Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Gay News Magazine Headlines (T24T-2)


The national LGBT organizations Freedom to Work and Lambda Legal announced Monday they had reached a settlement with a government contractor based in Maryland on behalf of a transgender woman who said she had been harassed on the job.

The woman filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), stating she had been subjected to physical and verbal harassment in the workplace for two years. She detailed coworkers using derogatory terms to refer to her, calling her a ''tranny,'' ''drag queen'' and ''faggot.'' The EEOC investigated the complaints and issued a letter in September 2012 that found there was reasonable cause to believe the company violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on a variety of characteristics, including sex.

''The investigation revealed that Charging Party was subjected to derogatory gender-based comments that were frequently made by both coworkers and supervisors,'' the EEOC letter read. ''Both Charging Party and witness interviews revealed that Respondent's management failed to take corrective action despite being fully aware of the harassment Charging Party was being subjected to. This lack of corrective action enabled the harassment and offensive atmosphere to continue.''

According to a statement from Tico Almeida, president of Freedom to Work, the EEOC's determination of ''reasonable cause'' marks the first time the commission has investigated allegations of anti-transgender harassment and ruled for a transgender employee. The EEOC issued a decision in April 2012 finding that discrimination based on a person's gender identity violates Title VII's prohibition on sex discrimination.

Notably, there have been other instances in which gender-identity discrimination was determined to be a violation of the prohibition on sex-based discrimination. For example, in 2011, the federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Florida, Georgia and Alabama, ruled in favor of a transgender woman who was fired after informing her employer, the Georgia Legislature, that she was beginning her gender transition.

In the Georgia case, Glenn v. Brumby, the court found the employee was a victim of ''sex-based discrimination that is subject to heightened scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause'' and could not be penalized for gender non-conformity. Although the case did not deal directly with Title VII, which governs private employers, the justices writing for the 11th Circuit frequently referenced Title VII in their decision.

In the Maryland case before the EEOC, the government contractor denied admission of any wrongdoing, but did agree, as part of Monday's settlement, to re-publicize its nondiscrimination policies and conduct anti-discrimination and anti-harassment training specifically focusing on transgender and other LGBT issues at its facility. Due to the contractor's cooperation, Freedom to Work and Lambda Legal decided not to publish the names of their client or the government contractor in question.

''We applaud the EEOC for conducting such a thorough investigation and interviewing so many witnesses to the anti-transgender harassment,'' Almeida said in a statement issued jointly by Freedom to Work and Lambda Legal. ''This case shows that the EEOC takes very seriously its role in protecting LGBT Americans' freedom to work.''

''Slowly but surely, we are gaining recognition of the rights of LGBT employees, but this case shows that employers and employees need laws that spell out gender identity and sexual orientation protections specifically, to help prevent discrimination in the first place,'' said Greg Nevins, the supervising senior staff attorney at Lambda Legal's Southern Regional Office in Atlanta.

Nevins also appealed for further movement from Washington.

''We need action by the 113th Congress to pas the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), and even more immediately, President Obama should sign the executive order banning LGBT discrimination by companies that profit from federal contracts,'' Nevins continued. ''That executive order should have broad support across the political spectrum, since federal dollars should neither fund discrimination nor go to employers whose personnel and productivity suffer because discrimination and harassment are tolerated.''


Seven gay and lesbian couples from Montana are challenging the state's discriminatory laws.

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Cuccinelli's site takes the angle that the antisodomy law must stay in tact to protect children.

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The measure was introduced in the state legislature by out Rep. Carl Sciortino

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San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said Friday that his office will promptly oppose a motion filed by that seeks to halt same-sex marriage in the state. [Updated: Monday, July 15: the California Supreme Court this afternoon denied a request to halt same-sex marriages in the state in a brief, two-sentence order signed by [...]
A San Francisco man pleaded guilty this week to an anti-gay attack against another man who’d been walking down a Castro street. Alejandro Bonilla, 35, pleaded guilty to a felony battery charge Wednesday, July 10 in San Francisco Superior Court in exchange for charges of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and [...]
A researcher who was in San Francisco this week to present groundbreaking data on LGBT seniors is looking for a flash drive that was practically stolen from under her nose. The flash drive had “a lot of very important information on it,” including research and work-related materials, said Bill Ambrunn, a member of the Human [...]
A San Francisco supervisor committee will vote Thursday on a plan to name one of the city’s airport terminals after the late gay Supervisor Harvey Milk. The vote comes as SFO administrators and federal aviation officials continue to investigate the crash over the weekend of Asiana Flight 214 that led to the deaths of two [...]
The San Francisco Police Department is asking for help in identifying a suspect in what the agency describes as a “brutal” robbery and aggravated assault that occurred not long after Pink Saturday ended. A video of the assault is available online. Police said in a news release that the incident occurred at 1:50 a.m. Sunday, [...]
The San Francisco Police Department has released more detailed descriptions of the two men suspected in the shooting at the city’s LGBT Pride festival Sunday, June 30. Two Pride vendors sustained non-life threatening injuries. Police are describing the first suspect, the man who had the handgun, as a black male between the ages of 20 [...]
After some hedging, State Senator Cathleen Galgiani, (D-Stockton), an out lesbian, Wednesday (July 3) voted for Assembly Bill 1266, gay Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s (D-San Francisco) measure designed to ensure that transgender students have equal and full access to programs and facilities on the basis of their gender identity. Thomas Lawson, GalgianiĆ¢€™s deputy chief of staff, [...]
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has denied a request from the proponents of Proposition 8 to halt the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. According to the Associated Press, Kennedy declined the request without comment Sunday, June 30. The news was released just as hundreds of thousands of people began celebrating at the 42nd [...]
As word began to circulate Friday afternoon that same-sex marriages had begun again in California, the first set of couples began arriving at the clerk’s office in San Francisco City Hall. The first wedding was that of Berkeley couple Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, one of two couples who were part of the lawsuit, named [...]

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