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'Pregnant man' splitting from wife; gay couple dies in murder-suicide
NATIONAL ROUNDUP: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy CIty Times..
2012-04-24

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Thomas Beatie, the first so-called "pregnant man," has split from his wife of nine years, Nancy, according to the Huffington Post. Beatie announced the split during a taping of an episode of The Doctors that is set to air May 7. "Like all marriages, we have our ups and downs, and we're going through a rough patch right now," Beatie, 38, said. He also said that he has undergone the last of his gender-reassignment surgeries, adding, "Nancy hasn't seen the new me yet." Beatie has given birth to three children.

In Brooklyn, gay couple Jason Lopez, 22, and Tory Curtis, 23, died in an apparent murder-suicide, Queerty.com reported. Lopez found Curtis in their apartment with an unidentified man; Lopez then shot Curtis and killed himself, while the third man hid in a closet. However, relatives of Curtis said he was not gay and was not romantically involved with Lopez.

The Trevor Project—which specializes in providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ people under 24—will honor MTV with the Trevor 2020 Award June 25, according to a press release. The Trevor 2020 Award recognizes visionary organizations that increase the visibility and understanding of LGBTQ issues. MTV President Stephen Friedman said, "MTV shares The Trevor Project's vision of a world where sexual orientation and gender identity have no bearing on one's ability to realize their dreams, and we'll continue using all our platforms to advance toward that goal."

With increasing numbers of LGBT refugees fleeing to the United States, ORAM ( the Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration ) has released the first-ever guide for U.S. LGBT and accepting communities on welcoming those refugees, according to a press release. The 48-page Rainbow Bridges guide offers guidance on welcoming new refugees; ensuring their mental and physical well-being,; and helping them find support in their new communities. See www.ORAMInternational.com/publications.

Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in college basketball history, is stepping down from her position with the Tennessee Lady Vols, according to Yahoo! Sports. The development came less than a year after revealing she had early onset dementia. Longtime assistant Holly Warlick will take over for Summitt, who will become head coach emeritus.

The "Don't Say Gay" bill has advanced in the Tennessee House, according to WBIR.com . The House education committee passed the measure, which would prohibit the teaching of gay issues to elementary and middle school students. The bill's sponsor says he decided to move his bill again after a survey of his district showed "well over 95 percent don't want homosexuality discussed in those grade levels."

Missouri is weighing its own version of Tennessee's "Don't Say Gay" bill, according to Advocate.com . Republican legislators, including House Speaker Steve Tilley, are sponsoring the measure—with House Small Business Committee Chairman Dwight Scharnhorst adding, "There is no need to talk about Billy wanting to marry a goat." Sponsor Rep. Steve Cookson said that Missouri's bill applies to all discussion of sexual orientation, both gay and heterosexual.

Tom Batiuk, the creator/illustrator/writer of the long-running comic strip Funky Winkerbean, is tackling gay rights, according to The Chronicle-Telegram. Batiuk said he used a news story "about a protest by a parent group at a school in Hilliard, Ohio" to create a storyline about a gay student couple who cause a flap when they want to attend the prom at the strip's fictional Westview High School. The monthlong storyline will launch in more than 400 newspapers nationwide starting April 30.

Chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party David Parker plans to call for an early election of party officers in May and will not run for re-election, according to WTVD. Parker has been under fire since the executive director of the party, Jay Parmley, resigned after allegations surfaced that Parmley sexually harassed another male, Adriadn Ortega. Parker said the allegations included unwanted shoulder rubs, clothing comments and discussions of private lives.

OUT Magazine has laid off its entire editorial staff with one month's severance, Pink News reported. However, Editor-in-Chief Aaron Hicklin is hiring back a number of editors on a contractual basis to an editorial agency he is founding called Grand Editorial. Hicklin said that there will neither be a reduction in the magazine output nor any major changes to its editorial content.

The conservative institution known as the Media Research Center has criticized PBS correspondent Gwen Ifill because she decided to emcee a fundraiser for Whitman-Walker Health, a nonprofit community health clinic in Washington, D.C., according to the Huffington Post. Tim Graham, director of media analysis at the Media Research Center, wrote that Ifill crossed an "Obama line" by hosting the event, which honored Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Whitman-Walker Health, formerly the Whitman Walker Clinic, specializes in "HIV/AIDS care and lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender care," according to its website.

In Ohio, members of a Boy Scout troop and their parents are protesting the ouster of lesbian den leader Jennifer Tyrrell, WYTV.com reported. The Tiger Cubs group recently protested outside the church where it held meetings in the town of Bridgeport. Tyrrell said she has been a den leader for about a year. Scout executive Bob Drury said Tyrrell is still permitted to be involved with the scouts—as a parent.

GLSEN's ( the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network's ) 17th annual Day of Silence took place April 20. Schools marked the day across the country, and several organizations expressed their support. The White House stated that it backs the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act. GLSEN national board member Sirdeaner Walker ( mother of 11-year-old suicide victim Carl Walker-Hoover ) said in a statement, "While nothing can bring Carl back, I know that these bills can make a real difference to end the bullying and harassment that is faced by too many other sons and daughters today."

A scientist has claimed to have discovered people who can rapidly change gender, the Huffington Post reported. The condition, called "alternating gender incongruity," reportedly leaves people sensing so-called "phantom genitalia" of the opposite sex, and can happen several times a day. Laura Case, a graduate student of famed neuroscientist Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, conducted this preliminary study of gender switching.

Middle Tennessee State University ( MTSU ) may get its first gay fraternity, according to the Tennessean. It's part of a growing movement in the Midwest and South, where gay students have started their own Greek organizations because they're not accepted in other fraternities. Five MTSU students said they are working to recruit more pledges to launch a full chapter on the Murfreesboro campus; however, two of those students are graduating.

After being questioned by Huffington Post editor and SiriusXM radio host Michelangelo Signorile, James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro said she is returning an award from the Boy Scouts of America, which bars gay scouts and scoutmasters, according to the Huffington Post. Signorile wrote that the Ungaro's initial acceptance of the award "was especially troubling considering that the legendary chef and cookbook writer James Beard was an openly gay man who was thrown out of Reed College ... in 1922" because of his sexual orientation.

In Florida, LGBT-rights activist and former Dancing with the Stars contestant Chaz Bono was Miami Beach's grand marshal for the city's fourth annual pride parade, Marketwatch.com reported. Transgender man Bono said, "The city of Miami Beach has done an amazing job of welcoming me, and thousands of other LGBTQ travelers for the Gay Pride Weekend, and other events all year round."

The Los Angeles County coroner's office has ruled that conservative commentator/blogger Andrew Breitbart died of heart failure caused by coronary disease, the New York Daily News reported. Foul play is not suspected, and no prescription or illegal drugs were found in his system. Breitbart—who, among other things, played a major role in the publicity of the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal—died March 2 at age 43.

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) criticized New Mexico U.S. Senate candidate Heather Wilson for condemning anti-bullying legislation, a press release noted. In video captured by the group American Bridge, Wilson says of the Student Non-Discrimination Act ( SNDA ) : "…but that particular act is so broad that it would actually punish children, or say it's prohibited to express an opinion with respect to homosexuality in schools." "Heather Wilson's remarks are shockingly ignorant and show how unaware she is of the realities kids face in school on a daily basis," said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

A lesbian army officer has posted on Facebook that her command sergeant major physically assaulted her because of her sexual orientation, according to the Huffington Post. A sergeant major approached the captain about dancing with her girlfriend at a squadron ball. He reportedly mentioned "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"—to which she responded that it had been repealed. He then allegedly threatened the captain and called her an "abomination," concluding by shoving her "hard across the dance floor and told me to 'have a good f***ing night, ma'am,'" according to her Facebook post. The squadron commander reportedly contacted the girlfriend the next day to apologize but added that the incident was a misunderstanding and that she had taken it the wrong way.

In Iowa, people held an anti-bullying vigil April 20 to mourn the death of 14-year-old Kenneth J. Weishuhn Jr., who committed suicide after being bullied at school for coming out of the closet, the Cedar Falls Patch reported. Two groups in the Cedar Valley, UNI Proud and Working Families Win, planned this vigil to mourn the teen's death and to show their support of LGBT students. Approximately 40 people gathered, holding candles, signs and flags.

The CIA and the Office of the Director for National Intelligence ( ODNI ) recently hosted the first Intelligence Community ( IC ) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender ( LGBT ) Summit, according to CIA.gov . Participants included members of LGBT employee groups from nine IC agencies and CIA and ODNI leaders. The summit was designed to ensure the CIA maintains a high-performing, engaged and diverse workforce.

Harvard University has agreed with the U.S. Army to establish a limited on-campus presence for an Army Senior Reserve Officers Training Corps ( SROTC ) , with the university assuming the costs of student participation in the program, according to Harvard Magazine. The agreement follows, by a year, the agreement to have a Navy ROTC presence on campus following repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

In a landmark ruling, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ( EEOC ) has announced that Title VII, the federal sex-discrimination law, protects employees who are discriminated against because of their gender identity, according to a Transgender Law Center press release. The ruling resulted from a discrimination complaint filed by Transgender Law Center on behalf of Mia Macy, a transgender woman denied a job as a ballistics technician at the Walnut Creek, Calif., laboratory of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives ( ATF ) .

A judge has ruled that Adam Musser, an HIV-positive man sentenced to 50 years in prison for having unprotected sex with several women, must continue to serve his entire sentence, HIVPlusMag.com reported. Musser transmitted HIV to four women during 2002-03. U.S. District Judge James Gritzner said the sentence was reasonable, adding that Musser repeatedly subjected women to health risks and that the felon's rights were not violated.

The Cincinnati Enquirer pulled a newspaper after it it accidentally ran a picture of gay protesters that included a sign with the f-bomb on it, Advocate.com reported. The editors didn't notice the sign until the newspaper was printing, so several thousand subscribers still received the issue with the profanity. Editor Carolyn Washburn said, "I … am working ... to understand why this photo was chosen in the first place and why it was not caught sooner."

Stephany Lee married her female partner, Brigg McDonald, two days after Lee won a spot on the women's U.S. Olympic wrestling team, SheWired.com reported. Lee, 27 beat Iris Smith ( who wrestles for the U.S. Army ) and 2008 Olympian Ali Bernard to secure a spot on the team. Lee told reporters that while she doesn't want to be a spokeswoman for lesbian athletes, she is comfortable with herself.

LGBT e-commerce destination loveandpride ( www.loveandpride.com ) celebrated its seventh anniversary by announcing it will donate $2,500 to openly gay political candidates supporting marriage equality and running for office this fall, according to a press release. Candidates will be chosen according to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund's endorsements, and loveandpride's donation will be made through campaign political action committees that support those candidates.


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