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NATIONAL Couples' eviction, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, dancer sentenced
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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A lesbian couple filed a complaint against the transitional housing facility they once called home after they were forced out, LGBTQ Nation reported. Melanie Dingess and Leslie Conners were living at the The Gardens apartment complex in Newark, Ohio—but were evicted after management allegedly said they did not want gay couples living together in the facility. Gibson told The Newark Advocate that St. Vincent de Paul Housing Facilities Director of Operations Donna Gibson said to the couple, "[Executive Director John Paul Munhall] said we can't have a gay couple here. The Catholic Foundation would not fund us." Dingess said that she chose to file after speaking with another gay couple who had been denied use of the facility.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is now officially a contender in president race, Gay Star News noted. The only LGBTI Democratic candidate running so far, he has hit his 65,000-donor goal. A Rhodes scholar and veteran of the war in Afghanistan, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, can also speak eight languages. Also, at 37, he is the youngest presidential candidate in the race.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said he would reverse the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans who want to serve openly in the military, if—or when—he becomes president, The New York Daily News reported. Speaking to a cheery crowd of more than 300 supporters in Davenport, Iowa, Booker got fired up when a woman who identified herself as transgender asked him about his plans to protect LGBTQ Americans. The speech came roughly a week after the Defense Department issued a memo which was signed by Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist on March 12 establishing the new guidelines for transgender troops: individuals need to serve in their birth gender, and they are barred from transitioning to their self-identified gender.

Bronx Supreme Court Justice John W. Carter sentenced now-former Broadway dancer Marcus Bellamy to 20 years in prison ( followed by five years of post-release supervision ) for the murder of his partner, LGBTQ Nation reported. Bernardo Almonte, an IT technician who survived cancer, was beaten to death by Bellamy in their apartment in August 2017. On the day of the murder, Bellamy had posted several odd comments on Facebook, including, "Forgive me. I did it because I love you. I love you all. I love you also. He told me love and hate are the same emotion. Forgive me. I know not what I do. I did it for love. For god. On high."

Fifteen months after firing all members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, President Trump has restaffed the advisory body with nine new appointments, The Washington Blade noted. Brett P. Giroir, HHS assistant secretary for health, said in a statement the new members "will play a critical role" in responding to HIV/AIDS in the wake of Trump's recently announced plan to end new HIV infections by 2030. A few of the members are Robert Schwartz, head of Dermatology at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; Ada Stewart, lead provider and HIV specialist at Eau Claire ( South Carolina ) Cooperative Health Centers; and Gregg Alton, chief patient officer for Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Tennessee Rep. John Ragan wants the state's public-indecency law to apply to bathrooms and changing rooms—a move that critics argue is designed to restrict the facilities that transgender people can use, NBC News noted. The bill—approved by a House subcommittee—is still in the early stages of making its way through the GOP-dominant General Assembly. Still, it has already caught the attention of civil rights activists concerned about its possible similarity to the one North Carolina enacted before eventually repealing due to national backlash.

GLAAD joined students and activists at the University of Texas at El Paso ( UTEP ) by calling on the university to reject Heather Wilson to be its next president, citing a long history of anti-LGBTQ activism dating back to 2000, a press release noted. Among Wilson's past actions, according to GLAAD, are, as member of the U.S. House, twice voting against LGBT-inclusive hate-crimes legislation; and attacking an anti-LGBT bullying bill on the basis that teasing is just a part of a child's life. "The students of the University of Texas at El Paso deserve a president, who has demonstrated that she will stand up for them, and Heather Wilson has proven time and time again that she will not stand up for LGBTQ people. Simply put, her record should disqualify her without question," said GLAAD Chief Programs Officer Zeke Stokes.

About 70 transgender activists and their supporters protested outside the Washington, D.C., Superior Court building after a trial at the courthouse of two men charged with the 2016 murder of transgender woman Deeniquia "Dee Dee" Dodds, 22, ended with a hung jury, The Washington Blade noted. Organizers of the protest pointed out that the deadlocked jury in the Dodds case marked the second time in less than two years that male perpetrators charged in the murder of young transgender women of color in D.C. ended without a conviction.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is the only Democratic senator who did not co-sponsor the LGBT anti-discrimination bill known as the Equality Act, CBS Pittsburgh noted. The Register-Herald reported 44 Democratic U.S. senators and the two independent senators that caucus with them have signed onto Senate Bill 788. The bill, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, would add LGBT protections to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

A well-known Florida surgeon who specializes in transgender healthcare has resigned from his position at the University of Miami amid an uproar over pictures he posted on Instagram that showed surgical procedures and patients' genitals alongside captions and hashtags that mocked transgender people and Asians, The New York Times reported. Dr. Christopher Salgado, 50, worked at the LGBTQ Center for Wellness, Gender and Sexual Health at the University of Miami Health System until last month. Interspersed with photos of himself smiling with friends and colleagues, he posted images and text on his now-deleted Instagram account, @sexsurgeon, that many people found disturbing.

Dipsea is a tech company and story studio behind the first audio platform for sexual wellness, according to a press release. Its first product is an iOS app for short, sexy audio stories. Within the app, subscribers get access to an ever-growing library of bite-sized audio content ( with both narrative sexy stories and non-narrative guided pieces ). Gina Gutierrez ( CEO ) and Faye Keegan ( CTO ) are the founders. Dipsea was designed with women in mind, but the release says it's a place for all perspectives, preferences and genders.

Video of Chelsea Clinton being confronted by several students who claimed her "rhetoric" had "stoked" the New Zealand mosque attacks went viral—and allowed for an unexpected bipartisan moment as Republicans ( such as Donald Trump Jr. ) came to her defense, Yahoo! News noted. Students confronted Clinton, who is pregnant with her third child, over statements she'd made denouncing anti-Semitism. Clinton—the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—was one of many leaders who denounced anti-Semitism after Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar criticized Israel's treatment of Palestinians and alleged money and lobbying were driving the United States to defend Israel and halt debate over the issue.

David Hockney's double portrait of the openly gay artist's best friend and legendary New York art-world celebrity curator Henry Geldzahler overshadowing his then-boyfriend Christopher Scott sold at Christie's London for ( $49.5 million ), including buyer's premium, noted. "Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott" ( 1969 ) was a pivotal point in Hockney's career, inspiring him to embark on an ambitious, groundbreaking series that includes "Portrait of an Artist ( Pool with Two Figures )," a double portrait painted three years later. Hockney, now 81, met famed Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Geldzahler at Andy Warhol's Factory in 1963.

Apparently, a gay Trump supporter sold out his sister and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for $200,000, Queerty noted, citing The Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal confirmed longstanding rumors that Michael Sanchez—brother of Bezos' mistress Lauren Sanchez—received a $200,000 fee for leaking nude photos of Bezos and Sanchez as well as racy text messages to the National Enquirer. In February, Bezos published an essay accusing American Media, Inc. chief David Pecker of extortion over the leaked photos. ( AMI is the Enquirer's parent company. ) Bezos also theorized that the leaks were coordinated by Pecker as revenge for the Amazon chief's vocal criticism of Donald Trump.

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