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NEWS ROUNDUP: San Francisco to Get Gay Leather District; Ohio County Rejects Pride Lights

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From wire reports

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco’s gay and leather community is set to get its own cultural district as part of a broader city effort to preserve neighborhoods at risk of disappearing under rising rents.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors was set to vote on a resolution Tuesday, May 1 that would create the Leather and LGBTQ District in part of the city’s South of Market neighborhood.

The neighborhood remains home to gay and kink bars and the popular Folsom Street Fair, which draws thousands of people every year to celebrate “leather sexuality.”

San Francisco has four cultural districts, and city leaders are eager to create more as a way to protect and promote businesses and affordable housing.

Supporters say a designation would give the cultural district negotiating rights in future development and access to public money.

Ohio county refusing to light up courthouse for Pride parade

NEWARK, Ohio — Two Central Ohio city council members are at odds with county commissioners over their decision to not allow the county courthouse to be lit with rainbow colors during a gay Pride festival.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Councilmen Jeremy Blake and Sean Fennell sought to have the Licking County Courthouse illuminated during the Newark’s inaugural Pride event in June. Licking County commissioners rebuffed the request and said their policy is to allow special lighting only on designated days.

Blake called the decision “hurtful.” He and Fennell planned to pack a commissioners meeting on Tuesday, May 1.

The courthouse’s $40,000 controller system has been programmed for special lighting during holidays and occasions like Heart Awareness Week included on a list commissioners approved.

Commissioner Tim Bubb said no exception will be made for the Pride festival.

District won’t allow students to read book on trans kid

HERMISTON, Ore. — An Oregon school district has elected not to allow its third- through fifth-graders to participate in a statewide reading program after finding the content of one of the books inappropriate.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Hermiston School District spokeswoman Maria Duron says the district’s elementary school principals decided one title, George, about a transgender child “was not appropriate for students” in those grades.

The book tells the story of a 10-year-old named George, who everyone thinks is a boy but who feels like she is a girl.

The program, Oregon Battle of the Books, provides a list of books for students to read. The students read the books, form teams, and compete in a quiz-show-like challenge using knowledge of the books.

No student is required to participate or to read every book if they do participate.

Phoenix to install rainbow crosswalks to honor gay pride

PHOENIX — Phoenix city officials have approved turning some crosswalks into a point of gay Pride.

The City Council on Tuesday, April 24 voted to allow two crosswalks in central Phoenix to get a makeover with rainbow designs to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The Arizona Republic reports a significant factor in gaining the approval was the offer from local LGBTQ groups to fund installation and maintenance.

One crosswalk will be in the city’s Melrose District, which is anchored by several gay bars. Another will be close to the downtown headquarters of several LGBTQ organizations.

Several cities have rainbow crosswalks including Houston, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

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