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  WINDY CITY TIMES

NATIONAL Lambda Legal, Catholic school, gay-bar raid, Buttigieg
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-09-15

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Lambda Legal said that President Trump's shortlist of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees "is teeming with anti-LGBT extremists and dangerous ideologues," a press release noted. The list includes Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals judges Kyle Duncan and James Ho as well as Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Lawrence Van Dyke, who was deemed "not qualified" by the American Bar Association due to specific concerns about his ability to treat LGBTQ litigants fairly.

The Trump administration filed a legal brief with the Indiana Supreme Court, formally saying a Catholic school has a First Amendment right to fire a teacher for entering into a same-sex marriage, The Washington Blade reported. The 36-page brief, signed by U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler for the Southern District of Indiana, asserts the Archdiocese of Indianapolis had a constitutional right to terminate Joshua Payne-Elliott from his job as a world language and social studies teacher at Cathedral High School, despite contractual obligations he had with the school.

The owner of the Baltimore Eagle—an LGBTQ bar that has been in business for 30 years—raised strong objections to what he said was an Aug. 7 raid on his establishment by a dozen representatives of city regulatory agencies who claimed they were investigating a complaint that the Eagle was violating COVID-19 social distancing rules, The Washington Blade reported. Owner Ian Parrish said a competing LGBTQ establishment filed complaints against the Eagle with the liquor board and the city's health department, falsely claiming the Eagle was violating social distancing requirements. Adam Abadir, a spokesperson for the Baltimore City Health Department, characterized the visit to the Eagle as an "inspection" conducted by members of the Baltimore Social Club Task Force, which consists of several city agencies, including the health department, liquor board, and the police and fire departments.

Pete Buttigieg could have a new job. The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and former candidate to become the Democratic nominee for president is joining the Joe Biden White House transition team, according to Out.com . Reuters is reporting Buttigieg joins a 15-person team that includes former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and former Assistant Attorney General Sally Yates.

Equality Utah has partnered with Craft Lake City, 90.9 FM KRCL and the Temporary Museum for Permanent Change to host an interactive art and audio display in downtown Salt Lake City, a press release noted. Fourteen plakats ( the German word for "billboards" ) are now positioned throughout the city. The exhibition celebrates LGBTQ Utahns who overcame impossible odds, including Dr. Kristen Ries and registered nurse Maggie Snyder, who confronted the AIDS crisis in the '80s; and Nikki Boyer, who built the community through her work at the original Sun Tavern. The plakats also celebrate recent success banning conversion therapy and passing an LGBTQ inclusve hate-crimes law. The plakats can be viewed in person or at EqualityAudioTour.org .

Andrew Gillum, the former Democratic candidate for governor of Florida, revealed in an interview that he identifies as bisexual, CNN.com reported. The emotional interview with Gillum, a former CNN contributor, centered on a February incident in which he was found "inebriated" by police who were responding to a "possible drug overdose" in a Miami hotel room he was in, a police report noted. Authorities found Gillum and a second person, Aldo Mejias, in the hotel room; Gillum apologized at the time, and announced the following month that he would be entering rehab.

LGBTQ advocacy organization One Iowa Action announced its state legislative endorsements for the 2020 election, a press release noted. Some of the endorsed candidates include Christina Blackcloud, CJ Petersen, Karin Derry and Ruby Bodeker. According to One Iowa, during the 2020 legislative session, the Iowa legislature released 14 anti-LGBTQ bills.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a controversial bill that ends discriminatory treatment of LGBTQ young adults faced with registering as sex offenders, The Bay Area Reporter stated. Gay state Sen. Scott Wiener's legislation ensures LGBTQ adolescents are treated the same as their heterosexual peers when faced with the possibility of being listed on the state's sex offender registry. Wiener ( D-San Francisco ) said he has faced death threats and been subjected to anti-Semitic harassment from followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory for months due to the policy change.

Pennsylvania representative Malcolm Kenyatta criticized Republican lawmakers for backing legislation that he says will "intimidate" people from exercising their right to vote, PinkNews reported. The Black gay Democrat tore into Republicans in an impassioned address on the House floor, drawing attention to a bill that has been decried as an attack on ballot access. Bill 112-90 allows only brief periods for requesting mail-in ballots and eliminates drop boxes for ballots in Pennsylvania, making it significantly harder for people to vote in the state.

A lesbian elected official in North Dakota delivered an impassioned speech in defense of her municipality's decision to fly a rainbow flag outside City Hall, NBC News reported. Her heated remarks followed several comments from townspeople angered over the LGBTQ pride symbol's public display. "I am proudly the first openly elected lesbian in North Dakota, so that is why I'm not paying any heed to your crap," Evans said at a City Council meeting. "I live in Minot. I am a taxpayer. I am a person. I get to see myself represented on that flagpole."

Video surfaced of Trump supporters gathering in Salem, Oregon, on Labor Day—and things took a dark turn when a man called for the killing of Democratic politicians who support the LGBTQ+ community, Out.com reported. "We have said all this LGBT agenda has set us back," the unidentified speaker said to the crowd. "They told us we were crazy. They told us we were homophobic. But the God's honest truth is their pedophile agenda has been normalized. It is being pushed forward. I'm a goddamn man, but I think these Democratic leaders who allowed this to happen need to be shot dead in the streets." The crowd around him, some of whom were carrying automatic weapons according to reports, cheered in response.

President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen said disgraced former head of Liberty University Jerry Falwell Jr. supported Trump in 2016 after being threatened with blackmail, according to LGBTQ Nation. Actor Tom Arnold said he had recorded a phone conversation where Cohen said that someone was blackmailing the Falwells with "racy personal" pictures and that he was called to "fix" the situation. Falwell resigned as the head of the extremely conservative Christian school last month after years of financial and sexual scandals.

Speaking of Falwell Jr., former pool boy Giancarlo Granda told Fox News that, since going public with his story about the Falwells and him last month, the couple will not leave him alone, obsessively texting and emailing him and his friends, Queerty noted. Granda showed Fox News numerous text messages, emails, and photos sent to him by the Falwells, which the conservative media outlet confirms seem to corroborate his allegations.

Spearheaded by LA Pride, LGBTQ+ Pride organizations from across America have come together to create the first-ever National Pride Stride Virtual Run, a press release noted. In partnership with EnMotive, producers of the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k series, the nationwide LGBTQ+ virtual 5k/10k event will commemorate National Coming Out Day on Sunday, Oct. 11. Almost three dozen Pride organizations across the country are uniting to recognize National Coming Out Day and the #StillWeVote campaign leading up to November's election.

Oakland, California-based HIV/AIDS organization MPact is looking for an executive director, a press release noted. The ideal candidate should have at least 10 years of experience in fundraising and strategic planning as well as international HIV, health, human rights and LGBTI rights; and have a deep knowledge of issues affecting gay and bisexual men living in low/middle-income countries and in the global south. The deadline is Oct. 5. See MPactGlobal.org .

The National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals ( NOGLSTP ) announced six winners of the 2020 NOGLSTP Out To Innovate Scholarships—made possible by a grant from the Motorola Solutions Foundation—for the fall 2020 academic year, a press release noted. Winners include Arpiar Avetis Grigorian ( the University of Colorado Boulder ), Jay Meashey ( Salisbury University ), Matthew Abrams ( University of Central Florida College of Medicine ), Shayle Matsuda ( University of Hawaii ), Peter Pham ( University of California, Berkeley ) and Leonie Barkakati ( University of Florida ).

Federal authorities arrested Dwayne A. Vandergrift and charged him with detonating an explosive device outside of a Gloucester City, New Jersey gym popular with the LGBTQ community, LGBTQ Nation reported. The suspect's digital history showed that he had "recently researched how to construct and utilize various explosive devices, including pipe and pressure cooker bombs," U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.

Former MSNBC and NBC News host Thomas Roberts has a new job as host of syndicated news program DailyMailTV, AJC.com noted. Roberts, an out individual, will replace original host Jesse Palmer—a Canadian TV host, sports commentator and former NFL player. For the past few months, Roberts hosted a Facebook Live show called Gay Good News where he has interviewed people such as comedic actor Leslie Jordan, singer/actor Billy Porter and R&B singer Jennifer Holliday.

Ballet dancer James Whiteside—who also goes by the pop-singer persona JBDubs—is launching a global casting call for his latest music video for "Left Alone," a press release noted. In collaboration with The Trevor Project, the video will seek to raise funds to support their work in supporting LGBTQ youth, while celebrating inner strength, resilience and bravery in the LGBTQ community and beyond. Open to all ages, the video project seeks submissions of dance, movement, lip-syncing or other talents for potential inclusion in a music video to be produced and premiered this fall. To submit a video ( that's no longer than 30 seconds ) by Sept. 21, visit https://forms.gle/cMq2H645qRfmeUXN9.


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