Check out this week's latest news from around the world!

 

Pride – Converse Releases Line of “Pride” Footwear

The 2016 Converse Pride Collection is a line of shoes and shirts that celebrates LGBT pride with rainbows, well, everywhere. A wide variety of designs ranges from woven rainbows, splatter paint, rainbow polka dots, all finished with rainbow soles, according to the Converse website.

These sneakers were “designed to be worn at pride parades, concerts, jubilations and beyond,” According to EDGE. “Inspired by all the LGBT communities around the world, the collection serves as a passionate reminder for universal tolerance, diversity and equality.”

The shoes start at $60, but quickly go up in price as the designs get more intricate. Converse pride T-shirts start at $25.

 

Travel – Stonewall Inn will be the First LGBT National Monument

(CNN) President Barack Obama announced Friday he was designating the area around the Stonewall Inn in New York City as the country’s first monument to LGBT rights.

“I believe our parks should reflect the full story of our country – the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us, that we are stronger together. That out of many, we are one,” Obama said.

The White House said the monument would encompass Christopher Park, the Stonewall Inn and the surrounding streets and sidewalks that were the sites of the 1969 Stonewall uprising.

A police raid of the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969 in which patrons fought back lead to the first march for gay and lesbian rights in July 1969. The protestors are often credited as a flashpoint for LGBT rights in the United States, and June has become pride month in many cities around the world, recognized through parades and picnics.

“The Stonewall uprising, led primarily by people of color and people of transgender experience, was a watershed moment in our nation’s history, sparking what many call the beginning of modern-day LGBT rights movements,” said Wendy Stark, executive director of the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, which primarily serves New York City’s LGBT Community.

“The recognition of Stonewall as a national monument is an important step in recognizing our vibrant past and spotlighting the unique contributions LGBT Americans make to the rich fabric of our nation,” Stark told CNN.

 

International – Give the Rainbow, Taste the Rainbow

In honor of London Pride, the candy company Skittles has ushered a temporary redesign of their colorful candy, making both the packaging and candy black and white, according to the Creative Review.

“So this is kinda awkward, but we’re just gonna go ahead and address the rainbow-coloured elephant in the room,” Skittles released in a video. “You have the rainbow… we have the rainbow… and usually that’s just hunky-dory. But this Pride, only one rainbow deserves to be the centre of attention – yours. And we’re not going to be the one to steal your rainbow thunder, no siree. That’s why this weekend, we’re giving up our rainbow. But don’t worry, we’ll still be there to celebrate every colorful minute with you, we’ll just be completely starkers while doing it. Have a great day, Pride. From Skittles.”

The colorless candy will also be joined by a black and white float in the Pride in London Parade on Saturday. Advertisements will also be present, touting the hashtag #onerainbow for it’s Facebook and Twitter campaign.

 

National – Texas Shooting Range Offers Free Gun Classes for LGBT People In Wake Of Orlando

A Houston shooting range offered free gun classes to the LGBT community in the wake of the Orlando shooting this month, according to NewNowNext.

Jeff Sanford, owner of the Shiloh Shooting Range, where the classes were offered, said the turnout was higher than expected, and the unprecedented signups set a new record for his business.

“Everybody has been so excited about being able to come out and do this. And it’s been a great learning experience for not only my community but for their community as well,” Sanford said. “They’re learning about their rights and learning about the License to Carry Class and they’re absolutely thrilled to take it.”

According to Sanford, 60 of the 62 people who signed up for the first free class showed up, and over 300 more called in response to the offer.

“These are people who beforehand thought that they couldn’t find themselves walking into a gun store,” he added in an interview with Red State.

“They’re not necessarily what we’ve been told and we’re not necessarily what they’ve been told,” Sanford said.

 

Entertainment – Captain America Actor: Idea to Give Superhero A Boyfriend is ‘Great’

A certain population of the Captain America fan base have started the Twitter campaign #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfried, begging Marvel to officiate Captain America as bisexual and set him up with his partner in crime, Bucky Barnes.

According to LGBTQ Nation, Sebastian Stan, the actor who plays Bucky Barnes, is all for a canonically bi Captain America.

“Look, man, I think it’s great,” he said. “Movies are for people to relate to in whatever they want. No one here is ever going to point a finger and say what’s right and wrong. For me, it’s like, Awww. It’s cute, it’s great.

Director Joe Russo also put in his two cents, describing Cap and Bucky’s relationship thusly: “These are two guys who grew up together, and so they have the same emotional connection to each other as brothers would, and even more so because Bucky was all Steve had growing up.”

Although their same-sex relationship may not come to fruition, Russo thinks it is likely that there will be some hay superheroes in mainstream films in the future.  “I think the chances are strong,” he said. “I mean, it’s incumbent upon us as storytellers who are making mass-appeal movies to make mass-appeal movies, and to diversify as much as possible.”

 

Legal – Lawmakers Renew Push to Make June 26 ‘Equality Day’

Sunday will mark the one-year anniversary of the Obergefell v. Hodges overturning state bans on same-sex marriage and extending marriage equality nationwide.

According to the Washington Blade, lawmakers are renewing a push to establish that date to honor the milestone decision.

The date is also the three-year anniversary of the 2013 Windsor v. United States to combat the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, as well as the Perry v. Hollingsworth ruling that restored marriage equality to California after Proposition 8.

Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., is leading the effort in Congress to honor the date in remembrance of those decisions. She introduced a resolution in December to designate that date as Equality Day.

“I think this is a day where we formally honor LGBT equality just as we do right now with Pride and continue to talk about the great strides that have been made, the work that remains to be done, but really a day of celebration of equality,” DelBene said.

The resolution originally had 93 co-sponsors, and that number has grown to 145 – all Democrats – due to a swell of nearly 40 lawmakers in the last month.

“America should celebrate the progress we have made to pass on to the next generation a country that is more equal, not less equal,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., the only out lesbian in Congress said in a statement. “But we cannot mistake our progress for victory. We have more work to do in the march for fairness, freedom and full equality for the LGBT community. I believe America is ready to take the next steps forward and together we will break down barriers so that every American has an equal opportunity to dream the same dreams, chase the same ambitions and have the same shot at success.”

 

International – UK HIV Charities Make History in Campaign for PrEP at Pride in London

The biggest HIV, health and LGBT sexual health charities united and marched together for the first time in their campaign to bring PrEP to the UK, according to GayStarNews.

These LGBT health advocates have decided to make the best of the situation brought on by the divisive Brexit vote. NHS England refused to fund PrEP in an unexpected decision, and these advocates hope to change that at this year’s Pride in London.

“I’ve been moved and inspired to see the community come together on this special day for the LGBT community in the fight for PrEP,” Ian Green, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust said. “Gay men are still disproportionately affected by HIV, so the impact on the LGBT community, if PrEP was made available to high-risk groups, could be extraordinary.”

Green continued, “In the face of buck passing from NHS England and the lack of leadership from the government, our unity is more important than ever. We are stronger and louder together, and we mustn’t let HIV prevention be swept under the rug.”

Dr. Greg Ussher, CEO of METRO Charity said that Pride in London is the perfect opportunity to demand access as a community to PrEP.

 

Sports – NBA, WNBA, Become First Pro Leagues to March in New York City’s Pride Parade

Adam Silver, NBA commissioner marched in New York City’s Pride Parade on Sunday. The NBA and WNBA were also represented with a float in the parade, celebrating the LGBT community, according to ESPN.

Silver and the deputy commissioner Mark Tatum wore shirts that read “#OrlandoUnited” in order to show support for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting that happened earlier this month.

Lisa Borders, WNBA president, also marched in the parade and tweeted about the historic nature of the NBA and WNBA’s involvement.

“NBA/WNBA – FIRST professional league to march & have a float in a PRIDE Parade, NYC!!” Borders said in a Tweet.

Former NBA player Jason Collins, who came out as gay when he was an active player in 2013, as well as former WNBA player Sue Wicks, who came out as lesbian in 2002 when she played for the Liberty, were some of the representatives of the leagues aboard the float.

Silver has opened the possibility that the NBA could move its All-Star Game from Charlotte, North Carolina next year because of a controversial law that is considered discriminatory to the LGBT community.

 

Legal – Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Rights for Women in Texas

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down two restrictions on abortion enacted by the State of Texas in 2013 that would have shut down three quarters of the clinics in the nation’s second-largest state.

The 5-3 decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, upholding the constitutional rights of Texas women, will allow the remaining clinics in the state to keep their doors open and clear a path for other clinics to open or reopen to meet the needs of those who need abortion care across the state.

The decision preserves safe and affordable health care for women in Texas, and was applauded by President Obama, along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, whose policy director, Julianna S. Gonen, issued the following statement, applauding the court for protecting the LGBT community:

“As it did one year ago in our landmark case that brought marriage equality to the nation, the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutional protections that secure some of the most personal decisions one can make—decisions around family formation. Whether choosing a life partner or determining whether to continue or end a pregnancy, the liberties enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment are fundamental and cannot be legislated away by politicians. "


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