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NAT'L Foster ruling, Chris Watts, Nashville CEO, clergyman dies
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-09-04

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The U.S. Supreme Court declined to force the city of Philadelphia to resume the placement of children in need of foster care with a Catholic agency that refuses to accept same-sex couples as foster parents, Reuters reported. In a decision that Catholic Social Services had said would force its foster care program to close, the justices refused the religious agency's request for an injunction compelling the city to allow it to place children in foster homes while litigation over the dispute continues in lower courts. Philadelphia says that as part of its foster care contract with Catholic Social Services, the agency must follow a city anti-bias law, which covers sexual orientation.

An unnamed man came forward claiming to have been a former lover of triple-murder suspect Chris Watts—who is accused of killing his pregnant wife, 34-year-old Shan'ann Watts, and their two young daughters in their Frederick, Colorado, home earlier this month, People.com reported. The man—whose face was not shown—described the purported relationship in an interview on HLN's Crime & Justice with Ashleigh Banfield. The man said he was not the co-worker with whom Chris, 33, was allegedly cheating on his wife at the time of the three slayings.

The Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce named Joe Woolley as the organization's next chief executive officer, a press release related. Representing more than 325 businesses and individuals in Nashville and the surrounding area, the Nashville LGBT Chamber is considered the premier advocate of the Greater Nashville LGBT business community. Woolley succeeds Lisa Howe, who served as the Chamber's CEO for the past six years.

The Rev. Robert W. Wood—who urged Christian clergymen in a 1960 book to welcome gay men and women to their churches in a time of widespread prejudice against them, and went on to march in early gay-rights protests—died Aug. 19 at his home in Concord, New Hampshire, at age 95, The New York Times reported. Blending social science and cultural analysis with his experiences ministering to closeted gay men, Wood made an appeal for the full acceptance of gay people by churches and society. Wood did not out hiimself until he retired as a pastor in 1986, although he lived openly for many years with his partner, Hugh Coulter, a former rodeo cowboy and artist.

In Shreveport, Louisiana, 18-year-old trans woman Vontashia Bell was found lying in the street, with gunshot wounds to the chest and wrist, NewNowNext.com . She was taken to the hospital but died of her injuries. She has been misgendered and deadnamed in media reports. Bell is at least the 18th known transgender person killed in the United States this year.

The Village Voice—the Pulitzer Prize-winning alternative weekly known for its investigations, arts criticism, personal ads and cartoons—is going out of business after 63 years, a StarAdvertiser.com item noted. Its publisher, Peter Barbey, announced that the paper is ceasing publication altogether because of financial problems, a year after it stopped circulating in print and became strictly digital. The Voice was the country's first alternative newsweekly, founded in Greenwich Village in 1955 by a group that included writer Norman Mailer.

A seventh-grade assignment that asks students to rate different kinds of people has stirred controversy in an Ohio town, LGBTQ Nation noted. The assignment, entitled "Whom to leave behind," presented students at Roberts Middle School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, with a scenario: Earth is about to be destroyed, and you can only save eight out of 12 people. ( The people included a "homosexual male, professional athlete" and "a Hispanic clergyman who is against homosexuality." ) The assignment was taken from the University of Houston's "Diversity Activities Resource Guide," where it is included as an "icebreaker" exercise. Councilmember Adam Miller posted it on Facebook, saying the assignment is "implanting prejudicial thoughts in these young impressionable minds," Miller wrote. "This is NOT building a — 'culture of caring' — this is building a culture of animosity, antagonism & hostility!"

The National LGBT Bar Association has launched a "Commit to Inclusion" campaign that targets the Liberty Counsel and the Alliance Defending Freedom—the two conservative Christian non-profit organizations who wage legal fights against expanding LGBT rights in court, SouthFloridaGayNews.com reported. The campaign involves attorneys pledging never to support them through pro bono services, even if the lawsuit has nothing to do with LGBT rights. See https://lgbtbar.org/commit/.

Married lesbian couple Lisa Licata and Sherry Lau painted their Pennsylvania home like a Pride flag after allegedly enduring years of homophobic slurs from their neighbors, according to a NewNowNext.com item that cites Pittsburgh's WTAE. When the truth came out a year later, the couple said neighbors Ron Makay and his wife, Iolanda Wieczorkowki, began calling them anti-gay slurs like "homos" and "dykes."

An assailant screaming anti-gay slurs kicked a gay man in the head at Harvey Milk Plaza in San Francisco's Castro district, The Bay Area Reporter noted. Michael Levy, 53, was on his way home from a fundraiser Aug. 25 when a man, sitting on a brick ledge, kicked him in the head. Levy, who was with his husband, Michael Golden, "was totally stunned" when he felt the painful blow to his forehead.

Dr. Sterling Stuckey, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California-Riverside and a prominent scholar of African-American history, has died at 86, DiverseEducation.com noted. An expert on American slavery and African-American intellectual and cultural history, Stuckey is the author of numerous books, including Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America. A civil-rights organizer in Chicago during the 1960s, Stuckey earned his Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University in 1972 and held teaching positions at numerous institutions.

Democrat Andrew Gillum rode a surge of liberal support from young people and African-Americans to a stunning primary victory and the historic opportunity to be the first Black governor in Florida's history, The Miami Herald reported. Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, overwhelmed former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham in Miami-Dade and Broward, the state's two largest Democratic counties, by more than a two-to-one margin—in the highest turnout for a midterm primary election in Florida history. Gillum's victory gives Florida voters a contrast in style and substance with his Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, who has the enthusiastic support of President Trump.

Facebook was found to be targeting young LGBT users by promoting "gay cure" adverts, a DazedDigital.com item noted, citing The Telegraph. It was discovered that, based on the Facebook pages that users had shown an interest in, users had reported seeing ads that were promoting elements such as "sexual purity" and gay conversion therapy. According to The Telegraph, two conversion therapy adverts found in the investigation were directed to young LGBT people.

The Staten Island museum the Alice Austen House will hold its annual gala for the first time in Manhattan, honoring LGBT historian and Stonewall 50 consortium founder Eric Marcus and Joan ( JEB ) Biren, pioneering lesbian photographer who has chronicled LGBT lives since the 1960s, a press release noted. The gala will be held Oct. 11 ( also National Coming Out Day ) at the National Arts Club.

As embattled Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl addressed the Catholic Church's clergy sexual-abuse scandal on Sept. 2, one Catholic yelled "Shame on you!" while another turned her back on Wuerl in protest, CNN.com reported. Wuerl—who faces accusations that he mishandled clergy sexual misconduct while he was a bishop in Pittsburgh—addressed Washington's Annunciation Catholic Church, where the cardinal was installing a new pastor. In a short speech after Mass, Wuerl asked the approximately 200 people in the congregation to forgive his "errors in judgment" and "inadequacies."

As the 2018 college-football season started last weekend, there were a record seven players who publicly identify as gay or bisexual, Outsports noted. Some of them include Kansas State University offensive lineman Scott Frantz, Butler University linebacker Xavier Colvin and Indiana State cornerback/kick returner Jake Bain.

Kerry Perry—whose nine-month tenure as USA Gymnastics CEO was marked by heavy criticism and little tangible action in helping the organization recover from the Larry Nassar scandal—has resigned under pressure, USA Today reported. Board member Brent Lang, a gold medalist in swimming at the 1988 Olympics, will chair the search committee for a new president and CEO. Recently, USA Gymnastics had hired a coach, who had supported Nassar after he'd been indicted, to be the developmental coordinator.

Monica Lewinsky—the former White House intern turned anti-bullying advocate—walked offstage at a conference in Jerusalem when she was asked a question relating to former president Bill Clinton, The Washington Post noted. Yonit Levi, one of Israel's top news anchors, asked Lewinsky, who has spoken in recent years about the humiliation she endured after her affair with the former president was made public, whether she still expected a personal apology from Clinton. After leaving, Lewinsky published a statement on Twitter saying that Levi had put that same question to her when they met ahead of the conference and that she had responded that it was off-limits.


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