Tyler Barrick and Spencer Jones live in San Francisco and were married June 17, 2008. Mr. Jones is originally from Utah and wanted the announcement printed in his hometown paper – prior to a family party there. The clerk at The Spectrum initially accepted the announcement information along with payment – then later the announcement was declined. The Spectrum had been on GLAAD’s list of inclusive newspapers – and GLAAD did try to help but without success. The announcement has since been published in The Salt Lake Tribune – another local paper.
Tennessee Schools Agree to Remove Anti-LGBT Filter (August 14, 2009)
In April 2009 the ACLU sent a letter to the Nashville school district. The district had set up filters on school computers – blocking access to LGBT friendly websites. Students were having to out themselves to their teachers to try to gain access. The ACLU filed a federal suit against the schools. Now the schools have agreed to remove the filters blocking the sites – and a judge has dismissed the lawsuit. If the agreement is not followed – the ACLU will return to court.
Great Nationwide Kiss-In – Dozens Gather in Utah (August 15, 2009)
Same Sex couples exchanged a simple kiss or even just a hug – and they were detained by the police. This happened in Utah, and in two locations in Texas. The idea for the Kiss-In started in the blog of a concerned LGBT activist – and then grew into events in more than 50 cities across the US. One of the events was held at Liberty Square amphitheater in Utah – where dozens of couples and individuals gathered for a kiss. Another Kiss-In is being planned for next year – hopefully in even more cities.
Montreal LGBT Pride Celebrates Pending Action on Plan (August 16, 2009)
Quebec has had a wide-ranging action plan pending – and now the plan against Homophobia is expected to happen this fall. The announcement that Quebec will have a policy against Homophobia – came in time for celebration at the Pride Fest. There will still be work involved in applying the law – but the LGBT community expects the new plan will greatly help the fight against anti-LGBT discrimination. A report from the Quebec human rights commission was partly involved in the framework of the plan.
Obama – Makes Statement re: DOMA in Court Brief (August 17, 2009)
President Obama has made statements to the public about DOMA – including one made in response to the case of Smelt v. United States of America. The case involves Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer – a Gay couple who were married during 2008 in California. President Obama and his senior advisers stated in a court brief that DOMA is discriminatory – but that it should be repealed by Congress. This brief is an attempt to dismiss Smelt V. United States.
New York Man Receives Maximum Sentence for Transgender Hate Crime (August 19, 2009)
Last month Dwight DeLee was found guilty of manslaughter for shooting Lateisha Green – the charge included Anti-Gay bias. Mr. DeLee is just the second person in this country to be legally convicted for killing a Transgender person. Ms Green had gone to a party with her brother – and they were sitting in their car outside – when Mr. DeLee came up to the car and shot her. He has been sentenced to the maximum of 25 years in prison.
DoJ Has Added Liaison to LGBT Community (August 19, 2009)
The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department has hired Matt Nosanchuk – who advised Obama on LGBT issues during the presidential campaign. Mr. Nosanchuk has worked for the DoJ in Policy Development – and worked on judiciary and civil rights issues for Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla). He will have a variety of cases as a senior lawyer – and will spend the rest of his time reaching out to constituencies on Capitol Hill as well as the LGBT community.
Sect in Australia Apologizes to Transgender & Intersex People (August 19, 2009)
Three daily newspapers in Tasmania published the apology – as a result of a conciliation agreement. In 2006 members of the religious sect – Exclusive Brethren – published a state election advertisement attacking Transgender and Intersex people. As a result of the advertisement – Martine Delaney filed a complaint with the state’s anti-discrimination tribunal. Those who issued the apology were members of the Exclusive Brethren – along with a shell company (TradTas) which paid for the ads.
LGBT Youth Center in NY Named for Bea Arthur (August 19, 2009)
One of the stars of Golden Girls – Bea Arthur – was a generous benefactor to the Ali Forney Center. Four years ago she went to New York for a benefit performance for the center – which raised $40,000. The charity currently has four residential shelters for LGBT youth. Recently it received funding from the Oak Foundation to buy housing sites – and the first site will be named – the Bea Arthur Residence for LGBT Youth.
pngwnz: MJ, a/k/a pngwnz, is summarizing LGBT current events each week for jaysays.com and the Why Would You Say That – Really? series. She is an out lesbian with an affinity for the music of Phil Collins and Carole King.