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  WINDY CITY TIMES

NATIONAL Abused child, bisexual health, electoral news
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-07-03

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Investigators said that a 10-year-old child who died recently after years of physical abuse may have come out as gay just before he was killed, LGBTQ Nation noted. Anthony Avalos' mother, Heather Barron, told authorities that the child had "suffered injuries from a fall"—but he had severe head injuries and cigarette burns on his body, and his mother and her boyfriend, Kareem Leiva, had been reported numerous times for child abuse. Department of Children and Family Services Deputy Director Brandon Nichols said that Avalos "said he liked boys" in the weeks leading to his death.

LGBTQ Nation noted that a study in the LGBT Health Journal stated that bisexual men face a higher risk for heart disease than either straight or gay men. The study looked at a sample of 7,731 men, placing each in one of four categories: gay-identified men, bisexual-identified men, heterosexual-identified men who have sex with men ( MSM ) and exclusively heterosexual men. Several risk factors were considered in the study, including tobacco use, diet, hypertension, cholesterol and binge drinking; bisexual-identified men faced higher rates of mental distress, obesity, elevated blood pressure and an increase in glycosylated hemoglobin ( which is linked to diabetes ).

Openly gay Congressman Jared Polis claimed the Democratic nomination for governor in Colorado with a clear victory June 26 after he spent $11 million of his own money to defeat three rivals, The Denver Post reported. The five-term Boulder congressman would become the nation's first openly gay man elected governor if he wins in November. Mayor Annise Parker, president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said in a statement, "While it is a historic and promising night for the LGBTQ community, primary voters chose Jared not because he could be a historic first, but because of his unquestionable integrity and positive vision for Coloradans."

Speaking of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, it announced its endorsement of 37 more LGBTQ candidates—raising to 170 the total number of candidates endorsed this cycle, a press release noted. They include "Spotlight Candidates" Amelia Marquez ( Montana House of Representatives, District 52 ), Cody Thompson ( West Virginia House of Delegates, District 43 ) and Elias Rojas ( Alaska House of Representatives, District 20 ).

Sharon Brackett has become the first trans woman to be elected to a public office in Maryland, a press release noted. Brackett, competing against 14 other candidates, was elected to the 46th District Democratic Central Committee representing the neighborhoods of Canton, Locust Point, Federal Hill, Brooklyn, Curtis Bay and Cherry Hill, located in Baltimore. Another trans woman, Laura Hart, was elected to the Democratic Central Committee in St. Mary's county; that race was uncontested.

Transgender Human Rights Campaign worker Charlotte Clymer, who identifies as female, has said that when she got up to use the woman's bathroom at a restaurant, she said she was asked to show her ID—and was ejected when she refused, CNN.com reported. Clymer said she was at Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar in Washington, D.C., with a group of friends for a bachelorette party when the incident happened. Cuba Libre apologized about the incident on Twitter, saying, "As a rule, we support safe bathrooms and welcome guests of all gender identifications."

SAGE and the Movement Advancement Project ( MAP ) released "Nursing Home," the latest in a series of ads illustrating the harms LGBT Americans face as a result of not having nondiscrimination protections, a press release noted. Among other things, the release stated that LGBT older adults are particularly vulnerable to discrimination, because religiously affiliated organizations provide a majority of the services they rely on for their most basic needs. The ad is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h83ATneXX78&feature=youtu.be.

Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump's daughter, donated $50,000 to a church in Texas that has a history of anti-LGBTQ activism, according to LGBTQ Nation. CBN News reported that an anonymous source said that Trump gave $50,000 to the Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano after she read a tweet that said that the church wanted to help immigrant children. While the church is possibly doing commendable work for immigrant children, it also has a history of anti-LGBTQ activism; the church's website calls being LGBTQ "sexual identity confusion."

President Trump has nominated a former head of gay organization Log Cabin Republicans to a senior position at the State Department for political and military affairs, The Washington Blade reported. The White House announced that it had designated R. Clarke Cooper, who's gay and led Log Cabin during 2010-12, as assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs. The announcement also included news for two other unrelated nominees.

In Texas, San Antonio had a rainbow crosswalk installed June 27, WKYC.com reported. The milestone came three years after the day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal across the country. District 1 City Councilman Roberto Trevino said San Antonio is the second city in Texas to have a pride crosswalk.

Montana voters rejected a ballot initiative that the ACLU of Montaina said was intended to intimidate and harm transgender and non-binary Montanans, a press release noted. I-183 failed to gather the necessary 25,468 signatures to make it on the November ballot. I-183 sought to block transgender and non-binary Montanans from public life. The initiative would have prevented them from using public facilities that correspond with their gender identity in places such as libraries, parks, and schools. The state legislature rejected an almost identical measure in 2017.

The Department of Justice filed federal hate-crimes charges against James Alex Fields Jr.—the driver accused of killing and harming counterprotesters at the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, according to a Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights press release. Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the conference, said, "This is a very important, robust, and decisive indictment by career prosecutors in the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. It stands in stark and painful contrast with a president who still refuses to unequivocally denounce the white supremacists, some of whom were marching in his name, in Charlottesville that day."

St. Petersburg authorities are looking into an incident where a group of men, in hooded black masks, harassed a crowd of partygoers during St. Pete Pride, WFLA.com noted. One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said she shouted to the men to go away—to which they reportedly responded, "Go kill yourself." Nearby businesses are checking their cameras to see if any images of the men were captured.

To mark the rainbow flag's 40th anniversary, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has installed one of the banners in one of its galleries, PhillyVoice.com noted. Artist Gilbert Baker and 30 volunteers hand-dyed and stitched the two original flags to highlight LGBTQ+ issues as both a global struggle and a matter of civil rights. The Rainbow Flag will be on display in Gallery 124 through Sunday, July 8.

An attorney for six current and former students at Pennsylvania's Boyertown Area Senior High School vowed to appeal a judicial ruling that upholds the right of transgender students to use restrooms, locker rooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identities, EPGN.com noted. Randall L. Wenger—chief counsel for Independence Law Center, a conservative civil-rights organization—said the appeal will seek review of the ruling by all 12 active judges of the Third Circuit along with Senior Judge Richard L. Nygaard. If the ruling isn't overturned, Wenger said he may petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the matter.

In an upset, 10-term U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley was defeated by 28-year-old Bernie Sanders supporter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a Democratic congressional primary in New York, NBC News noted. Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who has never held elected office. She ran a low-budget campaign and was outspent 18 to one.

The only three Black U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would make lynching a federal hate crime, CNN.com noted. Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey teamed with Democrat Kamala Harris of California and South Carolina Republican Tim Scott to introduce the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2018. he senators said the legislation will amend the US Code "to specify that lynching is a crime in itself that would warrant an enhanced sentence under existing federal hate-crime statues."

The NEA ( National Education Association ) honored Chris Sgro for his dedication and many years of work to expand the rights of LGBTQ people with its 2018 Virginia Uribe Award for Creative Leadership in Human Rights, a press release noted. Sgro was among 12 people recognized at the 2018 NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards, which took place July 1 in Minneapolis. Other award recipients include First Lady Michelle Obama, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and football quarterback Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp.

U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney ( D-N.Y. ) said he tried to buy tampons for his office but was denied permission by the House Administration Committee, Roll Call noted. However, a House Administration spokeswoman said it "did not send an email or provide any guidance to Rep. Maloney's Office." According to Maloney ( an openly gay politician who's running for New York attorney general ), his office was told that tampons were "not an office supply but a personal care item" and that it would have to pay back $37.16.

Bruce Turkel, a Miami advertising executive who had been a frequent guest on Fox News, said in a letter that he will no longer appear on the network because of its coverage of immigration, The Huffington Post noted. "Quite simply, the position Fox has taken on our government's policy of separating children from their parents is too heinous for me to accept," Turkel wrote in an open letter to Fox News. In part, Turkel wrote, "Separating innocent children from their parents and jailing them is just plain wrong."

Days before the mass shooting in a Maryland newspaper office, controversial openly gay alt-right poster boy Milo Yiannopoulos said he "can't wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning [down] journalists," Gay Star News noted. Yiannopoulos claimed he trolled 'hostile' journalists days before the mass shooting as way of telling them to "f—k off." Yiannopoulos said the journalists ( Davis Richardson at the Observer and Will Sommer of The Daily Beast ) should not have made his message public, arguing the onus of the June 28 shootings was on them for making the message public.


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