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Today’s Headlines: Some fear conservative Supreme Court will target LGBTQ people next

Two people at the OC Pride Festival
Elleana Tanner, left, and Alejandra Barba attend the OC Pride Festival in Santa Ana on Saturday.
(Paul Rodriguez / For The Times)
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By Elvia Limón

Hello, it’s Monday, June 27, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

What’s next after the Roe decision?

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, advocates for the queer community fear the court’s conservative majority will target LGBTQ people next, possibly by reversing earlier rulings such as legalized same-sex intimacy and same-sex marriage.

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Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas appeared to telegraph what’s ahead for people in the queer community by seeming to invite challenges to other civil liberties in his concurring opinion.

Even before the court overturned Roe vs. Wade, the LGBTQ community was already on edge because of recent instances of harassment from far-right groups. Lawmakers in Florida, Texas and other states have also singled out the LGBTQ community in hundreds of education bills.

More on Roe v. Wade decision

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John Eastman’s Jan. 6 notoriety was decades in the making

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The theme of the third congressional hearing on the Jan. 6 insurrection was unmistakable: President Trump’s lawyer John Eastman was not just a peripheral figure in the panel’s investigation, but a main character.

Beyond happenstance or the clubbiness of conservative politics, the key figures, institutions and ideologies of Eastman’s life have converged in the Jan. 6 hearings to a remarkable degree.

Together, they paint a picture of a man with an insider’s connections and an outsider’s boundary-pushing instincts; a man who poured his considerable intellect into a political philosophy that, in increasingly dire terms, sees a country drifting from its core values.

More politics

  • At the annual Group of 7 summit, President Biden said the U.S. and its allies would announce a ban on imports of Russian gold in a new effort to deny Moscow an economic lifeline amid ongoing sanctions from the West.
  • Biden signed the most sweeping gun violence bill in decades, a bipartisan compromise that seemed unimaginable until a recent series of mass shootings.
  • House Republicans are sticking beside Kevin McCarthy despite former President Trump’s attacks on the minority leader’s decision to pull GOP members from the Jan. 6 committee.
  • Republican Rep. Valadao, who voted to impeach Trump, survives the California primary but faces a blue district in the November election.

Early signs indicate SoCal is using less water

Less than a month after sweeping water restrictions took effect across Southern California, early indications suggest residents are finally heeding calls to conserve as officials reported a noticeable 5% drop in demand throughout the region.

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At the same time, water waste complaints have soared throughout Los Angeles. But officials stressed that the savings must continue. They also stressed it is still too soon to tell whether residents have truly turned a corner after months of backsliding.

Famine threatens wide swaths of world

Malnourishment and hunger were big problems even before Russia invaded Ukraine in February and cut off Europe’s breadbasket from its markets, sparking a flurry of dire warnings about the world’s food supplies.

The causes are myriad: drought and flooding, and the interruption of supply chains triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. An estimated 20 wars or conflicts have also seriously disrupted access to food and water.

The bleak situation drew the attention of powerful diplomats when U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and the foreign ministers of six other of the world’s largest economies met in Germany to map out plans for easing global food shortages.

Drought and bark beetles are killing the oldest trees

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For thousands of years, bark beetles were held in check or eliminated by the harsh conditions of the stony, storm-battered crests of California’s White Mountains near the Nevada border, where grotesque, twisted bristlecone pine trees have evolved an arsenal of survival strategies.

Now, scientists say, these living symbols of longevity, strength and perseverance may be at an evolutionary crossroads. Hotter droughts and bark beetles are for the first time in recorded history killing bristlecones, according to a recent study published in the scientific journal Forest Ecology and Management.

This is a new threat to California’s Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, home to Methuselah, a 4,853-year-old bristlecone pine.

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OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND

How the brother of a 9/11 firefighter stepped in to help homeless veterans in L.A. A plan to build 1,700 units for homeless veterans in West L.A. has been stalled for years. An undisclosed grant from a New York group gives it a boost.

How Disney, a new mayor and a secret ‘cabal’ gained power over Anaheim. Hundreds of records and interviews show how deep-pocketed corporate interests regained influence over Orange County’s most populous city, where a sprawling federal political corruption investigation has thrown the home of the self-described “Happiest Place on Earth” into turmoil.

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Persevering through pandemic hardships, two members of the class of 2022 earn their diplomas. While graduation season tends to be a hopeful time, members of the class of 2022 are marking their triumph over months or years of virtual classes, financial hardships, illness and emotional challenges and setbacks.

CALIFORNIA

A deal was reached on a plan for more than $9 billion in gas refunds to California drivers. Refunds to offset the highest fuel costs of any state in the nation will probably not start going out until October if approved by the Legislature.

Alameda County ends short-lived mask mandate, citing improved coronavirus conditions. The move coincides as the San Francisco Bay Area’s second most populous county progresses from the high to medium COVID-19 community transmission level as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Slain LAPD officer was beaten in training meant to ‘simulate a mob,’ mother claims. Officer Houston Tipping’s mother, Shirley Huffman, alleged her son was “repeatedly struck in the head severely enough that he bled,” and that the beating resulted in injuries requiring stitches. He also suffered multiple breaks in his neck, which caused his death, she said in a wrongful-death claim against the city.

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NATION-WORLD

The Illinois governor’s race is also a battle among billionaires. Although rich men in politics certainly aren’t rare, there may never have been a battle of the billions to match this one in a state election, particularly in a primary.

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‘Biblical’ insect swarms spur an Oregon push to fight pests. In 2021 alone, Oregon agricultural officials estimate that 10 million acres of rangeland in 18 counties were damaged by grasshoppers and Mormon crickets.

Norway mourns victims of the Oslo shooting with a memorial service. A gunman opened fire in central Oslo’s nightlife district, killing two people and wounding more than 20 in what the Norwegian security service called an “Islamist terror act.”

Iran launches a rocket into space as nuclear talks are set to resume. It’s unclear when or where the rocket was launched, but the announcement came after satellite photos showed preparations at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s rural Semnan province.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

How ‘Elvis’ star Austin Butler lost — and found — himself in the King of Rock ’n’ Roll. Before he could portray the American icon, he knew he had to become a student of all things Elvis Presley. And to know Elvis inside and out, to truly understand him, Butler was willing to give himself fully to the process.

How Disney star Dove Cameron became ‘the bad girl next door.’ “Boyfriend” is the 26-year-old’s sly, smoky electro-pop single that’s made her one of 2022’s breakout music acts after nearly a decade of acting work in the Disney Channel trenches.

Meet the new most popular person on TikTok: Khaby Lame, who lets his face do the work. Lame’s popularity on the platform began with him taking ridiculous videos — ones that theoretically share a better way of doing something, but in fact complicate the process — and using TikTok tools to splice video of his own.

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‘Who did the body?’ Brad Pitt’s GQ magazine cover is ‘very upsetting’ to some people. GQ released its profile of the veteran movie star, who appears to be floating in a dark pool of flowers on the cover, his face frozen in a blank stare. The actor promoted his forthcoming action film “Bullet Train,” which opens in August.

BUSINESS

Inside the crypto restaurant in Long Beach after the crypto crash. An employee said the store wasn’t accepting crypto payments. “Not today — I don’t know,” they said, declining to clarify how long ago the store stopped accepting crypto or whether that option will eventually return.

As CEO Bob Chapek weathers the Disney drama, the board gathers in Florida. The corporate drama comes as Disney’s board of directors gathers in Orlando for its annual retreat, where the 11-member body, of which Chapek is a member, thoroughly reviews the company’s businesses and engages in deep dives on strategic questions.

OPINION

The end of Roe will lead to baseless attacks on gay rights. “As a queer woman, I have struggled to conceptualize the full reach of this decision beyond abortion. The world continued to spin, but I fought against a paralytic fear of the unknown,” writes law professor Robin Maril.

We desperately need affordable housing in L.A. This bill will help us get it. Senate Bill 679 would set up the Los Angeles County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency to build new affordable housing, preserve existing affordable housing and offer struggling renters emergency rental assistance and access to legal counsel.

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Get our free daily crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search and arcade games in our new game center at latimes.com/games.

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SPORTS

Canelo Álvarez delivers a ‘personal’ message to GGG: You’re getting knocked out. He explained that the bout, scheduled for Sept. 17 in Las Vegas, was “personal” for him because Gennadiy Golovkin has continued taking verbal shots since they last met in 2018.

Will live sports disappear from traditional TV? That question gained new urgency when Apple made a significant statement to the media business with its deal to be the primary carrier of Major League Soccer.

Why is Brittney Griner detained in Russia and when might she be released? On Feb.17, Russian officials took Griner into custody at a Moscow airport and charged her with drug smuggling. Authorities say they found vape cartridges containing hashish oil, an illegal substance in Russia.

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

One way to keep your feet dry while hiking Fern Canyon Trail.
(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times)

Your feet will get wet, your car will need washing, and you won’t mind. That’s just one measure of what awaits on the short, scenic hike through Fern Canyon in Humboldt County’s Prairie Creek Redwood State Park.

Parts of “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” were shot here 25 years ago, as were parts of the BBC’s “Walking With Dinosaurs.” A special-effects team added the film’s scampering dinosaurs in postproduction, but as you splash along now, it will be easy enough to imagine a Spinosaurus or Ceratosaurus lurking behind the next log.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

Jim Obergefell, left and John Arthur, right, are married by officiant Paulette Roberts, rear center, in a plane
Jim Obergefell, left, and John Arthur are married by officiant Paulette Roberts in a plane on the tarmac at Baltimore/Washington International Airport on July 11, 2013.
(Glenn Hartong / Associated Press)

Seven years ago this month, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples could marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Within hours of the decision, weddings were taking place in new states (at least in some counties): Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, as well as North and South Dakota.

There were more than 30 plaintiffs in the gay marriage lawsuits argued before the high court, but the case is named for just one, Jim Obergefell, a real estate salesman from Cincinnati who battled Ohio over a word the state wanted to write on his late husband’s death certificate: “single.”

The naming of the multiple consolidated gay marriage suits as Obergefell vs. Hodges was a clerical fluke, but the story behind it is one of the most unusual and poignant of the cases. It is a story of love amid a crippling disease, a triumphant wedding ceremony aboard a chartered medical jet and then a legal battle over whether Obergefell’s three-month marriage to a dying John Arthur would be recognized.

We appreciate that you took the time to read Today’s Headlines! Comments or ideas? Feel free to drop us a note at headlines@latimes.com.

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