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NATIONAL Inmate lawsuit, school news, 'Quiet Heroes,' Martha Stewart
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-08-21

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The American Civil Liberties Union ( ACLU ) and San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department have agreed to settle a lawsuit claiming LGBTI inmates were confined to their cells for up to 23 hours a day, Gay Star News reported. They were also allegedly prohibited from taking part in jail programs. The decision was taken Aug. 15 and still needs to be approved by the U.S. District Court in Riverside. The 2014 lawsuit shed a light on the unfair treatment of LGBTI inmates at San Bernardino County Jail. The plaintiffs were housed in the so-called county's Alternative Lifestyle isolation tank.

A Title IX investigation recently found New York University Professor Avital Ronell responsible for sexually harassing her gay student, Nimrod Reitman, according to Gay Star News, citing the New York Times. Ronell, a lesbian, teaches German and comparative literature at the school. Reitman accused Ronell of sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking and retaliation.

A school district in southern Oklahoma was forced to shut down for two days after parents used a Facebook group to threaten violence against a transgender seventh-grade student, Time.com reported. Superintendent Rick Beene closed Achille Public Schools after parents posted claims on a Facebook group, "Achille ISD Parents Group," that the student, who identifies as a girl, was looking over the stalls in the girls' bathroom. Beene said he instituted the closings on the advice of local law enforcement.

On Thursday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m. CT, Logo will be premiering Quiet Heroes ( www.quietheroes.net/ ), a documentary that focuses on two lesbian medical professionals who—during the peak of the AIDS crisis in Salt Lake City—become some of the only doctors willing to see AIDS patients in all of Utah, a press release noted. To connect the film to the modern-day HIV/AIDS epidemic, MTV has created a short PSA with five HIV-positive young people that highlights the modern-day "heroes" who, despite stigma and fear, are supporting their friends and loved ones living with HIV. The PSA is at youtu.be/dLQiZV6L84g; more on supporting HIV-positive individuals is at hero.MTV.com .

Entrepreneurs from all over the world convened in Philadelphia for the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Business and Leadership conference Aug. 14-17, and organizers honored Martha Stewart as a longtime ally, KYWNewsradio.com reported. At the Aug. 16 luncheon plenary, Stewart talked about her entrepreneurial expertise, triumps over setbacks, and connections to the LGBT community. Other events at the conference ranged from a trans-inclusive town hall to various networking receptions to a marketplace expo, according to the organization's website.

Of the trio of out candidates seeking seats this year on the San Francisco Board of Education, it appears two have failed to secure the support of either of the city's two main LGBT political clubs, The Bay Area Reporter noted. While transgender advocate Mia Satya earned an early endorsement of her candidacy from the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, she appears to have failed to earn the endorsement of the more moderate Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club. Transgender bisexual man Martin Rawlings-Fein and gay man Phil Kim have yet to secure an endorsement from either organization.

Lambda Literary will hold its second annual Lambda LitFest Los Angeles—a week-long, LGBTQ literary festival—on Sept. 29-Oct. 6, a press release noted. Held at 25 venues across Los Angeles County, the festival features community-curated performances, talks and low-cost writing workshops. The festival will close at Plummer Park in West Hollywood with a live taping of the LA Review of Books ( LARB ) Radio Hour Podcast with Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter. See LambdaLitFest.org .

Jane Clementi—whose son, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide after getting bullied online—recently revealed that after his death at age 18, she also considered suicide, CNN.com reported. When Tyler was a student at Rutgers University, his roommate used a computer webcam to film Clementi in an intimate act with a man; the video was then shared online to many of Tyler's peers. In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Jane said she blamed herself after Tyler's death.

A Portland man threatened to bomb an apartment complex housing people with HIV or AIDS, KOIN.com reported. Scott Wayne Smith has been charged with one count of intimidation. In an affidavit signed by Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Melissa Marrero, Smith is said to have used a homophobic slur against two residents of Hopewell Apartments. Smith, who is currently in custody, also reportedly threatened to "kill all you people."

While most news outlets reported on the historic nature of a transgender candidate being nominated for governor by a major political party, several hosts and guests on Fox News attacked groundbreaking candidate Christine Hallquist because of her gender identity, a Victory Fund press release noted. On Tucker Carlson Tonight, conservative journalist Chadwick Moore claimed Hallquist won because of "transgender privilege" and that she can "get away with many, many things by being transgender." That statement followed an incident earlier in the day, when host Ainsley Earhardt referred to Hallquist as "that transgender."

Idaho has received nearly 30 applications from people requesting changes to their birth certificates to properly reflect their identities since a federal judge ruled rejecting applications was illegal, The Idaho Statesman noted. The judge's decision stated reissued birth certificates can't include a record of the gender having been changed. Idaho was one of four—including Kansas, Ohio and Tennessee—that prohibited transgender people from changing their birth certificate to reflect their gender identity.

The University of Texas athletics department waved a big rainbow flag recently, marching in the Austin Pride Parade, Outsports noted. Using the tagline "Hooked on Diversity and Inclusion," 12 student-athletes and 13 staffers reportedly joined Texas Cheer and Pom members—including the school's costumed mascot, Hook 'Em.

With a cut lip and a bruised nose, gay-porn star Wesley Woods explained in a video that on Aug. 8, he and a friend were attacked in what appears to be a gay-bashing—in West Hollywood, California, Out.com noted. The goal of his video was to impart a cautious reminder to his queer followers to be vigilant, even in places they think they're safe.

Comedian Kathy Griffin took a shot at Tomi Lahren, mocking the Fox News pundit's intelligence after she tweeted remarks suggesting "hate speech" wasn't real, TheWrap.com noted. "Truth is the new hate speech," said Lahren. "Dumb is the new smart," the comedian shot back. Lahren didn't respond.

NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists announced in a press release that New York Times Assistant Managing Editor Carolyn Ryan is the inaugural recipient of the new NLGJA Leadership Award. The award recognizes individuals who have made a positive impact on their newsrooms by increasing diversity and improving coverage of the LGBTQ community. Ryan will receive the NLGJA Leadership Award at the 2018 NLGJA National Convention in Palm Springs, California, on Sept. 6-9 at the Hotel Zoso. Learn more at NLGJA.org/2018.

Before the Miss America Pageant on Sept. 9, the organization is in turmoil, USA Today noted. The most recent Miss America winner is accusing the Miss America Organization—one that's recently taken public steps in the name of female empowerment—of bullying and silencing her. n a five-page letter addressed to "Miss America Sisters" and obtained by USA Today, Miss America 2018 Cara Mund called out Miss America CEO Regina Hopper and chair Gretchen Carlson. In the past year, Carlson, a former Miss America winner and Fox News host, has said Miss America is no longer a pageant with a swimsuit portion; she has also been promoting Be Fierce, her book about stopping harassment.

The NFL's first male cheerleader, Jesse Hernandez, made his debut with the New Orleans Saints on Aug. 16, TheHill.com noted. Hernandez first captured headlines in the spring after it was announced he made the cut for the team's Saintsations cheerleading squad. Hernandez ( who is openly gay, according to media outlets ) is one of three men who will be cheering on NFL teams for the first time this season.


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