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NATIONAL Anti-Trump actions, suicide hotline, Jeff Bezos/Amazon
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-11-06

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Groups and individuals filed 13 friend-of-the-court briefs supporting the plaintiffs in Doe v. Trump in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, an NCLR/GLAD press release noted. The case was filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders ( GLAD ) and was the first lawsuit to challenge the Trump-Pence transgender military ban and secured the first preliminary injunction halting the ban while the case is heard in court. A brief from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Service Women's Action Network, NYC Veterans Alliance and others spotlights military heroes who would have been excluded from service if prior discriminatory regulations had remained in effect.

More than 50 major companies have joined forces to stand up against the Trump administration's attack on transgender rights, following a leaked memo showing plans to undo protections by defining gender as an immutable characteristic defined by genitalia at birth, NewNowNext.com noted. In total, 56 companies, representing over $2.4 trillion in annual revenue and nearly 4.8 million employees, according to CNBC, signed onto a letter. ( A few of the companies include HSBC, Deutsche Bank, IBM, Nike Inc., Apple, PepsiCo and Airbnb. ) The administration has already targeted the transgender community, with ongoing efforts to ban individuals from military service, among other things.

Trans Lifeline—an organization that runs a crisis hotline for transgender people and staffed by transgender people—said that calls to the suicide hotline have quadrupled since the story broke that the Trump administration is trying to legally erase transgender identity, LGBTQ Nation reported. In an Instagram post, Trans Lifeline reported that calls increased by four times recently, and first-time callers doubled. Trans Lifeline's number is 877-565-8860.

Amazon founder/CEO Jeff Bezos has reportedly donated $10,000 to a notorious anti-LGBTI politician, Gay Star News reported. Bezos and wife Mackenzie donated a combined total of $10,800 to Republican Senator Cory Gardner. They individually donated $5,400 each—the maximum amount allowed for individual donors in Colorado. However, Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky, Amazon Worldwide Consumer CEO Jeffrey Wilkie and Senior Vice Presidents David Clark and Doug Herrington all donated $5,400 as well to Gardner's campaign.

An 18-year-old was charged over an alleged threat to "cleanse" his school of LGBT students, PinkNews reported. Jonathan Logan-Guy Radford—a student at Byrnes High School in South Carolina—was arrested Oct. 18 after allegedly tweeting bomb threats against students at the school. Police believe the teen threatened to bomb and "shoot up" the school, and made death threats targeted specifically at LGBT+ students.

A star-studded group of female Hollywood entertainers—including Cher, Lily Tomlin, Ellen Pompeo and Olivia Munn—urged other women to vote in the Nov. 6 midterm elections as part of a Jodie Foster—directed PSA, The Hill reported. "If somebody asked you 'What do you care about?,' what would you say?" actress Tea Leoni asks the camera in the video released Oct. 30 by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Independence USA PAC. Bloomberg had pledged to spend at least $80 million ahead of the Nov. 6 midterms in an effort to help Democrats gain control of the House.

Also ahead of the midterm elections, organizers from Black Youth Project 100 ( BYP100 ) released their first album, The Black Joy Experience, a press release noted. "Let's be clear: Without joy, we won't win in 2018 or beyond" said Jonathan Lykes, the co-producer of The Black Joy Experience and the national co-chair of BYP100 Action Fund, the political arm of the organization. "Without joy, we won't survive." The Black Joy Experience is currently available on all major music-streaming platforms.

A group of trans activists was forced to leave a rally Mike Pence was speaking at and were told by someone wearing a "Gays for Trump" T-shirt that he'd "love to" erase them, LGBTQ Nation noted. Four transgender activists went to a rally held to support U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter ( R-Georgia ) in Savannah, Georgia, where Pence was going to speak. Almost immediately, they were asked to leave because Carter recognized them from a campaign barbecue event; there, the trans activists had held up signs that said "Hell is a place on Earth."

Alan Peleaz Lopez, a member of the Black LGBTQ+ Migrant Project's Steering Committee, issued a statement in response to President Donald Trump's plan to end birthright citizenship through an executive order. In part, Lopez said, "Election tactic or not, the fact that the Trump administration is publicly considering an executive order targeting birthright citizenship has chilling consequences. ... For some of us, the fight back against this hate will happen in the courts. But now is the time for all of us to commit to vigilantly supporting and protecting each other. Whether that means we vote with our values, we organize in our communities, or we rally and march to publicly show our support, all of our actions matter."

Philadelphia school-district officials are appealing a $500,000 award to Amanda Wible, a former public-school student who maintains she suffered severe bullying because she's gender-nonconforming, Philadelphia Gay News reported. Wible attended Philadelphia's public schools between September 2003-13, and said she suffered unlawful bullying starting in 2008. Besides name-calling, Wible's suit alleges that bullies punched her, pulled her hair, broke her glasses, spit on her, threw food at her, placed a trash can on her head, pushed her into a locker and ripped off some of her clothing.

Hundreds of books have been donated to the northwest Iowa library where a man checked out— and then burned—several LGBTQ children's books weeks ago, The Des Moines Register reported. The Orange City Public Library said it has received more than 200 books since religious activist Paul Dorr engaged in a book-burning Oct. 19. Several GoFundMe pages and Facebook fundraisers have raised thousands of dollars for the library—much more than the roughly $50 needed to replace the burned books.

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was sexually abused when he was a child, his brother told CBS station WBZ-TV, according to CBS News. Jonathan Hernandez also told the station that his father would beat him and his brother and that Aaron Hernandez was gay. The former NFL star, 27, committed suicide in a Massachusetts prison in 2017 while serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of semi-pro linebacker Odin Lloyd.

Live Nation and Crown Publishing announced the list of moderators scheduled to appear with Michelle Obama on her 10-city U.S. book tour in support of her memoir, BECOMING—with Oprah Winfrey moderating the upcoming Chicago stop on Nov. 13 at the United Center, a press release noted. Other tour events will be moderated by such notable figures as Elizabeth Alexander ( 11/25 and 12/1 ), Valerie Jarrett ( 11/17 and 12/17 ), Michele Norris ( 11/24 and 12/14 ), Sarah Jessica Parker ( 12/19 ), Phoebe Robinson ( 11/29 and 12/11 ), Tracee Ellis Ross ( 11/15 ) and Reese Witherspoon ( 12/13 ).

The Major League Soccer franchise the Los Angeles Football Club condemned fans who were chanting the anti-gay slur "puto" from the stands, NBC News noted. "The chant has no place in our City or Stadium and does not represent who we are as a Club," the statement said. "LAFC and The 3252 [Independent Supporters Union] are committed to creating an inclusive, welcoming and safe experience at Banc of California Stadium for all fans. ... Any fans identified as participating in this offensive chanting or other prohibited acts will be removed from the stadium and permanently banned."

Dan Crenshaw, a Republican candidate for Texas's 2nd Congressional District, has called on NBC producers to donate $1 million to veterans' groups after he was mocked for wearing an eye patch in a "Saturday Night Live" sketch over the weekend, The Washington Post noted. In the "Weekend Update" segment, SNL cast member Pete Davidson ( who was subsequently widely criticized ) suggested Crenshaw looked like "a hit man in a porno movie." Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL, lost his right eye in 2012 after a bomb exploded during a deployment to Afghanistan.


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