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NATIONAL Anti-Trump ruling, crime items, Equality California, Texas school
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-09-08

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A federal judge slapped a hold on a Trump administration rule that allows healthcare providers to refuse services to LGBTQ people on religious grounds, Bloomberg reported. In a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said the administration failed to consider how the rule would affect access to care, given "substantial evidence" that it would cause LGBTQ patients "to fear discrimination at the hands of religiously affiliated providers." The rule is part of revised regulations for the Obama-era Affordable Care Act that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services promulgated last year.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office filed charges against two men in connection with assaulting three transgender women Aug. 17, Advocate.com noted. Joslyn Flawless, Eden the Doll and Jaslene Whiterose were attacked on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles while waiting for an Uber early that day. Carlton Alexander Callaway, 29, and Davion Anthony Williams, 22, were charged with various offenses, including grand theft and assault with a deadly weapon.

A 23-year-old woman that police say was found dead at Orchard Beach in the Bronx on Aug. 31 was transgender, according to a Gay City News item. An investigation is underway and the NYPD is awaiting a cause of death from the medical examiner. Out gay Bronx City Councilmember Ritchie Torres, who is well on his way to Congress after winning his Democratic primary in June, responded to the news with a call to action to stand up for trans individuals.

Equality California will honor entertainment icon Norman Lear with the Ally Leadership Award during its first-ever statewide "Golden State Equality Awards" virtual celebration on Sunday, Sept. 13, a press release noted. Director/producer Sam Feder, producer Amy Scholder and executive producer Laverne Cox will accept the Equality Visibility Award on behalf of the Netflix original documentary Disclosure. Also, Pete and Chasten Buttigieg will receive the Equality Trailblazer Award, and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will honor the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis. To purchase tickets, visit https://www.eqca.org/equality-awards/golden-state-2020/.

In Texas, the headteacher of a Christian school expelled an "exceptional" straight-A student because he is gay, a Gay Star News item noted. Devin Bryant, 17, was just about to begin his senior year at Covenant Christian Academy in Colleyville, Texas; however, new headmaster Tony Jeffrey gave his mother Consolata a call saying Devin was no longer welcome. The teen had come out via an Instagram post on his birthday in October last year.

GLAAD, in a press release, condemned an announced $4-million digital ad campaign aimed at swing state voters in Michigan as dangerously inaccurate and transphobic—and asked sites and social media platforms to reject posting the ads. GLAAD said the American Principles Project's ( APP's ) ad campaign in "has wildly inaccurate claims about inclusive policies for trans athletes, and extreme claims that ignore research about how affirming a young person's gender identity saves their lives."

San Francisco's police chief said he was "disappointed" that the city's Pride parade had banned uniformed officers from participating in next year's LGBTQ+ march, Openly News reported. "As the Chief of Police, I am disappointed in the Pride Board's decision," Chief William Scott emailed. The San Francisco Pride Board of Directors said it had enacted its ban after a city oversight agency dismissed complaints of local police using unnecessary force during a confrontation with protesters in 2019.

A federal district court denied a request by the Trump administration to dismiss a lawsuit brought by two former U.S. military cadets challenging the administration's discriminatory policies targeting servicemembers living with HIV, a Lambda Legal press release noted. The ruling, out of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, came in the case of Deese & Doe v. Esper, filed by Lambda Legal and Modern Military Association of America ( MMAA ) with pro bono co-counsel Winston & Strawn.

Texas Assistant Attorney General Nick Moutos said he was ousted from his position after posting tweets in support of QAnon and against LGBT people, The Hill reported. Media Matters for America noted earlier that Moutos is a "proponent" of the QAnon conspiracy theory as well as the "PizzaGate" theory that preceded QAnon. Moutos has also made anti-LGBT comments, specifically about the trans community, tweeting in April that, "Trans People are an abomination and have a mental disorder."

Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell is joining the conservative Christian legal organization American Center for Law and Justice ( ACLJ ) as a special advisor for national security and foreign policy, LGBTQ Nation reported. The ACLJ was founded by the anti-LGBTQ extremist and televangelist Pat Robertson in 1990 to advance "universal, God-given and inalienable rights." "I have admired their work for years," said Grenell, who was the only out LGBTQ person to speak at this year's Republican National Convention and who has previously said that Donald Trump is the "most pro-gay president in American history."

A Georgia congregation officially left the United Methodist Church ( UMC ) in support of LGBTQ rights, deciding instead to be an independent nondenominational church, NBC News reported. The move by Asbury Memorial Church in Savannah came a year and a half after the UMC—the second-largest Protestant denomination in the country—voted to strengthen its bans on LGBTQ clergy and same-sex weddings. Asbury Memorial voted to part ways with the UMC last September by a vote of 309 to seven.

Aspiring TikTok star Cameron Joseph Pena ( who is himself gay ) recently came under fire for posting a video of himself going through a Starbucks drive-thru and mocking the barista for having a "gay-sounding" voice, Queerty noted. Pena eventually issued an apology, saying he was "really sorry" and that he "should've never made fun of anyone"—but then he posted another video shortly after that saying people were being "over dramatic" and calling his critics "bitchy." Pena has since set his profile to private.

Musician Kacey Musgraves used her voice to warn about the harm to the LGBTQ+ community that would be caused by a second Trump term, Out.com noted. The country singer shared an image to Twitter with the caption "If you love an LGBTQ+ person and you're planning on voting for Donald Trump in November, that's an act of violence against them." According to GLAAD's Trump Accountability Project, his administration has attacked the LGBTQ+ community at least 172 times in rhetoric and policy, including the ban on transgender troops serving in the military, since coming into power in 2017.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden joined a private LGBTQ+ fundraiser, headlined virtually by Cher, that raised nearly $2 million, according to an Out.com item. "The guy is really an idiot," she said at one point of President Trump during the broadcast, according to AP News. Pete Buttigieg—the former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and the first out gay presidential candidate to win a state party caucus—introduced the megastar performer.

Dictionary.com announced in its latest update that it has revised LGBTQ definitions while adding more, LGBTQ Nation noted. Now, terms like "biromantic" and "deadname" can be found in the online dictionary. Some changes that were made include replacing the word "homosexual" and "homosexuality" with "gay," "gay man," "gay woman" or "gay sexual orientation," based on discussions with GLAAD and in accordance with American Psychological Association guidelines.

Hundreds of people gathered for Black Lives Matter rallies and marches Sept. 5 in Portland, Oregon, as often violent nightly demonstrations that have happened for 100 days since George Floyd was killed showed no signs of ceasing, KATU.com noted. Molotov cocktails thrown in the street during a march sparked a large fire and prompted police to declare a riot. On the 100th day of protests in Portland, demonstrators vowed to keep coming into the streets.

Rochester, New York Mayor Mayor Lovely Warren ordered the immediate suspension of seven police officers over the death of Chicagoan Daniel Prude—a Black man who died of asphyxiation after being restrained with a "spit hood" during his arrest in March, NPR reported. Police body camera footage of the encounter was released, prompting protests and calls for transparency and justice.

MSNBC host Joy Reid was accused of Islamophobia over remarks she made during a recent evening broadcast comparing radicalized Trump supporters to "the way Muslims act," The Daily Beast noted. After noting how Trump liked a tweet praising vigilante kid Kyle Rittenhouse and cheered on pro-Trump demonstrators in Portland shooting protesters with paintball guns and mace, Reid—a former columnist for The Daily Beast—attempted to make a point about the president radicalizing his base. Zakir Khan, board chair of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oregon, said the MSNBC star's remarks were "so unbelievably Islamophobic it's ridiculous," asking whether she planned to apologize for the way she "stereotype[d] an entire group of Muslims."

A professor of African and Latin American studies who portrayed herself as Black revealed she has been lying, CNN.com reported. Jessica A. Krug, an associate professor at George Washington University, has written extensively about Africa, Latin America, the diaspora and identity—all while claiming her own Black and Latina heritage. But in an article published on Medium.com, Krug ( who is actually white ) apologized and acknowledged that she had no right to claim these identities, saying that "doing so is the very epitome of violence, of thievery and appropriation, of the myriad ways in which non-Black people continue to use and abuse Black identities and cultures."

Oscar Wilde Tours—which specializes in LGBTQ+ museum tours—will present "Unhung Heroes of the Metropolitan," a Zoom tour of male body parts of the Metropolitan Museum of Arton Saturday, Sept. 12, at 1 p.m. CT, a press release noted. Guided by Professor Andrew Lear, the online tour explores male members in paintings and sculptures across the Metropolitan. Tickets to the online tour are $10 and available at www.eventbrite.com/e/unhung-heroes-of-the-metropolitan-museum-tickets-114332421350; a Zoom invite will be provided via email.

A top San Jose State University athletic trainer accused of sexual misconduct toward more than a dozen female athletes a decade ago stepped down after a USA Today investigation into the school's handling of the case, the publication reported. Scott Shaw, the university's director of sports medicine since 2008, told members of the athletic department in an Aug. 13 email obtained by USA Today he was retiring; his last day was Aug. 19. The school made no public announcement and, later, removed his name from the athletic department's staff directory.


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