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Gay GOP sheriff re-elected; Maddow called 'angry young man'
NATIONAL ROUNDUP: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.
2012-11-13

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In Arizona, GOP candidate Paul Babeu overcame publicity from a messy split from an ex-boyfriend to be re-elected sheriff of Pinal County, according to Gay Star News. Babeu originally ran for Congress and even chaired Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in Arizona. However, a story ran in February in which Babeu's ex, Jose Orozco, accused him of asking Orozco to sign a confidentiality agreement about their relationship—and allegedly threatening him with deportation after he didn't sign. Babeu, denying the allegation, dropped out of the Congressional race and ran again for sheriff.

An anchor for a Fox affiliate in Cincinnati, Ohio, called lesbian MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow "such an angry young man" on her Facebook page last month, according to Advocate.com . Tricia Macke was criticized by followers and asked to apologize. "You are right," she wrote. "I am sorry. I should have said 'antagonistic.'" The exchange has been removed from Macke's Facebook page, and Macke and the affiliate, Fox19, later issued formal apologies after GLAAD verbally attacked them.

The American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity will honor three lawyers—Mary Bonauto, Matt Nosanchuk and Mia Yamamoto—with the inaugural Stonewall Award during a ceremony at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Feb. 9, 2013 in Dallas, a press release stated. Bonauto has been the civil-rights project director for the New England-wide Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders since 1990. Nosanchuk is associate general counsel for legal counsel at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Yamamoto (a Vietnam combat veteran and private practitioner since 1984) serves on the board of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Criminal Courts Bar Association and International Bridges to Justice.

Bradley Manning—the Army soldier accused of leaking more than a half million confidential U.S. documents to the website WikiLeaks—has offered to plead guilty to some charges during his ongoing pre-trial hearing, according to ABC News. Manning's civilian defense attorney, David Coombs, posted on a blog that the soldier is willing to admit guilty to some lesser charges if the military will amend or strike some of the 34 charges against him. LGBT-rights activists have protested on behalf of Manning, who was out when "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was enforced, the Huffington Post mentioned.

In California, two male nurses may face criminal charges after video showed them apparently molesting a 98-year-old bedridden stroke patient, according to the New York Daily News. San Diego nurses Russel Torralba and Alfredo V. Ruiz fondled one another and touched the hand and face of the female patient; in one incident, a nurse places the woman's hand inside his pants. The nurses had been hired at a rate of $1,300 a day.

In Colorado, Denver Democrat Mark Ferrandino has become the first out gay LGBT legislator in state history to preside over the chamber, Advocate.com reported. Nominated as speaker of the Colorado State House of Representatives, Ferrandino will accept the gavel Jan. 9, the first day of the 2013 legislative session. Ferrandino's election comes six months after the former speaker, Republican Frank McNulty, shut down the state House to kill a bipartisan civil-unions bill that Ferrandino co-sponsored.

To reflect Maryland's passage of same-sex marriage, tourism bureau Visit Baltimore has created a new microsite, www.baltimore.org/lgbt-weddings, according to a press release. The microsite contains info same-sex couples need to know to get married in Baltimore, from practical information on how to obtain a marriage license to unique wedding venues and vendors, and information on Baltimore's TAG-approved accommodations. (TAG-approved gay-friendly hotels and attractions meet six LGBT welcoming qualifications, according to TAGApproved.com .)

Florida A&M University offered to pay $300,000 to the family of Robert Champion Jr., a drum major who died after being hazed, according to the Orlando Sentinel. However, Pamela and Robert Champion Sr. were "insulted" by the offer and rejected it. Champion Jr., a 26-year-old openly gay student, died Nov. 19, 2011, after being beaten aboard the charter bus parked at the Rosen Plaza hotel.

In Kansas, voters in the cities of Salina and Hutchinson voted to repeal gay-inclusive antidiscrimination laws, according to Advocate.com . The Salina ordinance (overturned 54 percent to 46 percent) banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; the one in Hutchinson (rejected 58 percent to 42 percent) covered sexual orientation only. Lawrence is now the only city in the state with an LGBT-inclusive antidiscrimination law.

Pro football player Brendon Ayanbadejo was delighted to learn that Maryland passed same-sex marriage, USA Today reported. "I'm so stoked. It's like I woke up and it's Christmas," Ayanbadejo, who plays for the Baltimore Ravens, said. However, teammate Bernard Pollard was not thrilled, saying, "When it's all said and done, there are a lot of guys on this team that stand firmly behind what the Bible says—that a man marries a woman and a woman marries a man."

In North Dakota, voters have elected the first openly gay state representative to the state's Legislative Assembly, according to LGBTQ Nation. The race saw first-time candidate Democrat Joshua Boschee winning the highest percentage of votes (26.1 percent) among four candidates contending for two seats in the legislature. Boschee said, "I think it shows LGBT kids in the state that if you work hard, and you're true to yourself, anything is possible. And I had this opportunity—and with a lot of help, it paid off."

In Minnesota, Lakeside Christina Church Pastor Ryan Jay Muehlhauser is accused of sexually assaulting men while counseling them, according to KSDK.com . Muehlhauser allegedly assaulted two men at least eight times while counseling them about their sexual orientation. One victim claimed that the minister "blessed" him by cupping his genitals outside of his clothing several times and would have the alleged victim strip naked for more "spiritual guidance."

On Nov. 9, ground was broken on the new John C. Anderson LGBT Senior Housing Project in Philadelphia, according to the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. Among those at the ceremony were U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, Mayor Michael Nutter, City Councilman Mark Squilla, union boss John Dougherty and Philadelphia Gay News Editor Mark Segal. Anderson was a member of the Philadelphia City Council from 1979 to 1984, and was instrumental to the passage of Philadelphia's civil-rights bill for sexual minorities.

In West Virginia, attorney Stephen Skinner has become the first openly gay person elected to the state legislature, according to the Washington Blade. Skinner will represent Harper's Ferry, Shepherdstown and surrounding areas of Jefferson County in the House of Delegtaes after defeating Republican Elliot Simon Nov. 6. Skinner, who founded the pro-LGBT group Fairness West Virginia, cited lesbian Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin's historic election to the U.S. Senate as proof that voters acan look beyond a candidate's sexual orientation.

In Washington, D.C., out gay Georgetown University student Craig Cassey, 20, will fill one of two seats on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, Ward 2E, according to TheHoya.com . The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund confirmed that the win (if/when confirmed) is unprecedented for an LGBT elected official, in terms of age, the Washington Blade noted. "We've checked and can find no out elected official as young as him anywhere in the country," Denis Dison, a spokesperson for the fund, wrote in an e-mail.

The Chicago Consultation—a group of bishops that supports the full inclusion of LGBT Christians in the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion—issued a press release regarding the naming of the Rt. Rev. Justin Welby as the 105th archbishop of Canterbury. The release read, in part, "Bishop Welby is known for his pragmatic approach to conflict resolution and his personal courage as an agent of reconciliation. ... We are heartened that Archbishop-elect Welby decried homophobia in his opening press conference, and we hope that he will listen with an open heart to the voices of the millions of faithful lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians across the Anglican Communion."

In California, Lambda Legal argued before the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of Riverside County that the June 2009 sting operation in the Warm Sands neighborhood of Palm Springs was discriminatory, according to a press release. Lambda Legal asked the Court to reverse several convictions resulting from that operation. Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Peter Renn said, "The police let heterosexual couples off scot-free. But gay men were rounded up and charged with crimes that would have required lifetime sex-offender registration."

Winnie Stachelberg, of the Center for American Progress (CAP), announced that former Congressman Patrick Murphy will be joining CAP's national security and international policy team as a senior fellow, according to a press release. Building upon his Congressional career, Murphy will continue to focus on enhancing national security and supporting military families; and leveling the playing field of LGBT Americans and their families, among other things.

In California, Los Angeles County voters approved a measure mandating condom use in the making of adult films within the county, according to Advocate.com . Advocates who proposed the initiative said it is necessary to protect performers from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections; it passed with 55.9 percent of the vote. Condom use has been common in gay-porn films since the 1980s; however, makers of heterosexual porn have been reluctant to require performers to wear condoms.

Poet/activist/author William Brandon Lacy Campos passed away in New York City at the age of 35, according to Rod 2.0. Campos, who had been HIV-positive for the past 10 years, was the co-executive director of Queers for Economic Justice and a prominent figure within the country's social-activist and "artivist" communities. Campos' great-great uncle was the Black historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the second Black man to be awarded a doctorate from Harvard University and the founder of Black History Month.

In Washington, D.C., The Eagle—one of the oldest gay bars in the district—is in need of a new home, according to the Washington Blade. There is a Nov. 30 deadline to vacate the building at its current location at 639 New York Ave., N.W., to make way for a new office building. Eagle manager Ted Clements said the bar plans to hold a closing party Nov. 25, with the hope that the establishment will have lined up a new location shortly before or after that date.

John Hall, 27, an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Seagoville, Texas, pled guilty in federal court to violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act stemming from his assault of a fellow inmate he believed to be gay, according to Justice.gov . Hall assaulted his fellow inmate with a dangerous weapon, causing bodily injury to the victim Dec. 20, 2011. Hall faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for this crime.

In California, Mary Bono Mack—the stepmother of Chaz Bono—lost her bid for re-election for Congress, Advocate.com reported. Mack, who represented an area east of Los Angeles that includes gay mecca Palm Springs—lost to Democrat Raul Ruiz. There was also speculation that she lost because she spent time in Florida campaigning for her husband, GOP senator Connie Mack, who was also defeated Nov. 6.

United Parcel Service (UPS), Inc.—a corporate donor of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA)—has announced that it will cease all future funding to BSA until gay Scouts and leaders are welcome within the organization, according to a Change.org press release. Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, founder of Scouts for Equality, launched the campaign on Change.org days after Intel Corporation, one of BSA's largest corporate donors, confirmed the company is no longer supporting the scouts. Wahls said, "Corporate America gets it better than most: Policies that discriminate aren't simply wrong—they're bad for business and they're hurting the scouting community."

The Williams Institute estimates that extending marriage to same-sex couples in Maine, Maryland and Washington state will generate more than $166 million in wedding spending in the first three years, according to a press release. The estimates assume that 50 percent of same-sex couples in each state will marry in the first three years, consistent with the experiences of other states that have opened marriage to same-sex couples. Same-sex marriages will begin in December in Washington and January 2013 in Maine and Maryland.

The Human Rights Campaign has released its first index of inclusion within a faith-based community with the Jewish Organization Equality Index (JOEI), according to a press release. Key findings of JOEI show how a broad range of Jewish organizations address LGBT diversity and inclusion in three categories of practice: organizational inclusion efforts, community/client engagement and workplace policies. Of the 204 Jewish nonprofit organizations that participated, 50% received the top score of "inclusion," meaning they are taking significant steps to welcome LGBT individuals and families. See www.hrc.org/joei.

In Texas, the Austin school district has canceled a play about gay penguins from being performed at elementary schools, according to Gawker.com . And Then Came Tango, an original work by University of Texas at Austin graduate theater student Emily Freeman, tells the true story of Roy and Silo, a pair of male penguins who hatched and raised a chick named Tango at New York's Central Park Zoo. In response to the school district's action, Freeman is putting on free performances of Tango at the Oscar G. Brockett Theatre Nov. 30-Dec. 2.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Utah filed a lawsuit against the Davis School District after elementary schools were instructed to remove a children's book about a family with same-sex parents from library shelves, a press release stated. In Our Mothers' House, by Patricia Polacco, was initially placed in the easy-reading section of Windridge Elementary School in Davis County. Howver, after a group of parents complained that the book "normalizes a lifestyle we don't agree with," the school district instructed librarians to place the book behind the library counter and to lend it only with written permission from a parent.

Transgender woman Brooke Fantelli is accusing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management of excessive force after federal agents Tasered her in the crotch last year, according to Advocate.com . Bureau agents encountered Fantelli and others in a group on public land in the Imperial County, Calif., desert. An agent was reportedly friendly until he saw Fantelli's ID card; he then held up the group for an hour, calling sheriff's deputies for backup. Fantelli was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication, but Fantelli said she only had two drinks and was not intoxicated.

The L.A. billboard of the gay online radio show "The Craig & Robbie Hour" was defaced for the second time, according to L.A. Weekly. The same thing happened—the billboard being painted over—several months ago. The matter has been reported to the LAPD, and is being treated as a hate crime.


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