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National roundup: Father kills son, Calif. education, Kenneth Cole situation
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-11-14

This article shared 853 times since Tue Nov 14, 2017
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A Nevada man faces murder charges after authorities say he shot and killed his 14-year-old son, and friends say the father may have targeted his son because he was gay, according to an ABC7Chicago item that cites KTNV. Police say 53-year-old Wendell Melton got into an argument with his 14-year-old son, Giovanni Melton, prompting the father to shoot and kill his own son. Giovanni's foster mom said the teen's biological mother has been out of the picture for quite some time and that his father did not like the fact he was gay.

The California state board of education approved 10 LGBT-inclusive history textbooks for K-8 classrooms, becoming the first state in the U.S. to do so, Advocate.com reported. The board also rejected two books that did not include LGBT history, as this exclusion violates California's 2011 Fair Education Act. Written by Sen. Mark Leno, with LGBT groups backing it, this legislation requires history and social-sciences curricula to teach about the accomplishments of queer people as well as people with disabilities.

More than 60 people living with HIV ( PLHIV ), PLHIV networks and HIV/AIDS community leaders have called on Kenneth Cole to resign or be replaced as board chair of amfAR, a press release noted. A letter cited Cole's actions—widely described in media reports—in pushing for a donation of AmfAR funds, over the written objections of amfAR's staff leadership, to a theatre project that provided financial benefits to disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Among those signing the letter are Peter Staley ( co-founder of the Treatment Action Group and former amfAR board member ), Naina Khanna ( executive director of the Positive Women's Network-USA ), Sean Strub ( founder of POZ Magazine ), Larry Kramer ( founder of GMHC & ACT UP ) and Olympic diver/LGBT-rights activist Greg Louganis.

The Elton John AIDS Foundation ( EJAF ) raised more than $4.3 million at its 2017 annual New York Fall Gala to support HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, supporting services, and advocacy programs across the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean, a press release noted. Commemorating the foundation's 25th year since Sir Elton John established it in 1992, John received the 2017 Elizabeth Taylor Legacy Award. Also, it was announced that the Aileen Getty Foundation and The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation would join together to provide $250,000 in funding for the fourth year of EJAF's joint grant-making partnership with The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Neil Patrick Harris hosted, while Aretha Franklin was among those who performed.

Among the notable LGBT election losses on Nov. 7 was that of Don Guardian, the incumbent gay Republican mayor of Atlantic City, New Jersey, Observer.com reported. Democrat Frank Gilliam will be the next mayor of Atlantic City after defeating Guardian in the first mayoral election since a string of casino closures rocked the seaside resort. Gilliam, a city councilman and former council president, narrowly defeated Guardian, 48 percent to 47 percent, according to the Associated Press.

"I hate to say this, but men need to shut up defending [U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore] and listen to the women's pain," said Patricia Todd, the only openly LGBT person in the Alabama statehouse, according to NewNowNext.com . "The cover seems to be 'if it is true' and I am so disappointed in my Republican peers who continue to support him," Todd ( D- Birmingham ) told the Washington Examiner. The allegations date back to the late 70s, when one alleged victim was 14, and others were between 16 and 18; five women have come forward with allegations against Moore.

A gay Democrat who served President Obama as a fundraiser for his presidential campaigns and U.S. ambassador to Denmark has a launched a campaign to run for Congress, The Washington Blade reported. Via video, Rufus Gifford declared his bid to represent Massachusetts' 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House. During Obama's second term, Gifford was appointed and confirmed as U.S. ambassador to Denmark, making him one of seven openly gay ambassadors during the Obama years.

In Philadelphia, a co-defendant in the murder of a local trans woman was sentenced, Philadelphia Gay News reported. Tiffany Floyd will serve eight to 20 years in prison, plus 10 years of probation for the murder of Maya Young; additionally, she will undergo drug rehabilitation, mental-health treatment, and educational and vocational training. Young died from stab wounds to her back and chest on Feb. 20, 2016.

Police have arrested a Michigan teen after he allegedly stripped and assaulted another teen in what appears to be an anti-gay hate crime, according to a NewNowNext item that cites Detroit Free Press. Muskegon Heights police officers say that 18-year-old Trevon Godbolt, also known as Trevon Taylor, lured his 17-year-old victim to a dark area near Edgewood Elementary School. Called to the scene of a robbery, officers found the victim stripped of his clothes and possessions.

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) is encouraging firms to offer domestic-partner benefits, Bloomberg.com reported. Starting next year, companies will have to offer benefits for unmarried couples if they want a perfect score on the organization's LGBT Corporate Equality Index. Marriage still isn't an option for many gay couples because it's legal to discriminate against openly LGBT couples in many states and foreign countries, said Deena Fidas, director of workplace equality at HRC, which recently unveiled this year's index.

A gay-porn performer who went missing after the death of his boyfriend has been charged with murder, PinkNews reported. Keith Harris, 48, was found fatally stabbed in his San Francisco home; now, Men.com adult actor Ali Liam, 26—otherwise known as Alkoraishie Ali and Othman Al-Muttalaby—has been charged with first-degree murder. The site Str8UpGayPorn reported that Ali was a newcomer to gay porn, working for Men.com and Pride Studios over the past year.

The FBI has said that the number of hate crimes committed in the United States rose in 2016 for the second consecutive year, with African-Americans, Jews and Muslims targeted in many of the incidents, Reuters reported. There were 6,121 hate crime incidents recorded last year, an almost 5 percent rise from 2015 and a 10 percent increase from 2014, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Hate Crimes Statistics report said. There were 1,076 incidents involving lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people, with almost two-thirds of those targeting gay men.

Two men who claim they were raped by serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer during their military service have detailed the years of abuse they endured at the murderer's hands, The New York Daily News reported. Preston Davis and Billy Capshaw spoke out about their experiences on Oxygen's Dahmer on Dahmer: A Serial Killer Speaks, which aired Nov. 11-12; among other things, they described him as alcoholic, a psychopath and a narcissist. Dahmer pled guilty and was sentenced to 16 terms of life imprisonment in 1992 in a Wisconsin prison; a fellow inmate killed him in 1994.

The Better Brothers Los Angeles ( BBLA )—in association with actress/activist Sheryl Lee Ralph and her non-profit organization, the DIVA Foundation—announced that NBA referee Violet Palmer will receive the Lifetime Achievement at the Fourth Annual Truth Awards. The Truth Awards will be held on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at the Taglyan Cultural Complex in Los Angeles. The black-tie affair will honor African-American, trailblazing men and women whose personal and professional accomplishments have positively impacted the perception and image of the Black LGBTQ community.

New York City is altering its subway announcements, embracing gender-neutral language to be more inclusive of all riders, LGBTQ Nation reported. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority ( MTA ) will no longer refer to passengers as "ladies and gentlemen," instead opting for the words "passengers," "riders" and "everyone." Other changes include eliminating pre-recorded messages, letting people know in real time the reasons for delays, and noting landmarks, as well as holidays and special events.

The University of Michigan has suspended all social events for its fraternities and sororities, according to Inside Higher Ed. The move comes amid multiple reports of hazing and sexual assault. Also, all Greek life at Florida State University was suspended Nov. 6, following a fraternity pledge's death.

Advertisers began fleeing from Fox News' Hannity following the conservative host's much-criticized coverage of Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore's sexual misconduct allegations, The New York Daily News noted. Two companies —Realtor.com and Keurig—announced they will no longer advertise on the show, according to The Hill. Moore has denied the allegations from four women that he tried to have sexual or romantic relationships with them decades ago when he was in his 30s and they were merely teens.


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