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NATIONAL Facebook action, HRC campaign, gay-bar shooting
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-10-09

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Facebook is again receiving criticism for taking action against LGBTQ advertising, with ads for a comedy show and social groups, among others, being blocked on the site, Advocate.com reported, citing The Washington Post. This is not the first time Facebook has blocked LGBTQ advertisements, nor even the first time it has come under fire for doing so. Facebook spokeswoman Devon Kearns said the blocking was unintentional.

Ahead of the 30th anniversary of National Coming Out Day ( NCOD ) on Oct. 11, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) is launching a new digital campaign highlighting inspirational stories of celebrities and influencers who have come out over the past year, a press release noted. The people include singer Janelle Monae, actress Josie Totah, soccer player Colin Martin, singer Kehlani, actress Tessa Thompson, singer Alyson Stoner, musician Brendon Urie, model Reece King and many more. For more information and resources on NCOD, visit HRC's Coming Out Center at https://www.hrc.org/explore/topic/coming-out.

Two men and a woman were hospitalized Oct. 8 when an argument at a San Antonio gay bar ended in a shooting, The Dallas Voice reported. The three were taken to San Antonio Military Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, KSAT Channel 12 noted. The manager of the Pegasus bar told KSAT there was "an altercation" between two groups of people outside the bar, with one man being called a racial slur; as a group left the bar, someone driving away in a red Nissan fired about eight shots toward the bar. However, other accounts have varying details, including that the fight started inside the bar.

Washington, D.C., City Council member and former mayor Vincent Gray said a bouncer at a gay nightclub shoved him recently during an arts event here, causing him to fall and sustain injuries, NewNowNext.com noted. Sheila Bunn, Gray's chief of staff, said the incident occurred when the lawmaker attempted to enter the DC Eagle as part of the city's Art All Night event, presenting his D.C. Council ID card. When Gray asked to speak to a manager after told the ID wasn't enough, the bouncer reportedly came out from behind the counter and shoved him out of the establishment. The DC Eagle said in a statement, in part, "We will retrain all of our staff to ensure that a focus on customer service and de-escalation is adhered to."

A gay Ohio man believes he lost his job for supporting friends' same-sex marriages on social media, The Huffington Post reported. Cleveland State University minister Keith Kozak said he was fired by the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland after liking a friend's Facebook post celebrating his five-year anniversary to his husband. The diocese is "confident" that the termination was "appropriate," a spokesperson told News 5 Cleveland in a statement.

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown, for the first time in five years, vetoed LGBT-rights bills this legislative session, The Bay Area Reporter noted. Brown struck down Assembly Bill 2153, authored by Assemblyman Tony Thurmond ( D-Richmond ), which would have funded annual training sessions for educators in the state on how to support LGBTQ students in grades seven through 12 and address issues they face in school like bullying and harassment. This year, Brown also vetoed AB 1247, by Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian ( D-North Hollywood ), which would have required at least one hour of LGBT cultural-competency training prior to the licensure of professional fiduciaries and an additional hour of LGBTQ continuing education every three years.

A JAMA Pediatrics study has found that "sexual-minority youths were found to have greater risk of life-threatening behaviors compared with their heterosexual peers. Transgender youths were the most affected followed by bisexual and homosexual teens," according to a Trevor Project release. Trevor Project CEO/Executive Director Amit Paley said, in part, "This research highlights the need for increased support and acceptance of LGBTQ youth. Young LGBTQ people are at a higher risk for suicide attempts because of the public rejection they see and hear in the news, from their governments, and from their friends and families." The report is at https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2704490.

The Point Foundation's Point Honors Los Angeles 2018 gala will take place Saturday, Oct. 13, at The Beverly Hilton, a press release noted. Actor Eric McCormack ( Will & Grace ) will receive the Point Impact Award while Pose co-creator/writer Steven Canals will be honored with the Point Horizon Award; Leona Lewis is slated to perform live. See https://pointfoundation.org/events/phla18-2/.

CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins has apologized for homophobic tweets she posted during her college years, NewNowNext.com reported. The Log Cabin Republicans dug up two of Collins' tweets from 2011, when she was attending the University of Alabama. Collins apologized on Twitter, saying she regretted her actions and that they are not reflective of how she feels.

A "lockdown" drill discovered a flaw that could be fatal to a transgender student in Virginia, LGBTQ Nation reported. The drill at Stafford County Middle School involved the student in question being forced to sit on the school's bleachers while teachers debated which locker room was appropriate for the student. In response to outrage over this lack of concern over the safety of the student in question, the school's spokesperson, Sherrie Johnson, said, in part, "The new superintendent has requested a review of all protocols and procedures to ensure that all children are treated with dignity and respect."

The Human Rights Campaign's Equality Votes PAC announced a new seven-figure ad blitz focusing on voter engagement and turning out the vote in key states and congressional districts across the country, a press release noted. The digital, direct mail, text and phone voter-contact program focuses on educating voters about early voting options, mobilizing them to turn out Nov. 6 and holding Trump-enabling candidates accountable.

Lesbian couple Kassi Willingham and Katie Sloan have claimed that Wyoming's Diamond Cross Ranch rejected them for a wedding and reception because they're a same-sex couple—but ranch employees claim it was a misunderstanding, according to the Jackson Hole News & Guide. Willingham said Diamond Cross Ranch owner Jane Golliher called her, allegedly saying she couldn't support the couple; however, Diamond Cross Ranch's head of events, Peter Long, told the publication anyone can get married there. The couple married in Fort Collins, Colorado, instead.

A jailed gay-porn star, Brandon Dale Woodruff, who claims he did not murder his parents will stay behind bars, Gay Star News reported. The court found that when he was 19, Woodruff murdered parents Norma and Dennis in their Royse City, Texas, home in 2005. Woodruff is serving a sentence of 7,000 years with no chance of parole.

CBS placed an executive on leave after several coworkers came forward to CNN about him making homophobic and sexually inappropriate comments at work, Advocate.com reported. Nine former and current employees have alleged that Vincent "Vinnie" Favale, the senior vice president of talent for CBS Television, had crossed the line. The accusers said Favale, a founder of Comedy Central, regularly called LGBTQ guests on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert "homos" and insinuated that Colbert himself is queer.

Family Equality Council announced that it has merged with the national family-building nonprofit Path2Parenthood, a press release noted. The release added, "Path2Parenthood brings to Family Equality Council over a decade of experience in supporting LGBTQ families through their family formation journeys, providing resources and in-person trainings explaining the pathways available through assisted reproduction, adoption, and foster care." Visit familyequality.org/p2p.

Lambda Legal announced Richard Burns—a former Lambda Legal board member and former executive director of the NYC LGBT Community Center—as interim CEO while it conducts a search for a permanent replacement for Rachel Tiven, who resigned from the role in August, a press release noted. Burns has been connected to Lambda Legal since its early days. In the late 1970s, Lambda Legal sued on behalf of Gay Community News, where Richard was managing editor, challenging a federal prison policy that banned gay publications; in 1980, jr joined Lambda Legal's first national board of directors.

Washington, D.C., group The Wanda Alston Foundation, which provides transitional housing and support services for homeless LGBT youth, marked its 10th-anniversary celebration and fundraiser on Oct. 10, The Washington Blade reported. The event, called "Health Housing Hope: An Evening of Cocktails and Dancing," was held at Ajax D.C. nightclub. Among those slated to attend were D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams.

Variety's 2018 New Power of New York List is out, and there are several LGBTQ individuals there, NewNowNext.com noted. Journalist Ronan Farrow leads the way, but Olympian Gus Kenworthy, the Queer Eye Fab Five, actor Zachary Quinto, drag queen/trans activist Peppermint, Pose star Billy Porter, and designer Christian Siriano are also recognized. Also, writer/producer/actress Lena Waithe profiles Vanity Fair's Radhika Jones in the issue.

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) announced its first-ever art auction fundraiser—Artists for Equality—taking place Monday, Oct. 22, at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City, a press release noted. Executive Co-Chairs Andy Cohen and Margaret Russell will host the event. Every dollar raised at this event will directly support HRC Equality Votes, HRC's fundraising effort to mobilize voters and elect pro-equality candidates this November.

The Minnesota Vikings have entered into a partnership and sponsorship relationship with the Minnesota Gay Flag Football League—which was just founded earlier this year, Outsports reported. The relationship involves a financial contribution on behalf of the Vikings. League creator Christopher Lewellyn-Otten said that will be put toward helping people cover league-registration costs and travel to LGBTQ flag-football tournaments in other cities.

Serial sexter and former politician Anthony Weiner is set to go free from federal prison three months early due to good behavior, The New York Daily News reported. Weiner—who was sentenced to 21 months for sexting with a minor—will be let go May 14, 2019, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. In September 2017, he broke down in tears as his sentence for sending tawdry messages and pornography to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina was announced.


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