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National roundup: Stonewall, intersex case, Caitlyn Jenner, Kamala Harris
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-10-17

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The Trump administration ( and the National Park Service ) withdrew support for a ceremony at Stonewall National Monument that involved the dedication of the rainbow flag, Raw Story noted. Last year, President Obama designated the monument to commemorate the uprising in New York City and the LGBT community that fought back for equality. The park is in New York City's Greenwich Village on the corner of Christopher Street and 7th Avenue South. Rainbow-flag designer Gilbert Baker died in New York City on March 31 at age 65.

Lambda Legal returned to federal court on behalf of Dana Zzyym—an intersex citizen and U.S. Navy veteran denied a passport because the U.S. State Department refuses to recognize a gender marker that is neither male nor female, an organization press release stated. In the brief filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, Lambda Legal argues that the State Department is violating the due-process and equal-protection guarantees of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by treating Zzyym differently based on their gender, by not letting Zzyym travel freely and by compelling Zzyym to lie about who they are on the passport-application form.

After St John's Well Child & Family Center announced it would be giving Caitlyn Jenner an award at the TransNation Film Festival's Eleganza gala, the trans internet has risen in revolt, LGBTQ Nation reported. A new petition, called "Stop Dishonoring the LGBTQ Community By Honoring Caitlyn Jenner!!!," has hundreds of signatures so far. Ashlee Marie Preston—the petition's sponsor on behalf of Trans Liberation Now—has said she is tired of LGBT organizations honoring Jenner as a hero for the community, saying she has been "nothing but harmful to the LGBTQ community."

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) announced that U.S. Sen. Kamala D. Harris will speak and two-time Emmy Award-winning actress Uzo Aduba will be honored at the 21st annual HRC National Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Washington Convention Center, a press release noted. Harris was the first African-American and first woman to serve as attorney general of California, and is the second African-American woman in history to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Aduba, who will receive the HRC Ally for Equality Award, who is known internationally in part for her celebrated role as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren in the series Orange is the New Black.

The Justice Department has dispatched an experienced federal hate-crimes lawyer to Iowa to help prosecute a man charged with murdering a transgender high school student last year—a highly unusual move that officials said was personally initiated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to The New York Times. Kedarie Johnson ( a 16-year-old student in Burlington, Iowa ) was fatally shot in March 2016. Christopher Perras, a Justice Department lawyer, will serve as a county prosecutor in the case, according to court documents.

Judge Steven Kirkland has announced his intention to run for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court, making him the first openly gay candidate to run for the position, PinkNews reported. Kirkland is currently a judge on the Houston State District Court, and is running for Place 2 on the Supreme Court. The place's current holder, Justice Don Willett, has been nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by President Donald Trump.

The openly gay co-owner of a Seattle coffee shop is feeling the heat after a video of him asking a group of pro-life activists to leave his establishment surfaced, The Huffington Post reported. Ben Borgman—who co-owns Bedlam Coffee in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood—got into an argument with members of Abolish Human Abortion when he asked the group to take their business elsewhere. Out Magazine, The Stranger and LGBTQ Nation are among the many outlets to have posted about the video, which has been viewed more than 660,000 times since it was uploaded.

Bozeman is the second city in Montana ( after Missoula ) to join a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a ballot initiative that seeks to tell people what restroom to use, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle noted. Initiative 183, or the Montana Locker Room Privacy Act, would require people to use a bathroom or locker room designated for their sex at birth. The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana, or ACLU, has said the ballot targets people who don't identify with their gender at birth.

The Boy Scouts of America will be fully inclusive for girls for the first time in its nearly 100-year history—the latest move to adapt the organization's rules in an era of declining membership, The Wasington Post reported. The organization said that its board unanimously approved the decision to allow girls into the Cub Scouts program, which will eventually allow them to earn the prestigious Eagle Scout ranking. In a statement that does not mention the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts said they are "the best girl leadership organization in the world, created with and for girls," adding that they are "here to stay."

More than 100 members of Congress wrote to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis asking him to provide any "discussions or correspondence between the White House and the Pentagon" that reportedly informed President Trump's decision to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military, according to an NCLR/GLAD press release. NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter and GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi said, "We commend the more than 100 Members of Congress who are demanding answers about why the President reversed military policy without input from military advisers. The President's blatant disregard for military judgment destabilizes military operations and weakens our Armed Forces."

The University of Southern California "will not proceed" with Harvey Weinstein's pledge to fund a $5 million endowment for female filmmakers amid allegations of sexual misconduct, TheWrap reported. Following the New York Times' report of his history of sexual misconduct, Weinstein released a statement in which he mentioned his plans to create the endowment fund.

On a related note, Ronan Farrow took the stage on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show to open up about his Harvey Weinstein expose for The New Yorker, TheWrap noted. In the immediate aftermath of the piece, questions were raised about why Farrow didn't publish his scoop with NBC, his current employer. Maddow raised the issue and Farrow admitted that his bosses had caved under pressure and said their subsequent claims that the piece he showed them was "not reportable" were false. "The incredible story that we all read yesterday, was not the story that we were looking at when we made our judgment several months ago," NBC News Chief Noah Oppenheim said of NBC News' decision to let Farrow shop it elsewhere, Deadline reported.

Hustler Magazine founder Larry Flynt is offering $10 million for information that leads to the impeachment of Donald Trump, TheWrap noted. The porn kingpin's full-page ad in the Washington Post offers the cash reward "for information leading to the impeachment and removal from office of Donald J. Trump." The ad cites a number of reasons Flynt believes Trump is "unfit" to be president, including his firing of FBI director James Comey, his "unconscionable" defense of the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis after the Charlottesville riots, and his escalation of tensions with North Korea.

Also regarding Trump, Cathy Myers—who is challenging Paul Ryan to represent Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District—released a new video calling for the president's impeachment, a press release noted. Myers notes that Speaker Ryan controls the impeachment process and called on him to act because "Donald Trump is clearly unfit for the office he holds and poses an immediate threat to the safety and security of this country and the world."


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