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NATIONAL Pro-trans ad, Point's honors, Vegas shooting
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-02-27

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The Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, OutServe-SLDN, American Military Partner Association and Gender Justice League published a full-page USA Today ad featuring leading military, national security and bipartisan officials who agree with the majority of Americans that the Trump administration's ban on transgender troops is wrong and hurts military readiness, according to a press release. The ad encourages the vast majority of Americans who oppose the Trump administration's effort to ban up to 15,000 active duty transgender troops to call the White House and demand they put our military readiness and brave service members ahead of politics. The ad ran in every local Gannett paper nationwide on Feb. 28.

Point Foundation, a national LGBTQ scholarship fund, will honor journalist Ronan Farrow and comedian/actress/writer Tig Notaro on Monday, April 9, at the Plaza in New York City, according to a press release. Farrow will receive the Point Courage Award while Notaro will receive the Point Impact Award. See https://pointfoundation.org/events/point-honors-new-york-2018/.

Las Vegas police are investigating a shooting that took place Feb. 23 at the Las Vegas Lounge in the central part of the city, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. IntoMore.com added that the unknown individual shot into the city's only transgender club, injuring at least two people. Trans woman Callie Lou-Bee Haywood was injured in the shooting and was taken to the hospital. She reported on Facbeook that "the bullets shattered my bones and they're broken in my leg!"

Transgender woman and Cleveland resident Phylicia Mitchell, 46, has become the fourth known trans person murdered in 2018, LGBTQ Nation noted. Mitchell was shot and killed in front of her home on Feb. 23 and was pronounced dead at the hospital, Cleveland.com reported. No arrests have been made and the shooting remains under investigation.

Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ( HHS ) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops ( USCCB ) on behalf of same-sex couple Fatma Marouf and Bryn Esplin, who were denied the opportunity even to apply to serve as foster parents for refugee children by a USCCB affiliate, a press release stated. The couple were told they did not "mirror the Holy Family." The lawsuit is Marouf v. Azar; a copy of the complaint is at https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/marouf_dc_20180220_complaint.

A big change could be coming to the Nevada DMV that would make it easier for transgender people to change the gender marker on their license, KTNV.com reported. After a recent hearing, the Department of Motor Vehicles is moving forward with a proposal that would give folks the independent decision on how they would like to be identified on their license. "We're eliminating the requirement that they get a physician signature to be able to change the gender marker on their drivers licenses," said the DMV's Kevin Malone.

Michelle Obama's memoir will be titled Becoming Michelle Obama, and is set for a November release, Deadline noted. The news was released via Markus Dohle, CEO of Penguin Random House, the publisher. It was also tweeted by the former first lady, who called the book "a deeply personal experience." Obama will promote the book with U.S. and international tours, with 1 million copies of the book donated to the educational nonprofit First Book. Former President Barack Obama is also writing his memoir, which is scheduled for a spring 2019 release.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation released a report detailing the results of its nationwide survey of LGBTQ people that reveals an urgent need for inclusive employer-paid family and medical leave, per a press release. It comes on the 25th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act ( FMLA ), a federal law guaranteeing certain employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. The 2018 U.S. LGBTQ Paid Leave Survey is at https://assets2.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/2018-HRC-LGBTQ-Paid-Leave-Survey.pdf?utm_campaign=Paid%20Leave&utm_source=HRC%20Website.

In Virginia, members of the Manassas Park City School Board voted unanimously to add sexual orientation and gender identity to its nondiscrimination policy, The Washington Blade reported. State Del. Danica Roem ( D-Manassas )—a transgender individual who represents House District 13 in the Virginia House of Delegates that includes Manassas Park—was among those who urged board members to support the additional protections. The Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William County School Districts are among the Virginia school districts that have added sexual orientation and gender identity to their nondiscrimination policies.

A new proposal on the table could ban conversion therapy in Michigan, The Grand Haven Tribune reported. This measure—House Bill 5550, introduced by Democratic state Rep. Adam Zemke—will "prohibit mental-health professionals from engaging in efforts to change the sexual orientation and gender identity of a minor." If passed, Michigan would be the 10th state in the U.S. with a law prohibiting conversion therapy, joining California, Nevada, Oregon, New Mexico, Illinois, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey, in addition to Washington, D.C.

Last month, ProPublica reported that the California man accused of killing a gay and Jewish University of Pennsylvania student was an avowed neo-Nazi and a member of Atomwaffen Division, a white-supremacist group that celebrates both Hitler and Charles Manson. Samuel Woodward was accused of fatally stabbing 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein and burying his body in an Orange County park. "I love this," one member wrote of the killing, according to copies of online chats that ProPublica botained. Another called Woodward a "one man gay Jew wrecking crew." People associated with the group, including Woodward, have been charged in five murders; another group member pleaded guilty to possession of explosives after authorities uncovered a possible plot to blow up a nuclear facility near Miami.

The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and Mama Cash released a new report highlighting the lesbian, bisexual and queer ( LBQ ) movement, and detailing the priorities and funding gaps for LBQ women and LBQ gender non-conforming people, according to a press release. The LBQ Report aims to grow both the amount and quality of funding available for LBQ communities. The report highlights what is necessary for LGB people to be truly free, including a future of self-determination, bodily autonomy, sex positivity, and freedom and safety from violence, racism, torture, homophobia, transphobia and misogyny. The report is at https://s3.amazonaws.com/astraea.production/app/asset/uploads/2017/10/MC_LBQ_report_ver2.pdf.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein failed to win the official endorsement of the California Democratic Party as she seeks her fifth term in Washington—but her supporters say it won't hurt her with a broader range of voters, CNBC reported. Party activists were more eager to back her primary challenger, state Senate leader Kevin de Leon, who is crafting himself as a fresh face with stronger progressive credentials; however, he also failed to earn the 60-percent support he needed to win the endorsement. That means neither candidate will get the party's seal of approval or extra campaign cash leading into the June primary.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens remained defiant—even amid calls for impeachment or resignation—after a St. Louis grand jury indicted him for felony invasion of privacy, alleging the Republican took a compromising photo of a woman during an extramarital affair the year before he was elected, WTOP.com reported. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner on Thursday announced the indictment that followed an investigation launched in January, a day after Greitens admitted to an affair with his St. Louis hairdresser that began in March 2015.

Actor James Woods fired back after Apple released an advertisement featuring only same-sex couples, PinkNews reported. The new ad from the tech giant, "First Dance," celebrates same-sex weddings. ( Apple released the ad in Australia following the legalization of same-sex marriage and in advance of Sydney Mardi Gras. ) Woods tweeted, "Evidently heterosexual couples didn't make the cut in Tim Cook's world vision of diversity." However, despite the negative reaction from Woods, many have praised Apple for the ad. Apple CEO Tim Cook came out as gay in 2014, and is the most prominent out gay CEO in the world.

Tennis star and former Olympian Serena Williams gives viewers a special insight into that pivotal period in the new NBC documentary 1968, showcasing how the Mexico City Games became a stage for a powerful collision of sport and politics. The film features interviews with NBA icon and cultural ambassador Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who protested the 1968 Games; heavyweight champion George Foreman, who took home a gold medal; civil rights activist Harry Edwards, who led the Olympic Project for Human Rights; along with Emmy Award-winning journalist Tom Brokaw. The movie aired on NBCSN on Feb. 25, but will also be available streaming on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Stacey Dash—who played Alicia Silverstone's pal in the 1995 teen comedy Clueless and later became an outspoken conservative commentator—filed to run for the U.S. House of Representatives, The Huffington Post reported. Dash, 51, a Republican, wants to represent California's 44th Congressional District—an area that includes Compton and Watts. Hillary Clinton captured 83 percent of the district's vote in the 2016 presidential election, CNN noted. Democrat Nanette Barragan won the seat in 2016.

A University of Southern California ( USC ) women's basketball player claimed fans directed racial slurs at her and her Black teammates as they left the court after a loss at Oregon State University, ESPN.com noted. USC's Minyon Moore sent tweets about the derogatory remarks after the game, though she quickly deleted them. Both schools say they are investigating.

In a similar situation, South Carolina women's basketball coach Dawn Staley filed a defamation lawsuit against Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk for accusations he made about her after a game, also according to ESPN.com . Sterk accused Staley of promoting a hostile and negative atmosphere and said Missouri players were spit on and had racial epithets hurled at them by South Carolina fans after Carolina won 64-54 on Jan. 28. The SEC ( Southeastern Conference ), meanwhile, reprimanded Sterk for his comments and fined him $25,000 while also ordering a conference review of South Carolina's game-management procedures.

HealthHIV and the National Coalition for LGBT Health will host SYNC 2018—the national conference on HIV, HCV and LGBT health—on April 22-24 in Arlington, Virginia, per a press release. There will be five plenaries on policy development and program innovation in behavioral, systems and preventive health; and two breakfasts and lunches, an exhibitor reception, and networking event, among other things. Visit SYNC2018.org .

Starting March 15, Lambda Legal will open an online store, at LambdaLegal.org, according to a press release. There will be T-shirts, tote bags, posters and other new merchandise.

Miami's Pallette magazine, published by the Miami Herald Media Company, ended publication with its December 2017 edition, according to Press Pass Q. The LGBT publication was three years old. Miami Herald New Business Development Manager Kristina Schulz-Corrales said the LGBT community is still being covered by the Miami Herald's Gay South Florida channel.


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