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Windy City Times 2023-12-13



NATIONAL Trevor Project, anti-trans crimes, priest sentenced, hate-crimes unit
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 3004 times since Fri Nov 24, 2023
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The Trevor Project announced the extension of its partnership with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, reaffirming its commitment to providing specialized assistance to LGBTQ+ people who call 9-8-8, The Advocate reported. Interim Senior Vice President of Prevention Kasey Suffredini said, "The Trevor Project's research indicates that 41 percent of LGBTQ young people seriously contemplated suicide in the past year, with more than half of those seeking mental healthcare unable to access it." In its first year of collaboration, The Trevor Project served an estimated 280,000 LGBTQ+ crisis contacts through their participation in 988, contributing to more than 500,000 total communications attended to by counselors.

In Puerto Rico, two men were sentenced to 33 months in prison and three years of supervised release each for federal charges of conspiracy to commit a hate crime and obstruction of justice regarding their attack on a transgender woman, a Department of Justice press release noted. "The defendants have been held accountable for assaulting a Latina transgender woman because of her gender identity and then trying to obstruct an investigation into that assault," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke. Jordany Rafael Laboy-Garcia and Anthony Steven Lobos-Ruiz pled guilty to charges connected with a paintball-gun assault of the victim, identified as A.N.L.

An upstate New York man was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2022 death of transgender woman Ahsid Hemingway-Powell, also known as Chanelika Y'Ella Dior Hemingway, per Yahoo! News, which cited the Albany Times Union and other local sources. Hemingway-Powell was shot to death in her Albany apartment sometime between the afternoon of May 27, 2022, and the next morning. Robinson, who was arrested last August, claimed she had transmitted HIV to him.County Court Judge William Little will sentence him on Jan. 19; the sentence can range from 25 years to life in prison.

The lifeless body of 20-year-old trans woman Shandon Floyd—who went missing in South Carolina on Nov. 8—was found, per The Advocate, citing WPDE. Floyd's mother told WPDE that her daughter was in town to attend a football game and was staying with a group of friends at a local Roadway Inn; she reportedly went missing after borrowing a friend's car around 3 a.m. to drive a man from the group to a store. Shandon's body was found in an empty house in north Richland County by police shortly after midnight on Nov. 14; authorities say they have no reason to suspect foul play but are awaiting the results of an autopsy.

Michael Zacharias, a priest, was sentenced to life in prison for sex trafficking in northern Ohio, per a U.S. Department of Justice press release. A federal jury in Toledo, Ohio, previously found Zacharias, 56, guilty of five counts of sex trafficking following a two-week trial in May. The evidence showed that he used his affiliation and position of authority to groom the boys and grow close with their families before eventually coercing the victims into engaging in commercial sex acts and manipulating the opioid addictions they developed.

Massachusetts has created a new state police unit to fight hate crimes, The Advocate reported. The Hate Crimes Awareness and Response Team (consisting of four or five state police officers) "will enhance statewide data collection and information-sharing to identify statewide, national, and global patterns and trends," among other things, according to a press release from Gov. Maura Healey's office. The state had 440 hate crimes that were reported in 2022, up from 406 in the previous year.

Patrick Wojahn—a gay man who was once the mayor of College Park, Maryland—was sentenced to 30 years in prison for possession and distribution of child sexual-abuse material, CBS noted, citing The Baltimore Banner. Wojahn pled guilty to more than 100 counts connected to the possession and distribution of the material. Wojahn was serving his second term as mayor of College Park after winning an election in 2015; he previously served eight years as a city councilman.

The man who attacked lesbian U.S. Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minnesota) in her D.C. apartment building in February was sentenced to 27 months in prison—a year less than Justice Department prosecutor Alexander Schneider requested, according to the Advocate. Kendrid Khalil Hamlin pled guilty June 1 to attacking Craig and two D.C police officers. Craig, who is serving her third term in the U.S. House, had submitted a victim-impact statement in which she said Hamlin probably did not know she was a member of Congress.

U.S. Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Sara Jacobs of California—co-chairs of the Congressional Equality Caucus' Transgender Equality Task Force—and U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii introduced a resolution commemorating the Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov. 20), The Advocate noted. "Every year, dozens of transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals are killed in the United States, just for being who they are," Jayapal said in a press release. "We see countless acts of hate and discrimination due to intolerance and ignorance, and the victims of these acts are overwhelmingly young and people of color. But we cannot, and will not, let these forces win."

GLAD filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Lillian Bernier—a transgender woman who was denied insurance coverage by her employer, Turbocam, Inc., for necessary healthcare related to gender transition, a press release noted. Health Plans, Inc. (HPI) and Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan of New England, Inc. are also named in the complaint because together they developed, administer and operate Turbocam's health-benefits plan. New Hampshire-based Turbocam employs more than 900 engineers and manufactures parts for the HVAC, automotive, airline and other large industries, earning nearly $200 million in 2022.

President Joe Biden nominated Nicole Berner, the top lawyer at a major labor union, and New Jersey Muslim American attorney Adeel Mangi to become federal appeals court judges, per Reuters. If confirmed by the Democratic-controlled Senate, Berner would become the first openly LGBTQ+ 4th Circuit judge and Mangi—a partner at the law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler—would become the first Muslim American federal appellate judge ever. Biden has also appointed the only two openly LGBTQ women federal appellate judges.

Two transgender boys—teens only identified as J.C. and K.J.—have sued the University of Missouri over its denial of gender-affirming care, The Advocate reported. A recently enacted Missouri law bans most gender-affirming care for trans minors but allows those already on treatment to stay on it. However, University of Missouri Health and Washington University in St. Louis have stopped offering this care due to potential legal consequences. Both plaintiffs reside in Boone County, which includes the city of Columbia, where the university's main campus is located.

Republican Ohio state Rep. Gary Click introduced a bill that would prevent doctors from providing gender-affirming care to trans youth, saying he believes that type of care is child abuse, per the Ohio Capital Journal. House Bill 68 (also called the Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act, or SAFE, Act), would prevent doctors from giving puberty blockers and hormone therapy to trans youth. Also, House Bill 6—which prevents trans athletes from participating in Ohio women's sports —was rolled into HB 68 back in June. Gender-affirming care is supported by every major medical organization in the United States.

Former President Donald Trump's recent attacks against the New York judge and clerk in his civil-fraud case have reportedly resulted in "hundreds" of threatening and harassing messages to staff members, including some antisemitic messages, according to a Forbes article. (A gag order against Trump had been lifted.) Recent threats against New York Judge Arthur Engoron and his law clerk, Allison Greenfield, are "considered to be serious and credible and not hypothetical or speculative," state court officer Charles Hollon wrote in an affidavit.

After years of fighting to be moved to a women's prison, Ashlee Inscoe won a major victory as Wake County Superior Court Judge A. Graham Shirley ruled that North Carolina prison officials could no longer house her among men and must transfer her within 14 days, The Charlotte Observer reported. Inscoe—a transgender woman who was born intersex—first asked to be moved to a women's prison more than three years ago, citing constant harassment. In September 2021, Inscoe took prison officials to court, filing a lawsuit seeking an order compelling her transfer to a women's prison.

Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova led the old-school protest art action "God Save Abortion" at the Indiana Supreme Court, per a press release. "God Save Abortion" is part of a bigger reproductive-rights campaign of art actions that Pussy Riot is launching this upcoming year. This first piece is in collaboration with students from Indiana University.

Former Chicago Mayor and current U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel—a prominent Jewish political leader—was the victim of vandalism when the fence outside his Michigan vacation home was spray-painted with the word "Nazis," per The Chicago Sun-Times. "Our family is very proud of how our friends, neighbors and the community have rallied to our support and in a singular voice in condemning hatred and bigotry," Emanuel told the Sun-Times. The incident happened amid antisemitism and Islamophobia rising in the country as the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza enters its second month.

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is charging a Traverse City hair salon with discriminatory advertisement after its owner said individuals identifying as anything other than a man or woman were not welcome, per The Detroit News. The social-media post from Salon 8 Hair Lab owner Christine Geiger caused an uproar over the summer and prompted the city to investigate the situation. Geiger has said in court that the post is protected speech.

In Virginia, the Lynchburg City School Board voted seven to two against accepting a grant from the It Gets Better Project, The Washington Blade noted, citing The Lynchburg News and Advance. The $10,000 grant was earmarked to develop a safe-space or "quiet room. The E.C. Glass High School Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) club was awarded the grant in August as part of the nonprofit's "50 States 50 Grants 5,000 Voices" program, an "initiative to fund projects that support and uplift LGBTQ+ identity in schools across the U.S. and Canada."

A dozen major advertisers—including Disney, Comcast/NBCUniversal, Apple and Lionsgate—put any spending on X/Twitter on hold over antisemitic amplification by Elon Musk, Deadline noted. On Nov. 15, Musk indicated on X that he supported a statement posted by another user that suggested "western Jewish populations" were "coming to the disturbing realization that those hordes of minorities that support flooding their country don't exactly like them too much." Musk reposted the remark and added "you have said the actual truth."

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus requested a meeting with TelevisaUnivision CEO Wade Davis, raising concerns about the company's "continued commitment to its mission and its audience" and citing concerns about "preventing the spread of mis- and disinformation in Latino communities," per The Hollywood Reporter. The interview with Trump ignited a firestorm of criticism, with Democrats angry that ads that the Biden administration had purchased to run during an interview with former President Donald Trump were canceled at the last minute. Recently, actor/producer John Leguizamo called for a boycott of the Spanish-language TV network, dubbing it "MAGAvision."

Former Obama administration adviser Stuart Seldowitz was taken into police custody and faces hate-crime charges after a confrontation at a halal cart in Manhattan was caught on camera, ABC 7 NY reported. Several videos captured the former diplomat allegedly harassing the vendor about his Egyptian roots and Islamic faith. Seldowitz was fired from his work with lobbying/communications firm Gotham Government Relations.

Three Amazon staffers sued their employer, alleging gender discrimination and accusing the company of retaliation after they complained of "chronic pay inequity issues," CNBC reported. Caroline Wilmuth, Katherine Schomer and Erin Combs alleged the company assigns female staffers lower job titles for the same roles that are held by men with higher titles and larger salaries. Amazon spokesperson Brad Glasser disagreed with the lawsuit, saying in a statement, "We believe these claims are false and will demonstrate that through the legal process."

This article shared 3004 times since Fri Nov 24, 2023
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