Tampa, FL – On October 7 and 8, Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) rallied against the lack of federal job protections for LGBT workers. On October 8, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) began discussions on three cases that relate to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which protects against job discrimination on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,” in order to decide whether sexual orientation and gender identity are also protected under Title VII. Tampa Bay SDS held two rallies in response to this, as a part of a National SDS call to action. SDS demanded that the Supreme Court rule in favor of federal job protections for LGBT workers.
New York, NY – I was recently watching the documentary She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, about the second wave of feminism in the U.S. In it, one woman said one of the main lesson that she's learned is that no victory is permanent, and that really struck me. No victory is permanent. And while I was watching this documentary, news hit my social media that Chelsea Manning had announced that she was going to take her own life. And I thought again how no victory is permanent.
Hundreds gathered at Hemming Park directly outside City Hall on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, awaiting news of whether Jacksonville's city council would pass an expanded Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) protecting LGBTQ community members from discrimination. Speakers, musicians, and DJs led the crowd in chants, songs and speeches as the city council debated inside on amendments to the bill.
Tampa, FL – Over 30 students gathered for a vigil, March 29, in remembrance of the LGBTQIA+ people murdered by U.S. militarism. The event was held in response to the University of South Florida (USF) administration’s defense of LGBT-phobic and militaristic C.W. “Bill” Young. Young was a senator and member of the Johns Committee in Florida, which persecuted hundreds of LGBTQIA+ people across the Florida university system.
Steff Yorek, the Political Secretary of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, responded to the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, June 26 stating, “Today the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land. This is an important accomplishment in terms of LGBTQ equality and realization of a democratic demand.”
Tallahassee, FL – On April 28, the Florida House of Representatives adjourned the legislative session for this year. This marks an end to the hearings on House Bill 583, more commonly known as the ‘Bathroom Bill.’ This bill gained notoriety over the past few months for its attempt to criminalize transgender people. It would make using the bathroom that does not correspond to the sex one was assigned at birth a second-degree misdemeanor. Transgender people would face up to a year in prison and a fine of $1000 simply for using the bathroom.
Salt Lake City, UT – The detainment of Nicoll Hernández-Polanco is sparking protests across the country with Utah joining the fight. Nicoll Hernández-Polanco is a Guatemalan transwoman seeking asylum. However, she is currently being held in the Florence Service Processing Detention in Arizona. Hernandez-Polanco remains incarcerated in the men’s side of the detention center where she faces sexual harassment and assault.
San Francisco, CA – More than 1000 GLBTQ activists and allies rallied in the Castro District here to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on June 26 to strike down the anti-gay, homophobic Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Demonstrators also celebrated the Court’s decision to uphold a 2012 ruling by the California Supreme Court that found Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage in the state, unconstitutional.