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Christine Quinn talks bulimia; Bachmann not seeking re-election
National roundup: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2013-05-29


Lesbian New York City mayoral candidate Christine Quinn, 46, has gone public about her past battles with bulimia and alcoholism that apparently started while her mother battled cancer, according to the New York Times. The current City Council speaker said that starting at age 16, she secretly binged and purged for a decade until she entered a Florida rehabilitation center. However, the Times speculated that Quinn contacted the publication "as her aides try to soften her often rough-edged political image and build a campaign that draws heavily on her personal appeal to women." Among Quinn's Democratic primary opponents is disgraced politician Anthony Weiner, whose career ended when it was discovered he sent lewd pictures to a college student on Twitter, Politico.com reported.

U.S. Congresswoman and former GOP presidential primary candidate Michele Bachmann said she will not run for re-election to a fifth term in 2014, according to Politico.com. Bachmann, from Minnesota, has a long history of anti-gay activity that continued as recently as April, when she told the Liberty Counsel's "Awakening" Conference, "You see if we retreat from our values and fail to make the case on issues like marriage—because it is one man, one woman—because God said it is. Not because it's poll tested—because God said it is," Towleroad reported. In addition, her husband, Marcus, owns a clinic that Truth Wins Out reported practices reparative therapy, a controversial and discredited clinical method designed to "cure" LGBT people.

A Williams Institute study by Abbie E. Goldberg suggests that children of lesbian parents are satisfied with their current level of contact with their male donors and do not think of their donors as dads, according to a press releaase. Study participants (who were 19-29 in age) perceived their relationships with their male donors in one of three ways: as strictly donors and not members of their family; as extended family members, but not as parents; and as fathers. The full report is at http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/parenting/goldberg-allen-fp-may-2013.

In Nevada, a marriage-equality amendment cleared the final hurdle of the 2013 legislative session, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Senate Joint Resolution 13 passed the Assembly on a 27-14 vote, bringing the process to get it to the ballot in 2016 to an end for this year. The proposed amendment must pass again in identical form in the 2015 legislative session before it can go to the ballot; Gov. Brian Sandoval's signature is not required.

Kevin Brockman, the executive VP of global communications at Disney/ABC Television Group, has been elected chairman of the board at the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), according to the Hollywood Reporter. Since its establishment in 1990, GLSEN has aimed to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a diverse community. Brockman joined Disney in 1997 and has been in his current position since 2008. Additionally, GLSEN has elected seven new members to its board of directors.

In New Mexico, transgender student Damian Garcia skipped his graduation after being denied the opportunity to walk during his graduation ceremony in the cap and gown designated for boys, according to Advocate.com. Albuquerque's Saint Pius High School requires male students to wear black gowns while females wear white; the school insisted that Garcia wear white even though Garcia recently legally changed his name and his family and teachers refer to him as "Damian." The University of New Mexico's LGBTQ Resource Center plans to host a graduation celebration for Garcia May 30.

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Kaitlyn Hunt—the 18-year-old Florida student who made was charged with felonies for her same-sex relationship with a 15-year-old female student at her school before being expelled—has refused a plea deal that the state attorney's office offered, according to the Huffington Post. Under the state attorney's deal, Hunt would have been labeled a sex offender and placed on two years' house arrest. Hunt will appear in court June 20, and could face 15 years in prison if convicted.

Oil and gas giant ExxonMobil is the target of an LGBT Illinois workplace discrimination complaint filed May 22, after an LGBT organization uncovered alleged hiring bias. Freedom to Work, a national LGBT organization, has hit the company with a complaint for allegedly favoring non-LGBT job applicants over LGBT candidates. The organization sent ExxonMobil two "test" resumes for fictitious candidates; one resume, which boasted better qualifications, identified the applicant as LGBT. However, ExxonMobil allegedly favored the non-LGBT applicant.

The Puerto Rican House of Representatives approved a sweeping nondiscrimination bill that protects LGBT people in employment, housing, governmental services, public accommodations and private entities. Last week, the Senate approved the bill in a 15-11 vote and Gov. Alejandro GarcÃa Padilla has vowed to sign the bill into law. The House today also approved a bill to add protections for sexual orientation, marital status and gender identity to the domestic violence law; that measure now moves to the Senate.

In Virginia, the anti-gay feelings of GOP lieutenant governor nominee E.W. Jackson have been the source of controversy, according to an Advocate.com item. In 2009, after President Obama recognized June as LGBT Pride Month, Jackson (a Baptist bishop) tweeted, "The President has proclaimed June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Pride Month. Well that just makes me feel ikky all over. Yuk!" Some Democrats and Republicans were concerned that Jackson's anti-gay, pro-life, anti-Islam bent would isolate voters and potentially tank Virginia's GOP ticket.

The Orange County Human Relations Commission said hate crimes against gays and lesbians in California's Orange County nearly doubled from 2011 to last year—from seven to 13, according to MyDesert.com. The commission has noted a "general downward trend" overall in hate crimes in Orange County, but "violent hate crime targeting gays and lesbians almost doubled and that is of special concern," said the commission's executive director, Rusty Kennedy. Hate crimes against gays and lesbians went down in 2008, the year voters approved Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriage, Kennedy noted; however, it went up again in 2009.

In California, the defense attorney for accused hate attacker Clayton Garzon has asserted that the March beating of another Davis man was not motivated by anti-gay sentiment, the Sacramento Bee reported. Garzon, 20, faces three felony assault charges and hate-crime allegations connected to the beating of Lawrence "Mikey" Partida, a gay man, March 10 in Davis.

In San Antonio, Texas, evangelical protesters and LGBT-equality advocates clashed at City Hall, and a proposal to add sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran status to the city's nondiscrimination policy was delayed in committee, the Dallas Voice reported. Mayor Julian Castro said San Antonio is lagging behind Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin, which already have LGBT-related protections. "I believe that we cannot have second-class citizens in this city," Castro said. "If you are for this ordinance you are against discrimination."

In early May, hundreds of people gathered to celebrate gay pride in Mobile, Ala., according to WKRG.com. James Weaver and Darrel Foret—a Mobile couple who married May 4, 2012, in New York—said that although they're hopeful for marriage equality in Alabama, they don't see it happening in their lifetimes. According to a recent Gallup Poll, about 2.8 percent of people in Alabama considered themselves LGBT, compared to a nationwide average of 3.5 percent.

The National LGBT Bar Association has released programming for the 25th Anniversary Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair, to be held Aug. 22-24 in San Francisco, according to a press release. The conference will feature more than 40 workshops and general-attendance sessions. Topics covered this year will include transgender athletes, domestic violence, legal issues in the military following "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and intellectual property. In addition, for the LGBT Bar's 25th anniversary, two of the general-attendance sessions will focus on celebrating past achievements while still looking ahead to what still must be done. See www.lgbtbar.org/annual .

Advocate.com reported that a group of at least nine men yelled anti-gay slurs at prominent LGBT-rights activist Eugene Lovendusky and puched him in the jaw May 24. Lovendusky, a member of the direct action group Queer Rising, organized a vigil for Mark Carson, the 32-year-old gay man who was shot dead at point-blank range May 18. Lovendusky also launched a campaign, #AskQuestions, that had LGBT individuals carry signs through areas where anti-gay assaults have occurred, inviting people to become informed about gay people.

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) spoke out again against the lack of protections for the LGBT community within the comprehensive immigration reform proposals Congress is currently considering, according to a press release. "I am extremely disappointed that my colleagues in the Senate are choosing not to extend the same rights and considerations to same-sex families that we give to any other family in our immigration system," said Rep. Quigley. "America was built on fairness and justice, and I will continue to fight for comprehensive immigration reform with these same values."

Mark Ferrandino—the first openly gay man to serve as speaker to the Colorado House of Representatives—made it official with longtime partner Greg Wertsch in a civil-union ceremony at the state capitol in Denver, according to Advocate.com. Ferrandino was the lead House sponsor and a driving force behind Colorado's enactment of civil unions, introducing legislation for three consecutive years before the bill passed earlier this year.

Wearing a Speedo, shoes and little else, gay water polo player Michael Crosby took to the public comment podium at a West Hollywood (Calif.) City Council meeting to express his approval of the city's plans to build a new recreation center with two rooftop pools, Outsports.com noted. Although unrelated to the Speedo incident, the City Council later approved "code of conduct" rules requiring speakers to wear shoes and a shirt.

Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy researchers have shown that LGBT-supportive policies are linked to positive business-related outcomes, a press release stated. The new Williams Institute study, entitled "The Business Impact of LGBT-Supportive Workplace Policies," examines the findings of 33 research studies, and concludes that LGBT-supportive policies are also linked to greater job commitment, improved workplace relationships, increased job satisfaction and improved health outcomes among LGBT employees.

A copy of a letter a Marine Corps recruit reportedly sent has raised new concerns about a culture of homophobia in the military, despite the 2011 repeal of the so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)," according to the Huffington Post. In between stories about physical fitness training and classes on U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) history, the recruit added, "[DADT] may have been repealed, but the USMC sure hasn't adapted. We're called faggots 10-50 times a day. 'You think that's yelling? That's sweet, faggot.' 'Yeah, you would think that's a pushup, faggot.' etc." OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson said the comments didn't surprise her.

Family Equality Council and the Center for American Progress released a new guide to assist couples and parents who are LGBT access health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, a press release stated. The Affordable Care Act and LGBT Families: Everything You Need to Know is a comprehensive resource that will introduce families to the intricacies of enrollment, tax credits, shared responsibility payments, health insurance marketplaces and navigators. See http:// www.familyequality.org/get_informed/advocacy/know_your_rights/affordable_care_act_guide .

The group that pushed Minnesota lawmakers to legalize gay marriage disclosed it invested more than $2 million in its successful lobbying effort, according to CBS Minnesota. Minnesotans United for All Families leader Richard Carlbom provided the figure to The Associated Press ahead of a mid-June deadline to report lobbying during the just-completed legislative session. Approximately $400,000 to $500,000 was spent on TV ads, he said.

The Advocate has launched a new advertising-supported iPad application, Advocate Discovery, through a partnership with web discovery engine Trapit, according to Press Pass Q. The new free app lets users aggregate LGBT content from around the world and tailor it to their specific interests. Advocate Discovery also allows readers to share important news stories through social-networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Jacob Rostovsky, a 22-year-old transgender male at American Jewish University, has started TUFF (Trans United Family and Friends), an organization that aims to fund FTM and MTF medical procedures for trans and gender-variant individuals who otherwise can't afford them, according to Out.com. A student and full-time unpaid intern at The Lavender Effect, a Southern California nonprofit seeking to create a LGBTQ museum, Rostovsky currently covers all of TUFF's funds himself.

Parents of students at a Wisconsin elementary school are upset over the theme "Gender Bender Day," according to the Huffington Post. Tippecanoe School for the Arts and Humanities in Milwaukee recently celebrated School Spirit Week; members of the student council chose Friday as "Gender Bender Day," a voluntary event that called for boys to dress like girls and vice versa. One mother, Deidri Hernandez, was reportedly so upset she called the school's principal to complain, later telling a group, "They might as well call it 'Transgender Day.'"

In Ohio, Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald, the only Democratic candidate currently running in Ohio's 2014 gubernatorial election, announced his support for same-sex marriage, the Huffington Post reported. "I believe in full equality for all Ohioans, and that includes the LGBT community, and that includes issues not just related to marriage, but also employment and housing," FitzGerald said. The LGBT community had criticized FitzGerald previously for what it said was his timidity on the issue of marriage.

In Florida, Anna Pierre—a North Miami mayoral candidate who claimed Jesus Christ endorsed her—finished last in voting while openly gay mayoral candidate Kevin Burns will proceed to a runoff election, the Huffington Post reported. Pierre was a pop star in Haiti before moving to the United States and becoming a nurse; she later claimed to have found evidence of a Vodou curse against her, and used a flyer that claimed Jesus endorsed her. Burns will go head to head with candidate Lucie Tondreau in a runoff election June 4.

In a move to maintain local control and ensure survival, the nation's oldest continuously publishing LGBT newspaper, the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), announced a restructuring plan that includes shareholders in local mainstream and alternative media, Press Pass Q noted. BAR Publisher Thomas E. Horn and General Manager Michael Yamashita said that the Bob Ross Foundation, the owner of BAR, has signed a letter of intent with Todd Vogt and Patrick Brown. Vogt and Brown are shareholders in the San Francisco Newspaper Company, which owns the Examiner, the San Francisco Bay Guardian and SF Weekly.

The Obama Administration announced May 22 that it would transfer $35 million to AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) and $15 million to Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C, according to PositivelyAware.com. Dr. Laura Cheever, the acting associate administrator of the HIV/AIDS Bureau at Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), explained that some of the current transferred funding would come from other parts of Health & Human Services and some would come from within the Ryan White Program, excluding ADAP and Part C.

The anti-gay American Family Association is endorsing a children's book that purports to teach children about "the truth" of creation, according to SouthFloridaGayNews.com. God Made Dad and Mom—a new picture book by Amber Dee Parker—tells the story of a boy who, after discovering during a trip to the zoo that all animal families "consist of a male, a female and their offspring," decides to pray for his classmate and his two dads to learn the truth about their existence.

In a move to restructure its debt and emerge with a stronger balance sheet, Frontiers Media, LLC, has filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors, according to Press Pass Q. Based in Los Angeles, the media company publishes Frontiers Magazine, the oldest and largest circulation LGBT publication serving Southern California. It is distributed free of charge mainly in San Diego, Long Beach, West Hollywood and Palm Springs. Frontiers has liabilities of $3.2 million and assets of $342,000.

A Roman Catholic priest is coming out of the closet after anonymously publishing a book about his life as a gay man of the cloth two years ago, Advocate.com reported. Rev. Gary Meier of St. Louis, Mo., wrote about his life in Hidden Voices: Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest. Meier took a leave of absence last year from the Saints Teresa and Bridget Church in St. Louis; the book was republished in May with Meier's name. Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor-at-large at America magazine, estimates that possibly thousands of Roman Catholic priests are gay and celibate.

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