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National roundup: People of the Year, Donald Trump, Rachel Maddow
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 566 times since Tue Nov 15, 2016
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For its annual Year in Review issue, The Advocate looks back at a series of moments that collectively shaped 2016. One of the impactful incidents was the Pulse Nightclub massacre, the worst single-person mass shooting and the deadliest violent act against LGBT people in U.S. history. For 2016, The Advocate dedicated the title of "People of the Year" to the heroes of Pulse and features Angel Colon, one of the survivors, on the cover of the December/January issue.

President-Elect Donald Trump, in an interview with TV's 60 Minutes, said in front of his family that he does not think the U.S. Supreme Court needs to revisit the issue of marriage equality, LGBTQ Nation noted. Trump said marriage equality has "been settled," and that what he personally feels about same-sex marriage is irrelevant. He said, "These cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They've been settled, and I'm fine with that."

Progressive people from all over the country will be descending on Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 2017, to stage a massive demonstration along Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day, according to an ANSWER Coalition press release. The release says, "It is critically important that we keep building a larger grassroots movement against war, militarism, racism, anti-immigrant scapegoating and neoliberal capitalism's assault against workers' living standards and the environment." See .

Rachel Maddow had a message for people that voted for third-party candidates in the 2016 presidential election, and it looks like she is placing some blame on those voters for the results of the election, Just Jared reported. "Well, it is what it is. People go into this eyes wide open," the MSNBC host said during the network's coverage on election night. "If you vote for somebody who can't win for president, it means that you don't care who wins for president." Gary Johnson and Jill Stein both received a chunk of votes, even though no one expected either of them to win.

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore met with protesters at Trump Tower in Manhattan, saying he wanted to talk with President-elect Donald Trump—and he made it all the way to the fourth floor before Secret Service agents turned him away, The Chicago Tribune noted. The liberal activist and outspoken critic of Trump was one of the few to predict Trump would win the election. A few weeks before Election Day, the filmmaker released Michael Moore in TrumpLand, a hastily produced pro-Hillary Clinton monologue that was vehemently critical of the Republican presidential nominee.

Boston-based True Colors: Out Youth Theater, the nation's longest running queer youth theater group, received the National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama on Nov. 15, a press release noted. True Colors is the first LGBTQ organization in history to receive this award. Obama invited the 12 winners of the National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award to the White House to recognize their programs' effectiveness in developing young people's learning and life skills by engaging them in the arts and humanities.

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation will launch its new Parents for Transgender Equality Council, a coalition of the nation's leading parent-advocates working for equality and fairness for transgender people, according to a press release. The council's launch begins HRC's commemoration of Transgender Week of Awareness, dedicated to the progress, continued challenges and unfinished work in the fight for transgender equality. Many of the council's members—including Jodie Patterson, JR Ford, Ofelia Barba Navarro and Michelle Honda-Phillips—were featured in HRC's viral Moms and Dads for Transgender Equality videos.

Chelsea Manning has served more than six years of a 35-year sentence for leaking classified documents pertaining to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to WikiLeaks—and has written to President Obama asking for her sentence to be commuted to time served, LGBTQ Nation reported. Manning takes "full and complete responsibility" for her actions in the letter, a copy of which her lawyer provided to The New York Times. She calls them "wrong" and points out that she was suffering from gender dysphoria while deployed to Iraq, which was when she decided to leak the documents.

Jean Hodges, chair of the PFLAG National Board of Directors, announced that Executive Director Jody Huckaby will depart the helm of the organization in December after serving in this role since January 2005, according to a press release. Hodges announced that Elizabeth Kohm, currently chief operating officer, has been appointed interim executive director. Kohm joined PFLAG in 2011 with an executive background in partnerships, social advocacy and field operations.

Out Apple CEO Tim Cook emailed employees, urging unity following Donald Trump's victory in the presidential election, Fox News reported. The memo, which BuzzFeed obtained, does not mention Trump by name, but addresses Apple employees' reactions to the surprise election result. "I've heard from many of you today about the presidential election," Cook writes. "In a political contest where the candidates were so different and each received a similar number of popular votes, it's inevitable that the aftermath leaves many of you with strong feelings." Cook makes a call for harmony in the note, explaining that "regardless of which candidate each of us supported as individuals, the only way to move forward is to move forward together."

The CEO of GrubHub, a food-delivery service based in Chicago, sent a company-wide email following the U.S. election that suggested employees who agreed with Donald Trump's"nationalist, anti-immigrant and hateful" rhetoric should quit their job, Time reported. Hillary Clinton supporter Matt Maloney, who also founded the company, wrote in an email obtained by Fox News that he rejects the politics of the Republican President-elect "and will work to shield our community from this movement as best as I can." He later stated, "I want to clarify that I did not ask for anyone to resign if they voted for Trump. I would never make such a demand. To the contrary, the message of the email is that we do not tolerate discriminatory activity or hateful commentary in the workplace, and that we will stand up for our employees."

North Carolina state Rep. Cecil Brockman, a High Point Democrat, announced in a newspaper article that he's bisexual, according to The News & Observer. Brockman's decision to come out means that the N.C. General Assembly will have at least one openly LGBT legislator next year after the departure of Rep. Chris Sgro of Greensboro. Sgro, who leads the LGBT advocacy group Equality N.C. and is gay, is not seeking election. Brockman did not have opposition in this year's election.

While positive attitudes toward gay men and lesbians have increased over recent decades, a new study led by researchers at Indiana University's Center for Sexual Health Promotion shows attitudes toward bisexual men and women are relatively neutral, if not ambivalent, a press release stated. The study, led by Brian Dodge, was recently published in PLOS ONE, an open-access, peer-reviewed online journal. The study is only the second to explore attitudes toward bisexual men and women—those with the capacity for physical, romantic and/or sexual attraction to more than one sex or gender—in a nationally representative sample.

A 24-year-old Montgomery County, Maryland, man was charged with a hate crime after allegedly assaulting a gay man outside a bar after he had poured water on the victim's head earlier while they were inside, The Washington Post reported. The victim's husband also was injured in the melee, police said. Jose Luis Ledesma-Chavez, of Olney, was charged with a hate crime; asecond man who was with him, identified as Hamdan Ibrahim Bibi Vincent, of Beltsville, was charged with simple assault.

Club Kid killer Michael Alig, who served 17 years in prison for manslaughter, was attacked by a lover in his Upper West Side home, whereupon Alig tried to escape through the window of his second-floor apartment, Page Six reported. According to an onlooker, Alig's lover bit him on the arm as he climbed out onto the fire escape. One of the leaders of the notorious Club Kids—who ruled the New York City party scene in the late '80s and early '90s—Alig was convicted of manslaughter in the 1997 killing of Andre "Angel" Melendez after a fight about a drug debt.

In New York City, in a first step for a gay man fighting to keep the Village home he shared with his late partner for 53 years, a Surrogate Court judge has blocked the property's sale by the dead man's relatives and ordered them to show cause why Tom Doyle, as their uncle's "surviving spouse," should not be declared the "sole heir," The Villager reported. On Nov. 1, Judge Nora Anderson issued a temporary restraining against four nieces and nephews of William Cornwell selling the 69 Horatio St. townhouse he bought in 1979. Anderson's order gave them until Nov. 18 to "show cause."

Greater Fort Lauderdale welcomed hundreds of transgender individuals and allies to the destination for the 26th Annual Southern Comfort Conference Sept. 26-Oct. 1, a press release noted. This year's conference featured keynote speakers Dr. Marci Bowers, a figure in sex-reassignment surgery; Kellie Maloney, former boxing manager, Celebrity Big Brother contestant and transgender activist; and Schuylar Bailor, writer, activist and the first openly transgender man to compete in NCAA Division I swimming. A video review of the conference is at

The Association of LGBTQ Journalists announced that New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni and News4 Today Weekend Edition Anchor Angie Goff will join a growing list of special guests at NLGJA's annual Dateline:DC event on Nov. 17, a press release stated. Bruni is the recipient of NLGJA's 2016 Randy Shilts Award for LGBT Coverage.

Gwen Ifill—veteran television journalist, political analyst and longtime host of PBS' Newshour and moderator and managing editor of Washington Week, which also aired on PBS—died Nov. 14 at age 61, Deadline noted. Ifill also moderated the 2004 and 2008 vice presidential debates, and was the author of the book The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. In a statement, Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said, "Gwen Ifill was a trailblazer and an unparalleled force for journalistic integrity. She was courageous and determined and tireless in using her considerable platform to hold political leaders accountable."

In California on Nov. 8, voters rejected a ballot proposition that would have required porn-film actors to wear condoms in all their sex scenes, USA Today reported. Proposition 60 was portrayed as a health and safety measure, although an unusual one, that critics said could have chased the vast adult-film industry out of state had it been passed. Proponents argued Proposition 60 was needed to the lower venereal disease risk to performers, especially in light of revelations in recent years that some actors had been diagnosed as carrying HIV.

Former Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock was spotted at the annual Halloween parade in West Hollywood, California—a city whose population is 40-percent LGBT, Queerty noted. Rumors about Schock's sexual orientation have followed the onetime Men's Health cover model for years. Schock recently agreed to pay a $10,000 Federal Election Commission fine for a campaign-finance violation, Fox News noted.

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