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NATIONAL Hospital lawsuit, LGBTs in Root 100, censure postponed
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-10-01

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A California appeals court approved a lawsuit filed by a transgender man who claims staff at a Catholic hospital violated his civil rights by refusing to allow him to undergo a medical procedure as part of his transition, Newsweek reported. On Aug. 30, 2016, Evan Minton was scheduled to have a hysterectomy at the Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael; also, Minton's doctor, Lindsey Dawson, had performed numerous hysterectomies there. Two days before the procedure, a nurse called to discuss the surgery and Minton mentioned he was trans. The next day, the hospital canceled the procedure.

The Root announced the annual Root 100—and several out members of the LGBTQ community are included, a press release noted. Janet Mock, Janelle Monae, Lena Waithe, Angelica Ross, Steven Canals, Zach Stafford, Blair Imani, Ritchie Torres, Arlan Hamilton and Naomi Washington-Leapheart all make appearances. ( The top 10 are Stacey Abrams, Nipsey Hussle, Lizzo, Steven Canals, activist Oronike Odeleye, Colin Kaepernick, Ilhan Omar, educator Rodney Robinson, Janet Mock and journalist Karen Attiah. ) The Root 100 is The Root's annual list of the most influential African Americans, ages 25 to 45; categories include entertainment, media, politics, sports, community, business, STEM and the arts. See https://interactives.theroot.com/root-100-2019/.

Progressives' efforts to punish Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema for voting at times with Republicans died—but the issue could return early next year, AZCentral.com reported. At an Arizona Democratic Party meeting, the resolutions committee unanimously recommended tabling the notion of formally censuring Sinema either by solely progressives or the state party as a whole. Co-chairs of the party's resolution committee said during their huddle that the Progressive Caucus requested to delay any action to censure Sinema until January 2020. In 2018, Sinema became the first out bisexual person ever elected to the U.S. Senate and only the second openly LGBTQ person, behind Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, who is a lesbian, NBC News noted.

Arizona's Republican governor has ruled out expanding the state's nondiscrimination laws to include protections based on sexual orientation, Metro Weeklly noted. Gov. Doug Ducey said he is "against discrimination in all its forms," but doesn't think protecting gay people is necessary, Tuscon.com reported. His comments came after Arizona's Supreme Court ruled last week that a calligraphy business was legally justified in refusing to create custom invitations for same-sex weddings.

The National Trans Visibility March, a first of its kind in Washington, drew people all across the country, with activists raising the profile on the high rates of murder among women of color, WUSA9.com reported. Reverend Aaron B Wade of the Community Church of Washington D.C., said at least 18 trans women of color have been murdered since the start of the year, with 26 trans women murdered in 2018. The event—which took place just days away from the Supreme Court hearing of three cases of trans discrimination in the workplace—drew more than 1,000 people.

Authorities in Jacksonville, Florida, arrested a man in connection with a brutal attack on a victim who local activists say is a transgender woman, NBC News reported. Eric Shaun Bridges was charged with attempted murder and is being held on $500,003 bail. Police found the victim, whose identity has not been made public, lying on the street after she "appeared to have been beaten severely, as well as dragged behind a vehicle by the lower extremities" for approximately two blocks. At last report, the victim's condition continues to be life-threatening.

In another Jacksonville case, Sean Bernard Phoenix is behind bars on a charge of murder in the early 2018 shooting death of transgender woman Celine Walker in a Southside motel, Jacksonville.com reported. Walker's death was the first of three transgender homicides that rocked the city in 2018. Phoenix also faces charges of tampering with evidence and shooting deadly missiles as he remains behind bar without bail, according to Duval County jail records.

Channing Smith—a 16-year-old junior at Coffee County Central High School in Manchester, Tennessee—killed himself after explicit chat messages between him and another boy were reposted by a classmate on Instagram and Snapchat, outing Smith as being sexually attracted to other boys, according to an LGBTQ Nation item that cited Buzzfeed News. The explicit chats were reportedly posted by a female classmate who was angered at the text exchange with the other boy. A friend of Smith said she vindictively posted the messages online. Smith's older brother, 38-year-old Joshua Smith, says they grew up in a small, conservative southern town with an "ultra-conservative" father who would've had a hard time accepting his son's sexuality.

Dozens of advocacy groups, led by Housing Works, plan to bring civil disobedience to the Supreme Court next month when oral arguments are heard in a series of pivotal cases related to sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination—and, in response, multiple LGBTQ-based legal groups are encouraging the activism, Gay City News reported. Housing Works, which battles homelessness and HIV, announced plans to organize "a national action with a civil disobedience component" at the Supreme Court on Oct. 8—when the court will take up three cases that could determine whether sexual orientation and gender identity are protected classes under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Rev. Elder Troy Perry—founder of the Metropolitan Community Churches, the first Christian denomination with a primary ministry to the LGBT community—is donating a collection of artifacts from the church's 51-year history to the Smithsonian Institution, The Washington Blade noted. An announcement released by the church stated Perry and other church officials will present a 12-item collection of artifacts to Smithsonian History Museum official Katherine Ott at an Oct. 6 ceremony at the Metropolitan Community Church of D.C.

Tim Gill—a gay Colorado-based philanthropist who has donated more than $500 million to organizations working to advance LGBT rights—is set to receive one of his state's highest honors from Gov. Jared Polis, The Washington Blade reported. Polis, the first openly gay person elected governor in the United States, announced Gill would be one of six recipients of the Colorado Governors Citizenship Medal at an Oct. 12 celebration. The medal was established by executive order in 2015.

LGBTQ Victory Fund—the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office—endorsed 48 new openly LGBTQ candidates in its last round of endorsements for the 2019 election cycle, a press release noted. Eliz Markowitz is among the most recent round of endorsees and received a Spotlight endorsement in her race for an open seat in the Texas state House. The race is receiving outsized attention because it is held by a retiring Republican and is key to Democratic efforts to take back the state House in 2020. ( U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz won the district by three points in 2018. ) The organization has endorsed 172 candidates for 2019, and six candidates for 2020.

For the first time, two Republican governors have publicly supported the impeachment inquiry of President Trump, The Washington Post reported. Vermont Gov. Phil Scott and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker—both outspoken critics of Trump from the Northeast—said they favored the investigation, but Scott added that he would wait for more information before calling for further action against the president. In a statement to The Washington Post, Scott called the inquiry "appropriate" and said it is a key part of Congress's duty as a co-equal branch of government.

The Equality Awards featured such high-profile people as trans pop star Kim Petras, political commentator Ana Navarro and the first Chinese-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress, Judy Chu, Variety noted. Awardees included Navarro, producer Jill Soloway, attorney Amy Quartarolo, Former Equality California Board President Andreas Meyer and the law firm Latham & Watkins, LLP. It was the 20th anniversary of Equality California's Los Angeles event, which had such other attendees as drag queen Shangela, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, personality Frankie Grande and original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy co-host Jai Rodriguez.

In Utah, several dozen speakers took part at an emotional three-hour public hearing over proposed rules that would prohibit state-licensed mental health professionals from trying to turn a gay child straight or alter a minor's gender identity, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Broadly condemned by mental health and medical professionals, conversion therapy has already been banned in 18 other states, and LGBTQ advocates say it's past time for Utah to follow suit.

Abrahm DeVine, a 23-year-old collegiate swimmer, claimed he was kicked off of the Stanford University swim team due to "systematic homophobia"—but he stopped short of explaining what exactly happened, LGBTQ Nation reported. DeVine is a member of the U.S. men's national swim team and was an NCAA champion at Stanford; he came out as gay in a 2018 interview with Swimming World magazine.

In Memphis, Tennessee, White Station High School crowned a young man homecoming royalty as he wore a dress and heels—a move students supported but one alumni said broke with tradition, LocalMemphis.com noted. The school wanted to make the homecoming court more inclusive by eliminating the titles of king and queen and calling it a "royalty court." White Station High School Principal Carrye Holland said she is proud of her school and the acceptance her students show one another.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center commended the unanimous passage by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors of a motion that supports LGBTQ+ youth in the county's foster care system, a press release noted. Authored by supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl, the motion—Responding to the Immediate Need to Support Foster Youth Who Identify as LGBTQ+—calls for programs and services that minimize family rejection; dedicated programs and support services for LGBTQ+ foster youth; and the implementation of culturally competent trainings and support for the Department of Children and Family Services ( DCFS ) and Department of Probation specific to the needs of LGBTQ+ foster youth.

Dawn Munro—a scientist, champion for LGBT elders and longtime trans activist—died after a brief illness, Philadelphia Gay News reported. Munro was on the boards of PFLAG, the Philadelphia LGBT Elder Initiative, the Philadelphia Police LGBT Liaison Committee and Sisterly LOVE. Munro was also an organizer of the Trans Day of Remembrance for the William Way Center.

Several University of Virginia students want to overturn a ban that bars sexually active gay and bisexual men from donating blood, WIFR.com noted. The Daily Progress reported Austin Houck and others have teamed to create Homoglobin—a social welfare organization with branches at other schools including Virginia Tech and the College of William & Mary. The Food and Drug Administration instituted a lifetime donation ban on gay and bisexual men at the height of the AIDS epidemic in 1983; the policy was altered in 2015 and now excludes donations from men who have had sex with men within 12 months.

The student councils of Yeshiva University ( YU ) declined to renew its recognition of the school's Democratic club after it organized a march in support of LGBTQ students, according to a Forward.com item that cited the YU Commentator. Recently, more than 100 students, alumni and activists marched by YU's Washington Heights campus in Manhattan. They asked YU's president, Rabbi Ari Berman, to condemn homophobia on campus, approve LGBTQ-related events and create a gay-straight alliance club on campus. The march—organized by YU Young Democrats—was co-sponsored by Jewish Queer Youth and Eshel, two well-known Jewish nonprofits that support Jewish LGBTQ individuals.

GLAAD honored singer/dancer/reality-TV judge Paula Abdul, Emmy nominated star/co-creator/showrunner of Schitt's Creek Dan Levy and entrepreneur/business executive Ali Rosenthal at the 2019 GLAAD Gala San Francisco on Sept. 28 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, a press release noted. The event was hosted by RuPaul's Drag Race alum and Broadway star Peppermint, and featured celebrity guests including Adam Rippon, the cast of Schitt's Creek, Alicia Garza, Eva Gutowski, Justin Tranter, Ariadne Getty, August Getty, and more. Singer Garrett Clayton also performed a musical medley during the event.

LGBTQ newspaper The Washington Blade announced the presentation of awards to two honorees at its 50th-anniversary gala, a press release noted. The evening will celebrate the pioneering publication, which was founded in the aftermath of the Stonewall rebellion in 1969. The event will be held Friday, Oct. 18, at the Intercontinental Hotel at the Wharf in Washington, D.C. Among those honored will be philanthropist Ariadne Getty and pioneering journalist Lou Chibbaro, who has covered the LGBT community for more than three decades at the Blade. Tickets are on sale now at blade50th.com .

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin appointed an attorney who worked closely with an anti-LGBT hate group to the Board of Trustees for the University of Kentucky—a school that previously received a top national ranking for being LGBTQ-friendly, SPLCenter.org noted. Bevin appointed lawyer A.C. Donahue and two other new trustees to a six-year term on the board. Donahue worked closely with anti-LGBT hate group Alliance Defending Freedom ( ADF ); he also served as co-counsel with anti-LGBT hate group Liberty Counsel in its efforts to support former Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis. Tuesday Meadows—president of PrideCats, a University of Kentucky LGBTQ alumni group—said she isn't surprised that Bevin appointed Donahue to the board.

On National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day ( Sept. 27 ), National Black Justice Coalition Executive Director David Johns issued a statement. It read, in part, "This year, we want to encourage the Black community to recognize National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and 'Start Talking. Stop HIV.' Gay and bisexual men, especially Black gay, bisexual and same gender loving men, are the disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Because Black people still experience the highest infection and mortality rates from this treatable condition, it's important to encourage Black same gender loving men and our loved ones, to share their unique stories and celebrate Black people thriving with HIV so we can all thrive."

An eighth-grader in Florida was arrested and charged with a felony after allegedly making violent threats against LGBTQ people and other minorities in a group chat, NewNowNext.com reported. The 13-year-old—who attends Leewood K-8 in Southwest Miami-Dade, Florida—was questioned by police and taken into custody. The messages were sent the day before, the Miami Herald reported.

Everlast is recognizing transgender boxer Patricio Manuel's groundbreaking achievements by naming him as the face of its newest "Be First" campaign, Page Six noted. The 34-year-old fighter first garnered the industry's attention as a female boxer before choosing to transition in 2013. In a campaign video, Manuel said, in part, "There are so many people that have said that it's impossible for someone like me, a trans man, to be able to compete against a non-trans man and win—and I proved them all wrong."

A 12-year-old girl who accused three sixth-grade boys of pinning her down and cutting her dreadlocks has admitted to school officials she was not attacked and cut her own hair, NBCWashington.com reported. The girl—a sixth-grader at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia, who said she has been the victim of bullying—said three white classmates ambushed her on the playground last week and used scissors to cut off some of her dreadlocks while telling her her hair was "nappy" and "ugly." She and her family met with school officials to apologize.

In Florida, a Suntree man was sentenced to two years of probation for threatening to blow up the LGBT bar Twisted Rooster in West Melbourne during a prank phone call, FloridaToday.com reported. Randolph Goodwin, 19, pleaded guilty to making a false bomb threat during a hearing at the Moore Justice Center in Viera. He was sentenced via a negotiated plea deal.

Toy maker Mattel has launched a new line of gender neutral dolls under the brand name "Creatable World," LGBTQ Nation reported. The doll is not male or female, and the features do not reveal a gender. While the doll's hair is short, it comes with a long-haired wig that can be added or taken away at will and a line of gender neutral clothing like hoodies, jeans and T-shirts.

A press release stated that users of the gay dating app Grindr take more sexual risks and have more partners—but are also more likely and open to using HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis ( PrEP ), according to a study presented at IDWeek in Washington, D.C. The study also showed that more than eight in 10 ( 86.5 percent ) of the Grindr users were not taking PrEP, suggesting that Grindr can be used as a platform to educate those at high-risk for HIV and the benefits of PrEP.

Ousted Democratic senator Al Franken has a new show on SiriusXM that started Sept. 28, TheWrap noted. The Al Franken Show weekly radio show is on SiriusXM Progress Channel 127. "Listeners can expect a mix of guests from my comedian friends like Chris Rock, to my political pals like former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to policy experts on the issues in play in 2020," Franken said before the first airing. Earlier this year, Franken said he "absolutely" regrets resigning from the U.S. Senate in 2017 amid the firestorm over accusations of inappropriate behavior.


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