In a new poll, about a quarter of respondents don’t think HIV/AIDS, depression and acts of violence are terribly serious. Photo Credit: LGBTQ Nation

Compiled by Chris Tittel, qnotes contributor and Lainey Millen, qnotes staff

Wrong time for ‘ambivalence’ on rights

As The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart reports in his op-ed piece, headlined “This is a looming danger for full LGBT equality,” the poll split respondents into three groups based on their level of “comfort” with seven LGBT-centered situations.

Capehart writes: “These include seeing a same-sex couple holding hands, learning a family member, one’s doctor or child’s teacher is gay and seeing a coworker’s wedding picture. ‘Allies’ were the most comfortable. ‘Detached supporters’ were comfortable depending on the situation. And ‘resisters’ were the least comfortable.”

The survey reveals a troubling number of heterosexual Americans in the three groups represented don’t think the LGBTQ community’s issues are terribly serious. Roughly a quarter of participants don’t think HIV/AIDS, depression or acts of violence are much of a priority.

This ambivalence, Capehart writes, is deeply troubling.

The GLAAD/Harris Poll report notes that “roughly a third of non-LGBT Americans profess no strong opinion about important LGBT issues. Interestingly, this ambivalence appears across segments, including allies.”

Capehart writes: “That’s being too polite. The ‘ambivalent’ couldn’t care less whether the LGBT community has influence or the support of politicians. For instance, 38 percent ‘neither agreed nor disagreed’ that the LGBT community ‘has more influence than any other minority community.’ And 37 percent were neither here nor there on whether ‘most politicians’ support policies for the LGBT community.”

While marriage equality is officially legal, same-sex couples in 28 states still have no discrimination protections in place — so they can be fired based on who they married.

People who live in the 21 states with “religious freedom” laws still have to face discrimination lazily disguised as moral conviction.

Capehart notes that the only “bright spot” in all of this is the Equality Act that’s currently working its way through Congress, a bill that would revise the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity. But, he notes, that bill is as good as dead: lists it as having “0 percent [chance] of being enacted.”

He writes: “Public pressure is needed to improve that prognosis and thwart the ugly efforts happening at the state level. So, now is not the time for ambivalence. Not from the LGBT community and certainly not from folks who profess to be allies in the continuing fight for equality. Now is not the time to slow down in the quest for full LGBT equality.”

LGBTQ Nation (, a qnotes media partner

LGBT groups challenge Texas ruling

The National Center for Lesbian Rights reports that it has joined a coalition of LGBT, racial justice and health equity organizations in filing an amicus brief in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down restrictions on abortion providers enacted by the state of Texas in 2013.

If upheld, the restrictions would force most abortion clinics across the state to close.

According to The Free Dictionary website (, a person with a strong interest in or views on the subject matter of an action, but not party to the action, can file an amicus brief. These types of briefs are commonly filed in appeals concerning matters of broad public interest, such as civil rights cases, the website reads.

The brief urges the court to carefully scrutinize the state’s asserted justification for the law.

The state of Texas has argued that the law protects the health of women seeking abortion.

However, medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association and the American Public Health Association, have warned that the restrictions are medically unnecessary and endanger women’s health.

No more pills?

CytoDyn Inc. has developed PRO 140, an antibody that could allow HIV-positive individuals the opportunity to take a break from so many pills.

The company is currently conducting a Phase 3 Food and Drug Administration trial, with final results expected later this year.

“Essentially, if the FDA approves PRO 140, the infected person could finally take a break and go on a vacation without having to remember their pills and the exact times to take them each day,” CytoDyn President and CEO Nader Pourhassan said. “All they need is a reminder to inject PRO 140 once a week.”

The company plans to bring the product to market in early 2017.

New program grooms queer executives

The Stanford Graduate School of Business (SGSB) will launch its LGBT Executive Leadership Program in July.
The Stanford Graduate School of Business (SGSB) will launch its LGBT Executive Leadership Program in July.

The Stanford Graduate School of Business (SGSB) will launch its LGBT Executive Leadership Program in July.

The one-week program combines personal leadership assessments and insights with design thinking innovations.

According to the SGSB, this is the only executive education program of its kind offered by a leading business school to address the significant gap in leadership for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people.

Co-directors Tom Wurster and Sarah Soule call the new program and its timing both inspirational and aspirational.

“The ideal candidate is the LGBT executive with a minimum of 10 years professional experience and 5 years of management experience who is preparing to take on more significant leadership roles,” Wurster said.

“We created this course to help LGBT executives further their personal development as leaders and strengthen their personal networks and, in the process, leverage best practices to transform their organizations,” Soule said.

A one-hour program preview webinar is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Feb. 24.

To register for the webinar, visit

Deadline for applying to the program is June 24.


The University of North Carolina Board of Governors President-elect Margaret Spellings’ appointment is being protested due to her anti-LGBT stance.
The University of North Carolina Board of Governors President-elect Margaret Spellings’ appointment is being protested due to her anti-LGBT stance.

Appointment protested
A coalition of faculty and students has been formed to protest the appointment of anti-LGBT Margaret Spellings as president of the University of North Carolina at the Board of Governors meeting on March 1 at North Carolina A&T University. As president, Spellings is required to uphold the university policy to provide “an inclusive and welcoming environment” for everyone, regardless of one’s sexual orientation and to protect everyone from any form of discrimination, harassment or retaliation toward staff, faculty or students no matter what their sexual orientation may be.
Final confirmation is slated for the meeting in March and advocates are attempting to block her from being seated.

Resource targets bullying
The Public Justice Foundation and The BULLY Project have released an online guide, “Bullying and the Law: A Guide for Parents,” to address school bullying. The youth advocacy project aims to reduce bullying and provides resources for parents for their usage in dealing with school districts and employees, as well as legalities.

Parental suit filed
Lesbian parents have sued the State of North Carolina so that both are listed on their children’s birth certificates. The suit seeks to change the law so that the certificates could be updated to include both parents. Lambda Legal filed the suit on behalf of Melissa and Meredith Weiss of Chapel Hill, N.C.

Youth observance around corner
The Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month will be held in February. This annual observance targets teens and those in their 20s.
In Charlotte, N.C., the Mecklenburg County Community Support Services and Time Out Youth Center will partner and will promote healthy relationships for all young people regardless of their gender identity or that of their partner, said Mecklenburg County Information and Education Coordinator Melissa Siegel Barrios. She added that they hope to challenge the social norms around gender in order to make the community more inclusive. “Doing this is a direct action toward ending dating violence,” she concluded.

ACLU seeks student advocates
The American Civil Liberties Union is holding its Summer Advocacy Institute at Georgetown University from June 19-25. It is open to high school rising seniors. The program lasts for seven days and includes hands-on activities, congressional visits, engagement with a plethora of officials, lobbyists, activists, journalists and others, presentations by “luminaries” such as whistleblower and patriot Edwin Snowden and others and more.

Rugby tourney offers training opp
The Nashville Grizzlies gay men’s rugby team will host the international Bingham Cup from May 22-29. During the week, they will be offering suicide prevention training through the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, which is the charity of choice for the tourney. Suicide disproportionately affects the LGBT community.

Museum makes a move
The National LGBT Museum has moved from Washington, D.C., to New York, N.Y. and has been escalating its efforts to create a brick-and-mortar facility. It has updated its long-term plan, launched a new digital home and rebranded itself. North Carolinians Mitchell and Tim Gold are actively involved with the museum. Tim Gold serves as the co-chairman of the board along with founding partner Christopher Johnson. Contributions and founding memberships are being accepted to bring the project to fruition.