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  WINDY CITY TIMES

NATIONAL Convicted killer, school groups, Gloria Casarez, 'Gay Days'
by Andrew Davis
2022-09-04

This article shared 555 times since Sun Sep 4, 2022
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A Philadelphia jury convicted Abdullah El-Amin of third-degree murder for taking the life of trans woman Mia Green, per The Philadelphia Gay News. He faces a lengthy prison term when sentenced in November. Green, 27, was shot to death by El-Amin on the morning of Sept. 28, 2020, after a sexual encounter in West Philadelphia. During a weeklong trial, El-Amin's attorney, Shaka M. Johnson, didn't invoke a trans-panic defense; however, Johnson called Green a "twenty-five-dollar working girl," for example.

A federal-appeals court ruled that a Christian group that discriminates against LGBTQ+ people must be reinstated as an official student organization at a high school in San Jose, California, while a lawsuit against it proceeds, The Advocate noted. The San Jose Unified School District had withdrawn recognition of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes after a controversy over the club at Pioneer High School, the Los Angeles Times reported. The group and its parent organization then sued, claiming this amounted to discrimination on the basis of religion.

Yeshiva University (YU) filed an emergency application with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, asking her to stay New York Supreme Court Justice Lynn R. Kotler's June 24 injunction that requires YU to formally recognize YU Pride Alliance "immediately" to comply with New York City's Human Rights Law, Gay City News reported. (A reply had been requested by Sept. 2.) YU's law and medical schools both formally recognize LGBTQ+ student groups, but the university has refused repeated requests since 2009 to recognize such an organization for undergraduate students.

In New Jersey, three years after a city Board of Education member's criticism of an LGBTQ+ curriculum sparked calls for her resignation, a gay-straight alliance club that formed in the wake of the controversy is thriving at Hackensack Middle School, NorthJersey.com noted. The club, for LGBTQ youth and their allies, is now among the school's largest, with more than 100 members. This school year, a $10,000 grant from the It Gets Better Project—one of 50 the nonprofit awards to a school in each state—will support the club's work to encourage inclusivity. And in June, the club will host a Pride celebration that will include a visit from Jason Collins, the first openly gay NBA player.

In an effort to distance itself from a racist historical figure, Philip H. Sheridan Elementary School in Kensington opened this school year with its new name: Gloria Casarez Elementary, per The Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Although an official naming ceremony for Gloria Casarez Elementary School will take place in spring 2023, school officials hosted a flag-raising ceremony on Aug. 29 to honor the school's new name. Casarez started the tradition of raising the Pride flag when she headed the Office of LGBT Affairs. Casarez, who died in 2014, left indelible imprints on the LGBTQ+ and Black and Brown communities in Philadelphia.

The 2022 Gay Days at Disneyland are set to take place Friday-Sunday, Sept. 16-18, according to a press release. The event is expected to attract thousands of LGBTQ+ people from California and all over the country. Both days in the parks will feature gatherings only available over Gay Days weekend, including a scavenger hunt, a group photo, a lesbian ice cream social, group meet-ups at varying attractions, and many more events targeted to families, teens, bears, couples and Mouseketeers of every ilk. A complete schedule is available at the Gay Days website www.GayDaysAnaheim.com .

The independent U.N. expert on LGBTQ and intersex issues expressed concern over efforts to curtail the rights of LGBTQ and intersex people in states across the United States, per The Washington Blade. "I am deeply alarmed by a widespread, profoundly negative riptide created by deliberate actions to roll back the human rights of LGBT people at [the] state level," said Victor Madrigal-Borloz. Last month, Madrigal-Borloz traveled to D.C., Alabama, Florida and California; Florida state Sen. Shevrin Jones and staffers of the Birmingham (Ala.) Civil Rights Institute and the Human Rights Campaign are among those with whom Madrigal-Borloz met.

In the final days of the California Legislature's 2022 session, state lawmakers sent 10 key pro-equality bills to Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk for his signature—one of the largest legislative packages to date, per an Equality California press release. The release also stated, "The legislation, all sponsored by the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, Equality California, would help advance transgender equality and health, protect diverse LGBTQ+ families, safeguard reproductive freedom and ensure public documents reflect the identities of transgender and non-binary Californians." "While far-right politicians in Texas and Florida were attacking trans kids and criminalizing abortion, California's pro-equality Legislature has been hard at work advancing full, lived LGBTQ+ equality and protecting reproductive freedom," said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang.

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-California) revealed that he was the target of a death threat—and the perpetrator claimed to be a gay conservative, per LGBTQ Nation. The man "also made a statement saying he will come to the office, or to wherever he is to hurt him. He will bring guns (AR-15s) to kill him and f*ck him up" according to the memo Swalwell shared online. The report added that the man willingly gave his name and the staffer was able to record him and get his phone number. In June, Swalwell tweeted that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) has incited violence against his family after he received a racist and homophobic death threat which mentioned a conspiracy theory she repeated about him.

A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in D.C. by federal prosecutors accuses the gay former mayor of Hyattsville, Maryland—who died by suicide in January—of embezzling $2.2 million from a D.C. charter school network he worked for from 2017 to July 2021, The Washington Blade reported. A 24-page complaint in support of the lawsuit filed by prosecutors with the U.S. Department of Justice charges Kevin Ward—who was senior director of technology for KIPP DC, one of the city's largest charter school networks—with using the embezzled funds to purchase property in West Virginia, at least 10 cars, and art and sports memorabilia. Ward, 44, became acting mayor of Hyattsville on Jan. 1, 2021, following the resignation of former Mayor Candice Hollingsworth.

An Indianapolis man was sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in prison in connection to a murder and armed robberies in which he targeted members of the LGBTQ+ community in Michigan, FOX 59 reported. Diabolique Paris Johnson, 35, pled guilty in June to murdering a 39-year-old Detroit man during an armed robbery on Sept. 5, 2020, in Detroit. (He is alleged to have committed another armed robbery on Sept. 1, 2020, at a hotel in Dearborn, Michigan.) Johnson was sentenced to 25 to 45 years for second-degree murder and two years to be served consecutively for felony firearm.

A Detroit man has been charged with the fatal shooting of transgender woman Dede Ricks, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office—the second alleged murder of a transgender woman in less than a month, The Detroit News reported. Deontae Close, 31, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Ricks. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy called the murders "beyond concerning."

Conservative Twitter users reacted negatively to viral videos and photos showing a young child on a stripper pole at a recent gay pride event in North Carolina, Yahoo! News noted. "A pride event in Charlotte, NC featured a stripper pole where kids were able to try out pole dancing," the conservative news account LibsofTikTok posted. The footage appeared to have been taken at the Charlotte Pride Festival & Parade that took place Aug. 20-21. "Straight to jail," Matt Rinaldi, chair of the Republican Party of Texas, tweeted.

The Texas school district that ordered a version of Anne Frank's diary to be removed from its shelves said it has added the book back into its schools after igniting a media firestorm, The Times of Israel noted. Outside groups had prepared to send hundreds of copies of the famed Holocaust text to the district. Keller Independent School District outside Fort Worth had returned Anne Frank's Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, along with the Bible and a children's graphic novel, the district told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

A former middle school math teacher has won a settlement with the district after a dispute over the Christian teacher's treatment of LGBTQ+ students at a Kansas school, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported. Pamela Ricard won $95,000 in damages and legal fees in the settlement with Geary County USD 475. The settlement comes after Ricard won a preliminary injunction in May, indicating she was likely to prevail on her First Amendment claim had the litigation progressed. District Judge Holly Teeter's order blocked the school from disciplining Ricard if she revealed the preferred names and pronouns of her transgender students when communicating with their parents.

Alabama schools returned this month with new policies in place regarding LGBTQ students and the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms, per AL.com . In one Alabama school district, an art teacher said she was told to take down several Pride flags. Students also are reportedly receiving fewer accommodations and support than in previous years. Also, a new law requires students to use a bathroom that aligns with the sex on their birth certificates rather than a current or fluid gender identity.

A Virginia court threw out a lawsuit that tried to make it illegal to sell or lend two popular LGBTQ+-themed books to minors in the state, Vice noted. The lawsuit— brought against book chain Barnes & Noble by state delegate Tim Arnold on behalf of Republican Congressional candidate Tommy Altman—tried to use the state's ancient "obscenity" laws to have the books restricted or removed from stores and library shelves. The books in question are two of the most banned books in the U.S.: Gender Queer: A Memoir, by Maia Kobabe; and A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas.

South Carolina women's basketball canceled its two-game series with Brigham Young University after a BYU fan directed racial slurs at a Black Duke volleyball player during a game, USA Today noted. "As a head coach, my job is to do what's best for my players and staff," said coach Dawn Staley in a release from the South Carolina athletic department. BYU fans reportedly directed slurs at Rachel Richardson, the only Black starter for the Blue Devils, every time she served. BYU issued a statement apologizing to Duke volleyball and said a fan, who was not a student, was banned from attending all future athletic events.

A tenured African American law professor sued University of Michigan Law School and Dean Mark D. West over alleged race and gender discrimination, per law.com . Laura Beny, who joined the faculty in 2003, stated in her complaint that she has been subjected to disparate treatment, retaliation, sexual harassment, unlawful speech restrictions and unfair discipline over her nearly two decades at the university. The lawsuit was filed in Michigan Eastern District Court by Edwards & Jennings.


This article shared 555 times since Sun Sep 4, 2022
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