Judy and Dennis Shepard criticize AG Barr on LGBTQ rights

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Judy and Dennis Shepard. Photo via the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s Facebook page.

The parents of Matthew Shepard, the gay college student murdered in 1998, assailed Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday for what they called hypocrisy on LGBTQ rights during a Justice Department ceremony commemorating a hate-crimes law named after their son.

The ceremony, held in the department’s Great Hall, marked the 10th anniversary of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was signed by President Barack Obama in October 2009. The act expanded the 1969 federal hate-crime law to include crimes based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

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Mormon church opposes Utah LGBTQ ‘conversion therapy’ ban

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ABOVE: Russell M. Nelson speaks in Orlando June 9. Photo via Nelson’s Facebook page.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | A proposed ban on so-called conversion therapy in Utah is in danger of being derailed after the influential Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter-day Saints came out Tuesday night in opposition, just months after it said it wouldn’t stand in the way of a similar measure under consideration.

The church said in a statement that the regulatory rule prohibiting Utah psychologists from engaging in the discredited practice with LGBTQ minors would fail to safeguard religious beliefs and doesn’t account for “important realities of gender identity in the development of children.”

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GLAAD partners with UN on Spirit Day campaign

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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GLAAD has partnered with the U.N. to fight bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and its Free and Equal campaign worked with GLAAD to create a “Purple the World” video that is available in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic, Russian and Portuguese. The video debuted on Wednesday, a day before GLAAD’s Spirit Day that has taken place on the third Thursday of October since 2010.

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Murder, arson convictions upheld in death of Army veteran

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Garry Joseph Gupton. (Photo from Guilford County jail)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) | A North Carolina court has upheld a man’s first-degree murder and arson convictions in the death of an Army veteran set on fire in a hotel room.

The state Court of Appeals on Oct. 15 rejected arguments by Garry Joseph Gupton, now serving life in prison for Steven White’s 2014 death. Gupton’s lawyer failed to persuade the judges that prosecutors didn’t prove it was arson and that prosecutors failed to show Gupton was sane when the crime occurred.

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Senate Dems buckle on trans service in defense talks: source

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), second from right, joins transgender service members in the Capitol Rotunda before the State of the Union Address on Feb. 5, 2019. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

In a rare display of intraparty fighting over LGBT rights, a senior Democratic aide is accusing Senate Democrats of buckling in efforts to overturn the transgender military ban as part of closed-door negotiations for major defense spending legislation.

Amid negotiations for the fiscal year 2020 defense authorization bill, the senior Democratic aide late Oct. 15 faulted Senate Democrats for failing to push for inclusion of the “Harry Truman” amendment introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and approved by the U.S. House as part of the legislation.

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1 trans woman stabbed, another carjacked after dating app meeting in DC

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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D.C. police are seeking help from the public in identifying a male suspect who allegedly met two transgender women through a dating app known as Tagged and forced one of them to turn over her car at knifepoint and stabbed and robbed the other victim.

Police reports for the two incidents say the perpetrator, believed to be the same person, met the first victim through the Tagged app and arranged to have her pick him up on Oct. 7 at approximately 4:45 a.m. in a parking lot at an apartment building.

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Analysis: Most states lack laws protecting LGBTQ workers

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Rumors started circulating around the fire station in Byron, Georgia, within a year after the medical treatments began. The fire chief’s once-crewcut hair was growing longer, and other physical changes were becoming noticeable. Keeping quiet was no longer an option.

The chief said that once members of the tiny Fire Department were told, word spread “faster than a nuclear explosion” through Byron—a city of about 4,500 in a farming region outside Macon known for growing Georgia’s famous peaches.

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Detroit suburb bans so-called gay conversion therapy

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FERNDALE, Mich. (AP) | A Detroit suburb has banned so-called conversion therapy, a scientifically discredited practice to change a gay person’s sexual orientation or someone’s gender identity.

Ferndale council member Julia Music says the ban is an effort to build a “safe and inclusive space” for all people. The Detroit News says the vote was unanimous Monday.

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Waitress refuses to serve couple over transgender comments

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ABOVE: Brittany Rossio-Spencer, screenshot via TMJ4 News.

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) | A Fond du Lac woman says she was fired from a restaurant for refusing to serve a couple who were making disparaging comments about a transgender woman sitting at the bar.

Brittany Rossio-Spencer worked as a server at Fat Joe’s Bar & Grill in Fond du Lac. Spencer says she went to her manager last Saturday night to ask if someone else could serve the couple because she felt that ignoring their hateful comments was just as bad as saying disparaging things.

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Buttigieg delivers forceful performance on debate stage

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: (L-R) Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang and Beto O’Rourke, photo via CNN.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg delivered a forceful performance during the Democratic debate Tuesday night, demonstrating a rare knack for both rising above the fray and engaging in it.

The contradictory—but effective—approach from the gay candidate during the debate in Westerville, Ohio, was seen in particular toward the end when Joseph Biden and Elizabeth Warren were quarreling.

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O’Rourke explains view on penalizing anti-LGBTQ religious orgs

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Beto O’Rourke has explained his view on penalizing anti-LGBTQ religious orgs. (Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

Amid ongoing conservative backlash, Beto O’Rourke took to the airwaves Morning morning to defend recent comments in favor of lifting the tax-exemption on churches that oppose same-sex marriage.

O’Rourke didn’t repudiate his earlier remarks, but articulated on MSNBC a more nuanced view that religious organizations, including non-profits, should face penalties if they discriminate against LGBTQ people.

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Officials: Man who shot transgender woman in Dallas is undocumented

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Domingo Ramirez-Cayente’s mugshot. (Photo from Dallas County Sheriff’s Department)

DALLAS (AP) | Authorities say a Mexican national who committed a hate crime last month when he repeatedly shot a transgender woman in Dallas was in the country illegally after being deported in 2010.

Twenty-nine-year-old Domingo Ramirez-Cayente posted bond following the Sept. 20 shooting and was not required to wear an ankle monitor. Federal immigration officials tell The Dallas Morning News that it’s unclear where he can be found.

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