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NATIONAL Murder suspect, intersex passport, GLSEN awards
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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In Tennessee, officials have made an arrest in the murder of Daniel Shields last July, reported. Gerry Weatherby was charged with first-degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping for the homicide of Shields, a bartender at Nashville gay bar Trax. Weatherby has convictions in Nashville for attempted aggravated robbery, theft, prostitution and criminal impersonation, and in Wayne County for theft.

Nine state attorneys general asked a federal appeals court to allow an intersex Colorado resident to get a passport listing the person's gender as non-binary instead of male or female, The Denver Channel noted. The states filed a brief with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, asking the justices to uphold a lower-court ruling that said the State Department could not deny a passport to Dana Zzyym. Zzyym wanted a passport marked "X'' for gender, instead of "M'' or "F."

GLSEN honored Brendon Urie, the cast of Pose, Ace Schwarz and the Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School GSA, Spectrum, at the annual GLSEN Respect Awards-New York at Cipriani 42nd Street, a press release noted. The event raised $1 million to create safe and LGBTQ inclusive K-12 schools. Cyndi Lauper, Jim Parsons, Nico Tortorella and Bethany C. Meyers, Imani Sims and Desmond is Amazing—an 11-year-old award-winning LGBTQ activist/drag artist—were among the attendees.

The state of Virginia has confirmed it will comply with President Donald Trump's transgender military ban, which officially took effect last month after courts cleared the way, ThinkProgress reported. Responding to an inquiry, Adjutant General Timothy Williams explained that the Virginia National Guard's service members "must meet established Department of Defense [DoD] readiness standards," including the expectations laid out by the discriminatory policy. Since the trans military ban took effect, the governors of five states have announced that their national guards will not abide by the ban: California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon and New Mexico. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ( D ) had not publicly commented on the ban since it took effect but, as a candidate, he came out strongly against it after Trump first announced it.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Puerto Rico's first center for LGBT elders took place in San Juan, The Washington Blade reported. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz spoke alongside Wilfred Labiosa, executive director of Waves Ahead and SAGE Puerto Rico, and San Juan Municipal Assembly President Marco Antonio Rigau before they took part in the ceremony. Representatives of Intersections International and CenterLink were among those who also attended.

Laverne Cox wants transgender men to be included in the abortion debates taking place around the country in the wake of Alabama passing the strictest anti-abortion measure in the United States, The Huffington Post reported. Giving the commencement speech at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, Cox pointed out that language is often one of the most challenging parts of inclusivity. "When we use language that excludes groups of people on pertinent issues, it can jeopardize their health and well-being," she said. "Language that is appropriate and fully inclusive is a matter of life and death for so many people out there."

Out gay City Council Speaker Corey Johnson recently voiced his opposition to the full decriminalization of sex work, breaking from other progressive politicians—including those who share his constituents—and drawing stinging condemnation from multiple advocacy groups that have championed the issue, Gay City News reported. Speaking to the media during a press gaggle following an event at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Johnson said he supports the Nordic model ( also known as the equality model ), which stops short of prosecuting sex workers but would still go after clients who purchase sexual services.

Henry Sias lost his bid to become Pennsylvania's first transgender judge, Gay Star News reported. The criminal defense and civil rights lawyer ran to become a judge for Philadelphia's Court of Common Pleas. On Facebook, Sias said, in part, "While we did not win, the gains we have made will never be erased. Transgender men will be able to stand a little taller in Philadelphia today because of all of the work that we have done, and the justice system will be closer to recognizing that trans people will not be marginalized."

San Antonio's McNay Art Museum will present the exhibitions "Andy Warhol: Portraits" and "Transamerica/n: Gender, Identity, Appearance Today" June 20 -Sept. 15, a press release noted. "Andy Warhol: Portraits" invites the viewer into Warhol's world by examining the artist's personal life, studio process, and use of a variety of mediums. "Transamerica/n" celebrates a spectrum of gender identity through artists from underrepresented backgrounds in the United States ( many from the San Antonio community ), Mexico and Canada.

Police are searching for four people they suspect brutally beat a gay man in Phoenix in April, Gay Star News noted. The victim, Cesar Marin, said he was driving his convertible when he stopped to let a woman cross the street. The woman stopped and looked at him, before calling him a slur—and then flicked a cigarette at his face. Marin pulled over to find the burning cigarette butt; however, he was then ambushed and beaten.

A Mormon, Republican Utah County commissioner has come out, at 40, in a video posted to Facebook and YouTube, noted. Nathan Ivie said it took him more than 20 years to accept his sexuality—feeling like his religious beliefs were at odds with whom he realized himself to be at a young age, having shared his first kiss with another boy at 9 years old.

There was strong reaction from the LGBTQ community after the city of Dublin, California, decided to not fly the gay pride flag, reported. ( The decision came after several residents spoke out against the idea. ) "As a gay man and growing up through the marriage equality fight and serving in the military under Don't Ask, Don't Tell, I know we have some work to do in this area," said Dublin City Councilmember Shawn Kumagai.

In California, state Sen. Scott Wiener ( D-San Francisco ) and Assemblymember Todd Gloria's ( D-San Diego ) legislation to reduce barriers to accessing HIV-preventative medications passed the Senate on a vote of 34-1, an Equality California press release noted. SB 159 authorizes pharmacists to furnish pre-exposure prophylaxis ( PrEP ) and post-exposure prophylaxis ( PEP ) to patients without a physician's prescription. The measure now heads to the Assembly for committee hearings in the coming weeks.

Nevada has become the fourth state to prohibit the use of so-called gay and trans panic defenses, following California, Rhode Island and Illinois, NBC News reported. Senate Bill 97, which has been signed into law, bars defendants from using a victim's sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression as a defense in a criminal case. The bill was proposed by the Nevada Youth Legislature—a state program that gives high school students an opportunity to present bills to the Nevada Legislature

Alabama lawmakers have passed legislation that would eliminate marriage licenses in the state, LGBTQ Nation noted. The measure is widely seen as a punitive attack on the LGBTQ community after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage years ago. Judges in the state have been using a loophole to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples already.

LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, has given a Spotlight endorsement to Mississippi state Senate District 10 candidate Carlton Smith, a press release noted. If elected, Smith would become the first openly LGBTQ state legislator in Mississippi history and the only openly LGBTQ elected official in the entire state. The primary election will be held Aug. 6 and the general election Nov. 5.

Christopher Street West ( CSW )—the 501( c )( 3 ) non-profit that produces the annual LA Pride Festival and Parade in West Hollywood—announced this year's parade will include organizational and community grand marshals and be presented on television for the first time thanks to an exclusive three-year deal with KABC-TV, a press release noted. Phill Wilson will be the Community Grand Marshal and the Los Angeles LGBT Center will be the Organizational Grand Marshal for LA Pride 2019 on Sunday, June 9.

Calvin Klein has apologized to the LGBTQ community after receiving backlash for a new ad featuring model Bella Hadid and robot model Lil Miquela, The Washington Blade noted. In the ad, Hadid and Miquela share a lingering kiss; Miquela is a CGI character who boasts more than 1 million followers on Instagram. In part, Klein said, "We understand and acknowledge how featuring someone who identifies as heterosexual in a same-sex kiss could be perceived a queerbaiting."

Sybrina Fulton—the mother of Trayvon Martin—has joined the growing ranks of women seeking office after losing a child to gun violence, NBC News noted. Fulton launched her bid for county commission seat in Florida's Miami-Dade County. Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

A federal grand jury in Manhattan indicted celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti in two alleged schemes—charging him with fraud and aggravated identity theft involving his former client, Stormy Daniels, and with attempting to extort more than $20 million from sportswear giant Nike, noted. Prosecutors charged Avenatti with stealing about $300,000 of Daniels' advance for her book contract, according to court papers, using that money to pay employees of his law firm and a coffee business he owned. With these most recent charges, Avenatti has faced federal indictment three times over the course of about six weeks.

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