(Washington Blade photo by Micheal Key)
MARCH 25, 2022 • VOLUME 06 • ISSUE 12 • AMERICA’S LGBTQ NEWS SOURCE • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
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Texas Republican compares decision to Dred Scott By CHRIS JOHNSON | firstname.lastname@example.org
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling for same-sex marriage — issued nearly seven years ago in 2015 — is considered settled law and in the rear-view mirror of history for many Americans, but Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) opted to press Ketanji Brown Jackson on the decision as an example of policy-making from the bench in questions Jackson, nominated by President Biden to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, stood decision found a due process and right for same-sex couples to marry that overruled the will of the people who voted to ban gay nuptials in his state. “That is the nature of a right,” Jackson replied. “When there is a right, it means that there are limitations on regulation, even if people are regulating pursuant to their sincerely held religious beliefs.” In the nearly 15-minute exchange between Cornyn and Jackson, the Texas Republican pressed her on the expansive interpretation by the courts of due process and equal protection clauses, which he said led to decisions condemned to the dustbin of history like Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson. Cornyn, however, also included with those rulings the 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which he said was a “dramatic departure from previous laws in the states and in the nation.” (Cornyn throughout the quesname “Obergefell,” which at least one time he called the “Ober-fell” case.) “In the opinions that were written there at the time, it was noted that here we are 234 years after the Consince the 14th Amendment had been lated a new fundamental right, which is KETANJI BROWN JACKSON a right to same-sex marriage,” Cornyn said. Cornyn recalled at the time 11 states and D.C. had legalized same-sex marriage, but said 35 states had put the question on the ballot and 32 had decided to The Texas Republican went on to describe the issue as not just an overriding the will of the states and the people, but also major religions, and asked Jackson if she agrees “marriage is not simply a governmental institution, it’s also a religious institution.” When Jackson replied, “Well, senator, marriages are often performed in religious institutions,” Cornyn followed up with questioning on whether she agrees many maman, one woman (ignoring denominations within those religions, such as Episcopal and Presbyterian Church, that recognize and wed same-sex couples). Jackson wouldn’t engage with Cornyn beyond what was directly necessary: “I am
tween religious views and the decision of the court. “Do you see that when the Supreme Court makes a dramatic pronouncement held religious belief that marriage is between a man and a woman?” Cornyn asked. Jackson, as is customary for a nominee up for a seat on the Supreme Court, dethroughout the courts” and therefore she was limited in what she could say. But Cornyn wouldn’t up let up, pressing Jackson again on the Obergefell ruling. Jackson responded the “nature of the right” found the U.S. Constitution trumps regulation “even if people are regulating pursuant to their sincerely held religious beliefs.” Cornyn continued his questioning by asking whether the concept of marriage is enshrined in the Constitution, drawing on the dissents from Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito lamenting opponents of same-sex marriage will be labeled as bigots. More broadly, Cornyn went on to lament the substantive due process rights found by the courts as “another way for judges to hide their policymaking under the guise of interpreting the Constitution.” Jackson gave an answer demonstrating her knowledge of case law, saying courts have found the right to due process to mean “not just procedural rights relative to government action but also the protection of certain personal rights related to intimacy and autonomy.” “They include things like the right to rear one’s children, I believe the right to travel, the right to marriage, interracial marriage, the right to abortion, contraception,” Jackson said. JOHN CORNYN Cornyn interjected the same interpretation led to the Dred Scott decision, citing “treating slaves as chattel property” as an another outcome of the expansive intrepretation of the due process clause. After more questioning from Cornyn on whether “you can use substantive due process to justify basically any result whether it’s conservative or liberal, libertarian or conservative,” he went on to ask Jackson whether she can understand “why ordinary folks wonder, Who do these people think they are? And where does this authority come from?” Jackson, in response, kept her answer simple: “Absolutely, senator, I do understand it.” It should be noted the Supreme Court has rejected subsequent legal claims to overturn the Obergefell decision, or even to chip away at the decision. Even with the 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court, justices in 2020 declined to hear a case brought by Indiana seeking to challenge the decision on the basis of birth two years ago the ruling falls short in accommodating religious freedom.
LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • MARCH 25, 2022 • 03
WeHo installs new inclusive Pride crosswalks The City of West Hollywood has installed new graphics that update the City’s rainbow crosswalks and incorporate additional inclusivity design elements to recognize the diverse LGBTQ community. “It’s exciting to see the new pride crosswalks being installed. West Hollywood is a city that welcomes all,” said City of West Hollywood
crosswalks of their kind to embody a theme of pride. During the course of a decade, the bright red-orange-yellow-green-blue-violet striped crosswalks garnered worldwide attention and became an iconic symbol of hope, pride, and acceptance. The City’s new inclusive pride crosswalks have been installed at the same location in the heart of the City’s Rainbow District at
crosswalks convey that message and a mes-
Vicente Boulevards. This intersection has served a not only as focal point of LGBTQ community-making, but also as a historic spot for protests and activism, and the site of countless actions that embrace the catalyst
truly represents our community, then it is an “The new inclusive pride crosswalks demonstrate our City’s commitment to recognizing and honoring all within our LGBTQ+ community as well as our acknowledgement that equity is needed for historically marginalized members of our LGBTQ+ community,” “It’s so great to see this newly painted crosswalk,” said Councilmember John D’Amico. “It’s always exciting to see how our city
man rights of LGBTQ people, everywhere.
New inclusive Pride crosswalks in the city’s ‘Rainbow District.’ (Photo by Jon Viscott)
acceptance and inclusion.” “The City of West Hollywood has always been on the forefront of equality, but that is through our policies or the symbol that West Hollywood represents to the worldwide LGBTQIA+ community, no matter who you are or how you love, you are welcome here. Our newly installed inclusive pride crosswalks are just another example of the City’s longress.” “As our community begins the process of opening back up and we continue to plan our inaugural WeHo Pride 2022 celebration, I’m thrilled that the newly installed inclusive pride crosswalks will welcome visitors from around the world to the iconic WeHo Rainbow District as a beacon of diversity, inclusion, and forward progress,” said Councilmember Lindsey P. Horvath.
walk; the overall design has been expanded with a chevron pattern on both sides featuring black and brown stripes to represent LGBTQ people of color and pink, light blue, and white to represent transgender people. The installation of new inclusive pride
vember 2021 and incorporates input from the City’s Transportation Commission, LesbiSince incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has become one of the most of its size has had a greater impact on the national public policy discourse on fairness and inclusiveness for LGBTQ people. cated for nearly four decades for measures to support LGBTQ individuals and has been and international level.
SoCal gas prices continue toward $6 Despite a 30 percent decrease in oil prices in the past week that reversed itself partially today, Southern California gas prices continued rising toward the $6 mark, although much more slowly than in the previous week, according to the Auto The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California tional price is $4.29, which is three cents lower than a week ago as many other areas of the country saw some gas price relief from lower oil prices. The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.89 per gallon, which is 11 cents higher than last week, $1.11 higher than last month, and $1.98 higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.82, which is 11 cents higher than last week, $1.08 higher than last
04 • MARCH 25, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
month, and $1.91 higher than last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.80, which is 11 cents higher than last week, $1.09 higher than last month and $1.94 higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.78, which is 12 cents higher than last week, $1.08 higher than last month and $1.93 higher than last year. In Baa year ago today. supply issue is continuing to put upward pressure on gas prices locally,” said Auto Club spokesman Doug Shupe. “At the same time, oil prices have rebounded today above $100 per barrel.” FROM STAFF REPORTS
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FROM STAFF REPORTS
Newsom rides with Fresno homeless outreach teams Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration last week visited a health and wellness center
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LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • MARCH 25, 2022 • 07
Trans kids and their parents are currently under
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08 • MARCH 25, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
Disney employees walk out over ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill
Employees stage a walk out on Tuesday at the Walt Disney Studios. (Photo by Rebecca Perez/Twitter)
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Arizona LGBTQ leaders call on HRC to end support for Sinema By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | email@example.com In a little-noticed development, more than 100 LGBTQ community leaders and allied supporters in Arizona sent a joint letter in January to the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s
HRC, along with many other LGBTQ organizations, has supported Sinema since the time of
port for U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) unless and until Sinema ends her support for the would vote for the LGBTQ rights measure. to compromise as a means of passing controversial legislation.
Sen. KYRSTEN SINEMA
(Blade photo by Michael Key)
To the disappointment of the Arizona LGBTQ leaders, the HRC statement does not commit
The LGBTQ leaders, who drafted the letter in partnership with the Arizona Coalition to End According to its statement, HRC “endorses candidates, supports them through their elec-
In a statement released shortly after sending their Jan. 19 letter to HRC, the Arizona LGBTQ leaders said HRC’s Interim President Joni Madison sent them a letter on Jan. 24 saying that
10 • MARCH 25, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
Utah’s Republican Gov. Spencer Cox vetoed House Bill
SPENCER J. COX
youth from playing on sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. competing against another school on a team designated ical condition of being male or female, determined by an individual’s genetics and anatomy at birth.” The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Kera Birkeland
want to play, a commission with a doctor, sports physiologist, university level athletic trainer, coach and other experts would decide whether they can play on that team.”
Cox wrote. Utah legislative leaders on Tuesday announced their plan to meet this Friday for an override session minutes Cox was the second Republican governor in 24 hours to veto anti-trans youth sports legislative measures. into law would have banned transgender girls from competing on girls’ K-12 sports teams. Cox had made headlines in March after his statement youth from participating in high school and collegiate sports. “If you have not spent time with transgender youth, then I would encourage you to pause on this issue,” Cox
Senate President Stuart Adams and House Speaker Brad Wilson, Cox defended his decision to veto the proposed legislation. “I know both of you are committed to these same ideals and that we have worked very hard together to resolve the many issues surrounding transgender student participation in
spot right now. And we have very few if any transgender girls participating in sports.” “These kids are, they are just trying to stay alive. You know, there is a reason none of them are playing sports,” says the Governor. “And so, I just think there is a better way, and
Lia Thomas, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, swam faster than any other woman in the 500-yard freestyle competition last week in Atlanta and made history
porters from across the country were demonstrators from an anti-transgender inclusion
in 4:33:24, more than a second faster than her closest competitor, but because she is an out transgender woman. Her honor came at the Women’s Swimming and Diving National Championships, and despite rules that require her to speak to the news media following her win, Thomas spoke only to ESPN and “declined” to attend the mandatory news conference, according to a spokesperson. As for her victory, there are people who are plenty mad about it. When ESPN interviewed the 22-year-old, live, following the event, some in the crowd booed. “I didn’t have a whole lot of expectations for this meet,” Thomas told ESPN, according to a transcript of the interview provided by out nonbinary journalist Katie Barnes. “I was just happy to be here, trying to race and compete as best as I
could.” The ESPN correspondent asked the Austin, Texas native about competing “under the “I try to ignore it as much as I can. I try to focus on my swimming, what I need to do to get ready for my races and just try to block out everything else,” Thomas said. She added: ”It means the world to be here, being with two of my best friends and teammates and to be able to compete.” The interview ended, and some in the stands booed again. Among the parents and sup12 • MARCH 25, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
“It’s not right. It’s not fair,” Beth Stelzer, the group’s founder, told me amid a crowd of about 20 anti-trans protesters, waving signs and leading chants with a bullhorn outside the McAuley Aquatics Center on the campus of Georgia Tech. “We are here to give these girls, parents, coaches, that are too afraid to speak up a voice, because women matter. We won’t say no. Save women’s sports!” swim. I asked Stelzer, who is an amateur powerlifter, about the fact that Thomas is competing fair and square, according to the NCAA. “I think it’s cowardly,” said Stelzer. “I think that it has been driven by money and feelings, strations, there were no altercations, no arrests, no injuries, and, he told me, he saw “no Earlier in the day, Thomas led throughout her preliminary heat and extended her lead
tightly packed for several laps, with Thomas trailing Olympic silver medalist Emma Weyant
There was some applause and cheers from spectators, but the largest outpouring came as Weyant touched the wall, a repeat of what happened in the prelims when the crowd resumed cheering for the other swimmers. During the award ceremony that followed the crowd booed Thomas, while her competitors and some spectators politely clapped for her. DAWN ENNIS
Russian airstrike kills Ukrainian LGBTQ activist A Russian airstrike earlier this month killed a Ukrainian LGBTQ activist. Maksym Eristavi, who is a Kyiv Pride board member, on Thursday in a tweet said Elvira Schemur was killed “by Russian bombing” in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city that is less than 30 miles from the Russian border in the eastern part of the country. Eristavi, who is now in Prague, on Friday told the Washington Blade that Schemur was “volunteering inside” the regional administration building in Kharkiv on March 1 when a Russian missile struck it. Eristavi noted Schemur was a 21-year-old law student and a “kickass volunteer” for Kyiv Pride and Kharkiv Pride. Kharkiv Pride on Friday also mourned Schemur. “Elya was an activist and a patriot,” tweeted Kharkiv Pride. “She participated in all possible actions and democratic events of Kharkiv.” Russia has continued to lay siege to Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities since it invaded the country on Feb. 24. Magomed Tushayev, a Chechen warlord who played a role in the anti-LGBTQ crackdown in his homeland, died on Feb. 26 during a skirmish with the Ukrainian military’s elite Alpha Group outside of Kyiv. A White
roundtables” with Ukrainian activists and organizations “to make sure that directly from people on the frontlines.” Stern also noted she has also spoken with LGBTQ rights organizations in Poland, Hungary and other countries that “would be receiving LGBTQI Ukrainian refugees” and regional and international groups “that are closely monitoring and supporting been establishing contact with people who are advocating for and servicsupport them,” said Stern. “One of the things that’s been really important has been to identify the sort of patterns of human rights abuses, violations and vulnerability that they’re tracking that we need to be aware of.” Stern said the State Department has “activated” its grant mechanisms ELVIRA SCHEMUR
(Photo courtesy Maksym Eristavi/Twitter)
directly” with LGBTQ Ukrainians and other vulnerable populations. country’s border with Poland. OutRight Action International and EuroPride are among the groups that continue to raise funds for Kharkiv Pride and other organizations inside Ukraine. In related news, the special U.S. envoy for the promotion of LGBTQ rights abroad last week countries that border it. Jessica Stern told the Blade during a telephone interview that she has held “multiple
rounding countries. “One of the things we’ve been focused on has been ensuring that LGBTQI Ukrainian organizations and LGBTQI organizations in the sur-
Stern told the Blade a “top priority” is to ensure that humanitarian assistance to Ukraine “is distributed without discrimination.” the State Department to convey is that LGBTQI Ukrainian refugees are at heightened risk and that they should be supported and that anyone providing humanitarian assistance should actually be on the watch for instances of discrimination or violence they may be subjected to.” MICHAEL K. LAVERS
LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • MARCH 25, 2022 • 13
SAM SHENKMAN is enrolled as a junior in the Santa Monica-Malibu, Calif.
Transgender students need to pee too
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14 • MARCH 25, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
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is sports editor of the Los Angeles Blade.
TERFs challenge reporter’s gender at NCAA Women’s Championship (Editor’s note: The following piece illustrates the ugly reality faced by trans people virtually every day —attacks on their humanity and very existence. Los Angeles Blade Sports Editor Dawn Ennis was on assignment for this publication in partnership with Forbes to cover the NCAA Division One Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships in Atlanta. As part of her assignment she conducted interviews with athletes and at one point was ganged up on by Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists, (TERFs).)
16 • MARCH 25, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
‘Flatch’ delivers a ‘welcome’ dose of comfort comedy By JOHN PAUL KING Television, a medium less than a century old, has evolved so much since it became a
HOLMES and SAM STRALEY star in ‘Welcome to Flatch.’
18 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • MARCH 25, 2022
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Few books are timelier than ‘Woman’ A rite of passage for generations of LGBTQ folk By KATHI WOLFE
Until, I read “Woman: The American History of an Idea,” the fascinating new book by Lillian Faderman, the groundbreaking LGBTQ feminist scholar, I didn’t know that women who were hoboes felt more free during the Depression. “For thousands of women, the Depression was oddly liberating,” Faderman, professor emerita at California State University, Fresno, writes. “They were poor and footloose, and they found a fresh way to snub conventions about how a woman ought to live.” That’s just one of the many things that I learned from “Woman.” I had no clue that housewives and mothers — June Cleaver, Harriet Nelson and Donna Reed — weren’t the only images of women on 1950s TV. Who knew few surprising counterimages?” In the 1950s, women’s roller derby matches were on TV. “Reportedly 70 percent of the viewers were female,” she writes, “attracted perhaps by the bracingly bold image of woman as polar opposite to what she was supposed to be.” “Woman” makes it clear that America has been freaked out by women having sex outside of procreation in a hetero marriage since the Puritans arrived here in the 1600s. “It’s “sex o’clock in America,” declared William Marion Reedy, a newspaper editor, in 1913. He worried that sex was everywhere – from theaters to the movies. “He opined that the purity of woman was being maligned,” Faderman writes. “Woman” is a comprehensive history of the concept of woman in this country from the days of the era. Few books are timelier than “Woman.” In this age of Amy Coney Barrett,” when the future of Roe v. Wade is shaky, there is much to be learned from “Woman.” “Woman” doesn’t tell us how we can overcome the backlash against feminism and civil rights movements (from Black civil rights to LGBTQ rights). No book, no matter how comprehensive could do that. But “Woman“ gives us knowledge and perspective. The belief that a woman’s role is to marry and
who had borne him no children, stray from “the place where God had set her.” He’d allowed her to “give her herself wholly to reading and writing,” Winthrop wrote. There have been advances in and backlashes against feminism as the idea of woman has changed throughout American history. Take World War II. During the War, Rosie the Riveter encouraged women to work. When the war ended, women were exhorted to change from their work clothes into aprons and return to their kitchens at home ASAP. Too often, indigenous women, women of color, working class and immigrant women have been (and still are) excluded by white feminists from feminism and women’s history. Thankfully, “Woman” goes a long way toward breaking this pattern of exclusion. on enslaved women by plantation owners, Asian-American feminist leaders, the racism of ple forced indigenous women to relinquish their culture. Faderman, 81, who is white, writes movingly about her experience as a Hollenbeck Junior High School student in East Los Angeles. She was, Faderman writes, the daughter of an immigrant, “an unwed Jewish woman from Eastern Europe who made a living sewing dresses in a downtown LA garment factory.” She felt a connection with her Mexican-American classmates, many of them, like herself, daughters of immigrants. In response to the “engaged in petty out-lawry,” Faderman writes. “I too was a juvenile delinquent of sorts,” Faderman, who is a lesbian, writes, “because I had already discovered my outlaw sexuality and
fake ID that said I was an adult.” I have two quibbles with “Woman.” Throughout American history, disabled women have lived with sexism and ableism. I wish “Woman” had included disabled women in its mosaic of women’s history. ‘Woman: The American History of an Idea’ I would have liked to have seen in “Woman” more about what’s happening now with gender By Lillian Faderman and its impact on America’s idea of women. But lawyer who led the campaign against the Equal c.2022, Yale University Press perhaps, Generation Z and its historians will be Rights Amendment. $32.50 | 571 pages best able to speak to this. In the 1600s, the Europeans who came to AmerFaderman’s books from “Surpassing the Love ica believed that women’s place was in the home. of Men” to “Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death” are touchstones for the LGBTQ community. In 1645, Faderman reports, Massachusetts Bay colony governor John Winthrop lamented “Woman,” too, will be a rite of passage for generations of LGBTQ folk. in his journal that Edward Hopkins, governor of the Connecticut colony, had let his wife
20 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • MARCH 25, 2022
‘Unfortunately True Stories’ will tug at your soul New book explores awkward memories of adolescence By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER
Some things are better forgotten.
ferred the company of the host’s mother because she could be counted on for good gos
in a way that seems like a gentle hand on your
those memories are full of barbs.
forgotten. This book isn’t one of them.
‘How Do I Un-Remember This? Unfortunately True Stories’ By Danny Pellegrino | $25.99 | 272 pages
LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • MARCH 25, 2022 • 21
Chi-chi crossover SUVs
Say goodbye to barebones econoboxes By JOE PHILLIPS
$37,000 Mpg: 22 city/29 highway 0 to 60 mph: 6.1 seconds Back in the day, Oldsmobile tried to rebrand itself with corny commercials featuring celebrity icons. Trouble was, not even William Shatner, Ringo Starr or even the automaker’s catchy tagline—“Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile”—could overcome the lackluster vehicle lineup. But not so with Lincoln. Hunky Matthew McConaughey has boosted sales of the luxury brand for eight years now. His quirky rhapsodizing of all things Lincoln is bolstered by increasingly stylish and innovative people pleasers. This includes the Corsair, a compact SUV introduced just two years ago. As if tempting fate, this is the same name as the full-sized sedan and coupe produced back in 1958 by Ford’s ill-fated Edsel division. But today, with chiseled features and space-age gizmos, this new Corsair is likely to be around for generations. Lincoln SUVs tend to emulate Lexus in styling and creature comforts. The Corsair looks sportier—think Audi Q5 or BMW X3— though without the grippy handling and tight cornering. But that’s OK, because the result is a smooth and pampered ride—a big plus on long-distance trips. Three trim levels, including a top-of-the line Grand Touring plug-in hybrid. I test drove the mid-level Reserve, with all-wheel drive and oodles of standard features: panoramic sunroof, hands-free liftgate, LED fog lamps, auto-fold side mirrors, 14-speaker Revel stereo
MERCEDES AMG GLB35
$51,000 Mpg: 21city/26 highway 0 to 60 mph: 4.9 seconds
To avoid feeling dazed and confused with so many drivers emerging from the pandemic, there’s also a head-up display and a Co-Pilot360 Plus package with surround-view camera and automated parking. Impressive crash-test scores are a bonus, as is the long powertrain warranty (six years or 70,000 miles). As for value, the Corsair is built on the same platform as the popular Ford Edge, which is priced just slightly less. Yet this Lincoln exudes
Like Jon Hamm, the voice of Mercedes for over a decade, the renowned German automaker is well endowed with notable attributes. But while the actor’s calming voice is in compact crossover. This sporty rabble-rouser—with plucky styling, screaming exhaust gumption of Megan Rapinoe.
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What’s more, the crisp steering, lithe handling and taut braking tugged at my boy-racer heartstrings each time I slipped behind the wheel. A tall cabin allows for plenty of headroom, and there’s a decent amount of cargo space for such a small vehicle. But while a third seat can be ordered, I’m not sure anyone would want to perform the contortions necessary to sit there. Along with the sassy attitude, the GLB35 is still plenty classy. LED headlights and taillights come standard, as do rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control and ambient lighting that can be customized with choice of 64 colors. There are two large, 10.25-inch digital displays: one for the instrument cluster and the other a touchscreen for the infotainment system. And some $10,000 in options include panoramic sunroof, 12-speaker Burmester stereo, logo puddle lamps, real-wood trim and other goodies. Overall, the GLB35 is a rebel with a cause: part tuner car, part pocket rocket and, above all, nonstop excitement.
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