rigged, was a lie.”

Cheney made her comments on Fox News, hardly the friendliest venue for calling the former president a liar.

McCarthy is betting that he can hold the party together by pretending Trump is a great leader and that it’s the Democrats who are the real extremists. That denial is only going to delay the inevitable showdown between the two sides of the party.

Meanwhile, Democrats are quick to point out McCarthy’s cowardice.

“Kevin McCarthy stands for nothing except the perpetuation of his own position. He has no values, and in my view cares about little except for hoping to be speaker one day, God forbid,” Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said.

The Republican Party can’t be both the party of reality and unreality. Perhaps the extremists will drive enough of the establishment types like Cheney out of elected office, with Trump’s blessing.

However, as last year’s election showed, that comes at a heavy price with voters. Even relying on its affinity for voter suppression, the GOP could remain a minority party for years.

Most voters aren’t fans of Q-Anon. Indeed, McCarthy himself wasn’t last August, when he condemned it.

Until last week, when he said, “I don’t even know what is is.”

That’s the kind of comment that would make James Buchanan proud.

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Parkland survivor takes on MyPillow Guy with rival LGBT-inclusive brand

Parkland survivor David Hogg plans to launch his own LGBT-inclusive pillow company with the specific goal of driving Mike “MyPillow Guy” Lindell out of business.

Hogg, now a 20-year-old gun control advocate, announced on Thursday (4 February) that he and progressive tech entrepreneur William LeGate would be teaming up for a new bedding venture challenging MyPillow.

“This pillow fight just got very real,” he declared on Twitter.

It appears that the business idea started as a joke between the pair, but Hogg later confirmed they’d decided to go all in. He tweeted a list of goals for the future company which included supporting progressive causes and hiring formerly incarcerated Americans.

That alone would be more than enough to set their rival company apart from MyPillow, but Hogg went a step further.

When responding to a troll who sent him an explicit homophobic meme, the young entrepreneur simply turned into another business idea.

“Anybody interested in a Pride limited edition pillow?” he asked.

“If we sold this pillow we could give all of the profits from it’s sale to LGBTQ orgs and Sex Ed. These trolls are awesome, they’re free advertising and they have great ideas, keep them coming guys.”

He added that he and LeGate “can and will run a better business and make a better product all with more happy staff than Mike the pillow guy while creating US based Union jobs and helping people. This pillow fight is just getting started”.

It’s hard to know exactly what the MyPillow Guy thinks of this development, because his persistent claims of voter fraud saw him permanently banned from Twitter this week. We’ll all sleep a little easier for it.

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55 gay and LGBT things the NFL, its teams and players have done

As the NFL today kicks off Super Bowl LV (that’s 55), it’s interesting to take a step back and look at various things the league, teams, coaches and players have done that have been LGBTQ-inclusive by nature and design.

We don’t want to chronicle here every NFL player who has offered a voice of support. Those voices have come from some of the game’s biggest names, including Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Carson Palmer, Martellus Bennett, Deandre Hopkins, T.Y. Hilton, Doug Martin, Travis Kelce, Joe Thomas and countless others. If we listed every moment, the list would be hundreds of items long. Instead, I have called out a handful of particular moments that I think were noteworthy.

One thing to note, in case you’re thinking NFL players are big homophobic jocks, by 2013 we had identified 62 players who were cool with it. That was six years ago when same-sex marriage was not the law of the land. Earlier this year I identified at least 39 current NFL players who have already played with an out gay teammate. One of them — Chiefs WR Byron Pringle — is playing in the Super Bowl in Tampa Bay today.

There are also various initiatives, like that of Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus, that have focused more broadly on “bullying.” I’ve left those off the list as well and focused exclusively on LGBTQ-specific efforts.

Even with these exclusions, here are 55 LGBT-inclusive things that have come out of the NFL. There are many others. Feel free to add more in the comments; I’m happy to revisit the list and make it fluid. I haven’t ranked them here, only numbered them to keep track of the list.

How many did you remember happening?

1. NFL added sexual-orientation protection to CBA
In 2011, on the precipice of a major players strike, the NFL pushed for and got sexual-orientation discrimination protection in the collective bargaining agreement.

2. New York Giants owner Steve Tisch appeared in ads supporting New York marriage equality
In 2011 Tisch leant his support for the same-sex marriage battle in New York. “As an owner of the New York Giants, I am proud to join the chorus of professionals in sports working for fairness both on and off the field.”

3. New England Patriots signed pro-marriage-equality amicus brief
The Patriots, led by owner Robert Kraft, were the only NFL team to sign an amicus brief supporting the ultimate decision by SCOTUS to legalize gay marriage.

4. NFL included sex between men as part of AIDS awareness for players
The league realizes that not all its players are only into women and included gay sex in its 2015 AIDS Awareness information.

5. St. Louis Rams drafted Michael Sam
When the Rams drafted Sam in 2014, it cleared another hurdle for gay athletes looking to play openly in the league.

6. Michael Irvin appeared on Out magazine cover and talks about his gay brother
Hall of Fame Cowboys wide receiver Irvin didn’t shy away from his opportunity on the cover of gay magazine ‘Out’ when he and I talked about doing an article about him and his support for his gay brother, Vaughn, in 2011. The moment generated lots of conversation in the NFL, and Irvin heard from countless players. One Dallas magazine recently listed that cover as the second best Dallas Cowboys cover of all time.

7. Commissioner Roger Goodell has been open about having a gay brother
Having gay family members is a powerful tool in shaping how people view LGBT people, and Goodell has spoken repeatedly about his gay brother, Michael. “I had this support around me,” Michael said to Time, “so, yeah, Roger is very much a hero figure for me.”

8. The New England Patriots are sponsoring the 2017 Gay Bowl
The Patriots are the first team to sponsor the annual event of the National Gay Flag Football League

9. San Francisco 49ers sponsored GLAAD in 2007
And the 49ers won an award for their locker room ad in the GLAAD Media Awards book that appeared across the country.

10. Kansas City Chiefs staff stepped in and saved Ryan O’Callaghan’s life
When tackle Ryan O’Callaghan was exhibiting strange behavior, team staff got him help. When he came out to them privately, they offered their support and helped him turn away from suicidal plans.

11. Arizona Cardinals offered total support when team video director came out
Rob Brakel decided to come out publicly at the end of the 2014 season, and the Cardinals had his back, even if he came out hours before a big road game (which the Cardinals won).

12. NFL clarified that on-field gay slurs will cost a team 15 yards
In 2014 the NFL made it crystal-clear to all referees that any “the use of abusive, threatening or insulting language” included “comments regarding sexual orientation.”

13. NFL used Pro Bowl ‘Kiss Cam’ to send message of equality
When the 2017 Pro Bowl was held in Orlando, the site of the Pulse shooting, the NFL and The Ad Council shot a commercial about equality that they jointly released in February.

14. Los Angeles Rams sponsored Pride
The Rams sponsored Venice Pride in Los Angeles in 2017, paying to light up the “C” in a Venice sign.

15. NFL league staffer Michael Castor came out with league support
When Castor wanted to come out on Outsports earlier this year, he got the support of the front office before his story was published. Once it was out, he heard positive messages from across the league.

16. Houston Oilers players accepted two gay teammates
While they have not named names, several members of the 1993 Houston Oilers, including Warren Moon, said there were two gay players on the team, and everyone got along just fine.

17. Houston Texans owner publicly opposed Texas ‘bathroom bill’
Texans owner Bob McNair, a strong supporter of Republican politicians, publicly opposed an anti-LGBT bathroom bill in Texas in 2017.

18. Vince Lombardi had no problem with his gay players
Back in the early 70s, legendary football coach Vince Lombardi was the coach of the Washington Redskins, where he coached at least three gay players he allegedly knew or suspected were gay. Having a gay brother, Harold, he had no issue with it and set a powerful tone for handling gay players in the locker room: just like everyone else. One of those players, Dave Kopay, went on to become a trailblazer.

19. NFL credentialed Outsports to all events
The NFL has treated Outsports as a respected member of the media for years, reaching out to invite us to annual meetings and granting every Super Bowl credential we’ve ever requested. Equal access and a willingness to engage are all we can ask for.

20. Philadelphia Eagles granted dying gay fan one last wish
When lifelong Eagles fan Joe Guckin, better known as Joe In Philly to our Outsports family, was dying last autumn, the Eagles granted him an over-the-top game experience that included meeting players. Joe was incredibly touched by the gesture in his final days.

21. Green Bay Packer wore Orlando rainbow T-shirt under his game jersey
Packers safety HaHa Clinton-Dix wore a rainbow-colored Orlando United T-shirt under his game jersey during his team’s October 2016 game against the New York Giants.

22. Seahawks punter Jon Ryan called out homophobic tweets
Ryan wasn’t shy about his feelings about homophobia when a “fan” criticized gay people with the Bible. Ryan’s only regret? He didn’t lash out more harshly.

23. Arizona Cardinals publicly oppose anti-LGBT Arizona SB 1062
When it was time for Gov. Jan Brewer to codify LGBT discrimination into law, the Cardinals and Super Bowl XIX organizing committee both publicly opposed it. She didn’t sign the bill.

24. San Francisco 49ers donated $75k to Equality North Carolina
The Niners weren’t happy about the NFL hosting an owners meeting in North Carolina, which had passed an anti-LGBT law, so CEO Jed York visited Equality North Carolina and the team donated $75k.

25. New England Patriots supported trans-rights bill in Massachusetts
The Patriots joined other pro teams in Massachusetts to support a trans-rights bill in 2016 to “ensure explicit protections for transgender people under state law.”

26. Houston Texans owner Bob McNair withdrew donation to anti-LGBT group
After hoping a contribution would help rewrite and improve Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, McNair took back $10k because the efforts proved otherwise. “I do not believe in or tolerate personal or professional discrimination of any kind.”

27. Detroit Lion DeAndre Levy donated 100 tickets to LGBT groups
When an unofficial “Pride Day” was announced by the Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Levy donated 100 tickets to the Oct. 25, 2015 game.

28. Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman went all-rainbow on social media
Following the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage across the United States, Edelman changed his social-media profile pictures to include rainbow colors.

29. The NFL invited Wade Davis to speak at owners meeting
In 2014, after Michael Sam came out publicly, the owners and general managers of all 32 teams, plus league staff, heard Davis speak at the league annual meeting.

30. NFL courted LGBT businesses for Super Bowl 50
When it came time to put out requests for proposal for Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco, the committee organizing the event specifically sought out LGBT-owned businesses.

31. Esera Tualo sang National Anthem at Packers game
The Green Bay Packers brought back Esera Tuaolo, the gay defensive end they drafted out of Oregon State, to sing the Star-Spangled Banner before a game in 2014.

32. Dallas Cowboys signed Michael Sam to practice squad
After the St. Louis Rams cut Michael Sam, the Cowboys stepped in and signed him a couple days later to their practice squad. Sam lasted about six weeks before being cut.

33. Chris Kluwe forced Minnesota Vikings to support LGBT causes
It’s “good news/bad news.” But today we’re focusing on the good. Former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe was not about to let his former team off the hook for horrific inflammatory statements by a coach. His lawsuit forced the Vikings to donate $100k to LGBT charities and suspend the offending coach.

34. Esera Tuaolo addresses rookies at NFL symposium
Out gay former defensive end Tuaolo was invited by the NFL, to talk about issues facing gay athletes, in 2006.

35. Miami Dolphins suspended Don Jones for anti-Sam tweet
When Dolphins safety Don Jones tweeted that he thought two men kissing was “horrible,” the team suspended him until he engaged in sensitivity training.

36. New York Giants made You Can Play video
The team featured several players supporting the LGBT-inclusion program, and also hosted LGBT youth at a game, in 2015.

37. Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted LGBT Community Tailgate Party before game in 2014
The Bucs hosted what is believed to be a “league first” in 2014, hosting an LGBT-specific team-sponsored tailgate party before an NFL game.

38. NFL Network piece on Jerry Smith fully embraced his gayness
NFL Films decided to produce the documentary on Smith in large part because he was gay in hopes of creating a push to get him into the Hall Of Fame.

39. Victor Cruz gave bullied gay teen a tour of New York Giants locker room
Cruz met Joey Kemmerling through NFL Characters Unite.

40. NFL executives and former players visited LGBT youth
Former NFL players and NFL player-engagement execs Troy Vincent and Dwight Hollier visiting the Hetrick-Martin Institute, which cares for and educates LGBT youth, many of whom are homeless, as part of You Can Play’s “High Five Initiative.”

41. Thursday Night Football wore purple on Spirit Day
Rich Eisen, Steve Mariucci and Michael Irvin all wore purple in support of bullied LGBT youth for 2013 Spirit Day.

42. Steve Young gave keynote speech at LGBT Mormon conference
The Hall of Fame quarterback continues his support of the LGBT community.

43. Former NFL players marched in 2013 Chicago Pride Parade
Marques Sullivan and Reggie Smith represented the NFL Players Association at Chicago Pride.

44. 49ers and Raiders in Bay Area You Can Play video
Comcast SportsNet put together an LGBT-supportive video that featured the San Francisco 49ers (repped by Vernon Davis) and the Oakland Raiders (Marcel Reece).

45. NFL sent all staffers and teams guidance on sexual orientation respect
In 2013 the NFL front office distributed guidelines on how to be respectful of people’s sexual orientation. It went to all league staffers and people at all 32 teams.

46. NFL league office hosted meeting with LGBT groups
In 2013 the NFL hosted several LGBT-focused groups to discuss how the league can better support the community.

47. New York Giants gave LGBT football team the VIP treatment
In 2008 the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants hosted the defending Gay Bowl champion New York Warriors at training camp.

48. Andre Tippett represented New England Patriots at Gay Bowl III
In 2003, former NFL great Andre Tippett represented the New England Patriots at the Gay Bowl in Boston, even executing the ceremonial coin toss.

49. Michael Strahan joined campaign for marriage equality
Hall of Famer Michael Strahan wasn’t shy about his support for marriage equality in New York, shooting a video in support of the proposed legislation in 2011.

50. NFL launched LGBT employee group, NFL Pride
The league has launched an employee resource group, NFL Pride, for LGBT employees and friends of the community to support one another and guide the NFL on LGBT issues.

51. San Francisco 49ers front office, coaches and players support out coach Katie Sowers
When 49ers assistant coach Katie Sowers came out publicly in August, she did so with the support of people across the team.

52. NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue donates $1 million to LGBT Center
After he left the NFL as commissioner, Tagliabue and his wife, who have a gay son, donated $1 million to the Georgetown LGBT Center.

53. San Francisco 49ers hire Katie Sowers as a coach
Sowers is the first publicly out gay coach in NFL history, and the first to coach in a Super Bowl.

54. NFL brings in gay former players to participate in New York Pride March
The NFL had a float in World Pride in 2019 and included Ryan O’Callaghan, Esera Tuaolo, Jeff Rohrer and Wade Davis as part of the float. They also participated in 2018 New York Pride.

55. NFL produces LGBTQ-support video for National Coming Out Day
The NFL produced a video with out LGBTQ former players, as well as some current stars like Rob Gronkowksi, to demonstrate support for LGBTQ athletes and the community.

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21 years ago today, the Tories celebrated saving homophobic Section 28

The homophobic legislation Section 28 was introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1988. (AFP via Getty/ GERRY PENNY)

Twenty-one years ago today, the Conservative party celebrated saving homophobic legislation Section 28, introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1988, which prevented local authorities and schools from “promoting homosexuality”.

By 2000, a Labour government was in power for the first time in more than 20 years with Tony Blair as prime minister, and the party openly opposed Section 28. William Hague led the opposition.

At this time there were a few MPs in William Hague’s Conservative Party that supported getting rid of the anti-gay legislation, but – in 1999 – Conservative spokesperson for London Shaun Woodward was sacked for refusing to step in line. In 2000, the party whipped its members in support of Section 28.

Around the same time, Conservative MP Peter Bruinvels notoriously said: “I do not agree with homosexuality. I think that Clause 28 will help outlaw it and the rest will be done by AIDS, with a substantial number of homosexuals dying of AIDS. I think that’s probably the best way.”

On February 7, 2000, the Labour government finally introduced the first attempted legislation to repeal Section 28, and Blair’s spokesperson said that he regarded the law as “a piece of prejudice”.

One year before his election as an MP, David Cameron said Blair’s efforts to scrap Section 28 were “anti-family” because he was supporting the ” promotion of homosexuality in schools”.

However, Labour’s effort to repeal the legislation was defeated by a House of Lords campaign led by Baroness Janet Young.

During her career, Young also helped lead opposition to lowering the age of consent for gay men, allowing unmarried couples to adopt and emergency contraception for women.

She said of Section 28: “What we have lost are the great ideals. One needs ideals. None of us live up to them. I fail. Everyone fails.

“But at least we should know what we are aiming for. What is dreadful is to have no ideals.”

Future UK prime minister Theresa May said that saving Section 28 was a “victory for common sense”. In recent years, May has U-turned on this position and has repeatedly said she ‘shouldn’t have’ voted in favour of Section 28, reiterating her regret over her past voting record exclusively with PinkNews on the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of gay sex in England and Wales.

The legislation was ultimately repealed in 2003, and Cameron issued an apology in 2009 for the harm it had done – but despite this, its implications are still felt far and wide. Teaching around LGBT+ issues still remains a taboo topic in many schools.

In contrast, current Tory prime minister Boris Johnson defied the Conservative leadership at the time and voted to abolish Section 28 in 2003.

What was Section 28?

The clause – an amendment to the Local Government Act 1988 – banned local authorities and schools from promoting homosexuality and was introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s government.

The legislation meant that councils were prohibited from funding of books, plays, leaflets, films, or other materials showing same-sex relationships, while teachers weren’t allowed to teach about gay relationships in schools.

This clause was the Conservative government’s vitriolic and traditionalist response to calls for equality from lesbian and gay rights activists in the late 1980s, a time when three-quarters of the population thought homosexuality was “always or mostly wrong”.

Thatcher captured these venomous anti-gay views in her infamous speech at the 1987 Conservative Party conference, which was met with rapturous applause.

“Children who need to be taught to respect traditional moral values are being taught that they have an inalienable right to be gay,” she said. “All of those children are being cheated of a sound start in life. Yes, cheated.”

Section 28 was introduced following a difficult period for the LGBT+ community in the UK. There had been some progress, but the outbreak of HIV/AIDS led to the widespread demonisation of gay and bisexual men in the 1980s.

The effects of Section 28 soon became apparent, with some schools and councils shutting down LGBTQ+ youth support groups – and many teachers too afraid to teach about same-sex relationships.

On the day the clause was passed in the House of Lords, a group of lesbians abseiled into the House of Lords in protest, making national news broadcasts.

The legislation – so loathed, so reviled by supporters of LGBT+ equality – caused 20,000 Mancunians to take to their city’s streets to march against it. It also prompted Sir Ian McKellen to come out publicly as gay.

Liberal Democrat Ed Davey, who introduced the clause that led to the repeal of Section 28, and told PinkNews that it left young people feeling “alone and vulnerable”.

Davey added: “I am proud to have moved the clause that abolished Section 28 once and for all. But we still have so far to go.

“From trans rights, to tackling the persistent discrimination faced by the LGBT+ community: the fight is far from over.”

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Biden continues to “drain the swamp” that Trump left behind in last-minute appointees

Joe Biden

Joe BidenPhoto: Shutterstock

If you only have a job for a few weeks, do you put it on your resume?

That’s the issue now facing a bunch of Trump loyalists. In the waning days of his administration, President Trump loaded up a bunch of government positions with his acolytes in a final attempt to sabotage the incoming Biden administration. Now, Joe Biden is cleaning house, throwing out some of the worst appointees before they’ve even had a chance to revise their CV.

Related: Republicans are fleeing the GOP because of Trump but the rot started long before he was president

In perhaps the most consequential move, Biden removed Trump’s appointees at Voice of America, the U.S. government’s official news agency. Despite being an arm of the government, VOA functions as a legitimate news organization, adhering to high journalistic standards.

That is, until Trump came along and appointed alt-right figures to the agency. Chief among them was Robert Reilly, an anti-LGBTQ extremist. Reilly is the author of a book called Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior is Changing Everything.

“I really implore people across the political spectrum to read some of the hate-filled and dehumanizing things Robert Reilly has written about gay people,” Grant Turner, the former acting CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media — who is gay — told NPR at the time of Reilly’s appointment last December. “It’s mean-spirited, sexually explicit, and just plain weird.”

Reilly was canned on Biden’s first day in office. He was replaced by Yolanda Lopez, a news editor whom Reilly demoted after one of her reporters shouted a question at then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Most of the positions that Trump doled out at the last minute were largely ceremonial. Chief among these were a slew of appointments to Pentagon advisory boards. Among the luminaries that Trump named to Pentagon positions were two of his former campaign officials, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie.

Bossie is a long-time right-wing operative, with an equally long-time anti-LGBTQ record. Bossie has proclaimed that being LGBTQ is “fundamentally wrong” and said of then-President Obama’s support for marriage equality, “add it to the list of atrocities.”

Lewandowski doesn’t have the same level of animosity to LGBTQ people. Instead, he is just obnoxiously aggressive, often towards women. He was accused of sexual harassment by singer and Trump supporter Joy Villa (Lewandowski maintains his innocence). He was famously fired from the Trump campaign in 2016 after a series of controversies that included being charged with battery for grabbing a female Breitbart reporter. (Those charges were dropped.)

Biden also disbanded the 1776 commission, a group of group of right-wing propagandists Trump appointed to rewrite history. The commission’s one and only report was derided by historians as “a hack job” that downplayed the legacy of slavery and equated progressives with Italian fascist Benito Mussolini. 

The commission was chaired by Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, who once described the minority students on his campus as “the dark ones.” Arnn has also bemoaned marriage equality and the repeal of sodomy laws.

Perhaps the most prominent anti-LGBTQ advocate to lose a ceremonial position was Roger Severino. While at the Department of Health and Human Services, Severino spearheaded the creation of a rule that allowed health care providers to discriminate against transgender people on religious grounds. The harmful move was in line with Severino’s lifelong campaign against LGBTQ rights.

Four days before he left office, Trump appointed Severino to the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), a body that provides advice on administrative efficiency. Severino is suing the government, claiming that he can’t be fired.

Some of Trump’s appointees will no doubt linger on in positions that look good on paper, and have no policy impact — but the fact that Biden moved so quickly to rid government of some of the worst of the last-minute appointees is a clear signal to those that remain, and a note of support to the LGBTQ voters who put Biden in office.

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4 LGBTQ-inclusive ads will air during the Super Bowl

Super Bowl LV will definitely be unlike any other before it. Not just because the Kansas City Chiefs, three-peating this year, have never played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in this particular contest before, only their second appearance. Not just because Tom Brady is back in the Big Game and quarterbacking for his new team. And not just because Covid-19 will mean fewer fans in the stands and masks on everybody not playing football. Not just because the Centers for Disease Control and local governments are encouraging everyone who wants to watch the game on TV do so either outdoors or in their quarantine bubble, safely, which means not in crowded spaces and without yelling or shouting.

Wow, that is a lot, but what will also make this 55th Super Bowl different is the other thing people watch for: the TV commercials.

GLAAD says there are at least four “inclusive” Super Bowl ads scheduled to air, featuring out LGBTQ people. If that number doesn’t change, that’s down significantly from last year when there were at least 11. A 30-second spot is also $100K cheaper this year, according to Sporting News.

Michelob ULTRA’s commercial features a slew of famous sports celebrities, including tennis icon and lesbian legend Billie Jean King, as Lou Reed’s “Walk on The Wild Side” plays.

CBS All Access is rebranding its streaming service as Paramount+. If you don’t blink, you’ll see RuPaul standing on “Paramount Mountain,” alongside a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, a puppet… and Snookie of Jersey Shore fame. Patrick Stewart, Norah O’Donnell and Stephen Colbert really need to speak to their agents about that contract they signed.

Logitech’s ad stars Lil Nas X, the out Grammy Award-winning rapper, singer, and songwriter.

M&M’s commercial is the funniest of the bunch, with a sequence of actors showing they’re sorry by sharing the candy. The bit ends with Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy, the out Emmy-Award winning showrunner, writer, director, producer, and actor.

We’ll be watching as will GLAAD; Should there be more LGBTQ inclusive ads, we’ll update our story! Enjoy the game and we hope you will do safely for your own sake and everyone’s!

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