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NATIONAL DC attack, NC law, conversion therapy, trans woman shot
by Windy City Times staff
2021-08-15

This article shared 910 times since Sun Aug 15, 2021
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A gay Asian man and his parents were beaten in Washington D.C. near Vice President Kamala Harris' home by a man shouting slurs, LGBTQ Nation reported. Patrick Joseph Miller Trebat was arrested at the scene on charges of felony assault, simple assault, destruction of property. Trebat started following Sean Lai and his parents as they walked in DC's Observatory Circle neighborhood, near the Vice President's official residence and the National Cathedral. He yelled slurs before attacking. All members of the family were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

In North Carolina, the Charlotte City Council passed a new ordinance protecting LGBTQ+ residents, WRAL.com reported. The city council's first attempt to pass this ordinance triggered the North Carolina House of Representatives to pass H.B. 2, otherwise known as the infamous "bathroom bill." In a media statement, Equality NC Executive Director Kendra R. Johnson said, "The passage of these protections, which include provisions for natural hair, sexual orientation, and gender identity, indicate strong progress for racial and social justice. Small towns, mid-sized cities, counties, and now the largest city in North Carolina have all taken steps to protect LGBTQ people and illustrate that NC is ready for these protections statewide."

The City Council of West Virginia's capital city, Charleston, became the first municipality in the state to enact an ordinance banning the widely discredited practice of conversion therapy, The Washington Blade noted. In a 14-to-nine vote, the council passed the ordinance to protect LGBTQ youth. Conversion therapy is widely opposed by prominent professional medical associations, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Twenty states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 94 municipalities (mostly located in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota), have banned conversion therapy on minor clients.

A Black transgender woman known as Miss CoCo, 44, was shot to death at a homeless encampment in downtown Dallas—becoming at least the 34th trans, non-binary or gender-nonconforming person to die by violence in the country this year, The Advocate reported. Miss CoCo was often seen in encampment areas with others who were experiencing homelessness, the organization Nu Trans Movement noted in a Facebook post. The post described her as "a well-known small girl with a big, bubbly personality" who "was a happy person & proud to be living her truth."

San Diego police arrested a 20-year-old man on suspicion of a hate-crime assault on a group of LGBTQIA+ people earlier this week in Mission Beach, The San Diego Union-Tribune noted. Jose Carlos Irra was arrested Thursday on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon (not a gun), causing great bodily injury, San Diego police Capt. Scott Wahl said. Irra was also arrested on suspicion of committing a hate crime and brandishing a firearm.

Video of a heated exchange between a transgender councilwoman and the owner of a local store in Aberdeen, Washington has gone viral, KMOV.com reported. Don Sucher, the owner of Sucher and Sons Star Wars shop, has a sign in his store that reads "If you were born with a [expletive] you are not a chick." Cellphone video showed City Councilwoman Tiesa Meskis confronting Sucher about the sign. According to Meskis, Sucher said trans women are men, and that she is an embarrassment to City Hall.

More than 250 of the nation's leading Catholic theologians, church leaders, scholars and writers have joined New Ways Ministry in voicing support for nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, the organization noted in a press release. In a theological statement entitled, "A Home for All: A Catholic Call for LGBTQ Non-Discrimination," the signatories affirm that Catholic doctrine "presents a positive case for ending discrimination against LGBTQ people," despite opposition voiced by some outspoken high-ranking church leaders. The full letter is at https://www.newwaysministry.org/homeforall/.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam appointed 21 people to the Virginia LGBTQ+ Advisory Board, according to The Washington Blade. A few of the individuals include Virginia Beach City Councilman Michael Berlucchi, Black Transmen Virginia Program Director Charley Burton, Minority Veterans of America Chapter Leader Stephanie Merlo, Casa BruMar Foundation Executive Director Evelyn I. Brumar and Virginia Commonwealth University doctoral student Kyle Mason.

Almost all of Denver's LGBTQ bars are beginning to, or will soon, require proof of vaccination status or a negative test result to enter because of concerns over the COVID Delta variant, The Denver Channel reported. Triangle Denver, X BAR, Tracks, Trade and Denver Sweet are joining a growing list of businesses in the metro (and around the country, including Chicago's Northalsted bars) to implement these policies. Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock recently said at an Aug. 2 press conference that masking and social distancing are important tools to prevent another shutdown or the implementation of pandemic restrictions, but getting people vaccinated is most effective.

Philadelphia's Robert A. Schoenberg, 76—a longtime activist for LGBTQ rights and the founding director of the LGBT Center at the University of Pennsylvania—died Aug. 2 of cancer at KeystoneCare Home Health and Hospice, in Wyndmoor, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. During his tenure, more than 200 similar outreach centers opened on college campuses across the country, said his successor, Erin Cross. By 2002, Schoenberg had raised $2.5 million so Penn's LGBT Center could move to a larger space in the historic Carriage House.

In Virginia, Colonial Williamsburg's Gender and Sexuality Diversity Committee researcher Ren Tolson said he and others are piecing together a more complete history of LGBTQ people in colonial times, The Roanoke Times reported. "It's not that the information isn't there; it's that it hasn't been properly researched and a lot of other groups are overrepresented in the historic record," Tolson said. "We just assumed that people had similar ideas as current day and moved on—but that's not entirely the case."

Also in Virginia, rainbow flags were stolen by vandals at a university and replaced with Confederate flags in an act of hate that left students feeling "hurt, saddened, and scared," according to LGBTQ Nation. Calling it an "active display of hate" and "unacceptable and malicious," the Wesley Center at Virginia Tech called out the unknown vandals who stole their rainbow flag for the third time in two weeks. The Wesley Center is a religious center on campus, and has flown the Pride flag for years.

Rachel Maddow is considering the possibility of exiting MSNBC when her contract ends next year, albeit negotiations on her future are continuing between her representatives and the network, according to Deadline. A source confirmed a report in The Daily Beast, which first reported on the possibility that Maddow might exit the network, with the top reason being the ongoing demands of a five-night-a-week show. Maddow is MSNBC's No. 1 personality, and her show has been in the top five of all programs on the news networks.

The Aequalitas Content Creators Conference will take place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Aug. 22-24, per a press release. Some of the scheduled speakers at the event for LGBTQ+ content creators include Grindr CEO Jeff Bonforte, OUTvoices Director of Content Merryn Johns, Revry CEO Damian Pelliccione, Rebel Mouse CEO Andrea Breanna and Aequalitas Media CEO DJ Doran. Register at checkout.eventcreate.com/acca2021/select-buy.

Onetime Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is eyeing a return to politics, according to Queerty. Brown announced he was leaving his post as president and dean of New England Law School as well as quitting his rock band after tweeting it was "time to get back in the political arena and help [rebuild] our party." Brown caused controversy by once stating he didn't identify the victims of the Pulse Orlando shooting as members of any "particular class of people."

A member of a local school board in Maine posted homophobic statements on his Facebook page—leading to calls for his resignation, Instinct Magazine noted. More than 150 residents of Stonington and Deer Isle signed a letter demanding CSD 13 School Board member William Shepard to resign following his Facebook posts opposing Pride Month and calling same-sex marriage a "rape of the natural world." "For those who took offense, I humbly apologize," Shepard told attendees at a school board meeting; however, he added, "I will not ever apologize for my Biblical convictions."

The Los Angeles City Council voted 13-0 to have the city attorney prepare an ordinance requiring people to show proof of at least partial vaccination against COVID-19 to enter most public indoor spaces in the city, including restaurants, bars, gyms, concert venues, movie theaters and even "retail establishments," Deadline reported. Council President Nury Martinez—currently in line take over as mayor once Eric Garcetti leaves—and Councilman Mitch O'Farrell introduced the motion. The ordinance would be similar to a policy recently announced in New York City, but would be more restrictive with the inclusion of retail establishments.

The co-founder of myth-debunking website Snopes has been exposed as a plagiarist, according to a Page Six item that cites a BuzzFeed News investigation. David Mikkelson, who launched Snopes in 1995 with a mission to be "the internet's definitive fact-checking site," was suspended by his company. BuzzFeed wrote that Mikkelson's Snopes posts contained phrasing—including whole paragraphs—lifted from outlets such as the New York Times, CNN, the Guardian, the LA Times and the BBC between 2015 and 2019, often under the byline "Snopes staff" or while using the pseudonym Jeff Zarronandia. In response to the investigation, Mikkelson said, "There is no excuse for my serious lapses in judgement. I'm sorry."

Donald Trump Jr. attacked the U.S. military on Twitter, saying it failed to predict that the Taliban would launch a strike at Kabul, Afghanistan because generals were "too busy" learning about transgender people, LGBTQ Nation noted. "I can only assume that General [Mark] Milley was too busy reading the latest CRT literature and learning about the 97 genders along with their requisite pronouns to pay much attention to such trivial matters," he wrote. Trump Jr. was referring to the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said in June that he didn't believe the Taliban would force Americans to evacuate the U.S. embassy in Kabul, like when Saigon was taken by North Vietnam in 1975.

The notoriously anti-LGBTQ Westboro Baptist Church recently picketed outside the Foo Fighters' show in Bonner Springs, Kansas, and the band—dressed in all white as their '70s alter-egos, the Dee Gees—drove by in a flatbed truck while performing the Bee Gees' "You Should Be Dancing," Variety noted. The Foo Fighters' feud with the church goes back nearly a decade. The homophobic, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic organization first protested outside the band's shows in 2011, to which the Foo Fighters responded with a cheeky performance of the song "Keep It Clean," which features the lyric: "Think I'm in the mood for some hot-man muffins."


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