Media Trail – 7/26/19


Regulations to ban LGBTQ conversion therapy get early nod

The Daily Herald reports Utah psychologists would be prohibited from practicing so-called conversion therapy on LGBTQ kids under proposed new state regulations.

The plan got an early nod of approval from a state licensing board on July 18.

It comes after Republican Utah Gov. Gary Herbert called for new regulations following the failure of a proposed law earlier this year. The bill was pulled during the state’s legislative session after it was changed significantly by GOP lawmakers.

Herbert said he was troubled by the reports he’d heard about the practice.

Troy Williams with Equality Utah said he’s confident the rule would protect kids from the harmful practice, and applauded the governor for stepping in. Williams has previously blasted Herbert for supporting changes to the proposed law that led to it being pulled.

State welcomes trans soldiers to serve in National Guard

The Boston Globe reports Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration said trans soldiers remain welcome in the Massachusetts National Guard, despite President Donald Trump’s ban on trans people serving in the U.S. military.

In a letter to state legislators, Secretary of Public Safety Thomas Turco said the administration “will continue to support trans soldiers and airmen in serving our Commonwealth with dignity and respect.”

Several Democratic lawmakers who had asked the Republican governor to reject Trump’s policy praised the administration’s response in a statement July 17.

National Guard units are under the command of governors in each state but can be called up to federal service by the president.

Turco also promised assistance for Massachusetts residents seeking waivers from the trans ban to serve in the U.S. military. Waivers can be granted on a case-by-case basis under the federal policy.

Team criticized for Spicer throwing out pitch on Pride Night

The Washington Post reports a decision to have President Trump’s former communications director Sean Spicer throw out the first pitch at a Rhode Island minor league baseball game on “Pride Night at the Ballpark” is getting pushback.

Some fans said on Twitter they felt Spicer’s appearance July 19 at the Pawtucket Red Sox game was an insult to the LGBTQ community, given Trump’s policies.

The decision was called “tone-deaf” and “a garbage move,” with some asking why someone from the LGBTQ community wasn’t chosen.

A Rhode Island native, Spicer was joined by wounded veteran Carlos Lopes, who Spicer presented an all-terrain wheelchair from The Independence Fund. Spicer sits on the board of directors of the charity, which has given more than 2,300 of the wheelchairs.

A team spokesman declined comment.

Decades later, gay bar replaces windows smashed by bigots

The Bangor Daily News reports a gay bar in Maine’s largest city has put up new front windows after 28 years of covering its smashed glass with plywood in the wake of homophobic vandalism.

Blackstones, in Portland’s West End, opened in the 1980s, long before the city gained a widespread reputation as a gay-friendly city. Vandals repeatedly smashed the front windows with rocks and bricks, and the bar’s owners boarded the windows with plywood and plexiglass in 1991.

Bar manager Carl Currie pulled down the plywood on July 14 and behind it found old shards of glass that had been there for nearly three decades. Currie said the change came because “we’re at a point now where the bar is safe.” He adds the newfound light is nice.

Reporting via Associated Press