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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



NATIONAL Legislation, Alabama liaisons, homicide case, dashboard, Buttigieg
by Windy City Times staff

This article shared 996 times since Sun Feb 13, 2022
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A bipartisan group of Arizona lawmakers that includes the Republican House speaker announced it was introducing legislation that would, for the first time, protect LGBTQ people from discrimination by businesses, landlords and employers, reported. The legislation would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It also would prohibit licensed health care professionals from practicing conversion therapy, which aims to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity. However, Cathi Herrod, of the social conservative group Center for Arizona Policy, said the measure would "treat reasonable disagreement as if it were discrimination."

A Virginia House of Delegates committee killed a bill that would have eliminated the requirement that school districts must implement the state Department of Education's transgender and non-binary student guidelines, The Washington Blade reported. The House Education Committee tabled House Bill 988 that state Del. Scott Wyatt (R-Hanover County) introduced. State Del. Carrie Coyner (R-Chesterfield County) is the only Republican who voted against the measure. The Virginia Senate Education and Health Committee recently scuttled an identical bill that state Sen. Travis Hackworth (R-Tazewell County) introduced.

For the first time, the Alabama city of Mobile appointed two residents to serve as LGBTQ liaisons, according to . Natalie Fox and Michael Tyner were named by Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson to serve as the first liaisons (uncompensated) and to make sure leaders throughout Mobile have an LGBTQ+ perspective on city policies and services. Fox and Tyner will also work with advocacy groups, businesses and individuals to relay concerns from the LGBTQ Mobilians directly to the mayor's office, according to a city news release.

Police appear to have made a breakthrough in the investigation into the mysterious death of Jorge Diaz-Johnston, as the homicide investigation will go to a Leon County grand jury, The Tallahassee Democrat reported. Assistant State Attorney Jon Fuchs said he could not discuss the case because it's an "ongoing criminal investigation." He also declined to comment on whether a suspect was in custody. Diaz-Johnston—one of the plaintiffs in a 2014 marriage-equality lawsuit against the Miami-Dade county clerk's office—was reported missing on Jan. 3; he was later found dead in a Jackson County landfill, ABC News reported.

In Oregon, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt launched a bias crimes dashboard tracking hate crimes, noted. "We see that there are bias crimes happening to the LGBTQ community," said Nancy Haque of Basic Rights Oregon, a nonprofit that fights for equality for all LGBTQ Oregonians. The dashboard indicates that between July 2019 and January 2022 there were more than 115 bias crimes in the county; there were 202 victims.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has joined President Joe Biden in condemning Florida's so-called "Don't Say Gay" legislation, The Advocate noted. Buttigieg said it tells LGBTQ+ kids or those with LGBTQ+ parents there's something wrong with them, which could contribute to the already high rate of self-harm among young people from those populations. Florida House Bill 1557 and Senate Bill 1834—which both have the backing of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis—ban schools from encouraging "classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students." Buttigieg's husband, Chasten—a former teacher—has repeatedly denounced the measures.

In Michigan, conversion therapy for minors has been officially banned by the Hazel Park City Council after a unanimous vote, PrideSource reported. "This ordinance prohibiting conversion therapy embodies our ongoing commitment to the LGBTQ community, while also protecting our children from dangerous and discredited practices that have no legitimate medical basis," said Councilmember Luke Londo, who introduced the ordinance and identifies as bisexual. Hazel Park becomes the sixth city in the state to have both a human rights ordinance and a conversion-therapy ban, joining Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Ferndale, Huntington Woods and Royal Oak.

A Black transgender woman jailed at New York City's Rikers Island complex has sued over sexual assaults she said she suffered while housed with male inmates, The Advocate noted. Latee Brockington, who is being held on robbery charges, said she asked several times to be moved to a women's unit, the New York Daily News reported. She filed her suit recently in Bronx Supreme Court. The city's Law Department declined to comment on her suit, while a spokesman for the Correction Department said her assault allegations are being investigated. Evan Nass, her lawyer, said the Correction Department should adopt new policies for trans inmates.

A Missouri man who sought to ban several LGBTQ books from schools for depicting sexual content is now facing a felony charge of second-degree child molestation, NBC News noted. Ryan Utterback, a 29-year-old parent from a suburb of Kansas City, also faces a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree domestic assault and, in a separate case, a misdemeanor of furnishing or attempting to furnish pornographic material to a minor. Utterback is next due in court March 10.

The only on-campus queer student organization at the Catholic University of America, CUAllies, is still not officially recognized, The Washington Blade reported. Despite operating "underground," the club's roughly 10 members meet regularly to talk about issues facing LGBTQ college students, to create friendships and to connect LGBTQ students and allies with one another. Since the formation of CUAllies in 2009, the administration at Catholic University, most notably President John Garvey, has denied the club official recognition multiple times.

The U.S. Education Department dismissed a complaint against Brigham Young University (BYU) after an investigation into the private religious school's treatment of LGBTQ students, NBC News reported. The complaint stemmed from the university's ban on same-sex romantic relationships. The department's Office of Civil Rights sent a letter to BYU's president saying that while the Utah institution is subject to Title IX—a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination at schools that receive federal funding—it is also entitled to some exemptions because of its religious affiliation.

Pennsylvania state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D), who is currently running for the U.S. Senate, announced that he and longtime fiance Dr. Matthew Jordan-Miller got married, LGBTQ Nation noted. Jordan-Miller, who has updated his name on Twitter to Matthew Jordan-Miller Kenyatta, added, "New chapter with my life's co-author." The couple asked for donations to the Trevor Project and the nonprofit organization North Broad in lieu of gifts.

Equality Virginia postponed its annual Commonwealth Dinner, which was slated for March 26, per The Washington Blade. A press release that Equality Virginia issued says it will now take place over the summer. "We were hopeful that we could celebrate together sooner rather than later, but due to concerns surrounding COVID-19 and the emerging variants, Equality Virginia's board of directors has decided to postpone the in-person Commonwealth Dinner from March 26 until this summer," read the release.

Also in Virginia, voters probably won't get a chance to take the now-defunct marriage-equality ban out of the state's constitution after a GOP-led House of Delegates panel voted to block an effort to give the state a do-over with marriage equality now widely accepted by the public, noted. Unless House Republicans reverse course and support the same proposal coming over from the Senate, the amendment's defeat likely marks the end of a multi-year effort to reaffirm LGBTQ equality in Virginia.

Queer Eye co-star Karamo Brown released a T-shirt line, The Karamo Collection, as a way of sharing empowering and thought-provoking messages in honor of Black History Month, noted. One hundred percent of the profits will benefit the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund and True Colors United. See .

Tom Temprano, current vice president for City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees, will become the new political director for the LGBTQ+ civil-rights organization Equality California, CBS San Francisco noted. Temprano has been a board trustee for five years after winning election in 2016 and has served as the vice president for the last three years. In addition to his work at City College, since 2018, Temprano has worked as chief of staff for San Francisco District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, the board's only LGBTQ member.

Boston Bruins fan Caiden Shaw said he was physically assaulted by a group of three men because of his sexual orientation following his team's game against the Colorado Avalanche, per Newsweek. Shaw was standing outside of a Denver eatery next to the Avalanche's home stadium, Ball Arena, following a Jan. 26 game, when a trio of men approached and began to chat him up, Shaw told KMGH-TV. To begin with, Shaw said, the back-and-forth was limited to some friendly banter about the game itself—but the talk soon focused on Shaw's sexual orientation; he said they later punched and kicked him.

Massachusetts police are investigating after a trans student was attacked after a high school basketball game, per PinkNews. The teen—who attends North Attleboro High School in North Attleborough, Massachusetts—was allegedly assaulted after a basketball game between North Attleboro and Foxboro, WBZ 4 CBS Boston reported. It was reported that a group of Foxboro students assaulted the North Attleboro student and called her hateful slurs relating to her trans identity.

Gay Republican billionaire Peter Thiel is stepping down from the board of Meta, the parent company of Facebook, so that he can devote his time to promoting the fortunes of Trump-like candidates in this year's midterm elections, LGBTQ Nation noted. Thiel—who helped launch the career of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas—has been a backer of Facebook since 2005 and a confidante of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

In a press release, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Fairness Campaign condemned the Kentucky Senate Education Committee for advancing a bill to ban transgender youth from playing sports consistent with their gender identity. The organizations said that if SB 83 passes into law, Kentucky risks joining the ranks of West Virginia, Idaho, Tennessee and Florida, where similar legislation has faced costly lawsuits as well as injunctions. Legislators in a record 34 states introduced 147 anti-transgender bills in 2021.

Lia Thomas will swim in the upcoming Ivy League Championship after updated eligibility guidance from USA Swimming had earlier placed her participation in jeopardy, according to . A spokesperson for the Ivy League confirmed via email to Swimming World that recent rule changes regarding testosterone suppression would not prevent the record-setting swimmer from the University of Pennsylvania from competing in the Ivy League Championship. Sixteen members of the University of Pennsylvania women's swimming and diving team sent a letter to the university and the Ivy League applauding USA Swimming's new policy for transgender athletes and arguing against trans teammate Lia Thomas' participation in the Ivy League Championships, NBC News reported. The letter urges Penn and the Ivy League to support the swimmers "as biological women, and not engage in legal action with the NCAA to challenge" USA Swimming's new policy.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration has negotiated a secret deal to give Kaiser Permanente a special Medicaid contract that would allow the healthcare giant to expand its reach in California and largely continue selecting the enrollees it wants, which other health plans say leaves them with a disproportionate share of the program's sickest and costliest patients, according to MedCity News. Dr. Bechara Choucair, Kaiser Permanente's chief health officer (and onetime Chicago Department of Public Health commissioner), argued in a prepared written response on behalf of KP that because it operates both as a health insurer and a healthcare provider, KP should be treated differently than other commercial health plans that participate in Medi-Cal. Doing business directly with the state will eliminate complexity and improve the quality of care for the Medi-Cal patients it serves, he said.

The University of California system reached a $243.6-million settlement with more than two hundred people who allege they were sexually abused by former UCLA obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. James Heaps, CNN reported. The settlement was announced by some of the attorneys representing 203 women who said they were groped or otherwise abused by Dr. James Heaps over a 35-year career, per NPR. The University of California, Los Angeles began investigating Heaps in 2017 and he retired the next year after the school declined to renew his contract.

Dollywood's parent company is picking up the education tab for all of its employees, beginning this year, reported. Herschend Enterprises is the operating partner of Dollywood and the nation's largest privately-owned themed attractions corporation. The company announced it will cover 100% of employees' tuition, fees and books for employees who wish to further their education. Herschend's GROW U is expected to launch Feb. 24 to provide educational opportunities for 11,000 seasonal, part-time and full-time employees across the corporation's 25 U.S. attractions.

Out in the Vineyard announced that Gay Wine Weekend 2022 in California Wine Country is back, a press release noted. The event—which will take place July 15-17 in Sonoma County, California—will feature the Twilight T-Dance as well as a weekend of wine and celebration. Out in the Vineyard will benefit Face to Face Sonoma County HIV/AIDS Network. See

This article shared 996 times since Sun Feb 13, 2022
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