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  WINDY CITY TIMES

NATIONAL Historic ad, bullying case, Trevor Project gala
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-06-12

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A new campaign ad for Maryland gubernatorial candidate Richard Madaleno—focusing on his record of progressive accomplishments for the state—ends with him kissing his husband Mark Hodge on the front lawn of his home, according to a Victory Fund press release. To the organization's knowledge, it is the first political ad in U.S. history to feature a kiss between a candidate and a same-sex spouse. The groundbreaking ad ran on the Fox News show Fox & Friends in the Washington area on June 7.

A judge has ordered the School District of Philadelphia to pay $500,000 to the family of 19-year-old former student Amanda Wible, who said the school district failed to prevent severe bullying over her gender presentation at four city schools, PhillyMag.com noted. Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Gene Cohen ruled that the School District of Philadelphia's conduct violated the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, which prohibits sex discrimination. Cohen's ruling involved an account of Wible's experiences at four schools in Philadelphia: Pollock Elementary School, Alternative Middle Years at James Martin School, C.C.A. Baldi Middle School and George Washington High School.

On June 11, The Trevor Project hosted its 2018 TrevorLIVE New York gala at Cipriani Wall Street, where it honored Emmy-winning writer Lena Waithe; writer/director/producer Greg Berlanti; and McKinsey & Company Managing Partner Dominic Barton, a press release noted. U.S. Olympic medalists Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy hosted the event, which helped raise more than $2 million and included performances by singer-songwriter Rita Ora and the cast of Viceland's My House. Some of the other guests included Natasha Lyonne, Melissa Benoist, Christian Siriano, Carmen Carrera, Jason Wu and Samira Wiley.

A Southern California mother has been sentenced to life in prison and her boyfriend was sentenced to death in the killing of an 8-year-old boy who prosecutors say was punished because the couple believed he was gay, The New York Post noted. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli sentenced Pearl Fernandez and boyfriend Isauro Aguirre, calling the 2013 death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez "beyond animalistic."

The publication The Nation is backing former Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon in her bid for New York governor. The endorsement says, in part, "Do we want four more years of pay-to-play, where developers and political insiders call the shots? Or do we want a state government devoted to improving the lives of working people, with mass-transit systems that function, fully funded schools, criminal-justice reform, and health care and decent housing for all? Because if we do, there is only one candidate on the ballot in September who will even try to deliver those things. Her name is Cynthia Nixon, and she deserves your vote."

A hotly contested election race in San Francisco is still too close to call between Board of Supervisors president London Breed and former state Senator Mark Leno to become the city's 45th chief executive, The Los Angeles Blade reported. The race was prompted by the unexpected death of Mayor Ed Lee last December. If Leno prevails, he'll be the city's first openly gay mayor.

Antash'a English, 38, was shot and killed in Jacksonville, Florida, NewNowNext.com noted. She is at least the 12th known transgender person to be killed in the United States this year alone. English won a number of pageants and performed regularly at InCahoots, a nightclub in Jacksonville's Riverside neighborhood.

The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the city of Phoenix in regards to a local business not wanting to create custom artwork for same-sex couples, officials said, BizJournals.com noted. The court released an opinion that stated Phoenix would be able continue to use a city ordinance designed to protect gay individuals and gay couples regarding their civil rights. The ruling ( relying on the U.S. Supreme Court's Masterpiece Cakeshop decision, according to a National Center for Lesbian Rights press release ) also noted while religious objections to same-sex marriage are protected, those objections do not allow business owners to discriminate or deny certain people access to their goods and services.

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) was slated to honor the lives of the 49 people—most of them young, LGBTQ and Latinx—killed in the attack at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016, according to a press release. HRC staff and members were scheduled to mark the day by holding a public reading the victims' names and observing a moment of silence at the HRC headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Pulse Nightclub shooting, which took place at an Orlando LGBTQ nightclub on Latinx Night, was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history until the mass shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, during an outdoor concert in Las Vegas.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) issued a statement after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions imposed stringent new limitations on asylum claims brought by those fleeing domestic or gang violence. In part, NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter said that the "decision by Attorney General Sessions is an unprincipled setback that overturns years of precedent recognizing that those persecuted by domestic and gang violence are eligible to seek asylum. ... This decision will fall hardest on women and LGBT people, who are disproportionately likely to experience these forms of abuse."

The Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia's largest LGBT health-care provider, is investigating allegations of sexual harassment against its former interim CEO, Stephen Glassman, Philly.com reported. The allegations came up Tuesday at the Philadelphia LGBTQ State of the Union during a question-and-answer session with Mazzoni's current chief executive, Lydia Gonzalez Sciarrino. Glassman—who served as Mazzoni's interim CEO for nearly nine months and left after Gonzalez Sciarrino was hired in late March—called the allegations false.

Authorities are searching for a group who chased four men leaving Utah Pride, hurled homophobic slurs at them and attacked a man who intervened on their behalf, NewNowNext.com noted. Witnesses say the mob chased the four men leaving Prid to Doki Doki dessert shop, where employee Terrance Mannery held them off after learning what was happening. The Utah Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce said it was offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and prosecution.

A federal judge has said a Virginia school board can ask a federal appeals court to consider whether its bathroom policy is discriminatory, The Washington Blade noted. U.S. District Court Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Norfolk, Virginia, on May 22 dismissed the Gloucester County School Board's motion to dismiss Gavin Grimm's lawsuit against the policy. However, Wright more recently granted the school board's request to petition the 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals to resolve the case.

A drug usually used to treat alcohol addition may improve viral-suppression levels in those who are infected with HIV, an LGBTQ Nation item stated. The study, headed by Dr. Sandra Springer and published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, showed that viral suppression improved or maintained in participants taking extended-release naltrexone to treat alcohol use disorders versus those given placebos. From 2010 to 2016, 100 inmates in Connecticut ( the participants ) saw improved viral suppression at the six-month mark, while no improvement was seen in those given the placebo.

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation unveiled new resources to guide child-welfare agencies across the nation in better serving the more than 430,000 children and young people in foster care, a press release noted. The resources from HRC's All Children-All Families ( ACAF ) program—including assessment tools and a comprehensive webinar series on how best to serve LGBTQ youth—will allow agencies to assess their policies and practices around working with young people and prospective parents, and help them meet HRC's benchmarks for providing fully LGBTQ-inclusive services. See https://www.hrc.org/resources/all-children-all-families-about-the-initiative.

Less than a day after the Masterpiece Cakeshop verdict rattled the LGBTQ community, a similar faith-based dispute has emerged in Indiana, NewNowNext.com noted. John Kluge, a former orchestra teacher at Indiana's Brownsburg High School, claimed he was forced to resign when he refused to comply with the district's policy on naming trans students. But Kluge claims the trans-inclusive policy goes against his religious convictions—and the requirement violates his First Amendment rights.

Maine residents who don't identify as male or female will soon be able to choose a third gender option on their driver's licenses, HuffPost reported. The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles announced on Monday that the state plans to offer a nonbinary gender option—or "X"—in addition to the "male" and "female" options on all driver's licenses and identification cards. Residents will not have to pay a fee for nonbinary sticker requests, the Maine BMV said.

In Maryland, Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley, on June 5, issued his city's first Pride Month proclamation, The Washington Blade noted. "We proudly proclaim the month of June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month in Annapolis and by those who fight for equality, inclusivity and justice," reads the proclamation, in part. Buckley is expected to present the proclamation to Annapolis Pride on June 19.

A recent graduate of Bethel College—an evangelical Christian liberal arts college in Mishawaka, Indiana—claims he lost his on-campus job because he is gay, NewNowNext.com noted. Kyle Walterhouse, an aspiring music teacher, told the South Bend Tribune that, as a student, he signed the school's covenant that forbids same-sex behavior and also defines marriage as being between a cisgender man and cisgender woman. After graduation, he changed his Facebook relationship status to reflect that he is dating a man; upon refusing to alter that status, he was fired.

People are quitting a gym in Indianapolis after it canceled a Pride workout, LGBTQ Nation noted. Crossfit Infiltrate member Ryan Nix said that he planned a special workout last week for Pride Month, but he received an email saying that the workout was canceled. Brandon Lowe, the general manager of Crossfit Infiltrate, told Nix that the gym was for "total health," and that pride prevents people from seeing themselves "as God truly defines them to be." Some of the gym members quit, while several of the former employees offered the canceled workout at an outdoor space.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ( NAACP ) is among the many groups issuing dissatisfication with the U.S. Supreme Court's Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling issued June 4 that sided with the baker and against a same-sex couple. In a statement, the organization said, in part, "The fact that Masterpiece Cakeshop was permitted in this instance to refuse service to a same-sex couple simply because they are a same-sex couple demonstrates how far we have yet to go. The NAACP will not rest until each person is treated equally under the law, regardless of race, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation. That is our charge, and we are committed to the fight."

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) published a full-page USA Today ad featuring a sign that businesses across the country can display in their windows to show they are #OpenToAll, a press release noted. Following the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case, this sign will allow businesses to show their support for the LGBTQ community. The tool kit is at http://www.hrc.org/resources/open-to-all-digital-toolkit.

L.A-based company Big Moon Sky is selling a cannabis Pride collection, according to a press release. For every purchase of the Pride Collection, 10 percent of the purchase price will be donated to the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Items in the collection include Somatik cannabis-infused cold-brew coffee, Pride Wellness concentrate, the Legacy Vape Rechargable Battery and Buck's CBD-Infused Balm.

Zach Wahls—who, when he was 19, stood before the Iowa House of Representatives and gave an impassioned speech defending his two lesbian mothers—secured the Democratic nomination for Iowa Senate District 37 on June 5, HuffPost reported. Wahls, 26, will now face Carl Krambeck, a Libertarian candidate who ran unopposed. Krambeck has conceded that he's a "long shot" for a seat long held by Democrats.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox will face off this November in the race to succeed California Gov. Jerry Brown, The Sacramento Bee noted. "Our values are under assault... We're engaged in an epic battle," Newsom told supporters June 5, calling Cox a "footsoldier in ( Donald Trump's ) war on California." No Republican has won a statewide race in since former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006, and Republican voters are continuing to decline in a state growing more Democratic.

Also in California, Northern California voters recalled Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky from office after he sentenced a former Stanford University swimmer convicted of sexual assault to a short jail sentence instead of prison, the Los Angeles Times reported. Persky sentenced Brock Turner to six months in jail for sexually assaulting a young woman outside a fraternity house on campus; prosecutors argued for a seven-year prison sentence.


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