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NATIONAL Guv tests positive, lawsuits
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 855 times since Mon Nov 30, 2020
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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis tweeted that he and First Gentleman Marlon Reis have tested positive for COVID-19, The Denver Post reported. Polis said he will work remotely and "continue to fulfill his duties and responsibilities." Polis began quarantining Nov. 25 after learning he was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Said Polis, "No person or family is immune to the virus. I urge every Coloradan to practice caution, limit public interactions, wear a mask in public, stay 6 feet from others, and wash your hands regularly."

The married lesbian couples who successfully challenged Indiana's prohibition on listing both women as parents on their children's birth certificates have filed their brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, telling the justices not to bother with this long-running dispute, according to The Indiana Lawyer. "This case does not present an important question of federal law for the Court to resolve, but instead merely asks this Court to review the [7th Circuit Court of Appeals'] construction of Indiana Law," the women said in their response brief. The case, Box v. Henderson, was filed in February 2015; the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana granted summary judgment for the same-sex married women couples in June 2016. The 7th Circuit finally affirmed the district court's ruling in Henderson in January 2020.

A transgender woman is suing the Georgia Department of Corrections for failing to protect her from sexual assault or provide adequate health care, Gay Star News reported. Ashley Diamond's lawsuit claims she has faced sexual assault more than 14 times in the past year, by other prisoners and even staff. It's the second time Diamond has sued the agency, as she previously took action in 2015 while an inmate at the Georgia State Prison after officials didn't allow her hormone therapy. The following year, after her release, she won an historic settlement.

A petition went viral, with almost 15,000 signers calling for a bisexual flag emoji, a press release noted. Petition starter Tanner Marino started the petition after his formal Unicode proposal for a bi flag emoji was denied. According to LGBTQ Nation, earlier this year, community advocate Tanner Marino sent the Unicode Consortium a request for a bisexual flag emoji, saying that it would be "general enough to express both community affiliation and sexual orientation." Approximately a month later, Marino wrote in a blog post that the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee told him that it rejected his proposal. See

North Carolina's law HB 142—a compromise bill to 2016's controversial, and now repealed, anti-trans House Bill 2—will end Dec. 1, reported. HB 2 prevented cities and towns from adopting widespread non-discrimination protections and forced trans people to use bathrooms and locker rooms according to their gender assigned at birth. With the end of HB 142, cities and towns will now be able to adopt measures to protect the LGBTQ+ community.

Asia Jynae Foster was found shot to death in Houston—and is believed to have been murdered on the Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov. 20), LGBTQ Nation reported. Foster was associated with Montrose Grace Place (MGP), a shelter for LGBTQ homeless youth; last year, Tracy Single, another youth associated with MGP, was murdered. The Human Rights Campaign said that Foster is the 38th known transgender woman to have been murdered this year alone, making 2020 the deadliest year on record for transgender and non-binary people.

The incoming Biden-Harris administration tapped veteran aide Carlos Elizondo to be the new White House social secretary—the administration's first LGBTQ+ appointee, noted. Elizondo previously served for both terms of the Obama-Biden administration as special assistant to the president as well as social secretary to the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden. Elizondo hails from Texas originally and is a graduate of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. He and his partner live in Washington, D.C.

The Washington Blade reported that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows blocked efforts to recognize June as LGBT Pride month, according to On Top Magazine. According to the Blade, First Lady Melania Trump wanted to light up the White House in rainbow colors in celebration of Pride. "Meadows had a significant role, one Republican source said on condition of anonymity, in ensuring the Trump White House ignored Pride Month, which is why President Trump didn't send out a tweet to recognize the annual LGBTQ celebration as he did in 2019," the outlet reported.

The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) criticized the recent decision in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which voided local laws designed to protect minors from the dangerous and fraudulent practice of conversion therapy, a press release noted. "We know from well-documented research and clinical experience that "reparative therapy" may cause significant psychological trauma and contribute to increased risk of depression, anxiety, PTSD, drug and alcohol misuse or abuse, as well as suicidal thoughts and behavior," said William Glover, president of the APsaA. Efforts to ban conversion therapy are supported by nearly all medical and mental health associations. The Human Rights Campaign provides a list of positions and statements from partner organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The Human Rights Campaign urged Joe Biden to remove the accreditation of Christian schools as part of his administration's agenda if he secures the presidency, Christianity Daily noted. The LGBT group urged Biden to refrain from accrediting schools if they do not provide policies that will prevent sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, an issue commonly faced by people who belong to the LGBT community.

The National LGBTQ Task Force announced the hiring of Liz Seaton as policy director, part of the Advocacy and Action department, a press release noted. Seaton is a genderqueer attorney-activist who will work with the larger Task Force team to fight for equality and justice. Most recently, Seaton served as the D.C. Department on Disability Services' legislative and policy analyst, driving the agency's work to win a long-awaited civil rights restoration law for diverse Washingtonians with disabilities.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has deemed racism a public-health threat, USA Today reported. The new policy recognizes racism as a social determinant of health and highlights the health disparities and lack of access to health care that have significantly hindered good health in Black and other historically marginalized communities in the U.S. The AMA's House of Delegates—which includes 600-plus members from every medical specialty—released a statement that describes three tiers of racism detailed in the policy: systemic, cultural and interpersonal.

The Alabama Public Charter School Commission approved Magic City Acceptance Academy's (MCAA's) charter application, after denying the application three times in recent months, reported. MCAA initially stood out because of its plan to focus on creating a safe space for LGBTQ youth to be educated—but has recently placed emphasis on its plan to use trauma-informed instruction to help students who are facing challenges beyond the classroom. The school plans to open in fall 2021 with 250 to 300 students in grades six through 12 in Homewood, a suburb south of Birmingham.

Muslim students at Duke University organized a series of events to promote acceptance of homosexuality and other LGBTQ-related issues and to create a community for gay Muslims, The College Fix noted. The event series, called "Queeristan," aims to connect LGBTQ Muslims to one another at the private North Carolina university. It is a collaboration of the school's Center for Muslim Life and the student publication Juhood Magazine.

Nobel- and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison and legendary singer Aretha Franklin will be among six women inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, on Dec. 10, the Cornell Chronicle noted. Morrison, who died Aug. 5, 2019, at age 88, earned a bachelor of science degree in English in 1953 at Howard University and a master's degree in American literature in 1955 at Cornell; Franklin passed away in 2018. Other inductees will include Mary Church Terrell, suffragist; Barbara Hillary, adventurer; Barbara Rose Johns, activist and librarian; and Henrietta Lacks, who revolutionized medical research.

The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia held its annual Celebrate Hope luncheon to honor two local civic leaders of color—Romulo "Romy" Diaz, a member of the LGBTQ+ community; and Aldustus "A.J." Jordan, the Philadelphia Gay News reported. Diaz received the Others Award, the Salvation Army's highest national civic award, and Jordan received the Doing the Most Good Award. The Salvation Army has a history of homophobic behavior connected to the organization, such as withholding services to same-sex couples and opposing gay rights.

Louis D. Lanni Jr.—an ex-police officer and a former candidate for Philadelphia City Council—and husband Michael Connor recently filed suit against Philadelphia LGBT spot Tavern on Camac, alleging negligence and loss of consortium after Lanni allegedly was assaulted by a patron of the bar in 2018, the Philadelphia Gay News reported. Loss of consortium is defined as "deprivation of the benefits of a family relationship (including affection and sexual relations) due to injuries caused by a tortfeasor." John D. Lemonick, an attorney for Tavern on Camac, said the establishment wasn't responsible for any wrongdoing.

A New Jersey woman who once said she was "disgusted" by an LGBT curriculum accidentally broadcast her bathroom break on Zoom during a public meeting, The New York Post noted. Frances Cogelja resigned as a trustee of the Hackensack Board of Education over the video when she brought her laptop into the bathroom to relieve herself, according to the Daily Voice. Her trip to the toilet was witnessed by nearly 140 attendees of the virtual meeting, including students.

Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz said he thinks Donald Trump should pardon himself and Tiger King star Joe Exotic before he leaves office in January, Yahoo! News UK noted. Speaking on Fox News, Gaetz suggested the president should self-pardon to combat "radical left bloodlust." Gaetz's comments came after Trump pardoned his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, who formerly pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Colby Miller, 29, is attempting to establish an LGBT center in Suffolk, Virginia, reported. The center would serve primarily Western Tidewater, helping fill a gap that exists there for LGBT-related services and entertainment, he said. Miller said people in the western, more rural parts of the region sometimes have to drive more than an hour if they want to go to, for example, the LGBT Life Center in Norfolk.

A new LGBT-focused bar—BTW, standing for "Born This Way"—has opened in Oceanside, New York, according to Newsday. It still opened as planned on Nov. 12, but late-night reservations were nixed, for now, because of coronavirus-related restrictions. While local LGBT social clubs and events have persisted over the years, the number of gay nightspots—principal venues for people to meet each other—has plummeted in recent decades, except for Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines on Fire Island.

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