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NATIONAL Pelosi, Planned Parenthood, gay GOP judge, Schindler death
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-10-23

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Speaking at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi ( D-California ) identified the Equality Act as a personal goal in wide-ranging remarks about her plans for the next Congress, The Washington Blade reported. "It isn't in our 'For The People' agenda because it doesn't get that specific, but there's one more because it's personal for me that I really want to do, and it's called the Equality Act," Pelosi said. "The Equality Act expands ending discrimination against LGBTQ people and women and adding that to the Civil Rights Act." Other priorities identified by Pelosi were a campaign finance reform package, expanded background checks for gun purchases and legislation to protect young, undocumented immigrants known as DREAMers from deportation.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America has launched the first set of videos in a new series for parents and caregivers on how to talk about topics related to bodies, sex and relationships in developmentally appropriate ways with preschool, elementary- and middle school-aged children, a press release noted. The first three videos—"How To Talk To Preschoolers About Anatomy & Body Safety," ( www.youtube.com/watch ) "How To Teach Your Kids About Gender" ( www.youtube.com/watch ) and "How To Know If Your Kid Is Transgender" ( www.youtube.com/watch )—are for parents and caregivers of preschoolers.

President Donald Trump announced a new wave of judicial appointments last week—including Patrick J. Bumatay, an openly gay conservative federal prosecutor nominated to become a federal judge, Queerty noted. Trump nominated Bumatay to sit on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the liberal-leaning San Francisco court Trump has openly attacked on Twitter during his presidency. U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, both of California, have both spoken out against Bumatay's nomination.

It has been 26 years since Allen R. Schindler Jr., an American Radioman petty officer third class in the United States Navy, was murdered for being gay. According to The Hill, on Oct. 27, 1992, Schindler was beaten to death, and his body and face mutilated by one of those drunken shipmates. There was the "gay-panic" excuse that the dead gay man had made a pass at him—which turned out to be false. Of his two assailants, only one—Airman Apprentice Terry M. Helvey—was given a life sentence after pleading guilty to murdering the 22-year-old, Out.com noted. His accomplice, Airman Charles Vins, accepted a plea bargain from naval investigators, and served 78 days in jail before receiving a general discharge in June 1993.

Mozaic—Ohio's first standalone transgender and gender non-conforming health and community center—officially opened its doors, WOSU.org reported. The Columbus facility, a program of Equitas Health, received $1.9 million from the CDC as part of a five-year grant to reduce the spread of HIV among young transgender people of color. It's the only grantee in Ohio, one of only five in the Midwest and one of 30 nationally.

Months after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a narrow ruling in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a custom-made wedding cake for a same-sex couple, anti-LGBT legal groups are before justices again seeking a more expansive decision allowing refusal of service to LGBT people, The Washington Blade reported. The Texas-based law firm First Liberty has filed before the Supreme Court a petition on behalf of Aaron and Melissa Kline of Sweetcakes in Gresham, Oregon, asserting a First Amendment right to decline wedding-related services to same-sex couples.

The Trans Youth Project's Dr. Kristina Olson is an Arcus Foundation grantee who was also recently announced as a 2018 MacArthur Fellow, a press release noted. Olson is one of 25 leaders to receive the fellowship for her work to advance scientific understanding of gender and to shed light on the social and cognitive development of trans and gender nonconforming youth.

For the first time in U.S. history, openly LGBTQ candidates ran for elected office in all 50 states and the District of Columbia this election cycle, a Victory Fund press release stated. At least 618 LGBTQ candidates ran for office and at least 399 will appear on ballots in November. In three states, however—Delaware, Mississippi and New Mexico—there were no out LGBTQ candidates that advanced to the general election and none will appear on the November ballot. California, Texas and Florida had the largest number of LGBTQ candidates run in 2018, with 81, 61 and 28 respectively.

At least four gay bars in Nashville have received what some are calling "targeted hate mail," NewsChannel5.com reported. For example, Strirrup owner Melvin Brown received a flyer in the mail with the letters "LGBT" on the front of it—but the letters were portrayed with a picture of the Statue of Liberty, a gun, a beer and an image of President Trump. The postcard had a "MAGA" stamp on the back of it and has a return address that traces back to an empty lot in downtown Nashville.

Anti-gay protesters rallied outside the federal courthouse in Houston, announcing they have sued the Houston Public Library over a city-sponsored Drag Queen Story Hour which they say violates their freedom of religion, Chron.com reported. Opponents of the story hour have also turned out to protest the library events, which began last summer in Montrose, the city's historic gay enclave.

Lambda Legal joined LGBT-rights organizations Equality North Carolina and Free State Legal, Maryland's LGBTQ Advocates to urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose the nomination of Allison Rushing to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, a press release noted. In a letter delivered to the Senate Judiciary Committee's Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, the organizations wrote in opposition to Rushing on behalf of approximately 1 million LGBT people living in the Fourth Circuit's jurisdiction. The letter stated that Rushing has expressed a deep hostility to LGBT rights.

In San Jose, California, officials have settled a lawsuit by five men who alleged discrimination when they were arrested in undercover gay-sex stings conducted by police at a city park in 2014 and 2015, MercuryNews.com reported. The City Council approved a $125,000 payment to resolve a federal suit filed last November that initially sought at least $1 million in damages. Under the settlement, the city must also meet a Nov. 12 deadline to provide gay-rights attorney Bruce Nickerson with a five-year list "of individuals, other than the Plaintiffs, who were arrested by the San Jose Police Department, pursuant to 'sting' ( undercover ) operations" that led to similar charges as the plaintiffs.

In Florida, Broward County Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren confirmed the Hollywood Police Department ruined the lives of 10 gay men for no reason at all, Miami New Times noted. This past July 26, Hollywood PD raided a gay-cruising hangout and arrested eight men allegedly caught masturbating in a private backroom and two others accused of performing oral sex on each other. The police department then sent the men's photos and names to the media, and many outlets happily blasted out the men's identities.

In Idaho, the Boise City Council has signed off on turning one of the city's few gay bars into a new police substation, BoiseStatePublicRadio.org noted. Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to purchase the Lucky Dog Tavern—one of only two gay bars in the city—for nearly $1.2 million. The owners of the bar plan to relocate in the next nine to 12 months before it becomes city property.

Elliot Mitchell and Clark West have pledged $250,000 to build the Center of Social Inclusion on the University of North Alabama ( UNA ) campus, FlorAla.net reported. Earlier this year, the couple created a scholarship in honor of Patti Sue Mathis, who committed suicide because she did not feel accepted after coming out as lesbian. University President Kenneth Kitts said at an event to honor the couple Oct. 9 he wants to make sure the words "diversity" and "inclusion" are more than just a bumper sticker to UNA.

To support Spirit Day ( Oct. 18 )—the most visible anti-LGBTQ bullying campaign and united show of support for LGBTQ youth—Kellogg Company launched a special-edition "All Together" cereal in collaboration with GLAAD supporting inclusion and to stand up against bullying, a GLAAD press release noted. "All Together" was available on Spirit Day at Kellogg's NYC cafe. Visitors received an "All Together" special-edition box and could make their own "All Together" cereal by mixing a diverse combination of Kellogg's cereals. Also, Spirit Day presenting partners Hilton, Target and Wells Fargo; official partners Barilla, Johnson & Johnson, the NBA and WNBA; and supporting partners Kellogg's, Kirkland & Ellis, and Zipcar participated in the anti-bullying campaign.

GLSEN launched a Charitybuzz auction in conjunction with its annual Respect Awards, which took place Oct. 19 in Los Angeles, a press release noted. ( Honorees at the gala included Twentieth Century Fox Film, Max Mutchnick & David Kohan, Ellen Pompeo, Yara Shahidi and student advocate Ruby Noboa. ) Auction items still available include two tickets to the Dec. 5 taping of Will & Grace; a visit to the set of The Bold and the Beautiful; and a $2,500 shopping spree with Ramy Brook. See Charitybuzz.com/GLSEN.

The 2018 World Gay Rodeo Finals are being held at Mesquite Rodeo Arena in Mesquite, Texas, on Oct. 27-28, according to the event's website. The culminating event of the IGRA ( International Gay Rodeo Association ) rodeo year will feature the top 20 men, women and teams in each event. In addition, IGRA will hold its annual Royalty Competition in which Mr. Miss, Ms and MsTer are selected from association title holders to represent IGRA nationally and to raise funds for designated charities. See http://www.igra-wgrf.com/.

Robert Ortiz ( a gay, Trump supporter ) had his 16-minute racist rant go viral after he called Brooklyn Lyft driver Shawn Pepas Lettman the n-word because Lettman wouldn't play the music Ortiz wanted to hear—and Ortiz has apologized, Instinct Magazine noted. Ortiz's new internet fame led to his dismissal from his job at a local healthcare clinic. "At the end of the day, my actions were unjustifiable," Ortiz told PIX11 News. "There's nothing that I can say behind that to say 'But this.' I was drinking. A lot of the stuff that I said I didn't even remember until the next day."


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