LGBT? Fort Worth PD wants you

Posted on 18 Jul 2014 at 1:47pm

Fort Worth Police Department is looking for a few good men — and women — to join the force, and they are specifically looking for recruits from the city’s diverse communities. Here is a video by Chris, an openly gay officer, talking about his experience as an officer with FWPD and encouraging other LGBT people to consider joining the department too.

Pretty cute video. Check it out.

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No Family Pride Zone at Lee Park this year

Posted on 18 Jul 2014 at 1:31pm
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Michael Doughman

Dallas Tavern Guild Executive Director Michael Doughman has announced that the Family Pride Zone will not return to the Festival in Lee Park this year. The Tavern Guild is the organization that produces the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade — Dallas’ annual LGBT Pride parade — each year and the festival held immediately following the parade.

“The Family Pride Zone at the Festival in Lee Park last year was an absolute social success and the community responded very positively to its presence as a part of Dallas Pride. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a great financial success,” Doughman said in a letter to sponsors who had already signed up for the Family Pride Zone this year. “Due to that fact and the lack of sponsorship dollars for 2014, we have had to cancel all plans for a Family Pride Zone at the 2014 Festival in Lee Park.”

Doughman went on to say DTG officials considered the Family Pride Zone “a valuable and exciting new growth piece to Dallas Pride,” and added that organizers “are not abandoning the concept and plan an aggressive sponsorship campaign for next year to garner funding to produce the Family Pride Zone in 2015.”

He said that any sponsorship fees for Family Pride Zone 2014 that have already been paid will be refunded.

The Family Pride Zone, held last year for the first time, was a section of Lee Park set aside as an alcohol-free, family-friendly area designated specifically for families with younger children. Doughman noted that Dallas Pride was the first Pride celebration in Texas to establish such a space.

For information on being part of Family Pride Zone 2015, email Doughman at michaeldoughman@sbcglobal.net or call 214-358-4006.

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Gay DISD investigator placed on paid leave

Posted on 18 Jul 2014 at 1:04pm
Jeremy+Liebbe

Jeremy Liebbe

A gay D.I.S.D. investigator was escorted out of his office by police late Thursday evening and put on paid leave, the Dallas Morning News reports. Jeremy Liebbe was first profiled in the Dallas Voice in 2011. It was believed that, at the time, he may be one of only a handful of out gay male officers in North Texas. Liebbe was a visible presence in the LGBT community, actively involved with security at Dallas Pride and creating a self-defense course at Youth First.

Then a narcotics investigator with the school district, he has since risen through the ranks to become one of its top investigators. He was most recently promoted to head of the district’s Professional Standards Office, the investigative unit of the district’s the human resources department. Known for his aggressive interrogations, he recently lead the investigation that resulted in 15 athletic employees losing their jobs.

Before the district placed him on leave, Liebbe was investigating allegations that a top district official lied on a district application about the official’s criminal history.

André Riley, a district spokesman, confirmed Liebbe was on leave but did not elaborate any further. In an e-mail to DMN, Riley said that Leibbe’s behavior after the athletics investigation resulted in his leave, not the results of the investigation itself.

Liebbe’s lawyer, Peter Schulte told DMN that Liebbe has done nothing illegal. But he worries that Liebbe may have been put on leave in retaliation for his investigations.

“It is always a little concerning when the chief investigator of the administrative side of any organization, but especially a government organization, is placed on leave without appropriate notice,” Schulte said. “Because the public has to have trust and integrity in the people who are overseeing what’s happening.”

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BREAKING: 10th Circuit says OK marriage ban is unconstitutional

Posted on 18 Jul 2014 at 10:52am

Bs1h9tfCAAAgOOnA U.S. appeals court ruled today that Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The 2-1 vote by the U.S. Tenth Circuit of Appeals affirmed U.S. Judge Terence Kern’s earlier decision in Bishop v. Smith.

The same three-judge panel also ruled earlier Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

The court stayed its ruling however, pending an appeal by the state of Oklahoma.

The case is the oldest challenge to a same-sex marriage ban in the country.

Since the Supreme Court’s major gay rights decisions last year, 17 federal courts have ruled that state same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional. More than 70 cases are pending in federal court including one in Texas, DeLeon v. Perry according to a press release from the Human Rights Campaign.

 

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Malaysia Airlines crash claims 100-plus AIDS researchers, activists

Posted on 17 Jul 2014 at 11:21pm
Joep Lange

Joep Lange

The Sydney Morning Herald is among the news agencies reporting that more than 100 AIDS researchers, activists and medical workers on their way to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia were among the 298 people killed in the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Ukraine early Thursday morning.

Officials have said the plane, a Boeing 777, was shot down by Russian-led separatists using an anti-aircraft missile.

Former International AIDS Society president Joep Lange is said to be among those killed in the crash. New York Daily News is reporting that friends have confirmed that World Health Organization spokesman Glenn Raymond Thomas is also among the victims.

NY Daily News reports that the Boeing 777 departed from Amsterdam and was en route to Kuala Luampur when it was shot down in Ukraine about 25 miles from the Russian border. Among the 298 people killed were 154 from the Netherlands; 43 people, including 15 crew and two infants, from Malaysia; 27 from Australia; 12 people, including one infant, from Indonesia; 9 from the United Kingdom; 4 from Germany; 4 from Belgium; 3 from the Philippines; 1 from Canada; and 41 people “unverified.” Some Americans are believed to have been aboard.

 

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Transgender news briefs

Posted on 17 Jul 2014 at 5:27pm

Trans woman murdered in Baltimore

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Mia Henderson

Baltimore City Police announced July 16 that they are investigating the murder of trans woman Mia Henderson, sister of NBA player Reggie Bullock. Henderson, 26, is at least the second trans woman killed in Baltimore in as many months. According to a press release from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, her murder is “the latest in a string of Baltimore area homicides in the last two months in which transgender women have been killed.”

Baltimore police Investigators said officers serving a warrant just before 6 a.m. in the 3400 block of Piedmont Avenue found Henderson’s body in an alley. They said the victim had “suffered severe trauma.”

Police said it was too early to tell if the case is related to a similar one a month ago in which another transgender woman was killed. The body of 40-year-old Ricky Hall, known as Kandy, was found stabbed on June 4 in a field near Coldstream Park Elementary-Middle School in northeast Baltimore, according to reports by WBALTV News 11.

 

USDA adopts trans protections

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has added gender identity protections to its federal nondiscrimination regulations regarding programs or activities conducted by the department. This makes USDA is the first federal agency to issue regulations banning gender identity discrimination in all activities conducted by any employee of the department, according to an NGLTF press release issued today.

“Fifteen years ago, the USDA paved the way on federal rights for LGBT people by becoming the first agency to add sexual orientation nondiscrimination protections. Yesterday, the USDA once again demonstrated their leadership and commitment to equality by extending nondiscrimination protections to transgender people in every program the department operates,” NGLTF Executive Director Rea Carey said.

 

Report: Nearly two-thirds of Massachusetts trans people suffer discrimination

The Fenway Institute and Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition have released their Project VOICE report on transgender discrimination in public accommodations, which found that nearly two-thirds of trans residents of Massachusetts have experienced discrimination in a public accommodation setting in the last 12 years. Those experiencing discrimination were nearly twice as likely to report adverse physical and mental health outcomes, the report indicated.

The state’s Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Act, passed in 2011 and implemented in 2012, does not cover public accommodations.

Other findings reported in the study include:

• Overall, 65 percent of respondents reported discrimination in one or more public accommodation settings in the past 12 months.

• The five most prevalent settings in which discrimination was experienced were transportation (36 percent), retail (28 percent), restaurants (26 percent), public gatherings (25 percent) and health care facilities/services (24 percent).

• Those reported incidences of discrimination had an 84 percent increased risk of adverse physical symptoms, such as headaches, upset stomach or pounding heart, in the last 30 days and 99 percent increased risk of emotional symptoms in the past 30 days.

• 28 percent of respondents reported they had not seen a doctor in the last year.

• 29 percent reported having to teach their health care provider about transgender health issues in the last year.

The Massachusetts Legislature is currently considering passage of the Equal Access Bill, which would improve access to public accommodations for trans people there.

Download a copy of the complete report here.

 

European Court of Human Rights rules against trans woman in marriage case

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the country of Finland did not violate the human rights of a trans woman by requiring that her marriage be downgraded to a registered partnership in order for her to be legally recognized as a woman.

Before gender reassignment surgery, Ms. Hamalainen had married a woman, and Finnish authorities argued that legally recognizing her gender as female without ending her marriage would result in a same-sex marriage, which is not allowed under Finnish law.

Evelyne Paradis, executive director of ILGA-Europe, said: “The Finnish authorities argued and the European Court agreed that Ms Hamalainen’s family did not suffer disproportionately by their marriage being downgraded to a registered partnership as a registered partnership is almost identical to marriage in terms of rights and protections. Nevertheless, the court missed an important opportunity to condemn humiliating and discriminatory practices across Europe requiring trans people to end their existing marriage to obtain legal gender recognition.”

Trans people must end existing marriages to partners of the same-gender as they are post-transition to obtain legal gender recognition in 32 of 49 European countries.

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‘Credence’ sci-fi film features LGBT family

Posted on 17 Jul 2014 at 2:09pm


On Friday, July 25, we at Dallas Voice will publish our 2014 Family Issue. To get ready for that, let me share with you this trailer for a new sci-fi film called Credence, from director Mike Buonaiuto.

Says TheNewCivilRightsMovement.com: “Ever wondered what it might look like if a science fiction film presented LGBT people the way it should be done? Credence will be the first sci-fi of its kind to challenge the way gay characters are portrayed in film.”

It is the story of the end of the earth, the last days, when ever-more-violent storms are making the survival of the human race impossible. Fortunately, new worlds have been discovered that will support the human race. Unfortunately, limited rocket capacity and the realities of the human life expectancy mean only children are being evacuated to these new worlds. And the cost means only the children of wealthy people are able to afford tickets to these new worlds.

Credence tells the story of a gay couple, fathers, who make the heart-rending decision to get their daughter on one of the rockets, giving up all their possessions to be able to afford the ticket, even though it means never seeing her again.

Buonaiuto has an Indiegogo account established to help fund the production of the film, in case you are interested. And by the way, thanks to my friend Misty Hillin who posted this on Facebook, where I saw it.

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WATCH: Michael Sam accepts the Arthur Ashe Award at the ESPYs

Posted on 17 Jul 2014 at 1:36pm

“I had a lot of experience living something bigger than myself,” Michael Sam says, choking back tears as he accepted the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the ESPYs last night, honoring him for coming out prior to NFL draft earlier this year. It’s a beautiful speech, including another on-air kiss of his boyfriend and a special thank-you to him. You can watch it in full after the jump. Try not to cry. You won’t succeed, but try anyway.

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Florida’s marriage ban overturned

Posted on 17 Jul 2014 at 1:18pm

FloridaA Monroe County circuit judge overturned Florida’s marriage ban and gave the county clerk’s office until Tuesday to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Monroe County covers the Florida Keys. The lawsuit was brought by two Key West bartenders and other couples seeking to marry, according to the Miami Herald.

Steve Rothaus, who covers the LGBT beat for the Miami Herald, reported it’s unclear whether the state will appeal or seek in injunction.

Marriage is currently legal in 19 states, several counties in Colorado and in the District of Columbia. In addition, a number of people have married in several states such as Wisconsin, Indiana and Utah during a short window between a court ruling and a stay on the ruling.

 

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Bipartisan bill would protect global LGBT rights

Posted on 17 Jul 2014 at 12:49pm
Rep. John Tierney introduced a bipartisan bill to protect LGBT people worldwide.

Rep. John Tierney introduced a bipartisan bill to protect LGBT people worldwide.

A bill recently introduced by a bipartisan group of representatives in Congress would protect and advance the global rights of LGBT people if passed.

Reps. John F. Tierney, D-M.A., Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., and Richard, R-N.Y., introduced the International Human Rights Defense Act Wednesday, July 16. Sen. Edward Markey, D-M.A., introduced the bill in the Senate on June 3.

If passed, the bill would direct the Department of State to prioritize protecting LGBT people worldwide. The bill would require the department to develop a strategy to promote and protect LGBT rights worldwide and also appoint a “Special Envoy on the Human Rights of LGBT People” to oversee the strategy.

According to American Jewish World Service, a chief proponent of the bill, 77 countries jail people for having same-sex relations. Five of those countries allow LGBT people to be put to death.

“Defending the rights of LGBT people worldwide is crucial, as many governments are passing punitive laws and sanctioning acts of hate against LGBT people,” said Ruth Messinger, president of AJWS. “As American Jews, we are members of a minority whose rights have been trampled in the past, and we understand fully that neither nor our government can stand by as the rights of vulnerable minorities are trampled in other parts of the world.”

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