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National roundup: HB2 repeal urged, Victory confab, TrevorLIVE gala
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-12-13

This article shared 190 times since Tue Dec 13, 2016
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Following Pat McCrory's concession, North Carolina Governor-Elect Roy Cooper called upon the legislature to repeal House Bill 2, the state's sweeping anti-LGBT measure, a press release stated. Lambda Legal, along with the American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of North Carolina and the law firm of Jenner & Block, is challenging HB 2 in federal court on behalf of four LGBT North Carolinians and the ACLU of North Carolina. Lambda Legal Southern Regional Director Simone Bell said, "HB 2 is not only cruel and insulting, but also directly damaging to LGBT people. This law is about more than restrooms—it's about access to employment, education and other opportunities. It aims to override local school boards in establishing policies with respect to restrooms and locker rooms."

Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor Thomas Perez spoke at Victory Institute's International LGBT Leaders Conference's opening celebration to toast the Obama administration's historic number of LGBT appointees, according to a press release. This year's conference ( Dec. 8-10 ) brought together more than 500 LGBT elected officials, appointees, leaders, ambassadors and advocates for the first major gathering of the LGBT movement since the presidential election. Elected officials and leaders strategized how to use their collective power to be a unified voice against any anti-equality efforts of Donald Trump's administration.

On Dec. 4, the Trevor Project hosted its 2016 TrevorLIVE Los Angeles gala at The Beverly Hilton, a press release noted. Kelly Osbourne was honored with the Trevor Hero Award; Facebook received the 20/20 Visionary Award, accepted by Alex Schultz, Facebook's VP of Growth Marketing, Analytics & i18n; and Ingrid Nilsen received the Digital Innovator Award. Some of the attendees included Noah Galvin, Pauley Perrette, Margaret Cho, Lisa Vanderpump, Cheyenne Jackson, Bruce Vilanch, Joey Pollari, Hudson Yang, Lana Parrilla, Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles and Trans Chorus of Los Angeles.

Arkansas' highest court threw out a judge's ruling that could have allowed all married same-sex couples to get the names of both spouses on their children's birth certificates without a court order, saying it doesn't violate equal protection "to acknowledge basic biological truths," according to ABC News. The state Supreme Court also issued a rare admonishment to Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox, saying he made "inappropriate remarks" in his ruling that struck down the birth-certificate law. Fox had cited the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing gay marriage in his ruling last year.

Pride at Work has released a statement in response to Preisdent-Elect Donald Trump's nomination of Andrew Puzder as the secretary of labor for his administration. Pride at Work Executive Director Jerame Davis said, "Andrew Puzder's nomination to become the Secretary of Labor is a slap in the face to every working person in America. Here we have a man who makes over a million dollars a year in base salary, but he thinks the minimum wage is too high. Just to prove how out of touch he is with average working people, he also opposes the Affordable Care Act, which has insured over 20 million people—many of whom likely work for Pudzer's company."

San Diego LGBT Pride donated $80,000 of our proceeds back to 40 LGBT-serving organizations through its annual Pride Community Grant Program, according to a press release. Just some of the grant recipients are Trans Youth Project, Mental Health America, North County LGBTQ Resource Center, The Trevor Project, Diversionary Theatre and GLSEN.

Students at the University of Pennsylvania have removed a wall-sized portrait of William Shakespeare from Fisher-Bennett Hall and replaced it with a photo of Black lesbian writer Audre Lorde, WND.com reported. The "iconic" portrait of Shakespeare hung in the main staircase of Penn's English Department for years. It was removed by a group of students after an English Department town-hall discussion about the 2016 presidential election.

Not content to have passed an anti-LGBT law last year, Tennessee lawmakers are trying to add additional teeth to the measure to ensure it's as tough as possible, Metro Weekly reported. The very first bill pre-filed for the 2017 legislative session seeks to amend the state's counseling exemption law, which allows licensed counselors or therapists to refuse to serve clients if their "goals, outcomes or behaviors" conflict with a counselor's "sincerely held principles."

Texas' leading business group released a report warning that bills targeting LGBT rights could severely hinder the state's economy, Statesman.com reported. The Texas Association of Business report concluded that, if passed, such proposed laws could cost the state economy $8.5 billion a year and threaten 185,000 jobs, primarily in the state's travel and tourism industry. "These are conservative projections based on hard data that tracks what is happening in other states," Chris Wallace, president of the business group, said during a Capitol news conference.

In Colorado, an employee at a Highlands Ranch flooring store is accused of using a gay slur against a customer who was with his 4-year-old son, 9News.com reported. James Shawlin said he was "verbally assaulted" by a manager at Floor and Decor in Highlands Ranch. "I was a little firm with him, and I just told him, 'hey, you know, my husband and I spend a lot of money here. We've been using you guys for ten years. We have $3,000 worth of stone.'" Shawlin said. "And [the manager] goes, 'oh, that explains it now. The faggot that voted for Hillary.'" Shawlin said another customer in the aisle who'd overheard the exchange expressed his support for Donald Trump, adding that the same customer followed him outside and used a derogatory term.

Manhattan fashion PR company LaForce—which reps Target, Banana Republic and Williams-Sonoma, to name a few—has canceled its holiday party because of Donald Trump's victory, according to Page Six. James LaForce and husband Stephen Henderson had booked Irving Plaza for a thousand guests on Dec. 19 and designed an invite showing Hillary Clinton as an American flag-waving Santa with the words, "Make America Merry Again." LaForce sent the money that would have been spent on the party to Planned Parenthood, Housing Works and the Stonewall Foundation.

The owners of a Minnesota-based media company are suing the state Department of Human Rights and the Attorney General of Minnesota over a state law that requires them to produce videos of same-sex marriages, saying it violates their religious beliefs about marriage, KSTP.com noted. St. Cloud's Carl and Angel Larsen of St. Cloud—the founders and owners of Telescope Media Group—filed the lawsuit against Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey and Attorney General Lori Swanson. The plaintiffs say a Minnesota law that requires them to produce same-sex marriage videos directly contradicts their religious beliefs as Christians.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation submitted an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of ESPLERP v. Gascon, according to a press release. Twelve other nonprofit organizations working to combat sexual violence and sexual trafficking—many of them led by survivors of sexual exploitation—also joined the brief. Earlier this year, ESPLERP ( Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research Project ) filed suit in San Francisco District Court, claiming that the state's prostitution laws were unconstitutional. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation ( NCOSE ) argues in its amicus brief that the Ninth Circuit must reject efforts to decriminalize prostitution.

Controversial former politician John Edwards has put his 100-acre North Carolina estate on the market for $6.9 million, Page Six noted. Edwards and his late wife, Elizabeth, reportedly purchased the land in 2004 for $1.32 million, and moved into the sprawling mansion in 2006. In 2011, a federal grand jury in North Carolina indicted the former N.C. senator and vice-presidential candidate on charges of using illegal campaign donations to conceal his mistress, Rielle Hunter, from voters, The Washington Post noted.

A gay sex shop adjacent to gay Atlanta's red light district on Cheshire Bridge Road has closed after nearly two decades, Project Q noted. Peek A Boo has shuttered its two buildings on Piedmont Circle; one building sold adult toys and smoking accessories, while the other offered a maze of video booths. Peek A Boo was among the strip's infamous stops that came under scrutiny in 2013 when the City of Atlanta tried to push sexually oriented businesses off Cheshire Bridge; that effort failed.


This article shared 190 times since Tue Dec 13, 2016
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