Dean resigns over school’s choice to not allow Chick-Fil-A

By : wire report
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LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. (AP) | A dean at a New Jersey university resigned saying the school’s decision to not consider bringing Chick-fil-A to campus because of its opposition to the LGBT community made her feel “like I had been punched in the stomach.”

Cynthia Newman, former dean of Rider University’s College of Business Administration, said her views as a “very committed Christian” and the fast food chain’s views “mirror” one another.

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Gillibrand declares support for third-gender option on federal IDs

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a 2020 Democratic hopeful, has come out in favor of a non-binary gender marker on federal identification documents, according to CBS News.

The New York Democrat’s support for the third-gender option — a practice adopted in at least two states — Oregon and New Jersey — for birth certificates and driver’s licenses — makes her the first 2020 candidate to take that position.

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Nashville becomes first Southern city to recognize LGBT-owned businesses

By : James Wellemeyer OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Nashville on Feb. 11 became the first city in the South to recognize LGBT-owned businesses.

Nashville Mayor David Briley signed an executive order including LGBT Business Enterprises certified by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce in contracting and procurement opportunities throughout the city.

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Babs Siperstein, pioneering N.J. trans activist, dies at 76

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Barbra “Babs” Siperstein, a transgender Democratic activist in New Jersey who’s credited with taking a lead role in pushing a pro-trans state birth certificate law for her state, died over the weekend at age 76, according to local media reports.

Siperstein died days after the law went into effect on Feb. 1. The “Babs Siperstein Law” allows individuals in New Jersey to change the gender marker on their birth certificate without proof of surgery and offer a gender-neutral option. The law was signed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

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

By : wire report
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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

By : Wire report
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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

By : Wire Report
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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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