School blocks Chick-fil-A as dining option, cites values

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LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) | Students at a private university in New Jersey can eat more chicken as long as it’s not Chick-fil-A.

Rider University removed the restaurant from a survey of dining options “based on the company’s record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ community.” The fast-food chain was included in previous surveys.

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Judge to hear arguments in police sex toy harassment case

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) | A judge is scheduled to hear arguments in a case involving a police department, a sex toy and harassment claims.

A lawsuit filed in May by several members of the Mountainside police department claims superiors used the toy to harass them and subjected them to homophobic and racial slurs.

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Woman fights for fair housing for more than 50 years

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Photo of Lee Porter, executive director of the Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey

WOODLAND PARK, N.J. (AP) — When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law in 1968, Lee Porter, who had been battling housing discrimination in Bergen County for years, thought she would have to return to her career as a licensed X-ray technician.

Instead, Porter, now 91, is still fighting for equal housing in New Jersey 50 years later as the executive director of the Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey.

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Gender change on birth certificates now easier in New Jersey

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – It’s now easier for New Jersey transgender residents to change their genders on their birth certificates.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed the measure into law July 3.

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Longtime Democratic assemblyman sworn in as 1st gay mayor of New Jersey capital city

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – A longtime state lawmaker is the new mayor of New Jersey’s capital city.

Reed Gusciora was sworn in July 1 in Trenton, becoming the city’s first openly gay mayor. The ceremony came one day after the Democratic Assemblyman resigned the legislative seat he had held for 22 years.

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Ex-teacher who made anti-gay comments settles lawsuit

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UNION, N.J. (AP) — A former New Jersey high school teacher who resigned after posting anti-gay comments on her Facebook page has settled a discrimination lawsuit against the school district.

The Union Township school district recently agreed to pay Jenye “Viki” Knox $132,500 to settle the claims.

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Javon King makes national tour debut with ‘RENT’

By : Layla Ferris
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Javon King plays Angel in the national tour of “RENT”

Javon King is an openly gay actor from New Jersey, and he is making his national tour debut with the company of “RENT.” He joins the cast with his portrayal of fan favorite Angel Dumott Schunard.

King, 21, studies musical theater at Rider University in New Jersey. He’s been in several productions at the university such as “Of Thee I Sing” and “Once on This Island.”

King says he’s shocked and ecstatic to have the opportunity to perform “RENT” nationally. King spoke with Watermark on the show’s opening night in Orlando to discuss his first memories of “RENT,” the show’s depiction of the LGBTQ experience and the complexities of playing Angel.

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Hawaii governor signs bill banning conversion therapy for minors

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Friday signed into law a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy for minors.

“Sexual orientation is not an illness to be ‘cured’ — we accept you just the way you are,” said Ige in a tweet that included a picture of him signing the bill.

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Ex-teacher has certificates suspended over anti-gay comments

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A former New Jersey high school teacher who posted anti-gay comments on her Facebook page several years ago has agreed to a three-year suspension of her teaching certificates.

NJ.com reports that Jenye “Viki” Knox initially appealed a state Department of Education’s decision to revoke her three certificates to the Office of Administrative Law. But she then informed the education department she would agree to the three-year suspension.

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Christie approves law to give schools transgender policy guidance

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation July 21,  requiring the state to give guidance to public schools about policies for transgender students, including blocking the schools from forcing the students from using bathrooms that conflict with their gender identities.

The civil rights group Garden State Equality applauded the Republican governor for signing the measure saying that Christie took a stand for LGBT youth.

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NJ high school first to fly rainbow flag for Pride Month

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RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (AP) – A New Jersey high school is flying the LGBTQ community’s gay pride flag for the month, raising it in a short ceremony to spread a message of acceptance for all.

The rainbow flag will fly above Ridgewood High School for the rest of June, LGBTQ Pride Month. Students, teachers and residents were on hand to witness the flag raising ceremony June 1.

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8-year-old transgender boy asked to leave Cub Scout pack

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SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) – The family of an 8-year-old New Jersey boy says he was kicked out of Cub Scouts because he is transgender, a move that could open a new front in the debate over discrimination in Scouting.

Joe Maldonado joined Pack 87 in Secaucus in October and was asked to leave about a month later, according to The Record.

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