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DOMA cartoon wins prize; Chick-fil-A founder dies
National roundup: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2014-09-09

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Nate Beeler has been selected as the 2014 winner of the John Fischetti Editorial Cartoon Competition, for his image in The Columbus Dispatch depicting Lady Justice and Lady Liberty embracing after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act ( DOMA ), according to a press release. He and the 2013 winner, Matt Bors of Portland, Oregon, will be honored Sept. 17, in conjunction with the American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Managing Editors conference. The Fischetti Award ceremony and reception, to be held Sept. 17, will be hosted by Columbia College Chicago.

S. Truett Cathy, the founder of the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A, has died at age 93, according to The Chicago Tribune. Cathy opened the first Chick-fil-A in 1967 in his native Georgia, where he is credited with creating the recipe for the company's signature boneless chicken sandwich. The chain made headlines in 2012 when president Dan Cathy—the founder's son—told an online religious newspaper that he supports "the biblical definition of the family unit" and that supporters of gay marriage were "arrogant."

A federal court in New Orleans issued a landmark decision upholding Louisiana's constitutional right to maintain its traditional definition of marriage, ArkLaTexHomepage.com reported. Judge Martin L.C. Feldman ruled in Robicheaux, et al v. Caldwell, et al, that "[t]he State of Louisiana has a legitimate interest under a rational basis standard of review for addressing the meaning of marriage through the democratic process." The opinion upholds Louisiana's Defense of Marriage Constitutional Amendment, which was adopted by a statewide vote of 78 percent in 2004.

A lesbian couple in their nineties have tied the knot after 72 years together, the UK Independent reported. Vivian Boyack, 91, and Alice Dubes, 90, were married at First Christian Church in Davenport, Iowa. The couple, who sat next to each other on wheelchairs through the ceremony, first met in 1942. Surrounded by close friends and family, Boyack and Dubes held hands as they were married by the Rev. Linda Hunsaker.

A three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously struck down the same-sex marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana as unconstitutional, according to ThinkProgress.org . The decision came only two weeks after oral arguments in the cases, in which Reagan appointee Judge Richard Posner described the bans as "based on hate." Indiana's primary claim was that the sole purpose of recognizing marriages is to enhance child welfare, while one of Wisconsin's arguments was "tradition"—that because marriage had always been between a man and a woman, it should remain that way. Indiana Attorney General Zoeller asked the Supreme Court of the United States to review Baskin v. Bogan, the Lambda Legal lawsuit seeking marriage equality for same-sex couples in Indiana.

On Sept. 11, the Honorable Kathleen Sebelius, 21st US Secretary of Health & Human Services, was honored with the GLMA Achievement Award during GLMA's 32nd Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, according to a press release. More than 400 LGBT health professionals and allies were expected during the four-day conference, recognized as the world's largest and premier LGBT health conference. Previous recipients of the award include U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and U.S. Rep. John Lewis as well as former Representatives Barney Frank and Hilda Solis.

A gay Georgia teen disowned by his family during a violent confrontation is now being helped by friends and a non-profit, and people across the globe have donated nearly $100,000 to help him, according to Project Q Atlanta. Daniel Pierce, who media reports say is a student at Georgia Highlands College, came out to his family last October. But it wasn't until Aug. 27 when he went public with a video he recorded of his family, including his stepparents, trying to hold a "pray away the gay" intervention that his plight gained widespread attention.

Also in Georgia, a 28-year-old Clayton County woman is charged with killing her girlfriend's 4-year-daughter by beating her in the head, while police say the girl's mother also played a role in the child's death, according to Project Q Atlanta. Police found Jamila Hart, 4, not breathing. The child's mother, Danielle Renee Hart, 24, and girlfriend Shardae Michelle Glover, 28, were both arrested on cruelty to children charges involving two other small children found in the apartment. However, charges against Glover have been upgraded to murder, aggravated assault and aggravated battery.

Florida's former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist—who once opposed marriage equality—has written an open letter to current Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott asking him to stop defending the state's same-sex marriage ban in court, according to EDGE Boston. "Florida deserves a governor who will stand up for all of the people of this state," writes Crist in his letter, posted in the Tampa Bay Times. Crist is now a Democrat who is challenging Scott for the gubernatorial post.

GLAAD launched the countdown to Spirit Day, the largest and most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world that supports LGBT youth, according to a press release. Spirit Day, which will take place Oct. 16, inspires millions to wear purple or "go purple" online in a united stand against bullying and to show their support for LGBT youth. For more information about Spirit Day, visit www.glaad.org/spiritday.

"Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender ( LGBT ) Aging: The Role of Gerontological Social Work"—a special triple issue from the Journal of Gerontological Social Work—is now available for free access ( at www.tandfonline.com/toc/wger20/57/2-4 ) all of September, according to a press release. The issue includes 18 articles and focuses on older LGBT adults and aging, an often unseen and marginalized subset of aging persons.

Two decades after first being conceived, a history project honoring LGBT people has debuted in San Francisco's gay Castro district, according to The Bay Area Reporter. Known as the Rainbow Honor Walk, the project consists of 20 bronze plaques ( of 14 men and six women ) memorializing deceased LGBT individuals who left a lasting mark on society. Among those who will have plaques remembering them are civil-rights activist Bayard Rustin, writers Gertrude Stein and Tennessee Williams, transgender pioneer Christine Jorgensen and British codebreaker Alan Turing.

Transgender woman Alejandra Leos was murdered just steps away from her home in north Memphis, Tennessee, on Sept. 5—and a suspect has been arrested according to WREG.com . Marshall Pegues, 21, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder of Leos, 41. A police report showed that Leos had an argument with Pegues at their home prior to the incident. A Facebook page entitled "Black Trans Women's Lives Matter" stated that a funeral was planned for Leos at Hickory Hill Funeral Home on Sept. 10.

The Quest, a gay pub in Baltimore's Highlandtown neighborhood, closed its doors after 15 years of operation, Out Traveler noted. Owner Tom Mathison cited multiple reasons for the establishment's closure, including smoking bans, high taxes—and hookup apps like Grindr. He added, "I think it's great that everybody's getting along, but the younger [gay people] just go with their friends to straight bars. If you check with a lot of the gay bars, they're not setting the world on fire anymore. You're going to see a lot of them close."

New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade will end its ban on on gay groups marching in its annual Irish celebration, according to The New York Post. OUT@NBCUniversal—an LGBT affinity group at 30 Rock—will be the only such organization flying its banner and marching up Fifth Avenue on March 17, 2015, officials said. That'll be the only gay group marching in the 2015 version of the world's largest St. Patrick's Day Parade; however, other LBGT groups can apply in future years. Groups such as Empire State Pride Agenda issued statements voicing their disappointment that only one LGBT group will be allowed to march next year.

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley ( D-IL ) and U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin ( D-WI ), Tom Harkin ( D-IA ) and Elizabeth Warren ( D-MA ) led a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ( HHS ) Secretary Sylvia Burwell expressing continued concern regarding current policies governing blood, organ, and tissue donation by men who have sex with men ( MSM ), according to a press release. FDA policy currently defers MSM blood donors for life, defers MSM tissue donors for five years, and designates MSM organ donors as high-risk.

Mount Holyoke College President Lynn Pasquerella announced during an opening convocation ceremony that the school will explicitly accept applications from all transgender people, The Advocate reported. In previous years, trans women who had not updated the gender on their legal identification documents were not considered for admission to the school; however, over the years, many transgender men have attended Massachusetts-based Mount Holyoke. The other "Seven Sisters" schools—Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Smith, Wellesley, Radcliffe and Vassar colleges—reportedly remain vague regarding their stances toward trans female applicants.

Chase Culpepper, the South Carolina-based gender-nonconforming teen who was ordered by officials to remove his makeup and "look more like a boy" before DMV employees would take a photo for his driver's license, plans to file a federal lawsuit, Advocate.com noted. The 16-year-old identifies as male and wears makeup and dresses in his everyday life, but when he arrived at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Anderson, S.C., to have his picture taken for his driver's license in March, he was informed his eyeshadow and lipstick constituted a prohibited "disguise."

According to a survey from travel website MissTravel.com, Chicago is the top destination for closeted men, Instinct Magazine noted. The dating destination website first polled 5,184 male members seeking male travel companions to find out if they were "out." The people who were closeted were then surveyed to discover their top destinations for discreet travel. Sydney, Australia; Maui, Hawaii; Puerta Vallarta, Mexico; and Vancouver, British Columbia rounded out the top five.

Lambda Legal has announced that HIV Project Director Scott Schoettes has been appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, a press release stated. The 25-member Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS ( PACHA ) provides advice, information and recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services regarding programs and policies intended to promote effective prevention of HIV disease and to advance research on HIV disease and AIDS. Schoettes was sworn in Sept. 4 and will serve a three-year term.

Campus Pride has posted that 78 colleges and universities allow students to change their names and genders on campus records, according to CampusPride.org . Among the schools that allow these alterations are Duke University, MIT, Northwestern University, Rutgers University, the University of Puget Sound and Williams College.

Associate Attorney General Tony West will leave the U.S. Department of Justice on Sept. 15, The National Law Journal reported. West has played a lead role in the Justice Department's top priorities, including the fight against financial fraud. A Human Rights Campaign statement noted that West also was instrumental in securing reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, the first federal non-discrimination law that included the LGBT community.

The top official from Chicago's Howard Brown Health Center ( HBHC ) responded to a new nationwide advertising campaign that questions the effectiveness of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis ( PrEP ) with an assertion that PrEP remains a viable option for persons who might be at risk for HIV infection. Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation ( AHF )—whose president, Michael Weinstein, has spoken out against PrEP—paid for the ads, which launched Aug. 22. Though AHF does not have a presence in Chicago, Munar said that news about the ads, which are scheduled to appear in a number of publications, would contribute to widespread misinformation about PrEP, which is largely available as the pill Truvada.

Arturo Galster, a popular star of San Francisco's drag-performance scene, died Aug. 25 at California Pacific Medical Center Davies Campus at the age of 55, according to SFGate.com . Widely acclaimed for his appearances as country superstar Patsy Cline in the United States and Tokyo, Galster died two days after receiving a head injury during what his family described only as "an incident" in Dolores Park.

Denver police are trying to identify a woman who made comments about the sexual orientation of two men inside a convenience store before her male companion assaulted one of the men outside, TheDenverChannel.com reported. The men left the store on foot. The woman got into a mid-sized gold Chevrolet pickup truck and drove after the two men, police said. She stopped the truck in the street; a male passenger got out of the truck and assaulted one of the young men.

Immigration Equality—which advocates for equality under U.S. immigration law for LGBT and HIV-positive individuals and their loved ones—has released a statement expressing its disappointment and preparation to take action based on President Obama's decision to delay his executive order on immigration, according to a press release. The organization stated, "Abandoning his own promise to act by the end of summer jeopardizes and endangers the lives of 267,000 undocumented LGBT Americans who urgently need relief from deportation." The group and other LGBT immigration movement leaders from across the country had planned to demonstrate in front of The White House Sept. 9.

In New Mexico, more than half of the marriage licenses issued by Santa Fe County in the past year have gone to same-sex couples, according to KRQE.com . The number of licenses issued has doubled, and 55 percent went to same-sex couples. More than 2,500 licenses were handed out since becoming available to same-sex couples on Aug. 23, 2013, the figures show; of those, nearly 1,400 were requested by gay couples, with at least 600 of those couples coming from Texas and Oklahoma, officials said.

Online Buddies, parent company of gay dating site Manhunt.net and social-dating app Jack'd, announced the acquisition of the gay mobile app Dandy, according to a press release. According to the release, "Dandy is an easy way to connect with hot local guys via a fun, gamified interface." Dandy is available as a free download for iOS devices such as iPhone®, iPad®, and iPod touch®.


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