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  WINDY CITY TIMES

NATIONAL Lily Tomlin, St. Louis, activist slashed, LGBTQ political candidates
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-12-30

This article shared 4372 times since Mon Dec 30, 2019
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Iconic LGBTQ comedian Lily Tomlin joined with several other comedy legends for a PSA in support of aging pets, The Washington Blade noted. In the video that The Grey Muzzle Organization produced, Tomlin is featured alongside Bob Newhart, Carl Reiner and Carol Burnett. Each of the stars speaks candidly about senior life in an effort to raise awareness about the plight of senior dogs. Tomlin says, in part, "Go out and adopt a senior dog, they are amazing! And they will be so grateful."

Therapists will be barred from trying to change the sexual orientation of LGBTQ minors in St. Louis under legislation that Mayor Lyda Krewson signed, KMOV.com reported. St. Louis will be one of the few cities in Missouri to bar conversion therapy, as Columbia and Kansas City have passed similar bans. The American Psychological Association opposes so-called conversion therapy, saying it doesn't work and can cause harm.

An Alaska LGBTQ activist on the Kenai Peninsula said she was slashed with a knife and beaten in her home this month within a few weeks of threatening incidents, Anchorage Daily News reported. Tammie Willis said one example was when she found a note crammed under her pickup's windshield wiper in mid-November that read "Dumb Ass Dyke We don't want your gay libtard ass shit here so take it some where else before you get hurt!!!" After a Dec. 9 attack from a man in her house, "I ended up with 20 staples in my arm, two stitches in my breast and bruising from hip to knee," Willis said.

In New York City, former gubernatorial candidates Cynthia Nixon and Zephyr Teachout endorsed out gay Queens City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer in his campaign for borough president, Gay City News reported. Nixon—the Sex and the City actress/activist who is an out lesbian—and Teachout are touting Van Bramer's credentials as a progressive running a campaign based on challenging the status quo and the influence of big money in politics. Van Bramer has close ties to Nixon through her wife, Christine Marinoni, whom Van Bramer has known since the early 1990s.

Four years after North Carolina enacted House Bill 2 ( HB2 ), the state has two transgender candidates running for the state legislature, WBTV.com noted. Attorney Gray Ellis, of Durham, and Angela Bridgman, of Wendell, are both Democrats, transgender and candidates for the state Senate. HB2, which became known as the "bathroom bill," required people in government buildings to use the restroom that corresponded to the gender on their birth certificate; most of the bill was overturned in 2017, after national criticism and boycotts of the state.

In Florida, retired Pasco County lawyer and former judicial candidate Donald McBath was disciplined for making disparaging comments about Muslims and LGBTQ people on social media, Tampa Bay Times reported. The Florida Supreme Court, which handles discipline against lawyers and judges, handed McBath a 91-day suspension from practicing law for the comments. On social media, he made anti-Muslim remarks ( "never trust a Muslim" ), homophobic remarks ( "Abstain, if you really have that mental illness. It's not love" ) and comments against abortion, among other statements.

Transgender woman Yahira Nesby was shot to death in Brooklyn, Advocate.com noted. Nesby had been shot in the chest and leg, and she was dead when police arrived. Police then arrested a man who had injured his foot when he jumped from a second-floor window, and they believe he was the perpetrator. Posts on social media identified Nesby as a trans woman.

A new report by University of California San Francisco said that LGBT people are at heightened risk of dementia, The New Civil Rights Movement noted. Additionally, the report stated that LGBT elders are more likely to be socially isolated than their straight cisgender counterparts—and this social isolation can lead to more physical and mental health problems in comparison. The new data was released at the 2019 Alzheimer's Association International Conference ( AAIC ) in Los Angeles.

President Donald Trump's Interior Department removed "sexual orientation" from a statement in the agency's ethics guide regarding workplace discrimination, The Huffington Post reported. "You shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunities for all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, or handicap," reads one of 14 principles of ethical behavior in the agency's 2017 guidelines. The 2009 version President Barack Obama's Interior Department issued included the categories "race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability." The current department chalked the exclusion up to a simple clarification in language. "Per the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, under Title VII the term 'sex' includes gender, gender identity, transgender status, sexual orientation, and pregnancy," spokeswoman Carol Danko said.

Lawmakers in West Virginia voted to advance a rule that would strip away rights from LGBTQ children and adults involved in foster care, The Huffington Post noted. The updated rule passed seven to five in the West Virginia Legislature's rule-making review committee, the Beckley Register-Herald first reported. If finalized in January, it would remove existing protections for LGBTQ adults looking to foster and children who are in foster care by allowing the agencies to turn either away.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes' office weighed in on a legal issue involving transgender people seeking to change their gender on birth certificates, while also declining to answer a specific question the Utah Supreme Court wants answered, Fox13Now.com reported. Reyes' office initially stayed away from the issue; however, the state's top court asked for an opinion, with deputy Utah Solicitor General Stanford Purser stating, "This appeal comes to the Court unopposed—no one contests the Appellants' [Sean Childers-Gray and Angie Rice] arguments or their underlying petitions for name- and sex-change orders." He argued that the court can weigh in without them, but declined to answer if Utah law on the subject is constitutional.

LGBTQ-rights activist/military veteran Stephen Snyder-Hill is involved in one of more than a dozen lawsuits filed against The Ohio State University ( OSU )—all of which are in mediation, according to OSU spokesman Benjamin Johnson, NBC News reported. Snyder-Hill has claimed that Dr. Richard Strauss—accused of assaulting hundreds of male former OSU students between 1978-98—sexually assaulted him in 1995. Snyder-Hill was a 25-year-old veteran of Operation Desert Storm and a student studying dietetics at OSU when he first encountered Strauss, who died in 2005.

Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses have paid nearly $84 million to 564 victims of sexual abuse, TimesLeader.com noted. To date, the average payout across all seven dioceses has exceeded $148,000—a fraction of what some adult victims of childhood abuse might have expected from a jury had they been permitted to take their claims to court. Under state law, victims of past abuse only have until age 30 to sue.

Huntsville, Alabama, mother Camika Shelby is parenting LGBTQ teens after her own son's suicide, AL.com noted. Her openly gay son, Nigel, was 15 when he died by suicide in April in Huntsville. Although his mother was accepting of his sexuality, family said Nigel was bullied. Camika makes sure she is accessible to any LGBTQ teen who needs a listening ear by maintaining Nigel's Instagram account and creating a Facebook group; recently, she gave different gifts of encouragement during a Christmas event for black LGBTQ teens at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

Comcast Corp. asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit of Klayton Fennell, an openly gay employee who alleged an anti-LGBTQ work environment, Philadelphia Gay News noted. Fennell has said he was passed over for promotions, subjected to antigay slurs, denied equal pay and pressured to leave the Philadelphia headquarters. Comcast claimed it never discriminated against Fennell due to his sexual orientation or any other protected trait.

The manager of the D.C. restaurant Taqueria del Barrio said the LGBT-friendly establishment—which hosts a monthly drag brunch and a weekly drag trivia night—will continue to hold those events despite a barrage of threatening phone calls, The Washington Blade reported. Manager Miguel Barajas and Taqueria del Barrio owner Anna Bran Leis recounted in press interviews that beginning on Dec. 12 the restaurant began receiving up to 30 homophobic, threatening calls each day from at least four different numbers with different voices.

Republican state Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook—one of the Kansas Legislature's most conservative members and strongest abortion opponents—is retiring in mid-January, KSHB.com reported. She said in her announcement that "new leadership is sometimes required" to promote "time-honored" conservative principles. In addition to opposing abortion, she has been a foe of same-sex marriage and measures aimed at combatting anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Fellow Republicans in her Kansas City-area Senate district will name her replacement.

In Texas, the Brownsville City Commission approved the creation of a task force that will give the LGBTQ community a voice in addressing discrimination, health concerns and other related issues in the border city, TPR.org noted. Local activist Joe Colon Uvalles spoke with the commissioners and the mayor about creating the new group, saying, "Kimberly Avila, a trans woman in our community, went missing from the downtown Brownsville area in 2017. She is still missing. Underlying this too is the way HIV disproportionately impacts gay and bisexual Latino men and Latina trans women."

In a barrier-breaking appointment, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee selected a Whatcom County judge to serve as the first known Native American justice on the state Supreme Court since its founding in 1889, Alaska Public Media noted. Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis, 51, who is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Isleta tribe of New Mexico, will replace Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst when she retires in January. Montoya-Lewis will join a court with six women and three men, and includes a Latino justice, Steven Gonzalez, as well as the first openly gay and Asian-American justice, Mary Yu.

Transgender people will be the focal point of the third annual LGBT Spirituality Mini-Series that will be held Jan. 6 and 13 at the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, MCall.com noted. The trans faith leaders at the events will be Yeshiva University professor Joy Ladin ( Jan. 6 ); and Austin Hartke, a Lutheran seminarian and author of Transformations: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians ( Jan. 13 ).

Maryland resident Rudolph Jericho Smith, 37, was sentenced to 30 years ( with all but nine years suspended ) for assault and knowingly transmitting HIV to three women, CBS Baltimore reported. Smith entered an Alford plea ( in which the defendant doesn't formally admit guilt, but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to convict them ) to three counts of second-degree assault and three counts of knowingly attempting to transfer HIV on Sept. 13, 2019.

Michael Billy has opened Pianist Envy—what he has called Jersey City's LGBTQ+ piano bar, NJ.com noted. "We're the one [piano bar]—and the gayest one," said Billy, the former CEO of Hudson Pride Center. The waitstaff and bartenders are the performers, many who hail from Jersey City, including burlesque performer Lillian Bustle. Michael McKassey, a veteran of New York City's cabaret scene, is the resident pianist Wednesdays through Saturdays.


This article shared 4372 times since Mon Dec 30, 2019
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