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NATIONAL Joe Biden, Mj Rodriguez, trans death, Lesbians Who Tech
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-09-11

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The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) announced that the 47th Vice President of the United States Joe Biden will headline the Human Rights Campaign's 22nd annual National Dinner in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Sept. 15, a press release noted. Biden will join former Attorney General of the United States Eric Holder; Georgia Democratic nominee for governor Stacey Abrams; trailblazing Virginia Delegate Danica Roem; and Nevada Secretary of State candidate Nelson Araujo as the featured speakers for the weekend. Also, actress Anne Hathaway will receive the HRC National Equality Award. See HRCNationalDinner.org .

Transgender actress/activist Mj Rodriguez ( Pose ) was slated to receive the Trailblazer Hispanic Heritage Award during the Hispanic Heritage Foundation's 31st Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 12, a press release noted. The awards will broadcast nationally on PBS stations on Sept. 28. Past Honorees of the Hispanic Heritage Awards have included Sonia Sotomayor, Rita Moreno, PlÃícido Domingo, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Gloria Estefan and many others.

The Human Rights Campaign noted the loss of Shantee Tucker—a Black transgender woman who was killed Sept. 5 in Philadelphia in the 19th known case of deadly violence against the transgender community this year. Sixteen of the known victims of deadly violence against transgender people in 2018 have been women of color. According to a local news outlet, Tucker, 30, was found on a highway in Philadelphia after being shot in the back. She was taken to Temple University Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Hillary Clinton will be the keynote speaker at the Lesbians Who Tech Summit ( #lwtsummit ), taking place Sept. 12-14 in New York City, a press release noted. There will be talks on cryptocurrency, automation, AR and VR, FinTech, AI, Trump and tech, leadership and more. The event will convene more than 3,500 mid-level and executive queer women, trans and gender nonconforming individuals and allies, and is one of the largest LGBTQ professional conferences in the world. Other notable keynote speakers include Kara Swisher, co-founder of Recode; Alicia Garza, of Black Lives Matter; and Arlan Hamilton, who recently launched Backstage Capital, a multimillion-dollar venture capital fund that has invested in more than 100 startup companies led by women, people of color, and LGBTQ founders. See LesbiansWhoTech.org .

President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, declined to answer U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris ( D-Calif. ) when asked whether Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court marriage-equality decision, was correctly decided. In a press from the National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ), Legal Director Shannon Minter said, "Brett Kavanaugh's refusal to confirm that Obergefell was correctly decided is chilling and poses an unprecedented threat to the liberty and equality of LGBT people. It is also a threat to the stability of constitutional law and the Court's respect for its own precedent. He is willing to throw into question not only Obergefell and the right of same-sex couples to marry, but the Court's commitment that it will respect prior decisions as settled law unless there are compelling reasons to reverse course."

The National LGBT Cancer Network is the newest recipient of a $2.5-million, five-year award from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand resources for their grantees serving LGBTQ people at risk for tobacco-related cancers, a press release noted. The Cancer Network's new award will expand its NYC presence to Providence, Rhode Island, the base for its principal investigator, Dr. Scout.

The FDA has approved to a pair of new medications for the treatment of HIV, LGBTQ Nation reported. The medications, brand-named Delstrigo and Pifeltro, are designed for adults with no prior antiretroviral treatment. Both medications were approved after a pair of double-blind trials called "Drive-Ahead" and "Drive-Forward." However, the medication is not without its setbacks, with Delstrigo possibly worsening hepatitis B infections.

A gay man filed a lawsuit against Redmond O'Neal—the son of actors Farah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal—accusing him of a vicious attack motivated by hate, LGBTQ Nation noted. Ken Fox, who is represented by Gloria Allred, said that the attack occurred May 2, when he was going to a laundromat. Fox says Redmond O'Neal rushed at him and hit him in the nose with the bottle; O'Neal allegedly stood over him when he was on the ground, taunting him with slurs and punching him, while threatening to hit him again with the bottle again. O'Neal was arrested after a four-day crime spree in early May, which police say included attempted murder and possession of meth.

The National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals ( NAGLREP ) unveiled its Top LGBT+ Agent List—the real estate industry's first recognition of top producing LGBT and allied agents and teams, a press release noted. Shirley Gary of Engel & Volkers Buckhead Atlanta and Blair Myers of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Success in Warner Robins, Georgia, headed the individual agent list; Gary generated more than $70.1 million in sales volume last year while Myers generated 272 transaction sides.

In Texas, Corpus Christi's Agave Jalisco restaurant has taken action against an employee who humiliated a gay couple, firing the employee, apologizing for his behavior and instituting sensitivity training for employees, Advocate.com reported. Sandra Clement described the antigay incident on Facebook, saying she took her son, Miguel, and his boyfriend to the restaurant. When the men hugged, an employee pointed at them, yelled an anti-gay slur in Spanish and sung the epithet as he walked into the kitchen; other employees reportedly laughed.

Multiple students who have attended California's River View Christian Academy, which used to be called the Julian Youth Academy, said they were punished for saying they were gay or bisexual, BuzzFeed reported. Three said they were placed on "no touch," which meant they were forbidden from having any physical contact with anyone. However, according to BuzzFeed, River View's rules—which former students and employees say have not changed much over the years—were not illegal.

OkCupid announced it will be the first leading dating app to develop a dedicated space on profiles for the LGBTQ community to state and share their pronouns, a press release stated. The release added, "This new functionality will allow daters to prominently display their pronouns alongside other important personal attributes, so that OkCupid daters can connect and find love as their authentic selves." OkCupid collaborated with GLAAD on the new feature.

An emcee at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association ( NLGJA ) conference in Palm Springs was criticized for referring to nonbinary people as "things and its," LGBTQ Nation noted. Marshall McPeek is a meteorologist at ABC's Columbus, Ohio, affiliate; he was co-emceeing the last event at the NLGJA conference and referred to attendees as "Ladies and gentlemen, things and its." He was immediately called out by journalist Monica Roberts, who yelled, "Oh no he did not" and "There are no 'things' or 'its' here." McPeek later apologized for his remarks.

A Virginia man who prosecutors say was seen on video slugging white supremacist Jason Kessler one day after last year's deadly rally in Charlottesville received a fine—of $1, The San Diego Union-Tribune noted. Jeffrey Winder was convicted of misdemeanor assault and battery for a second time during an appeal trial and faced up to 12 months in jail and $2,500 in fines. Kessler, the organizer of the Unite the Right rally, was trying to hold a press conference in front of Charlottesville City Hall when he was attacked on Aug. 13, 2017; he was forced to flee.

Aaron Philip—a Black, transgender and disabled model—has recently signed with Elite Model Management, according to Gay Star News. Philip tweeted, "i'm signed to @elitenyc! thank you so much for supporting me thru my journey to make the fashion world more inclusive. this hasn't been easy, but we did it! i'm so excited & grateful to work hard and share this new chapter of my life with you all."

Visit Philadelphia has a new president and CEO, The Philadelphia Tribune reported. Jeff Guaracino will lead the region's official tourism agency starting Oct. 29. The firm Diversified Search helped Visit Philadelphia identify 360 candidates for the executive position, and the board chose Guaracino, who is openly gay, from a group of six finalists.

Also in Philadelphia, the Office of LGBT Affairs and the LGBT Affairs Commission—in partnership with William Way Community Center, DVLF and Independence Business Alliance—released the application for the LGBTQ Community Leadership Pipeline pilot program, a press release stated. The Community Leadership Pipeline, launching in late October 2018, is a recruitment and enrichment initiative focused on increasing the number of LGBTQ people of color, transgender people, youth, and elders serving in board leadership positions at Philadelphia's LGBTQ organizations. See https://www.phila.gov/departments/office-of-lgbt-affairs/community-leadership-pipeline-initiative-participant-application/?mc_cid=896c3eb352&mc_eid=554315769c.

In-N-Out Burger has become the center of a fight between Trump supporters and opponents because of a $25,000 donation the chain made to the California Republican party, LGBTQ Nation noted. The chain is now the target of a boycott among disaffected liberals, egged on by Democratic state party chairman Eric Bauman ( who then backtracked ). However, Trump fans have been quick to champion In-N-Out as the newest Chick-Fil-A, the chain that for years has attracted the ire of liberals for its CEO's opposition to LGBTQ rights.

In her new memoir, Perfectly Clear, Michelle LeClair—a mother of four and self-described former "poster girl for Scientology"—claims that she and her family were stalked and harassed by the church after she announced that she was defecting, People.com noted. The church denies her claims, calling them "delusional and paranoid." In 2010, LeClair said her world was turned upside down when she left the church after allegedly facing persecution for coming out as lesbian. In the book, LeClair also says the love of her life, partner Tena Clark, ultimately helped her break free.

Nominations are open to recognize outstanding accomplishments by LGBTQ+ professionals in science, technology, engineering and math ( STEM ) through awards from the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals ( NOGLSTP ), a press release noted. Nominations can be made through Oct. 31. The awards will be presented March 16, 2019, at NOGLSTP's Out To Innovate Career Summit. Award and nomination details are available at http://www.noglstp.org/programs-projects/recognition-awards/.

After complaints over its handling of sexual-assault cases, Texas A&M University has overhauled its policies, making punishments for rape and other sexual misconduct much stricter, InsideHigherEd.com noted. Earlier this month, the institution announced 11 changes around its Title IX policies. Title IX of the Education of the Amendments of 1972 is the federal law barring gender discrimination.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio ( R-Florida ) clashed with conservative conspiracy theorist Alex Jones after Jones confronted and touched him outside a contentious Senate intelligence hearing, NPR.org reported. Jones interrupted Rubio as he was being interviewed by a scrum of reporters outside a room where the intelligence committee was hearing from Dorsey and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. After Jones touched Rubio, the senator responded, "You're not going to get arrested, man. You're not going to get arrested. I'll take care of you myself."

In a related matter, Twitter permanently suspended far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from the platform, citing tweets and videos that violate the service's ban on abusive behavior, Deadline noted. The decision came a day after Jones accosted Sen. Marco Rubio outside the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, crashing the Florida lawmaker's press conference and denigrating the lawmaker as a "little frat boy" in video that was circulated on Twitter.


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