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  WINDY CITY TIMES

National Roundup
by Andrew Davis
2006-11-22

This article shared 3155 times since Wed Nov 22, 2006
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The National Center for Transgender Equality ( NCTE ) has released a resource designed to help communities respond effectively regarding hate crimes against transgender people. 'Responding to Hate Crimes: A Community Resource Manual' ( www.nctequality.org/resources/hatecrimes.pdf ) will be widely distributed to advocates around the country. The Day of Remembrance is annually observed on or around Nov. 20.

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) has issued a statement decrying the appointment of Senator Mel Martinez, R-Fla.—a person the organization contends is anti-gay—in heading the Republican National Committee. 'For [ Martinez ] to be tapped as the head of the Republican Party sends yet another message to our community and the country that the Republican leadership is continuing their old ways of rewarding slash-and-burn politics instead of being interested in uniting the country,' HRC President Joe Solmonese asserted.

In New Jersey, a lesbian couple won judicial approval to have both of their names listed as parents on the birth certificate of their newborn—with the attorney general's office saying it will no longer oppose such applications, according to The New York Times. The decision is from an Oct. 25 ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court that same-sex couples are entitled to the same legal rights and protections as opposite-sex ones.

In New York City, Billy Ray Staton and Alex Brown, two 17-year-olds, have been arrested in the killing of John Canora, a 55-year-old gay man, according to 365Gay.com . An autopsy showed that Canora had been strangled, beaten with a baseball bat and battered with a fire extinguisher. Even though the teens are charged with murder, robbery and burglary, those charges could be elevated with a hate-crime enhancement.

Adam Lebowitz, 47, an Atlanta-based doctor, has been charged with a felony for not revealing his HIV-positive status to a 16-year-old boy who allegedly had sex with the physician, The Washington Blade reported. Lebowitz, who is a resident at Emory School of Medicine and an emergency room doctor at Grady Memorial Hospital, was arrested by the Clayton County Sheriff's Department.

Dr. Emery Lane, 75, a prominent LGBT health advocate in Louisville, Ky., was found dead in his home after apparently being beaten to death, Gay.com reported. Two men, Gene Raymond Miller and Bennett Shaw Bilbrey, have been arrested and have been charged with murder, burglary and robbery. ( So far, police have not called the incident a hate crime. ) Lane was the former president of Community Health Trust, which focuses on Louisville's gay community and people with AIDS.

A partnership of Ipas, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective has released a newly-updated Mapping Our Rights, an easy-to-use innovative interactive map—with state-by-state rankings—that includes information on the 32 new bills restricting sexual and reproductive rights passed in state houses around the country in the last six months. The map is available at MappingOurRights.org .

Gay and lesbian faculty and staff at the University of Wisconsin-Madison say they might leave their jobs because the state has passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions, Gay.com noted. Meeting with concerned students, faculty and staff, UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley said the amendment makes it unlikely that Wisconsin's legislature will add health insurance benefits for domestic partners. The university is the only school in the Big 10 that doesn't offer health insurance coverage for domestic partners.

The city of San Francisco has filed an appeal to the California Supreme Court to recognize same-sex marriage, claiming that laws authorizing only heterosexual marriages are discriminatory, according to The Washington Blade. In October, the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that, among other things, it was not the judiciary's role to define marriage.

Commercial Closet Association's Second Annual Corporate Visionary Honors recognized MTV Networks and online travel company Orbitz.com for including ( LGBT ) individuals in their promotional advertising. The ceremony occurred on Nov. 20 and was hosted by The New York Times. MTV Networks has been including people for over a decade, and Orbitz.com since 2001.

Even though the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps ( JROTC ) had been in San Francisco high schools for 90 years, the city's board of education voted 4-2 to phase out the program over the next two years, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. Opponents of the JROTC program said that the armed forces should have no place in public schools and the military's discriminatory position on gays is unacceptable.

In Washington, D.C., Anthony Faverio and Donald Marcus Phillips—two gay officers with the district's Metropolitan Police Department—have accused leaders, in separate lawsuits, of discrimination and retaliation after a police investigator allegedly disclosed their sexual orientation to fellow officers, according to The Washington Blade. The officers allege that Internal Affairs Investigator Debbie Anne Burt stated that the two officers were gay in an investigative report that circulated within the department in May.

After 18 months of legal wrangling, students in Kern County, Calif., will finally be able to 'exercise freedom of speech and of the press,' according to an item at PlanetOut.com . Students at Bakersfield's East High School sued the Kern School District after the principal censored a series of articles about gay student life that they wished to publish in a 2005 edition of their award-winning paper, The Kernal.

Charges have been dismissed against Janet Edwards, a Presbyterian minister accused of breaking church law by performing a marriage ceremony in Pennsylvania for two women. The Washington Blade reported that the Permanent Judicial Commission of the Pittsburgh Presbytery voted unanimously ( 8-0 ) to dismiss the charges because they were filed several days after a filing deadline.

DauSean Fowler, a 31-year-old gay Ohio man, spent five months in jail in connection with the June 1 armed robbery of a check-cashing business he and his lawyers say he had nothing to do with, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The Columbus resident was mistaken for a cross-dressing bank robber. Charges were dropped by prosecutors after Fowler passed a polygraph test.

The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition ( GenderPAC ) referred to a new study that shows that girls continue to report high levels of stress and concern over the 'supergirl dilemma'—the need to look perfect and achieve at high levels. Among other things, researchers at the University of Illinois-Chicago found nearly 47 percent of students witnessed girls being teased and verbally taunted for not being 'feminine enough.'

The board of Gay Men's Health Crisis appointed Marjorie Hill, Ph.D., as its chief executive officer and Robert Bank, Esq., as its chief operating officer.

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce ( NGLCC ) and Wells Fargo & Company announced that Witeck-Combs Communications has been named the NGLCC / Wells Fargo LGBT Business Owner of the Year Award winner for 2006. Witeck-Combs Communications was recognized at the 2006 NGLCC National Dinner in Washington, D.C., and will receive a cash grant of $5,000.

A coalition of organizations met in Orlando to protest the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality's annual meeting. The demonstration–which featured representatives from Truth Wins Out, PFLAG, HRC Orlando and Equality Florida—drew approximately 30 GLBT advocates who chanted, 'Quacks, Quacks, Quacks, Stop The Attacks,' and sported inflatable ducks, duck whistles and a character in a duck suit.


This article shared 3155 times since Wed Nov 22, 2006
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