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Indiana man arrested near 2016 LA Pride gets 7 years

Threatened LA Pride on morning after Pulse Nightclub shooting



James Howell. (Santa Monica Police Department)

A 22-year old Indiana man who was thought to be headed for the 2016 LA/West Hollywood Pride parade in a car filled with weapons, explosives and high-capacity magazines, was sentenced to seven years in state prison on Thursday, Deputy Los Angeles District Attorney Samuel Hulefeld said.

James Wesley Howell pleaded no contest Wednesday to one count each of unlawful assault weapon activity, possession of a destructive device on a public road or highway and possession of a destructive device. Howell was then sentenced to seven years and four months in state prison.

Howell was arrested shortly before 6am on June 12, 2016 by Santa Monica police in the 1700 block of 11th Street near Olympic Boulevard. His arrest created a brief panic and anxiety as it came just hours after the mass shooting at the gay Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida that claimed 49 lives, reported the Los Angeles Times.

The Times also reported that Santa Monica police at the time of the arrest had mistakenly tweeted that Howell intended to harm people at L.A. Pride. It was later revealed police did not actually know why Howell was headed toward the event.

Howell was found sitting in his car when officers responded to a report of a man knocking on a resident’s door and window. He told police he was planning to attend the 46th annual LA Pride Parade and Festival in West Hollywood, but made no reference to doing harm there, according to Santa Monica police Lt. Saul Rodriguez at the time of the arrest.

Howell had no ties to California, and told police he was fleeing from potential criminal charges in his home state. He was later charged with molesting a 12-year-old girl in Henryville, Indiana court records show.
Investigators have not said what they believe Howell’s intentions were. The status of his criminal case in Indiana was not immediately clear, and the district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to additional questions.

Reporting by The Los Angeles Times, the staff of the LA Blade, and wire service reports.


United Nations

UN Security Council urged to focus on LGBTQ+, intersex rights

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield chaired Monday meeting



The United Nations (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

UNITED NATIONS — U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Monday chaired a meeting at the United Nations that focused on the integration of LGBTQ+ and intersex rights into the U.N. Security Council’s work.

The U.S. Mission to the U.N. co-sponsored the meeting along with Albania, Brazil, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Japan, Malta, Switzerland, the U.K. and the LGBTI Core Group, a group of U.N. countries that have pledged to support LGBTQ+ and intersex rights.

Thomas-Greenfield announced four “specific steps the U.S. will take to better integrate LGBTQI+ concerns into the U.N. Security Council’s daily work.”

• A regular review of the situation of LGBTQ+ and intersex people in conflict zones on the Security Council’s agenda that “includes regularly soliciting information from LGBTQI+ human rights defenders.

• Encouraging the U.N. Secretariat and other U.N. officials to “integrate LGBTQI+ concerns and perspectives in their regular reports” to the Security Council.

• A commitment “to raising abuses and violations of the human rights of LGBTQI+ people in our national statements in the Security Council.”

• A promise to propose, “when appropriate, language in Security Council products responding to the situation of LGBTQI+ individuals.”

“We are proud of these commitments,” said Thomas-Greenfield during Monday’s meeting. “They are just the beginning.”

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaks outside the U.N. Security Council on March 20, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the independent U.N. expert on LGBTQ+ and intersex issues, provided a briefing on LGBTQ and intersex rights around the world. 

“My mandate is based on one single fact: Diversity and sexual orientation and gender identity is a universal feature of humanity,” he said. “For too long, it has been made invisible in national level contributions to peace and security, including policies and programs and in the political and programmatic action of the United Nations.” 

María Susana Peralta of Colombia Diversa — an LGBTQ+ and intersex advocacy group in Colombia that participated in talks between the country’s government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia that led to an LGBTQ+-inclusive peace agreement then-President Juan Manuel Santos and then-FARC Commander Rodrigo “Timochenko” Londoño signed in 2016 — and Afghan LGBT Organization Director Artemis Akbary also took part in the meeting.

Peralta said Colombia’s peace agreement “has created a standard by which other countries can use,” but noted the country’s Special Justice for Peace has yet to prosecute anyone who committed human rights abuses based on sexual orientation or gender identity during the war.

Akbary noted the persecution of LGBTQ+ and intersex people in Afghanistan has increased since the Taliban regained control of the country in 2021. Akbary also said LGBTQ+ and intersex Afghans cannot flee to Iran and other neighboring countries because of criminalization laws.

“The whole world is watching as the rights of LGBTQ people are systematically violated in Afghanistan,” said Akbary. “LGBTQ people on the ground in Afghanistan need and deserve protection.”

Representatives of U.N. delegations from France, Brazil, Albania, Japan, Ecuador, Switzerland, the U.K., Malta, Colombia, South Africa, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and the European Union spoke in favor of the integration of LGBTQ+ and intersex rights into the Security Council’s work.

“A person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression or sex characteristics often increases the risk of of becoming the target in conflict and crisis situations,” said Luis Guilherme Parga Cintra of Brazil.

British Ambassador to the U.N. General Assembly Richard Crocker made a similar point.

“We know the conflicts have disproportionate impact on marginalized communities: Women and girls, persons with disabilities, members of ethnic and religious minority groups,” he said. “It is only right the Security Council is discussing this issue today.”

Ambassador Karlito Nunes, who is Timor-Leste’s permanent U.N. representative, read a statement in support of the Security Council discussions about LGBTQ+ and intersex issues. Representatives from China, Russia and Ghana who spoke said the Security Council is not the appropriate place to discuss them.

“Sexual orientation is an individual choice of every individual,” said the Russian representative.

The meeting took place less than 13 months after Russia launched its war against Ukraine. 

A Russian airstrike on March 1, 2022, killed Elvira Schemur, a 21-year-old law school student who volunteered for Kharkiv Pride and Kyiv Pride, while she was volunteering inside the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv’s regional administration building. Activists with whom the Washington Blade has spoken said LGBTQ+ and intersex people who lived in Russia-controlled areas of the country did not go outside and tried to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity because they were afraid of Russian soldiers.

A Pride commemoration in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Sept. 25, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Sphere Women’s Association)

The Security Council’s first-ever LGBTQ+-specific meeting, which focused on the Islamic State’s persecution of LGBTQ+ Syrians and Iraqis, took place in 2015. Then-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, who is now director of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and then-International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission Executive Director Jessica Stern, who is now the special U.S. envoy for the promotion of LGBTQ+ and intersex rights, are among those who participated.

Stern, along with U.S. Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.), attended the meeting alongside OutRight International Executive Director Maria Sjödin, among others.

Jessica Stern, the special U.S. envoy for the promotion of LGBTQ+ and intersex rights abroad, center, speaks outside the U.N. Security Council on March 20, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

The Security Council in June 2016 formally condemned the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. The U.N. Human Rights Council a few months later appointed Vitit Muntarbhorn as the first independent U.N. expert on LGBTQ+ and intersex issues. (Madrigal-Borloz succeeded Muntarbhorn in 2018.)

Then-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Knight Craft and then-U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell in 2019 during a U.N. General Assembly meeting hosted an event that focused on efforts to decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations around the world. 

President Joe Biden in 2021 signed a memo that committed the U.S. to promoting LGBTQ+ and intersex rights abroad as part of the Biden-Harris administration’s overall foreign policy. Then-State Department spokesperson Ned Price later told the Washington Blade the decriminalization of consensual same-sex sexual relations is one of the White House’s five priorities as it relates to the promotion of LGBTQ+ and intersex rights overseas.

The U.S., the U.K., France, China and Russia are the Security Council’s five permanent members. Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates are the 10 non-permanent members.

Ghana and the United Arab Emirates are two of the dozens of countries in which consensual same-sex sexual relations remain criminalized. 

“Today’s meeting was an important first step toward further concrete actions the Security Council, and all parts of the U.N., can take to integrate LGBTQI+ human rights, experiences, and perspectives into their day-to-day work,” Thomas-Greenfield told the Blade in a statement after Monday’s meeting. “We’re proud of the four commitments we made today, and we will keep working to make sure this topic remains on the Council’s agenda.”

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Newsom proposes modernizing state’s behavioral health system

Newsom proposed a 2024 ballot initiative to improve how California treats mental illness, substance abuse, and homelessness



Gov. Newsom speaking on a proposed 2024 ballot initiative in San Diego, March 18, 2023 (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

SAN DIEGO – Governor Gavin Newsom, in partnership with state Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), has proposed the next step to modernize how California treats mental illness, substance use disorders, and homelessness. 

Governor Newsom proposed a 2024 ballot initiative to improve how California treats mental illness, substance abuse, and homelessness: A bond to build state-of-the-art mental health treatment residential settings in the community to house Californians with mental illness and substance use disorders and to create housing for homeless veterans, and modernize the Mental Health Services Act to require at least $1 billion every year for behavioral health housing and care,

An initiative would go on the 2024 ballot that would:

  1. Authorize a general obligation bond to:
    1. Build thousands of new community behavioral health beds in state-of-the-art residential settings to house Californians with mental illness and substance use disorders, which could serve over 10,000 people every year in residential-style settings that have on-site services – not in institutions of the past, but locations where people can truly heal. 
    2. Provide more funding specifically for housing for homeless veterans. 
  2. Amend the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), leading to at least $1 billion every year in local assistance for housing and residential services for people experiencing mental illness and substance use disorders, and allowing MHSA funds to serve people with substance use disorders.
  3. Include new accountability and oversight measures for counties to improve performance. 

The MHSA was originally passed 20 years ago; it is now time to refresh it so it can better meet the challenges we face. Key changes that the Governor is proposing include: Creating a permanent source of housing funding of $1 billion a year in local assistance funds to serve people with acute behavioral health issues, focusing on Full Service Partnerships for the most seriously ill; and allowing MHSA to be used for people with substance use disorders alone.

 “This is the next step in our transformation of how California addresses mental illness, substance use disorders, and homelessness – creating thousands of new beds, building more housing, expanding services, and more. People who are struggling with these issues, especially those who are on the streets or in other vulnerable conditions, will have more resources to get the help they need.”  

According to the Governor’s office, the Administration plans to work in close partnership with legislative leaders in this space including Senator Eggman and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), as well as with the California State Association of Counties, other critical local government stakeholders, community-based service organizations, advocates, and people with lived experience as bill language is developed. 

Previous initiatives include:

  • $2.2 billion for the Behavioral Health Continuum Infrastructure Program.
  • $1.5 billion for Behavioral Health Bridge Housing.
  • $1.4 billion to expand and diversify the behavioral health workforce.
  • $4.7 billion Master Plan for Kids’ Mental Health, of which the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative is the central component.
  • $1.4 billion to build out a Medi-Cal benefit for mobile crisis response, as well as $38 million to expand 9-8-8 and CalHOPE crisis call center.
  • Over $600 million to support community-based alternatives to state hospitalization for those who commit felonies who are incompetent to stand trial.
  • Over $1 billion to address the opioid epidemic.
  • $7 billion to reform CalAIM – enhanced care management for people with serious mental illness, a no wrong door approach to care, and more. 
  • $1.6 billion proposed to implement the California Behavioral Health Community-Based Continuum Demonstration to strengthen services and supports for those who are at risk of homelessness, incarceration and foster care placements.
  • $50 million for the California Veterans Health Initiative (CVHI) for veteran suicide prevention and mental health.
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New York

NY Attorney General hosts drag story hour- Proud Boys chased off

Approximately 200 attendees enjoyed the read-a-thon, led by the Drag Kings, Queens and Royalty of Drag Story Hour NYC at the center



Screenshot/YouTube FNTV

MANHATTAN – Far-right extremists clashed with LGBTQ+ activists and supporters outside outside the LGBTQ Community Center on W. 13th St. in Greenwich Village Sunday, as inside New York State Attorney General Letitia James hosted a Drag Queen Story Hour event.

Approximately 200 attendees enjoyed the read-a-thon, led by the Drag Kings, Queens and Royalty of Drag Story Hour NYC at the center, a resource hub for New York City’s LGBTQ+ community.

As families arrived with excited smiles, a group of protesters assembled across the street — many of them brandishing Trump signs and wearing garb supporting White Supremacist groups like the Proud Boys, AM New York reported.

Protestors were separated by barricades on either side of West 13th along with a heavy New York Police Department presence with dozens of uniform and plainclothes officers to maintain calm.

Independent freelance videographer and photojournalist Oliya Scootercaster captured the protests as one member of the Proud Boys was led away with blood and scrapes on his face by another Proud Boy after an apparent altercation.

Another far-right protestor, who had covered his face and head with a golden Guy Fawkes mask and USA flag headscarf, was seen being arrested by NYPD officers after he confronted protesters and members of the press, knocking things out of their hands.

Proud Boys Bloody Fight at Protest of Attorney Generals Drag Story Hour in Manhattan via FNTV videographer Oliya Scootercaster:

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West Hollywood

20K runners cross ‘Rainbow Mile’ in WeHo for LA Marathon 2023

KTLA telecast the marathon on “The Rainbow Mile,” so the scene was festive as runners crossed WeHo between miles 14 and 15 of the course



38th Annual Los Angeles Marathon 2023 - Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – Over 20,000 participants passed through the streets of West Hollywood Sunday morning for the 38th Annual Los Angeles Marathon 2023. West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tem John Erickson referred to the turnoff at the Rainbow District on Santa Monica Boulevard as the “Rainbow Mile.”

“It’s the best mile,” he told Wendy Burch of KTLA. “We’ve got all the colors, we’ve got all the diversity, and there’s no better place to do it than West Hollywood… we love that they come through the city every year. We can see the crowds come out, every family from all walks of life, and we do it right here in West Hollywood because this is where everyone is welcome.”

KTLA chose to telecast the marathon on “The Rainbow Mile,” so the scene was festive on Santa Monica Boulevard. People dressed in costumes, held up signs cheering their loved ones on, and spectators fist bumped the runners as they rushed by.

38th Annual Los Angeles Marathon 2023 – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES
38th Annual Los Angeles Marathon – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES
38th Annual Los Angeles Marathon 2023 – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

The 26.2-mile marathon kicked off at Dodger Stadium at 6:30 a.m. beginning with wheelchair participants, followed by the women’s division. Then a short distance later, the men’s division kicked off, followed by the general public. The course ran through Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and the finish line was at Century City.

Kenya’s Stacy Ndiwa was the first to cross the finish line Sunday in the women’s division. She clocking in at 2 hours and 31 minutes. Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer won the men’s division in 2 hours, 13 minutes and 13 seconds. Elite female runners always start the race 18 minutes and 19 seconds ahead of the men.

38th Annual Los Angeles Marathon 2023 – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES
38th Annual Los Angeles Marathon – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES
38th Annual Los Angeles Marathon 2023 – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

The portion of the route that runs through the City of West Hollywood remained unchanged from previous years. Runners made their way westbound into the City of West Hollywood along Sunset Boulevard at Marmont Lane, just west of N. Crescent Heights Boulevard. From the Sunset Strip, runners turned left (south) onto N. San Vicente Boulevard; then right (west) onto Santa Monica Boulevard; then left (south) onto N. Doheny Drive, where they will enter the City of Beverly Hills. The Marathon ran through West Hollywood between miles 14 and 15 of the course.


Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist.


The preceding article was previously published by WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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The Vatican

Pope Francis once again condemns gender ideology

Argentina newspaper published interview with pontiff on March 10



Pope Francis (Photo by palinchak via Bigstock)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis earlier this month said gender ideology is “one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations” in the world today.

“Gender ideology, today, is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations,” Francis told La Nación, an Argentine newspaper, in an interview that was published on March 10. “Why is it dangerous? Because it blurs differences and the value of men and women.”

“All humanity is the tension of differences,” added the pontiff. “It is to grow through the tension of differences. The question of gender is diluting the differences and making the world the same, all dull, all alike, and that is contrary to the human vocation.”

The Vatican’s tone towards LGBTQ+ and intersex issues has softened since since Francis assumed the papacy in 2013.

Francis publicly backs civil unions for same-sex couples, and has described laws that criminalize homosexuality are “unjust.” Church teachings on homosexuality and gender identity have nevertheless not changed since Francis became pope.

Francis told La Nación that he talks about gender ideology “because some people are a bit naive and believe that it is the way to progress.” The Catholic News Agency further notes Francis also said these people “do not distinguish what is respect for sexual diversity or diverse sexual preferences from what is already an anthropology of gender, which is extremely dangerous because it eliminates differences, and that erases humanity, the richness of humanity, both personal, cultural, and social, the diversities and the tensions between differences.”

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Neo-Nazis & trans activists clash in Melbourne outside Parliament

“They were there to say the trans community don’t deserve rights. Their evil ideology is to scapegoat minorities & it’s got no place here”



Transgender rights activists clash with Neo-Nazi's in Melbourne, Australia (Screenshot/YouTube)

MELBOURNE, Australia – Neo-Nazi anti-trans far-right extremists gathered outside on the steps of Victoria’s Parliament House Saturday to support Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, a British “gender critical” virulent anti-trans activist.

Parker, who founded group Standing for Women, is currently on a speaking tour of Australia, although a spokesperson for the Victoria Police told the Blade Sunday afternoon- [Monday morning Australia], there were no allegations or other ties to support evidence of her direct involvement in the far-right group’s protest which turned violent as police tried to keep pro-trans activists and the far-right groups separated.

Keen-Minshull/Parker is seen in multiple media photographs arguing with pro-trans supporters on Saturday along Spring Street in front of Parliament House.

The Neo-Nazi protestors kept throwing up the stiff-arm Nazi salute shouting Nazi slogans. Last year the Victorian government had banned the Nazi swastika, with those who defied the ban facing jail terms and hefty fines, the salute however, is not covered under the law. The group also shouted homophobic and transphobic epithets and other terms denigrating the pro-trans activists.

A spokesperson for the government told the Blade that officials are now calling for a ban of the salute, also quoting a Federal Labour MP, Josh Burns who said: “It makes no sense that it’s now illegal to display a Nazi symbol in Victoria, which is fundamentally a good thing, but you are allowed to do what happened yesterday which is and saluting neo-Nazi ideology.” 

Burns also released a statement Saturday [Australia] calling for tougher laws on far-right extremism:

On Sunday, [Australia] Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews in a Twitter thread noted:

“I won’t share a photo because they simply don’t deserve the attention. But yesterday, anti-trans activists gathered to spread hate. And on the steps of our Parliament, some of them performed a Nazi salute. I wish it didn’t have to be said, but clearly it does: Nazis aren’t welcome. Not on Parliament’s steps. Not anywhere.”

Andrews added: “They were there to say the trans community don’t deserve rights, safety or dignity. That’s what Nazis do. Their evil ideology is to scapegoat minorities – and it’s got no place here. And those who stand with them don’t, either. So to every trans Victorian, I say this: Our Government will always support you. And we’ll always respect you. Because your rights are not negotiable.”

Transgender rights activists clash with Neo-Nazi’s in Melbourne:

Victorian Government To Explore Extra Measures After Neo-Nazi Clash:

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Daily Wire: Millions of Facebook interactions with anti-trans content

This latest analysis found that The Daily Wire’s network of Facebook pages has earned over 17 million interactions



Graphic by Molly Butler for Media Matters

By Kayla Gogarty | WASHINGTON – A Media Matters analysis found that The Daily Wire ’s network of Facebook pages has earned over 17 million interactions from nearly 13,000 posts with transgender-related keywords — many of which amplified attacks on trans athletes, criticism of gender-affirming care, and praise for government officials restricting trans rights.

These anti-trans posts come amid a long history of Facebook giving the right-wing outlet special treatment to earn high engagement and allowing it to flout platform policies.

Jump to section…

  • Social media companies have struggled to prevent anti-LGBTQ hate on their platforms as right-wing media have ramped up harmful rhetoric against the LGBTQ community. Meta — the parent company of Facebook and Instagram — has also profited from this rhetoric, earning tens of thousands of dollars in revenue on ads with the anti-LGBTQ “groomer” slur, which perpetuates the myth that LGBTQ people put children in danger, and at least $5.7 million on over 550 anti-trans ads from right-wing media outlet The Daily Wire.
  • On March 4, The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles claimed during a speech at the 2023 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that “transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely.” (Knowles doubled down on his call to “eradicate transgenderism” in a March 15 column published by The Daily Wire.) These anti-trans comments follow The Daily Wire’s history of pushing anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, including on social media platforms — where companies like Meta have given the right-wing media outlet and its personalities special treatment and allowed it to flout platform policies.
  • Using CrowdTangle, Media Matters compiled and analyzed transgender-related posts from The Daily Wire’s network of 19 Facebook pages between January 1, 2021, and March 13, 2023. We found that during this time frame, these pages posted about the transgender community at least 12,940 times, earning over 17.1 million interactions on these posts.
  • More than 93% of these interactions — over 16 million — were earned on the more than 5,800 posts from the leading accounts associated with the outlet: Ben Shapiro, Michael Knowles, Matt Walsh, and The Daily Wire itself. Notably, nearly 15% of The Daily Wire’s anti-trans content on Facebook was posted in just two months last year. Over 1,050 such posts — or over 8% — were made in March 2022, when right-wing media promoted Florida’s anti-LGBTQ “Parental Rights in Education” bill, which was signed into law at the end of the month and banned discussion of sexuality or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
  • An additional 760 of them — or nearly 6% — were posted in June 2022, when Walsh released his anti-trans film What is a Woman?The transgender-related posts with the most interactions from The Daily Wire’s pages and the articles most frequently shared in the network’s transgender-related posts illuminate the anti-trans narratives being amplified by The Daily Wire — attacks on transgender athletes, criticism of gender-affirming care, and praise for government officials restricting transgender rights and care.
  • Anti-trans articles shared most frequently by The Daily Wire’s network of Facebook pages
  • The network posted a Daily Wire article that amplified anti-trans comments from Brittany Aldean, the wife of country music star Jason Aldean, at least 38 times, earning over 46,000 total interactions. The article repeatedly highlighted her comments comparing gender-affirming care to “the genital mutilation of children” and calling it “one of the worst evils.”
  • The network posted a Daily Wire opinion article attacking transgender activist Jazz Jennings at least 37 times. The article deadnamed Jennings and mocked her experience, calling it a “troubling story.”
  • The network posted a Daily Wire article that amplified a “British women’s rights campaigner” who confronted a transgender woman at the NCAA women’s championships, where a transgender athlete was competing. The network posted the article at least 35 times, earning over 43,000 total interactions. 
  • The Daily Wire’s Facebook pages posted another article that pushed outrage about a transgender woman who took first place in a women’s skateboarding competition. The article was posted by the network of pages at least 34 times, earning over 65,000 interactions.
  • The network posted another Daily Wire article about transgender athletes at least 33 times, earning over 151,000 interactions on the posts. The article, which focused on a transgender cyclist who was banned from competing in a women’s championship race, deadnamed multiple transgender athletes.
  • The network of pages posted an article — at least 32 times — that amplified an individual’s experience detransitioning, which is a rare occurrence.
  • The network posted an article that amplified Daily Wire personality Candace Owens’ attacks on Ulta for supporting transgender actress and influencer Dylan Mulvaney. The article was posted by the pages at least 32 times, earning nearly 65,000 interactions
  • The pages shared a Daily Wire article titled “Why Civilization Depends On The Strength Of Men” at least 30 times. The misogynistic article starts, “If we have anything for which to thank the utterly mad ‘transgender’ movement, it is that it has laid bare, for all to see, the relative weakness of the female body by comparison with the male.”
  • The network posted another anti-trans Daily Wire article at least 30 times. The article amplified anti-trans content from Libs of TikTok, a Twitter account with 2 million followers that constantly demeans, attacks, and pushes disinformation about the LGBTQ community.
  • The pages also posted a Daily Wire article about Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee calling for an investigation in reaction to Daily Wire personality Matt Walsh claiming that Vanderbilt University Medical Center “drugs, chemically castrates, and performs double mastectomies on minors.” The article was posted by the pages at least 30 times, earning over 11,000 interactions on the posts.
  • Anti-trans posts from The Daily Wire’s network of Facebook pages that earned the most interactions
  • Ben Shapiro: over 212,000 interactionsBen Shapiro_facebook post_20210211 
  • Ben Shapiro: over 208,000 interactionsBen Shapiro_facebook post_20210503
  • Daily Wire: over 163,000 interactionsDaily Wire_facebook post_20220404
  • Ben Shapiro: over 160,000 interactionsBen Shapiro_facebook post_20210125
  • Ben Shapiro: over 143,000 interactionsBen Shapiro_facebook post_20210304
  • Ben Shapiro: nearly 140,000 interactionsBen Shapiro_facebook post_20210124
  • Ben Shapiro: nearly 128,000 interactionsBen Shapiro_facebook post_20210502
  • Ben Shapiro: over 126,000 interactions and 41 million viewsBen Shapiro_facebook video_20210221
  • Candace Owens: over 121,000 interactions and 1.1 million views Candace Owens_facebook video_20210814
  • Ben Shapiro: over 119,000 interactionsBen Shapiro_facebook post_20220303
  • Methodology
  • Using CrowdTangle, Media Matters compiled all posts for Facebook pages affiliated with The Daily Wire that were posted between January 1, 2021, and March 13, 2023, and included transgender-related keywords. We reviewed data for these posts, including total interactions (reactions, comments, and shares).
  • We defined posts as containing transgender-related keywords if they had any of the following terms in the message or in the included link, article headline, or article description: “trans kid,” “trans kids,” “trans child,” “trans children,” “trans boy,” “trans boys,” “trans girl,” “trans girls,” “trans man,” “trans men,” “trans woman,” “trans women,” “trans female,” “trans male,” “transgender,” “transgenders,” “transgenderism,” “gender transition,” “gender identity,” “biological male,” “biological man,” “biological woman,” “biological boy,” “biological girl,” “biological female,” “women’s sports,” “girls’ sports,” “biological women,” “biological men,” “puberty blockers,” “chemical castration,” “irreversible procedures,” “irreversible surgery,” “irreversible surgeries,” “detransition,” “detransitioner,” “gender reassignment,” “hormone replacement,” “sex change,” or “sex reassignment.”
  • The following 19 Facebook pages are associated with The Daily Wire: Ben Shapiro, Daily Wire, Michael Knowles, Matt Walsh, Andrew Klavan, Candace Owens, Donald Trump is My President, Pro-America News, The Angry Patriot, Conservative News, Fed-Up Americans, Restless Patriot, The Real Patriots, The United Patriots, The Conservative, The Right News, Boycott, Don’t Mess With America, and Lady Patriots.


    The preceding article was previously published by Media Matters for America and is republished by permission.

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    California Politics

    Wiener introduces legislation to protect LGBTQ+ foster youth

    SB 407 ensures LGBTQ foster youth are raised in supportive environments by creating standard documentation for their needs



    Sen. Scott Wiener with 5th graders from San Diego County who came to Sacramento to advocate for SB 918, bill to direct more resources to help homeless youth in 2021 (Photo Credit: Wiener/Facebook)

    SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced SB 407, legislation to improve foster care conditions for LGBTQ youth. Nearly one third of foster youth identify as LGBTQ.

    SB 407 ensures LGBTQ foster youth are raised in supportive environments by creating standard documentation for their needs, adding more follow-up from the Department of Social Services, and requiring LGBTQ youth’s needs be specifically considered in at-home assessments – including clarifying that conduct that poses risk to the health and safety of LGBTQ youth is a valid reason to deny a family the right to host a foster youth. 

    “Every child deserves to be one hundred percent supported at home,” said Wiener. “SB 407 ensures that foster youth receive this essential support by specifically requiring LGBTQ acceptance be considered in the resource family approval (RFA) process, creating standard documentation for the assessment of LGBTQ youth needs, and ensuring more frequent follow-up. These youth are at high risk for homelessness, criminal justice involvement, and mental health issues, and we must do everything in our power to ensure they have a safe home in the state of California.”

    According to the California Child Welfare Indicators Project, there are 53,371 youth in foster care in California as of October 1, 2022. Youth who identify as LGBTQ+ are overrepresented in foster care, with at least three studies estimating about 30 percent of youth in foster care identify as LGBTQ.

    The degree of support for their identity an LGBTQ child receives at home is a strong predictor of their mental health outcomes. According to the Trevor Project, teens who perceived parental support regarding gender identity were 93% less likely to attempt suicide than youth who did not perceive parents as supportive.

    Data collected since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic show LGBTQ youth are facing a crisis of mental health. Forty-two percent of LGBTQ+ youth—and 52 percent of trans youth—said they seriously considered suicide in 2021. This crisis may be related to the recent surge of anti-LGBTQ hatred in many states in recent years, which most LGBTQ youth are exposed to online. This year alone, more than 420 bills have been introduced in states across the country.

    In 2019, California passed AB 175 (Gipson), which expanded the foster youth bill of rights to include rights to be referred to by the youth’s preferred name and pronoun and maintain privacy of the child’s sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. Under existing law, foster youth also have the right to have caregivers and child welfare personnel that have received instruction on cultural competency and best practices for providing care for LGBTQ+ youth in out-of-home care. 

    However, while the foster youth bill of rights is strong, it has not translated into the RFA process or into considerations made when approving caregivers. LGBTQ foster youth are still being placed in homes with families that discriminate against or are hostile toward them based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

    SB 407 will strengthen the resource family approval (RFA) process for LGBTQ foster youth by:

    • Requiring explicit consideration of LGBTQ youth in home and environmental assessments; 
    • Creating standard documentation by the Department of Social Services for these assessments to include LGBTQ youth needs; 
    • Reviewing county-approved resource families to evaluate if they are meeting the needs of LGBTQ youth and investigating related incidents as needed;
    • Ensuring that resource families have the necessary skills, knowledge, and abilities to support LGBTQ youth; and 
    • Clarifying existing law that conduct that poses risk to the health and safety of LGBTQ youth is a valid reason for denial of a resource family. 

    SB 407 is sponsored by Equality California and the California Alliance of Child and Family Services.

    “According to the Trevor Project, teens who have parental support regarding their gender identity were 93% less likely to attempt suicide than youth who did not perceive parents as supportive. Supportive and affirming homes for LGBTQ+ foster youth saves lives. The CA Alliance is excited to partner with Senator Wiener on SB 407 to ensure that all LGBTQ+ foster youth have affirming families and feel safe, supported, and cared for.” –Christine Stoner-Mertz, CEO of the California Alliance of Child and Family Services

    “LGBTQ+ foster youth experience violence and other stressors unique to the LGBTQ+ community, including homophobia or transphobia,” said Tony Hoang, Executive Director of Equality California. “SB 407 protects LGBTQ+ foster youth from being placed in non-affirming homes by creating standard guidelines and criteria that carefully screens potential families. LGBTQ+ foster youth need a healthy environment that supports and embraces them as they explore their identity.”

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    Maryland House of Delegates approves trans rights bill

    The Trans Health Equity Act, passed by a 93-37 vote margin. The measure now goes before the Maryland Senate



    Md. state Sen. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City) speaks at a press conference for the Trans Health Equity Act in Annapolis, Md., on Feb. 14, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Linus Berggren)

    ANNAPOLIS – The Maryland House of Delegates on Saturday approved a bill that would require the state’s Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming treatment for transgender people.

    House Bill 283, or the Trans Health Equity Act, passed by a 93-37 vote margin. The measure now goes before the Maryland Senate.

    “Proud that the MD House of Delegates passed the Trans Health Equity Act with such a strong majority,” tweeted state Del. Anne Kaiser (D-Montgomery County), who introduced HB 283.

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    Governor Newsom announces $30 insulin through CalRx



    Governor Gavin Newsom (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

    DOWNEY, CA – Governor Gavin Newsom, as part of his tour of the State of California, announced that CalRx has secured a contract with a manufacturer (CIVICA), to make $30 insulin available to all who need it. The Governor also announced Saturday that California will seek to manufacture its own Naloxone.

    Today’s announcement makes good on Governor Newsom’s promise on his first day in office, to bring down the price of prescription drugs for Californians and increase accountability and transparency in health care. Californians can learn more about CalRX on the newly launched website.

    Newsom’s action will bring down the price of insulin by about 90%, saving cash-paying patients between $2,000 and $4,000 annually. With CalRx, and unlike private companies, we’re getting at the underlying cost – the price is the price, and CalRx will prevent the egregious cost-shifting that happens in traditional pharmaceutical price games. It’ll cost us $30 to manufacture and distribute, and that’s how much the consumer can buy it for. You don’t need a voucher or coupon to access this price, and it’s available to everybody regardless of insurance plan. This is a crucial step in not just cutting the cost for the consumer, but cutting costs across the board in order to bring cheaper prescription drugs to all Californians.

    Photo Credit: Office of the Governor

    “To address the affordability crisis in California, we have to address the high cost of prescription drugs,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. “The CalRx Biosimilar Insulin Initiative will benefit Californians who are today paying too much for a medication that we know is life saving and life altering.”


    • A 10mL vial will be made available for no more than $30 (normally $300)
    • A box of 5 pre-filled 3mL pens will be made available for no more than $55 (normally more than $500)
    • No new prescription will be needed. Californians will be able to ask for the CalRx generic at their local pharmacy or via mail order pharmacies. Pharmacies must agree to order/stock the product.
    • CalRx plans to make biosimilar insulins available for: Glargine, Aspart, and Lispro (expected to be interchangeable with Lantus, Humalog, and Novolog respectively)
    • California signed a contract with CIVICA to manufacture affordable insulin 
    • The Governor will seek to manufacture Naloxone through CalRx
    Governor Gavin Newsom makes his announcement on California signing a contract with CIVICA to manufacture affordable insulin. (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

    “People should not be forced to go into debt to get life saving prescriptions. Through CalRx, Californians will have access to some of the most inexpensive insulin available, helping them save thousands each year. But we’re not stopping there – California will seek to make our own Naloxone as part of our plan to fight the fentanyl crisis,” said Newsom.


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