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  WINDY CITY TIMES

NATIONAL Palm Springs, NYC Pride, Alan Turing
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.
2018-06-19

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The California Legislature LGBTQ Caucus recognized the Palm Springs City Council June 11 in Sacramento for being the nation's first elected all LGBTQ Council, according to a VisitPalmSprings.com press release. The Palm Springs City Council—composed of Mayor Robert Moon and Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Roberts as well as Councilmembers Geoff Kors, Lisa Middleton and Christy Gilbert Holstege—were recognized on the floor of the state Assembly and on the floor of the Senate.

This year's NYC Pride Parade will make history with the participation of the NFL and MLB in the iconic LGBTQ march, Metro reported. The two leagues are registered for the parade alongside the NHL, NBA and WNBA, Outsports reported, meaning they will march in the parade and also have floats. Representatives from Major League Soccer and National Women's Hockey League will be marching as well, making the 2018 NYC Pride Parade the "largest collection of professional sports leagues ever" for an LGBTQ parade.

A Silicon Valley-based artificial-intelligence ( AI ) company is paying homage to British mathematician/codebreaker Alan Turing, a press release stated. The company—software business Conversica—is designating Turing's June 23 birthday as "AI Day" in his honor as it celebrates a milestone of 50 million interactions with its AI-based sales assistant software. The press release stated, "[T]he famed mathematician was persecuted for committing [same-sex] acts, only to die in disgrace at the age of 41. That's why it's appropriate that his birthday, which takes place during LGBT Pride, be known as 'AI Day.'"

A federal court in Seattle denied yet another attempt by the Trump Administration to implement its discriminatory plan to ban transgender people from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Services, according to a press release from The American Military Partner Association. The ruling in the lawsuit brought by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN and joined by the State of Washington denied the administration's motion to stay the preliminary injunction the court had granted in December 2017, blocking implementation of the ban and enabling transgender people to enlist in the military for the first time starting Jan. 1, 2018.

A Department of Education affinity group for LGBTQ employees and allies met with Secretary Betsy DeVos last year, and urged her to consider the effects the Trump administration's actions could have on transgender students, HuffPost recently revealed. The meeting took place in February 2017, the day the White House rescinded Obama-era guidance outlining protections for trans students. DeVos defended the decision in the meeting, calling the Obama guidance "clumsy" and "not done right," according to an employee's draft notes from the meeting obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

GLAD Legal Advocates & Defenders will honor Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist/activist Jose Antonio Vargas at its 19th Annual Spirit of Justice Award Dinner on Oct. 12 in Boston, a press release noted. More than 1,000 LGBTQ community members and allies are expected to attend.

A man who was convicted of killing three gay men during a weeklong rampage in Philadelphia in 1989 has been found dead in prison, The New York Post reported, citing The Philadelphia Inquirer. Arnold Mulholland, 50, was found unresponsive in his cell at a state facility in Frackville. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections said he was pronounced dead an hour later; officials have not released the cause of death.

A Hudson County jury recently ruled that transgender man Shakeem M. Holmes was subjected to hostile treatment by Jersey City police while being detained in 2013, EPGN.com noted. The eight-member jury didn't award any damages to Holmes, but their verdict clears the way for the plaintiff to seek upward of $80,000 from Jersey City for his attorney's fees. Holmes filed suit in 2014, claiming a police station is a public accommodation where anti-trans abuse is prohibited under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

Trenton, New Jersey, has its first openly gay mayor, The Trentonian noted. Reed Gusciora ( D-Mercer/Hunterdon ) knocked off opponent Paul Perez by a 4,500-to-4,145 margin, according to unofficial election results. Gusciora's upset win comes even more as a surprise since he was shy of Perez by 740 votes in the May election. Gusciora may be one of the first mayoral candidates to finish second in the May election and then cruise to victory in the June runoff.

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) announced its endorsement of Stacey Abrams for governor of Georgia, a press release noted. "HRC is proud to endorse Stacey Abrams for Governor of Georgia," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "Leader Abrams has been a tireless ally for LGBTQ Georgians in the state legislature, and she will be a vital voice for the LGBTQ community and all Georgians in the Governor's Mansion. After a legislative session that featured threats of anti-LGBTQ legislation, it is more important than ever to have a pro-equality governor who will stand up to legislative extremists and protect all Georgians equally."

The Talbot County, Maryland, Public Schools and attorneys representing male transgender student Max Brennan reached a settlement in a 2016 lawsuit filed by the then 14-year-old student challenging his school's refusal to allow him to use the boys locker room and bathrooms, The Washington Blade reported. Brennan's attorneys with the ACLU and the Maryland LGBT advocacy group Free State Justice consider the settlement a major victory for transgender rights.

A radical proposal to split California into three separate states has gathered enough signatures to appear on the ballot during the upcoming midterm elections in November, The Huffington Post reported. Tim Draper—the main proponent of the initiative and its prime bankroller—gathered at least 402,000 signatures to divide California into three parts: a state called Northern California sprawling from Oregon down to San Francisco, another called California that would primarily include Los Angeles and a band of land up the coast, and another dubbed Southern California that would include Fresno, Bakersfield and San Diego.

In California, a state appeals court has reinstated—at least for now —the state's law allowing terminally ill people to end their lives, CBS News noted. The Fourth District Court of Appeals in Riverside issued an immediate stay, putting the End of Life Option back into effect. The court also gave opponents of its decision until July 2 to file objections. The law allows adults to obtain a prescription for life-ending drugs if a doctor has determined that they have six months or fewer to live.

A health-club owner was murdered in his Tennessee fitness facility, and one of his former employees has been charged with the crime, according to Club Industry. Domenic Micheli, 36, is alleged to have killed 46-year-old Joel Paavola—owner and manager of the Balance Training fitness club in Nashville—in an attack on June 4. Paavola had fired Micheli from his job at the club 14 months ago, according to the Tennessean. Micheli was arrested June 5 near Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Women won several House primary races in Virginia on June 12, creating a historic opportunity for female political representation in the state, according to The Huffington Post. Democrats Vangie Williams ( 1st District ), Elaine Luria ( 2nd ), Abigail Spanberger ( 7th ) and Jennifer Wexton ( 10th ) all won in their districts and will join Leslie Cockburn ( 5th ) and Jennifer Lewis ( 6tht ) on the midterm election ballots this fall. These victories mean that the state's Democratic party has nominated six women to fill 11 House seats, all but one of which are currently occupied by men.

A late intervention by President Donald Trump helped sink Rep. Mark Sanford's bid for re-election in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District on June 12, handing a Republican primary victory to state Rep. Katie Arrington, The Huffington Post noted. Arrington had attacked Sanford, a strident conservative and member of the House Freedom Caucus, for his frequent criticisms of the president. Sanford has called for Trump to release his tax returns, described the president's use of violent rhetoric as a "problem" and called his alleged affair with Stormy Daniels "deeply troubling."

Anne Donovan, a basketball Hall of Famer who won championships at the highest levels of her sport, has died at age 56, NPR.org noted. The former Old Dominion University star and WNBA coach died of heart failure on June 13. A 6'8" center, Donovan won a collegiate championship as a freshman at Old Dominion in 1980; she went on to win two Olympic gold medals as a player in 1984 and 1988, and a third as a head coach at the 2008 Summer Games, and she later became the first female coach to win an WNBA title ( as coach of the Seattle Storm ).


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